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Ebola and Flu: Changes in Communion Policy?

We’ve receive some calls regarding the Communion Policy and guidelines for Eucharistic Ministers in light of Ebola and the Flu Season.  The following will be inserted into the bulletin on October 26:

Dear People of God,

We’ve received a few calls regarding the policy regarding communion in light of flu season and the Ebola situation.  The policy at Saint Victor is whatever has been promulgated by the Diocese of Cleveland and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The policy is reprinted below:

During this time of heightened attention to infectious illnesses, parishes may receive requests from parishioners to make changes to the liturgical celebration in order to prevent the spread of viruses. Currently our diocese is following The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops procedures for flu season.  The USCCB, in consultation with the Center for Disease Control, recommends that the following measures be taken in the celebration of the liturgy:

a) Priests, deacons, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should be especially reminded of the need to practice good hygiene. Ministers of Holy Communion should be encouraged to wash their hands before Mass begins, or even to use an alcohol based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.

b) Pastors should instruct people who feel ill not to receive from the cup. [Editor’s note by Father Corrigan: It would seem to me that logically this would also pertain to the minority who receive communion on the tongue.  Receiving in the hands seems to be the majority practice and certainly more hygienic.  This is my lay opinion as a non-medically trained person, and not an official policy.]

c) The Diocesan Bishop should always be consulted regarding any changes or restriction of options in the celebration of Roman Catholic Liturgy. However, the need for the introduction of widespread liturgical adaptations for the prevention of the transmission of influenza in the dioceses of the United States of America is not evident at this time.

d) Many often express concerns about greeting others or exchanging the sign of peace. There are a number of options for exchanging Christ’s peace beyond shaking hands, and individual Catholics are encouraged to feel free to refrain from hand-shaking at the Sign of Peace if they are concerned about spreading illnesses.

Pastors may wish to share with the faithful the following recommendations, intended to prevent the spread of the flu, from the Center for Disease Control:  There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.  Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.  Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.  Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.  If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.  Continuously updated information is available from the CDC at

With the exception of the first and last paragraph of this letter, and the Editorial Note inserted in item (b) above, this text was received from Jeanne Marie Miles, who is the Director of the Liturgy Office of the Diocese of Cleveland, on October 16, 2014.

Allen F. Corrigan, Pastor

Bulletin Letter Regarding Our Odd Missionary Visit

Last week I expressed my gratitude for the generous participation in the annual collection for the Missionary Cooperative Appeal. The response of our parishioner was really great.  In addition to extending my thanks I discovered last weekend that there is still a bit of unfinished business with regard to this year’s appeal.

When a pastor turns over the pulpit to a visitor there is a hopeful expectation that everything that is said by the itinerant preacher will be appropriate.  I was chagrined to learn that this was not the case during our recent appeal.

The fact that the masses on that particular weekend were at least fifteen minutes longer than usual was an inconvenience for many.  On the other hand, there really is no legislation that indicates how long a mass should be.  It could be argued by some that in order to be celebrated worthily, prayerfully and meaningfully it needs to be more than an hour.  Also, if indeed it is our most important event of the week, why would a few extra minutes really matter?  Of course we do have the matter of “local custom,” and if local custom is for a little less than an hour, I don’t see the advantage of significantly extending that.  But this matter is open to discussion, and is really not the cause of concern.

What needs to be addressed are three statements that were repeated back to me by several parishioners.  (1)  That evidently “there are no sinners here because nobody was at confession.”  (2)  That most likely “everyone will be coming up to communion although they did not go to confession.”  (3)  You should all be going to confession “once a month.”

First of all, it is not the prerogative of anyone to make any inferences one way or the other about the participation or lack of participation of people in the Sacrament of Penance.  I find the statement that was made to be rather arrogant and insulting.  If it were my place to make an apology for something said by another person I would tend to do so, but frankly I don’t believe it makes any sense to apologize for something another person did or said.

Second, the church makes it clear that the only thing that would prevent a person from participating in the communion procession is serious sin.  This is a matter between an individual and the confessor of her or his choosing.  To assume that a number of persons are in serious sin and to suggest that publicly is appalling.

Third, there is no legislation that requires a Catholic to participate in the Sacrament of Penance on a monthly basis.  Of course frequent confessions are encouraged and welcomed, but the Code of Canon Law is clear that the Sacrament of Penance should be celebrated at least one a year if the person is in a state of serious sin.  Our very large Lenten Communal Penance Service with more than a dozen priests facilitates this expectation very well and as an adjunct the sacrament is also available every weekend.

One of the persons I called for confirmation regarding the statements of the missionary reported that indeed this is what was said but, “He said it in a joking way.”  Well, while I’m not a licensed counselor I’ve taken enough psychology classes at the graduate level and have had enough life experiences to know that there really isn’t any such thing as “joking.”  When people are “joking” they’re saying what they really mean, but in such a way as to avoid taking personal ownership for their statement.

Again, I don’t think it’s up to me to apologize for another person, but you can be sure that I will bring this matter to the attention of those who need to know about it.   All this being said, I did receive one report from a parishioner who appreciated our visiting priest and his message.

Allen F. Corrigan, Pastor

Human Trafficking: From Facts and Figures to Faces and Futures

Sr. Cecilia Liberatore, SND
Monday, September 22, 2014
St. Victor Church 7–9pm

Human trafficking has become a social cancer in recent
years. What is it? Who is affected? Why should we be
concerned? Sr. Cecilia will draw on her vast experiences in
providing support to women and girls who have been, or
are in imminent danger of being trafficked. She will provide
information about human trafficking from both a global
and local perspective, and will show how this is a real social
and moral issue in our neighborhoods and communities.

Sr. Cecilia is a Sister of Notre Dame who holds degrees from Notre
Dame College in Cleveland, Kent State, and the University of Dayton.
She is a member of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking and
participates in planning and leading conferences on this topic. She
also acts as a court advocate for women arrested for prostitution, and
engages in outreach on the streets to women who have been trafficked.

See the ACE Brochure:

2014-2015 A.C.E. Schedule (Adult Catholic Education)

Please click the link to see the A.C.E. brochure for 2014-2015.

ACE 2014-15

Palm Sunday/Holy Week Reflection: “What Suffering Does”


David Brooks, New York Times, 4/7/2014

Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself in a bunch of conversations in which the unspoken assumption was that the main goal of life is to maximize happiness. That’s normal. When people plan for the future, they often talk about all the good times and good experiences they hope to have. We live in a culture awash in talk about happiness. In one three-month period last year, more than 1,000 books were released on Amazon on that subject.

But notice this phenomenon. When people remember the past, they don’t only talk about happiness. It is often the ordeals that seem most significant. People shoot for happiness but feel formed through suffering.

Now, of course, it should be said that there is nothing intrinsically ennobling about suffering. Just as failure is sometimes just failure (and not your path to becoming the next Steve Jobs) suffering is sometimes just destructive, to be exited as quickly as possible.

But some people are clearly ennobled by it. Think of the way Franklin Roosevelt came back deeper and more empathetic after being struck with polio. Often, physical or social suffering can give people an outsider’s perspective, an attuned awareness of what other outsiders are enduring.

But the big thing that suffering does is it takes you outside of precisely that logic that the happiness mentality encourages. Happiness wants you to think about maximizing your benefits. Difficulty and suffering sends you on a different course.

First, suffering drags you deeper into yourself. The theologian Paul Tillich wrote that people who endure suffering are taken beneath the routines of life and find they are not who they believed themselves to be. The agony involved in, say, composing a great piece of music or the grief of having lost a loved one smashes through what they thought was the bottom floor of their personality, revealing an area below, and then it smashes through that floor revealing another area.

 Then, suffering gives people a more accurate sense of their own limitations, what they can control and cannot control. When people are thrust down into these deeper zones, they are forced to confront the fact they can’t determine what goes on there. Try as they might, they just can’t tell themselves to stop feeling pain, or to stop missing the one who has died or gone. And even when tranquillity begins to come back, or in those moments when grief eases, it is not clear where the relief comes from. The healing process, too, feels as though it’s part of some natural or divine process beyond individual control.

People in this circumstance often have the sense that they are swept up in some larger providence. Abraham Lincoln suffered through the pain of conducting a civil war, and he came out of that with the Second Inaugural. He emerged with this sense that there were deep currents of agony and redemption sweeping not just through him but through the nation as a whole, and that he was just an instrument for transcendent tasks.

It’s at this point that people in the midst of difficulty begin to feel a call. They are not masters of the situation, but neither are they helpless. They can’t determine the course of their pain, but they can participate in responding to it. They often feel an overwhelming moral responsibility to respond well to it. People who seek this proper rejoinder to ordeal sense that they are at a deeper level than the level of happiness and individual utility. They don’t say, “Well, I’m feeling a lot of pain over the loss of my child. I should try to balance my hedonic account by going to a lot of parties and whooping it up.”

New Mass Setting: Mass of St. Frances Cabrini

Soon Eric will be teaching a new mass setting to the congregation. The setting is the “Mass of St. Frances Cabrini,” by Kevin Keil. To hear a sample of the new setting please click here.


Kevin is high school classmate of Father Corrigan and created a special arrangement just for Saint Victor Parish.

Pope Francis’ Evangelical Exortation “Evangelii Gaudium”

Here’s a link to Pope Francis’ wonderful new Apostolic Exhortation:

And here’s a link to a helpful summary:

Understanding the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation – Evangelii Gaudium

If the links don’t click just copy and paste into your browser.

Saint Victor Parish Giving Tree 2012


Thank you to all of our parishioner who have been so generous to the Giving Tree this year!  In addition to these gifts many gift cards were also presented.  Thanks to one and all!

New Communion Set Vessels Delivered

These arrived today and will be put into service on Christmas Eve:


Jesus Descent Into Hell Explained

A number of parishioners have asked the significance in the Apostle’s Creed of the statement “He descended into hell….” Here is an excellent explanation by a wonderful priest friend, Father Joe Fortuna, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake in Euclid, Ohi0:

 Since the beginning of the Year of Faith, we have been reciting the Apostles’ Creed at Mass rather than the Nicene Creed to which we had become accustomed. It seemed to me that since Bishop Lennon has asked everyone to pray the Apostles’ Creed daily during this special year, it would make sense (and be less confusing) to use the same text of the creed for our liturgical prayer.

 Some have asked about the meaning of the line, “he descended into hell.” One person was confused because he had been taught that once a person goes to hell, it is for eternity. Another was just confused, probably for a similar reason. If some have these questions, I’m certain others do as well.

 I did a little research and discovered that on January 11, 1989, Pope John Paul II had a general audience during which he addressed the meaning of this statement. I would like to summarize below some of the content of his address.

 John Paul II points out that in the condition of being truly human, Jesus experienced completely what we experience, including death. (That he was sinless is of course without question.) Insofar as some in antiquity questioned whether Jesus really had in fact died and been buried, the Pope points out that Jesus’ death is an article of faith. It is another way of saying that he was completely and truly human.

 The Pope also pointed out that even though some heretics used the same line in their writings, it was introduced into orthodox professions of faith at the end of the fourth century. It entered definitively into the teaching of ecumenical councils at the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and the Second Council of Lyons (1274).

 The Pope makes very clear that the word “hell” in this statement does not mean the hell of eternal damnation. Rather, it refers to the abode of the dead which is sheol in Hebrew and hades in Greek. He spends much of his audience explaining how the line is derived from many New Testament texts, (even though the exact line is not to be found there).

 “During the three (incomplete) days between the moment when he [Jesus] “expired” and the resurrection, he experienced the ‘state of death’…This is the primary meaning of the words ‘he descended into hell’.”

 Another important meaning is associated with the conviction that all who preceded Jesus and died before the historical event of the death of Christ are nevertheless saved through the event of Christ’s death and resurrection. His descent into hell is a way of saying that the word of the Gospel and of the cross reaches all, even those belonging to the most distant generations of the past.

Many thanks to Father Joe Fortuna for allowing me to reprint his explanation in its entirety.

 Please leave a comment below if you wish, and please click the “Notify” check boxes to be notified of any comments to this page, or any new pages.

Immaculate Conception

Great song for the Immaculate Conception:

Amy Grant: “Breath of Heaven”

Please click the two “Notify” check boxes below to be notified of additional comments and posts!  Thanks, Fr. C.

Our Catechumen Reza, Apostles’ Creed, Parish Activities

Congratulations to Reza Samadi who last Sunday morning was formally received into the Order of Catechumens.  Numerous members of our parish community, including Reza’s sponsor John Paulett, his wife Sarah Paulett-Samadi, and members of his family joined me in claiming him for Christ our Savior by marking him on the forehead with the sign of the cross.  It was a very moving ritual.  We look forward to celebrating the Rites of Purification and Enlightenment with Reza during Lent, and of course the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil, click here to know more.

I noticed something very interesting at the 11:30 AM mass last weekend, which happened to be the mass during which Reza was accepted as a catechumen.  Our participation in the recitation of the Apostles’ Creed was extremely enthusiastic.  I was very inspired by this noticeable degree of improvement in the energy with which we made this statement of our common belief.  I wondered if part of this was the eagerness of the members of the assembly to show their support for Reza as he begins his final months of preparation for baptism.

Also, with respect to the Apostles’ Creed, I would like to thank our Parish Administrative Assistant Karen Napholz for continuing to make as many wallet-sized cards as we need for everyone to take and keep.  Our volunteer Joe Cernanec makes sure there are plenty of cards at the ends of the pews every weekend.  I really love seeing so many people, especially the children and teenagers, get their personal copy of the creed out of their wallet or purse for that part of the mass.  As I mentioned last weekend at 11:30 AM mass, I have also posted a copy of the creed to the parish website, so if you wish you can download the Apostles’ Creed into your smart phone and access it during mass or any other time.

Our Pastoral Associate Laura Peltz and her able assistant Marie McCabe did a wonderful job preparing the Advent Family Workshop which took place last Saturday evening.  Even thought I had a later dinner engagement I had the opportunity to sample some of the fare, and it was wonderful.  Many thanks to all the parishioners, including seniors, who participated.

It’s wonderful to see that Children’s Liturgy of the Word seems to be coming back on line as more parishioners sign up to volunteer.  Our Religious Education Programs Assistant, Sue Heckel, is responsible for CLW setups and volunteer recruitment and training.  Thanks, Sue, for the great job!

Meanwhile I’m happy to report that our recovering Director of Liturgical Music, Eric Coffelt, joined us for 11:30 AM mass last weekend.  Although he has not yet been cleared for active duty he is doing great after his recent heart bypass surgery. It was wonderful seeing Eric looking great.  Eric plans on being able to work with the choir for Midnight Mass.  Meanwhile Scott Mason, a member of the choir and a gifted professional music educator, has been leading choir practices.

Last weekend there was a beehive of activity around the Giving Tree as scores of parishioners took angel labels off the tree and replaced them with golden acorns.  The Christmas gifts that will be placed under the tree will bring great happiness to needy area families.  Thank you to everyone who brings such life to Saint Victor Parish.

Apostles’ Creed

For reference during mass or during the week here is the text of the Apostles’ Creed.  See below for discussion questions:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

Question:  Has my mindful recitation of the words of the Apostles’ Creed every day or at weekend liturgies helped me to grow in my faith during this special Year of Faith?

Anniversary of Vox Clara 2010 Roman Missal Product

This year the Feast of Christ the King marks the end of the first full year of implementing the new translation of the Roman Missal, the 2010 Vox Clara product that was imposed upon the English speaking Catholic world on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011. In the online version of the popular and highly respected magazine “U.S. Catholic” I found a pair of articles providing reviews of the new texts, one from the perspective of parishioners and other from the perspective of priests.

The articles are very easy to find using any search engine, such as Google. Search for the string “parishioners respond new missal” and “priests respond new missal” and you will find links to the articles. I found both of them quite interesting, and I hope you do as well.

I hope no one takes what I am about to write as a criticism, because it is not; it is merely an observation. But in all honesty Dear Parishioners, I have noticed what might be considered a lack of enthusiasm and vigor in many of the spoken and sung responses during our worship throughout the past several months, in contrast to what I would have expected a couple years ago. This could be for a number of reasons, and I would be the first to admit that the fault could be all mine. It is possible that I have not been adequately prepared for and have not implemented the new texts convincingly. Perhaps I have telegraphed a less than welcoming attitude regarding the new prayers, which are as we have seen composed in a new kind of English which is nothing like the language that any of us have read, proclaimed, written or sung prior to one year ago.

All that being said I very respectfully suggest that beginning next weekend when we begin our second time through the new Roman Missal all of us make a bit more of an effort to put our heart into the prayers of the mass. They are what they are, and an improved version is likely to be long in coming. So I kindly invite everyone, including myself, to make more of an effort to accommodate ourselves to the new translation in the year ahead.

Shopping for Sacred Vessels – Update

UPDATE TO POST:  One of these items has already been dedicated.  When details become available they will be posted here.

The beautiful porcelain communion set that we have been using at Saint Victor Parish was crafted more than thirty years ago by noted liturgical artist Sister Diane Therese Pinchot, OSU.  I was present when Sister Diane (then “Sister Fidelis”) removed the vessels from the kiln after their final glazing.  As they cooled they “sang,” as the fine lines (crazing) which give the pieces a special character formed.

Thirty years of constant use have taken a toll on these items, as as we move toward the Fiftieth Jubilee of Saint Victor Parish the time has come to replace them.  I have been looking around for years for a quality set that could be used and finally came across one at the convocation of priests that took place in Huron a couple weeks ago.  Here is what I found:

If you click on the images you can get a much clearer view.

Here are links to the items from the manufacturers website:

Nine Inch Diameter Open Ciborium  (One needed for weekend masses.)

Sixteen Once, Seven Inch Tall Communion Cup  (Two needed for weekend masses.)

Six Inch Additional Open Ciborium  (Three needed for weekend masses.)

Eight 5/8th Inch Chalice  (One needed for daily mass.)

Seven Inch Open Ciborium  (One needed for daily mass.)

Also needed is a decent “lavabo set,” which is a pitcher and bowl for the priest to wash his hands during the preparation.  This set should be gold plated to match the rest of the items.  We are still researching this.

My classmate, Father John Singler, and friend Father Ron Wearsch reported that a similar set at St. Mary Magdalene in Willowick  is ten years old, and it is still looking great.

These items will be available as memorials.  One item has already been spoken for.  Please let me know if you are interested in learning more.

Fr. C.