Making a Difference

A couple times a month I log into my Facebook account to “catch up” with friendly acquaintances around the neighborhood and around the world.  Last Monday, right after reading through this weekend’s scriptures for the first time, I came across the following quote from Katrina Mayer on a friend’s wall:

 At the end of the day,

the only questions I will ask myself are…

Did I love enough?

Did I laugh enough?

Did I made a difference?

 While not necessarily coming from an explicitly Christian framework, the quote seems to resonate with a central theme of both our first scripture from the Book of Daniel (12:1-3) and our third, the gospel reading from Mark (13:24-32).  Both readings speak dramatically to the point of finality, that ultimately the journey of life comes full circle for all of us; and there is an implied reckoning that accompanies that culmination.

When we reach the end of the liturgical year there is a sudden darkening of tone in our scriptures and prayers as the Church is careful to remind us of “last things.”  While it is possible to see this shift as being gloomy or foreboding, it is perhaps more worthwhile to take the attitude represented by the quote presented above, which suggests that not only at the end of the twelve-month liturgical cycle but really at the end of each day, we should take some time to review our lives.

The first question, “Did I love enough?” is truly a loaded question.  Often in popular culture a sentimental or overly romanticized understanding of the word “love” is emphasized.  Clearly the gospel understanding of this term is very different, and includes an understanding of “love” as a pouring out of self in sacrificial, loving service.

The second question, “Did I laugh enough?” seems very important for all of us who tend to take ourselves too seriously.  The ability to laugh joyfully is the ability to see the big picture, and not see the world as revolving around ourselves.  Laughter can be a way of sharing our joy with others; not spreading mere happiness which can be here one day and gone the next, but sharing the joy that comes from knowing that we are right with whatever God’s plan is for us, and in synch with what God’s grace is doing in us.

The third question, “Did I make a difference?” is perhaps the most challenging of the three.  We could approach this question from the wrong direction and think that making a difference means that our names might be remembered hundreds of years from now for some important invention, accomplishment or victory.  The statistical reality is that only an extremely tiny percentage of people are remembered in that sense a couple hundred years after their death.  Actually the question “Did I make a difference?” goes very much to our understanding of the incredible dignity of the human person, and that any act of kindness, compassion or love has a transcendent, lasting value.  Any time we love selflessly and laugh joyfully we indeed make a difference in those around us.

… everywhere a sign …

Denise Carlos, Theresa Lerner, Karen and Brian Becker, Dave Carlos and I are working on plans for a new sign for Saint Victor Church.   Here are a few of the things we are thinking about, and a few sample sign that are similar to what we have been discussion.  Please leave your comments in the comment area below.

We are thinking about simple design that utilizes brickwork to match the bricks of the church building.  Some sighs that we have seen are actually one piece made of synthetic materials which can look quite real:

The sign above is not constructed from real bricks; it is one solid manufactured piece.

We also saw a sign that was designed using real brickwork, with bricks that matched the church building:

We saw another sign that was even a bit simpler, and it is included here for comparison:

The big issue for us right now is choosing between a fabricated all-in-one sign, in which even the brick columns which have the appearance of bricks are part of a solid molded piece (the first example), or choosing a design made of real bricks (the second and third example).

Presumably the option using real bricks could be more expense and require much more construction.  We will keep everyone informed.  Please make your comments below:

Seminarian, New Servers, Sacred Vessels, Weddings

Thank you for the warm welcome extended to seminarian Tim Roth last weekend.  Tim is certainly an enthusiastic advocate for vocations to the ordained priesthood.  I appreciated having a weekend visitor in the normally quiet rectory.  Tim and I headed out for dinner after the 5 PM mass and later had quite a long chat about the seminary today, including ways that it is different and ways that it is the same as it was 35 years ago.

Between the two masses on Sunday morning Tim joined me teaching the third grade P.S.R. students some basics about the liturgy, and encouraging them to become altar servers.  Hopefully soon we will have a new crop of altar servers.  This is not a particularly difficult ministry, but it is very important.  Anyone who has made First Communion is welcome to be a server.  If you have any questions please leave a comment on the parish blog at or stop and see me after any mass.

Speaking of the parish blog, please be sure to check out the new parish website.  It was fun getting it set up, now I hope we will use it effectively.  There are a few things I would like to add, including a gallery of pictures.  But after just a couple weeks it’s already way better than the old website.  Please leave a comment on the blog when you visit.

For example, please look under the “Recent Posts” column and read the post that is titled “Shopping for Sacred Vessels.”  To make a long story short, the beautiful porcelain vessels that we use for mass are wearing out and need to be replaced.  I’ve been shopping for something to replace them with for a long time, and finally found something of good quality and good value.  There are pictures there on the website under that post.  It would good to have a new set of sacred vessels in use in time for the beginning of our jubilee year.  These items will be available as memorial items.

We seem to be coming out of the doldrums as far as weddings are concerned.  The last few years we’ve have very few weddings each year.  This has been the case at many parishes.  Some of my colleagues suggested that this had something to do with the economy.  Whatever the reason, the trend seems to be reversing.  Next year there are quite a few weddings, which is a source of great joy for our entire parish.

An interesting feature of weddings these days is that often the couples are not living close to the parish for one reason or the other.  We’ve already had two weddings in which all the pre-marital consultations were done via internet teleconferencing.  Two of the weddings next year are like this as well.  When I started working with wedding couples in the early 1980’s I never thought that one day I would be doing so remotely via teleconference.  It is wonderful being able to have face-to-face meetings with wedding couples who are hundreds of miles away.  So far we’ve only been able to figure out one-on-one meetings with just two ends to the conversation, but in cases when the bride and groom are in two different places I still have to find a way to make this work with three different locations.


Annual Pet Blessing Pictures

Thanks to Tim for passing along these pictures of the Annual Saint Francis Pet Blessing.

Indian Summer at Saint Victor

It was a beautiful day here at Saint Victor as Indian Summer visited Revereland.  Dave Carlos and Joe Cernanek helped with a light bulb changing project in the church and since we had the big ladder out we took a nice fall picture of the repaired and refurbished Gathering Room.

Don’t think there will be many more days like this in 2012!

Seminarian Visit / New Website 10/28/2012

Dear People of God,

While at the convocation of all Diocese of Cleveland priests in Huron earlier this month I was speaking to Father Michael McCandless who you may recall served an internship here at Saint Victor a few years before his ordination to the priesthood.  He is now serving as the vocation director for the diocese and asked me if we would be able to host a seminarian here at the parish for a weekend who would share some reflections on priesthood during mass.

I said, “Of course we would,” and a few days ago I received a call from Tim Roth, a Fourth Theology student, meaning theoretically Tim is on track to be ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist on the third Saturday morning of May, 2013.  I say “theoretically” because the formality of the bishop “calling” a seminarian to orders does not take place until shortly before ordination.

Tim’s home parish is St. Charles in Parma, where he attended grade school.  He attended and graduated from Parma Senior High after which he entered Borromeo College Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio.  During his junior year of college he spent a semester abroad in Rome, studying at the Urbaniana and living on Borgo Pio by the Vatican.  He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from John Carroll University in 2009 and was accepted into the major seminary, Saint Mary Seminary, which is also in Wickliffe.

Tim will be here this weekend, sharing some reflections at each of the masses.  He will stay over at the parish on Saturday evening, and on Sunday morning the two of us will go over and greet the Parish School of Religion and Junior Youth Ministry students.  I am sure that everyone will show him a warm Saint Victor welcome.

In other news, several months ago Brenda Prezenkowski our Lector Coordinator very politely reminded me that the parish website was looking ragged and was due for an update.  I had cobbled together that website many years ago using an old version of Microsoft Word.  I guess many of the links were either broken or out of date.  So, we committed to putting together a new website but being a characteristically thrifty I really did not want to spend any money on it.

So, Karen Napholz our Parish Administrative Assistant did a little research and found a web hosting service that provides domain names and web hosting free of charge for non-profits.  After Karen set it up it took us a little while to get it turned on, but the site just sat there blank for a few months.  Then, two weekends ago, new parishioner Anbu Kuppusamy came up to me and politely said, “Father, you really do need to update your website,” or words to that effect.  He then led me through the steps of setting up a website which I spent most of my free time that week working on.

The final result is a new parish website that is not going to cost us any money.  Please go out to and check it out.  One of the features is a “blog,” or a discussion area.  I will be posting these weekly letters to the blog and then everyone is welcome to comment.  Comment moderation will be turned on to prevent inappropriate content, but for the most part all comments will be permitted.  Please visit the new website and leave a comment.


Allen F. Corrigan, Pastor

History of Saint Victor Parish

The History of Saint Victor Parish

In his characteristic concern for the spiritual needs of the faithful committed to his care, the late Archbishop Edward F. Hoban, Archbishop-Bishop of Cleveland, on Thursday, June 4, 1964, signed a Canonical Decree, erecting the Mission of St. Victor to minister to the needs of the faithful residing in the general areas of Richfield Township and the northern part of Bath Township in Summit County. The area to be served by St. Victor Mission was bounded on the North by the Cuyahoga County line, on the South by West Bath Road, on the East by the East limits of Richfield and Bath Townships, and on the West by the Medina County line.

On that same day, June 4, 1964, The Most Reverend John F. Whealon, Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General, acting for Archbishop Hoban, gave Father Anthony S. Gawlik his letter of appointment as Administrator of the new Mission of St. Victor. Father Gawlik assumed his duties as Administrator on Thursday, June 11, 1964, and took up residence at Mother of Sorrows Rectory in Peninsula, Ohio. He remained in residence there until April 1, 1965, when a suitable home on Motor Road in West Richfield became available as a temporary Rectory.

Necessary preliminary steps were immediately taken to arrange for a suitable facility for the celebration of Masses on Sundays. The Bath-Richfield School board was approached for the use of one of the school buildings, and as a result of their favorable response, arrangements were made to use Eastview Junior High School for Sunday Masses. Final details were worked out with the new Executive Head of the Bath-Richfield Schools, Dr. Frank C. Mayer. It is worthy to note that St. Victor Parish has been fortunate to have enjoyed from the very beginning, a very warm and cordial relationship with the Bath-Richfield School Board and its Executive Head, Dr. Mayer.

First Masses for the faithful of St. Victor Mission were offered on Sunday, July 12, 1964 at 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. in the Auditorium of Eastview Junior High School.

At this time, a representative group of men was formed into a Parish Council. Asked to serve as members were: Mr. James Krejci, Mr. John Floberg, Mr. John Ropar, Mr. George Kinches, Mr. Louis Romestant, Mr. Robert Malafa, Mr. Edward Surman, Mr. Edward Pasek, Mr. Reno Alessio, Mr. Howard Kkeil, Mr. Samuel Gasbarre, Mr. Jerome Wendt, Mr. Robert Clerkin, Mr. John Davis, Mr. Thomas, Kehoe, Mr. James Cardina, Mr. August Spillar, Mr. Theodore Berka, Mr. Harley Kemper, Mr. Frank Malachowski and Mr. Raymond Cofta.

On Friday, July 31, 1964, a meeting of the women of the parish was held in Mother of Sorrows Parish Hall to organize an Altar and Rosary Society. Its purpose, as outlined by Father Gawlik, was to foster the spiritual well being of its members, to provide for the needs of the Sanctuary and Sacristy, and to organize social activities for the woman of the parish. The first officers elected were Mrs. Carl Smilan, President, Mrs. Edward Pasek, Vice-President, Mrs. Glenn Leach, Recording Secretary,, Mrs. James Viall, Corresponding Secretary and Mrs. James Krejci, Treasurer. As of the Dedication of St. Victor in November of 1966, the Altar and Rosary Society numbered approximately 75 members who received Holy Communion as a group on the first Sunday of every month and met on the first Tuesday of every month.

On Thursday, August 6, 1964, the men of the parish were invited t0 meet at Mother of Sorrows Parish Hall to discuss the formation of a Holy Name Society. The response was very gratifying and the Holy Name Society was organized and affiliated with the Diocesan Union of Holy Name Societies. First elected officers were Mr. James Krejci, President, Mr. Jerome Waskowski, Vice President, Mr. Louis Romestant, Secretary, Mr. Edward Pasek, Treasurer and Mr. George Kinches, Marshal. Approximately 85 men of the parish were listed in the Holy Name Society Register. Members received Holy Communion on the second Sunday of the month and met on the first Thursday of every month.

From their inceptions, both Societies aided the Pastor in all parish activities. They arranged several social functions and have allocated all funds from these functions to the Building Program. The combined contributions of both Societies amounted to $3,500.00.

After the first meetings at Mother of Sorrows Parish Hall, all subsequent meetings were held in the Community Room of the Richfield Clinic. Grateful acknowledgement is hereby made to Dr. Joseph Bartolomeo, Head of the Richfield Clinic, who so graciously and generously offered the use of that facility for two years, until the Parish Hall became available for the parish meetings.

With the approach of the school term in September of 1964, it became necessary to organize Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Classes for the religious instruction of the children attending the public schools. Father Gawlik met with Mother M. Roberta, Superior General of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, whose Motherhouse, Mount Augustine, is located within the confines of the parish, to discuss the possibility of the Sisters of Charity serving as teachers of these classes. Mother M. Roberta was quick to assure Father that the Sisters would be very happy to engage in this Apostolic work.

First Confraternity Classes were held on Sunday, September 20, 19964 with a faculty of 5 Sisters and one lay teacher, Mrs. John Szereto. Approximately 220 children reported for the first class. A new Sunday Mass schedule also went into effect on that day, with Masses at 8:30 and 11:00 A.M.

In November of 1964, after consultation with Diocesan authorities, and after a comprehensive analysis of the potential of the parish, Mr. Theodore Badowski, a member of the parish and head of T. A. Badowski & Associates, Architects, was selected as the architect for the parish buildings. He was authorized to submit sketches for a Church, Parish Social Hall and Administration Building, to be constructed on a ten acre site on Everett Road, near Revere Road, previously purchased by the Diocese. The church was to provide a seating capacity of 500, with provisions for future expansion.

In February 1965, after the arrival in the Diocese of the Most Reverend Clarence G. Issenman as Coadjutor Bishop and Apostolic Administrator, the preliminary sketches were submitted to His Excellency for his approval. Bishop Issenman approved the sketches, and authorized the Architect to proceed with detailed drawings and specifications.

On Monday, March 1, 1965, Bishop Issenman, in an Official Decree, stated that the needs of the parishioners would be more adequately served by the granting of Parish Status to the Mission of St. Victor. He hereby decreed the canonical erection of the Parish of St. Victor in Richfield Township. At the same time, Father Gawlik was promoted from Administrator of the Mission to Pastor of the Parish of St. Victor. Permission was also granted by the Bishop for a Fundraising Drive in the new parish to help provide finances for the construction of the parish buildings.

Mr. John Bruns, a fundraising counselor, was engaged to direct the Fundraising Campaign. At an organizational meeting, Mr. Jerome Wendt was elected General Chairman, with Mr. James Cardina, Mr. James Krejci and Mr. August Spillar as Co-Chairmen. The remaining members of the Parish Council were to act as Team Captains. On Sunday, March 7, 1965, 67 men on the parish called upon every family in the parish to accept pledges and contributions to the Building Fund. As a result of their efforts, the sum of $67,254.00 was pledged to be paid within 30 months.

On May 2, 1965, a group of 26 children became the first class of First Communicants in the history of the parish. They received their First Holy Communion at the 8:30 Mass at Eastview Auditorium.

Working drawings for the parish buildings were completed and approved by Bishop Issenman on July 2, 1965 and were immediately let out for bids. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on Sunday, July 11, 1965 at 10:00 A.M. This was the first anniversary of the first Masses offered in St. Victor Parish. The celebrant was Father Ludwig Virant, Pastor of Mother of Sorrows Church, assisted by Father John Ciolek, Pastor of St. Basil Church, Brecksville and Father Gawlik. Father George Schnieder, Pastor of Assumption Church, Broadview Heights, preached.

Contract bids were opened in the presence of the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Edward Seward, Financial Secretary of the Diocese, on July 22, 1965, and the contract was awarded to the Cleaver Construction Company of Akron, Ohio. The contact called for an expenditure of $285,000.00 for the construction of a church, social hall and administration building. Construction of the buildings was started on Monday, August 16, 1965, and continued without interruption until their completion.

The Parish Administration Building was ready for occupancy on June 14, 1966, and on that date Father Gawlik moved from the temporary Rectory on Motor Road to the new building. rior to that, on Sunday, June 11, the Altar and Rosary Society were hostesses at a Shower and Open House for the entire parish, to give all an opportunity to view the new buildings. First Masses in the new church were offered on Sunday, July 19, 1966. A temporary altar and folding chairs were used for the first weeks until the installation of the pews was completed on August 2 and that of the Altar on August 11, 1966.

The singular honor of being the first class to receive First Holy Communion in the new church was enjoyed by a class of 39 children who received Holy Communion at the 9:00 Mass on Sunday, September 11.

His Excellency, Bishop Whealon on Saturday, October 29, 1966, consecrated the beautiful marble altar, constructed in accord with the new liturgical requirements. Bishop Whealon celebrated a low Pontifical Mass of Thanksgiving after the ceremonies of consecration.

As we reflect upon all of these accomplishments, we are humbly grateful to Almighty God for His manifold graces, which made all of this possible. We pay a well deserved tribute to the loyal and devoted people of St. Victor parish, who sacrificed and worked to fulfill a deep yearning felt by many for many years – to be able to give glory to God in a Church of their own. Special recognition must be given to Father Ludwig Virant, Pastor of Mother of Sorrows Church in Peninsula, Father Edward Horning, Pastor of St. Hilary Church in Akron, Father John Ciolek, Pastor of St. Basil in Brecksville and to the late Father George Schnieder, Pastor of Assumption Church in Broadview Heights. St. Victor owes them a great debt of gratitude for the kindness and many courtesies extended by them to the Pastor and the people of the Parish. Without their help and encouragement, many things would have bordered on the impossible. It is a debt that will be repaid by continuous remembrance in the prayers of the grateful people of St. Victor Parish


Freedom of Religion – International

Here in the United States we’ve seen the recent politicization of the debate over freedom of religion whereas internationally this issue is a matter of life and death, national security and of special concern to women who are most often the victims of religious intolerance.  A recent symposium sponsored by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, Catholic University, and Catholic Relief Services outlined the start dimensions of this crisis.  Among several of the themes addressed were:


  • Suppression of religious freedom fosters and begets violence; religious freedom is a necessary ingredient of domestic peace and stability.
  • The predominant face of the victims of religious discrimination, intolerance or persecution is that of a woman.
  • Religious freedom is an integral part of an authentically democratic society and its economic and social development.
  • Religious freedom abroad is vital to U.S. national security.


Among 80 or more participants at the invitation-only symposium were four U.S. cardinals — Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Donald Wuerl of Washington; Sean O’Malley of Boston; and Theodore McCarrick, who since his retirement as archbishop of Washington has been engaged in a major project to improve Catholic-Muslim relations around the world.


Participants also included three top Vatican nuncios — Archbishops Carlo Maria Viganò, Vatican ambassador to the United States; Francis Chullikatt, head of the Holy See’s observer mission to the United Nations in New York; and Silvano Tomasi, permanent Vatican observer to U.N. organizations in Geneva.


Several speakers described growing religious persecution, intolerance and discrimination around the world as reaching “crisis” proportions.  “According to the International Society for Human Rights, 150,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year, meaning we have 17 new martyrs every hour of every day,” Dolan said in the symposium’s opening address.

“As Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton observed only 10 weeks ago, ‘More than a billion people live under governments that systematically suppress religious freedoms … members of faith communities long under pressure report that it is rising. Even some countries that are making progress on expanding political freedom are frozen when it comes to religious freedom,’ ” Dolan added.


For much more on this very important issue and links to some of the addresses go to  For a related article search the string “ncronline global symposium.” The returned link will take you to an article published in the popular weekly “National Catholic Reporter.”  The September 24 article authored by Jerry Filteau is hereby credited as the source for this week’s bulletin letter.

Allen F. Corrigan, Pastor

Year of Faith

A “Year of Faith,” announced by Pope Benedict XVI for the universal Church and Bishop Lennon for the Diocese of Cleveland began on October 11 and was introduced here at St. Victor last weekend.  The date of October 11, 2012 was appropriate because that marked the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, which was intended to reform and reinvigorate the stasis and rigidity that had overtaken the Church since the Council of Trent in the mid-Sixteen Century.  The Year of Faith will be observed for about thirteen and a half months, concluding on the Feast of Christ the King on November 2 4, 2013.


The first emphasis of the Year of Faith is on the Apostles’ Creed, which is the statement of the most basic shared beliefs of the People of God.  As mentioned last weekend during the homily, there are areas of discussion and disagreement within the Church on a wide variety of topics, but the Creed is a kind of “least common denominator,” a statement of everything that we can confidently and enthusiastically say that we all agree with.


I hope everyone, including all the children, picked up one of the wallet-sized cards from the ends of the pew in church that contain the words of the Apostles’ Creed.  I am speaking to everyone, including myself, when I say that we really could do a much better job proclaiming the Creed at church during mass, right after the homily.  Please join me in making an effort to proclaim the Creed more mindfully and forthrightly.  Also, Pope Benedict and Bishop Lennon are encouraging every Catholic to recite the Creed every day during the holy year.  This can be done either individually or in a group.


A second emphasis during the Year of Faith will be a careful review of the documents of renewal which were the product of the Second Vatican Council.  It is important that at all levels this process will be open to the workings and influence of the Holy Spirit.  In some quarters it has become fashionable to pretend that the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with the Council and to speak derisively of the “Spirit of Vatican II,” as if this earth shaking event never took place.  Such is a dangerous reaction to the reforms envisioned by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI.  Those who would seek to reverse the reforms of Vatican II need to remember the admonitions of Jesus recorded in Matthew 12:32, Mark 3:29 and Luke 12:10 regarding blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.


That being said, a renewal of the Spirit of the Second Vatican Council must begin not with nebulous feelings about what any one of us would like the Holy Spirit to do if we were the Holy Spirit.  In fact, the renewal of the Council must begin with a careful review of the documents themselves.  Sixteen documents were produced, with two of them being “dogmatic constitutions,” which are of the very highest level of authority.


During the Year of Faith we will be taking some time to review some of the documents of the Council, especially the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church and the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation.  We hope to be rebuilding the parish website in the near future, and once we do we will post resources for the Year of Faith including the Council documents.

Allen F. Corrigan, Pastor

Welcome to our New Website!

Many thanks to new parishioner Anbu Kuppusamy who encouraged and inspired this updating of our parish website.  It is still a work in progress.  Please leave a comment if you would like to.   I hope you like the new website!

Allen F. Corrigan, Pastor


This is my first post!