What it Means for Me to be a Lector – Mike Francomb

Since I was a young boy, the call to serve the Church has been strong, and that has included many different roles over the years. When we moved to St. Andrew over 20 years ago, it took me some years to get back into actively serving during the Mass, and since I started being a lector over 10 years ago, what I’ve understood about this ministry has evolved.

In considering the tenants of stewardship as time, talent and treasure, it first provided a way to use my talents of having a loud voice and a love of the written word. Additionally, I was blessed to share the ministry with my daughter and provide us an opportunity to serve the parish together. As a parent, sharing a ministry with my child has been very meaningful.

Through the last few years though, being a lector has come to mean much more. The act of preparing to read on Sundays led me to get back into scripture on a more regular basis. Getting back into scripture led me to gain a deeper understanding of God’s message of love for us. Then when my wife became ill, it became the pillar I leaned on to give me strength every morning. Those days and nights were certainly dark, but the morning was always filled with light. Now, if my day doesn’t start by reading the bible, I’m a little lost that day. God’s word comes alive to me every day.

As a lector on Sundays, bringing God’s word alive is what I am blessed to share in through the liturgy of the Word. These are not simply words written on a piece of paper. These are the divinely inspired Words given to us by a God who loves us.

Thank you, God, and thank you my fellow parishioners for allowing me and inviting me to participate in such a divine mystery.


The Words of Everlasting Life

Each Sunday in preparation for becoming Catholic, all RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) members are dismissed from Mass after the Homily. They leave for the Breaking Open the Word or to discuss the Gospel for the day and the meaning of those words.

Breaking Open the Word is as fulfilling for me as for the participants.  It’s a joy to get to spread God’s Word to them. To explain what it means to be Catholic. These discussions help to alleviate their fears of joining this faith.  Many people enter with preconceived notions concerning Catholicism. When they experience the warmth and camaraderie of RCIA, they realize how inaccurate their prior beliefs were.  They are, then, open and even eager to learn more.  Their joy is infectious and reinforces my Catholicism too. For those who have been holding back for whatever reason,  join us for just one session.  It will be enough to make you to want to come back to learn more.

Dear Lord, I pray that our daily living may transform our suffering world into a place of love, justice and peace.  May the Word guide us in our daily lives.

Kevin Rinn is lifelong Catholic, married with 2 children.  He has been a parishioner for 16Kevin Rinn years and on the RCIA Team for 5 years.  He works at the Children’s Home of Cincinnati as the Facilities and IT Director.

Second Sunday in Advent – The Promise of Peace

monicas-reading-picture

The Old Testament and the New Testament, the prophets of old and the gospel writers, all speak to us as faith lessons.  In the second week of Advent readings Isaiah tells of the promise of the coming of the Messiah and Matthew, the fulfillment of that promise.

How rich the promise!  It is like poetry, full of wonder, knowledge and the fear of the Lord.  A learned Jewish friend explained to me why the Jews do not believe the Messiah has come.  She mentions the foretelling of peace and we see the 20th century as the bloodiest in history, where is peace?

Jesus brings us a personal peace, within our heart, mind and soul.  When He comes again He will fulfill worldly peace where the predator sleeps with the prey.  The Our Father, which comes from the Old Testament, speaks to us in the promise “thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’’

The old becomes new, baptized not with water, but with the Holy Spirit and fire.  We are washed clean and filled with the Holy Spirit, with the power and the life He offers us. Advent always makes me think that the door upon which we have been knocking all our lives that at last will open.

Shirley Cochran  IMG_1334

Master, It Is Good That We Are Here. Lk 9:33

A year ago, my family was visiting Orlando. Saturday night we were checking out our Mass Times app (which by the way is an awesome app to have) to see which Church would be the closest to our hotel. Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine was just around the corner from where we stayed.

We got to Mass Sunday morning and I heard their choir sing. It was most beautiful music! I was so inspired by them that I didn’t want the music to end.   While at Mass there, an idea was born – why couldn’t we have a 4 part singing at Mass too? Later, that’s how Saint Andrew Quartet was born.

Then another idea was born – why couldn’t we go to the Shrine and sing at Mass some day? And we did just that last January. We sang at Mass and experienced God at the Shrine in a very unique way. None of us wanted to leave the Shrine. The hymn “Tis’ Good Lord To Be Here” was in my head. We were like the disciples who didn’t want to leave the Jesus’ Transfiguration site.

Our friendship with the Shrine continues. We will be able to catch a little glimpse of the Shrine this November when their Music Director will perform an Organ Concert and play at the Silent Movie at our beautiful Saint Andrew Church.  The free organ concert is at 3 PM and the $15 tickets for the Silent Movie are available at the church office.

I hope and pray that after the celebration you will have the hymn “Tis Good, Lord, to be Here” rung in your hearts as well.fullsizerender

Dovile Krempasky is the Music Director at St. Andrew Church. She and her husband Jim, have 2 sons, Andrew and Matthew.

SPOTLIGHT on Parishioner – Jane Kneipp

When did your active participation with the parish begin?

Early on, I started teaching CCD (today known as PREP). It was a wonderful way to share my faith. For me, teaching was a faith journey in itself. I had no special degree, but after all “God doesn’t always call the qualified; he qualifies the called.”

In what ministries have you served?

The greatest ministry has been to be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. I was totally overjoyed to be asked.  Over the years, I have served on various committees. Presently, I am a member of the Bereavement Committee. I enjoy working with families to choose meaningful scriptures for funerals. It can be a difficult task at times, but I always pray before I call the family. It’s such a blessing when you receive a note of thanks. You know your ministry is making a difference.

How has the parish helped with your own spiritual growth?

My spiritual growth is not limited to the parish. For several summers, I attended the Bible Institute at Xavier University. It was always a thrill to meet people who were excited about sharing their faith. In addition, the True Devotion to Mary sessions at St. Gertrude have helped me grow in my love of the Eucharist and Reconciliation.  The people of St. Andrew, however, have been so supportive in my spiritual growth. I cannot do it alone. We are the Body of Christ!  We are fortunate to have time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the parish monthly. I need that quiet time with God.  St Andrew has so many good people doing God’s work in many activities, we are truly blessed.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests?

My family is very important to me. I enjoy family celebrations so much! Flower arranging and working with clay are a couple of my more creative interests.  Growing in my faith and sharing it with others is the central focus of my life. I like to live by the words of the following scripture:

You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

Jane and Charlie  have been married for 53 years, and have 4 adult children and 3 granimg_1376dchildren.  They have been members of St Andrew Parish for 49 years. In addition to the Bereavement Ministry,  Jane is involved with the Rosary Makers at St. Andrews and each Monday she works with the seniors at SEM Haven helping them to make rosaries. They make about 20 rosaries a week which are sent to the missions. 

 

 

For He Was a Good Man . . .

When we say the prayer for more priests, good priests- my memory is jogged back to my years at Syracuse University. My best friend was an eccentric French Canadian priest. I knew no one with the exception of my roommate, we both had part time jobs and spent many late hours studying instead of sleeping.

I made many visits to church during lunch time, a quick break from school or work, sitting alone and saying silent prayers.  Father Devereau introduced himself to me on one of these visits.  He was an academic, very quick-witted and an amazing observer.  We shared so many stories, talked philosophy and religion, of course.

He told me of the woman who cleaned the church and his residence and what she had taught him.  Noticing how cheerful she was impressed him; she sang while she worked, he asked her what the secret of her happiness was.  She said she always saved her worrying till Thursdays, and by the time Thursday came around, she had forgotten what it was.  He loved it and it thought was a good approach for everyone.

This was a lonely time for me and I knew he sensed this. I have kept some of the little notes of encouragement he would give me.  I shared some writings that had touched my heart and he would comment on them.  I do not remember who wrote this one but I include it as one of my favorites and try to see blessings daily.

There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousand truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet, but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.

I am grateful for the many priests who have blessed my way.  Father Devereau was one of many I keep in  prayer.

…for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord. Acts 11:24

Shirley Cochran lived in 7 states as a military wife, her family finally moved to Cincinnati.  They were civilians with real neighbors.  Her children were educated in Cincinnati and think of it as home.  An auto accident changed their lives, Shirley’s husband was killed and her 3 children were still in school.  She needed to be busy and found work a year or so later.  It filled the void somewhat and she remarried 4 years later.  She and her new husband moved to North Carolina and lived happily for some time when he died. She came ‘home’, found Miami Woods which reminded her of North Carolina. She also found St. Andrew Church and has been a parishioner for 15 years. IMG_1334.PNG

 

 

I Have Plans For You

As a recently graduated high school student, I have found that it’s not easy to maintain a relationship with God amidst the other distractions we are faced with. Club meetings, sports practices, good grades, hanging out with friends, AND maintaining a relationship with the Lord? It’s difficult, but not impossible. In sixth grade, I enrolled as a student in PREP class. After sleepless nights at slumber parties, I trudged to the car every Sunday morning, struggling to wake up. Quite honestly, my eyes didn’t wake at the thought of reading lesson book, even if it was about our coming Savior, which is something pretty eye-opening. It was hard to understand the meaning of Scripture, and I felt intimidated by the Bible. So you get my point—my teenage years consisted of a lot of wavering and confusion on my side of my relationship with Jesus.  As guilty as I feel typing this, I have a feeling that I’m not alone in this feeling—sometimes it’s human nature to push away the One that keeps us together. And that’s okay, as long as we work at it.

Freshman year, I was given the opportunity to teach a PREP class.  And I struggled to decide. But something pushed me to get out of my comfort zone (I wonder Who!). So I taught a group of third graders, fifth graders, then seventh graders. Every Sunday, we prayed, watched movies, wrote in journals, created skits, played games and read the Bible. I emphasize ‘we’ because I didn’t feel like the teacher. Most importantly, we asked questions. Some of the questions they asked were ones that I may never be able to fully answer. They remained curious and determined to know more, something that inspired me and encouraged me to wrestle with my beliefs, but not to grow too comfortable in them. From PREP class, I have learned that there are three key components in reconnecting with God—prayer, reading the Bible, and talking about your faith. And hopefully, once a college graduate, I can come back to Saint Andrew’s PREP class to do that again.

Becoming involved in a ministry may be time-consuming, or out of your comfort zone, but spreading God’s love through action is so important, and essential in building us as followers of Christ.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jer. 29:11

My name is Lauren Getgey. I’m 18 years old and will be attending the University of Dayton in the fall, hopefully to study something in the medical field or law field, Go Flyers! I was a raised as a Presbyterian but began going to Saint Andrew’s in sixth grade. In 8th grade, I received First Communion, Confirmation, and Reconciliation (big year for me, huh?!). I taught PREP as a freshman, sophomore, and senior in high school.

Lauren Getgay - PREP

Getting to Know Father Chris

(We asked Father Chris to tell us a little about himself and here are his answers.)

Tell us about your family…

I am the oldest of 7.  I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers.  I am 30 years old, I have 3 siblings who are in their 20’s, twin sisters who are 17 (going into their senior year at Mason H.S.), and the youngest is 13 (going into the 8th grade).  I also have 2 nieces and 2 nephews.

What is a hobby of yours?

I enjoy playing any sport and I like to read.  I have begun to develop an extensive coffee mug collection…I really like to get a coffee mug when I travel somewhere to commemorate the trip.

What is your favorite place to travel?

When I was growing up I really liked going to the beach, but lately I have preferred spending a week on a lake or in the mountains.  However, my trip to the Holy Land a few years ago has had the greatest impact on me.  Also, believe it or not, I still haven’t been to Rome!

Fr. Chris Welcome 2

If you hadn’t been ordained a priest, what do you think you would do? 

This is a hard question to answer, it would be like asking a married man who he would marry if he hadn’t married his wife.  I taught high school math for a year before going into the seminary, but to be perfectly honest, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life.  I know that the Lord created me to be his priest, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Where did you grow up–home parish, grade school, high school, college?

I was born in Louisville, KY (all of my extended family still lives down there), and my family moved to Mason when I was 3.  I went to St. Susanna for grade school, then to Mason H.S., then the University of Cincinnati where I majored in Mathematics and got a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education.  I just graduated from the Athenaeum/Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary with a Master’s in Divinity and a Master’s in Biblical Studies.

Are there any interesting facts about you? 

I’ve never been to Disney World (apparently that’s something you are supposed to do as a kid), but I had the chance to meet Barry Larkin when I was about 8… it was the highlight of my childhood, and I would have chosen those 30 seconds with Barry Larkin over a trip to Disney World any day.

Welcome Father Chris,

We are blessed to have you as our Parochial Vicar.