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The Sacrament of Penance Scheduled for Wednesday May 13

May 11, 2020

The Sacrament of Penance Scheduled for Wednesday May 13

Given such unusual circumstances, and wanting to maintain abundant caution, Bishop Brennan announced he has dispensed all the Catholic Faithful of the Diocese of Columbus from the obligation of the Easter Duty for this year.  He also announced he has given permission for the limited celebration of the Sacrament of Penance to begin.  

Our Parish will continue the limited celebration of the Sacrament of Penance

Father Sullivan will hear Confessions again on Wednesday May 13,
from 6 – 8 pm in the Saint Thomas Activity Center.

To ensure everyone’s safety, confessions will be heard by appointment only,  
scheduled in five-minute increments. 

How will it work?  What to expect:
Appointments will be scheduled in sequential order so as not to leave gaps of time between penitents.
You may request your appointment by calling (740) 453-3301, option 6.  Messages will be returned during business hours with your scheduled time.
You need not request your appointment by name, to maintain anonymity, but you must schedule an appointment.
Arrive no more than five minutes before your scheduled time, remaining in your automobile until your appointment.
The Knights of Columbus will be available outside at the Entrance and Exit so you will not have to touch door handles. 
You must wear a mask or some other facial covering.
Enter by way of the parking lot entrance labeled ENTER.
You and Father will be the only ones in the Activity Center. You will stand six feet away from Father’s back, who will be seated facing the altar.  In your regular speaking voice tell Father your sins.  This is not a time for a spiritual conversation.  Be brief and to the point.
Father will hear your confession, give you absolution and a penance which you can do at home.
Exit the Activity Center by way of the vestibule door labeled EXIT.
Return to your automobile and depart, not forgetting to complete your penance when you return home.

Letter from Father Sullivan

May 9, 2020

Letter from Father Sullivan


“Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has worked wonders; in the sight of the nations he has shown his deliverance, alleluia.” Psalm 98: 1-2


Dear Friends,


Almost forty years ago I set out with a group of other college students for a two-week backpacking adventure in the Rocky Mountains. The group was led by a former assistant pastor at my home parish, Father Jim Klima.


Our first day’s destination was Saint Louis, where we stayed with a family Father Klima had known for many years. At the end of our evening rosary with the family, the mother told how the next-door neighbors had become Catholic.


The houses of the neighborhood were solid brick structures, but built very close together, with only a narrow concrete pathway between each house. The summers in Saint Louis were particularly humid, and in the days before air conditioning each home’s windows were open, especially at night, trying to catch some of the cooler air as the sun’s rays recessed beyond the western horizon. As a result, family summer conversations, personal news and heat inspired agitations were shared with the neighbors if voices weren’t careful.


It was the practice of the family we stayed with to gather each evening to pray the rosary. Sometime after dinner, the mother and father, grandparents, and all the children—from youngest to oldest—would assemble in the living room to pray, seeking Our Blessed Lady’s intercession. Without being aware of it, that family’s prayer filled their neighbor’s house each evening with the sound of an entire family—sometimes chaotic, sometimes serene– united in loving supplication to the Mother of God.


The sound of that family’s rosary brought peace and contentment to the family next door. The Catholic family was just going about their regular pattern, observing the life of prayer and love that was second nature to them; and their neighbors noticed and wanted that for their family life, too. Without knowing it, that family at prayer was giving witness to the life that all of us as Catholics are called to—prayerful trust in God’s loving Providence that pervades all our relationships, experiences, interactions and challenges.


I remember the mother of the family we stayed with saying she didn’t realize the influence her family had had upon their next-door neighbors for many years. When they told her of the rosary’s effect, they said, “At first, when we heard all the voices, we didn’t understand what you were doing or what you were saying. It just sounded to us that you were repeating and responding to words of great love.”


The rosary consists of words of great love we sing, and then sing again and again, to the Blessed Virgin Mary. What son doesn’t rejoice in the words of great love directed toward his mother, and what mother does not desire to hear words of great love repeated again and again from her beloved children?


As we celebrate Mothers’ Day by expressing our great love for our own mothers, and those who have been like mothers to us, may we also profess our great love for Mary, the mother of us all.


Join me each Monday thru Thursday evening in May as we livestream the Family Rosary from Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel in the Parish Center at 7 pm.


If you can’t join us at 7 pm, the rosary remains on our Facebook page so you can access it at any time.
So many have commented how wonderful it is to pray the rosary together with parishioners, family and friends separated by self-isolation and social distancing in this moment of challenge.


“Let us run to Mary, and as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect confidence.”
Saint Francis de Sales


From my heart to yours, in the hearts of Jesus and Mary—


Peace and blessing,


Father Sullivan.

Weekly Update 5/7/2020

May 7, 2020

My Favorite Rosary Booklets


Dear Friends,


Here are a few of the Rosary booklets I have used over the years.  I am always on the lookout for a new insight to refresh my daily meditation on the mysteries in the lives of Jesus and Mary.  I present these six booklets as just a sample for your consideration.


“Praying the Rosary with Pope Francis” is a relatively new booklet of rosary devotions.  It consists of scripture readings and meditations from the writings and homilies of Pope Francis.  It also contains great pictures of all the mysteries.  It is published by the USCCB and is available on Amazon.


“Scriptural Rosary” is a small hard bound book with scripture verses used as meditations upon the mysteries of the rosary utilized after the first part of the Hail Mary.  Using the name of Jesus as the starting point, the scripture citation recalls the mystery being presented to focus the prayers attention on the mystery.  This is a method of praying the rosary much favored by Pope Saint John Paul II.  This book is also available on Amazon.


“The Rosary of Our Lady” by Romano Guardini is a wonderful reflection on each of the fifteen mysteries.  Written before Pope John Paul II suggested the Luminous Mysteries, Guardini provides a very accessible theological insight into the mystery being considered.  This is a true winner in my book, and available on Amazon in the used book section at a very reasonable cost.


 “The Secret of the Rosary” by Saint Louis de Monfort is a perennial classic of Rosary and Marian devotion. This was the very first rosary book I ever used, picking up a free copy in the vestibule of my home parish many years ago.  De Monfort’s admonitions and insights are timeless.  It has been reprinted and reissued many times.  This is also available on Amazon.


“Holy Rosary” by Josemaria Escriva is a small classic in the style of this recent saint’s other writings; short spiritual maxims composed to encourage the devotee to understand the mystery being contemplated and live it. Also available on Amazon.


My all time favorite is “The Rosary with Fra Angelico and Giotto” by Dominico Marcucci.  This booklet has it all; beautiful images from the works of Fra Angelico and Giotto, scripture citations for each rosary, intentions for each decade, a format using the Scriptural Rosary method and a short explanation of each mystery.  This is the edition I often give to folks who ask for a rosary resource.  It is available on Amazon for over $500 for the paperback booklet!  You can buy it from the website of the Daughters of Saint Paul, who publish it, for about five bucks!


I noticed many of these resources are available  on Amazon in the Kindle format, some ever for free.


There are so many rosary resources available.  You couldn’t even begin to mention the numerous apps available.


I love the rosary.  It has accompanied me throughout all my adult life and been a real foundation of my priestly ministry.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me, nor can I recommend it to you enough!


If you purchase any of these booklet through Amazon please go to our web page and click on the Amazon link.  The parish will receive .05% of all your eligible purchases.


Don’t forget to join us, Monday thru Thursday at 7 pm during the month of May, as we recite the Family Rosary and meditate on the mysteries in the lives of Jesus and Mary.   


From my heart to yours, in the hearts of Jesus and Mary–


Peace and blessing,


Father Sullivan.


The Family that Prays Together, Stays Together

May 4, 2020

Beginning tonight, May 4, join us Monday thru Thursday at 7pm during the month of May as we recite together the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The rosary will be livestreamed from Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel.  Father Sullivan will lead the prayers with a short scripture passage before each decade.  Join us as we unite the entire parish in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary as we contemplate the Mystery of Christ through her Immaculate Heart and pray for an end to the corona virus pandemic. 

Letter from Father Sullivan

May 2, 2020

“The merciful love of the Lord fills the earth; by the word of the Lord the heavens were made, alleluia.”     Psalm 33:5-6 


Dear Friends, 


I had the privilege in the early years of my priestly ministry to serve as Assistant in my home parish, Saint Pius X in Reynoldsburg, with a rather legendary priest of the dioceseMonsignor Michael Leo Donovan.  As a newly ordained priest, Saint Pius X had been his first pastoral assignment as Assistant.  And as Providence would have it, it was his last assignment, as he died very suddenly as Pastor of Saint Pius X. 


When he became pastor at Saint Pius X I was still in the seminary.  The summer before I returned for my last year of preparation for ordination is when I first met him.  Despite all the ominous and dramatic descriptions I had heard and the rather intimidating stories told about Monsignor, I found him to be extra-ordinarily kind and generous, somewhat earthy, humble and a real gentleman who had accumulated much pastoral and human wisdom from his years as secretary to various Bishops of Columbus while also serving as Chancellor and Vicar General.   


As a young priest he had been sent to Rome to study Canon Law at a time when many priests and religious sisters were setting aside their vows to follow the so-called “winds of change” that were stirring in every part of the 1960s world. 


Despite growing up in the city, he loved the rural setting and in the last years of his life he had a small farm with cats, chickens and sheep.  He would regale us with stories from the farm, sometimes even bringing a runt farm animal back to the rectory to nurture so it could be returned to the country.  Such was the case of a little runt lamb Monsignor named “Pius.”  Rejected by its mother, he brought the lamb back to the rectory where he made a small pen and bed for it in the kitchen.  He fed that little lamb by hand, staying with it all night when it kept the rest of us up with its lonely bleating. 


In those days, First Communion was often celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, every year dedicated to the Good Shepherd, taking its name from one of the Good Shepherd gospel passages proclaimed.  Preparing a surprise for the children, Monsignor had little Pius brought to the vestibule of the church just as the Gospel was ending.  While he was recalling Jesus’ words that the sheep follow Him, the Good Shepherd, “…because they recognize his voice,” Monsignor called for little “Pius” who came running and leaping down the main aisle of the church, taking its place at his good shepherd’s feet.  The children were overjoyed at such a display, and I always remember that incident from the so-called “ominous and intimidating” Michael Donovan when this Gospel passage is re-read. 


Good Shepherd Sunday is an opportunity to give thanks for those priests in our lives who have been good shepherds.  The priest who baptized you, the one from whom you received your First Communion.  The priest who heard your First Confession.  The priest who married you or offered you wise counsel along the way.  And the priest who will finally anoint you and bury you.  Also remember those priests who have hurt you, and those priests you have hurt.  Those you have been angry with or who have been angry with you.  Pray for those priests who have strayed as well as those who have remained faithful. 


From my heart to yours, in the hearts of Jesus and Mary, 


Peace and blessing, 


Father Sullivan. 

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith,

no explanation is possible." -- Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church  •  144 N. 5th Street  •  Zanesville, OH 43701-3506  •  740-453-3301  •
Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church  •  144 N. 5th Street  •  Zanesville, OH 43701-3506

740-453-3301  •

Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

144 N. 5th Street  •  Zanesville, OH 43701-3506


© 2020   Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
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