The Sacrament of Penance at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church
During these difficult times, our Parish will continue the limited celebration of the Sacrament of Penance, with some required changes.
Father Sullivan will hear Confessions on Wednesdays 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 it works / What to expect:
* Appointments will be scheduled in sequential order so as not to leave gaps of time between penitents.
* Request your appointment by calling (740) 453-3301, option 6. Messages will be returned during business hours with your scheduled time. Your name is not required, to maintain anonymity.
* Arrive no more than five minutes before your scheduled time.
* Knights of Columbus will be available outside at the Entrance and Exit so you will not have to touch door handles.
* Masks or some other facial covering are highly recommended.
* Enter by way of the parking lot door 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.
Click Here for an Examination of Conscience recommended by Father Sullivan
UPDATE ON SINGING THE MASS
Greetings to all in this very unique Summer! Since our return to public Mass, we have sung as we did before the pandemic (with the omission of some hymns, such as at Communion). This was a temporary move, and we remained open to fine-tuning it based on new information. We also remained committed to the use of hymns as a crucial way we embrace and proclaim the Gospel message in song. Now that we are learning more about how the virus spreads through the air (especially in crowds) and observing wise and charitable procedures in other places, we have discerned the need to make a change.
If you attend weekday Mass here (in person or via livestream), you know that the musical experience is simpler than on Sundays. The congregation only sings the unchanging parts of the Mass (Holy, We Proclaim Your Death, Amen, and Lamb of God), which are known as the “Ordinary.” As the ministers enter and again as the people come forward for Communion, the cantor sings an Entrance Chant and Communion Chant. These chants (together with the Scripture readings and Psalm), are known as the “Proper” of the Mass – since they change from day to day.
Out of an abundance of caution, and out of love and concern for all who attend worship here, Father Sullivan and I will extend this procedure to all public Masses beginning this weekend (July 11 and 12). The congregation is welcome (though absolutely not required) to sing the Ordinary (Glory to God, Holy, We Proclaim Your Death, Amen, and Lamb of God). Please leave your mask on to sing these parts of the Mass, and please sing only if you are comfortable doing so. The cantors and I will share the responsibility for singing the various Proper chants (including the Psalm and Alleluia as usual), while all listen and meditate. The Entrance and Communion chants are brief and thus perfect for the short processions that take place in our Activity Center. Their text will be found in your Missalette, and at the beginning of Mass, the lector will announce the page numbers.
An old Missal that I have (edited of course by wise Dominicans!) tells us that the Entrance Chant “signifies mystically the sighs of the ancient Patriarchs longing for the coming of the Messiah” and that the Communion Chant represents “the rejoicing of the people over the reception of the Sacred Mysteries.” Because of this, the Roman Missal envisions that it is possible and often more desirable to have Mass with just the Proper and Ordinary sung, and no other music added. This is certainly a return to the sources, but it also highlights a profound truth. Despite the fact that in “normal” times, our worship can be enriched by sights, sounds, and smells, Fr. John Hunwicke reminds us that “one of the characteristics of the Roman rite in all ages has been its unshowy matter-of-factness.” Perhaps we need some of that steady simplicity now, more than ever, as our focus shifts from so many external concerns to the reality of care for one another.
One day, we will resume singing hymns again – perhaps once again in our beautiful church, where as Thomas Gray wrote, the “pealing anthem swells the note of praise.” Your singing is a gift, and I am grateful for the repertoire that you have built, Sunday by Sunday. Until then, we can take comfort in the closeness of the great “choir” of witnesses that sings on our behalf – and perhaps reflect on this verse from one of our greatest hymns (“For All the Saints”):
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song –
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
From two other resources (they happen to be from the Archdiocese of Detroit, but find resonance everywhere):
- 1. Excerpt from a statement by the Archdiocesan Academy of Sacred Music:
“While ‘full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else’ (Sacrosanctum Concilium #14) in preparing liturgical celebrations, exterior participation in sacred music has the potential to spread the coronavirus particularly vigorously. However, new research suggests that soft singing in masks transmits aerosols at a rate similarly to speaking in masks. Balancing the potential risks of singing with the spiritual hunger of the people of God to sing at Mass, the Academy advises that the congregation might join the sung dialogues with the clergy and in singing the ordinary of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei). This singing should be through a mask and should be soft to prevent excessive aerosol transmission.”
- 2. Article on the use of different styles of “Antiphons” (Entrance Chant / Communion Chant):
As you may remember, each year we invite a Missionary group to our parish to inform us of the good works they do and to ask for prayers and monetary assistance from us. This year, with the Coronavirus restrictions, throughout the Diocese of Columbus this appeal will look a little different.
Attached is a video from The Missionaries of the Precious Blood, who would have been visiting us this weekend. Furthermore, a flyer will be available in this weekend’s bulletin. We will conduct a second collection at all the Masses this weekend for contributions to their mission. Please prayerfully consider a gift to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in the coming weeks. All check donations should be made out to Saint Thomas Aquinas (note Mission Appeal in the memo).
If you do not donate at Mass this weekend but wish to at a later time, use the night drop or mail to the parish office by the 19th of July, in order for us to forward the funds to the Diocesan Missions Office for distribution to The Missionaries of the Precious Blood.
Weekly Update 5/28/2020
Please click the link below regarding public Mass celebration.
Information Regarding Mass
Letter from Father Sullivan
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
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,