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Weekly Update 4/30/2020

April 30, 2020

Honoring Mary, Mother of the Church 


The month of May is traditionally set aside to honor the special role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Church.  In light of the global pandemic sweeping our world, the month will begin in a very special way. The Bishops of the United States in conjunction with the Bishops of Canada have made a collaborative decision to re-consecrate both countries to the intercession and protection of Our Lady under the title of Mary, Mother of the Church on Friday, May 1st at 3 PM EDT. As Archbishop Gomez, the President of the USCCB noted “This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus.” This event will be aired live on the EWTN Television Network (check listings for appropriate cable channel), the EWTN Facebook page, or on St. Gabriel Radio, (AM 820, Columbus; FM 88.3 Portsmouth).  If you have not done so already please widely share this information with your parishioners and others, in addition to these two web page links: 

Diocesan link: 

USCCB link: 


The Sacrament of Penance 


Given such unusual circumstances, and wanting to maintain abundant caution, Bishop Brennan announced in his letter to us this week that 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.  


Saint Thomas will begin the limited celebration of the Sacrament of Penance


Beginning Wednesday, May 6, 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 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.

Roof Repair Project Update

April 29, 2020


The Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena


Dear Friends,


I want to update you on the progress of our Roofing Infrastructure project at Saint Thomas Aquinas Church.
The project has three distinct phases. Phase 1 the “Shoring Up Phase”. This phase puts in place shoring towers and other components to ensure that no further damage occurs to the church as a result of the deteriorating wood trusses that currently exist in the church attic.


Phase 2 is the “Truss Repair Phase”. Phase 2 will begin immediately upon completion of the Shoring Up Phase. As it is currently envisioned, the use of steel building components called “C Channels” will be added to the existing timbers to encapsulate the deteriorating wood trusses and transfer the loads from the wood to the steel. This is the least invasive type of solution and when used in combination with a new steel archway throughout the length of the attic will add support, not only to the roof but to the irreplaceable Gothic plaster ceiling inside the church.


Phase 3 of the project is the “Cosmetic Repair Phase”. Following the completion of Phase 2, it will be necessary to make cosmetic repairs to the interior plaster, paint, etc. of the church as well as reinstallation of the of the altar, ambo, pews, etc.


The project began Monday April 6th with the removal of the pews and of the dropped ceiling in Rosary Hall. The purpose in removing the dropped ceiling was to gain access to the steel components located within the church’s primary structure in order to accurately calculate the loads that would be incurred as a result of the project. Upon removal of the dropped ceiling, a tin ceiling was found. Under the tin ceiling asbestos fiberboard insulation was found, most likely installed in the 1920’s or 1930’s.


Uncontained asbestos is a very harmful substance. It is necessary to remove and abate the asbestos fiberboard. That process is currently underway with an expected completion date of May 1. At that time, we can resume with the Shoring Up Phase, which is expected to take 3 to 4 months. Also, we expect to be able to determine an accurate calculation of the cost of Phase 1, most likely by the end of May.
I will continue to keep you aware of the progress of restoring the church’s roof as we work to ensure the safety and stability of our venerable and historic church building.


Peace and blessing,


Father Sullivan
Parish Priest

A Letter from Bishop Brennan

April 28, 2020

A Letter from Bishop Brennan to all the Faithful of the Diocese of Columbus 


28 April 2020 


Dear Friends, 


The Lord is Risen – Happy Easter! 


The Ohio Bishops met yesterday.  After consultation and a close examination of the facts determined that while it is not yet possible to begin the public celebration of Mass, we are looking at a target date of May 30/31 – Pentecost Sunday hopefully to resume our celebrations.  Each of us continues to dispense all Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and I also dispense from the canonical obligation of Easter Duty.  During his press conference yesterday, Governor DeWine indicated that through increased and widespread testing and other means, much knowledge will emerge to allow for safer conditions for the assemblies of people.  In the meantime we will begin the gradual process in various ways.  


This week many of our priests will begin setting aside dedicated time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a wide basis by appointment and in places deemed to provide for safety and hygiene.  These locations will include spaces free of the need to touch surfaces such as doors or furniture, providing appropriate social distancing and privacy and limiting the number of people gathered at any one time to a bare minimum.  The locations and contact numbers for appointments will be posted on our Diocesan Website ( ) beginning Wednesday April 29th so that appointments for confessions may be scheduled, and hearing confessions can  begin Friday May 1st.  We will be working to make it possible in at least some of our churches for people to visit and pray during certain hours in the coming weeks.  Again, care for the continued health and safety of those who visit is paramount.    


The process of preparing for Mass will encompass many considerations.  We will work to be ensure that the Churches are clean and safe.  We are working to have plans in place to manage seating and movement, allowing for safe social distancing; this may perhaps limit the number of people in the Church or any other spaces at any given time.  We will follow the guidelines for assemblies regarding face-coverings and other protective measures.  It may be necessary to adjust schedules to allow for priests to help each other beyond parish boundaries.  In recent weeks there has been a task force looking at the many opportunities for evangelization here in the diocese.  Their work will turn to provide recommendations on how we as a diocese and as parishes use this time for pastoral and interior preparation.  


Looking ahead with hope and anticipation I ask your prayers.  Looking back, I can only do so with deep gratitude for your continued goodness, your sacrifices, your patience and understanding.  I am convinced that the measures we have taken together with the rest of our community have made a significant difference.  Let’s pray for those who have suffered deeply, especially those who have died and those who mourn.  And let’s never forget the sacrifices and hard work that so many people heroically make for us and our well-being.  


In the peace of our Risen Lord, 


+Bishop Brennan 

Letter from Father Sullivan

April 25, 2020

“Cry out with joy to God, all the earth, O sing to the glory of his name.  O render him glorious praise, alleluia.”  Psalm 66:1-2 


Dear Friends, 


Today is the Feast of Saint Mark, the author of the second Gospel and the disciple of Saint Peter, the first among the Apostles.   


Early Church Father’s recalled Saint Mark compiled his Gospel by recording the sermons and teaching of Saint Peter.  The Acts of the Apostles relate after the Council of Jerusalem Mark accompanied the Apostle Barnabas to preach the Gospel in Crete.  A number of years later, Mark journeyed to Alexandria where he established the Church.  In Alexandria, around the year 68, he was dragged by Alexandrian pagans through the streets by a rope around his neck until he was dead to put an end to his witness to Jesus.  (The Greek word for witness is martyr.) 


While not well known in this moment, Saint Mark’s feast is celebrated as a Rogation Day.  

The English word “rogation” comes from the Latin verb “rogare,” to ask. 


Rogation days are celebrated with a procession by the Christian faithful while singing the Litany of Saints and the Penitential psalms asking for God’s blessing and mercy upon his people.  The first Rogation procession was initiated by Pope Saint Gregory the Great (died 604 AD) in the city of Rome after the end of a great plague. 


In more recent centuries, Rogation Days became associated with processions to mark the boundaries of the parish and to ask God’s blessing upon the fields for a bountiful harvest as farmers were preparing for planting. 


The Major Rogation Day on the Feast of Saint Mark was followed by “minor” Rogation Days on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Ascension Thursday. 


This evening I prayed the Litany of the Saints in our chapel asking for God’s blessing and mercy, through Saint Mark’s intercession, on all us as we continue to journey through this pandemic.  Remembering all healthcare workers, those who are sick and their families and friends, the elderly, the young, the most susceptible, those who are staying-in-place, all who are assisting us by providing food and necessary services–and farmers and other agriculture workers– by giving the labor and the witness of their lives to the common good, the wellbeing of their neighbors and the great dignity which is God’s inherent gift to all human life. 


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

Peace and blessing, 

Father Sullivan.   


April 24, 2020


They Are At It Again!  

Several have contacted the Parish Office about receiving messages from Father Sullivan stating he needs a favor. We also received info advising members that Father Sullivan is asking for google gift cards.  Remember, Father Sullivan will NEVER communicate with you in this manner.  IT IS A SCAM!  The ugly face of ORIGINAL SIN trying to take advantage of the good offices of the priestly ministry and your charity.

Please don t get taken!

"To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of

every preacher and of each believer." -- 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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