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A Letter From Fr. Matthew Robben

August 17, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing this letter in response to the McCarrick and now Pennsylvania grand jury
investigation. I am angry, disappointed, and feel a sense of betrayal by our leadership.

When I
was ordained to the priesthood in 2012, I understood the challenge the clergy faced in
regaining the trust of the faithful after the scandals in the early 2000s. I, like many of the lay
faithful, thought this scandal was behind us and it was a new period of renewal both for the
clergy and the Church… now I know I was wrong.

First, to all victims of sexual abuse, whether at the hands of priests and bishops or
others, my heart breaks for you. Victims of sexual abuse often have feelings of shame, isolation,
and low self-esteem. Remember, you are a victim and are not alone! You deserved better and
the abuse you suffered does not define the person God created you to be. Know that God loves
you unconditionally and seeks to bring you healing and peace.

The greatest joy for me as a priest is the ability to bring the love and mercy of Jesus
Christ to the people of God in their greatest need. This is what the lay faithful count on from
priests as they attempt to grow in holiness in an ever increasingly secular world. Sexual abuse
by clergy not only breaks this sacred trust but inflicts great evil to the victim and the Body of
Christ. The thought that some bishops not only covered up the abuse but were perpetrators
themselves is not only disheartening, but a betrayal of their priestly vocation.

This most recent scandal is clear evidence that we, the Church, have forgotten that we
are called to “be in the world, not of the world.” (John 17:14-19) We have allowed the culture
to enter the social structure of the Church all the way to our leadership instead of the Church
entering the culture.

As we attempt to move forward, this must change. The recent call by the
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for a Vatican and lay led visitation and
investigation, is a good first step to making sure that we can address the wrongs of the past so
as to prevent such evil in the future.

Darkness never triumphs and evil never wins! God conquers all evil! As we attempt to
move forward, please pray for everyone involved, the victims of sexual abuse, bishops, priests,
and even those who committed these heinous crimes. Through prayer, penance, and a re-
dedication to the universal call to holiness, we can reclaim the rightful place of Christ in our
culture and our lives. When we believe we can become Saints, society will believe too! Our Lady
of the Sacred Heart and Saints Peter and Paul…pray for us!
God’s blessings,

Fr. Matt

To download a copy of this letter click here.

A Letter From Archbishop Schnurr

Dear Friends in Christ,

On Tuesday of this week, a Pennsylvania Grand Jury released a report detailing the names of 301 priests who sexually abused over 1,000 minors over a 70-year period in that state. This report, coupled with the recent revelations regarding the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, shocks, saddens, and angers Catholics everywhere, including myself. The depth of depravity and evil described in these reports is stunning. No words can diminish the level of revulsion one feels at reading them.

From the depths of my heart, I am sorry for the terrible pain and suffering experienced by the victims of abuse throughout their lives. I am sorry for the deep shame that Catholic lay people rightfully feel at the inexcusable behavior of certain cardinals, bishops, and priests, the emotional exhaustion of having to defend their faith to friends and co-workers, and the discouragement of having to relive a deep tragedy that we all hoped was behind us. I am sorry for the stigma that good and holy priests who are committed to their vocation and vows have to endure wherever they go. I am sorry for the trust that has collectively been violated.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is unequivocally committed to the protection of all people, children and adults, involved with any of our various ministries. At this time, there are no active cases of clerical abuse of minors anywhere in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. If you suspect abuse on the part of any agent of the Archdiocese, please report it to the appropriate civil authorities, as well as to the Coordinator of Ministry to Survivors of Abuse in the Archdiocese at 513-263-6623 or 1-800-686-2724, ext. 6623. If you see something, please say something.

Since 1993, the Archdiocese has embraced and promulgated the Decree on Child Protection, which now also covers vulnerable adults, including:

Complete background checks on all clerics, employees and volunteers;
Ongoing required training for clerics, employees, and volunteers on recognizing the signs of abuse of children and vulnerable adults;
Procedures for reporting suspected abuse;
Immediately reporting all allegations of abuse to the appropriate civil authorities;
A Child Protection Review Board that is comprised primarily of lay people;
Training of children in Catholic schools and religious education programs on warning signs and appropriate responses for their own protection; and
Onsite independent audit of policies and procedures by an outside firm.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is committed to transparency. To that end, for the past 15 years, we have published the names and status of all priests credibly accused of abuse on the archdiocesan website. This can be found at http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/protecting-children/resources-and-publications/status-report-on-clerics-accused-of-child-abuse/.

The Archdiocese is also committed to ensuring that the men who will be ordained to the priesthood are indeed suitable for ministry in the Church and worthy of the trust of the Catholic faithful. Every applicant to the seminary undergoes a full battery of psychological testing prior to acceptance into the seminary program. Once accepted, the candidate has, at a minimum, four years of formation in which he is taught what he needs to know in order to be a priest. During this time, his disposition, behavior, self-awareness, and stability and goodness of character are also evaluated. When a man discerns that God might be calling him to the priesthood, the Church has a duty to discern that call as well, to make sure he is truly called and of the right character to serve faithfully and well.

Many of you may be feeling that Jesus has forsaken the Church. This is not true. Rather, some members of the Church have forsaken Jesus and the call to be disciples. Jesus established His Church on earth and promised to never leave us. As we know from the Gospel of John, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5).

Today, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced the foundation of a plan (included below) to comprehensively address the issue of abuse and the failure in leadership among our bishops. This plan will include the active involvement of both the laity and the Holy See. I pledge my personal dedication to this effort and to keeping you informed of its progress.

Please join me in praying for the healing of all victims of the grave sin of sexual abuse. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of the Catholic Church in the United States, continue to intercede for us. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and protect us.

Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati

PREP – SSPP/OLSH Parish Religious Education Program & Parent Orientation Meeting

Registration forms are now available in the vestibule at each Church, as well as on both parish websites. Be sure to pick up (or print out) the registration form and the calendar for the 2018-2019 year. Registration and fee is due by August 28th. Monday, Sept. 10th, at 6:45pm will be the Parent Orientation Meeting in the SSPP Parish Hall (formerly known as the Bingo Hall) which is located in the lower level of the Auditorium on the South side of the Church. Parking is available on the street or in the school parking lot. Enter thru the Church Street doors. PREP is the Parish Religious Education Program for Sts. Peter and Paul and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart parishes. PREP is for children attending public schools grades 1 through 8 and their parents.

Monday, Sept. 10th, at 6:45pm will be the Parent Orientation Meeting in the SSPP Parish Hall (formerly known as the Bingo Hall) which is located in the lower level of the Auditorium on the South side of the Church. Parking is available on the street or in the school parking lot. Enter thru the Church Street doors. This meeting is a “must attend”.

A Message on Family Unity from Archbishop Dennis Schnurr

Dear Friends in Christ,

At times throughout our nation’s history, certain events take place that animate the public and force us to ask who we are as an American people. As a community of believers in Christ Jesus, who commanded us to build His Kingdom of love on Earth as it exists in Heaven, we are called to turn to our Catholic values in such moments and play an active role in shaping our culture and civic life. We do so tirelessly on such social concerns as abortion, racism, poverty, religious freedom and more.

Events of this past week provided a galvanizing moment for Catholic Social Teaching. I echo my brother bishops, and Pope Francis himself, in condemning the practices of family separation that were taking place at an unprecedented rate on our nation’s southern border. The human family is the most fundamental building block of society. The bonds between parents and children are God’s gift for how we begin to experience love itself and God’s very presence within humanity. In fact, the family is where we first learn to be human. This is a universal truth that applies to families who have U.S. citizenship, those who were born in other places, and even those who have crossed our borders without permission. Governments at any level exist to serve the structure of the family, not the other way around.

These recent events tested our Catholic Social Teaching on the dignity of the human family and each human person. Thank you for your recent prayers and actions in defense of this principle. We still have grave concerns about what happened and what still may take place. But the public outcry, which included the voices of so many of the Catholic faithful, seems to have halted the immediate crisis of the separation of these families. I am grateful for the strong, united witness of our Catholic faith.

Moving forward, I reiterate the call, one which the U.S. Catholic bishops have proclaimed for decades, for a comprehensive reform of our immigration laws. There is undeniably a need for a greater balance among national security, legal means of entry and humane enforcement of our laws. Congress is currently debating legislation now which the U.S. Catholic bishops oppose, as it would further encumber our immigration system rather than improve it. I encourage all the faithful to urge Congress to fix these problems once and for all through a bipartisan effort of fundamental immigration reform. To learn more, please visit the U.S. bishops’ website, www.justiceforimmigrants.org. Direct assistance can be offered through our Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio at www.ccswoh.org.

May we continue to respond to God’s call to protect human life, dignity and families everywhere.

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr

Archbishop of Cincinnati

Kroger Community Rewards

The Kroger Community Rewards Program was designed to support organizaons by simply using your Kroger Plus Card! Sign up right away to start earning rebates for our parish.

1. Sign in or create an account at krogercommunityrewards.com.
2. Click on Enroll Now< 3. Under “Find Your Organizaon” enter 80728 (SSPP) or 80117 (OLSH), click search 4. Click on appropriate parish name 5. You’ll receive confirmaon that you’ve enrolled. Your purchases will begin earning rewards within 7-10 business days aBer registering your Kroger Plus Card. If you have any quesons or need help registering, contact Beth PeDgrew at 513/554-1010 or Lisa Schoenberger at 513/535-9841.

Resisting Happiness

Thank you for the many positive comments over the past 37 weeks of reflections. They have been a source of strength for me to break the cycle of resistance in my own life. Many have asked that the past reflections for the book Resisting be accessible online. Hopefully by the time you read this article, they will be posted on our website. If you do not have web access, call the parish office and we will mail you a copy.

http://catholicreading.church/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Resisting-Happiness.pdf

Why go on a Spiritual Retreat?

You could be as wealthy as a king — yet miserable — if you have no friends. Or you could be as poor as dirt — yet happy — because you’re surrounded by loved ones.

A recent study of human happiness by the distinguished British economist Richard Layard concludes that the most significant factor for personal happiness is relationships with other people. And what personal relationship could be more important than the relationship with God?

To learn more about retreats and find resources for local retreat houses, visit our Adult Faith Formation page.

Infant Baptism

14 weeks?

ARE YOU EXPECTING A BUNDLE OF JOY? Congratulations! It’s time to call the church office for Baptism!

The faith community of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart share in your joy and excitement!

If you are planning to have your baby baptized, please call the parish office at 733-4950 during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy to get enrolled in the Baptism preparation process. 

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1213) Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God. We thus become members of the Body of Christ, and are incorporated into the Church, sharing in her mission.

Click here to read our newsletter filled with information about your infant’s Baptism.

Sr. Rose Goes to the Movies

MC_SisterRose_bio

EASTER WEEK

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THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM

Holy Thursday, March 24

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

  • 6:30 PM – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament continues in the parish throughout the night.
Sts. Peter & Paul
  • 8:30 am Rosary & Morning Prayer (Lauds)
  • Good Friday, March 25

    Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

    • 6:30 PM – Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

    Sts. Peter & Paul

    • 8:30 am Rosary & Morning Prayer (Lauds)
    • 12:00 Noon Divine Mercy Chaplet
    • 12:45 PM Stations of the Cross
    • 1:30 PM Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

    Holy Saturday, March 26

    Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

    Sts. Peter & Paul

    • 8:30 AM – Morning Prayer (Lauds) with Preparation Rites for the Elect
    • 8:45 PM – The Easter Vigil

    EASTER SUNDAY, MARCH 27

    Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

    • 8:30 AM

    Sts. Peter & Paul

    • 10:30 AM