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A message from Fr. Joe Hilinski

Deprived as we all are of the festive celebration of the events of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s passion, death and resurrection, we need to remind ourselves of some very important dimensions of faith. It is important to remember that the liturgy and the sacraments of the Catholic Church begin with faith and the celebration of the sacraments are to deepen and increase that faith. But they are first and foremost of a faith we have in our hearts even before we come to church to celebrate them. If we have no faith or if it is very weak, the Eucharistic Liturgy invites us to make an act of faith.
     In our hearts, Christ has to be present; in our prayer, yes even in our personal prayer at home, we worship God who is our shepherd through these dark valleys. The real preparation for a celebration of the Mass and the important preparation for Holy Communion is in the prayer life of each day and the life of charity we bring to the celebrations of our faith. Ceremonies only have heart and spirit if you come with them. Otherwise they are beautiful experiences but they do not touch the inner core of each of us. This Holy Week is truly and examination of conscience for all of us. It is really a purification to prepare for a truly joyful encounter with Christ in the sacraments. But it builds on the real communion of his love and presence in our hearts.
     Sometimes as Catholic people who have had such easy access to the liturgies of the Church we are now confronted by the cold reality if there is no personal faith in our lives. The stories of many who were held in prisons and concentration camps who continued to find support of Jesus are indicative that faith can continue even when denied the sacraments. Priests who were held in those circumstances could not even get a bit of bread or wine to say Mass and yet would recite the prayers with devotion in their cells and celebrate the Mass without a sacramental presence but yet experienced the presence of the Lord. So I am sad that we cannot be together to celebrate the faith that is so precious to us. It has made me realize how ever precious are the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil and Easter itself! For Christ is still risen! He invites us to put our faith in him and in the eternal life and resurrection the Lord offers to all who believe in Him.

DVD Donations for the Incarcerated

One group of people who are certainly isolated in our community during this time are those who are incarcerated. Because they have no access to modern technology, we are depending on DVDs which can be broadcast into the Institutions.
We are looking for other DVD programs to share with them—religious materials and others which may be inspiring and encouraging. The Diocese will distribute a DVD to each institution with the Holy Week Services and Easter Mass. If you have DVDs of educational programs, movies or TV shows that you would be willing to share with these men and women, please send them to: 
Sr. Rita Mary Harwood
Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
1404 East Ninth Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
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Holy Week Services

Liturgies in English

Livestreamed and taped liturgies from the Cathedral will be available on the diocesan website.

Palm Sunday Mass, Apr 5, 9:30a
Chrism Mass, Apr 7, 9:30a  
- Bishop Martin Amos, Presider
The Lord's Supper, Apr 9, 4p
- Fr. Don Oleksiak, Presider
- Fr. Dan Schlegel, Homilist  
Stations of the Cross, Apr 10, 12p (pre-recorded)
Passion of Our Lord, Apr 10, 3p
- Fr. Don Oleksiak, Presider
- Fr. Sean Ralph, Homilist
Easter Vigil, Apr 11, 7:30p
- Fr. Don Oleksiak, Presider
- Fr. John Manning, Homilist
Easter Sunday Mass, Apr 12, 9:30a
- Fr. Don Oleksiak, Presider

Ministry Updates

Liturgias en Español

The following Holy Week Liturgies will be live streamed in Spanish:

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Palm Sunday, Apr 5, 12p
Holy Thursday, Apr 9, 6:30p (Bilingual)
Easter Sunday, Apr 12, 12p

La Sagrada Familia Church
Easter Sunday, Apr 12, 11a

St. Mary's Church, Painesville
Easter Vigil, Apr 11, 7:30p (Bilingual)
Easter Sunday, Apr 12, 10a

St. Bernard's Church, Akron
Easter Sunday, Apr 12, 12p

Sacred Heart Chapel Lorain
Easter Sunday, Apr 12, 11:30a  

More Opportunities for Prayer

Let us rally together throughout the Diocese on April 6 at 5 pm to pray the Holy Rosary for all those impacted by the Coronavirus. Pray individually or with your families, parishes can live stream the Rosary for their communities, or join the live stream at

Daily Morning Prayer
Join us on Facebook every weekday morning at 9 am for Shorter Christian Prayer. Direct Link to Live Stream:

Theotokos Full of Grace: A Fiat of Love, Joy and Service
A self-guided Marian retreat that involves watching a series of videos on various images of the Blessed Mother. These images provide qualities and traits that challenge all Christians to think about their own faith journeys a little differently. Following the very brief Marian image videos are short question videos for participants to reflect on. Feel free to write down your thoughts in a journal as you reflect on the questions provided. After you experience this short retreat, we encourage you to offer your thoughts in a post, sharing some key points in your own discernment. Take your time with this and enjoy the content!
Begin the retreat

Celebrate Holy Week from Home

Palm Sunday, April 5

  • Lay palms or some greenery from your yard on your front porch or door.
  • Read the Gospel and assign different “roles” to your family members to read aloud with a narrator, Jesus, Judas, Peter, Pilate, the crowd, etc.

Holy Thursday, April 9

  • Re-enact the Last Supper in your home. 
  • Wash a family member's feet.
  • Leave a pitcher, bowl and towel on your front porch.

Good Friday, April 10

  • Set a crucifix on your front door.
  • Spend time in family prayer.
  • Pray the Stations of the Cross.
  • Make a Paschal candle

Easter Vigil, April 11

  • In the evening set a lit candle on your front porch or safely in your front window(s).
  • Spread the light of Christ to others.

Easter Sunday, April 12

  • He is Risen! Set a bare cross on your front door or window.
  • Decorate your front porch with your usual Easter decorations for all to enjoy! Take a picture of your Easter decorations and share on social media. 

Upcoming Webinar

Creating Sacred Space: A Holy Week Gathering with Terry Hershey
Tuesday, April 7, 2pm
Our worship spaces have been closed and our public liturgies suspended. So, what do we look for now when we seek sacred space? What are the necessary ingredients? How do we discover new ways (or rediscover old ways) of experiencing God’s presence? How do we practice Eucharistic gratitude in the absence of sharing the Eucharist? Join Terry Hershey, Diana Macalintal, and Nick Wagner on Tuesday of Holy Week for a prayerful, uplifting conversation to help us all focus on the wonder and surprise of Easter. You are not alone.   


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