The Flame: May2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Very few people saw this coming
. A disease that would
shut the world down? It sounded like a Hollywood movie
plot. Yet, here we are: sheltering in place, keeping social
distance, a workforce divided into essential and nonessential,
pre-kindergarten through graduate school taking
place online, wearing face masks and frequently washing
our hands. This is the reality of our day.
COVID-19 has made everyone feel vulnerable.
virus had never been seen before, no one was immune to
it. All people are susceptible to COVID-19. Yet, we know
that to do when we are powerless. We turn to the Lord
Jesus who has all power and authority in heaven and on
earth. (Matthew 28:20)
Prayer would be a good use of the extra free time that
the COVID-19 outbreak has afforded us.
Prayer is what will
keep us free and sane. I have encouraged people to pray
for the same length of time that they watch/read/listen
to the news reports about COVID-19.
We need to petition the Lord on behalf of the individuals
we know who have contracted the disease.
We need to
intercede on behalf of the world that this virus be will
eradicated. We need to pray for civil leaders that they
would work with health officials in making policies. We ask
the Lord to guide researchers as they develop a vaccine
for COVID-19. We need to especially pray for health care
workers and all who supply supportive services for hospitals
and nursing homes. We need to pray.
We also need to live our faith.
This is the antidote to the
anxiety and fear that paralyze us.
Now since the children share in blood and flesh,
he likewise shared in them, that through death he
might destroy the one who has the power of death,
that is, the devil, and free those who through fear
of death had been subject to slavery all their life.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God who, by his own death and
glorious resurrection, destroyed the power of death. W
do not have to live in fear of death. Yes, we still act in a
prudent manner in the face of COVID-19. However, we
belong to Jesus Christ, who shares with us His victory over
In the light of Christ we have a hope that is beyond this
St. Paul reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven.
(Philippians 3:20). St. Peter calls us sojourners (I Peter 1:1,
17, 2:11) and reminds us that our time on earth is a
pilgrimage to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled,
and unfading, kept in heaven (I Peter 1:4).
We also need to be mindful of practicing charity.
know people who feel especially isolated during this time.
We can call them and remind them that they are not
forgotten. We are spending more time with those we live
with. This too can be a challenge. Again, all of us need to
make a special effort to respect and serve each other.
Shortly after sending the students home from Franciscan
University of Steubenville, Fr. Dave Pivonka TOR was
praying in the friary chapel one evening. He sensed the
Lord say, “I have not changed.” God is still God.
He is still
on the throne. God still rules. We need to remember this.
Pope Francis, when leading a Holy Hour at an empty St.
Peter’s on Friday, March 27 read Mark 4:35-41, the passage
that tells us that Jesus was asleep in the storm tossed boat
with the disciples. The Lord Jesus did calm the wind and
the waves and called the disciples to faith amid the trials.
And the Lord will eradicate this virus.
If I could encourage you in some other ways: stay
connected to your parishes
. Though you are not attending
events there, most parishes have their Masses online (we
use Facebook Live) and even have other online offerings.
At St. Peter’s we have an online Rosary, Stations of the
Cross, Bible Study, Prayer course and other offerings. And
support your parish financially. People at my parish have
signed up for online giving, mailed in their envelopes,
walked them into the office or had their bank send us
At this point, CRM has scheduled a number of Charismatic
Masses in June and into the fall.
We also have our 2020
Cleveland Charismatic Conference scheduled for July 17-18.
These events will take place only if they are permitted
and deemed prudent to have the events. Please refer to
the CRM website (www.crmweb.org)
for up to date
information or phone us at 440-944-9445.
Fr. Bob Franco
Bishop’s Delegate to Catholic Renewal Ministries