From The Desk

From the desk of Father Shawn Landenwitch:
December 22, 2019
Merry Christmas to you and to all of your loved ones!

Dear Parishioners,

Isaiah 9:2 tells us, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." It's easy to be discouraged by the darkness around us. At Christmas, we celebrate the great light that shines in the darkness--Jesus Christ. His coming is proof that God has not abandoned us, and that He has a plan. His coming as man reveals that He desires to draw each of us into personal communion with Him. In that relationship, we find new life and new hope. The shepherds give us a perfect image of that transformation. They were out tending their flocks in the dark of night when angels appeared, lighting up the night sky and filling the silence with hymns of praise. We can imagine that their lives were never the same after that encounter with the angels and the Holy Family; they would have been overwhelmed with hope and joy. Christ desires to transform each of us as well.

I encourage each of us to rediscover the power of a relationship with Jesus Christ this Christmas. Seek the Lord anew in the Eucharist, in reading Scripture, and in a life of prayer. Devotion to Mary in particular opens up incredible doors in our spiritual lives; who can better lead us to Christ than His own mother? The closer we come to Christ, the brighter the light shines within us. The more distractions crowd our life, the less clearly we perceive the light. Take some time to pray about how much richer our lives are because of our faith in Jesus Christ. In this relationship, we find the purpose and the truth that enables us to orient our lives in the proper direction. We are privileged to be able to worship a God who is so merciful that He became one of us to save us!

May you all experience the joy of knowing the true light of the world, Jesus Christ, this Christmas season!

Father Shawn Landenwitch 

December 8, 2019
Church Renovation Update:

Greetings Parishioners!

I mentioned a few weeks back that we are in the planning phases of an interior renovation of our church. It has been about 25 years since the last interior work. Quite a few parishioners have expressed to me their excitement about the upcoming work. It is important for the  future of our parish to enhance the beauty of our church and our worship of God. We were originally going to start work late this year, but we now plan on starting early in 2020. 

We plan on updating the sound system in the church with new wiring and speakers. To better match the wings to the center section of the church, we will remove the drop ceilings and replace them with drywall. We will replace the florescent lighting on the wings with ceiling-mounted fixtures that will coordinate with the fixtures in the center section. 

We are redesigning the sanctuary platform. We will be replacing the carpet in the sanctuary platform with wood. I want to widen the platform so our altar boys can be seated in the sanctuary. We will install an altar rail for the benefit of our many parishioners who kneel to receive the Holy Eucharist.
The biggest change to the aesthetics will involve the painting of the church interior. We are working with Blanck Studio of Art, the company that painted the sanctuary of St. Patrick Church in Bellefontaine and St. Joseph Church in Wapakoneta. They are very talented artists, and we will have a design proposal from them soon. The painting is tentatively scheduled to take place around September Of 2020. 

Work is progressing in consultation with Parish Council, so if you have feedback, feel free to talk to members of Parish Council about this exciting project! 

God bless, 
Father Shawn Landenwitch, Pastor 

Rev. Shawn Landenwitch

Weekly Homily:

Listen to the Weekly Homily

2019 Lenten Talk:

Listen to Parting the Waters
( Part 1) ( Part 2) ( Handout)

2018 Lenten Talk:

Listen to In the Garden of Eden
( Part 1) ( Part 2) ( Part 3)

2017 Lenten Talk:

Listen to Bread from Heaven
( Part 1) ( Part 2) ( Part 3)

2016 Lenten Talk:

Listen to Why Be Catholic
( Part 1) ( Part 2) ( Part 3)

November 17, 2019
Reflections from the Holy Land:

I would like to take a moment to share some highlights from my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was an amazing experience! One of the highlights was the Mass on Mt. Tabor. This mountain has a majestic view of the entire area around Galilee. It was the location of the Transfiguration, and also where Christ commanded the apostles to go and baptize all nations (Matt 28:16-20) after His Resurrection. It was powerful to reflect on the majesty of God at the very place where He revealed His glory to the apostles, and to know the Eucharist I elevated at Mass is the same Lord of Glory!

I spent some time in quiet prayer in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, just a few feet away from the empty tomb. I meditated on John 20, the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene. In particular, I focused on what she would have experienced as she first encountered the Risen Lord. It’s amazing how being at a location like that can cause the events to come alive! I had a similar experience offering the Mass on Calvary, as I reflected on the words, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

A pilgrimage like this is a powerful way to strengthen our faith! It reinforces the fact that our faith is not based on mythology or fiction, but real events that took place at real places that we can visit today.

God Bless,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

October 20, 2019
Holy Land Homilies:

A special thank you to Steve and Janet Ray for recording and sharing the homilies.

Holy Land October 2019
For the Ray's Journal of the Pilgrimage,

Homily 1 Galilee

Homily 2 Tabor

Homily 3 Beatitudes

Homily 4 Capernaum

Homily 5 Bethlehem

Homily 7 Gethsemane

God Bless,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

August 18, 2019

As many of you are aware, we have gone from four to two distribution stations for Communion at Masses through the summer. Some parishioners have wondered why this was necessary when they see plenty of distributors at the 8:00 a.m. Mass. However, four distribution stations require twelve extraordinary distributors (four at each Mass), every weekend, even when some parishioners are on vacation. We were not able to accommodate that this summer. It helped to have seminarians here for many of the Masses to distribute, but we still were not able to adequately cover all the 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. Masses.


While this change was made because of scheduling issues, there are important reasons why the Church teaches that lay distributors should only be used when necessary. Because the priest acts in the person of Christ at Mass, it is preferred that people receive Communion from the priest. It reinforces the connection that we are being fed Communion by Christ That reality is not as clearly conveyed when the distributor is not an ordained minister. That is why a priest is an 'Ordinary distributor," while a lay person is an "extra-ordinary distributor," used only when needed in extra-ordinary situations.


Going forward, we plan to return to four distribution stations at the 8:00 a.m. Mass after Labor Day. We will keep the two distribution stations at the 6:00 p.m. Mass because of the lower numbers of attendance and extraordinary distributors at Mass. Next summer, we may go back to two stations at the 8:00 a.m. Mass, when we have the additional 10:00 a.m. Mass.


Thank you to everyone who generously volunteers in liturgical ministries at our parish. get countless compliments from visitors that are inspired by our reverent liturgies!
In Christ, 
Father Shawn Landenwitch 

July 7, 2019
Parish Pilgrimage for 2020:

Dear Parishioners,

Join fellow parishioners on a pilgrimage from May 25 through June 6, 2020. The pilgrimage will include visits to the site of the apparitions of Mary in Fatima (Portugal), the burial place of the apostle James in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), and the healing baths of Lourdes (France).

A presentation for those considering being a part of this pilgrimage will be held at the Winner Harvest Barn, 7317 St. Rt. 47, on July 21st at 2:00 PM. Brochures with additional information will also be available soon. If you have other questions, please contact Charity Thiel at Saint Mary of the Woods (937.468.2091) or Father Landenwitch. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!


Update: Register by Monday, September 9 2019 

If you missed the informational meeting, you can pick up a brochure with more information from the parish office. Contact Jim and Charity Thiel or Father Landenwitch with questions. 
We are now accepting reservations/deposits. Please register by Monday, September 9. The trip will be opened up at that time to people outside of the parish if additional seats need to be reserved. 


God Bless,
Father Shawn Landenwitch  

June 9, 2019
The Holy Spirit is alive and active in our parish:

Dear Parishioners, 

Thank you for your generous response on my 10th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood! It was great to see so many people turn out for the celebrations! We are blessed to have a vibrant parish that is truly a spiritual family. The Holy Spirit is alive and active in our parish, and it was beautiful to witness the fruits of that.

I have been grateful for all of my assignments as a priest through the years. I loved teaching and ministering at La Salle and Alter High School, and I feel truly blessed to serve all of you here at St. Mary of the Woods and St. Patrick. I am looking forward to many more fruitful years of service here in Logan County!  

Thank you for all of your prayers for me, thank you to everyone who donated gifts to help fund my sabbatical, and thank you to everyone who was involved in the celebration! I offered a Mass of thanksgiving for all those who volunteered their time and effort. Be assured of my continue prayers!


God Bless,
Father Shawn Landenwitch  

April 21, 2019
The Lord is Risen,  Alleluia!

Welcome to everyone visiting our parish this Easter: family, friends, and guests! Easter is the greatest feast day in the Church year, commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

We congratulate everyone who was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. Please pray for the newest members of our Church, that they may persevere in living out the faith!

The Resurrection marks the beginning of the New Creation - a creation without the effects of sin and death. Jesus Christ’s resurrected body is not subject to aging and decay like our bodies in this fallen world. His resurrected body is made for eternal life. We hope, if we persevere in fidelity to Jesus Christ, to share in His resurrection on the last day. At that time, our souls will be reunited with our bodies in the general resurrection. This is our Christian hope; a hope that is stronger than death.  


May you all have a Blessed Easter! 
Father Shawn Landenwitch  

March 13, 2019

We are blessed to have our Stations of the Cross repainted for this Lent! This project began with a proposal by Parish Council. The Stations were painted by Cassie Hassel, who lives in Bellefontaine. She is the same artist that painted the 4 statues in Saint Patrick Church. As you can tell from her work, she is a very talented artist. She worked long hours to finish them by Ash Wednesday so we would have them for the entirety of Lent.

There are so many details in the Stations of the Cross that came to life once they were painted in color. I was struck by details like the face of Jesus on Veronica’s veil in Station VI and the nailing of Jesus to the cross in Station IX. I noticed the rope around Jesus and details in the garments of soldiers for the first time. Cassie commented on how impactful it was to paint the scenes from the passion of Jesus, which is something she said is ‘so close to my heart.’

It is my hope that the Stations will deepen our appreciation of the passion of Jesus and lead us into a deeper relationship with Him. I encourage everyone to come out at least once or twice during Lent to pray the rosary and Stations on Monday nights at 6 PM. People can also pray the Stations on their own any time the church is open!

God bless,

Father Shawn Landenwitch

February 1, 2019
Introduce people to Jesus Christ:

St. Patrick's and St. Mary's taking steps to increase mass attendance.
Listen to an interview with Father Shawn Landenwitch (18 minutes).
Visit Peak of Ohio article.

Saint Mary
of the woods
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Russells Point, OH 43348 

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