From The Desk

From the desk of Father Shawn Landenwitch:
May 31, 2020
 
Welcome to the Catholic Church!

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost! Pentecost is known as the birthday of the Church because, after receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the apostles began to preach and baptize converts into the Catholic faith. We pray for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our parish on this feast day. We pray that the Holy Spirit will enliven our hearts and souls and enable us to be bold and courageous witnesses to Jesus Christ. We pray also for our evangelization groups that are working to bring people to a deeper knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Church.

This is also the first weekend that public Masses can resume since the middle of Lent. I know this time has been a trial for everyone, but it is truly a joyful occasion to have everyone back worshipping together in Our Lord’s house. A number of people have told me how they’ve come to a renewed realization about how important the Mass is in their lives. It brings me great joy to once again celebrate Masses publicly, and I hope that people return with a renewed love for the Eucharist.

The sacraments of initiation for those in RCIA were moved this year from the Easter Vigil to the Pentecost Vigil due to the Coronavirus shutdown. I invite everyone to join us in welcoming the newest members to our parish and to the Catholic Church. Please pray for: Rich Armstrong, Della Baker, Heidi Baker, Scott Coleman, Josh Conklin, Austin Green, Angie Marcinko, Mike Mullins, Kaije Snider, and Todd White.

Congratulations, and welcome to the Catholic Church!


Father Shawn Landenwitch

April 29, 2020
 
Coronavirus Response Update:

Dear Parishioners,

As many of you might have heard already, the bishops of Ohio have decided to extend the suspension of public Masses through May 29th. They are hopeful that public Masses will resume the weekend of Pentecost on May 30/31. The bishops continue to be concerned for the safety of their people in trying to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

This suspension of public Masses is a trial for all of us. I know people are experiencing a variety of emotions, and I understand why some are angry or frustrated. It is difficult for me as a priest to not be able to offer the Mass publicly for our people, and I know many of our parishioners have not received the Eucharist for over a month. However, I am hopeful that we are through the worst of this situation and that May 30th will come quickly.

I continue to pray for all of you each day, and I am continuing to celebrate Mass daily for you and for your intentions. We will continue to livestream Masses on Sundays until public Masses resume. I am still offering confessions as scheduled, along with other sacraments (including the anointing of the sick, baptisms and the Eucharist) for those who request them.

Thank you to all of you who have generously continued to support the parish and St. Vincent de Paul during this shut-down. As you know, our expenses at the parish continue, and I want to be prepared to help parishioners and members of the community in need. Both parishes now have online giving, or you can mail or drop off donations at the parish office.

If anyone is in need of anything (whether it's food, medicine, or just someone to talk to), please let us know. Even though we can't come together at public Masses right now, our community is still strong. I am encouraged by the way people are watching out for each other. Please keep me, our Archbishop, and your fellow parishioners in your prayers!

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Shawn Landenwitch


Read Father Landenwitch's Coronavirus Response Letter for April 29th.

Read Catholic Bishops of Ohio Letter for April 28th.

Rev. Shawn Landenwitch

Weekly Homily:

Listen to the Weekly Homily

2020 Lenten Talk:

Listen to Unlocking Divine Mercy
( Part 1) ( Part 2) ( Handout)

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)

March 17, 2020
 
Coronavirus Response:

Greetings Parishioners,

This Lent will certainly be a Lent to remember. I know the cancellation of Masses throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has caused many emotions: many are surprised, others are fearful about what will happen, and still others are upset as our usual routines are thrown into chaos. Other people have lost their jobs or had their occupations affected negatively by the government's reaction to the virus.

I encourage everyone to remember that God is greater than any virus or chaos caused in our nation! He is unchanging, and abundant grace is available at this very moment. Perhaps this is a chance for us to embrace a renewed appreciation for the sacraments. We can often take things for granted until we go without them. Perhaps this is a time for a renewed intensity in our life of prayer. Often we trust too much in the world around us and not in God.

For those who are spending extra time confined to their homes, I encourage you to use that time to enhance your life of prayer. Make this Lent into more of a retreat, with time to listen to the voice of God and place our trust in Him. Check out the Divine Mercy talks on the parish website. Please heed Our Lady's request to pray the rosary daily! We need Mary's intercession now more than ever!

Confessions will still be available on Thursday evenings (1st, 3rd, and 5th Thursdays at St. Patrick, 2nd and 4th Thursdays at St. Mary of the Woods). If any of the homebound desire to receive the Eucharist, contact the parish office.

There will be Masses livestreamed on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati website and Masses that can be viewed on EWTN. I will be posting a homily on our parish website each weekend. I encourage households to gather at the time they would ordinarily go to weekend Masses and read the Mass readings (available on the USCCB website), make an act of spiritual communion, and unite their hearts to the Mass I will be offering privately at that time. I included an act of spiritual communion below.

I encourage people to limit your exposure to the media; don't spend all day listening to reports about the coronavirus. A lot of the reports are not balanced and are scaring people needlessly. It may help to keep things in perspective. 50,000 people died this year in the U.S. as a result of the flu; less than a hundred have died in the U.S. (as of the time I write this) of the coronavirus. We have survived viruses before, and we will make it through this one.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me, and know that I am praying for you as well. I am offering Mass each day for you and your intentions. I will be saying all the Masses privately that were previously scheduled, so all Mass intentions will be honored. For those who are able, I encourage you to continue to support the parish financially. We will be losing several Sunday collections, and I anticipate that there might be a lot more people in need of financial help soon if there is not a quick turn-around in the economy.

With Prayers,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

Read Father Landenwitch's Coronavirus Response Letter.

View Archbishop Schnurr's letter.

COVID-19 Response information can be found here.

The archdiocesan website will be live-streaming a daily Mass and weekend Mass from the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. Daily Mass will be available online at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday Mass will be live-streamed at 11 a.m.
Visit Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

All live-streaming Masses will also be available on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CatholicCincinnati/.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

February 9, 2020
 
Church Renovation Update:
communion rail Questions

Dear Parishioners,

We are making progress on the planning for the renovation! New lighting for the wings is on order and we are getting quotes for a new sound system. Our sound system, while a good system for 1994, is at the end of its life. There are major differences in sound quality and volume throughout the church. A new system should improve the audio greatly in the church. New equipment for the choir will also improve the sound quality of the music at our Liturgies.

With the installation of a communion rail, some parishioners have asked whether people will be required to kneel for communion. The answer is no. Currently, parishioners are free to choose to kneel or to stand. The same will be true when the altar rail is installed.
 
Whether Catholics are allow to kneel for communion was, years ago, a controversy. The U.S. wanted the norm to be standing. Many Catholics were forced to stand and scolded for kneeling. However, The Vatican clarified that the faithful have a right to kneel if they so choose. Pope Benedict distributed communion to people kneeling and on the tongue as a signal to the entire Church about the reverence that should be shown to the Eucharist.
 
As the pastor, I am encouraged to see the deepening and renewal of reverence towards the Eucharist. This will bear tremendous fruit for our parish and for the salvation of souls! 

God Bless, 

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 

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:

FOOTPRINTS OF GOD PILGRIMAGES
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,
Visit https://www.footprintsofgodpilgrimages.com/pilgrimage/holy-land-for-everyone-october-2019/

Homily 1 Galilee
Visit https://youtu.be/T-y6tUro0N0?t=141

Homily 2 Tabor
Visit https://youtu.be/rG9tKz3zToM?t=140


Homily 3 Beatitudes
Visit https://youtu.be/vHqdD5Cu-RY?t=90

Homily 4 Capernaum
Visit https://youtu.be/KxJTjySiLzE?t=335

Homily 5 Bethlehem
Visit https://youtu.be/D7-PhSWqXm8?t=187

Homily 7 Gethsemane
Visit https://youtu.be/OLZuovZSCos?t=266

God Bless,
Father Shawn Landenwitch

August 18, 2019
 
COMMUNION DISTRIBUTION AT MASS:

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
 
STATIONS OF THE CROSS:

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
Catholic Church

937-843-3127

office@saintmaryofthewoods.com

464 Madison Avenue, PO Box 329,

Russells Point, OH 43348 

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