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From the desk of Fr. Speier 

Dear Parishioners,

 Next weekend, February 1 – 2, we will offer to all the blessing of St. Blaise. St. Blaise was a bishop and martyr of the church. Tradition has it that as he was being led to prison, he came upon a young man who was choking. He stopped, said a prayer for the man and the man recovered. Over the years following this event the custom of blessing of throats came into practice. We use blessed candles and say the prayer: “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may God protect you from all ailments of the throat and from all evil. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” This is one of the traditional customs that most parishes still celebrate each year. We will offer the blessing at the end of each scheduled parish mass. All are welcome to come up and receive the blessing, Catholic or Non-Catholic. 

  This weekend we are beginning the Baby Bottle campaign at both of our parish communities. This is the first time that we will offer these at St. Clement parish but have been doing it for a number of years at St. Catherine of Siena. This campaign is sponsored by Heartbeat of Northwest Ohio. Heartbeat is an organization that does all it can to help pregnant mothers, first and foremost, have their babies and then do all they can to promote healthy family living. 

  Heartbeat also does a great deal of prenatal care for new mothers. Over the last 10 years or so they have been able to purchase ultrasound equipment to help mothers who are in need of care. With the monies donated to the Baby Bottle campaign they have been able to purchase a van that brings the equipment to where the mothers are located. The whole purpose of this service is to educate new mothers and help them make the decision to keep their unborn children. 

  This weekend in both of our parishes you will find containers with the bottles from Heartbeat. I ask you to take one home, fill it with coins, folding money or checks and return it to either parish. You can put the bottles in the collection baskets, leave them in the sacristies or parish offices. If you could bring them back by the weekend of February 8-9, we will then make sure they are taken back to Heartbeat. I know it sounds simple, it really is, but it can make a significant difference for the life of an unborn child and their family. 

  At St. Clement Parish you will find the bottles in the front hall and the side hall leading to the back-parking lot. At St. Catherine of Siena you will find them on the book stands at all the exits. Please know that these donations can do a world of good for struggling young mothers. Please consider making this donation to Heartbeat.