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Pentecost
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Cemetery of the Innocents
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‘Easter People!’
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By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 5/20/2018 12:00 AM

The ‘Daily Mass Crowd’ seem to laugh at me at least once a week as I quip at the start of a homily, ‘This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture/Saints/Feast Days, etc.’ Recently, someone came up and replied, ‘You can’t have a favorite every week, Father!’ Alas, I’ll try to back it down a little bit!

But anyway, Pentecost is a favorite for so many reasons. It is the birthday of the Church, it is an outpouring of the Spirit in a new and powerful way, it is an unraveling of the effects of sin in the world; and all together it is a sign of what awaits us in the glory of heaven, too!

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 5/13/2018 12:00 AM
Today, we honor and celebrate the most important person in your life: your mother. No matter who we are or what we do, there is a particular woman in our lives who originally gave us life, and we all owe her a particular debt and gift of gratitude. That unique bond that exists between a mother and her child is something to gaze upon in awe; as I remember seeing my oldest sister holding her new born child some 24 years ago; (that child is now a mother herself!) I knew that there was something special present and I was witnessing a particular gift and beauty right in front of me.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 5/6/2018 12:00 AM
Both last week and this week, it has been a joy and blessing to administer First Communion to our second graders at both Corpus Christi and St. John Neumann. It is one of my greatest joys as a priest to see the excitement and anticipation of our young people as they approach the Altar of God for the first time to receive Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine, which we know is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus. I am very thankful to Pam McLaughlin at Corpus Christi and Becky Albrinck at St. John Neumann (as well as the teams that assist them!) for their diligent and hard work in preparing our young people for the reception of the Sacrament.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/29/2018 12:00 AM

Over the last two weeks, St. John Neumann has featured the ‘Cemetery of the Innocents’ on the front lawn. Each of the over 4,000 crosses represents one of the daily abortions in our country in which the life of the smallest children among us is ended pre-maturely. This is a great scourge upon our country and, as Catholics, should be one of the greatest social justice issues in our time. I am grateful to our Mother of Mercy chapter of the Knights of Columbus for helping to make this a reality for our parishes.

[As a side note, if you or someone you know needs healing from the emotional and spiritual scars of abortion, please visit Project Rachel (www.hopeafterabortion.com or www.catholiccincinnati.org/project-rachel) for more information on this personal and powerful healing resource.]

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/22/2018 12:15 AM

On April 11, my parents celebrated their 48th Wedding Anniversary. It is such a blessing and honor to be able to acknowledge this achievement as we slowly begin to make plans for two years down the road, too. It seems like we were all just around the dinner table as kids, and now all my siblings have their own children, and one even has a grandchild, herself!

In my time in the vocation office, I quickly discovered that not everyone was as fortunate to have such a family; but it was such a blessing to me to have the strong support of my family back home; as it made my discernment towards the priesthood much easier. There was a great deal of freedom and peace that came to me from them, and I am so very grateful for their support and the solid base they left me and my five siblings.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/15/2018 12:00 AM

To reassure everyone, I was properly chastised for my bulletin column of Easter where I mentioned the sn—word. Rest assured, it will not happen again this season! My prayers have turned to hoping Spring springs soon!

This is my first column since we celebrated the Paschal Triduum and Easter, and I continue to be very thankful and grateful for being a part of these two parishes. While there are always small hiccups from doing these very complicated liturgies only once a year, I think we are able to celebrate these sacred mysteries with the grace and dignity that they deserve. I am also keenly aware that there are so many who help to make these celebrations happen: from the musicians, cantors and choirs; to those who set up and decorate the Church buildings (and they are all decorated so beautifully this year!); to those who prepare our RCIA candidates for Baptism and Reception into the Faith; to those who prepare worship aids, etc. We are blessed to have well-oiled teams in place at both parishes and they make it a joy to celebrate all of these sacred ceremonies.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/8/2018 12:00 AM

Ever since Pope Francis called for the Year for Mercy a few years back, I continue to be struck by the number of times that ‘Mercy’ appears in the Church’s liturgical life. It seems that it is a few times a week, every week, that the word pops up off the page; either in the readings, the prayers for Mass, or the Liturgy of the Hours. And every time, it brings me back to that year and the focus on the Mercy and grace of God Who calls us His sons and daughters, drawing us always deeper and more profoundly into a relationship with Himself.

In short, there is a constant reinforcement that the Mercy of God is a deep reservoir of grace that can never be exhausted. We may tire of asking for it; but God will never tire in dispensing His Love and Mercy.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 4/1/2018 12:00 AM

As I write this, it is ‘hopefully’ the last snow day of the year. March 21, a day after Spring started, and there is enough snow for schools to be closed and driving to be treacherous one last time, again, ‘hopefully!’ It does bring to mind one Easter in my childhood when we had enough snow to make an Easter Snow Bunny in the front yard. I think I must have been only five at the oldest, as I remember it more from pictures than from the actual event.

While that is a happy and joyous memory of my own childhood, this snowfall had me thinking about Easter and the challenge of entering more freely into the promise of Eternal Life guaranteed by the Resurrection of Christ. Perhaps, most specifically, I am thinking about the struggle to enter into that promise, as Spring seems to be struggling to throw off the last vestiges of Winter.

By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/25/2018 12:15 AM
Palm Sunday is one of the days of the year that always strike me, in particular as we approach the great feasts of later in this week; but also just as a stand-alone day, as the juxtaposition between the entrance at Mass (as we chant ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’) so quickly becomes the crowd yelling out ‘Crucify Him!’ How do we so quickly go from one to the other?

In his great trilogy ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI picks up this juxtaposition. He posits that these were not necessarily the same two crowds. The ones throwing their cloaks down and chanting ‘Hosanna!’ were the fellow pilgrims who also made their way from Galilee up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. They knew Jesus. They knew what He could do. They were familiar with His preaching and His presence; for they had spent time with Him as He walked and talked along with them. Not just on this journey towards Jerusalem, but during the years of his public ministry.
By Fr. Kyle Schnippel on 3/18/2018 12:00 AM

Over the door to my office at St. John Neumann is a sign that says, ‘Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.’ I don’t often see it, as it is literally above the door and, honestly, who looks up that high, anyway? But as I struggled to write this column today, I glanced up there and that sign hit me as a particularly apt reminder for the two weeks that are coming up. And how much we can struggle with silence.

During this past Advent, I unplugged my TV. And it was a very fruitful and beneficial advent for me, spiritually. I found I was less agitated, more focused and the prayer came a little easier to me, as well.

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Deacon Ron answers your questions.

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Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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