Dear Parishioners of St. Frances X. Cabrini:



In these challenging days we have seen the world turned upside down by a tiny little virus. Looking at a microscopic  view of the virus it looks rather pretty sprouting buds like little red flowers...nothing to be afraid of, right?



Over the last century man thought he was in control of the world. We conquered all those illnesses that plagued humanity for centuries: Tuberculosis, smallpox, polio, leprosy, etc. We could fight infections with penicillin, do brain surgery, do heart and lung transplants and walk on the moon.  We could control our destiny putting aside superstition and appeals to God for deliverance.  Man could do it all!



Well, we learned that we can't do it all and that we are not Gods. I do not say that this is God's punishment for our hubris.  Viruses are a part of God's creation and we are subject to both nature and God Who brought it into being.  There is a lot to fear from this and any virus, but we don't have to live in fear as if this is the end. After every plague, Christians have praised God and affirmed that life only has meaning through Jesus.



Sunday, April 19th is the Feast of Divine Mercy.  The central message is "Jesus, I trust in you."  We are still subject to Christ as we still live in a world of sin.  The Resurrection is real but not yet here.  In a world of sin and world that is still subject to nature we are being reminded to place our hope and trust in Christ.  We are not being asked to sit on a dung heap covered in ashes as Job did; instead, we are asked to repent and trust that the God (Jesus) who suffered and died by the hands of his creatures (us) wants us to come to Him, trust in His love and mercy and be free men and women.  In the resurrection He conquered fear and death an unworthiness, so that by Faith we can live as his free children.



Holy Week is still Holy, but because of regulations limiting contact in order to slow the spread of COVID19 all the celebrations will not be public.


There will be a Palm Sunday Mass and blessing of Palms.  I will videotape it and have it put on the parish website found at and on Facebook at  Every Mass will be rather simple and shorter than usual.  The palms will be available on tables in the church or outside, depending on the weather, on Sunday and the rest of the week.


  • Holy Thursday will be videotaped and available as above.  The Mass will not have the washing of the feet and no procession with the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Good Friday we will broadcast the Stations of the Cross
  • Holy Saturday will not be videotaped.
  • Easter Sunday will be videotaped again.



Confessions are available all week Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 5:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. in the St. Frances Cabrini Church cry room.  *Please note I had originally published Wednesday confessions and not Thursday. but I will be away Wednesday evening.  We are not going into battle or on the Titanic so there will be no general absolution or sometimes called general confession.  A general confession is the act of confessing the sins of one's entire life; but, should only be done by order from a spiritual director, and not for someone who goes at least annually.



The church is still open every day for anyone to come and visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Holy Water is available in the church; but, bring your own container.  What Holy Water is left I will take and sprinkle the across the neighborhoods  of our parish territorial boundaries.



May God Bless and keep everyone of you safe and my the find your confidence in trusting in God and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.



Sincerely yours,

Fr. John Retar


On Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Vatican issued a Decree “In time of Covid-19” regarding celebrating the Paschal Triduum during the coronavirus pandemic.


Palm Sunday:  Mass will be celebrated without a congregation.  The Palms will still be blessed and placed in the Church entryway for anyone to take.  Please, come and take them.  We will have plenty.


Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday:  will be celebrated without a congregation, maybe a few other people.  They will be simple.  The Rites for Initiation for Adults entering the Catholic Faith are to be postponed.


Blessing of Baskets:  Will be at noon at St. Frances Cabrini.  Stay in your cars with your basket at or out the window and I will happily extend God’s blessing.


Confessions:  What I will not do is to sit in the parking lot and hear confessions.  What I am going to do is open St. Frances Cabrini Church, Route 57 and Homewood in Lorain, only for confessions on the following dates and times.


March:  Saturday, March 28 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm; Monday and Tuesday March 30 and 31 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.


April:  Wednesday April 1 and Friday April 3 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday April 4 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, April 6, 7, 8 and 10 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.  There will be no confessions on Thursday or Sundays.


I will be in the cry room to the right.  People can come and sit in the church and wait if need be.  I will be visible in the cry room.  The room is quiet, big enough to sit 6ft apart and you can go behind the screen.  I will have plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer for you.  Logistically, it is the better place to do confessions under these circumstances.

Are you bored of playing solitaire on your computer, iPad or phone?  There is nothing good on television.  The internet is full of good and bad material and this includes the faith perspective.  I am going to give you from time to time some suggestions of faith-based material on the computer.


I believe that books are our best source of Faith and leisure, then comes some movies and TV but the computer can also give you something different and interesting.


News and Spirituality:  I suggest ALETEIA.ORG. It has very good writers presenting news, inspiring stories, voices & views and lifestyle articles from a Catholic perspective.  It is geared more to women, but men can find a lot in the magazine as well.


Mass and Faith:  Bishop Robert Barron’s media project WORDONFIRE.ORG is as good as one would expect from Bishop Barron.  Mass is projected from this website, the Diocese of Cleveland website DIOCESEOFCLEVELAND.ORG and broadcast on EWTN.


SQPN.COM or you can try YouTube or SQPN.COM/CATEGORY/PODCASTS/AKIN/.  Jimmy Akin is a Catholic Convert and regular contributor to Catholic Answers magazine but in print and online.  He presents the most interesting stuff in his Jimmy Akins Mysterious Universe broadcasts.  I can get the broadcasts on the podcast feature on the iPad.  I have no idea how I got it there.  He presents topics from aliens to werewolves to magic to King Tut all from the perspective of Faith and Reason.  This is a great program for young people.  Young people leave the Faith because they think the church is not reasonable.  This program shows that Faith and reason are not opposed to each other.

A reflection on not receiving Holy Communion by Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. In passages relevant to our present-day, Lenten reality, Cardinal Ratzinger reflects upon the spiritual value that could be found in the practice of Catholics in full communion with the Church abstaining for a time from consuming Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist:

“When Augustine felt his death approaching, he ‘excommunicated’ himself and took upon himself ecclesiastical penitence. In his last days, he set himself alongside, in solidarity, with the public sinners who seek forgiveness and grace through the pain of not receiving the Communion. He wanted to meet his Lord in humility of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for Him, the righteous and gracious One. Against the background of his sermons and writings, which describe the mystery of the Church as a communion with the Body of Christ and as the Body of Christ, on the basis of the Eucharist, in a really marvelous way, this gesture is quite shocking…. Do we not often take things too lightly today when we receive the most Holy Sacrament? Could such a spiritual fasting not sometimes be useful, or even necessary, to renew and establish more deeply our relation to the Body of Christ?

In the early Church there was a most expressive exercise of this kind: probably since the time of the apostles, Eucharistic fasting on Good Friday was part of the Church’s spirituality of Communion. Not receiving Communion on one of the most holy days of the Church’s year, which was celebrated with no Mass and without any Communion of the faithful, was a particularly profound way of sharing in the Passion of the Lord: the sorrowing of the bride from whom the bridegroom has been taken away (see Mark 2:20). I think that a Eucharistic fast of this kind, if it were deliberate and experienced as a deprivation, could even today be properly significant….

Such fasting…could help people toward a deepening of their personal relation to the Lord in the Sacrament; it could be an act of solidarity with all those who have a yearning for the Sacrament but cannot receive it. It seems to me that the problem of people who have been divorced and remarried, yet equally the problem of intercommunion (in mixed marriages, for example), would be less of a burden if voluntary spiritual fasting was at the same time undertaken in visible recognition and expression of the fact that we are all dependent upon that ‘healing of love’ which the Lord effected in the ultimate solitude of the Cross….(F)asting presumes that eating is the normal thing to do. Yet from time to time we need a cure for falling into mere habit and its dullness. Sometimes we need to be hungry—need bodily and spiritual hunger—so as once more to comprehend the Lord’s gifts and to understand the suffering of our brethren who are hungry. Spiritual hunger, like bodily hunger, can be a vehicle of love.”


Happy Feast of St. Joseph!


St. Joseph is the Saint we need for our times and by the Grace of God, He has provided us with such an excellent intercessor who sits by the side of our Lord.


First, we need the spiritual fatherhood of St. Joseph to help us protect marriage and family.  Marriage and family have always had their problems, but now it is a concerted effort by some in our society to break them down into meaninglessness.  St. Joseph, the man who protected the Holy Family from harm, provided them with a home and stability is our intercessor for the Family, the Church and marriage.


Second, is his role as Missionary, Husband and Father.  Men need St. Joseph’s prayers.  It is no secret that manhood and men have failed over the past century to protect the family, establish peace, lead children in the ways of our Catholic Faith and protect the innocent.  Pray men and women for St. Joseph to inspire men, husbands and fathers to take their proper job before Christ.


March 17, 2020


Dear Parishioner of St. Frances Cabrini Parish:


It is no secret that we are living in difficult times.  It is a reminder to us that we are not in control.  Over the course of one week all our plans and activities have been turned upside down.  Like the Israelites wandering through the desert led by God in Faith for those 40 years, we are reminded that we must allow God to lead us and place our Faith in Him.


Although all Masses have been cancelled in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland through Easter Sunday, we can still offer you the church to come and pray.  The church will be open from about 8:00 a.m. till 3:00 pm Monday through Saturday for you to come and pray.  If some people want to pray the rosary or a chaplet or a novena together, that is fine.


Sundays the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. All other activities are cancelled.  We will still respond to emergencies giving Anointing of the Sick to those in need.  We will still bring the Eucharist to the sick and homebound.  If someone want to make a Confession, we will set up an appointment.


We will still publish the bulletin online to help communicate.  Things keep changing and we are trying to keep up.  You can check us out on the website  Or you can also see us on Facebook at or the parish App.


We still are accepting envelope donations for the parish via mail or bring them to the office or through the mail slot/box.  You can donate online using the parish website or mail the envelopes to us.


Sincerely yours,

Fr. John Retar

Diocese   of    Cleveland                              

Cathedral Square Plaza – Secretariat for Clergy and Religious

March 18, 2020

Good afternoon.   Fr. Oleksiak asked me to e-mail this clarification regarding the Coronavirus and confessions during this difficult time.  Please take time to read the notice below.


The information made public on March 17 by the Diocese of Cleveland regarding the sacrament of reconciliation is intended to prevent the gathering of people in church.  As the diocese continues to  cooperate with the government and local health agencies -- taking into account their plea for social distancing as well as the need to protect our priests and the faithful from being exposed to the contagion – the  restriction on scheduling confession times in church prevents the possibility of the faithful gathering in numbers that would exceed the current restrictions.  The diocese has provided guidelines to the priests to protect themselves and the faithful when providing pastoral care.  Any member of the faithful is free to contact their parish priest at any time to arrange for the sacrament of reconciliation.


Please know that you remain in our prayers and thoughts.

Ohio bishops suspend publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies through Holy Week/Easter

 News of the Diocese -  March 16, 2020


After serious consideration of the grave health risk involved in public gatherings and in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the bishops of Ohio have decided -- effective immediately -- to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies, at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter. The bishops of Ohio dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in Ohio from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.

This decision is not taken lightly and, as your bishops, causes us great sadness. However, after consultation with the governor and health officials we are convinced that this is the most prudent and necessary action.

Science has proven that participation in public gatherings significantly increases the risk of contagion. This poses a serious danger to those especially most vulnerable.

As Catholics, in every Sunday Mass we celebrate the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. In this moment, we are experiencing in a unique way the passion of our Lord as this pandemic prevents us from gathering for the Sunday Eucharist. In this very difficult time, we encourage the faithful to turn to the Church’s treasury of prayer. Sunday remains a holy day, and we encourage the faithful to pray using the rich resources of our faith, including praying as a family or individually the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, the Liturgy of the Hours, stations of the cross, etc. We also urge you to participate in prayer by way of radio broadcast or televised or livestreamed Mass and make a spiritual communion.

Please join us in praying for all who are suffering from illness or disease of any kind, for all health care workers, and for an easing of the anxiety and tension caused by this situation. Relying on the motherly care of Our Lady, we unite our sufferings to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our healing and our hope.

Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr
Chairman, Catholic Conference of Ohio
Archbishop of Cincinnati


Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan
Bishop of Columbus


Most Rev. Jeffrey M. Monforton
Bishop of Steubenville


Most Rev. George V. Murry, S.J.
Bishop of Youngstown


Most Rev. Joseph R. Binzer
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Cincinnati


Rev. Donald P. Oleksiak
Diocesan Administrator of Cleveland


Most Rev. Daniel E. Thomas
Bishop of Toledo

Cleveland Performing Arts Ministries’ musical passion play “Tetélestai” has been cancelled to protect public safety.  Please pray for all those in need.  God Bless You!

A message from the Alter and Rosary Society:


Due to COVID-19, we regret to inform you that we will cancel all orders for the Easter Bread.


Welcome to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Parish in Lorain, Ohio. We are a small church with a big heart within the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. We are willing to work hard for God and welcome all Catholics and family members and friends. All people, both Catholic and Non-Catholic are invited to become members of St. Frances Xavier Parish.




Fr. John Retar, Pastor


People are searching for a friendly place to worship God and be strengthened and inspired by Scriptures and Sacraments. Our parishioners come from diversified ethnic backgrounds, personal histories, age, and states of life. We are a community who will welcome you, serve you, and help you to become closer to our Lord, Jesus Christ. As your Pastor and Parochial Vicar, we would like to help all parishioners and Catholics in the south side of Lorain to be prepared to receive the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. It is through the Sacraments that we have an intimate encounter with Jesus Christ, our Lord.


For families with young children, we do offer the Parish School of Religion on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. This is the opportunity for families and youth to become rooted in our Catholic faith and culture. Religious education, whether you are a child, teen, or a parent, is important and should be ongoing.


Within this website we have included a brief but active history of the parish. We have included information on our parish's patroness, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. You will  also find information regarding stewardship, parish organizations and their contacts, and many opportunities to become involved. Suggestions for activities and parish functions are always welcome. You will also find a map of the parish as well.


We look forward to meeting you and serving you as Pastor and Parochial Vicar to help you grow in God's grace. We welcome you to bring a friend or neighbor. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish is first and foremost a place of worship.

Fr. Russ Rauscher, Parochial Vicar

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