PLAIN TWP. In partnership with the Living Bread Radio Network, St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church is giving parishioners and the public a novel way to pray.
The parish at 3430 St. Michael Drive NW is hosting “Adoration at the Window.”
The. Rev Benson Okpara, parish priest, has made the Eucharist visible from the elevated Eucharistic Chapel.
“We are more committed than ever to services on behalf of our parish community,“ Okpara said in a statement.
Eucharistic adoration and exposition allow for prayer in the presence of the Eucharist, bread which has been consecrated during a Catholic Mass. Both during and after liturgy, Catholics believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is visible from the lower parking lot (facing Fulton and Whipple) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Visitors are asked to stay in their vehicles and to practice social distancing.
Barbara Gaskell, founder of Living Bread Radio Network, located in the St. Raphael Center, said she approached Okpara with the idea.
“I had seen it done in some other states,” she said. “We approached Father Benson and asked if he would do it. He was wonderful. People have really been taking advantage of it.”
In a statement, parishioner Jennifer Brown noted that "It was awesome to see Christ watching over our city as a beacon of hope and comfort."
Ordinarily, St. Raphael would be hosting Masses and adoration at its in-house chapel, as well as prayer groups and classes. In mid-March, Ohio’s Catholic Bishops suspended Masses and other gatherings, initially until Easter, then finally for the rest of April, in accordance with state recommendations in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“At least this is an alternative so we can see Jesus,” Gaskell said.
To stay connected, St. Michael pastoral associate Jeff Fricker is coordinating a phone tree to contact parishioners. Fifty volunteers have already reached more than 1,150 households.
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The parish’s Stephen Ministry also is providing pastoral support via tele-care. The parish’s digital programming includes music videos, reflections, faith formation for children and adults, and sharing via Zoom.
Gaskell said “Adoration at the Window” will continue for as long as it’s needed, with the exceptions of Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
Since services are not open to the public, St. Michael is streaming worship events online at www.stmichaelcanton.org and facebook.com/stmichaelcanton.
This includes Holy Week. The schedule is as follows:
Holy Thursday - 7 p.m., Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
Good Friday - 3 p.m. Good Friday Passion Liturgy.
Holy Saturday - 8:30 p.m., Easter vigil (contines through Sunday morning).
Subsequent weekend and daily liturgies will also continue to be streamed online.