From The Pastor’s Desk

Be Open to God's Ways

September 24, 2023

“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call him while He is near. Let the scoundrel forsake His way, and the wicked His thoughts; let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are My ways above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-9, NIV)

Let Go of Pride
Isaiah is telling us that we are dependent on the Lord. We need His mercy. We need to be in the right relationship with Him. If we are not, we are lost. The Lord is generous and forgiving. That gives us great consolation. First, we must acknowledge that we need the Lord and His mercy. Then, we also need to realize that His thoughts can give us direction. His thoughts are above our thoughts. Does that make you upset when I say that? We have to be willing to let go of our pride and realize that God has great plans. Do we want to be a part of those plans, or do we just want to do our own thing?

Be Open to God’s Ways
At times, I think others get tired of our thoughts. People want to be enlightened by the Lord, and that means that we have to let go of our pride and be willing to be open to God’s ways and thoughts. This is a dying to self that I am suggesting. Are you up for that, or do you want to keep living in the world that you make? The world that you imagine?

God bless you all,

Fr. Anthony Fortman

Fr. Tony Returns to the Pastor's Desk

September 17, 2023

Thank You from Fr. Tony

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and cards over the past month. You all have been such a blessing. I know that my healing is dependent on your prayers. I have about two more weeks of healing to go. But even after that, I have to be careful about what I do. I am slowly making my way back into Parish life. God has truly spoken to me over this past month. He’s told me that I need to have a consistent prayer life and I need to exercise a little bit each day. Just like Fr. Seraphine. So the surgery was a blessing. I needed to slow down in order to listen to God. God bless you all. Our Lady of Good counsel, St. Joseph, and the angels and saints of God, pray for us. 

“Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for He remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then, when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.”

One of the seven deadly sins is anger. We see Jesus getting angry when He overturns the moneychangers’ tables in the temple. You can say that was a righteous anger. But there is anger provoked by jealousy, envy, and selfishness. At the end of each day, we have to examine our behavior and conscience. You can do this during evening prayer. Many times, others will not tell us that our behavior is misled. So we have to be accountable for ourselves.

I have found the rosary as a means of peace and setting my behavior in the right direction. Just contemplating on the mysteries of the rosary can help you reflect on your own life. The Blessed Virgin Mary knew what she was doing when she gave the rosary to Saint Dominic.

There are times when we are not treated fairly by others. We can then either take vengeance on the other or forgive them. I do not believe in the old adage, “forgive and forget.” You cannot forget. You are not to let other people run over you. You can forgive another, but be very careful around them. They may want to hurt you again, so be cautious but be merciful. You will be able to tell when someone is sorry for their sins or actions against you.

Fr. Anthony Fortman C.PP.S.

Speaking Up

September 10, 2023

While Fr. Tony continues to recover, we express our gratitude for the presence of our Parochial Vicar, Fr. Jim Gaynor, who will be sharing a reflection with us today:

“Speak up! Ezekiel, in the first reading, was told by God, ‘You shall warn them for me.”The Apostles are told by Jesus, in today’s Gospel reading, ‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.’ Some of us are more naturally gifted with the ability to speak up. Persons with a booming voice, a pleasant tone, a winning smile, and an attractive personality are naturally more inclined to speak up and also to be heard. Examples of these gifted people include Pope Francis, Bishop Barron, a religious woman like Dorothy Stang, or a lay Catholic like Clay Mathile.

They were anointed with the Sacred Chrism in their baptism as prophets and exercise their prophetic responsibility by speaking up and being heard. But those of us with a less booming voice, a less pleasant tone, or a less winning personality were also anointed with the same Chrism and are called to be prophetic in our lives. Our way of speaking up may consist of supporting those with more gifted voices and personalities. Our way of speaking up may be less vocal and more through the written word or through our good example of a way of life. However, all Christians are called to speak up in favor of the truth and what is morally correct, both in words and deeds.

Where Two Or Three Are Gathered

This brings us to the words of Jesus: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.’ Some are criticizing Pope Francis for the Synod of Synodality. The secret to synodality working correctly is being gathered in the name of Jesus. He is the criterion. We are not gathered to make more money or to demonstrate power. We are gathered to make the kingdom of the love of God present. We are the products of His love. We are to be instruments through which His love is experienced.

Fr. Jim Gaynor, C.PP.S.


Being True to Our Faith

September 3, 2023

How dedicated are we to our faith and to living in a Christ like way?  

We find in Mathhew´s Gospel indications that Jesus knew God the Father´s plan for the humanity he had created.  It was to be:

A brotherly humanity, but Jesus found people going to worship in the temple angry and vengeful and he teaches: if you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has something against you, go first to be reconciled to your brother and then offer your gift. (Mt. 5,21)

It was to be a humanity faithful to it´s word, but Jesus found men dismissing a wife and taking another and he says clearly that is adultery and wrong.    When you mean yes, say yes and when no you say no.    (Mt. 5,31-37). 

It was to be a humanity created in the image and likeness of God the Father, but he found people seeking to return injury for injury, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and he says: your heavenly Father caused the sun to rise on the bad and the good, he rains on the just and unjust. My commandment is love your enemies (Mt. 5, 43)

It was to be a humanity always thankful and attentive to their creator, dedicating space and time to him.  In contrast, Jesus found that space which was the temple of Jerusalem dedicated to money changing and selling and buying of animals.  He entered the temple and drove out all those engaged in buying and selling. (Mt. 21,12) 

To what extent would Jesus go to rectify humanity.  In today´s part of Matthew´s Gospel he began to show his disciples that: he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests and scribes and be killed and on the third day be raised.  (Mt.16,21).  

Where must we go today, being true to our faith and to Christian living?   We must respect life and promote respect for life, even though it might be going contrary to the political winds of our time. 

Fr. Jim Gaynor, C.PP.S.

Parochial Vicar

St.Gaspar Family of Parishes



Who is the Son of Man?

August 27, 2023

This Sunday our Pastor’s Desk is written by one of our Parochial Vicars, Fr. James “Santiago” Gaynor. Fr. Gaynor joined us in July of this year.

Who is the Son of Man?
Who is the Son of Man. Our fathers are men and we are their sons, so are we son of man? No. In using this term in his question in the Gospel of today, Jesus is not referring to our sonship, but to “One like a Son of Man, coming on the clouds of heaven”. We need to go back to the origin of this biblical term: “Son of Man”, in chapter 7 of the book of Daniel. In a nighttime vision, Daniel sees “One like a Son of Man, coming on the clouds of heaven; …He received dominion, glory and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him”. Jesus is referring to Himself who comes from heaven but through the virgin Mary has also the likeness of a son of man. His mission is to bring all nations and people together.
Peter in answering Jesus´ question, with “you are the Christ, the Son of the living God” is recognizing that Jesus is the person-Messiah, for whom people of faith have waited centuries.

Understanding the Ramifications
Peter did not understand all of the ramifications of his answer: that Jesus was going to offer Himself as a redemption for all of humanity. He did not understand that Jesus would pass through death and change death into new life. He did not grasp that until he saw Jesus, several days later, risen from the dead.

Receiving the Gift
When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion we are receiving that One like a Son of Man coming on the clouds. What a mystery. We receive in sacramental form God himself, made man. The minister of Holy Communion shows us the consecrated host and wine and says to us: the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ. We say Amen, yes, this is the Body of Christ. Amen: yes, this is the Blood of Christ. We hear that 50% of those who pretend to be Catholic, don´t believe that Communion really is the Body and Blood of Christ. What a disappointment! What a loss! But for us who have received the gift of faith, what an honor. We are receiving this same one like a Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.

Fr. Jim Gaynor, C.PP.S

Parochial Vicar

St. Gaspar Family  of Parishes

Unwavering Faith

August 18, 2023

In the gospel today, we see a Canaanite woman approaching Jesus. This woman has a daughter that was tormented by a demon. The apostles urge Jesus to send her away. Jesus tells the Canaanite woman that He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He was not sent to her and her daughter. But the woman pleads with Jesus and asks for a little scrap of blessing from Him. Jesus is impressed with this Canaanite woman’s faith. Jesus expels the demon from her daughter.

During Jesus‘ time some people were not allowed to interact with each other. The Canaanite woman and the Samaritan woman are examples of Jewish people staying away from other tribes.

I believe Jesus is testing this Canaanite woman. She continually pleads with the Lord, asking for her daughter’s healing. You and I must continually ask God for healing and help. Even when we don’t get what we want, we still should continually ask. We can also ask ourselves, “Is our request good for us or bad for us?” Our request may be good for us but the vision has its time and God may be working behind the scenes to create a better situation for you and I. We just have to be still and be patient and know that God hears our request.

Patience and Belief

The Lord can move mountains and he can make the impossible possible. If we just believe Him. Jesus I trust in you. So be persistent in your prayers. Do not stop now, you’ve come too far. This waiting builds our faith. As we wait, let us see and appreciate all the miracles God has set before us.

Thank you very much,

Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.

The Transfiguration

August 6, 2023
The Transfiguration

Today we celebrate the Transfiguration of the Lord. Jesus brought Peter, James, and John up to Mount Tabor. As they were on the mountain, Jesus was lifted up in the air, and He was speaking to Moses and Elijah. Jesus is clothed in dazzling white. Peter, James, and John are witnessing this whole magnificent event. These apostles want to build three tents as a memorial. One for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

This transfiguration was meant to transfigure the hearts of Peter, James, and John. To give them a lasting memory of the beauty and glory of the next life. Although we are unable to see what is happening in the next life, there is a whole spiritual realm that is happening around us. There are angels all around us. You have a guardian angel. There is also evil around us. We can see the good and the evil in people’s reactions and words.

Take Time for Prayer

Today’s transfiguration is meant for us also. We are to be aware of the next life waiting for us. A life of peace, a life of beauty, and a life of joy. We can enter that world each day by taking time for prayer. These are respites for you and me to take advantage of.

Jesus took time to pray. He would often go off by Himself to enter into communion with His heavenly Father. Even Jesus needed to escape the world at times. Please take the time to enjoy your summer and time of prayer.

Thank you very much,

Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.

A Treasure Buried in a Field

July 30, 2023
Solomon’s Wisdom

In the first reading from first kings, we see that Solomon asked for wisdom. He could’ve asked for many things, such as a long life, the life of his enemies, and the life of riches. This shows a dependence on God and the willingness to be led by God’s understanding. This pleased God. Even up to today, no one has ever had the wisdom of Solomon.

But as Solomon’s life unfolded, he gave into pagan worship, and he married many wives. He gives into the world. He starts out great, but he ends up in a bad place at the end of his life. He does not repent.

In the gospel, Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a treasure buried in the field or a fine pearl. God’s word and our faith are very valuable and to be protected. Our faith is to be shared with others. It is not to be hidden because we may worry about what other people think. Many Christian Martyrs gave their life by sharing their faith.


You and I have not finished our lives. We may be doing pretty good now in our faith life, but that is not the end of our story. Repentance is so important for the Christian life. We see Judas Iscariot not repenting. We see King Saul not repenting. We see Solomon not repenting. Their lives end terribly because of their pride and a lack of willingness to repent. You and I are humans; we are weak, vulnerable, and sinners. This means that we need God’s mercy. We can’t earn it. Our pride can keep us from God‘s mercy. Our pride could keep us from going to confession. We may say, “ I have too many things to do today, so I can’t go to confession. I can’t make time for God, or I will get behind.” Please take the opportunity to go to confession at our different parishes. This sacrament allows us to draw closer to Christ and his merciful heart. As long as we keep our eyes on Christ, we will not sink in the water. Keep your eyes on the prize and hold on.

Thank you very much,

Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.

Respect Life Resources

We invite you to read the statement from Archbishop Schnurr addressing the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution, which is slated to appear on the ballot this coming November.


St. Gaspar Family of Parishes
Respect Life Call to Action

It is imperative that we concentrate our collective influence, encompassing both the spiritual and temporal aspects of our lives, to thwart the grave threat posed to the sanctity of life, the well-being of families, and parental rights by this proposed amendment. Our Respect Life Group has collected the following resources as potent strategies for active engagement:

54 Day Rosary Novena Begins September 15

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St. Paul Holiday Bazaar

November 4, 2023, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Tis’ the season to be jolly, and there’s no better way to kick off the holiday festivities than by joining us at the St. Paul Holiday Bazaar! 🎉

📅 Date: November 4
🕒 Time: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
📍 Location: St. Paul Campus, Englewood

40+ Incredible Vendors: Explore a winter wonderland of handcrafted treasures and unique gifts! From exquisite woodcarving to cozy handmade knits, and a wide array of Christmas goodies, you’ll find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

The Famous Cookie Walk: Treat yourself to the sweetest part of the holidays! Our parishioners have prepared homemade cookies using their cherished family recipes. Fill up a bag with your favorites and enjoy the taste of the season.

🍽️ Delicious Breakfast and Lunch: Fuel your shopping spree with scrumptious breakfast and lunch options. We’ve got you covered whether you’re craving a hearty meal or a quick snack.

Granda’s Attic Treasures: Discover hidden gems in Granda’s Attic, where gently used Christmas items and pre-decorated Christmas trees will add extra sparkle to your holiday decor.

Family-Friendly Fun: Bring the whole family along for a day filled with holiday cheer. Santa might even make a special appearance, so have your wish list ready for him!

Give Back This Season: Your participation in the St. Paul Holiday Bazaar supports our community and the important work we do. By shopping with us, you’re contributing to the spirit of giving that defines the holiday season.

Mark your calendar, invite your friends and family, and prepare for a joyful day of shopping, eating, and spreading holiday warmth. Don’t miss out on this festive event!

CFF 2023/24 Online Registration Form

Children's Faith Formation

Use this online form to register for our fall Children’s Faith Formation Classes. Geared toward public school children in Pre-K through 12th grade, this program (including some sacramental preparation) is offered on Sunday mornings (9:00am – 10:15am) from September through April. If you belong to a parish outside of our tri-parish region, you must provide a written letter from your pastor giving your family permission to attend our program. High School classes are offered on the 2nd and 4th Sundays.

Please complete this form to enroll your children in our 2023/24 Children’s Faith Formation Program. For Parent/Guardian information, please provide the primary contact person who will is going to be responsible.