Fr. Kevin C. Fazio

First Holy Communion Weekend!

After a highly emotional weekend — not just here, but throughout the diocese — we begin to process the reality of the pending On Mission for the Church Alive! changes to our lives of faith at our parishes and schools.

We do that in faith, remembering that we are one body in Christ, called to love and serve one another.

But emotions can affect us strongly during such a major change, as they did for me at the 5 p.m. Mass this past Saturday. I became overwhelmed with emotion during the Eucharistic Prayer and needed to compose myself. The last time this happened was during a family reunion last summer outside of Cleveland on the deck of my cousin’s house. As I shared with you in a homily then, I felt the enormous power of Jesus’ presence as I gazed at the Eucharist and felt Jesus saying, “It’s me.”

When Jesus Christ is at the center, things are very palpable and powerful!

I cannot thank you enough for your expressions of support and love in the midst of what seems to be surprising news to you, as it was to me about seven weeks ago. It is a blessing to be loved!

As mentioned during the Mass, I will begin to communicate with Fr. Paul Zywan and Fr. Joe Freedy — who have been assigned as administrator and parochial vicar, respectively, for the St. Alphonsus-St. Alexis parish grouping — over the next few weeks regarding Mass times, schedules, and other facets of parish life. I will begin to do the same with the priests who are currently serving in Butler as well as the three priests with whom I will be working in Butler beginning October 15.  One of those priests is Fr. John Baver, who served here as his first assignment in the early-to-mid 1990s.  The other priests are Fr. William Wuenschel and Fr. Dan Waruszewski.

I also will be wrapping up my tenure as board president of the North Hills Regional Catholic Elementary Schools, as my new assignment will take me out of the region where these schools are located.

Fr. Zywan and Fr. Freedy are good men and holy priests. I am certain they will do all they can to serve you well with the heart of Jesus, and continue to bring Him to you in various ways. Please keep them in your prayers.

This weekend will be filled with joy, as we celebrate First Holy Communions at the 5 p.m. Saturday Mass and at the 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday Masses. The first communicants and their families will be seated primarily on the old/east side of the church.  If you do not have a family member making their First Holy Communion this weekend, please consider sitting on the new/west side of the church out of consideration for those families and visitors.

In the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans, let us “rejoice with those who rejoice” during this beautiful weekend of First Holy Communion.

I pray for all of you daily, and I thank you for all of your prayers as well.


Yours in Christ,



Fr. Kevin C. Fazio