Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Palm Sunday

Click here to watch Pop Francis on Palm Sunday 2020

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified.

Palm Sunday is known as such because the faithful will often receive palm fronds which they use to participate in the reenactment of Christ's arrival in Jerusalem. In the Gospels, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a young donkey, and to the lavish praise of the townspeople who threw clothes, or possibly palms or small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage. This was a customary practice for people of great respect.

Palm branches are widely recognized symbol of peace and victory, hence their preferred use on Palm Sunday.

The use of a donkey instead of a horse is highly symbolic, it represents the humble arrival of someone in peace, as opposed to arriving on a steed in war.

A week later, Christ would rise from the dead on the first Easter.

During Palm Sunday Mass, palms are distributed to parishioners who carry them in a ritual procession into church. The palms are blessed and many people will fashion them into small crosses or other items of personal devotion. These may be returned to the church, or kept for the year.

Because the palms are blessed, they may not be discarded as trash. Instead, they are appropriately gathered at the church and incinerated to create the ashes that will be used in the follow year's Ash Wednesday observance.

The colors of the Mass on Palm Sunday are red and white, symbolizing the redemption in blood that Christ paid for the world.

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Burundi Women's Choir

St. Leo's Burundi Women's Choir sings an anthem
as St. Leo's children receive their First Communion

May 26, 2013

St. Leo's Burundi Women's Choir sang and danced in prayer at the January 1, 2013 World Day of Peace mass at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Worship Schedule

Mass  Saturday    6:00 pm, Spanish

  Sunday   10:30 am
    Thurs.   7:00pm
Holy Thursday   April 9   7:00 pm Mass
Good Friday   April 10   7:00 pm Service
Easter Vigil    April 11   8:30 pm Service and Mass
Easter    April 12    10:30 am Mass
Live on Facebook at:         RCC St Leo Cincinnati
Children's Liturgy of the Word    Sunday
10:30 am
Holy Days       Call 513-921-1044 for specific information 
Vigil       Call 513-921-1044 for specific information 
Exposition of the 
Blessed Sacrament
  Following 7:00 pm Mass until 9:00 pm
Confessions   Saturday   5:00 - 5:30 pm
Baptism       Call 513-921-1044  3 weeks in advance 
Marriage       Call 513-921-1044  6 months in advance 
Sacrament of the Sick        Call 513-921-1044 
        Daily Reflections 
        Easter Changes Everything
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The Strangers We Meet

Painting in the vestibule of St. Leo's

The work of the late Fr. Jim Hasse, SJ, “The Strangers We Meet” depicts Christ breaking bread at Emmaus. Instead of more traditional representations, it depicts Christt as a man of African descent, sitting with people of various ages and from various ethnic heritages. All the models were St. Leo parishioners.

“Fr. Jim captured spiritual life in his works, revealing the sacredness in everyday people and everyday actions,“ says Fr. Josephh Folzenlogen, SJ, who lived and worked with the priest painter at Claver Jesuit Ministries in South Cumminsville (OH). “Jim’s paintings were mirrors in which people could see their own beauty.”

Models for the 2004 painting were Timaya Smith (the child in the foreground), Amy Egan, Darnell Edwards, Ivy Peppers, and Rick Nohle.

“Since Jim used people from the parishes and neighborhoods where he worked as his models, the paintings were not just images,” says Fr. Joe. “They were connections with people he loved. Those people were also his children.”

St. Leo parishioner Stephanie Sepate describes the painting as “a beautiful remembrance of purpose” in every life.

“In the upper left of our painting is the figure of the angel by the tomb of the Risen Lord, and the women running to share the news,” she says. “What a beautiful remembrance of purpose in each of our lives — we are not really strangers to each other but we are all one universal family in our life’s journey.”

Fr. Jim Hasse, whose paintings appeared in several publications and are held in private collections, including the art museum at St. Louis University, died in 2011. Most of his paintings are of biblical subjects and feature African-American people he worked with. To see several galleries of his works with associated reflections, click here.

A New Life

Michelangelo sculpted the Pietà in 1498–1499,    taking less than two years to complete. His depiction of the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion on the rock of Golgatha is one of the most famous pieces of sculpture known by so many across the world.

Showing the "religious vision of abandonment and a serene face of the Son", Michelangelo did not want his version of the Pietà to represent death, but rather a representation of the communion between man and God through Christ’s gift of life.

For the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the Vatican loaned the Pietà for installation in the Vatican pavilion. A conveyor belt moved people, who stood in line for hours, past the sculpture. It is housed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed.

Several decades ago, St. Leo was gifted with a beautiful representation of the Pietà in memory of the Schuchart Family. Over the years, the wear and tear, fragments of the more fragile areas of the statue cracked or missing, and chipping paint called a friend of the parish to totally refurbish our Pietà. To repaint it with its former colors would have shown the flaws; it was decided to paint it all one color, especially in keeping with the make-up of our parish—all one people. After months and months of prayerful restoration, our Pietà finally came home, quite appropriately, the day before Ash Wednesday.

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we are grateful for Michelangelo’s reminder of the ultimate gift in our midst. The St. Leo Pietà has been given a new life; let us all celebrate a season of renewal in our own lives as Lent ends and as we rejoice in the hope and joy of Easter’s Alleluias!

- Stephanie Sepate

Palm Sunday

From Fr. Jim:  
April 5, 2020

Bivuye kwa Padiri Jim:  
Aprili 5, 2020

(African translation)

Mensage del padre Jim:
5 de abril de 2020
(Spanish translation)

    Holy Week:  All of our services for this great week of prayer have been adjusted to account for the absence of an assembly in church and to follow safe distancing and cleansing procedures for the ministers and camera crew. For Palm Sunday there is no blessing, distribution and procession with palm branches. The gospel selection is the Passion of St. Matthew’s Gospel. There are two major changes in Holy Thursday services. There will be no washing of feet and no procession at the end of Mass with the blessed Sacrament and likewise no adoration. Good Friday, there will be eleven petitions instead of ten. One has been added for the Pandemic. Also, the ministers who will reverence the cross are to do so without touching it. Easter Vigil, there will be no Easter Fire or procession with the Paschal Candle and the Sacraments of Initiation will not be celebrated.

With the Liturgy of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, we are all invited to enter and participate in the Passion of Christ as it unfolds throughout Holy Week in the liturgies and rituals that we celebrate.  This is especially true with the Three days that we call the Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.  We encourage all of you to join us from the friendly and safe confines of your homes.

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This is the greatest week of prayer for the Church.  Our liturgy throughout the year moves us to this week and climaxes in the three days of the Triduum and the celebration of Easter. “If we die with the Lord then we will truly rise with Him.”  here is no greater love than this than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  his is what we believe, pray and live in this holiest of weeks.

As the church gathers all over the world to celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week as they have been given to us throughout the ages to be prayed, we grow together as the church, the Body of Christ, brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ.  his holiest of weeks and the way that the Church of God is invited to pray  sees itself as one with God, through Jesus and in their Spirit and one with each other in Christ.

As we enter into the prayer of Holy Week, can we do so with open hearts and with a genuine desire to let this greatest week of prayer in the church really change us? If the prayer of this week is about the continual formation of the whole church in the love and image of Christ then it, too, provides great formation for us, as St. Leo, to be formed into the Body of Christ, especially with our many and wonderful diversities. t is important for all of us to come together and pray this week of prayer. 

For your reflection and prayer: William Arthur Ward, American author, teacher and pastor, 1921-1994, wrote: Fast from judging others; Feast on Christ dwelling in them. Fast from emphasis on differences; Feast on the unity of life. Fast from apparent darkness; Feast on the reality of light. Fast from thoughts of illness; Feast on the healing power of God. Fast from words that pollute; Feast on phrases that purify. Fast from discontent; Feast on patience. Fast from anger; Feast on patience. Fast from pessimism; Feast on optimism. Fast from worry; Feast on Divine order. Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation. Fast from negatives; Feast on affirmatives. Fast from unrelenting pressures; Feast on unceasing prayer. Fast from hostility; Feast on non-resistance. Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness. Fast from self-concern; Feast on compassion for others. Fast from personal anxiety; Feast on eternal truth. Fast from discouragements; Feast on hope. Fast from facts that depress; Feast on verities that uplift. Fast from lethargy; Feast on enthusiasm. Fast from thoughts that weaken; Feast on promises that inspire. Fast from shadows of sorrow; Feast on the sunlight of serenity. Fast from idle gossip; Feast on purposeful silence. Fast from problems that overwhelm; Feast on prayer that strengthens.

May our fasting lead us to the great love of Holy Week and the incredible glory of Easter!

Eucharistic Adoration
World Day of Prayer


St. Leo The Great Parish

Rev. James R. Schutte, Pastor
2573 St. Leo Place
Cincinnati, OH 45225
513-921-1044 ext. 21


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