Pastor's Blog

As I Love You
Greetings, “As I have loved you, so you should love one another.” Jesus commands this of his disciples after finishing the Last Supper with them. For many of us this may be more of a challenge than living the Ten Commandments! Many times the saints themselves struggled to make sense of our Lords’ greatest commandment to...

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The Shepherd
Greetings, “The shepherd is everything to his flock; their life, their sustenance, and their care is entirely in his hands, and if the shepherd is good, they will have nothing to fear under his protection, and they will want for nothing.” —Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen Father Gabriel who died in 1952 was a Belgia...

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Hot? Cold? Snow? Rain?
By Father Bob Kraig:     These times of the year are always challenging. Transitional weather! You can go out in the morning and it is 60 degrees outside and by the evening it is in the 30s and either raining, snowing or possibly sleet or whatever. You can wear a light jacket over a sweater to a restaurant and take your jacket o...

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Blue Striped Shirts And Santa
Blue striped shirts and Santa! By Father Bob Kraig The upcoming holiday season (or current – depending on how you see it) always brings to mind how my relationship with Santa Claus changed. I remember my mom taking me downtown to see Santa at Higbees on the seventh floor as was our custom. I anxiously awaited my turn to see Santa...

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Soooo – what’s the winter forecast? I guess when we hear things on the news about ‘our winter forecast coming up right after the break’ on newscasts we immediately wonder how much snow, rain, the temperatures, etc. – what will they be like? Will we have a warm winter like last year? Or will it be the ice, ...

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Is The World Ending?
The recent success of Cleveland Sports Teams have moved some people to jokingly say the following: The Cavaliers won the NBA championship, the Monsters won the American League Hockey championship, the Indians are in the world series and if the Browns win a game this year the end of the world will be upon us. If you live in Cleveland an...

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Monks at Gethsamene
By Father Bob Kraig      Wow! What an amazing week God blest me with last week (Oct. 10-14) when I made my yearly retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemane. My priest friend from Buffalo, whom I made the retreat with, had been there a couple of times before and told me how special this place is – and I was not disappointed. ...

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Faith!
By Father Bob Kraig     Thank you to so many for the gift of faith. While ultimately faith is a gift of God I am more and more convinced as I minister with people that we grow in our faith through so many faith-filled Christians. It is easy to believe that faith is about memorizing and knowing facts and having answers through...

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Keep The Leaves On The Tree - Yes? No?
By Father Bob Kraig     Every year sometime in either September or early October I ask our maintenance staff what their plans are for keeping the leaves on the tree that would be falling or depending on when I joke around with them the leaves that have already fallen. We always joke around about it. One time they told me they...

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CALIX
By Father Bob Kraig      This past Sunday, Sept. 18, I had the privilege of celebrating Mass with CALIX, a Catholic group of men and women who have been affected with the disease of alcoholism at the Jesuit Retreat House in Parma, Ohio in addition to having their family members present. Many of these men and women (many of ...

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Polish Flag?
By Father Bob Kraig      I was privileged to celebrate God’s mercy and forgiveness at a couple of our weekend liturgies this past weekend. While it is something I do every weekend with our praying community it was especially moving this past Sunday, Sept. 11. There was something there – perhaps God’s Spiri...

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Saint Mother Teresa
By Father Bob Kraig     This past Sunday the Roman Catholic Church canonized Mother Teresa. The 20th century saint has been an inspiration to many and I am grateful that we here at Saint John Neumann were able to add a beautiful statue of her to our church four years ago when we added the four we did: St. John Neumann, St. John ...

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Back to School
By Father Bob Kraig The other day I was talking to a parent who had just taken their child back for their second year of college. The parent mentioned that last year brought tears when they left their son and this year reflection. Obviously there are certain events that cause us to ponder, to reflect, to question, to wonder to think ab...

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A ruby 40 years
By Father Bob Kraig This past weekend was the beginning of our parish’s 40th anniversary celebration. The 12:00 noon mass and festival in the afternoon was a great kick off. Anniversaries, whether a parish, wedding, graduation, class reunion, whatever are wonderful times to reflect and ponder. One looks back and can see many joyf...

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Appearances?
By Father Bob Kraig I remember reading a few years ago about a person who was buried in a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado or something similar to that. The person was covered with debris but happened to have his cell phone with him. He was able to text people and let them know his last location and thanks to the wonder of ...

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The Word August By Father Bob Kraig I don’t know about you but there’s something about the word ‘August!’ While we still have about six weeks of summer left saying that word seems to send shudders through me. Perhaps it is the fact that things start to pick up in the parish again; meetings resume; the faculty st...

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Listening to Another?
By Father Bob Kraig      As many are aware the city of Cleveland hosted the Republican National Convention last week. I was proud of our city and all the positive publicity it received. The way people looked out for each other, the warmth and hospitality and the service of our safety forces and others truly brought a positi...

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Stolat - 100 years of life!
By Fr. Bob Kraig     This past weekend gave me an opportunity to reflect on the great gift of life. Our parish celebrated the 100th birthday of one of our parishioners, Rosetta. Rosetta, is a weekly participant at our weekend celebration of the Eucharist as well as often throughout the week at our 9:00am mass. She sells raf...

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School Days???
By Father Bob Kraig     Last week I happened to be wandering through a local department store. I knew it would soon be happening but it was just after July 4 so I wasn’t expecting it quite yet. However, as I walked down the aisle, there it was – back to school supplies. I immediately reflected back to what my mom ...

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Are we really free?
By Father Bob Kraig      Robert Wicks, a Christian psychologist and spiritual writer, tells a story in one of his books entitled: ‘Crossing the Desert.’ The story he relates is about the Bantu tribesmen that describes how they creep quietly into the rooms of their children when they are asleep and soft...

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Soul Catching
By Father Bob Kraig     Over the last seventeen years I have had the privilege of doing a retreat at the Notre Dame Mother house in Chardon, Ohio during the summer months. What a wonderful religious order with a rich tradition. If I am correct they have ministered in our diocese since the late 1800’s and many, many people ...

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By Father Bob Kraig Celebrating father’s day this past weekend made me reflect back on a few things I remember my dad telling me. I’m sure we all have some memories of things that we were told by our dads and for some reason or another we never lose them and continue to do them only because he did or said to do them. As an ...

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Where's the old typewriter?
By Father Bob Kraig      Sometimes when I use my phone or computer I sit and ponder the question of when did this all happen. How did it happen! I contemplate whether we have become a world of robots who cannot communicate with one another and can only stare at our phones and use our fingers and thumbs to send tex...

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Learning to be Christian by being Christian???
By Father Bob Kraig      Karl Rahner, a great theologian of the 20th century, once said that the reason he is a Christian is so that he can learn to be a Christian. It is an interesting statement to ponder. Often Christians are criticized for being hypocrites. I, and I’m sure all of us, fail to live up to what we know...

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Memorial Day?
By Father Bob Kraig      One of things I heard on the radio about 10-15 years ago was the fact that well over 60% of Americans, when interviewed, had no idea what Memorial Day was about! For some it was the beginning of the summer season; for others a day off from work; for some a day for picnics; and some just didn’t...

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New Beginnings
By Father Bob Kraig      Last week (May 19) I had the privilege of saying the invocation at the graduation of TRI C community College. And while graduation ceremonies are a lot different from the way previous generations were accustomed to seeing them the bottom line is that here were over 900 people who were about to have ...

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Life and Paper Towels
By Father Bob Kraig      Life is like a roll of paper towels? Or toilet paper? Now that is one I never heard before until last week. While having lunch with a friend of mine we were discussing life in general, the speed of it – how quick the year 2016 is going, how we see things differently now then 40 years ago. The ...

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Being Ourselves With God!
By Fr. Bob Kraig Celebrating First Communion with our second graders and their parents and families is always a privilege and a joyful experience for me. Seeing the childrens’ excitement before the ceremony; gathering them around me before we begin and telling them somethings that I’ll be doing; getting them up around me to ta...

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And They’re Off!
By Father Bob Kraig     There are a few things I have always felt I would like to be present at.  I think it would be cool to hear over Memorial Day: “Gentlemen, start your engines!” Or to be in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  It was always exciting to be at the first pitch on opening day. ...

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Am I Homeless?
By Father Bob Kraig     A number of our teens from our parish life-teen group had their annual cardboard campout last weekend.  Their cardboard campout consists in: -the teens building their own sleeping shelter out of cardboard boxes; -Collecting donations from parishioners after all the masses for the homeless; -slee...

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53rd Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations
By Father Bob Kraig     This past Sunday (April 17) we celebrated the 53rd Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  Regarding that day I offer the following thoughts: 1. It is my prayer that Christians everywhere realize there is something special about being called by God to bring His love and forgiveness to...

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Flowers – Alive or Not Alive?
By Father Bob Kraig    I remember a few years ago when our housekeeper told me she had brought a plant in my office back to life.  My response to her was: ‘What plant?’ For one who doesn’t know a tulip from a rose from a daffodil from a geranium I surprised myself on the Sunday after Easter.  ...

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We All Need God's Grace
By Father Bob Kraig     On Saturday, April 2, Bishop Roger Griess administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to 124 eighth graders here at Saint John Neumann.  As he was confirming, anointing with oil and extending the sign of peace to the confirmandi I let my mind wander back to my own confirmation at Holy Name P...

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Does the Forgiveness of God Touch Our Lives?
By Father Bob Kraig     I struggle so much with making sense of the Resurrection that we just celebrated this past Sunday when events like Belgium occur.  I believe in the Resurrection; I believe that because of Jesus death is not the final answer; I believe the Resurrection gives us hope; I believe that the trust...

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Running Into Open Arms
Although my great niece is going to be 21 this year I always recall the days when she was two to three years old.  I would get out of the car and she would come running to me saying: ‘Uncle Bobby!’  I opened my arms and she would run into them. I always looked forward to this – it was the greatest feeling.&n...

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Does God Get Into March Madness?
By Father Bob Kraig     March Madness: Who makes it to the ‘dance’ of the NCAA tournament and who doesn’t make it?  How is it decided?  Why do some teams with more losses make it and those with less losses do not?  Ok – they played tougher competition but who decides which team is bett...

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Are you here? Or There? How Do I Get There?
By Father Bob Kraig     You Are Here!  Ever been in a mall or downtown in another city and you need to find out where you are and what you have to do to get to where you want to go?  One of those ‘you are here’ maps is needed.  They’re great – they tell you the direction you need ...

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An Unexpected Winter
By Father Bob Kraig     The unusual winter we have had this year was on my mind the other day as I was driving back to SJN.  While we usually leave it at ‘I’ll take this kind of winter anytime, 'I can’t believe the winter we’ve had’ or ‘I really enjoyed not being cooped up in the...

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Ponderings…Beyond the Homily!
By Father Bob Kraig     Learning the tricks and trades of social media has been a real growth experience for me.  Our parish face book page, our revamped web page, our new phone app and many other little bits and pieces have truly enriched my ministry. As I pondered where I’m at with new technologies I re...

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Eucharist Means Giving Thanks
By Fr. Bob Kraig      Reflection for the weekend of January 23/24. (Lk. 1:1-4, 4:14-21), the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. Every time we celebrate Eucharist (a word which means ‘giving thanks’) we come into contact with the all-loving and forgiving God who gives us everything we have. In the first reading...

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Do Whatever He Tells You
By Fr. Bob Kraig      Reflection for weekend of January 16/17 – Jn 2:1-11      This weekend’s gospel of the wedding at Cana and Jesus turning water into wine compels us to ask the question: ‘Where do we go when the old runs out and something new needs to emerge?’ Mary sees a ne...

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Who Am I in the World?
By Fr. Bob Kraig      Reflection for Baptism of the Lord January 9/10 (Lk. 3:15-16, 21-22)      People often get rid of things after the holidays – clothes, books, - might even ask ‘why am I keeping this around?’ There’s something about doing that kind of thing that bottom line say...

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