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Messages from Fr. Gurnick During COVID-19

Sunday, April 24, 2020

Divine Mercy Sunday – April 19, 2020

Easter Sunday – April 12, 2020

Holy Saturday – April 11, 2020

Good Friday – April 10, 2020

Holy Thursday – April 9, 2020

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Patrick,
As we enter into these sacred days of Triduum, I invite you to check out our website daily for a little video greeting and prayer experience (  While maintaining the directives of our governor, I invite you to stop by the parish to pray theStations of the Cross (which begin and end at the front doors of the church) – just follow the numbers.  Also, we have a few opportunities to stop and pray at specific times:
Holy Thursday:
4:30 – 6:45 pm:  Fr. Gurnick will be available on the porch for conversation/prayer/confession.
7:30 – 10:00 pm:  Stop and join us in silent prayer during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (on front porch).
Listen to today’s reading here: 

Good Friday:
12:00 noon – 6:00 pm:  Stop by the rectory porch to venerate the Cross (this, of course, may also be done in your homes). 
Holy Saturday:
10:00 am – 12:00 noon:  Stop by the rectory front porch for the Blessing of the Easter food or baskets.
7:30 – 10:30 pm:  Stop by to enjoy the Easter Fire (weather permitting) and to receive an Easter blessing (rain or shine).
Easter Sunday:
9:00 am – 12:00 noon:  Easter blessings at the front porch – stop over anytime to receive an Easter blessing from our deacons.
10:00 am – 12:00 noon:  Weather permitting (no rain!), listen for Fr. Gurnick as he travels through the streets of St Patrick and St. Malachi parishes.
Because those in the healthcare community have been – or soon may be – exposed to patients testing positive for COVID-19, many are electing to separate themselves from their families at this time.  We have made the Mission House available for this purpose.  While we are hearing wonderful news about the virus spread in Ohio being substantially lowered because of current social practices, we stand ready to serve those who are on the front line serving others. 
Grateful to all those involved, The Saint Vincent de Paul Society and Saint Patrick are still able to host the food pantry program on Wednesdays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.   In addition to this vital service, we continue to collaborate with other local service initiatives as we are able to do so.
The parish staff met this past Tuesday via telephone to discuss some long-range strategic planning as we continue the stay-at-home and social distancing practices.  Some important topics include liturgical life, faith formation, Parish Council, Finance Council, and other areas of parish life.  We will continue working on these plans and share more details as they become available.  
Blessings to you and your loved ones as we commemorate our Lord’s passion, death, and Resurrection.  Happy Easter!
Yours in the Risen Lord,
Fr. Gurnick

Friday, April 3, 2020

Praying that all of our parishioners and friends are doing well, I want to share some important updates.  If you know of a parishioner who does not have regular access to the internet, please be sure to share with them any of the information contained herein.


Our offices will remain closed until further notice.  Parish staff members are working from their homes and very few are coming in periodically to check on mail and other on-site needs.  Our updated phone system allows for each staff person to check voicemails regularly. Also, each staff member is checking emails regularly so please do not hesitate to reach out if you have a need at this time.  Our maintenance staff is here regularly to inspect our buildings and grounds. A daily inspection of the entire facilities is maintained.


Because this building is both central to our parish offices and the pastor’s residence, this dual purpose requires us to have some contingency plans should Fr. Gurnick be tested positive and need to be quarantined, but not hospitalized.  In the event this were to occur, the rectory building – in its entirety – is off limits to anyone during his time of quarantine.  Our staff is preparing “essential materials” kits which each will keep in his/her personal possession. Should the offices begin to reopen on a limited basis, and if the rectory remains restricted, parish administrative offices will be temporarily relocated to the Club Building’s Faith Formation Center (home of our PSR program).  


Our parish is in good financial health and we remain committed to fulfilling our obligations by paying our regular bills and honoring the salaries/wages and benefits for our employed staff.  Much of this is guided by the Diocese of Cleveland’s Human Resource Department, Finance Office, and General Counsel. We receive daily memos as the diocese assists in directing parishes based on various government-directed statements and diocesan procedures.   

With that said, however, please keep in mind that expenses still exist: utilities, contractors (eg. garbage, pest control, routine items still in effect), and special needs such a cleaning/disinfecting products and services.  If you are in a position to continue your weekly contributions, the less we will need to go into our savings – and thank you to so many who are continuing to do so. But no one should feel stressed over this request as we recognize many are struggling to meet their own needs.  


A number of parishioners have inquired about the availability of our Parish Mission House for specific needs during this time of crisis.  

For the purpose of security and confidentiality, I cannot offer too many details in this memo.  However, please know that I am personally working with authorities within the healthcare community and administrators of some other service-based organizations.  While the Cleveland area is experiencing relatively light spread of COVID-19 at this present time, the next few weeks may prove very differently and the Mission House may be needed as the spike occurs.   We stand ready to provide this house for those emergency situations and those administrators and I have established a protocol so that we can release the building.  


Sadly, COVID-19 has depleted many of our committed volunteer corps and some of the supplies needed to continue our parish programs that feed and provide support to those less fortunate.  As of today, Friday, 3 April 2020, the following is in effect:

  • Saint Patrick Hot Meal Program (Tuesday – Thursday):  Suspended
  • Saint Malachi Monday Night Meal – Suspended
  • Saturday Morning Meal at St. Malachi – Suspended
  • Metanoia Ministry at St. Malachi – Suspended through end of their 2019-2020 season
  • St. Malachi Back Door Ministry – Sandwich Service only on Fridays (10:30am – 1:00pm) *  (moved to parish hall)
  • Saint Patrick/SVP Food Pantry – Wednesdays (10:00am until 2:00pm) *operating as long as it remains reasonably safe and feasible for everyone involved.

I realize that this is very difficult news for many as these have been a vital part of both parishes for many years.  I do, however, look forward to a thoughtful conversation about each parish’s outreach to our brothers and sisters as many things have come to light over past several weeks.  It will certainly be a worthwhile opportunity to have reflection 


We have enjoyed the dozens of parishioners who have either emailed, posted something online, or called and left a voice mail, each sharing some of their wonderful and creative ways to sustain our faith during these challenging times. Some families have sent in pictures of Sunday mornings with the readings or their “family altars.”   Others, like some of our musicians, have gotten together to sing on Sunday mornings. Others have shared their experiences of stopping at our parish grounds to pray the Stations of the Cross or to spend some time before the Blessed Sacrament located in the second floor window of the rectory building overlooking Bridge Avenue and greeting those who walk or drive by.

I invite you to check out the special Holy Week events at Saint Patrick and Saint Malachi Parishes on our website.  While social isolation and stay-at-home directives remain in place, some of these items are simple ways to keep us united in mind and heart.  And, on a very special note, please pray for good weather on Easter Sunday morning as I plan to go down every street within our parish territories between 9:30am and 12 Noon.  If you’re sitting on your porch or have a window open, you’ll hear me coming. But I need sunshine – so please pray for this favor! May we enter into these holy days with hearts and minds united in the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

March 21, 2020 – Update from Fr. Gurnick

March 20, 2020 – St. Patrick’s Day Drawing Winners/Introducing Trivia Contest

St. Patrick’s Day Drawing Winners
The annual St. Patrick Day Drawing is the primary fundraiser for the restoration and upkeep of our beautiful and historic church.  The effort put forth by the Restoration Committee and so many of you to make this year’s 40th anniversary drawing a success under very extraordinary circumstances is a testament to the fortitude and loving care of our St. Patrick Bridge parish family.  We were able to sell all 2,500 tickets, and Committee members sacrificed their time – and their gasoline! – driving all over Northeast Ohio to have the ticket stubs returned to the rectory in time for the 12:00 noon drawing.  Mike Engle played the bagpipes in front of the church as the bells tolled “All Praise to Saint Patrick“.  And the lucky winners were:  (See the video at

  • Grand Prize of $10,000:  Patrick Straffen (Seller:  Ed Kroeger)
  • Second Prize of $2,500:  Paul Kaschalk (Seller:  Maureen Bihn)
  • Third Prize of $1,000:  Barbara Mackovjak (Seller:  Kathleen Raleigh)
  • Fourth Prize of $1000:  Walt Vavrek (Seller:  also Walt Vavrek!)

Congratulations to all!

Join Us for “Pat’s Facts & Fun Trivia”!

Each email sent from our parish during this period of social distancing will include a trivia question, fun fact, or riddle about our Catholic Faith, or the St. Patrick Bridge parish community.  It will be up to you to find the answer!  And if you don’t know it, phone a fellow parishioner who may be able to help.  Keep track of your answers, and when it’s safe to gather in person again, we’ll have a Trivia Sheet where you’ll record them.  All completed sheets will be placed in the lottery drum and those drawn will win some fun prizes.  Just a lighthearted way for us to stay connected while we are social distancing.  So keep watching for our emails, and good luck!

Today’s Trivia Question:  What year was our St. Patrick Parish founded?