A call to prayer and fasting

EDITOR: Pope Francis made a request this past Sunday for a day of prayer and fasting. Below is a letter from Father McCormick from St. Michael Parish in Canton, announcing our parish's response to the request and inviting everyone to join in the response.

Dear readers, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has asked us to observe this coming Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, as "a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and across the world."

As the pastor of Saint Michael Parish, I am asking all of you to respond personally to the Holy Father's request. Please dedicate this day to fasting a prayer. A total fast from solid food only drinking clear liquids is ideal. If you are not able to fast because of health or work, at least observe a partial fast by prayerfully doing one of the following: 1) eat only one full meal; 2) abstain from deserts, sweets, coffee, alcohol and snacks between meals (unless you need to eat with medications or are diabetic); 3) eat much smaller portions at your regular meals; 4) abstain from meat or your normal source of protein.

The idea is that we join our Pope in fasting and prayer until midnight on Saturday.

I am providing several opportunities for you to unite your prayers with Pope Francis at St. Michael's Church on Saturday from 1-6 p.m. This coincides with the special events that the Holy Father is conducting from 7 p.m. until Midnight Rome time. Here we will observe the following schedule: 1 p.m. Rosary; 3 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet; 4 p.m. Video in St. Michael Parish hall; 5 p.m. Confessions; 6 p.m. Saturday Mass.

If you are not able to attend any of the services, please unite your Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet by praying for them at the same time we will be in the Church. There is a powerful, synergistic effect when people unite their prayers. The powers of hell are attempting to draw the world into an international conflict. We need the power of prayer to thwart these demons of violence.

St. Michael Parish

Canton

Out to pasture?

EDITOR: As the football season rolls in I want to take this opportunity to let the people know that after 38 years of dedication as a coach, statistician, volunteer I will no longer be on the sidelines of football games this year. Not by my choice but by a decision of a few.

I want to thank Canton High School, Coach Moyer and his staff for giving me the opportunity to return to my alma mater for the last five years and to get to know the student athletes, coaches and the families of the community and to give 100 percent of my time and effort to these athletes and the fond memories I have received in return. They will not be forgotten. Much success to your season this year and to the future.

To a few decision makers it is with a heavy heart and confusion of what reasoning went into this decision as I thought of a few as an older brother and a part of our family. We honored your kids for their accomplishments in my father's name. He was very proud to have been a father figure in your lives and coached and mentored you as well as being a friend in your lives till the day he died.

To the Troy High School Administration, former coaches, athletes, families and community I also want to thank you for 33 years of being a part of your football community as a founding father of your football program, past President of your league, youth coach, assistant high school football coach for eight years, statistician for 22 years. I have fond memories of the time I spent their and all the friendships I have benefited from.

1000's of players I have had the opportunity to coach, serve and be a part of your lives will never be forgotten and to the present and future players good luck as I have had the pleasure of being a part of your parent's and some grandparents lives.

As with everything all good things must come to an end but it is a very sad time when it does come. Thank you for listening and God Bless each and everyone of you who has been a part of this amazing adventure. Good luck to both schools this year.

Gene Vermilya

Troy