St Xavier Diary

This Diary is a daily updated report of events of the St Xavier Church community and other supportive sources.  These postings may supply you a sense that our community is one of faith and fellowship, even in these difficult times.  We are called to great faith and spiritual communion.  If you wish to add any ideas or send your own suggestions for prayer, reading, education, fellowship, family faith, etc. please submit an email to Diane at [email protected]
Please know that we keep faithful to the daily Masses intentions listed in the bulletin, and we continue to keep you all in prayer. 
Our bulletin will continue to be published, and it is available on our website

Friday May 8, 2020

Message from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr:  "On May 8, the Bishops of Ohio issued a statement by which we informed Catholics in the State of Ohio that, while making every effort to respect the spirit of the governor’s “Responsible Restart Ohio Plan,” we will begin to make the public celebration of Mass available once again. In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, public Masses will begin on Monday, May 25.  At the same time, I must emphasize that this is not going to be “a return to normal.” Health and safety requirements and recommendations must continue to be followed. Among these are social distancing, the use of face masks, and concern for the most vulnerable."   READ MORE HERE

St Xavier Church will announce our particular plans in the coming days.


Thursday April 30, 2020

Farewell message from Fr. Patrick Fairbanks, S.J.

Suspension of Public Mass Extended through Friday, May 29.   As announced earlier, the Catholic bishops of Ohio have extended the suspension of public Mass through Friday, May 29.  We hope to begin once again at St Xavier celebrating public Mass together beginning with the Solemnity of Pentecost the weekend of May 30/31.   We continue to pray for those candidates and catechumens who await their entrance into the Catholic Church; perhaps that reception can happen on the upcoming Feast of Pentecost on Sunday morning.  You may read the letter from the Ohio bishops HERE

See Fr Fairbanks Easter Greeting

Welcome to the newly blessed Easter Candle at St Xavier Church

Easter Sunday April 12, 2020

A very holy Good Friday and a happy Easter to everyone.  The Easter Psalm announces: “This is the day the Lord has made:  ALLELUIA!”  Psalm 118 applies to any day, even those of quarantine and lock down.  This refrain sounds so energetic and positive whether sung in congregation or by yourself.  These days when we stay at home, it might help to whisper or even hum this simple refrain.  We have a great need to find gladness in these days. 

We have just experienced a difficult and solemn HOLY week, which included Holy Thursday, and Holy Saturday, and now the holiest day of all: Easter.  But if you’ve also had an eye on the numbers in the news this past week, it seems the word holy has lost some of its sanctity.  In such critical times, let’s really search for holiness in new and creative ways and places.  Let us look carefully and closely to find the Risen Lord where we least expect him.  With new eyes.

Our Easter faith is about hope and new life. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds us that our hope rests in God’s promise to raise each of us to new life.  In the here and now, allow Him to raise your eyes to seek Him in all things (even the challenging things).  While we won’t be physically together for Easter, now more than ever ― and in our own way ― we need to sing the great Easter Alleluia: He is risen! God’s promises to us will be fulfilled. This is the true and lasting reason for our Joy under the patronage of Francis Xavier.  

To help you through this time, I want you to know that the Jesuits, our staff, and myself are all here for you. With that in mind, our staff and several of our St X volunteers will be making phone calls during the coming weeks to wish you well, and to check in on you and your family.  We will offer any help and, if you would like, we will pray with you for any intentions you might have. 

Our callers may ask how things are for you, share a few updates, and let you know that we are continuing to pray for you and your family during these uncertain days. This is not an easy time for us as a parish, but together we will get through it. We will learn to grow in new ways and our community will be stronger for it. Our staff continues to focus on our mission “Inward reflection / Outward action” and we are here to serve you. 

We want to stay in touch with you during this time that we are not able to gather as a community. Below are ways that you can connect with us:

  • Phone: Our Parish Office hours are modified, but we will gladly return your call. You can reach us at (513) 721-4045.
  • Website: Visit for important announcements, opportunities for Sunday and weekday liturgies, daily Gospel readings and reflections and other resources for you and your family. 
  • Email: Sign up to receive important email notices and our weekly Newsflash. You can subscribe on the front page of the website. 
  • Bulletin: We are continuing to publish an electronic version of our bulletin each week. You can find this on our homepage or receive a copy via email or snail mail.  Just call the office and let us know (513) 721-4045.
  • Facebook: Connect with us on Facebook page, updated daily.  Search for “St Xavier Church” and click “Like”

Please let us know if you have changed phone numbers, prefer a cell phone number or have a new email address so we can reach you more easily. Call the Parish Office at 513-721-4045 or email us at [email protected]. This will help us to reach you more easily. 

We also want to emphasize, in a humble yet sincere way, that we still need your financial support. If you are able, we ask that you continue to support St Xavier with your regular Sunday Offering. There are simple and secure ways you can do this:

  • Visit our website at and click the round Donate icon
  • Mail your Sunday Offering to:  St Xavier Church, 611 Sycamore St.  Cincinnati, OH 45202 

Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will help us fulfill our mission.

Finally, how can we keep your intentions in prayer?  During this time, you may have special petitions or prayer needs.  Please email them to Fr. Fairbanks and we will keep these intentions in our community prayer.  [email protected] 

For now, please stay safe and healthy.  We look forward to welcoming you back to the church soon, where we can join in prayer together!

God Bless,
Fr. Patrick Fairbanks, S.J.

Thursday April 9, 2020

Some were asking about the very good prayer to use at livestreamed Mass:  the “Act of Spiritual Communion,” written by St. Alphonsus Liguori.  Please use it before and after you “attend” an on line Mass on the Internet.

     My Jesus,
     I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
     I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
     Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
     come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You
     as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
     Never permit me to be separated from You.      Amen.

You can read more about this special prayer HERE.


The Archbishop of Cincinnati has released an Easter video message to all of those in the Archdiocese.

For those interested in a more intellectual approach to the recent pandemic:  Georgetown University Initiative on Catholic Social Thought sponsored a 90 minute online conference on  March 26, and it is now available at this site:   This online dialogue explored how faith and Catholic social thought can offer moral principles for hard choices, ethical criteria for public action, and hope in a time of fear.  The conference included a Salvadoran immigrant and co-owner of a family restaurant in Maryland, a nurse and former president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, Fr. Myles Sheehan, S.J., M.D. Jesuit priest and physician, will offer his perspective as a clinician and lecturer in bioethics, John Monahan, J.D. senior advisor for global health to the president of Georgetown University and it is moderated by John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.

Tuesday April 7, 2020

REMINDER: Pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Good Friday at 12:00 p.m.
The Most Reverend José Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles and President of the USCCB, invites all Catholics to join in praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at 12:00 noon on Good Friday. By a special grant from the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See for those who pray for the end of the pandemic, a plenary indulgence is available for all who join Archbishop Gomez in this prayer. To receive this indulgence, a member of the faithful would need to:

  • pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart on Good Friday;
  • be truly repentant of any sins they have committed and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the earliest opportunity; and
  • pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.

    There are two ways to participate live:  OR    

    The USCCB has supplied a promotional flyer for this occasion, as well as a prayer card in both English and Spanish


Monday April 6, 2020

Holy Week Live Streaming Liturgies
For parishioners who wish to view this week’s various liturgies from the Cathedral of St. Peter-in-Chains, please CLICK HERE for a direct link from the homepage on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati website. As a reminder, Fox 19 Cincinnati will broadcast the 11:00 a.m. Mass live from the Cathedral of St. Peter-in-Chains on Easter Sunday. This will be a great benefit to Catholics in greater Cincinnati who reside in nursing homes or who do not have access to live streaming.

In this upcoming Holy Week, we encourage all our parishioners to engage in spiritual communion by means of live stream Masses.  Live Stream from Bellarmine Chapel on the campus of Xavier University:

   Thursday, April 9 – Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7:30 p.m.
   Friday April 10 – Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion: 7:30 p.m.
   Saturday, April 11 – Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil in the Holy Night: 7:30 p.m.
   Easter Sunday, April 12 – Easter Sunday: Mass 9:00 a.m.


Friday March 27, 2020

This morning was the funeral of former Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk.  It was broadcast on the Archdiocesan site, with only a few people attending.  There will be a formal memorial mass later this spring, they tell us.  May he rest in peace.

Someone sent us the “Act of Spiritual Communion,” written by St. Alphonsus Liguori.  Please use it before and after you “attend” an on line Mass on the Internet.    
     My Jesus,
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You
as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.      Amen.

You can read more about this special prayer HERE.

Thursday March 26, 2020

The three Cincinnati Jesuit pastors engaged in a live phone-in conference with the provincial assistants in Chicago on Zoom.  The 5 of them shared a few thoughts about how we are each doing with our congregations.  One shared point is that we all agreed it necessary to contact those folks who are alone and or elderly to see if they have any particular needs, including just someone to talk to. 

One prayer suggestion, especially for those who are no longer “on the go” at work, is the Irish Jesuits prayer service “Pray As You Go.”  Fr. Fairbanks uses it not “on the go,” but as he takes his daily walk around the (deserted) campus up at Xavier.  You can find it on line at or download it on your phone and listen as you walk.

Wednesday March 25, 2020

On this Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Holy Father sent out his personal “Prayer for Protection in time of pandemic.”  You can find a copy HERE.

At noon today. Fr. Fairbanks celebrated the parish Mass in private, and offered the intention for those listed in our bulletin.  You can see the latest issues of the bulletin at

Tuesday March 24, 2020

Fr. Fairbanks was seen doing the daily reading on the live stream this evening at 5pm (the usual time).  The tech Jesuit said that a total of 106 people were tuning in through YouTube and other sources.  To see this daily stream, type in

Fr. Gamber was pleased to offer his Mass today for the 3 people who are on our Mass intentions list.  You can still see these names by downloading the parish bulletin at  You can also see the list of those in the parish who are sick and in need of prayer.  Our bulletin is still being published, but only on the web. 

A good idea for reflective prayer each day is to tap into the web site of Musician David Haas.  He is publishing a daily web site with his own music, live streamed, and a moment of prayer.  It lasts about a half an hour.  What a great way to spend private time alone.  Just go to YouTube and type in “My Heart Is Ready.”  If you have any comments about it, just send them along and we can inform others.  Thanks for the tip Jo Ellen.

A St X parishioner sent in this prayer idea.   It is simple and direct.  Just do what it says. “Wash your hands and say your prayers, cause germs and Jesus are everywheres.”

Let us remember each other in prayer today, and at 12 noon tomorrow (March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation) join the Holy Father in prayer for health and healing.

Monday March 23, 2020

One parishioner says she and her husband really enjoy the 5pm daily Mass from the Jesuit residence chapel. “It is so intimate and prayerful. He and I both like it so much. And we are being introduced to Jesuits we do not know. It is truly a representation of the Jesuit works.”  Thanks for the comment.  Fr. Fairbanks is slated to preside at the 5pm Mass today, March 23, and his brother David Inczauskis S.J. will be the lector. 

Diane and Fr. Fairbanks spent a few minutes working on the parish bulletin, which is STILL being published.  To see the latest version, please see our website and click the menu item “Bulletin.”  We ask everyone to take a look at the Sunday collection, as it is understandably low.  For instructions on how to make weekly donations, go to our website and click on the menu item: “Donations.”

As the Governor of Ohio has declared a “stay-at-home” mandate starting at midnight tonight, St Xavier offices are closed until April 6th.  Our Facilities Manager Chris Dole and Fr. Fairbanks have taken measures to lower the heat in the church and offices during this time.

Sunday March 22, 2020

We received word this afternoon from the Archdiocese that Archbishop Emeritus Daniel Pilarczyk had passed away at age 85.  He was in poor health, cared for by the Little Sisters of the Poor.  We offer prayers for the Archbishop and for his eternal rest.

This morning was the first live streamed Sunday Mass, at Bellarmine Chapel, with Fr. Eric Sundrup presiding.  All tolled, about 500 people tuned in to this celebration.  An average of 70 or so tune in to the weekday Masses, live streamed at 5pm each weekday from the Jesuit Community.

Fr. Gamber texts in that Pope Francis is calling on all Christians to unite in raising voices to heaven, proposing a unanimous prayer to be offered on Wednesday March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation.  The Holy Father recommends everyone pray the Our Father at 12 noon.  He also said that he would lead a prayer service from the front of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 27 and afterwards would offer a blessing “Urbi et Orbi”—“to the city of Rome and the world”—with the Blessed Sacrament.

Saturday March 21, 2020

Fr. Jerome Veigas offered a private Mass for the intentions of the parishioners on our scheduled Mass list.  You can see these names on our parish bulletin which is available on our website.  This morning, Fr. Sossy Luyembe departed from the Jesuit community on his way back to Africa after a month visit to St X.  You can see a video of this on our website. 

Someone sent us a link for families with young children.  It is called Bring the Faith Home.  With kids out of school, Masses suspended and religious education classes disbanded for the foreseeable future, parents may feel cut off or overwhelmed with how to continue to teach and share the beauty and joy of the Catholic faith.  Click HERE to see the 7 resources to help bring home the faith.

Friday March 20, 2020

Fr. Gamber offered a private Mass for the scheduled intentions of our parish.  Our friends at St Xavier High School donated dozens of T-shirts (from past charity walk days) for Fr. Sossy to pack up and take back to members of his parish in Malindi, Kenya.  Fr. Sossy has been visiting us at St X for the past month, helping out especially in emergency times when Fr. Fairbanks was in Chicago for interviews, when Fr. Gamber was recovery from knee problems, when Fr. Ross was recovery from surgery, and when Fr. Jerome was in India for a major Jesuit gathering.  We are grateful to Fr. Sossy for helping out in these unusual days in early March.

Thursday March 19, 2020       Solemnity of St. Joseph

A small group of staff members gathered to continue the planning for the renovation of our sacristy area behind the church.  Our office hours are also abbreviated, allowing fewer hours away from home for our staff.  If you need to call the office for a priest or to schedule confessions, our number is ready to answer:  513-721-4045. 

We received a recommendation for daily prayer called The Daily Divina.  This free daily email from The Catholic Telegraph links to the readings of the day and offers a brief scripture meditation.  Parishioners can sign up here:

Wednesday March 18, 2020

Fr. Fairbanks celebrated a private Mass for the intentions of the parish, whose names are listed in the most recent bulletin.  Fr Fairbanks added a few more details to the website, allowing parishioners to participate in on line prayer resources.  Fr. Fairbanks also offered prayer intentions for those listed on our parish sick list (in most recent bulletin).

Tuesday March 17, 2020      Feast of St. Patrick

This morning Archbishop Schnurr delivered his letter suspending all public Masses throughout the Archdiocese.  Fr. Fairbanks decided to post this on-line at a new location on the parish website:

Fr. Fairbanks also posted his own letter and an updating of upcoming activities at St X, most of which are cancelled.  Also, two links were included which allow our parish to view live-streamed Mass on weekdays and on Sundays. 

The Cincinnati Jesuit community decided to offer a live stream Mass from their house chapel.  On his feast day, Fr. Fairbanks presided at the liturgy, and Fr. Luke Hansen was lector.  the audience numbered about 50 viewers.  The tech wizard behind our on line Masses was Fr. Eric Sundrup, S.J. the pastor of Bellarmine Chapel. 

Sunday March 15, 2020

We celebrated Masses as usual.  Most of our Masses received half of the usual attendance, or less.  Our on-site Mass collection totaled a little over $7,000, but many folks had decided to do their giving on line.  At all Masses, volunteers and ministers were very helpful to fill in where needed.  At the 10:30 Mass, our nine candidates for the RCIA were offered their first scrutiny, and Fr. Fairbanks homily addressed the next 3 Sunday readings (just in case we are not in church).  This homily is available on our web site. 

Fr. Sossy, who is visiting us from Malindi, Kenya, was able to connect with many parishioners this weekend as he celebrated the 7am Mass for Fr. Bob Ross who was recovering from recent surgery. 

Thursday March 12, 2020

Due to outbreaks in Ohio, the bishops of Ohio removed the obligation for Catholics to attend Mass, leaving up to their own decision whether to attend Mass or not.  Fr. Fairbanks decided to allow all upcoming weekday and Sunday Masses, leaving it to the parishioner to attend or not.  However, several larger activities have been cancelled.

Wednesday March 11, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak is declared a global pandemic.


This Diary is a daily updated report of events at St Xavier Church, resources and ideas from parishioners and suggestions for the best ways you might experience spiritual communion.  To add any ideas or send your own ideas, please submit email to [email protected]  You can also visit our Facebook page for more updates.