Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As many of you already know, on June 19 of last week, Fr. Pierre Albalaa, MLM, was removed as Administrator of Sacred Heart parish because of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor. The Diocese of Columbus was informed of the allegation by the (the term for a diocese in the Eastern Catholic Churches) Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles. Bishop Campbell then revoked Fr. Albalaa’s faculties. Fr. Albalaa left Sacred Heart last week to be with his religious community here in the United States, pending the completion of the investigation and canonical process. The abuse is alleged to have happened in 2004 in Los Angeles. The Diocese of Columbus has received no complaints about Fr. Pierre since his arrival at the beginning of April. Please keep Fr. Pierre in your prayers during this process. I’m sure that he would appreciate it. In lieu of Fr. Pierre’s removal, Bishop Campbell has appointed me Administrator Pro Tem until a new Pastor is assigned. Please know that I will be available to pick up where Fr. Pierre left off. I know that this has been a shocking and sad week for many of you. Please know of my prayers for you. Continue to keep your head up and remember your faith in our savior Jesus Christ. If you need to contact me about anything, I can be reached through our Parish Office at St. John the Baptist, or see me after Mass.
Also, next weekend, July 7th and 8th, we welcome Fr. Leonardo Lopez, IVE, from the Institute of the Incarnate Word. Fr. Lopez will speak to us about the work that his religious congregation does and how we might support him in their efforts. Fr. Lopez’ visit is part of our parish’s annual participation in the Diocese of Columbus’ Missionary Cooperation Plan. This is a way for us to support the Church’s missionary call to preach the Gospel to all nations. We welcome Fr. Lopez and I thank you in advance for your generosity.
Have a blessed Independence Day. Let us pray for each other and our country.
Administrator Pro Tem