In wake of pastor’s arrest, Findlay Catholics turn to prayer and each other

Toledo Blade

August 21, 2020

By Nicki Gorny

Findlay – In their shock, their anger, their sadness and their heartache, parishioners turned to each other.

More than a hundred of them gathered on the grounds of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Findlay this week, spreading themselves out in the parking lot for a parishioner-led candlelight prayer vigil. In familiar verses and extemporaneous petitions, they prayed for a parish and a community rocked by the previous day’s arrest of their pastor on sex abuse-related charges.

“For St. Michael the Archangel Parish,” one parishioner offered as a petition, his voice rising clearly above the subdued crowd. “That we will stay strong and get through this together.”

“Lord,” they responded, echoing the words they say together every Sunday, “hear our prayer.”

With a vibrant congregation that encompasses approximately 3,300 families – and as the only Catholic parish firmly in northwest Ohio’s Hancock County – St. Michael the Archangel Parish is the largest parish in the 19-county Diocese of Toledo, according to Kelly Donaghy, the diocese’s senior director for communications. It covers a downtown stone church and a sprawling campus on the east side of the city, where a newly dedicated church opened with seating for 2,000 in the early 2000s; the parish’s main campus also encompasses an affiliated parish school and brand-new convent for several just-arrived Adrian Dominican Sisters.

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