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From the Desk of the Pastor: April 17th

April 17, 2021

Good morning everyone.

Well, here we go again, another lockdown and more confusion.  The announcements from the Premier and his ministers yesterday mean that we enter the new lockdown in stages beginning this morning.  The rules that impact us at the parish begin on Monday which mean that we are closed for at least the next five or six weeks.  Mass will go ahead as planned for this weekend but still remains capped at 78 people in the church.  The rules allow us to continue to record and livestream Mass on the weekend and for other occasions such as funerals and weddings.  The new rules make a special emphasis on staying at home and not moving about except for good reason.  Unfortunately, the rules also mean that we have to delay baptism’s again and push the parent meetings for the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist forward another week.  Lynette will be in touch with all of the parents on Monday.  We feel so sorry for the couples who are scheduled to celebrate their weddings in May after a first and second delay already and who may now continue with their plans with only nine others present.   With the help of God, some sort of return to a more normal practice will begin to show itself after the sacrifices we all make during this lockdown.  If you have not already done so, keep those arms ready for the first available date and vaccine that becomes available.

I was watching the announcement with special interest yesterday because we have two funerals today, the last of three in two days.  Edna Morgan was a long-time parishioner of St. Andrew’s and her children were among the last students to attend St. Mary’s School.  Dr. Margaret Swayze was a distinguished scholar and teacher at St. Mildred Lightbourne School in Oakville and friend of many parishioners.  Lydia Luchin was a resident of Sunrise Retirement Residence for many years and was visited regularly by our parish Friendly Visitors group.  Please pray for their eternal rest in the Lord and for their families.

Our parish participation in the One Heart, One Soul Campaign reached a new level this week when it passed the one million dollars mark.  As of this morning we have reached $1,124,572.  This is an extraordinary achievement.   To date, 20% of our parishioners have participated in the campaign.  In these last weeks of the active phase, we encourage as many parishioners as possible to indicate your participation and be a part of this amazing investment in our parish’s future.  We have received support from many parts of the province of Ontario and from as far away as British Columbia, often with a note saying that, while home is now elsewhere, there is a great affection for the role that St. Andrew’s played in their lives.  The Finance Committee meet on Tuesday by Zoom to review the parish finances to date and to discuss the “where we go after the initial work of the campaign” question.  I am so grateful for the wisdom and work of our co-chairs, Loraine Fedurco and Ken Coulter and for the amazing volunteers who spent countless hours contacting parishioners by phone, answering questions and following up with hundreds of our parishioners.

One of the projects we were looking forward to moving forward with was a partial covering for the deck to allow for outdoor meetings and activities.  We have run into some snags with the heritage committee which we are being looked into.  Their suggestions and concerns raise the costs to an outrageous level.  In the meantime, we are going to erect a temporary gazebo to serve the same purpose for the summer.  Last year it was very helpful for small groups and also served as my office for meetings and appointments. This week we also began a new contract to take care of the lawns and grounds.  I have learned more about grubs, fertilizer and water sprinklers than I know what to do with and it amazed me that I was able to get away without such knowledge for almost forty years.  Gerry will receive an enormous “welcome back” when his recovery from surgery allows him to do so.  He is recovering well and we speak to him regularly.  He is sorely missed especially as we prepare for the spring.

Be well, and may all of us find in these days the patience and insight we need to continue to delight in the Good News that the Risen Lord is in our midst.

Fr. Con