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From the Desk of the Pastor: April 24

April 24, 2021

Good morning everyone.

Felix and I have survived our first week of the new lockdown and have resumed a daily routine that keeps us busy and active.  Schedules have had to be adjusted and we find ourselves using the word “patience” a lot.  As I mentioned last week, we have had to make adjustments to the preparation process for children preparing for the sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist and are grateful to the parents and schools who have been so generous in their ability to make adjustments.  The first two weeks of May are filled with Zoom meetings with parents and children which we are looking forward to.

Our participation in the One Heart, One Soul Campaign begins the “catch up” phase next week.  As of yesterday, our total has reached $1,151,062.   The Finance Committee met on Tuesday and one of the items discussed was on the question of ‘what happens next’.

  • Co-chairs of the campaign, Ken Coulter and Loraine Fedurco and I have begun a similar conversation and as we move to the next stage, will invite a small group of parishioners who represent the diversity of the parish, to a conversation on developing a Parish Pastoral Committee and sketching out a job description for the position of a Parish Life Coordinator.  It is our hope that this is completed by September.

  • The funds raised during the campaign are also earmarked for future repairs and maintenance projects and upgrades which are managed by the Building, Maintenance and Preservation Committee and the Finance Committee.   An audit of the buildings five years ago has given us some clear insights on where we will have major expenditures for the next five to seven years.

  • For our most pressing current need, Brian Barry from the Finance Committee is navigating us through a process of discernment to improve our ability to livestream Mass and programming from the parish.  The covid experience has highlighted that this is a priority.  In practical terms, this means upgrading the existing digital communication ability (camera, sound etc.) in the church and upgrading the technology to do the job effectively.   While our emphasis when we can do so safely, is to get everyone back into the seats in the church, we have come to recognize that a significant number of parishioners each week who cannot join us have come to appreciate the “parish” in their home or in their retirement or nursing home.  We have also realized that parishioners who are often away from the parish and former parishioners who have moved away, have renewed their relationship with the parish online.  To our surprise, each weekend we are joined by parishioners from other parts of the province and country and from as far away as Austria, Germany, England, Malaysia, the US and South America.  Some of these virtual parishioners have contacted us to contribute to the One Heart, One Soul Campaign.

To all of those who have contributed to the campaign, a sincere thank you.  For those still thinking about it, its not too late to send off your commitment card.

We received good news on Wednesday that Gerry Tata will be back to work on May 10th.  He is the keeper of all of the secrets of the parish and knows where everything is so he will be back in time to help us navigate the demands of spring.  We have begun a cleanup around the grounds which is helpful as the number of masks that were found in the winter detritus were an eyesore.  The bicycle rack is in place again in anticipation of the day that we will be back to worship in the church.

Mass for the weekend will be available online from approximately 9.00 pm on Saturday evening and available all week.  https://www.standrewoakville.com/sunday-masses-online/

Mass on Wednesday evening at 5.30 pm is livestreamed.  This Mass is celebrated especially for the sick and frontline workers in health care.  The bells continue to ring out each day at 9.00 am, noon, 3.00 and 6.00 pm. for those who have contracted the virus and for all those who care for them.  Last year on March 20th we published the following to encourage prayer during the day.  It has remained at the front door of the church since.   

 

9.00 AM:   Prayer for those infected with the virus and all who are ill:  Lord, place your healing hand on those who suffer illness. Bring them to full health and ease their anxious hearts.  May our prayer and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary encourage them that they are not alone. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Noon:  Prayer for health care workers and those attending to the sick:  Lord, we are ennobled by those who put their lives at risk in caring for the sick. Keep them safe and embolden them when they are weary. We ask this in Jesus’ Name.

3.00 PM:  Prayer for first responders and all essential workers: Lord, we pray for those who run to danger to keep us safe and those who serve the common good. Embrace them with your mantle of protection and comfort the fears of their families. We ask this in Jesus’ Name.

6.00 PM:    Prayer for people of every nation and their leaders:  Lord, the pandemic opens our eyes to see each other as brothers and sisters in one human family. We pray for people of every nation and their leaders, asking that they be inspired to seek the good of all and quell the voices of division. We ask this in Jesus’ Name.

During the Night:   Prayer for those who have died today: Lord: we grieve the passing of our sisters and brothers who have died this day. We commend them to your tender mercy, confident that nothing, not even death, will separate us from your love. We ask this in Jesus’ Name.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Adapted from a prayer written for the Archdiocese of Chicago – March 20, 2020

Have a good week everyone and let us continue in the spirit of Easter to keep the sound of the Alleluia’s on our lips and in our hearts.

Be well,

Fr. Con