June 27, 2020
Good morning everyone.
We have had an interesting week at St. Andrew’s. We began by welcoming parishioners to Mass for Sunday last weekend and finished the week praying with staff and children from our parish schools as they began their summer break. In between there were graduations that the schools managed creatively, keeping the restrictions on capacity and the distancing rules that are required. Overall, I think there is relief that for a little while at least there is some rest from months of having to teach, administer and learn from a distance. It is time to leave the worry about September to the side for a few weeks at least.
In the parish we are happy about the way we have set up for parishioners on Sunday. We follow a circular process, entering the church by the parking lot door and exiting by the front door. Seating is clearly marked to follow the two-metre rule. Next weekend we welcome Charles and a cantor to the Saturday evening Mass at 5.00 and the 10.00 and 12 noon Mass on Sunday morning. The music will be very simple as the hymn books are in storage until we get the all clear to have them back.
We also got to test out our process for funerals. We had three with different needs and for the most part they worked well. The distancing is a bit awkward and we are continuing to work on it with the funeral home staff who do a great job in difficult circumstances. We begin baptism for infants in a few weeks and return to the one family at a time model on Saturday and Sunday. There is a long backlog that will take many weeks. Lynette is using Zoom and Teams for baptism preparation. I have hired a student to help with the disinfecting of the seats for weekends and all of the special events in the church. He will be very busy.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will begin its regular schedule on Saturday in the Reconciliation Room at 4.00 pm. I will be the celebrant for the next little while as the space is small and not recommended for Fr. Felix at this time.
Mass during the week has found its rhythm and the Thursday morning devoted to private prayer was well attended again. We will begin the tradition of Mass intentions again this week. The schedule of intentions is attached, it is posted on the large notice boards in the church and on our website in the spot dedicated for the bulletin. A few hard copies are available from the office. Sharon is back at work but the office is only open to visit on Tuesday from 12.30 to 3.30 and Wednesday to Friday from 9.00 to 12 noon.
Next Saturday morning we will have a meeting on the deck of the parish centre with the leaders of groups who meet in the parish (social distancing will be observed). The purpose is to plan for the Fall and winter and to look at how we will meet depending on the health authority instructions for groups. We will also discuss platform to use for groups in case we need to be prepared to go that route. We are planning to do all sacramental preparation for parents and students using one of these platforms beginning in October.
The summer is a time to take it easy we are told…..“slow down, smell the roses” as the saying goes. Next weekend I will write about a few books I have been excited by during these “corona days” and throw in a movie or two. This weekend, if you would like a gentle start, this article on Julian of Norwich (I have referred to her prayer many times over the last few months) from America is a good way to begin. Gentle wisdom from the fourteenth century to the modern world. www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/06/24/julian-norwich-believed-all-will-be-well-would-she-say-so-today
Canada day happens on Wednesday. We have Mass in the morning at 9.00 and will pray this year especially for the frontline workers in the medical community, our service personnel in the community who make what we need available and those who keep us safe. The invitation to park in the parking lot to enjoy the beautiful walk along Dingle Park to downtown is still open. Felix and I may be on the deck enjoying the fine weather and in the evening, barbecuing on the newly cleaned barbecue. There is a story there for another time. Drop by to say hello.
Finally, back to our schools and the beginning of the summer break. It has been a tough time on everyone, administrators, parents, teachers, students and support staff. We have missed our visits and interactions for Lent, Easter and for the sacraments of Confirmation, Eucharist and First Reconciliation. We were following what was happening on social media and were very impressed. Creative solutions and brave new paths were found, and we learned a lot about each other in the process. I had the opportunity to speak to the students who graduated from St. Vincent, St. Luke and St. Thomas Aquinas which you can find on our website. We wish our graduates every good wish and blessing on the next big step on their education journey. St. Luke school got the good news at the beginning of June that the Frazier Institute annual school ranking placed them at the top of the primary school division for Oakville. Well done. Lynette and I joined a final liturgy with St. Vincent on Friday which was very prayerful and moving. Kleenex was needed. To the staff who will be leaving for another placement or for retirement, good wishes to you and thank you for the gifts and talents that you have shared with our school community.
Mass will continue to be broadcast on Sunday morning at: https://www.standrewoakville.com/sunday-masses-online/ The Intercessions for Mass at St. Andrew’s this week follow. Please feel free to use them in your daily prayer.
Be well, slow down and “smell the roses”.
Sunday 28th June 2020 Intercessions
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary time
Celebrant: Sisters and brothers, God’s word today has taught us about how the grace of hospitality, the new life of baptism and courage in carrying our own cross, all draw us closer to Jesus Christ.
1. That Pope Francis, successor of Peter and Bishop of Rome, may be blessed with the consolation of the Holy Spirit as he presides over the Church in charity and with mercy, and for Pope Emeritus XVI celebrating the 69th anniversary of his priestly ordination on Monday.
In your mercy Lord……hear our prayer.
2. That within our own faith and culture we will learn from other faiths and cultures how important and liberating it is to offer hospitality to the poor and the homeless, the stranger and the lonely, the sick and frightened.
In your mercy Lord…..hear our prayer.
3. That every day Christians will value the new life which they received in baptism, so that by dying to the sins of selfishness, greed and violence, they will, in the Spirit, be thoughtful of others, generous in charity and peaceful in relationships.
In your mercy Lord….hear our prayer.
4. That for the people of the land where Jesus lived, walked, died and rose, there will be a new opportunity, led by universal diplomacy, to secure border stability for Israel and Palestine, shared water resources, equal opportunities for living with dignity and freedom of movement.
In your mercy Lord…..hear our prayer.
5. That as the rates of Covid 19 infection continue to increase around the world, governments and citizens will continue to play their part in striving to halt its spread and assist those whose lives are affected by it.
Lord in your mercy….hear our prayer.
6. That those who have died in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and through the COVID-19 virus will find peace in our one true God. We remember those who die alone and families awaiting the funeral services that celebrate the lives of their loved ones.
Lord in your mercy….hear our prayer.
Celebrant: Eternal God, with joy we walk in the light of your face, and as our lives are secure in your truth, enable us to work for justice everywhere. through Christ our Lord. Amen