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From the Desk of the Pastor: May 1st, 2022

May 1st, 2022

Good morning.

Walking around the parish, it is refreshing to see signs of spring breaking through despite the unpredictable weather.  The one hundred tulips planted by the CWL to commemorate their one hundredth anniversary are producing strong leaves and should be in full bloom in a week or so.  It is a lovely time of the year and matches the new energy that flows from our celebration of Christ rising from the dead and the promise of eternal life to all who believe.

Spring is also a time to look forward and bring to completion what was begun earlier and to look at plans for the future.  As we emerge from the unpredictable cycles of time with the Covid pandemic, we are taking stock of where we are now, especially regarding our pastoral programming and outreach.  The Friendly Visitor Program and the Ministry of Communion to the Sick were deeply affected by the regulations placed upon these ministries over the last two plus years and are in need of some serious recruiting for new volunteers.  This is also a time to take seriously a discussion that began before the Covid experience, that would look at an opportunity to re-fresh these ministries, especially as the retirement and nursing facilities were (and continue to) undergo some serious realignment to address current and emerging needs.  I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in an ongoing discussion with a small group of parishioners on the pastoral needs of parishioners who have begun their “second stage of life” journey.  We invite parishioners who may be interested in developing this conversation further to join us on Monday, May 30th at 7.00 pm.   We are especially keen to hear from any parishioners who are current or retired nurses and medical professionals and ask only that you attend this one-off conversation to help us develop a way forward and a vision for our pastoral ministry to parishioners on their second stage of life journey.

The Covid experience and current social and political developments have also brought into the light a need for a more intentional faith response to health care, health care and aging, health directives and power of attorney for health care, end of life issues and what happens when we die.  It is a big agenda, and we are preparing a three part series looking at these issues that will begin on Wednesday, September 21 and continue on October 5 and 19.  More information will follow.

Please join us for twelve hours of prayer for palliative care in Canada on Thursday, May 5th beginning with Mass at 9.00 am. and concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 8.30 pm.  At St. Andrew’s we have an excellent relationship with Ian Anderson House which provides hospice care in a beautiful and calm setting for patients and their families.

May is the month of Mary and the CWL invite us to join them on the evening of Thursday, May 12 at 6.30 pm. for an outdoor experience of the Rosary and crowning of Mary.  The Children’s choir will provide the music.  The CWL have also organised a day long trip to St. Agatha, St. Jacob’s Market and Kitchener on June 8th.  I am the guide for the day and look forward to introducing everyone to a fascinating part of the province and the culinary delights unique to the area, rolled ribs, pig tails (yes, from a real pig), butter tarts (that are legendary) and apple fritters (that give a glimpse of what it will be like to dine in heaven).

The Mite Bag program for Lent raised $3,600.00 to date for the St. Vincent DePaul Society.  The CWL members are very grateful for the participation of our parishioners in this unique program.

Next weekend (May 7 and 8), churches in the Diocese of Hamilton will give parishioners an opportunity to participate in a collection that will go towards the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund which was set up as a response by the Catholic church in Canada, as their contribution towards healing and reconciliation.  The Diocese of Hamilton has committed four million dollars to the Canada wide thirty-million-dollar pledge.  Envelopes will be available next weekend in the bulletin and a copy of Bishop Crosby’s pastoral letter on this issue (which was published and distributed in February 2022) is attached to this letter for further information.

Parents and children who will receive First Communion and Confirmation in early June should pick up the information package this weekend in the church (on a table by the park in their wedding lot entrance).  Registration for these sacraments for 2022 is now closed.  We have almost completed the backlog for families seeking baptism for their children and expect to be back to a more normal schedule during the summer.  Wedding season begins this weekend, and we are delighted that couples who had to delay their wedding service because of Covid restrictions are now free to celebrate the “big day” with no restrictions.

Join us for coffee and goodies on the deck or in the Parish Centre next Friday (First Friday) after the 9.00 am. Mass.  It is a great opportunity to catch up with friends or meet new ones in a friendly setting.

Be well, and if you have not already done so, take a walk along the Waterfront Trail in Tannery Park which is very beautiful.  Last night, the singing of the birds and the views across the lake and into downtown Toronto were breathtaking.  Please remember that you are very welcome to park in our parking lot (when Mass is not taking place) facing towards the church especially on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Fr. Con

2022 Pastoral Letter re Indigenous Reconciliation Fund February 14