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From the Desk of the Pastor: May 22

May 22, 2021

Good morning everyone.

The long season that began with Lent and blossomed into the Triduum and the Easter Season, comes to a conclusion tomorrow with the Feast of Pentecost.  We have looked inward, reflected on what it means to die and rise again, and now, on the feast of the birth of the Church, we go out and put into practice what we have heard and seen during these weeks.  It is interesting that the liturgical calendar gives us a little time to pause on Sunday with two feasts in early June, but on weekdays, there is no time to waste.  We need to get to the serious works of discipleship and evangelization.

The celebration of Pentecost has about it a calm and begs for silence.  The Spirit comes not in noise and distraction but into stillness and a spirit of expectation.  Listening for the still small voice, our prayer is:  ‘Come Holy Spirit into our hearts, calm our minds, stir in us a desire to hear, open our eyes to the gifts that have been planted in us, level the walls and barriers that get in the way of our tasks and help us to empty the big bag of worries that have become a burden.”

This week, St. Andrew’s received a beautiful gift.  As you walk into the church from the side entrance and across from the sculpture of St. Andrew, you will notice a new stained glass window in the reconciliation room.  It depicts  Gianna Beretta Molla (4 October 1922 – 28 April 1962) who was an Italian Roman Catholic pediatrician. Molla refused both an abortion and a hysterectomy while pregnant with her fourth child despite knowing that her refusal could cause her own death.  In the window she is shown seated with her husband, Pietro Molla (1912 – 3 April 2010) and one of their four children.  Her husband wrote a biographical account of her life in April 1971 and dedicated it to his children. He often told Gianna Emanuela, the daughter who survived after her mother gave birth to her, that her mother’s choice was one of conscience as both a loving mother and a doctor.  Molla’s beatification was celebrated in 1994 and she was canonized as a saint a decade later in the summer of 2004 in Saint Peter’s Square.  The window is a gift to the parish from the Murphy and Johnston family in memory of the generations of family members who have worshiped and supported St. Andrew’s.  Terry will write a much more detailed description of the window soon.

If you are walking by the front of the church, you will notice that the four lower coloured glass sections of the windows are missing.  Please don’t panic as they are being fitted into the new frames that will allow us to open those windows to encourage the flow of air through the church.  (I wrote about this a few weeks ago.)  The fan to draw the air out will be installed in a few weeks.  You will also note on the grass area between the parking lot and the church we have added two benches and invite anyone to come by and pause for a while to pray or just enjoy the peace and quiet.  Please enter the parking lot from William Street and park in the spaces facing the church and office.  The hedges along William street have had a severe trimming which has taken the shaggy look away.  Work on the other sections will continue over the next few weeks.  The planters are filled with summer flowers in front of the buildings in anticipation of everyone’s return later in the summer.

Which leads to the announcement on Wednesday from the Ontario government and the proposed stages to reopen.  We are still trying to figure out what it means for us and when we can return to a regular schedule of services.  Realistically, Mass in the church seems to be delayed until phase three which could happen in late July or early August.  It does mention the possibility of outdoor services with social distancing and masks, but there is confusion on how many people are allowed.  We hope that it will become clear next week as more details are coming from the government. As always, we will keep you posted.

Like a lot of things at the present time, our One Heart, One Soul Campaign progress has slowed. I have heard from many of you that you’ve been meaning to pledge and I would like to suggest that “NOW IS THE TIME” to do just that. We are just $240,000 from our $1.55 million dollar goal. Your pledge could be the one that helps us to reach the top! The total raised as of Friday is $1, 311,237.

There is no letup with funerals in the parish with five this week, three in the church and one each in the funeral home and at the cemetery.  Please pray for the eternal rest of: Fedor Zuzic, Antonietta Primiani, Loraine Swift, Yvonne Lenfesty, and Hugh Parker.

Finally, enjoy the first holiday weekend of the summer.  Felix and I will give the barbecue a good workout this weekend and enjoy the peace and quiet of the parish centre deck.  We hope that you too will find that quiet place to take in the “spirit” of this Pentecost weekend and that you will take time to listen for the “still small voice”. Join us for Mass at 10.00 am. on Sunday livestreamed from the church or anytime during the day on our website. Mass continues to be livestreamed on Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM.

Be well.

Fr. Con