May 28, 2022
Good morning everyone.
This weekend begins the slow climb to the celebration of Pentecost next weekend and the end of the easter Season for 2022. For the last few weeks the readings especially of the gospel at Mass on the weekend and during the week, have prepared us for Ascension which we celebrate this weekend. Jesus last words to his disciples is, don’t be afraid, I have to leave you now for I have other work to do and soon, where I am, you will be there also. During the Easter season, our annual discipleship “bootcamp” leads us to these two beautiful feasts and the new liturgical journey that will take us to November. “Ordinary Time” isn’t ordinary at all but an opportunity to put into practice what we have seen and heard not just since easter, but back to Ash Wednesday and Lent.
It is very appropriate that in the parish this year, children in grade-two and seven will celebrate their deeper initiation into the life of the church through First Communion and Confirmation. These celebrations will begin next weekend and this week the final details and preparations will be attended to. Parents have been contacted with the final details and our fingers are crossed that all will be well for the children, their parents and family and friends. Each celebration will be streamed live from the church at:
At Mass this weekend, the Parish Pastoral Advisory Committee will give a short overview of what we have been working on since the New year and our plans for the fall. The full text of the presentation will be available in the bulletin next weekend. Covid 19 has played havoc with some of our parish programs and volunteer opportunities. During the summer, we plan to zoom in on an approach to bring new life into the many ministries in the parish and develop a strategy to invite new volunteers to help us move forward to better serve the needs of the parish. I am very conscious that the covid experience gets the blame for any-and-all difficulties and challenges we may be encountering at the present time. The Pastoral Advisory Committee and Finance Committee recognise that some of these challenges and concerns have been with us for several years. If you have been at a weekend Mass lately, you may have noticed that we have many new parishioners celebrating with us. This is a sign of hope for us and an opportunity to welcome new voices and talents to our community.
A few weeks ago I mentioned a series of meetings that have begun and continue to take a closer look at the pastoral needs of parishioners who have begun their “second stage of life” journey. From these meetings we decided to invite parishioners who may be interested in developing this conversation further to join us next Monday, May 30th at 7.00 pm. for approximately one hour. 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.
Flowing from these conversations and responding to current social and political developments, we 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 and for now, write these dates down in your calendar.
The parish CWL have been very busy over the last few weeks and seem to be energized by their one hundredth anniversary activities. The Day of prayer for Hospice Care was a tremendous success and the evening of prayer to honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus drew a very large and appreciative crowd of young and old, parishioners and friends. Last week at the annual Diocesan CWL Convention, Terry Murphy received the Francis Lovering Award for her dedicated service. Sincere congratulations from all of us. On June 9th, departing at 8.30, the CWL will travel to St. Agatha, St. Jacobs and Kitchener for a tour and shopping extravaganza. It promises to be a fun day.
Pictures coming from Rome and the Vatican are troubling as Pope Francis knee difficulties seem to be getting worse. Word however from those who follow these things, is that he is determined to be in Canada at the end of July. Please keep him in your prayers. Greg Gallant (Finance Committee and Pastoral Advisory Committee), Frank McCauley (Pastoral Advisory Committee) and I were back in school for most of this month. We participated in a course developed by the Diocese of Hamilton for Dayton University in Dayton, Ohio that focused on Indigenous history and culture and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and recommendations. It was very informative, tough, hopeful and led to some deep reflection about what we mean by “truth telling”. Greg and Frank sit on the Finance Committee for the diocese of Hamilton and will be using some of their learning on future projects for the committee. This course will be available online to everyone beginning this summer through the Social Justice office of the diocese.
Be well and I hope that you will find time, even a few moments, as we prepare for the feast of Pentecost to breathe in God’s love and light and strength.