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From the Desk of the Pastor: May 29

May 29, 2021

Good morning everyone.

This weekend, the marriage course is taking place over Zoom for couples planning to be married this year.  The Marriage Preparation team under the direction of Jim and Sheila Milway do a fine job and have one successful online program already under their belt.  The current program began last evening and will conclude later this afternoon.  I got a slot on the program last evening and was happy that it all works out very well on this new platform.  Please keep these couples and all couples preparing for marriage in your prayers as the next few months still have restrictions that make planning for such an important day very difficult.

The new window inserts at the front entrance of the church that open in to encourage a more generous air flow throughout the church, were installed earlier this week.  The fan at the other end to extract the air will be installed next week.  The carpets in the church look amazing as they received a thorough cleaning on Thursday.  The first of the new signs for the parking lot have appeared on the William Street entrance.  As I mentioned earlier, parishioners are welcome to use the parking lot for a few hours during the day but please park in the spaces facing the church and parish centre.  All day parking and overnight parking is not allowed.  During weekdays, access to the church and office is off of William Street.

We are preparing for the day soon when we will be open again for Mass.  Realistically, this will be in the last half of July or the first days of August, depending on where we are with the vaccination schedule and the reduction in covid rates.  The new path forward that was announced last week has brought an air of anticipation and optimism which is most welcome.  Over the next few weeks Lynette and I will be busy with end of school activities for the schools and Marie will don her directors cap again to record graduation Masses and end of year liturgies.  All of this happens if the children are in school or if the home school experience continues.

The Bishop Baron series continues this week with a fascinating series on the Pivotal Players who contributed to the development of the doctrinal, spiritual and missionary work of the church.  Anyone interested in history and anyone interested in the development of the mind of the modern and secular world will find something interesting here.  Saint Thomas Aquinas is the subject of this week’s video.  The great thinker, theologian and poet left an extraordinary mark on the church and the study of theology in his time and his influence continues down to this day.  A closer look at the writings of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict link back directly to his thought process and surprisingly, to his poetry.  This is one to share with teenagers and university students who may be surprised to discover that many of his ideas are as fresh and current in the modern world as they were in the twelfth century.  If you are new to our weekly emails and have not signed up already for this series, please contact tscestra@gmail.com

I am going back to school in June and July for eight weeks via Zoom to Notre Dame in Indiana. Each Thursday afternoon they offer a program titled: “Will They Come Back After COVID?: Disaffiliation, Affiliation, and the Liturgy.”  Staff from the university and guest lecturers from around the world will explore the impact of the covid crisis on the local and universal church and explore what we need to pay attention to as we begin the process of returning to normal or more importantly, what will “normal” look like.  This is also timely for St. Andrew’s as we are planning to take time during June and July to begin a process to develop the background and structures for a new Parish Pastoral Committee and a pastoral plan for the first months of our post covid parish experience.

Loraine Fedurco, Ken Coulter and I met with Dominic Felix from the diocesan staff for the campaign to begin the wrap up of the One Heart, One Soul Campaign on Thursday morning.  On Tuesday evening they will join the Parish Finance Committee to bring a report and evaluation of the campaign and suggestions for next steps, it there are any.  The total donated and committed to date is $1,317,737 which is and extraordinary achievement in the midst of very trying times.  The little church by the lake sits at the top of the parish goal list for the diocese.  Loraine and Ken have been wise, patient and hard-working guides for the parish as we prepared for and worked through the campaign.  Thanks and appreciation are also extended to the twenty-three volunteers who reached out personally to parishioners in the first weeks of the campaign by telephone and email.

The church returned to Ordinary Time this week but for the next two Sundays we have major feasts.  This weekend Trinity Sunday will focus our attention on the doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It is interesting to note that this feast day is also observed in most of western Christianity and will be observed later in June in Eastern Christianity.   A hymn that does great justice to this day is O God Almighty Father which you can hear at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDffULLKKIs  Please pray for the repose of the soul of Leonardo Donatelli whose funeral we celebrated this morning in the church.  Pray for those who are sick, especially those diagnosed with cancer, those undergoing treatment and those in palliative care,

Finally, this letter will move to a bi-weekly schedule beginning this week.  We will contact you if we need to pass on any news or information.  Join us for Mass later this evening or tomorrow here: https://www.standrewoakville.com/sunday-masses-online/

Be well and may the blessing of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit fill you with joy and grant you peace.

Fr. Con