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From the Desk of the Pastor: November 8

November 8, 2020

Good afternoon everyone.

Last week was an adventure with my computer which needed sudden life support so that I could replace it on Friday.  That is the reason you are receiving this letter later than usual.  Otherwise the week was full with the liturgies to continue to celebrate those who have died and took another direction towards the weekend with our first celebration of First Eucharist for twenty children on Saturday.  It went very well and after the Mass, the children caused long looks of curiosity and perfect images for photographers walking by on the street which was full with visitors out walking in the beautiful sunshine.  We also had the excitement of a very large tent in the parking lot to accommodate a new TV series being shot on First Street.  Interestingly, for the two days of shooting, filming took place between six in the evening and five in the morning.

Each year in the parish, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society bring kindness and assistance to families and individuals who are poor and in need of a helping hand and a listening ear.  World day of the Poor is remembered on Sunday, November 15.  For the last few years this is the weekend when Saint Vincent de Paul ask parishioners to assist them with donations that help them to do their work.  This year because of the Covid pandemic especially, cash gifts and donations are urgently needed.  Please use the envelope in your regular donation box or make cheques payable to St. Vincent de Paul and placed in an envelope marked Saint Vincent de Paul and drop in the collection next weekend or mail to the parish.  Please read the following notice from Sandra De Tina, president of our parish Saint Vincent de Paul.   

The Fourth World Day of the Poor will be observed on November 15, 2020.  This year’s theme Stretch forth your hand to the poor” is a summons to responsibility and commitment as men and women who are part of our one human family.

As Covid-19 continues to be part of our reality, the future has never felt so unpredictable. These are challenging times for all of us, in particular the most vulnerable in our local community. At a time of social distancing and isolation, The Society of St Vincent de Paul plays an important role by continuing our works to help feed, clothe and console our neighbours who need it most.  This includes single mothers, refugees, unemployed, precarious workers-people in low skilled and low paid jobs, homeless, people with health conditions and minorities.  These families need our support more than ever.

Although our services remain true to the Society’s mission, they are a little different at the moment as we practice Covid-19 government guidelines regarding social distancing.  The way we deliver our services has changed but we have still provided assistance to our neighbours in need throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so. But we need your support.

On Sunday November 15 the Society of St Vincent de Paul will hold its annual envelope collection.  Like most charities, our funds are limited and declining. And due to the pandemic we will not be running our annual non-perishable food drive. We invite you to think about how you can help us.  Every small contribution will make a big difference.  Your donation will be used to purchase food vouchers, other necessities and fund our annual Christmas program for local needy families.  Please give what you can by placing your donation in the SSVP envelope and return it to the church.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your continued support and prayers.  Wishing you and your families good health and safety going forward.

Why at Breakfast is a very interesting opportunity in Waterloo for Roman Catholic’s and members of other faiths to explore a wide variety of topics from exorcisms, the spirituality of food and the healing power of the labyrinth.  Normally it is held at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Waterloo with a delicious breakfast to begin the morning.  The next experience will be from the comfort of your own home using Zoom.  I have been asked by Dr. Therese Lee, the director of the program to lead an online retreat for Advent and anyone from St. Andrew’s is most welcome to join.  All of the information is to be found on this poster.

Advent is just a few weeks away and at St. Andrew’s we invite you to join me online for a Twilight Retreat on the longest night of the year, Monday December 21 at 7.30 pm.  This night has particular significance in the liturgical calendar as it is the bridge between light and dark and old and new.  Using prayers and music from our tradition, we will pause for ninety minutes to move away from the noise and busyness around us to prepare spiritually for the Birth of Christ.  I will send the link in the weekly letter a few days beforehand.  It will also have a handout containing the texts that I will be using.  Because it is in the evening and the word “treat” is found in “retreat,”  there is nothing wrong with the comfort of snacks and a beverage of choice (in moderation of course) during our time together.

Parishioners have been asking about our plans for Christmas and specifically, what about Mass.  We are in the process of finalizing some form of fair process to allow as many parishioners as possible to attend one of the seven Mass divided between Christmas eve and Christmas day.  We think that it is prudent to wait until we are sure that there are no more restrictions in Halton and as the numbers this weekend are worrying.  We will keep you posted and expect to be able to announce something firm the first weekend of December at the latest.

That is it for this weekend.  Sorry for the delay in getting this out and I look forward to being in touch with you again on the 21st.

Be well.

Fr. Con