October 2, 2021
Good morning everyone.
A friend posted on social media early this week that she was looking forward to planning her spring garden now that the final fruits of the harvest were brought in from her small urban space. To be honest, that is the last thing on my mind and a comment on my friend’s enthusiasm to Gerry later in the week was received with a dismissive grunt. That reminded me that I had forgotten to tell him that our enthusiastic CWL are going to plant one hundred tulip bulbs around the church this fall to commemorate their one hundredth anniversary as a league next year. So great is their enthusiasm that they would like to get all of us to join them and, beginning this evening after mass and on Sunday, they will have a table set up at the entrance to the church and will happily sell you generous bags of tulip and daffodil bulbs for your home and garden. This is one of their fundraisers to support their year of celebration and outreach to the community. Please support them.
If you had the opportunity to watch or read the report and slides of the Provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore early in the week, you could not help but rejoice a little that we are on a good path managing covid. The current measures seem to be working in our favour to keep numbers low and a new upswing of eligible people taking the vaccine will help to keep family and friends safe and healthy. It is heartening when I am out and about to hear people talking about “pulling together” “doing our bit” and “leaning in.” Here in the parish, while we balance new restrictions, we also begin to loosen others. On Thanksgiving weekend one of the hymnals will return to the seats in the church. As October moves forward, the choirs will begin to make a come-back using recommended practices for their safety including the diocesan recommendation of vaccine for anyone in ministry in the church. On October 16th one of our most significant meetings in a long time will take place in-person with approximately twenty selected parishioners to help us shape a Parish Pastoral Advisory Committee. This will be the first larger parish group to meet since early March last year.
Continuing with positive moves forward; on Sunday, October 17th, (the weekend after Thanksgiving) we will return to the old Mass times on Sunday morning of 9.00 and 10.30 am and 12 noon. We had explored the possibility of making a change to Mass times permanently but after consulting in the parish and looking at what other parishes in the diocese who also adjusted Mass times for cleaning during covid, we made the decision to make the change back now. The possibility of a change to the times for Mass will be looked at in the future by the new Parish Advisory Committee.
I was very happy with the attendance at Mass on Thursday, the first Federal Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Coffee on the deck was a very special treat and was the largest group we have had since July. Our schools did an amazing job in a short period of time. Looking on from a short distance, there is much we could learn from their interest, creativity and curiosity. Next year, we should look at doing something together (just to put that out there). Bishop Crosby was a surprise guest for lunch at the rectory later in the morning. We had the opportunity to chat about the recent Canadian Bishops statement on residential schools and their decision to raise thirty million dollars. This money will be used primary in local communities to advance the recommendations and work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. The bishop is especially keen to see what comes from the days in Rome with Pope Francis, Indigenous leaders and representatives of the church in December.
This weekend is chock full of activity in the church. First Communion for our children this morning and tomorrow afternoon and two weddings this afternoon. During the week we welcome children for the sacrament of Confirmation. You can tune in to any of the celebrations here:
Weddings come to an end for this year at the end of the month and it seems that by then we will have caught up with all of the delays couples experienced over the last year. Dates and preparation for First Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation for children in 2022 will be announced in January and we hope, will be free of any delays later in the year. After a short break, we continue to have at least two funerals a week in the parish at the moment. Please keep those who are ill in your prayers.
Next weekend we pause for a few moments to give thanks despite the teeter-totter experiences that have come with covid. It is a time to celebrate and give thanks. In normal times, the Saint Vincent DePaul Society would use this time to make an appeal for the needs of the poor in our community. Parishioners who would like to contribute towards their work can do so in an envelope marked “St. Vincent DePaul”. Please make any cheques out to them as well.
Finally, we haven’t mentioned the One Heart, One Soul Campaign in a while. Next week we will embark on one last opportunity to invite parishioners who might still like to do so, to make a pledge to the campaign with a final mailing. I had mentioned in my note of thanks to those who had made a pledge that we would conclude the commitment phase of the campaign and celebrate its success with a reception in the parish centre and on the deck. Unfortunately, the covid restrictions and a concern for everyone’s safety means that we must postpone it to another time. As we emerge from this time any opportunity for a party with friends will be very welcome so we will keep you posted on it.
And on that note, have a good week and may you enjoy blessings and joy with family for Thanksgiving.