September 3, 2022
Good morning everyone.
It seems like it was just a few days ago since we were beginning the slow entry into our Canadian Summer. Yet here we are, just past the threshold of September and the beautiful and dramatic season of light and color. This weekend marks a major turning point for so may in our community, a return to the world of education and in the parish, the resumption of normal pastoral activity. This year we do this in a very different context: very aware that the covid and omicron virus is still with us but making the effort to return to life as we knew it before we were interrupted. This is a weekend to celebrate, rest a little and prepare for a return to a new rhythm to our week.
At St. Andrew’s we are looking forward to a return to a pastoral experience as normal and inviting as we can make it. Next weekend, we welcome especially, students, parents, teachers, administrators and support staff in education to participate in the annual Blessing for a New Academic Year at each of the Masses for Sunday. Afterwards, please join us for ice-creamat the side entrance to the church. Hospitality is a major theme for us this Fall and we look forward to having you join us after the morning Mass on September 25, October 16 and 30 and November 6 and 27 for coffee and goodies.
This leads to an announcement about a significant change at St. Andrew’s beginning on October 16. Mass on Sunday morning will change to 8.30, 9.30 and 11.30 am. Mass will remain at 5.00 am. on Saturday evening. This change in time will allow for an opportunity to plan activities after Mass (especially hospitality) and will give the children’s choir a later start to the morning. We discussed this change as far back as the first Town Hall meeting in the fall of 2018 and again in the spring of 2019. Over the last few months, the Pastoral Advisory Committee came back to the topic and we finally came to a decision in early July. Weekday Mass will also see some change: Mass on Tuesday and Thursday will be at 12.05 pm. and Wednesday and Friday at 9.00 am. Exposition and prayers for our parish on Wednesday and First Friday hospitality will continue as usual. Change is never easy and sometimes change means that we have to make adjustments to our routines. During the covid experience we learned a lot and still hear from parishioners how important they discovered community is and value the time when we can be together. We hope that this change will allow us the opportunity to pay attention to this.
The beginning of a new pastoral year also means that we need new volunteers to help us to do the things that are important. For fall and winter, we would like to focus over time on specific ministries and at this time seek a slate of men and women of all ages who will help us as Lectors (readers) and Ministers of Communion at Mass. We also seek men and women who will take communion to the sick and lead a Communion Service in one of our many seniors’ residences. Please look for a sign-up sheet in the church or drop Sharon a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and we will get back to you.
The Children’s Choir is starting up on Thursday Sept 8th. Families who have indicated that they would like to participate will receive a welcome package in the next few days and families who would like to participate are invited to contact to contact the director, Sarah Zbogar at email@example.com Miryam Mendoza is the new assistant director of the choir and Maggie Karabela will be the new manager. Diana Isherwood will continue to be the vocal coach. We wish them well as we begin this new year.
On September 18 at 10.30 am. Bishop Crosby will be here to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Catholic Women’s League at St. Andrew’s Parish. Great effort has gone into every detail of the Mass and the lunch to follow the Mass at the Holiday Inn. This is a great accomplishment, and it is a great tribute to the current executive that we re able to say with confidence, that our parish CWL today continues to be one of the most active and dynamic in the diocese.
The school year begins on Tuesday and we welcome Michele Braida to St. Vincent school and St. Andrew’s Parish. I will meet with Michele and Annalise Sofia Starr from St. Luke School in the next few weeks to plan activities for the year and to confirm dates for the sacraments in 2023. Catechists who work with children attending other schools in the community will meet with me on September 14 at noon in the parish centre. We expect to have all of the dates for sacraments and meetings with parents ready to be published in early October. We have already scheduled a plan for pastoral visits to St. Thomas Aquinas.
On Monday last week, a friend helped us to record a video for the beginning of the new pastoral year that will be released later next week. It will be available widely through the parish, schools and through a direct link on new posters for the front of the church. We want parishioners old and new to know that we are working hard at trying to get back to normal and at the same time assure everyone that we take their safety and health seriously. Look out for it and pass it on.
We hope that you have a safe and stress-free holiday weekend. Fr. Felix and I have invited ten priest friends including Bishop Crosby on Monday afternoon for a barbecue on the deck. Bishop Crosby was in Rome last weekend for the installation of the new Cardinals, and we expect a full report about his experience.