Coronavirus Updates and Directives

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As the cases of coronavirus continue to increase the Parish and the Diocese of Hamilton have been closely monitoring the situation.

As of March 16th Bishop Crosby has released a new update suspending all weekday Masses and weekend Masses for the public.

Weekly Sunday Masses

The Pastoral team at St. Andrew’s has chosen to provide access to our Sunday Masses online on our parish website.

These weekly Masses can be found here.

A Letter from Father Con

May 30, 2020

Good morning everyone.

Looking at Fr. Felix hair last night at supper I had a thought: he needs a haircut.  I need a haircut, but his hair has gone snow white, it is long, and while I doubt he could manage to grow a man-bun, he is on the way to a very different look.  Are we all going to come out of this experience different?  There is a lot of chatter right now about how the world and how we will be different because we have been through this experience.  It makes for some interesting reading.  I have been a dedicated fan of the Economist for almost thirty years and even they have gotten into it. 

Being changed as we come out of the experience is one of the themes that we read about in the scripture depiction of Pentecost.  For weeks during Lent our discipline was devoted to looking inward and clearing away the debris and clutter that had clung to us as were out and about in the world.  The season of Easter brought us close to the Lord as he explained what it is to be a disciple.  Here we are at Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and we are about to be set loose on the world as the baptized, disciples of the Lord in the world.   I hope that I don’t offend anyone when I remark that the Holy Spirit ruffles the feathers of many Roman Catholics despite the indoctrination we may have received at Confirmation.  The gifts and fruits of the Spirit we get, but words like “outpouring” make us nervous and leans just a bit too close to “charismatic”.  But this feast of Pentecost is clearly about the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church and in the life of every baptized person, every disciple out and about in the world. 

For centuries, men and women have found beautiful language to describe the Spirit alive and active in our lives.  In 1207, Mechthild of Magdeburg, a lay religious mystic wrote The Flowing Light of Divinity, one volume in a series that allowed her to return again to her love for the Holy Spirit.  In this passage she presents a fresh and liberating understanding of the Spirit and the Trinity. 

love flows from God into humanity
like a bird
who rivers the air
without moving her wings.
. . . Thus we move in God’s world
One in body  and soul, . . .
though outwardly separate in form.
As the Source strikes the note,
humanity sings…..
The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
and all strings
which are touched in Love
must sound.
                                          Mechthild of Magdeburg (1207–c. 1282/1294)

In 2011, The Jesuit priest and teacher Richard J. Hauser wrote In His Spirit: A Guide to Today’s Spirituality.   Reviewing trends in modern spirituality he presents the role of the Spirit in a secular age and speaking to people of faith he writes that: “The goal of the spiritual life is to allow the Spirit of Christ to influence all our activity, prayer as well as service. Our role in this process is to provide conditions in our lives to enable us to live in tune with Christ’s Spirit. Our effort is not a self-conscious striving to fill ourselves with the important Christian virtues; it is more getting out of the way and allowing the Spirit to transform all our activities. Christ will do the rest. His Spirit has joined ours and will never abandon us.”

On this feast of Pentecost as we move forward with the church, let us pray that we will become more and more sensitive to the movements of Christ’s Spirit in our own hearts so that we grow in sensitivity to the movement of His Spirit in others. As the world talks about “coming out of this experience changed” we can say yes, our vision of the world has changed because we are seeing everything in relationship to Christ and the Father because we carry on a continual dialog with them.

Fr. Felix hair aside, he received good news this week that his visa to work and live in Canada and at St. Andrew’s has been extended until mid 2023.  That is great news and we will celebrate this weekend with an all Canadian barbecue of beef, asparagus and potatoes.

In parish news, there is little to report.  We expect the report on the opening of the churches early next week and will update you next week.  One of the difficulties of this situation is that pastoral visits become almost impossible.  We have found new ways to have more a more personal conversation using Face-time and Zoom but that human face to face contact is irreplaceable even if it has to be two meters away.  Please pray for families who struggle with being in each others space every day and every hour.  Pray also for parishioners who have received very serious health diagnosis and parishioners who have experienced sudden death in their families.  Let us pray also for each other, that in our prayer and our silence this weekend, the gifts of the Spirit that we need will wash over us in a long note of divine music.

Join us for Mass live streamed for the Feast of Pentecost this afternoon at 5.00pm. and/or tomorrow morning at 10.30.  You can join anytime during the day on Sunday, the link is here:

  The Intercessions for Mass at St. Andrew’s this week are attached.  Please feel free to use them in your daily prayer.   

Be well and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather. 

Fr. Con                       

Pope Francis’ Moment of Prayer and “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing

View the special event and read the whole homily here

Diocesan Directives

Read Bishop Crosby’s Lift up Your Hearts Message

Directives from the Diocese March 16th

Additional Directives March 18th

Prayer Resources

Prayer of Pope Francis

Pope Francis has composed a prayer to Mary, Health of the Sick. We are a people called to prayer. It is available on the Diocesan website.

Call to Prayer during the day. 

Morning:   Prayer for those infected with the virus and all who are ill. 

Lord, place your healing hand on those who suffer illness. Bring them to full health and ease their anxious hearts.  May our prayer and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary encourage them that they are not alone. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Noon:         Prayer for health care workers and those attending to the sick

Lord, we are ennobled by those who put their lives at risk in caring for the sick. Keep them safe and embolden them when they are weary. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Afternoon: Prayer for first responders and essential workers

Lord, we pray for those who run to danger to keep us safe and those who serve the common good. Embrace them with your mantle of protection and comfort the fears of their families. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Evening:     Prayer for people of every nation and their leaders

Lord, the pandemic opens our eyes to see each other as brothers and sisters in one human family. We pray for people of every nation and their leaders, asking that they be inspired to seek the good of all and quell the voices of division. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN 

Night:         Prayer for those who have died today

Lord, we grieve the passing of our sisters and brothers who have died this day. We commend them to your tender mercy, confident that nothing, not even death, will separate us from your love. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN

Adapted from a prayer writer for the Archdiocese of Chicago – March 20, 2019