top of page
From the Desk of the Pastor 

May 18th, 2024


Good Morning 

 

Fifty days ago we were preparing to celebrate Easter.  This weekend we bring the long period of reflecting on “what this rising from the dead means” to a conclusion and between now and the Feast of Christ the King in October, the church works on applying what we have learned.  For every Christian, the Feast of Pentecost matters deeply not only as a historical event but also as an annual reminder of the Church's mission in the world, guided by the Holy Spirit. 

 

The feast of Pentecost marks what many consider the birth of the Christian Church. The importance of Pentecost resonates not only in its biblical and historical context but also in its theological implications and its contemporary relevance emphasised by modern popes down to Pope Francis. 

 

In his homilies and addresses, Pope Francis frequently highlights the significance of Pentecost, underscoring it as a moment of transformation and empowerment. For Francis, Pentecost is pivotal because it represents a new beginning, where the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to step beyond their limitations and fears, emboldening them to spread the Gospel's message across different cultures and languages. This mirrors the universal call to the Church to transcend boundaries and engage with diverse communities, embodying a spirit of inclusivity and unity. 

 

In his 2020 Pentecost homily, Pope Francis emphasized the unifying power of the Holy Spirit, which overcomes human differences: "The Spirit affirms the primacy of relationships: between God and men, among men, with creation... It is the harmony of God that wins over the discord of men." He consistently portrays the Holy Spirit as a force that does not bring about confusion or division but rather harmony and clarity among believers. 

 

Pope Francis also points out the role of the Holy Spirit in renewing and continually rejuvenating the Church's mission in the world. He views Pentecost as a reminder that the Church is not a static institution but a dynamic and living body that is led by the Spirit to confront the challenges of each new era. This perspective is crucial in today’s rapidly changing world, where the Church must address complex issues such as social justice, environmental concerns, and the moral implications of technological advancements. 

 

The contemporary relevance of Pentecost Pope Francis insists, lies in its call to personal and communal transformation. The Holy Spirit is seen as the principal agent of inner transformation, guiding individuals in their spiritual journeys and endowing them with gifts such as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2). These gifts are crucial for personal moral development and for the effective Christian witness in the world. 

 

Celebrating Pentecost, all of us are invited to embrace the Spirit’s power to foster unity, engage with contemporary challenges, and transform both the Church and the wider world. Pentecost continues to inspire us to live our faith with renewed vigor and to spread the Gospel's message of peace and reconciliation to all corners of the earth. 

 

In the parish we have experienced several positive moments where we have seen how the Spirit can transform lives in our preparation for and celebration of Confirmation and First Communion.  The young people were well prepared but more importantly, during the celebrations, were open and willing to be “transformed” by the experience.  During the brief retreat for Confirmation, the students amazed all of the adults present during a “Catholic Trivia” quiz with their knowledge and quick thinking.  At the First Communion rehearsal, the children, without any coaching, shouted out the responses to the Profession of Faith.  Iah, Frances and I sincerely thank the Teachers, Principals, Catechists and Parents for a job well done.  During July we are re-visiting our preparation for the sacraments both in school and in the parish and in early fall we would like to engage parents especially in a conversation about our plans for 2025. 

 

On April 22, the Pastoral Advisory Committee and I met with twenty-one parishioners for a conversation modelled on the Moving Forward Together in Christ program in the Diocese of Hamilton and the Synodal Process that will meet for the second time in October.  The morning focused on three topics Liturgy, Laity and Hospitality, and provided us with lots of material for our pastoral planning for the new pastoral year beginning in September.  There was a very clear desire that the conversation needs to continue and as much as we can, engage all parishioners.  The Pastoral Advisory Committee met on Tuesday evening and will continue to work on this.  They will also assist the parish staff at the June meeting in developing priorities and agenda items for its pastoral meetings in July. 

 

If you are a weekday Mass goer, please note that Fr. Felix is away on retreat this week and I am leading a retreat for school administrators in Gananoque, Eastern Ontario. For that reason, we are not able to provide Mass on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as many of the priests in the area are also away at the retreat .  The Mass Intentions for those days have been rescheduled.  We apologize for the inconvenience. 

On Thursday, May 23rd at 6:30 pm the CWL and Children’s Choir invite you for a Family Outdoor Rosary, with the crowning of Mary.  It is a great activity for families and an opportunity to promote a popular community event to honor Mary during the month May. 

 

The Annual Children’s Choir Strawberry Tea and Social takes place on Sunday, June 9th from 2-4 pm.  This is a wonderful social event for the parish and an opportunity for the children’s choir and their friends to entertain us with lovely music while their parents and grandparents serve a traditional English Afternoon Tea featuring dainty sandwiches and scones with strawberries and cream.  Tickets are $25 and will be available on June 1st. 

 

Please join us in the church on Sunday May 26th at 2:00 pm for the annual Isherwood fundraising concert in honour of Emma Isherwood in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Performers will include Nadia Zbogar, Myriam Blardone and others. Tickets may be purchased at the church office or at the door. Tickets: $25 and $10 (12 and under). 

 

On June 20th the CWL have arranged for a Pilgrimage Day at Canadian Martyrs Shrine in Midland.  The bus will depart at 8.15 am (approx.) and will arrive back at 6.30 pm (approx.).  Please contact the office for ticket information or call Yvette at 905-609-3465. 

 

If its spring, it must be time for repair and maintenance.  We have just completed some significant maintenance on insulation and water condensation in the ceiling of the church.  The front door of the Parish Center is part of the historic footprint of the building and this week was restored carefully to serve for another hundred years.  It was painstaking work and we were very lucky to find someone to do the work.  Next on the list is the roof of the parish centre and the roof and tower connection on the church (to deal with some water leaking issues).  Also on the list for early June is a significant landscaping project for the ground around the deck of the Parish Centre. 

 

Finally, next week at the rectory we will welcome visitors from England, Ireland and Wales.  My sister and her husband arrive on Thursday evening and will be joined by my niece, her husband and their five-month-old baby boy on Friday.  They are with us until Monday when they leave for Vancouver and will return on June 2.   This weekend Felix and I plan to clean the barbecue and get it in to its best shape for some good food and conversation of the deck during their visit. 

 

Have a safe and restful weekend. 


Recent Posts

See All

April 20, 2024

Good afternoon. This weekend, on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday when the passage from the Gospel of John (10:11-18) is heard. In it, Jesus describes Himself as the "Goo

March 16, 2024

Good morning. Pope Francis, as an archbishop in Argentina and for the last eleven years as Pope, has often reflected on Jesus' entry into Jerusalem riding a donkey, and delved into the profound spirit

March 2, 2024

Good morning. The season of Lent which is now observed by many Christian denominations, spans the 40 days leading up to Easter, and is traditionally marked by fasting, prayer, and penance. Beyond its

Comments


bottom of page