Tuesday, 16 January 2018

We have returned to Ordinary Time

We have Returned to Ordinary Time, and the Green Banners are up! During the season of Ordinary Time - we deepen our understanding of the Paschal Mystery each Sunday. This year we will be listening to Mark's Gospel for the most part. Because Mark's Gospel is shorter than Matthew's and Luke's Gospels, there will be a period of time in the Summer months when we will listen to a portion of John's Gospel - Chapter 6 - The Bread of Life discourse.

This year the period of Ordinary time between Christmas and the beginning of Lent is short - 5 weeks! Lent will begin on St. Valentine's Day - Feb. 14! Easter is on April 1st - but we are no fools! 

This is also a Milestone Year for me - in May I will celebrate 25 Years of Ordination as a Priest. January 23, 1993 I was Ordained  as a "Transitional" Deacon (Deacon Robert Suthers is a "Permanent" Deacon.) God Bless us in Ordinary Time!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

There is a Cherokee Legend that says:
When the plants and trees were first made, the Great Mystery - that is how they refer to God, gave a gift to each species. 
But first he set up a contest  - "I want you to stay awake and keep watch over the earth for seven nights," The young trees and plants were so excited - the first night they did not find it difficult to stay awake. However, the second night was not so easy, and just before dawn a few fell asleep. On the third night the trees and plants whispered among themselves in the wind, to keep from dropping off, but it was too much work for some of them. 
Even more fell asleep on the fourth night. By the time the seventh night came, plants still awake were the cedar, the pine, the spruce, the fir, the holly, and the laurel. "What wonderful endurance you have," exclaimed (God) – whoops sorry – the Great Mystery. 
"You shall be given the gift of remaining green forever. You will be the guardians of the forest. Even in the seeming dead of winter, your brother/sister creatures will find life & protection in your branches." Ever since then all the other trees & plants lose their leaves and sleep all winter - while the evergreens stay awake.

Today we celebrate the Birth of the ONE in whom we find life – Jesus, born in Beth’lehem, in hebre that means the House of Bread.
Placed in a Manger - a feeding trough for the animals - this is the one who will become the Bread of Life. 
Wrapped in swaddling clothes - like the lambs who were raised in Bethlehem for use in the sacrifices of the Temple in Jerusalem - for Bethlehm and Jerusalem were like Nobleton and Bolton! And these lambs were wrapped in swaddling clothes when they were born to make sure they had no blemish - for they needed to be free of blemishes to be used in the Temple! As was the Lord - who 33 years later would be offered not in the temple but upon the cross!

Here is our Savior - protection for all – in the harshness of our world, In the darkness of a seeming exile, here & now and in the winter coldness of our Sin – Here is our refuge – Here is our God who comes to us - The Great Mystery – The creator of Heaven and Earth enters into creation – not for God’s sake – for ours!
Here is our Saviour who saves us – for we can’t save ourselves!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

New Parish Website!

Our New Parish Website is now Up and Operating!

As part of the Archdiocese of Toronto's Pastoral Plan - Project Connect has been working to bring all parishes in the Archdiocese onto a common website platform. Holy Family Parish has now been able to transition to our new website, and are pleased to bring you this updated website.
We have some neat new features, including events, and you can subscribe to updates as well - using the Sign-up feature!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

2nd Sunday of Advent

"To be parish is to be a place, to be a people, where God’s command to comfort the other is fulfilled."
- Rev. Terrance W. Klein, America Magazine, December 9, 2017

When we think of those who are around us when we gather around the table of the Lord each Sunday - there are many who need comfort:
  • Those who are approaching their first Christmas after the death of someone, whom they have dearly loved. 
  • Those who come to Christmas to celebrate the Word made flesh, knowing that cancer or some other disease has invaded their own flesh. 
  • Those who are, late in life, once again raising children in their home because unless they do their grandchildren will have no nurturing home. 
  • Those who, advanced in age, live in fear that this will be their last Christmas in their own home, still able to live life in their own way. 
  • Those who struggle to make Christmas something their children will always remember but only add to the mounting worry about bills that cannot be paid. 
  • Those who came to this country, desperate to find a new life, and who now live in fear that everything might be lost. 
  • Those who want to live in the freedom of Christ but are still held captive by addiction. 
  • Those who try to spread holiday cheer and comfort, all the while returning to homes where discord and distrust hold reign. 
  • Those who are growing up different than others, in communities where young people are expected to mature in well-worn ways. 
  • Those who are alienated from their family and friends, cut off from the faces meant to give them life. 
  • Those, who think that they are alone in struggling with unbelief and with questions about their faith. 
  • Those who are not here in the parish most Sundays because it has never been a place of comfort for them. 
We hear today in the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah - "Comfort, O comfort my people, says the Lord." This is a command, not a promise! How can we, as a parish, be a place of comfort for all of God's People?


Sunday, 3 December 2017

Busy Times!

It has been months since I have Posted on the Blog - and for that I appologize! The business of life is an excuse that many use for not being at church regularly - and I find myself wanting to offer the same excuse - but it is just that - an excuse. 

Since I last posted there have been some great events and developments in the parish and in my personal life...

At the end of the summer - Julia Coffa - our Youth Minister for almost 2 years returned to University. Her studies are in the field of linguistics.  Best wishes Julia!  

At the beginning of September Eric Luscombe joined our staff as our new Youth Minister. Eric has a degree from Western University in London, in Catholic Studies! (I realize I do not have a Picture of Eric! That will need to be rectified!!!)

At the End of September, St. Michael's Secondary School celebrated their feast day - and a New Stained Glass window was blessed. This window was donated throught he generosity of the Knights of Columbus!

In the beginning of November I travelled to Vancouver to be a part of the National Lturgy Conference. The Presentations at the Conference were by Fr. Michael McGourty, a Priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto, on the Rite of Dedication of a Church and Altar.  Since I had Dedicated St. Michael's Chapel last year, and attended the Re-Dedication of the Cathedral the same day, I found this topic Facinating. I attended the conference in my capacity as the Vice-Chair of the Ontario Liturgical Coference, of which I am a Member at Large. (I was re-elected to another 3 year term as the Vice Chair for the Conference.)

So there is an Advent Update! I will be more mindful of posting Blog updates now! 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

August 10 - Feast of St. Lawrence

In this age of short attention spans and even shorter memory, it is difficult for us to communally maintain the remembrance of someone over a long period of time. This is just where the Church comes to our aid. Over the course of each liturgical year we remember holy women and men from all the ages of the Church. Some saints were venerated very early on, their cult being very large. The cult of a given saint was typically most deeply rooted in the local community to which he/she belonged. So, it is in Rome to this day with the holy deacon, St. Lawrence of Rome. 

Today we remember St. Lawrence, a deacon of Rome, who was a martyr. Deacon Lawrence lived in the third century, his life spanning the years roughly from 225-258. In those early centuries, during which the Church was persecuted, Rome had only seven deacons who served the Roman Church and who worked side-by-side with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. After Pope Sixtus himself was made a martyr for the faith, the prefect of Rome arrested Lawrence, who, along with the other deacons administered the temporal affairs of the Church. The prefect demanded that Lawrence hand over to him the Church's wealth. St Ambrose, the great bishop of Milan, is the earliest source we have about these events and tells us that Lawrence was given three days by the civil authorities to round up the Church's wealth so that he could turn it over. 

Over the course of the three days, Lawrence worked feverishly to give all that belonged to the the Church to the poor so that there would be nothing left to hand over to the Roman prefect. On the third and final day, Lawrence, heading up a small Christian delegation, went before the prefect and when told one final to time to hand the Church's treasures over, Lawrence did so by presenting the prefect with the Church's poor, crippled, blind, and suffering, saying that these were the Church's true treasures. He is reported to have said, "The Church is truly rich, far richer than you emperor." 

For this act of defiance he was martyred by being grilled on a gridiron. Legend holds that after some time on the grill over the flame, he turned to his executioner and said: "You can turn me over now, I'm done on this side!" Maybe for this reason St. Lawrence is the Patron of Cooks and Comics. We had Ice Cream after Mass for all in attendance! My "Onomastico" - My Name Day!
St. Lawrence - Pray for us!


Friday, 4 August 2017

Feast of St. John Vianney

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Today is the feast of St. John Vianney - the Curé d'Ars (the parish priest of Ars - a small town in France near Lyon).  Jean Vianney is the Patron saint of Parish Priests. This is also the anniversay of my Baptism - 54 years ago today I was initiated into life in Christ! I thank God for my Parents - for my Godparents - and for the family of faith that has formed and nourished me over the years!