Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Pope Francis to meet with Bishops

Pope Francis will meet with the Presidents of Bishops' conferences from all nations in February to address the issue of protection of Minors. Perhaps this will be the beginning of a process to implement an effective structure of accountability for all clergy and religious. Such a task is enormous - simply because of the different countries - laws - and cultures all over the world. Yet the common goal is universal - the care and protection of minors, and the accountability of the Church Hierarchy. 
I know that things have changed in Canada and the United States over the past 30 years. There has been the implementation of processes to screen and prevent those convicted from ministering in the church with those who are vulnerable. 
The painful reality that we are now being reminded of is that there have been cover-ups and efforts to silence those who have been abused. I am sure that there will be many more saddening revelations that will be made public in the coming months before the bishops of the world gather in Rome in February. 
In the mean time - we continue to stay and fight - fight for the little ones who had no one to fight for them years ago!

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Letter to Pope Francis

Below you will find the text of a letter that I wrote to Pope Francis.
I have never written to a Pope before! 
I encourage you to write to our local Bishop - John Boissonneau
and our Archbishop - Cardinal Thomas Collins about this issue.


Pope Francis
Vatican City, Vatican


September 1, 2018
Your Holiness,

The words of St. Paul ring so true in these days: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26).  As the Pastor of a Parish in the suburbs of the Archdiocese of Toronto, I can share that we too have been suffering in these days. With you and with all of those who have suffered abuse at the hands of the Church and her clergy. I have been disgusted by the immorality that has been revealed to be evident in the highest circles of the hierarchy, and the completely unacceptable systematic cover-up of the crimes of priests by Bishops, the shepherds charged with caring for the flock. 
The Bishops were protecting the clergy and the Institutional Church, instead of the vulnerable children. The irony is that if we had protected the vulnerable “little ones”, then our Holy Mother, the Church, would have been protected! 
I am challenged, and I am challenging my parishioners to allow this indignation, this righteous anger, to bring about a new righteousness in the Church. I choose to stay in the Church to fight for truth, to fight for those “little ones” who had no one to fight for them decades ago.
     Holy Father, I abhor the recent attacks upon your integrity, yet your silence in these days, while similar to that of Christ, will not give our Church the confidence it needs. And while the former Nuncio to the United States of America has “dialed back” on the substance of his accusations at each daily opportunity he has had, transparency necessitates timely disclosure. Yet even more important than talk, which there has been a lot of, is the need for action.
     I feel that this is an opportune time to look at a renewed structure of accountability in the church – so that there are clear mechanisms for appropriate oversight of all clergy by the Laity in these matters of morality and the protection of the vulnerable. The time for action is ripe. We may be at the precipice of a great divide: will the Church’s actions follow Her words? Or will She be relegated to being made irrelevant in society by inaction?
       Our parish prays for you always – and I for your strength to fight this scourge on our Church and society, which has been a part of my formation since I entered the Seminary in 1988.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Laurence J. Léger, 
Pastor, Holy Family Parish, Bolton

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Current Issues in the Church

I know I have not been active with my Blog over the Summer. This is a new resolution of mine in the new school year - to be more regular in my Blog Posts.

This is the Homily I gave this past Sunday - answering the Question - Should I Stay - or Should I go?

There is nothing going in that makes one unclean
It is what comes out of person – Sin – that makes one unclean.

We have seen and heard,  read and listened to so much about the Scandals in the Church these past few weeks.

While most of these news stories are about actions from decades ago – it does not make it any easier to hear. The new revelation that has come forward is the entirely unacceptable systematic cover–up of these abuse situations. Let me say that again:
The Entirely Unacceptable Systematic Cover–up 
And the immoral behaviour at the highest levels in the Hierarchy.

Some say I have to Leave. How can I go to Church?
I get it  the Disgust, the Anger, the Revulsion, the Distaste.
AND I also realize that I am preaching to the Choir – You are here!
My desire is to Equip you to be Prophets – to be Evangelists. Equip you for conversations that are inevitable with family and friends, those you encounter at work, at school, or elsewhere in your life.

In the First reading today we heard how Israel was called to be an exemplary nation - and example for those around her. Yet we also know that Israel fell in its relationship with the Lord - and that God often called forth leaders - Prophets - to call Isarel back to the Lord.  The people did not say - I'm done with this nation - it is horrible and useless - NO! The people stayed - and the Prophets fought for the nation.  That's what we need to do right now in the Church! Stay and Fight!

How can I not stay – and fight for Truth – fight for those "little ones' who had no one to fight for them decades ago!
So that your Righteous Anger My Righteous anger with the failed leaders in church might be transformed into Righteousness for the Church! This is the time to address clericalism that says: 
"Yes Father," or "Yes Bishop," or "Yes Pope," without making sure it is true, right and Just. A time to advocate for a change in structures in order to hold every member of the Clergy accountable to the People of God - the Church.


We are not Catholic because of the Moral excellence of our leaders – 
YET We do want Morally Excellent Leaders!

I am a Catholic because my Parents 55 years ago last month brought me for Baptism in their parish church – Because they wanted me to share in the hope and promise that they knew as faithful Catholics, even though they had experienced an authoritarian and abusive church; 
And I have said Yes to being a Catholic time and time again since;
I am Catholic because I am a sinner – like St. Matthew upon whom the Lord has looked with his gaze of mercy;
I am a Catholic because of the Eucharist  My opportunity to commune with the God who has made the Universe (which is ever expanding - and I don't understand that!) and who knows and loves me; 
I am a Catholic because of the Angels and the saints - Heroic witnesses over the centuries - the Communion of Saints!

I am not a Catholic because of a Priest, or a Bishop or a Pope! Although I - like you - have been powerfully & positively impacted by Priests, and Bishops, and Popes…


I am - We are - Catholic

Because of the Love of God
Made real and visible and tangible
in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord. 
AMEN

Friday, 18 May 2018

Return & Under the Weather

I returned from the trip of a lifetime on Thursday May 10, in the evening. There were many terrific experiences including visits to Bali, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, and Hong Kong.

For me the Highlight was in Hong Kong - when I celebrated Mass on Tuesday May 8 - my 25th Anniversary - in St. Joseph's Church where I used to attend 31 years ago when I lived and worked in Hong Kong for 3 months (April - July, 1987)

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Some other Pictures from the Holiday:

The cathedral in Chiang Mai - Northern Thailand



Our Cooking School the Previous Day:


Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Visit on Friday May 4

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Some Photos from Bangkok:
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This is the resort we stayed in South of Kuala Lumpur! Neat
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And this was our View from our Apartment in KL:
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Orchids in Singapore:

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The Beach in Bali
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Our Pool in Bali

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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Edge Retreat - and Travels

This weekend has been the Edge Retreat - held in Hockley Valley - at the Valley of the Mother of God Monastery. Through crazy weather I have traveled from Bolton 3 times to be with these young people. It has been a very Powerful Retreat - "Be Not Afraid".

This evening I leave for the airport and early Monday Morning I will be flying via Eva Airlines to South East Asia for the trip of a Life-Time! 3 weeks in Bali-Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Thailand-and Hong Kong. I will be in Hong Kong on my 25th Anniversary of Ordination - May 8th - and celebrating Mass in the same Parish I was a Parishioner 31 years ago when I lived and worked in HK for 3 months. 


I will be posting some video's on my YouTube account:


Here is a video I did of My Dad's Place in Sharbot Lake, Ontario.

Peace

Saturday, 31 March 2018

I feel bad

I feel bad that I have not posted anything all Lent.
I could say it was an intentional decision - less social media - etc...
But that would be a lie!

I just have not been as mindful of this blog - as I have learned to add new items to our Parish website - and worked to keep that up to date...


Today we had the blessing of Eater Baskets - and following that teams of people went to work:

  • Servers setting out the items used for the Easter Vigil, then rehersing the liturgy!
  • The Knights of Columbus setting up our imressive Baptismal Font;
  • Some artistic women who set up the flowers and decorations;
  • and a dedicated team of volunteers from Mom's and Tots who plan and prepare everything for the reception after the Vigil this evening.
We are now ready to celebrate the central feast of our Faith: The Resurrection of Jesus - the Saviour of the Universe!

Peace

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Be Ambassadors for Christ!

Through Prayer, Through Fasting, Through Giving - we will be formed into being Ambassadors for Christ this Lent! 



The church shifted late last night to the colour of Purple for Lent.
We also have the bare trees back for Lent - trees that will be filled with our ribbons marking our Prayer / Fasting / and Giving during Lent. 

Peace