Pastor's Corner

40 Ways to Keep Lent

Right a wrong. Keep a promise. Count your blessings. Mend a quarrel. Spread Joy. Where there is no music, be the song. Find a forgotten friend. Attend Mass more frequently. Fast from gossip. Be humble in success, patient in hardship, hopeful in disappointment, generous in prosperity. Offer approval.

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How Big Is Your God? Go Build My Church!

As we begin the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday this week (March 1), we receive not just one, but two wonderful opportunities for inspiration, challenge, and transformation! Fr. Philip Chircop is a Jesuit priest born on the Mediterranean island of Malta, who now ministers as part of the Canadian Jesuit province. An internationally-known retreat master and spiritual director, with a love for art and poetry, and a delightful sense of humour, he is always seeking fresh ways to proclaim the Good News and engage people on a journey of transformation in Christ.

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The Almighty has done great things for me…

Message of Pope Francis for the 25th World Day of the Sick

Instituted by my predecessor Saint John Paul II in 1992, and first celebrated at Lourdes on 11 February 1993, the World Day of the Sick is an opportunity to reflect in particular on the needs of the sick and, more generally, of all those who suffer.

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Laudato Si’: The Holy Spirit within Mother Earth - Our Common Home

This coming June will mark two years since Pope Francis launched his first Encyclical, “Laudato Si’, mi Signore, Praise be to you, my Lord”. Our Holy Father begins by quoting the beautiful canticle of Saint Francis of Assisi who reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. Pope Francis reaches out to all human beings immediately by addressing everyone: “In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.” (3)

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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Every year, between January 18 and January 25, Christians around the world are invited to celebrate a week of prayer for the unity of all Christians, to reflect on scripture together, to participate in jointly-organized ecumenical services, and to share fellowship.

This year’s resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by an ecumenical team in Germany, representing various churches and religious organizations. They have chosen as their theme “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us,” inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:14-20. 

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The Joy of Love: Opening Our Hearts to Families

As we begin a new year, many of us may be facing transitions of various kinds. With my new ministry at the diocese, this is certainly the case for me! It’s very easy to lose our equilibrium in times of transition: our sense of who we are, where we belong, where God is to be found. How do we negotiate transition? How do we deal with change? Do we deny it, try to forestall it as long as possible? Do we cling stubbornly to the status quo?

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An Epiphany Sonnet

"Three mysteries mark this holy day: today the star leads the Magi to the infant Christ; today water is changed into wine for the wedding feast; today Christ wills to be baptized by John in the river Jordan to bring us salvation."

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One of my favourite Christmas symbols is the Nativity Scene, “la crèche.” We owe this beautiful tradition to St. Francis of Assisi, who established it in 1223 in Greccio, a humble Umbrian hill town. Francis wanted “to see” and “to reveal” the Most High Son of God, born in the humility and poverty of a stable. To a society where riches had become an obsession, Francis showed the generosity of God. In a Church where the clergy sought honours and power, Francis reminded them of the humility of God.

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Gaudete! The Joy of the Gospel

“Are you the one who is to come? Or are we to wait for another?” This question, posed to Jesus in today’s Gospel, is our question too. As we reach the middle of the Advent season, as we begin counting down the days till Christmas, we are invited to reflect on a vital question: “What … or who are we waiting for?” How should be waiting? Today’s liturgy invites us to cultivate two key Advent attitudes: patience and joy.

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Do Not Fear: Advent Hope

You may have noticed last Sunday the banner placed over the altar, with a single word to help us focus our meditation. Last week’s call to VIGILANCE is succeeded this week by an invitation to HOPE. Hope, as we know, is much more than pie-in-the-sky optimism. It is the conviction that even when the night seems dark and cold, the dawn is near: we are not alone, and God will never abandon us. God hears and answers us.

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