A Word from the Pastor

If you happened to be away last week, you may have missed the financial report for the parish, which was published with last week’s bulletin. It is still available online and there are copies here at the parish. The sheets with the more detailed figures are also available at the office.

This weekend we welcome Ryan Alemao who is in our Archdiocesan house of formation, Serra House. As part of his experience, Ryan will be with us most weekends throughout the academic year. He is here to be close to the realities of parish life, which do look a little different when you are here all day on a Sunday! The most important thing is that he will experience the life of faith that you share with him. He also will bring his graced perspective as a young man praying about and preparing for a possible vocation to priestly life. This will be a blessing for us all. Welcome, Ryan!

The Catholic Register recently carried a story about the killings of Christians in Pakistan. The article is located at www.catholicregister.org/content/view/3334/849/. It quotes Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, Archbishop of Lahore expressing concern about the blasphemy laws that are used as a pretext for intimidating the Christian population. Alerting the Canadian Government to these concerns is both real and responsible. Visit the website of the Archdiocese of Lahore and consider sending them an e-mail of encouragement. www.archdioceselahore.org. Archbishop Saldanha spent two years with me at Precious Blood Parish. Leaving his family, he was ordained on September 11, 2001. He left his family here to go and shepherd them.

The other immediate issue I want to draw your attention to is this private member’s bill in the House of Commons that would make euthanasia legal. Not only would it justify killing and result in many deaths, but it would reinforce a view of life that is absolutely inconsistent with our respect for human life as a gift. We are to be stewards of life not define its boundaries. See the bulletin article below. Visit the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto, www.archtoronto.org. We need to be heard.

How do I respond to all the urgent problems in the world? There are many. Sri Lanka, world poverty and starvation, climate change, AIDS and so many other sufferings exist around the world. It requires the formation of conscience and attention to discerning what God’s call for each of us. There are people called to work toward answering these problems. There is a cost. Each of us needs to listen.

It is important to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. In Canada, we have responsible government. Those who are our representatives, members of provincial legislatures and the House of Commons need and often seek input from those who elect them. This is why citizenship is important; it gives us the opportunity to be governed by people are accountable to us. As people who have the sacredness of human life and personhood at the very core of our faith, we are well-equipped to speak. We need confidence and wisdom.

When we engage our public officials we need to do it with respect both for them and for their office. This is what is consistent with our belief. It makes our work difficult since we cannot fall into rhetoric or slogans. Also, our individual vocations do draw us in different directions sometimes. Mother Teresa kept her work, spirituality and message simple. She did not set out to solve all the world’s problems. And in doing so she allowed God’s grace to change the hearts of many. We need to encourage each other. We have different parts of the field to work in. The work is really important and I will return to these questions of morality, justice and charity regularly.

In Christ, Fr. Bob

Life Chain

You Are Invited – to LIFE CHAIN on Sunday, October 4, 2009 from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm. This is an hour of prayerful, peaceful, silent witness that challenges our society with the truth that: “ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN” and that “JESUS FORGIVES AND HEALS”. Meet at Hurontario & Elm.

View Life Chain in a larger map

A Word from the Pastor

It is official. We have a third priest coming to join us next Wednesday as an Associate Pastor here at St. Francis. I will introduce him next weekend. We will also have a seminarian from our house of discernment, Serra House, joining us on weekends starting September 27th.

The clergy celebrate the start of school by having a day of golf together. We had a little over 40 priests playing. Some came from the Diocese of Hamilton and others from St. Catharines and even Kingston. The Archbishop and Bishop Hundt joined us for dinner. Quite a few permanent deacons play as well. Fr. Larry Leger (now the Pastor of Holy Family in Bolton) and I organized together for almost ten years. I head down to Hamilton on Monday for their tournament.

This coming week we will have some people coming to set us up for sound engineering our choirs. The goal of this venture is to provide a sound to the whole body of the church that encourages everyone to join in singing. When we sing, as the old aphorism says, we pray twice. Both the sound level and the balance of voices and instruments, I hope, will be such that it is natural to join in. I am specifically looking for people who are not members of choirs as we need you to keep singing. We will need approximately 24 people, two teams of two for each Mass. Once I have the group assembled I will arrange training with a professional sound engineer. If you are interested please give the office a call. I am really hoping that some high school students involved in media programs at the high schools will consider this a possible way to participate and support our worship at the parish.

Take a careful look at the Looking Ahead section. There are some opening year school Masses listed as well as various parish activities that are starting up in the next week or two.

In Christ, Fr. Bob

A Fresh Start!

Welcome back to a new year of learning and growing in the Lord. Let me alert you to some things coming up in the near future.

I will be presenting a financial report for the period from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009, my first year of administration. I am preparing graphs both to help present clearer pictures of the revenue and the expenses. You will receive a yearly report.

After that I would like to proceed with initiating the Parish Pastoral Council and the Finance Council. Each of these committees will have sub-committees or working groups as well. The parish survey outlined what this might look like. Each committee is advisory in nature and each has a mandate.

The Pastoral Council is a body of 8 to 10 people who assist the pastor to discern the parish’s pastoral needs and facilitate responses. The Finance Council ensures that the parish administration conforms to federal, provincial, municipal and church laws. It assists with budgeting. Through its sub-committees it will provide advice on building maintenance and technical and IT requirements. I will also be putting together a group to help the parish develop its revenues. Their first task will be helping to plan and execute a process to initiate a religious goods store. As well as providing a valuable service it will allow people to donate by debit – something particularly convenient for younger adults.

I am hoping to have some official news soon on the possibility of a third priest at the parish. It also appears likely that we will have a seminarian from Serra House, our diocesan house of discernment with us on weekends.

In December, the parish will celebrate a special mission in honour of St. Francis Xavier. Fr. Lui Santi, C.PP.S. We will have Masses on Tuesday, December 1st, Wednesday December 2nd, and then I will celebrate and preach the Mass on December 3rd, the feast itself. Mark these dates in your calendar.

And last but really first, I hope that all of you headed to school especially if you are going somewhere new, will have God’s most abundant blessings on your educational adventures for the year!

In Christ, Fr. Bob

Parish Employment Resource Committee

Parish Employment Resource Committee are having their next meeting on Monday, September 14 at 7:30 pm, there will be a presentation on resume writing. Following are future meeting dates and topics

  • September 21 – Interview skills
  • September 28 - Coaching on Resume Writing and Interview Skills
  • October 5 - Networking and Occupational Survey
  • November 2 – Success Stories