THE 2020 PENTECOST MESSAGE FROM THE CCCB – Standing Committee for Relations with Movements and Associations was released this week by the Conference. The message of encouragement and hope is addressed to Catholics who are “alive in the Spirit” and engaged in the world! “As was the case for the two disciples (on the road to Emmaus), the compass of a heart that is burning for God guides our hopeful gaze. Many initiatives and examples of willingness to help have revealed the greatness of caregivers and health-care workers”! The letter is available here.
Heart to Heart
Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.
GOOD NEWS FROM FATHER JIM PETRIE THIS WEEK! The construction of St. Benedict Church is underway once again. The work had been stopped as part of the COVID-19 government shutdown, and was one of the projects that got the green light on Monday-past. The completion of the building is now foreseen to be late Autumn. Good news indeed!
OUR SINCEREST SYMPATHY to the Jesuit Community in Pickering and to the Jesuits who serve among us here in the Diocese of Hamilton! The COVID-19 virus has taken a huge toll in Rene Goupil House, the community’s infirmary community. Sixteen residents and some staff have tested positive. Five Jesuits have died, others are in critical condition. The remaining residents are being monitored. Father Erik Oland, S.J., Provincial Superior of the Jesuits of Canada, has said, “Now, the most important support you can give is by way of prayer; prayer for these men, prayer for those who care for them and prayer that these next weeks and months will see fewer and fewer illness and loss of life due to the virus.” And so we pray – for the Jesuits and for all who have been touched by this virus!
“IGNITING HOPE” is the theme for Catholic Education Week in Ontario, May 4 – May 8, 2020. This year’s video message for Catholic Education week is available online. Thanks to Anne Jamieson and Larica Perera for its preparation. This year, I am told that School Boards are preparing to send the message to every home in their system – a first! A Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick Church in Hamilton at 11 a.m. next Friday morning. It will be live-streamed and accessible for all. We pray for all our teachers and students, trustees and administrators, during these challenging days, that the values imbued in our Catholic schools provide the insights necessary to weather the strain of the shutdown with creativity, gratitude and generosity!
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited the Canadian Bishops to Consecrate their individual Dioceses to Mary, Mother of the Church, on Friday, May 1, 2020. In solidarity with a number of Episcopal Conferences around the world, the Consecration seeks the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Coronavirus pandemic. Pastors, too, are invited to Consecrate the Parishes and Missions entrusted to their care on the same occasion. Families, groups and other faith communities are also invited to pray the prayer of Consecration. The Diocesan Liturgy Office will provide the necessary prayer resources early next week. Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us!
THE ANGELUS BELLS of the Cathedral Basilica ring at 9 a.m., 12 o’clock noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. every day in support of the health care providers who put themselves at risk in service of those who have tested positive for the corona virus. The bells remind all who hear them to pray in gratitude for their courage, generosity and safety during this pandemic. Even if you do not hear the bells, remember to pray in thanksgiving for those who are caring for the sick and elderly these days!
DR. TOM STEWART, ST. JOSEPH HEALTH SYSTEM PRESIDENT AND CEO has been seconded to the Ontario Ministry of Health as the Clinical Lead on the Provincial COVID-19 Command Table. The Table supports the planning and response to the pandemic that is sweeping the country. It is consoling to know that he enjoys such professional respect at the Provincial level – and that the Province is in good hands indeed! Brian Guest, SJHS Senior Vice-President, will provide support to Dr. Stewart at SJHS on non-COVID-19 matters!
THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER (formerly The Women’s World Day of Prayer) is a global ecumenical movement which brings Christians of many traditions together to pray for relevant issues affecting women and children. The movement has been active for nearly 100 years. Each year, a different participating country writes the service. This year’s country is Zimbabwe. The World Day of Prayer is traditionally celebrated on the first Friday of March. The motto of the World Day of Prayer movement is Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action. Both prayer and action are inseparable and both have immeasurable influence on the world!
THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE for the Canadian Catholic Youth Ministers Network, which was held at the Convention Centre in Hamilton last weekend was an unqualified success! Congratulations to Christina Mines and Nicole McCowell for their good work in assuring that everything was ready to welcome the 170 participants and various keynote speakers. There were many challenges to face due to train cancellations and health issues, but with the professional help of our Chancery personnel, the bases were covered. The CCYMN Executive met for several days afterwards at Mount Mary Immaculate Retreat Centre. It was a stellar event!