Heart to Heart

Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.


BELLS OF PEACE – A Remembrance of those who served in the First World War, is an initiative of Veterans Affairs Canada. On November 11th, 1918, the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country as an outpouring of relief that four years of war had come to an end. On the 100th Anniversary of that joyous occasion, the Carillon at our Cathedral Basilica in Hamilton, and those churches with bells throughout the Diocese will participate with churches of other denominations in ringing their bells to emulate that moment of remembrance in honour of our veterans who served in WWI. Listen for them – just prior to sunset! At the going down of the sun - we will remember them!

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THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH in Hamilton, published a newsletter recently outlining the important work of their Refugee Committee. In October they welcomed a Somali family from a camp in Kenya: Amina and her sons Abdullaih (11), Abdihakim (10), and Abdihamid, (5). Arafat, who arrived in 2015, is studying toward a High School Certificate and works 5 evenings a week in housekeeping at the General Hospital. Addis lives and works in Kitchener and graduated from St. Mary High School in June. She is applying for Canadian citizenship. The committee has welcomed and cared for 7 Syrian families in need of support. The Sisters and their volunteers continue to do what they have done for so many others over the years – by giving them a good chance at life!

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THIS YEAR’S ST. JEROME’S FEAST, the annual celebration at St. Jerome’s University, was a gathering of students, alumni, staff, administration and benefactors. Katherine Bergman, University President, oversaw the evening, and members of the SJU Students’ Union assured that everyone was warmly welcomed! Mr. Rob Way, a Kitchener-Waterloo entrepreneur and philanthropist was the recipient of the Chancellor John Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership. It was a joy-filled evening! 

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THE ENTIRE SPIRITUAL CARE TEAM from the Hospitals of the St. Joseph’s Health System met with me in Hamilton earlier this week to talk about their ministry and to share the impact of their vocation in their lives. It was a powerful and deeply moving experience for all. In thanking them for their service, I was able to emphasize the importance of their pastoral care especially at such a vulnerable time in the lives of patients! Thanks to all the Chaplains for their commitment to accompany and care! 

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THESE ARE EXCITING TIMES FOR ST. BENEDICT PARISH IN MILTON! The construction of the new church begins on Monday (15th). The architect, contractors and building committee will meet to assure that everything is ready to go. It is hoped that the building will be completed by January 2020, with a blessing and dedication to take place sometime in the Spring of the year. May it all go well! 

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BISHOP RYAN CATHOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL celebrates its 60th Anniversary this weekend! An article in The Hamilton Spectator lauds former Principal, Father Ron Cote, the second Principal of the school, for his lengthy service, and lists many of the highly successful alumni of the school. A photo shows Father Cote and current Principal, Emidio Piccion, admiring a portrait of Bishop Joseph Ryan, the school’s Founder, and the corner stone which he placed in the original school 60 years ago! Congratulations to the school for a remarkable history of providing the finest Catholic education to untold numbers of lucky students. Have a great celebration!

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THE HAMILTON-WENTWORTH CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD with the Diocese of Hamilton honoured the Religious Women who made such a significant contribution to Catholic Education over the past 165 years! A statue of Jesus in the arms of the Blessed Virgin Mary was blessed yesterday at the new Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Elementary School in Hannon. A commemorative plaque was blessed at the same time. Members of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the School Sisters of Notre Dame were present for the event and a representative from each community expressed gratitude. The ceremony concluded with a student choir singing Ave Maria – a touching moment! THANK YOU TO THE SISTERS WHO SERVED IN OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS!

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THE 17TH ANNUAL VOCATIONS MASS is this Sunday at 2:00 p.m., hosted by Father Michael Anderson and Immaculate Conception Parish in Formosa! The event is sponsored by the Diocesan Council of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada, Knights of Columbus, Serra Clubs and the Diocesan Vocations Office. Father Michael King, Vocation Director, will preach. The Mass is an opportunity to thank God for the faithful witness of those committed to vocations of Christian marriage, single life, Priesthood, Diaconate, and Consecrated Life. 

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THE CANADIAN CATHOLIC ORGANIZATION FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (D&P) have sent resources for their annual Fall Campaign called Share the Journey. The resources will help parishioners understand what forced migration is and how it affects millions of people worldwide. It also provides suggested actions and prayers. Parishes and schools are encouraged to order the resource materials and to find ways to inform parishioners about the horrors faced by so many who are forced to leave their homeland! 

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CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD WISHES TO THE JESUITS IN CANADA who began a new chapter in their Canadian history this week. On July 31st, Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Society of Jesus, the English and French Provinces in Canada united to become one Province - the Jesuit Province of Canada.