Heart to Heart

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


POPE FRANCIS CELEBRATES THE 10th ANNIVERSARY of his election as Supreme Pontiff next Monday, March 13th. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has initiated a special prayer initiative for the occasion. The faithful worldwide are invited to pray at least one “Hail Mary” for the Holy Father to mark the anniversary. As part of the initiative, a special “online” map will feature virtual lighted candles representing the prayers of the faithful who have registered. The map will be offered as a gift in support of his ministry. If you wish to register, please use this link – choosing your language preference at the upper right hand corner. The Vatican News press release is available here. May the Holy Father be strongly supported by the fervent prayers of the faithful!

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THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER is observed annually on the first Friday in March. It is an invitation for Christians to pause and pray together ecumenically. This recalls our responsibility to bring a more authentically Christian dimension to the concerns of our world, our country, our community. Sponsored by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada and its national counterparts around the world, it is celebrated in approximately 165 countries. (Taken from the Liturgical Calendar 2022-2023.)

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THE RITE OF ELECTION takes place at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King and the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate on Sunday, February 26th, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The Rite of Election is a celebration with those who wish to become members of the Catholic Church (Catechumens), with their families, and sponsors. The moving liturgical celebration welcomes the catechumens and presents them to the Bishop so they can sign the Book of the Elect and be admitted to the final stage of intense preparation prior to the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). If you have never participated in the Rite of Election, you are welcome to join us! Bring Kleenex! “Bless all your adopted children, Lord God, and add these chosen ones to the harvest of the new covenant!” 

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SISTER MADELEINE GRAF, a Sister of St. Joseph for 71 years, was a teacher, then a pastoral worker at St. Joseph Parish, Hamilton. After “retirement”, on April 1, 2003, Sister Madeleine joined St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Guelph. 20 years later, Sister has decided that it is the right time to retire. Throughout her life, Sister Madeleine exhibited “care for the whole person” in every interaction. She guided many patients, family members, staff and peer volunteers. A retirement celebration took place in the hospital cafeteria on Wednesday. On behalf of the Diocese of Hamilton, Monsignor Dennis Noon presented the Medal of Honour to Sister Madeleine in gratitude for her long and generous service! We wish her well-deserved happiness in retirement.

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EARLIER THIS MORNINGFeast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced the appointment of Most Reverend Francis Leo, until now, Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal, as the Archbishop of Toronto. Archbishop Leo succeeds His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins, whose resignation the Pope also accepted. Archbishop Leo is well prepared for his new responsibilities, having served as a Parish Priest in Montreal, as a seminary formator, a university lecturer, a member of the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See, and as General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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OUR WORLD YOUTH DAY PILGRIMS will welcome over 300 guests to St. Mary Parish Hall, Hamilton, tomorrow (Saturday) evening. A Taste of Portugal Fundraising Dinner is a celebration of Portuguese food, culture and dancing organized by the young pilgrims heading to Portugal this summer. All proceeds from the ticket sales go towards offsetting the costs of the pilgrimage to Fatima and Lisbon. Special thanks to Father David Avila and staff at St. Mary Church for their generous support!

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THANK YOU TO THE PRIESTS, DEACONS, CHANCERY COLLEAGUES, LAY PASTORAL WORKERS, MEMBERS OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES, AND PARISHIONERS throughout the Diocese who celebrated Masses and participated in a Spiritual Bouquet of prayers offered for my intention on the 25th anniversary of my Ordination as a Bishop. I was buoyed up by the generosity of your prayerful and practical support!

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THE BLESSING OF THE PAINTING The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables, a gift from the Bensen family to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH), took place yesterday, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, in the hospital chapel. The artwork was given in memory of Dr. William Bensen, renown Rheumatologist at SJHH. The beautiful painting, gratefully accepted by Liz Buller, President of St. Joseph’s Health System, now hangs in the hospital Chapel and adds to the sacred environment there. Dr. Bensen’s wife, Wynn, one of their sons and his two boys attended the event.


THE HONOURABLE GRAYDON NICHOLAS will visit Hamilton Diocese, December 11 – 13, 2022. He will speak to leaders in Catholic Education during the day in Hamilton on December 12th, and in Halton, December 13th. On December 12th, at 7:00 p.m., the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and National Day of Prayer and Solidarity with Indigenous Persons, he will speak in the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King about the significance of the appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, an Indigenous person, at Teypeyac. Canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002, Juan Diego was the first Catholic Indigenous Saint in the Americas. Indigenous himself, the Honourable Graydon Nicholas, currently Chancellor of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, has had a remarkable career, including serving as 30th Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick from 2009-2014. His culture and his faith are central to his life. All are welcome to hear him in person. His presentation will also be live-streamed on the Cathedral YouTube Channel. Bring a friend!

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THREE PRIESTS MOVED INTO THE NEW RESIDENCE last week at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Owen Sound. The house was blessed the week prior! From beginning to end the project took five years, six months and twenty-eight days, “beating the time it took to construct the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by three weeks,” joked Neil Devlin, head of the Parish Building Committee! The new house has three suites for the Priests, including bedroom, washroom, sitting room, and heating and cooling systems, and two guestrooms with a shared bathroom across the hall.  There are communal areas including a kitchen and dining room, a library and living room. Congratulation to Father Wojciech Kuzma and his team on “getting the job done – and well done”!

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