Heart to Heart
Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.
THE ILLUMINATION OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE in The Saint John's Bible displayed in the Bishop Farrell Library and Archives, gives some insight into our attitude in face of modern day threats: tanks, oil rigs, symbols of nuclear disaster, and microscopic images of viruses and diseases! Amidst the chaos, however, are thin slivers of holographic foil – the light of Christ still with us. The artist, Donald Jackson intended it as “a portrait of environmental, human, and cosmic destruction”. As the pandemic impacts us all not just as a health crisis but in connection to our environmental, social and economic priorities, we can also see the value of the pastoral care provided in our ministry to others.
THE SACARAMENT OF CONFIRMATION, postponed in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being celebrated in our Parishes under strict pandemic protocols. Parish Priests have been delegated to administer the Sacrament. The celebration at St. Gregory the Great Slovenian Parish, Hamilton took place last Saturday. Everyone followed the protocols carefully – and the confirmandi will always have happy memories about the important celebration. Thanks to all who are assuring the safe and joyful celebration of Confirmation this autumn!
NEW PRIESTS AND NEW PASTORS serving in the Diocese of Hamilton will participate in orientation and formation sessions over the coming weeks. The sessions include presentations on the diocesan governance structure, screening protocols, misconduct policies and procedures, communications and privacy policies. It also provides information about the history of Catholic schools in Ontario, and ministry expectations in elementary and secondary schools and universities. The Growing In Faith, Growing in Christ catechetical program is featured. Youth ministry, sacramental preparation, diocesan policies, RCIA, and liturgical celebrations including an overview of the liturgical books available are also covered. They also learn about financial and administration policies, including working with Finance Councils and Parish Pastoral Councils, professional conduct and collaborative ministry. Marriage Preparation, marriage forms, dispensations, and the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal are part of the process. Finally, speech and language expectations are also addressed. Thanks to Monsignor Murray Kroetsch, Jim Long and other Diocesan personnel for the care and attention you give to the new Priests and Pastors who are beginning their ministry in the Diocese!
THIS IS NATIONAL CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE WEEK 2020, and it is sponsored by the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada (CHAC)! The theme of the week is AWAKEN: Revealing the Courageous Gift of Catholic Health Care. A few facts about Catholic Health Care in Canada: There are 129 Catholic health care organizations in Canada, offering 19,575 beds. Staff numbering 88,000+ serve more than 5 million people annually, with a 6 billion dollar operating budget! Catholic Health Care in Canada is inspired by the example of the Founding Sisters – visionary women who for generations advocated and cared for the most destitute people in their communities. Their ministry has become the mission of a multitude of leaders and this mission makes the Canadian health care system and Canadian society stronger! What a blessing you are for us!
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE CATHOLIC WOMEN'S LEAGUE OF CANADA announced a national initiative to plant 100 trees across Canada for the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the League. The major celebration of the anniversary, scheduled to take place at their National Convention in Montreal this summer, was cancelled because of COVID pandemic concerns. The tree planting project became their major effort. The League Council at St. Michael Parish in Waterloo, with the encouragement of enthusiastic President Shani Pregejl, committed to planting one of the 100 trees! Last Saturday, in the presence of several Past Presidents from the Parish, most of the current Parish CWL Executive, and our own Shari Guinta from the National CWL Council, a flowering pear tree was planted and blessed. Photos were taken to mark the occasion. Congratulations to the Catholic Women's League nationally on such a significant milestone. The Diocesan Council of the League also marked their 100th anniversary this year – the planned celebration was also cancelled! A note of interest: Frances Lovering, from the Hamilton Diocesan CWL, became the second National President of the League. She is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Burlington. For 100 years members of the Catholic Women's League – the largest grass-roots organization of women in Canada – have been carrying out good works For God and Canada! We wish you many more happy years!
THE 106TH WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES will be celebrated this Sunday, September 27th. This year’s theme is Forced Like Jesus Christ To Flee! Pope Francis encourages us to reflect on the community of internally displaced peoples across the globe – those who have been forcibly displaced within the borders of their country of citizenship. At the end of 2019, the UN Refugee Agency reported that an astonishing 45.7 million people were internally displaced due to armed conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations. It is noteworthy that this number is larger than the world’s refugee population – those who have been forced to cross an international border in search of protection. While COVID-19 has undermined the ability of the Diocese of Hamilton to host our Annual Multicultural Mass this year, we encourage everyone to call to mind this important day in your prayers!
THE DIOCESE WELCOMED FOUR NEW PRIESTS to its ranks on August 15th! Congratulations to Father Paul Edmondstone (St. Matthew Parish, Oakville), Father Francisco Sordo, (St. Michael Parish, Oakville), Father Pawel Stankiewicz (Blessed Sacrament Parish, Kitchener) and Father Hayden Starczala (Holy Cross Parish, Georgetown), who were ordained Priests at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. Because of COVID-19 protocols, the number of clergy and lay people who gathered for the celebration was restricted. Still, a spirit of joyful thanksgiving marked the event! We wish them well in their new ministry!