HOLY WEEK BEGINS WITH THE PALM SUNDAY CELEBRATIONS! Holy Week precedes the great Feast of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday! It includes the last days of Lent and the beginning of the Easter Triduum (Thursday of the Lord’s Supper, Friday of the Passion, and Holy Saturday). The Easter celebrations begin in the darkness of Saturday evening with the Easter Vigil – “the mother of all vigils”, according to St. Augustine! May these holiest of days draw us all closer to the Lord and to one another!
Heart to Heart
Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.
VOCALFEST 2019 IS A MUSICAL “EXTRAVAGANZA” of the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. Drawing together vocal groups from the six Catholic High Schools in the Hamilton area at the Bishop Ryan Performing Arts Theatre, the young people literally “sang the day away”!!! Energy and enthusiasm abounded as the singers cheered each other on and encouraged every singer and every group – a true celebration of the students and the music that inspires them! Next week, BR Xpression, under the direction of music teacher Dave Tabone, presents another of their sensational evenings of music and fun. It is the culmination of a lot of commitment and hard work by the students! Don’t miss it!
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION is being celebrated throughout the Diocese these days. Tonight I travel to St. Mary Parish in Owen Sound, and tomorrow I will celebrate at St. Patrick Parish in Burlington. On Sunday morning I am at Holy Cross Croatian Parish in Hamilton, and in the afternoon at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Stoney Creek. Next week I celebrate the Sacrament with young people from St. Catherine of Siena Parish at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. It is always a joy to meet the young people who are so well prepared for the celebration. Please continue to pray for this year’s Confirmandi in our Diocese!
MARCH 25th IS THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION, patronal feast of the Diocese of Hamilton. A Mass will be celebrated at noon at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. Following Mass, invitations have been extended to a luncheon in McNally Hall where the Diocesan Campaign, One Heart, One Soul, will be officially launched. The final version of the campaign video will be presented at that time. Fourteen Parishes have offered to participate in the “Pilot Wave” of the Campaign, and will launch their own efforts in April. Three additional waves over the next two years will allow every Parish in the Diocese to participate! We pray for Our Lady’s intercession for this historic diocesan initiative!
ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY CATECHUMENS were inscribed into the Book of the Elect at ceremonies at the Basilica of Our Lady and the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King over the past two weekends. They are preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) which will be celebrated in their Parishes at the upcoming Easter Vigil. Both events were very moving opportunities to meet others who have made the same choices about their faith. Thank you to the RCIA Teams and the Pastors of Parishes for your participation in this year’s Rite of Election!
MELISSA FARRELL IS THE NEW PRESIDENT of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton! The long awaited announcement was made yesterday by Dr. Tom Stewart, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health System and Sonny Mondavi, Chair of the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Board. She will assume the new position on April 29, 2019. Ms. Farrell currently serves as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Acute and Emergency Health Services, within Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She is widely recognized as an expert in health system funding, quality improvement, and performance management. We celebrate her appointment and wish her well!
THE ANNUAL BISHOP’S CHARITIES DINNER DANCE, sponsored by Councils from the Knights of Columbus in the Hamilton area, takes place at Carmen’s Banquet Hall tomorrow evening. It is always a joy-filled evening – a time to celebrate our faith and support some very good works! Thanks to the Grand Knights and their Councils who so generously show their support for the Bishop and for the charities that will benefit. Thanks to the patrons who are so dedicated in their support. Thanks to the Parishes and parishioners who have purchased tables. May the weather cooperate this year!
THIS IS DAY TWO of the gathering of Presidents of Episcopal Conferences from around the world with other leaders in the Church at the invitation of Pope Francis. The session is called The Protection of Minors in the Church and is taking place in the Synod Hall in The Vatican. Bishop Lionel Gendron, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, is the Canadian representative attending the event. The days are filled with time for prayer, several designated speakers, and group sharing. They began yesterday with a statement by the Holy Father, and will be closed on Sunday with his final address. We pray that the Holy Spirit will move the minds and hearts of the participants, bring healing to those who have suffered, and lead to better ways of dealing with these horrors.
CONGRATULATIONS TO FATHER CON O’MAHONY recipient of the Honorary Membership Award from the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association (OCSOA). The award is given to honour his long and distinguished service to Ontario’s Catholic Education community. It will be presented at the Association’s Annual General Meeting at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, April 11th, 2019. Well deserved!
MARY AND DAVE TABONE ARE REMARKABLE MUSIC TEACHERS in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. Recently, elementary students showed their talent in the 5th annual Junior Vocal Festival at the Bishop Ryan Theatre and Performing Arts Centre. The highlight of the evening was the culminating songs performed by 300+ students titled “We Are The World” and “A Million Dreams”! The next musical extravaganza featuring the BR XPRESSION, the BR Celtic Fusion, Beat and the JR Xpression will take place on April 10, 11, 12, 2019. Want to feel good about life? Don’t miss this concert! Thanks Mary and Dave!