LENT HAS BEGUN! Churches throughout the Dioceses are open (at 30% capacity) to welcome parishioners for prayer and worship. It will take some time for people to feel secure enough to return, so it is vitally important that Parishes follow rigorously the protocols prepared by the Chancery officials. We want to assure the safety of parishioners and their good health – physical and spiritual! Thank you to Pastors and Pastoral Teams for the care and attention you give to assuring a safe environment!
Heart to Heart
Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.
NEXT WEDNESDAY IS ASH WEDNESDAY! We pray that we will once again be able to open our parish churches (30% capacity) for Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday. The Diocesan Liturgy Office has forwarded to Pastors directions from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments as to how to safely administer the ashes during this time of pandemic protocols. Once we receive the notice of lifting of the “stay-at-home” order, we will communicate directly with Parish Priests. We pray to the Lord!
“IT MAY BE SMALL, BUT THE NEW TINY HOME TAKEOUT in front of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in downtown Kitchener can produce 12 personal pan pizzas in three minutes and at least 150 soups in the two hours it is open.” So begins the CBC story featuring the most recent initiative of Father Toby Collins, C.R., his C.R. community, and his St. Mary Parish support team. Congratulations on getting the program up and running – especially during these colder winter and pandemic days! A good story for the Church!
ST. MARY PARISH IN KITCHENER received their first delivery of food on Wednesday to their new kitchen below the church. The plan is to provide takeout food for the most vulnerable and those who do not have access to drive-thru because they do not have a car. Food testing begins today – and they hope to open by the end of next week. Thanks to Father Toby Collins, C.R., and his team for this important initiative coming to fruition at such a dark time! A bright light in the midst of darkness indeed!
THE FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD which is celebrated this Sunday marks the end of the Christmas season. Thank you for the greetings and gifts received throughout the season! Ordinary Time begins on Monday and continues until Ash Wednesday. Several Parishes in the Diocese of Hamilton have arranged to live-stream Masses during the Provincial lockdown. Check your Parish website to see if your Parish does so. Mass from the Cathedral Basilica will be televised on Cable 14 at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays.
CHRISTMAS MIDNIGHT MASS FROM THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA will be broadcast again this year. The Mass will be preceded by a Carol Service beginning at 11:30 p.m. Both the Mass and the Carol Service will be broadcast by Salt + Light Media and shared with CHCH TV. Due to COVID restrictions, all seating for Midnight Mass has already been reserved. Join us for the broadcast and share in the joy of this Christmas feast!
WISE MEN WEAR MASKS! So do good shepherds! This year's Christmas Crib at the Chancery has a COVID-19 pandemic addition. The Magi and the shepherds, who are not part of the Holy Family "bubble" are wearing masks! Since they cannot follow the social distancing protocol, the masks are mandatory! Thanks to the Christmas decorators for reminding us of our responsibility to care for one another especially during these dangerous times!
ST. BENEDICT CHURCH IN MILTON is nearing completion. The Mass of Dedication was originally scheduled for this coming Sunday. Because the church is still in the final stages of completion it was decided to continue completing the work, to begin celebrating Mass in the church prior to Christmas, and to reschedule the Mass of Dedication to early July, 2021. Congratulations to Father Jim Petrie and his team for a remarkably beautiful church which will serve parishioners in Milton for years to come!
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.