THE FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER is tomorrow, May 1, 2021! The feast takes on added significance this year because Pope Francis has dedicated the year to St. Joseph. In the Apostolic Exhortation, Patris Corde (With the Heart of a Father), published on December 8, 2020, the Holy Father announced the special dedication. COVID-19 protocols permitting, on Canada Day, July 1, 2021, a special Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King during which an Act of Consecration of the country to St. Joseph, Patron of Canada, will be prayed.
Heart to Heart
Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.
BISHOP WAYNE LOBSINGER was ordained Bishop last Sunday, April 18th. When we learned about the impending restrictions on church services to be imposed on Monday, April 19 at 12:01 a.m., we thought it best to proceed with the ordination rather than risk a similar restriction in June. Several phone calls and email messages later and it was all arranged. Even Monsignor Matjaž Roter, Chargé d’Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature in Ottawa was able to attend, bring the Papal Bulla (Apostolic Letter signed by Pope Francis announcing the appointment), and offer greetings and good wishes on the Pope’s behalf. We pray that the Bishop’s ministry will be richly blessed!
THE UNIVERSITY CHAPLAINCIES in the Diocese of Hamilton met "virtually" last week to review the activities of the past year and to discuss opportunities for shared ministry! The Chaplains and Chaplaincy Leaders at St. Jerome University, Waterloo; St. John Paul II Student Centre, Waterloo; Canadian Martyrs’/McMaster Students Association, Hamilton; and Newman Centre, Guelph, meet together with the Diocese a few times each year to share experiences and resources. The challenges of the pandemic have intensified the outreach of the chaplaincies - much of it online. Keep up the good spirit!
THE RENOVATED ST. ELIZABETH CHAPEL at St. Elizabeth Village in Hamilton will have its first Mass NEXT Friday, (the Friday before Palm Sunday)! Father Mark Gatto, Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, the parish in which the Chapel is located, will be the presider for the Mass. Father Wallace Metcalf will celebrate on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The renovated space is brighter and provides space for wheelchairs and walkers!
BLESSED CARLO ACUTIS, an Italian teenager who died of leukemia at the age of 15 was declared “Blessed” by Pope Francis in the Fall of 2020. He was born on May 3, 1991, and died on October 12, 2006. He was known for his joy and simplicity, his computer savvy, and his love of the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother. A recently published book about his road to sanctity is being sent to Priests serving in the Diocese, for their information and edification. Pope Saint John Paul II often said that the young would be Saints – and so they are! To learn more: www.carloacutis-en.org.
THE PENULTIMATE WAVE OF ONE HEART, ONE SOUL has been launched. To date, the campaign has raised over $23 million, 66 percent of the $35 million goal! 42 parishes have surpassed their baseline target. Six more are at 93% or higher. In one parish, over 78% of parishioners participated in the campaign, the highest level of participation so far in any parish. Several parishes are already undertaking projects and programs for which funds have been raised. Painting and improved lighting at the Cathedral is almost complete. The scaffolding will be coming down soon. A recent note from one donor says it all: “Blessings. I loved reading the campaign news and all the good things that are happening because of it. I just want to share with you my experience with One Heart, One Soul. At first I was hesitant to contribute because I wasn’t sure if we could meet the contribution you asked of us. Thank God we are contributing to it! God has been so gracious to us. As soon as we started contributing, my husband got a raise and a family member has given us gifts that matched our 3-year contributions. Last year we were able to buy a new car and installed a new roof on our house. So much blessing has come our way, and we thank One Heart, One Soul. We thank God for His generosity. God has shown me that if you are generous, He will be more generous! Thank you.” And thank YOU to all who support the campaign!
PLEASE PRAY FOR POPE FRANCIS as he prepares to make an apostolic journey next week to the Christian communities of Iraq which have suffered grievously over the past 20+ years. The Holy Father intends his trip to be a sign of solidarity and encouragement for the beleaguered Iraqi Christians – and there are considerable risks associated with the trip. Please keep him – and them – in your prayers. “Ask and you will receive!”
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!
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!