Heart to Heart 2016
Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.
MR. CHARLIE HOGG HAS RETIRED AFTER 36 YEARS as carillonneur at the Cathedral Basilica! He was often heard (but not seen) playing the carillon before and after Diocesan liturgical celebrations and special events. To get to the carillon keyboard in the bell tower of the Cathedral takes dexterity and good health. The stairs are steep and a ladder must be managed â€“ while carrying music in a satchel!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 12th IS THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE, patron of the Americas. The Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council has designated it as a day for prayer for Indigenous Peoples. Each year the Council produces a helpful reflection to assist us in our prayer. This year they have prepared a Prayer for Families, which was published in the recent edition of Inter Nos. Please pray for families on this special feast!
THE NEXT VOLUME (PROPHETS) OF THE SAINT JOHNâ€™S BIBLE â€“ HERITAGE EDITION will be welcomed to the Diocese as part of the annual Advent Hymn Festival at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. The celebration of scripture and song is NEXT Sunday evening, December 11th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. - a great way to celebrate this â€œpropheticâ€ and prayerful season. Not to be missed!
â€œAS THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY DRAWS TO A CLOSE, I am struck by what at gift it was to have experienced this period of special reflection on the inexhaustible mercy of God.â€ So begins my Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of Hamilton at the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The letter outlines some of the high points of the year both internationally and in our Diocese â€“ many focusing on the importance of the Holy Door. The final event of the Jubilee Year takes place tonight at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King â€“ Evening Prayer and an address by Archbishop Donald Bolen on the centrality of mercy in our faith. â€œAs the apostles were sent forth to evangelize the world, let us also go out bringing Godâ€™s mercy to all!â€
DATED NOVEMBER 20th, THE CLOSING DAY OF THE YEAR OF MERCY, a Pastoral Letter reflecting on the many blessings of the year was sent to all Parishes today. It may be published or read during all the Sunday Masses next weekend. It outlines some of the graces experienced during the year â€“ opportunities to experience Godâ€™s merciful compassion.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE REQUESTED for Grace Iheaturu, sister of Father Gordian Okpuruka (Elora), who died in Nigeria on Tuesday, and for Richard Weise, brother of Father David Weise (Walkerton), who died on Thursday. We pray to the Lord! WELCOME TO BISHOP PETER CHUNG SOON TAEK, O.C.D., Auxiliary Bishop in South Korea, who is spending a few days at the Carmel of St. Joseph in St. Agatha. Before becoming a Bishop he served at the Carmelite Generalate in Rome. We wish him a good rest, safe travel, and blessed ministry back home!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16th IS PILGRIMAGE SUNDAY AT THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA. Pilgrims from St. Agnes Parish, Waterloo, Holy Rosary Parish, Burlington, St. Clement Parish, Cambridge, St. Teresa Parish, Kitchener, and St. Mary Parish, Hamilton will enter through the Doors of Mercy. Other pilgrims are warmly welcome â€“ the Doors open at 2:00 p.m. Note that the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be brought to the Cathedral by the Portuguese community from St. Mary Parish, who will lead the public recitation of the Rosary. At 3:00 p.m. the Divine Mercy Chaplet will be prayed followed by Mass at 4:00 p.m. St. Ann Parish, Ancaster will go through the Doors of Mercy next Tuesday. Plan to do so before the year concludes next month, November 20th. Pastors can call Father Wynen to confirm a time for their Parish Pilgrimage.
WELCOME TO KAY WEERASOORIYA WHO JOINS THE MARRIAGE TRIBUNAL TEAM at the Chancery. She will serve as Tribunal Administrator, supporting Father Adam Voisin, Judicial Vicar. Peggi Bennici retires on October 14th, following 28 years of dedicated service in the Tribunal. Her quiet and professional attitude helped make the Tribunal an effective recourse for people who sought Tribunal assistance. We are confident that the careful service given to matters considered there will continue. Ave et vale!
OUR PRAYERS AND GOOD WISHES GO TO THE NEW CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP Circle for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada. Sr. Margo Ritchie was elected Congregational Leader; Sister Joyce Murray was elected Assistant; Sisters Anne Karges, Sheila Fortune, and Nancy Sullivan complete the Circle. They will begin their ministry during a visit to St. Josephâ€™s Convent in Hamilton in October. Blessings!
THE FIRST OF SEVEN VOLUMES - GOSPELS AND ACTS - OF THE SAINT JOHNâ€™S BIBLE (Heritage Edition) was welcomed in the Diocese of Hamilton last night. Evening Prayer was celebrated. The music of the Diocesan Choir was both prayerful and sublime. Deacons John Moss and Rene Marechal carried the book in the opening procession and laid it carefully on the specially-crafted lectern. As we sang the Magnificat, the book was opened to Luke 24, where the powerful illustration of the Crucifixion of Jesus shone! Mr. Jim Triggs told the story of the creation of the Heritage Edition. Following prayer, people gathered in McNally Hall to have a closer look at the book and to meet Mr. Triggs. You are invited to Come and See the acquisition which is on display at the Bishop Farrell Library and Archives. Quite simply, you will be inspired!
THE DE MAZENOD DOOR WAS FORMALLY OPENED AT ST. PATRICK SCHOOL in Hamilton today! The partnership between St. Patrick Parish and St. Patrick School provides meals to those who come to the door each day. The Door was declared a Holy Door for the remainder of the Year of Mercy...
THE ROOF OF THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF CHRIST THE KING is being sheeted with copper over the next few weeks. Once completed the work on the main part of the building will be done and the scaffolding will be taken down. Work on the bell tower is just beginning and will continue into 2017, with a recess over the cold winter months. Some of us climbed the scaffolding earlier this week to the top of the tower, providing an opportunity to see up close the work required. The repairs are taking place none too soon â€“ and will assure the safety and beauty of the Cathedral for another 50 years.
4000 WORLD YOUTH DAY PILGRIMS FROM CANADA BEGIN THE JOURNEY TO KRAKOW in the coming days. Two groups are making their way from the Hamilton Diocese. Planning for the pilgrimage began over two years ago. David Dayler, Director of the Office of Discipleship and Parish Life will post daily reports on a blog: Disciples on a Journey. We pray for a safe, joyful and memorable World Youth Day experience!
THE ST. JOHN VIANNEY RESIDENCE AT THE VILLA WAS OFFICIALLY BLESSED yesterday. Sr. Anne Anderson, CSJ, and Dr. Kevin Smith from St. Josephâ€™s Health System, St. Josephâ€™s Villa administrators, Derrick Bernardo and David Bakker, and Foundation Chair, Dave Weber, and Maureen Ellis were on hand, as were many friends and generous supporters of the Villa. Priests from the Diocese were also present, including Father Michael McHugh, Catholic Chaplain there. Profound thanks to Sr. Maria Szucs, President of the St. Elizabeth Home Society, and the Societyâ€™s chief administrator, Mr. Robert Wappel, for the incredible generosity which made the initiative possible! The rooms are spacious and bright, the Chapel is welcoming, the solarium is relaxing. It will be a comfortable home for retired Priests!
THE DOORS OF MERCY AT THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA HAVE WELCOMED HUNDREDS of people since the beginning of the Year of Mercy in December. Crossing this threshold is symbolic of our desire to enter into the heart of God â€“ the fount of mercy and compassion. Last weekend, pilgrims from St. Andrew Parish, Oakville, and St. Mary Parish, Brantford, passed through the doors, spent time in prayer and enjoyed a tour. Many have participated in the Pilgrim Sundays held in the Cathedral Basilica. Walter Gretzky, another recent visitor, delighted the staff of the Cathedral with stories and autographs. To arrange a pilgrimage for your Parish, please contact Fr. David Wynen, Cathedral Rector. During the summer months the Cathedral Basilica will welcome pilgrims from Tuesday through Thursday from 12:00 noon to 2 p.m.
FOUR SEMINARIANS WILL BE ORDAINED DEACONS TONIGHT by Bishop Daniel Miehm at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Waterdown. We offer our congratulations and our gratitude to Paul Jamroz, Ross Campbell, David Avila and Kevin Dâ€™Souza, on this important step in their formation toward the Priesthood. Both David Avila and Ross Campbell spent their Pastoral Internship Year at the Parish, making it an appropriate location for the Ordinations. All are welcome to participate!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOUR MEN WHO WILL BE ORDAINED DEACONS TOMORROW. They are the first group to have completed a four year program of formation sponsored by the Diocese IN the Diocese. Special thanks to Father Mark Gatto, Director of the Diaconate Formation Program, and Deacon Peter Gittens, Associate Director, for the excellence of the program. We pray for Taek-Jong Han, Edward MacIntosh, Rene Marechal, and John Moss. We also pray for Frank Berardi, who will be ordained for the Diocese of St. Catharines. Bishop Daniel Miehm will ordain four more Deacons NEXT Friday evening at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Waterdown. The Diocese is blessed!
THE YEAR OF MERCY YOUTH RALLY, co-sponsored by the Diocesan Youth Ministry Office and CYO was as good as we could have imagined. The weather cooperated (no rain!), the key-note speakers were inspiring, the workshop presenters were informative, the food was tasty, and the spirit was over the top! Thanks to Parish Ministers from across the Diocese who encouraged our young people to participate. It helped ensure that the Year of Mercy was well-celebrated by those who came! Well done indeed!
TOMORROWâ€™S DIOCESAN YEAR OF MERCY YOUTH RALLY IS ALREADY A SUCCESS! Over 400 young people have registered for the event at Camp BrÃ©beuf; the well-known guest speakers are well-prepared; the Mass will be for Trinity Sunday and the weather promises to be perfect! Congratulations to Christina Mines, Director of our Youth Ministry Office, Parish Youth Ministers and High School Chaplains throughout the Diocese, and everybody who made sure that all is prepared. May it be a blessing for all participants!
SEEING MERCY IS THE TITLE OF A DAY-LONG RETREAT for the Chancery Office staff today.Barbara Sutton from St. Johnâ€™s University, Collegeville, is directing the retreat at Holy Rosary Parish Centre in Burlington, using remarkable illustrations from the St. Johnâ€™s Bible. Earlier in the week, Barbara worked with Parish Ministers and with staff who will be responsible for the proper care of the Bible in the Diocese. The Chancery Office will be closed today.
THE CATHEDRAL BASILICA WAS LIT UP IN GREEN this week to mark Mental Health Week. Other parishes in Hamilton did the same. PLEASE PRAY FOR FATHER LEONARD STROHMEYER WHO UNDERWENT SURGERY earlier this week and received a triple by-pass. There were serious complications requiring extra care. Please remember him in your prayers.
NEXT WEEK IS CATHOLIC EDUCATION WEEK IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO. Catholic Schools and Parishes throughout the Diocese have received materials that will help promote the week-long celebration. Special Masses, dinners, and awards events are held to promote the importance of Catholic education. The Office of Catechesis and our Communication Office have collaborated to produce a video greeting for the occasion. Thank God for the many blessings of Catholic education in our Diocese!
A WARM WELCOME TO FATHER PETER CIALLELLA who was incardinated into the Diocese of Hamilton earlier this week. The Indult arrived from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, giving the clearance for his transfer from the Missionaries of St. Charles - Scalabrinians. Father Peter currently serves as Pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Hamilton and is on the Board of the Catholic Childrenâ€™s Aid Society of Hamilton (CCASH). Because he is a â€œson of the Dioceseâ€ and has served here for many years, he is already well-known and well-liked.
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER IS OFTEN CALLED GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY and is also declared the World Day of Prayer for Priestly Vocations. The image of the Good Shepherd, presented in the Gospel on Sunday, provides the vision for every Priest who wishes to follow in the footsteps of Christ, the Good Shepherd. In Hamilton Priest, the newsletter from our Vocation Office, Father Wojciech Kuzma, Diocesan Vocation Director, has outlined a few suggestions about how to make this yearâ€™s Good Shepherd Sunday special, including suggestions for Sundayâ€™s homily.
ST. GABRIELâ€™S CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN STONEY CREEK WAS BLESSED on Wednesday evening. The newest school in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board was full of excited students, happy teachers and parents, and proud school officials for the dedication. Crosses for each classroom were blessed and given to students, staff and parents to be carried to each room. The school is bright and beautiful â€“ and full! Already there are â€œportablesâ€ because the students outnumber space in the school.
THE MASS WITH NEW CATHOLICS IN THE DIOCESE OF HAMILTON takes place this Sunday at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. Catholics who were initiated and those received into the Church during the Easter Vigil last Saturday evening have been invited to join those who worship at the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass. It is always a joy for us to welcome them and an encouragement for them to see how many have made the life-changing decision. We pray for Godâ€™s rich blessing for all of them!
THE EASTER TRIDUUM BEGINS TONIGHT with the Mass of the Lords Supper. Our prayer and reflection on the total gift of the Lord Jesus, and the celebration of His Resurrection from the dead, call us to a generous giving of self in the Lordâ€™s service and a joyful proclamation of Godâ€™s love for all!
HOLY WEEK BEGINS THIS WEEKEND WITH THE CELEBRATION OF PALM SUNDAY. As is the custom in the Diocese of Hamilton, the Chrism Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King on Monday evening, beginning at 7 p.m. A dinner for the Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Seminarians begins at 4 p.m. Bishop Wesley Spiewak, C.R., the new Bishop of Hamilton (Bermuda), will be our special guest for the evening. He is currently visiting members of the Congregation of the Resurrection in the Diocese. We warmly welcome him and the over-200 clergy who will be present for the event at which the Priests renew their commitment to the Diocese. See you there!
FATHER ANGELICO (ANGE) VALERIOTE WAS 92 WHEN HE DIED YESTERDAY following a life of service. He will be remembered for his good humour, his broad smile, and his unique laugh. He lived â€œthe joy of the Gospelâ€! May God give him the reward due a good and faithful servant! Our condolences to the Valeriote family who remained so close to him, especially during his final years!
â€œ24 HOURS FOR THE LORD: IMMERSED IN GODâ€™S MERCY!â€ Pope Francis begins â€œ24 hours for the Lordâ€ with a penitential celebration in St. Peterâ€™s Basilica this afternoon. The world-wide initiative, promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, is in its third year. In the Diocese of Hamilton, the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King and one Parish in each Deanery has increased the availability of Confessors beginning today and through tomorrow. Please check the Diocesan website for precise times and locations. During this Holy Year of Mercy, make the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation a priority. â€œ24 hours for the Lordâ€ is a perfect opportunity!
ON FEBRUARY 29, 1856, POPE PIUS IX SIGNED A PAPAL DECREE forming the Diocese of Hamilton. On the same day, he signed a decree appointing Bishop John Farrell the first Bishop of the new Diocese. On Sunday, February 28th, the 11 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral Basilica in Hamilton will be celebrated in thanksgiving for the blessings of God over the past 160 years. Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, will preach the homily at the Mass. On Monday, at 11:45 a.m., the actual date of the Anniversary, a Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated, followed by a reception in McNally Hall at the Cathedral. All Masses are public events. All are welcome.
THE 2016 CATHOLIC YOUTH ORGANIZATION (CYO) CELEBRITY DINNER takes place next Thursday evening (February 25th) at the Hamilton Convention Centre. It is a time to celebrate and support the good work of the organization throughout the year, but especially during the summer months. The special focus of the evening is the â€œone-on-oneâ€ program offered at Camp Marydale for children with special needs. The highlight of the evening is always the presentation of the Honorary Camper. Congratulations to the CYO â€“ may the evening be a smashing success
THERE ARE TWO LOCATIONS FOR THE RITE OF ELECTION ON SUNDAY. 83 catechumens will â€œsign inâ€ at the ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica in Hamilton, and 37 catechumens will â€œsign inâ€ at the ceremony at the Basilica of Our Lady in Guelph. Both events begin at 1:30 p.m. and mark the beginning of intense preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil in Parishes throughout the Diocese. Thanks to Pastors and RCIA Teams for the care you take in ensuring the preparation of the Elect!
THE CHINESE, VIETNAMESE AND KOREAN COMMUNITIES IN THE DIOCESE celebrate Lunar New Year this weekend. The celebration, called TET in Vietnamese, begins the Year of the Monkey. The Korean Catholic community will join the Vietnamese community at Our Lady of Vietnam Parish for the colourful celebration. We send greetings and good wishes for a blessed New Year!
FATHER RON COTE IS RECOVERING FROM A SUCCESSFUL SURGERY at the Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton. He is in good spirits and says that he looks forward to getting back to â€œretirementâ€ ministry soon. He will spend a time at St. Josephâ€™s Convent in Dundas after he gets out of the hospital. Thank you for prayers â€“ donâ€™t stop just yet!
TWO COUNCILS OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS COUNCILS participated in the Coats for Kids initiative, promoted by the Supreme Council of the Order. Representatives from Council 5860 and Council 8380 delivered two large boxes of childrenâ€™s winter coats to Erin Pease, Director of the Office for Refugees for the Diocese.
OVER 800 MISSIONARIES OF MERCY WILL BE COMMISSIONED BY POPE FRANCIS on Ash Wednesday to carry the Good News of Godâ€™s mercy and forgiveness throughout the world. Three Priests from the Diocese of Hamilton are among the 800. Father Michael King, Father Bill Trusz, and Father Ted Hughes have been approved by the Vatican to provide this service during this Year of Mercy. They will travel to Rome early in February to learn from Pope Francis what his expectations are and to be sent out on this special mission. We offer our thanks, our congratulations, and our prayers.
BEFORE CELEBRATING THEIR CHRISTMAS PROCESSION (ORTHODOX) on Wednesday evening, a delegation from Holy Trinity Ethiopian Orthodox Parish on Aberdeen Avenue in Hamilton (formerly St. Boniface German Parish) visited the Diocesan Chancery to express their gratitude to the Diocese for making the church available to them. They spoke movingly about the young men from their Ethiopian Orthodox faith martyred on the beach last year. Father Aba Gebreeyesus presented the Diocese with a beautiful historic Cross as an expression of their thanks. We wish them many blessings as they begin worshipping in their new church.