OVER 2000 GUESTS WERE SERVED A FESTIVE TURKEY DINNER with all the trimmings at the Hamilton Convention Centre last Sunday afternoon. The meal was sponsored by the Good Shepherd Ministries under the direction of the Brothers of St. John of God. 800 volunteers decorated the venue, prepared the food (along with Convention Centre staff), and served the guests! After dinner, there were opportunities for fun and games, a visit with Santa, and the distribution of gifts! Expressions of joy and gratitude abounded! Congratulations to the Brothers and to all who supported the Good Shepherd’s Christmas Wonderland!
Heart to Heart 2018
Bishop Crosby's weekly letter to clergy and parishioners in the Diocese.
“ONE BLESSED NIGHT” were the final words of the Christmas Canata, The Birth of Christ, which was presented to a sold out audience at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King last Friday evening. The story was told of that “Blessed Night” two thousand years ago, and in the telling, the evening itself was blessed once again! A special honour – Father Tom Rosica, CSB, CEO of the Salt & Light Media Foundation, presented the St. Gianna Molla “Lover of Life” Award to the Diocese of Hamilton, and to Gillian and David Kantor, parents of six children from St. Matthew Parish in Oakville. A brilliant and historic evening!
THE ANNUAL ADVENT SCRIPTURE AND HYMN FESTIVAL sponsored by the Diocesan Choir under the direction of Sharon Fazari was a “tour de force”! The newly renovated St. Augustine Church in Dundas resounded with song and scripture proclamation! Congratulations to the Choir for your best production to date! Thank you for helping us begin the Advent season in a beautiful way.
SEMINARIAN RAPHAEL MA made his final profession of vows as a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection earlier this week. He will be ordained a Deacon by Bishop Robert Kurtz, C.R. this weekend. We offer him our congratulations and good wishes, and we look forward to his Ordination as a Priest in 2019!
THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE, is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, bringing to an end the liturgical year. It is also the patronal feast of the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. Christ the King will restore all creation and restore his kingdom to the Father. The risen people of God will rejoice in a new heaven and a new earth. “There with the whole of creation, freed from the corruption of sin and death, may we glorify you through Christ our Lord.”(Eucharistic Prayer IV)
SALT + LIGHT IS PRESENTING THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, a choral concert by Andrew T. Miller, on Friday, December 7th, at 8:00 p.m., in the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. This unique work will be performed by Masterworks of Oakville. The choral concert celebrates the 15th Anniversary of Salt + Light TV – a remarkable undertaking! All are welcome. Bring a friend. Mark your calendar now for a special Advent experience this year! See our website for more details.
BELLS OF PEACE – A Remembrance of those who served in the First World War, is an initiative of Veterans Affairs Canada. On November 11th, 1918, the ringing of church bells erupted spontaneously across the country as an outpouring of relief that four years of war had come to an end. On the 100th Anniversary of that joyous occasion, the Carillon at our Cathedral Basilica in Hamilton, and those churches with bells throughout the Diocese will participate with churches of other denominations in ringing their bells to emulate that moment of remembrance in honour of our veterans who served in WWI. Listen for them – just prior to sunset! At the going down of the sun - we will remember them!
THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH in Hamilton, published a newsletter recently outlining the important work of their Refugee Committee. In October they welcomed a Somali family from a camp in Kenya: Amina and her sons Abdullaih (11), Abdihakim (10), and Abdihamid, (5). Arafat, who arrived in 2015, is studying toward a High School Certificate and works 5 evenings a week in housekeeping at the General Hospital. Addis lives and works in Kitchener and graduated from St. Mary High School in June. She is applying for Canadian citizenship. The committee has welcomed and cared for 7 Syrian families in need of support. The Sisters and their volunteers continue to do what they have done for so many others over the years – by giving them a good chance at life!
THIS YEAR’S ST. JEROME’S FEAST, the annual celebration at St. Jerome’s University, was a gathering of students, alumni, staff, administration and benefactors. Katherine Bergman, University President, oversaw the evening, and members of the SJU Students’ Union assured that everyone was warmly welcomed! Mr. Rob Way, a Kitchener-Waterloo entrepreneur and philanthropist was the recipient of the Chancellor John Sweeney Award for Catholic Leadership. It was a joy-filled evening!
THE ENTIRE SPIRITUAL CARE TEAM from the Hospitals of the St. Joseph’s Health System met with me in Hamilton earlier this week to talk about their ministry and to share the impact of their vocation in their lives. It was a powerful and deeply moving experience for all. In thanking them for their service, I was able to emphasize the importance of their pastoral care especially at such a vulnerable time in the lives of patients! Thanks to all the Chaplains for their commitment to accompany and care!
THESE ARE EXCITING TIMES FOR ST. BENEDICT PARISH IN MILTON! The construction of the new church begins on Monday (15th). The architect, contractors and building committee will meet to assure that everything is ready to go. It is hoped that the building will be completed by January 2020, with a blessing and dedication to take place sometime in the Spring of the year. May it all go well!
BISHOP RYAN CATHOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL celebrates its 60th Anniversary this weekend! An article in The Hamilton Spectator lauds former Principal, Father Ron Cote, the second Principal of the school, for his lengthy service, and lists many of the highly successful alumni of the school. A photo shows Father Cote and current Principal, Emidio Piccion, admiring a portrait of Bishop Joseph Ryan, the school’s Founder, and the corner stone which he placed in the original school 60 years ago! Congratulations to the school for a remarkable history of providing the finest Catholic education to untold numbers of lucky students. Have a great celebration!
THE HAMILTON-WENTWORTH CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD with the Diocese of Hamilton honoured the Religious Women who made such a significant contribution to Catholic Education over the past 165 years! A statue of Jesus in the arms of the Blessed Virgin Mary was blessed yesterday at the new Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Elementary School in Hannon. A commemorative plaque was blessed at the same time. Members of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the School Sisters of Notre Dame were present for the event and a representative from each community expressed gratitude. The ceremony concluded with a student choir singing Ave Maria – a touching moment! THANK YOU TO THE SISTERS WHO SERVED IN OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS!
THE 17TH ANNUAL VOCATIONS MASS is this Sunday at 2:00 p.m., hosted by Father Michael Anderson and Immaculate Conception Parish in Formosa! The event is sponsored by the Diocesan Council of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada, Knights of Columbus, Serra Clubs and the Diocesan Vocations Office. Father Michael King, Vocation Director, will preach. The Mass is an opportunity to thank God for the faithful witness of those committed to vocations of Christian marriage, single life, Priesthood, Diaconate, and Consecrated Life.
THE CANADIAN CATHOLIC ORGANIZATION FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (D&P) have sent resources for their annual Fall Campaign called Share the Journey. The resources will help parishioners understand what forced migration is and how it affects millions of people worldwide. It also provides suggested actions and prayers. Parishes and schools are encouraged to order the resource materials and to find ways to inform parishioners about the horrors faced by so many who are forced to leave their homeland!
CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD WISHES TO THE JESUITS IN CANADA who began a new chapter in their Canadian history this week. On July 31st, Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Founder of the Society of Jesus, the English and French Provinces in Canada united to become one Province - the Jesuit Province of Canada.
THE ANNUAL BISHOP’S BARBEQUE AT ST. JEROME UNIVERSITY, Waterloo, takes place at noon on June 25th. Priests from across the Diocese are welcome to attend. It provides an opportunity to see all the developments at the University over the past five years, to meet University personnel, and the Resurrectionists who are great supporters of the University. The food IS barbequed – and it marks the beginning of the summer season.
ROB MCGOWAN COMPLETED SEVEN YEARS of service on the Diocesan Finance Council on May 30, 2018. It has been a remarkable and generous contribution of time and talent. Earlier this year, Pope Francis appointed him a Knight of St. Gregory the Great for his service to the Diocese and his philanthropic generosity to many important projects that benefit the needy! The honour was conferred by Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix on March 4th. Thank you for sharing your many gifts, Rob!
BISHOP JOSEPH AFRIFAH-AGYEKUM, second Bishop of Koforidua in Ghana, travelled to Walkerton earlier this week to visit Father Andrew Quarshie, a Priest of his Diocese, (and his former secretary). They visited the Chancery and Cathedral Basilica this week. As well, Bishop Anselm Umoren, Auxiliary Bishop of Abujah, Nigeria, spent a few days at Ardree. Before he was named a Bishop, he served at parishes in St. Anthony and Stephenville, in the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador. We warmly welcome both visitors!
THE HOMELESS JESUS STATUE in front of St. Patrick Church in Hamilton saved pedestrians from being hit by a run-a-way dump truck. The truck’s brakes had failed. The statue was hit hard by the truck and broke into several pieces. Parishioners carefully gathered the pieces. The statue was repaired later in the week and placed back on the corner of King Street East and Victoria Avenue – all costs assumed by the trucking company. The story was covered by local media and on social media.
FATHER LARRY PARENT, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Kitchener, was incardinated in the Diocese earlier this week following a three-year exclaustration from the Franciscan Friars. A son of the Diocese, we are happy to welcome him home officially! Your ministry among us is already a blessing!
RENEWING THE PROMISE, a Pastoral Letter from the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, was officially released on Monday, the start of Catholic Education Week. A copy, in English and French are available on our website. An implementation resource will be available in late August, for use in the autumn. It will provide an excellent opportunity to dialogue with education partners on how to “renew the promise” of Catholic education locally!
THE BISHOP RYAN CATHOLIC SECONDARY SCHOOL Musical Group “BR XPRESSION”, with 250 members, is the largest vocal ensemble in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. The group recently travelled to the Nashville Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival. Under the direction of Dave Tabone and Chad Pilon, all the soloists received Maestro awards, and the group itself brought home the gold! Joining them were the BR Celtic Groove, a jazz funk band, who took home a silver medal! Congratulations to BR Xpression, to Dave and Chad, and to the entire organization!
NEXT SATURDAY, MAY 5th, IS PRIESTLY ORDINATION DAY for Deacons Grayson Hope, Tim Theriault, and Chris Tracey. The celebration begins at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King and will be followed by a reception in McNally Hall. All Priests are welcome to concelebrate the Ordination Mass. Invitations to concelebrate have been sent by the Communications Office. Your response is a courtesy that will assist the Cathedral staff in their preparations. Please pray for our new Priests!
“IN 2009, THE NATIONAL CHIEF OF THE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS, Phil Fontaine, along with other representatives, had a moving encounter with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. Chief Fontaine told the media he hoped the expression of regret would ‘close the book’ on the issue of apologies for residential school survivors. Another attendee at the meeting with Pope Benedict, Edward John, Grand Chief of the First Nations Summit in British Columbia, said the Pope acknowledged the suffering of those who are still living with the consequences of their experiences at the schools...
BISHOP DANIEL MIEHM celebrates his fifth anniversary of Episcopal Ordination on Monday, May 7th, at a Mass at 12:10 p.m. in the Cathedral of St. Peter-in-Chains, Peterborough. Lunch will follow at the K of C Bishop Doyle Hall. Father Ian Duffy, Dean of Hamilton, will bring greetings from the Diocese of Hamilton. We offer our congratulations to Bishop Miehm – the time has passed quickly indeed. Ad multos annos!!!
THE FUNERAL MASS FOR MONSIGNOR EDWARD HOUSE took place yesterday morning at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. Monsignor died on Holy Thursday, his 71st birthday, in the care of his sisters. Bishops, Priest-friends and collaborators gathered with his family and a church full of friends and former parishioners from the Parishes he served, including the Cathedral where he was Rector for 13 years. The sorrow was heart-felt; the promises of the Easter season gave hope! May he rest in the peace of Christ!
THE BLESSING OF THE STATUE OF ST. JOSEPH at the West 5th Campus of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton took place on a chilly Monday morning, the Feast of St. Joseph. Representatives from the Spiritual Care Department of the Hospital, as well as Hospital and System Staff, were present. A video showing the raising and placement of the statue was shown.
GATHERED INTO ONE is the title of the Diocesan Pastoral Letter that will be distributed to all Priests, Deacons, Lay Pastoral Associates, and Parish liturgy personnel, including Choir Directors and Choir members following the Chrism Mass. It will also be published on our Diocesan website. As a liturgical instruction for the Diocese of Hamilton, it provides directions to assure that the Sacred Liturgy is celebrated with integrity and unity throughout the Diocese. The letter will clarify Diocesan practice and respond to frequently asked questions. It strives to assure the “full, conscious and active participation” of all who celebrate Mass on Sundays and Solemnities.
THE PLANS FOR ST. BENEDICT CHURCH, MILTON have been approved by the Diocesan Building Committee and the City of Milton! The ground breaking will take place on July 11th , Feast of St. Benedict. The construction is estimated to take about a year-and-a-half. Thanks to Father Jim Petrie and his Building Committee for their dedicated work. We pray for God’s blessing on this historic and important project!
A WARM WELCOME TO GERALD CYPRIEN CARDINAL LACROIX who will confer Papal Honours on five of our Priests and eleven Lay Faithful during a liturgical service on Sunday afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King. Because he is Archbishop of Quebec, the first Diocese in North America, he also carries the title of Primate of Canada. Cardinal Lacroix arrives at Ardree tomorrow and will leave on Sunday, following the celebration, to join the other Bishops of Quebec at Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, for their Spring Plenary meeting.
OVER 150 CATECHUMENS presented themselves at the two Rites of Election that took place on February 11th at the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, Guelph, and on February 18th at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King, Hamilton. Supported by their Sponsors they came forward to sign the Book of the Elect as a preparation to celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Many of their Parish Priests and members of the Parish RCIA Teams were also present. The ceremonies were moving and joyful. We pray for The Elect, and for those who will be received into Full Communion during the Easter Vigil liturgy!
HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR to members of our Asian communities! Representatives from our Korean and Vietnamese Catholic communities visited the Chancery on the occasion of the start of the Year of the Dog (or Golden Dog in Korea), which represents wisdom and harmony. Father Hanh Van Tran, OMI, (Our Lady of Vietnam Parish, and Vietnamese Martyrs’ Mission); Father Young Hoon Kim, (St. Peter Yu Korean Parish); Father Junghyuk Choi, (St. Paul Chung Korean Parish), Deacon Taek Jong Han, Maria and Francis Shin, and Mr. Dao, Council representatives from the Parishes, brought New Year’s greetings and gifts to celebrate the occasion. Chancery Staff now have the opportunity to enjoy delicious Korean pears!
THE ANNUAL BISHOP’S CHARITY DINNER DANCE takes place tomorrow evening at Carmen’s Banquet Centre, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in the Hamilton area and coordinated by a team of Knights under the direction of Corrado Ciapanna and Robert Chwalyk. Thanks to all who have purchased tickets for the event which is celebrating its 33rd Anniversary this year. Fortunately my mother will be my special guest!!! See you there!
TODAY, the Church observes the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. We are united in prayer for all Consecrated Religious men and women who bear witness to Christ in our world by their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and thank God for their faithful witness in the Diocese of Hamilton.
LAST WEEK’S MULTICULTURAL MASS was a colourful and joyful gathering. Music for the Mass was provided by a variety of cultures and languages. Entertainment in McNally Hall was lively, and the food was gobbled up quickly. Newcomers, sponsored by Regina Mundi Parish, were among those who gathered for the event! They are settling into their new life quickly – and have made new friends at their schools. Next year’s Mass will be celebrated in September, when weather will surely be more amenable!
TWO SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH who have given their lives to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton were honoured yesterday as they retired from years of volunteering! Sr. Patricia came to St. Joseph’s as a young woman in 1943 and has served the institution in a variety of capacities since that time. Sr. Giovanni arrived in 1960 and never left! They were honoured at a luncheon reception attended by a large group of people who are sad to see them go. “I miss them already!” said one of employees standing near me. We add our thanks to the long list of people who greeted them yesterday, and we wish them well in retirement!
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION WILL BE CELEBRATED in Parishes throughout the Diocese following the Christmas season. Bishop Anthony Tonnos will celebrate at St. Patrick Parish, Cambridge, tonight and next Friday evening. I will be at Mary Mother of God Parish, Oakville, for three celebrations next weekend. I am grateful to Bishop Tonnos, Bishop Ustrzycki and Bishop Miehm, who are so gracious in accepting to help. Bishop Peter Hundt will assist for 10 days or so later in the year. We pray for the young people who are presenting themselves for the sacrament. Thanks to the Pastors, teachers and catechists who work so hard to assure they are well prepared.
BISHOP ANTHONY KROTKI, OMI, from the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay is visiting the Chancery Office for a “Lunch and Learn”, meeting the staff and informing us about the Diocese. The “twinning” which involves the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, the Diocese of St. Catharines, and the Diocese of Hamilton, provides support to his northern Diocese. Already the Diocese of Hamilton has provided some logistical and administrative support, some financial support, and some pastoral support, including Priestly support over Christmas and Easter, and visits from some of our Pastoral Offices. We welcome the Bishop warmly and thank him for the wintry weather he has been sending our way over the past few weeks!!!