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Congratulations to Sister Madeline Graf on her retirement, St. Joseph's Health Centre Guelph.

Issue #496

SISTER MADELEINE GRAF, a Sister of St. Joseph for 71 years, was a teacher, then a pastoral worker at St. Joseph Parish, Hamilton. After “retirement”, on April 1, 2003, Sister Madeleine joined St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Guelph. 20 years later, Sister has decided that it is the right time to retire. Throughout her life, Sister Madeleine exhibited “care for the whole person” in every interaction. She guided many patients, family members, staff and peer volunteers. A retirement celebration took place in the hospital cafeteria on Wednesday. On behalf of the Diocese of Hamilton, Monsignor Dennis Noon presented the Medal of Honour to Sister Madeleine in gratitude for her long and generous service! We wish her well-deserved happiness in retirement.

THE HOLY SEASON OF LENT begins next Wednesday, February 22nd. During Lent, the liturgy prepares Catechumens to celebrate the Paschal Mystery by the various stages of Christian Initiation. It also prepares the Faithful for Easter as we recall our Baptism and do penance in preparation for the greatest Feast of the year.

THE MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER for Lent 2023 is titled Lenten Penance and the Synodal Journey. “While our ordinary commitments compel us to remain in our usual places and our often repetitive and sometimes boring routines, during Lent we are invited to ascend “a high mountain” in the company of Jesus and to live a particular experience of spiritual discipline – ascesis – as God’s holy people. … Dear brothers and sisters, may the Holy Spirit inspire and sustain us this Lent in our ascent with Jesus, so that we may experience his divine splendor and thus, confirmed in faith, persevere in our journey together with him, glory of his people and light of the nations.” Read the entire letter here.

THE RITE OF ELECTION celebrates the Lord’s choosing women, men and children of catechetical age to celebrate Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at Easter. The Rite of Election marks the beginning of a time of intense preparation before receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. The Rite of Election in Hamilton Diocese will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, February 26, 2023, at the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King (for Brant, Halton, and Hamilton Deaneries) and at the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate (for Bruce-Grey, Waterloo, and Wellington Deaneries). Pastors are reminded to submit the names of Catechumens to the Diocesan Liturgy Office by next Monday, February 20, 2023. Please pray for those who will be welcomed!

FRANCIS @TEN The Legacy of Francis’ Pontificate at ten years from his election is the title of the next “Lectures in Catholic Experience” at St. Jerome’s University. Well-known speaker, Professor Massimo Faggioli is the presenter. The presentation will offer a few insights on the historical and theological meaning of Pope Francis’ pontificate. The event will take place on March 9, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. in Notre Dame Chapel.

THE OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE celebrate the 197th anniversary of the approval of the Constitution and Rules of our Congregation today, February 17th. Mass is offered for the Congregation, Vows are renewed, and we pray an Act of Consecration to Mary Immaculate. Seven Oblates serve the Diocese with me. Pray for us today.

SUSAN, JILL AND LEA, my three sisters, are visiting me this weekend. Jill lives in Nova Scotia, Lea in Prince Edward Island, and Susan in Ottawa, so it is a rare pleasure to be together! Story-telling will be fun and conversation will flow. They are all good cooks! Meals will be enjoyable.

Our Lady of the Annunciation, pray for us!

Ex corde, + Douglas, OMI

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