Heart to Heart

March 20th, 2020 (#396)

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DR. TOM STEWART, ST. JOSEPH HEALTH SYSTEM PRESIDENT AND CEO has been seconded to the Ontario Ministry of Health as the Clinical Lead on the Provincial COVID-19 Command Table. The Table supports the planning and response to the pandemic that is sweeping the country. It is consoling to know that he enjoys such professional respect at the Provincial level – and that the Province is in good hands indeed! Brian Guest, SJHS Senior Vice-President, will provide support to Dr. Stewart at SJHS on non-COVID-19 matters!

YESTERDAY’S FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH prompted Sister Anne Anderson, SJHS Board Chair, to write to the healthcare Team members throughout the System – especially during this pandemic crisis where they are on the front line of the response. “Although selfless service of the ‘dear neighbour’ is very much in keeping with the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph and St. Joseph’s Health System, it comes with a personal cost. Please, do care for yourselves at this time and avail yourselves of the support available to care for you and your loved ones.” Important counsel for all who serve!

SUNDAY MASS AND DAILY MASSES are available both on television and life-streaming during the coming few weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Some of these televised Masses have been announced in a notice that was made available to H2H recipients yesterday. Please help others to find the spiritual resources they might need during this worrisome time. Check your Parish websites to learn if Mass is being live-streamed from your Parish. It will keep you closely connected with your Pastor and Parish Team. Thanks to Priests and Parish Teams who are seeking and finding creative ways to be present and supportive to parishioners.

DR. PETER MEEHAN has been appointed St. Jerome’s University’s 8th President! The long-awaited and happy announcement was made late last week by Mary Ellen Cullen, Chair of the SJU Board of Governors. Dr. Meehan is currently President of Corpus Christi/St. Mark’s College, the affiliated Catholic College of the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he has led the College through a period of new program development and a fivefold increase in student enrollments! He is also Vice Chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities of Canada. He received a Doctorate in Education from the University of Toronto, and has recently undertaken research into the life of Archbishop Philip Pocock, seventh Archbishop of Toronto. We look forward to welcoming him!

THE DIOCESAN FINANCE COUNCIL met by teleconference this week to review this year’s budget and to review programs and priorities for the year. The challenges of the current pandemic to the Chancery and Parishes were high priority. Our administrative offices will be providing some practical guidelines to assist Pastors in the coming week.

WITH THE EARLY CLOSURES OF SEMINARIES across Canada and the United States, we welcome our seminarians back to the Diocese. Father Jason Kuntz, who has been studying in Rome, also returned last week and is in a 14-day self-quarantine as are some seminarians. It is a “slow time” for them, but their spirits are not down – in fact they are using the time productively to continue their studies on-line! That’s the right attitude.

NEXT WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25th, is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord! Mary, under her title, Our Lady of the Annunciation, was declared to be the Patroness of the Diocese of Hamilton by the founding Bishop John Farrell. Let us make it a special day of prayer for Mary’s intercession on our behalf, during this challenging pandemic!

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!           

Ex corde, + Douglas, OMI