Heart to Heart
June 11, 2021 (#439)
THIS WEEK'S WELCOME ANNOUNCEMENT from the Premier of Ontario permits us to open our churches for Masses and other services at 15% of capacity starting today – Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! This is good news – which comes after a very long and debilitating shutdown! This is Step 1. Step 2, which is foreseen to take place in three weeks, if all the signs are good, should allow us to open to an even higher percent of capacity. One step at a time! Pastors are reminded to observe all the usual protocols in place to assure the safest possible environment in our parishes. Priests and parishioners are also encouraged to get any one of the vaccines, for their own well-being and for the safety of those who worship with us!
THE TRAGIC ACT OF HATRED which occurred in London this week has heightened our awareness of the presence of Islamophobia in our communities. An increase in Anti-Semitic attacks across the country is also troubling. The Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement calling for an end to religious violence in Canada, most especially Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism. See the statement here.
THE CALL FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO “APOLOGIZE” for our involvement in government sponsored Indigenous Residential Schools is loud and clear. The apologies actually began 30 years ago, when the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate offered an apology at the annual Lac Ste. Anne (Alberta) pilgrimage – a long-time sacred pilgrimage site for thousands of Indigenous Peoples from North America. The Oblates were marking their 150th anniversary of presence and ministry in Canada, and chose to make the apology an important part of the anniversary year. You can read the apology here.
AND JUST YESTERDAY the CCCB announced a long-in-the planning initiative to send a delegation of Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, residential school survivors, and young people to meet with Pope Francis in a “meaningful encounter of dialogue and healing”. The event will be a rich conversation between a diverse group of Indigenous peoples and the Pope. The pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions stalled the project; however as these restrictions ease, the delegation has resumed its planning for the visit. Read the statement here.
CATHOLICS WORLDWIDE ARE URGED TO PRAY FOR PRIESTS today on the World Day of Prayer for Priests. The day was begun by Saint John Paul II in 2002 with the objective of having the faithful pray for the sanctification of Priests. The Day of Prayer coincides with the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
THE DIOCESAN FAMILY MINISTRY OFFICE is collaborating with Hamilton Right to Life to provide an online information session and discussion about Bill C-7. Mrs. Teresa Hartnett, Director of the Family Ministry Office, will share important information about the Bill which expands the eligibility criteria for euthanasia and assisted suicide. We need to understand the impact of this Bill on the dying and the vulnerable. Read more and register here. The workshop is free on Thursday, June 17th, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Register to receive the ZOOM link.
ADDITIONAL CLERGY CHANGES FOR 2021 were announced yesterday. All of the changes are effective at noon on June 30th, this year. Thanks to those who are moving for accepting the appointment. May your service to the Diocese be blessed!
Our Lady of the Annunciation, pray for us!
Ex corde, + Douglas, OMI