Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Open St. TM:
Saturday at 3:30 and Sunday 9am for Confession and quiet prayer before the Sacrament and Lighting of Candles.
From Saturday 4pm to 4:30 and Sunday 9:30 to 10am for distribution of Communion
Saturday at 4:30 curbside Confessions will be heard and Communion offered to those in their cars on Rue Moffat (ignore the No parking signs that will be set up to allow you space)
Open St. Willibrord:
At 11:55 until 12:20 for those who wish to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and/or communion after the Sunday 11am livestream
And at 12:20 curbside for those stopped in front of the church.
Parishioners and others should feel free to come to either parish church for these Sacraments
For those who can’t get out and live in the SouthWest, contact the office to have Fr. Robert+ joyfully bring sacraments to you on the weekend
* Subsequent weekend schedule will be decided next week
Friday, January 15, 2021
and all manner of thing shall be well”
There is no time like the present to shore up your inner well-being, when in-person Mass is unavailable beginning with Sunday Mass livestream:
1- In compliance with the new restrictions imposed by the provincial government, we regret that all in-person Masses are suspended until further notice. However, the St. Thomas More pro populo Sunday Mass is live streamed at 11am -- you can partake in Spiritual Communion: Click here to join live stream. A link is also available at: https://www.stthomasmoremtl.ca/ (with Wednesday 7pm and Friday 11am masses as well).
Now more than ever, “walk on new legs” – see this morning’s homily at the link above:
4- And Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm, starting January 26, we have a special study program: The Bible and the Church Fathers designed by St Paul Center. Email me for more info. As described by the coordinator:
8- Avail yourself of the abundant resources by Bishop Barron at www.wordonfire.org
See you, or you’ll see me, online this weekend, and I hope on Zoom at one of the faith study groups above
Friday, January 8, 2021
Finding strength in a time of lockdown
The early Church Fathers, based on images St. Paul deployed in the Bible, compared spiritual strengthening to athletic fitness training (yes, this was a significant part of ancient Greek life – gymnasium is a Greek word – think Olympics). It was more difficult then, because they couldn’t do it online!
I encourage you to seize the opportunity lockdown has forced on us to train yourself to lean on God, and to strengthen your faith over the next month with these online opportunities – and spread the word:
1- All in-person masses are cancelled, but you can receive Spiritual Communion by joining any number of virtual masses. I will be offering this every Sunday at 11am. Links available by tomorrow: https://www.stthomasmoremtl.ca/ or https://www.stwillibrordparish.org/ (with Wednesday and Friday masses as well).
2- I continue to hear Confessions by appointment in the parish office and Sacristy, or on your doorstep in the SouthWest – I will also bring Holy Communion. If this Sacrament of Reconciliation is not part of your spiritual discipline, now is the time to change that – call me to discuss (514-768-4741).
3- Families: Our new PCL, Alexandra is wonderfully creative and energetic. She has put together a virtual Family Faith Formation & Sacramental Preparation programme. Online information sessions are Tomorrow (Saturday) 11am and Monday, January 11th at 7:30pm -- Register for one of these sessions by email: Alexandra Johnson: email@example.com
4- I am offering again Bishop Barron’s 6-week course on The Sacraments, Thursdays at 7pm. Note the starting date change, now: 21 January. Register with me by phone or email.
5- And Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm, starting January 26, a special study program: The Bible and the Church Fathers designed by St Paul Center. Email me for more info. As described by the coordinator:
- Each session will start with the Holy Rosary, followed by a short video (20 to 30 minutes) and discussion and explanation of different points. Fr Robert Assaly, an expert in early Christianity, will be with us throughout the program.
6- Baptism prep will be offered online, for Baptisms anticipated mid-February. Call the office.
More next week.
O God of peace,
Who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved,
in quietness and confidence shall be our strength:
By the might of Your Spirit lift us, we pray, to Your presence,
where we may be still and know that You are God;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Thursday (New Year’s Eve) – Registration required, by calling the office
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God Mass of Obligation: 7pm
The Epiphany of the Lord: Saturday 4pm & Sunday 9:30am
Family Faith Formation & Sacramental Preparation
Begins in January -- a series of online weekly gatherings that will empower parents as the primary catechists of their children.
For: Parents with children preparing for First Communion and Confirmation, who will be given supplemental material for their children throughout the Family Faith Formation program.
Information sessions: Saturday, January 9th at 11am, Monday, January 11th at 7:30pm. To register for an information session, please email our Parish Catechetical Leader, Alexandra Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adult Faith Education Programs Online, led by Father Robert
Registration required (The best things in faith life are Free!)
The Sacraments, featuring Bishop Barron, 7 Thursdays at 7pm starting January 14th
Praying the The Rosary followed by a short study of The Bible and the Fathers of the Church Tuesdays at 7:30 pm starting January 12th
Call the office for inquiries about Baptism.
May you experience every blessing of peace and joy of this Christmas Season,
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
My wishes for a Blessed Christmas for each of you and your loved ones. I have been very moved by the true Christmas spirit in action in the Christmas Basket effort, in the service of those we are especially meant to call ‘loved ones’ in Verdun.
I expect each of you has receive the Christmas mailing. To update you on Christmas masses:
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered at 4pm
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered at 8:45
Due to unfortunate technical limitations, live-streaming will not be available at these times. To receive Spiritual Communion on this great Solemnity, tune in to St. Willibrord’s livestream on the Eve at 7pm, or Christmas morning at 11am
4pm Saturdays and 930am Sundays only
A special prayer request: Prior to the pandemic, the CND sisters were active in our parish, especially in music ministry. 40 CND sisters of this venerable Montréal order have contracted the virus this month. Keep them in your prayers.
the Christ-child of Bethlehem,
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Advent and Christmas at St.TM
Advent is upon us, a time of preparation in anticipation of Christmas -- the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem, and the Second Coming of Christ in glory. Mary and Joseph during this time perilously journeyed to Bethlehem amidst uncertainty of what their future held and even where they would lay their heads. Perhaps many of us can identify with them in these uncertain times. And like them, let us keep the faith, nurturing an Advent hope that God comes to be with us incarnate in Jesus Christ, and after Christmas in the person of the Holy Spirit.
1- Some opportunities for Advent faithfulness:
Consider Lectio Divina this Advent, four virtual “lunchtime” sessions that encourages you to pause & take time of your day to listen to God. Every Thursday online. First session pushed to December 3rd. Register here.
No time for online sessions? No problem. the Catholic Church of Montreal has prepared a series of resources for all ages to be enjoyed from your own home and at your own rhythm for Advent & Christmas. Enjoy podcasts, books, music, online retreats, family activities and crafts and a whole lot more!
Join the Companions of the Cross for an Advent Virtual Mission - Abound in Hope December 14, 15 & 16 - 7:00 PM. Fr. Ben St. Croix, Fr. Allan MacDonald, and Fr. Francis Ching will lead us through Advent into the Christmas season!
A number of opportunities for children and their parents were sent today to families. Reply to me to receive the email.
And finally….St. John Paul II's guide to a fruitful Advent
2- If you would like Advent candles blessed outside, I will offer this on the Church steps at 3:30 this Saturday.
3- Please send me first names for our prayer list, refreshed this weekend.
4- Those who ordered Magnificat can pick up their January edition in a couple of weeks. They are also giving us 13 months for the price of 12.
5- Spiritual Lessons from the Pandemic
6- Catholic Action’s Latest newsletter
7- We are aiming to hold the annual parishioners meeting after a 10am mass on Saturday December 12, to discuss the future of the parish and elect 2 wardens. We have special permission once 25 are signed up to attend in person, to have everyone else join by phone or Zoom video. Registration required by calling the office.
This is Important. Last year we had 70 attend, a sign you are deeply devoted to the well-being of the parish – let's try to match that number. And please consider being a warden – call me for more info (Must reside within parish bounds)
Mass attendance on Saturdays is back to the pre-pandemic level of 50. There is still room in the Church at 5:15pm; the 4pm uses the Sacristy as well. Sunday morning hovers around 40, down from 100. We hope to have video equipment in place next week to be able to provide full audio-visual in the Sacristy. We need a camera operator, and technical set-up help – please volunteer!
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is now offered Saturdays at 4:50pm and Sundays at 9am. Encouragingly, if the number of penitents continues to grow, more scheduled opportunities will be offered. Confessions will always also be offered by appointment.
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord” in your hearts in Advent by partaking of this Sacrament before Christmas.
For those who are not yet ready to come to mass, catch us online for Spiritual Communion from St. Willibrord’s 11am Sundays online live on Facebook
We plan to offer at least 3 Christmas Masses – details to be announced this weekend. In person Registration will be offered the next two weekends. If space is still available, other registrations will be accepted.
Volunteer Readers and Collectors are still required for weekend masses. Several have not yet returned, so please consider offering yourself for this ministry. Contact the office. A shout out to all our volunteers -- THANK YOU!
My wishes for a Blessed and Peaceful a Advent
In the Christ-Child of Bethlehem,
Friday, November 13, 2020
1- For those who prefer not to be in the Sacristy overflow room for mass, there is plenty of room in at the Saturday 5:15pm Mass.
2- The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered:
-Saturdays approximately 4:50pm (after the 4pm mass)
-Sundays at 9am
-By appointment. Email me or call the parish phone.
3- This month of Remembrance of our Beloved dead ends on November 30 with a memorial mass for Fr. George. Details next week
- Two of our beloved and well known priests died this week. Fr. John Walsh died suddenly and Fr. Ernie Schibli after a period of decline. Pray for them
- Magnificat with the daily mass readings (US translation of Scripture) and reflections, articles and much more on spirituality -- over 400 pages monthly -- can be ordered next week only at our bulk rate of $69/year. Cheques to the office. For $25, you may exchange your Living with Christ subscription with the parish, which needs a few copies.
- The Life of Alex Trebek, RIP, a great Canadian, is a testimony to the benefit of a Catholic education
- Read Archbishop Lépine’s brief pastoral letter: Choosing Hope and Life
JOB Opening in the parish
- We are hiring for a part-time Parish Catechetical leader to coordinate our Catechists and Sacramental Preparation -- Must be a good communicator, and enjoy working with children and their parents. Inquire with me.
Blessings in Christ,
Thursday, October 29, 2020
1- The Red Alert Extension until just before Advent means we must stay limited to 50 people at mass, using the Sacristy as overflow. However, effective immediately the Sunday afternoon mass (5pm) is eliminated. There is plenty of room at the other 3 masses, and in the Church particularly at the Saturday 5:15pm.
2- Confessions will be heard by appointment. Email me or call the parish phone.
3- This weekend, I will be offering a Triduum of masses for All Souls, with a sermon series at St. Willibrord’s or join us online live on Facebook:
- Saturday Mass for the departed: 7pm
- Sunday Solemnity of All Saints: 11am (same as St. T’s all 3 masses)
- Monday Commemoration of All Souls: 7pm. You may add names to the Book of Remembrance by emailing or calling the office.
4- Volunteer Readers and Collectors are still required for weekend masses. Several have not yet returned, so please consider offering yourself for this ministry. Contact the office.
5- We have received several free copies of Magnificat with the daily mass readings and reflections, articles and much more on spirituality.
I’m hoping enough of you, particularly those who used to buy Living with Christ, will be inspired to order an annual subscription ($72) through the parish so we can get the bulk discount. If you would like to test drive it, contact the office the a free (November edition).
Blessings in Christ,
Friday, October 16, 2020
2- Volunteer Readers and Collectors are required for weekend masses. Several have not yet returned, so please consider offering yourself for this ministry. Contact the office.
3- Archbishop Lépine has issued a brief new pastoral letter entitled, Under the “new normal,” an enduring essential: the spiritual.
4- Canada received dishonourable mention in an article on last month’s Vatican document, Good Samaritan. It addresses both euthanasia, and the other extreme of “Not accepting the limits of medicine, and aggressively trying to avoid death:” ‘No life is unworthy of life’ .
5- There may be no free lunch, but we have received several free copies of Magnificat (November edition) with the daily mass readings and reflections, articles and much more on spirituality. I’m hoping enough of you will be inspired to order an annual subscription ($72) through the parish so we can get the bulk discount. If you would like to test drive it, contact the office the a free copy.
6- The requiem Funeral Mass for Edith Cavanaugh will be offered Friday 11am next week. If you would like to attend, please call the office.
7- Mass times will remain this month: Saturday 4pm & 5:15pm; Sunday 9:30am and 5pm. Last weekend the 9:30 was nearly full again in the sacristy; note there was space however in the Church at the 5:15 and 5pm masses Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
8- If you’re not ready to return yet, join us for Spiritual Communion, where I’ll be celebrating at St. Willibrord’s each weekend, Saturday 7pm & Sunday 11am.
9-Weekday masses livestreamed at 8:30am continue on Salt and Light TV in English, or , broadcast from our very own Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral downtown. The Celebrants are Montreal English sector priests who may be familiar to you.
Blessings in Christ,
Thursday, October 8, 2020
2- Pope Francis has just issued the 3rd Encyclical of his Papacy, on fraternity and social friendship. Such documents shape the witness of the Church for generations. Read 10 key takeaways, or the complete document.
3- Our ever-evolving community of Verdun was just ranked 11th Coolest Neighborhood in the World!
4- Browse through the new e-book compilation of Archbishop Lépine’s messages during the pandemic “confinement” found in this week’s Grapevine.
5- October weekend Mass times will continue: Saturday 4pm & 5:15pm; Sunday 9:30am and 5pm. Last weekend the 9:30 was nearly full in the sacristy; note there was space however in the Church at the 5:15 and 5pm masses Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
6- If you’re not ready to return yet, join us online live on Facebook for Spiritual Communion, where I’ll be celebrating at St. Willibrord’s each weekend, Saturday 7pm & Sunday 11am.
7- These St. W’s masses remain posted, including last weekend’s.
8- Weekday masses livestream at 8:30am started earlier this week on Salt and Light TV in English, or on Facebook, broadcast from our very own Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral downtown. The Celebrants are Montreal English sector priests who may be familiar to you.
Blessings in Christ,
Friday, September 25, 2020
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
- We will begin with 10-minute liturgy at 7pm, this week for the First Communion children, and next week for the Confirmands. After they have made their confessions (by 7:30 likely) you are welcome to go to one of the other two priests for the Sacrament. One priest each evening can offer the sacrament in French as well. I continue to offer the Sacrament by appointment.
2- I commend to you an online Alpha course beginning Friday evening. Do sign-up today. This programme gets rave reviews from participants and has remarkably strengthened parishes around the world and here in the diocese through faith development. Starts September 18, and runs Friday evenings, 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. via Zoom -- Join from home. Better yet, It's free! Why does Alpha exist? Learn more here. To register: Alpha.MaryHelpOfChristians@gmail.com
3- For more info on Alpha, and for other diocesan news, read This Week’s Grapevine . There’s a brief interview there with Fr. Mike, whose NDG parish has over 150 Alpha registrants this autumn! Let’s do this to likewise build our parish.
4- It’s now easier to support the parish financially by donating online. Consider setting up an automatic weekly or monthly donation instead of using envelopes. This will save the parish the cost of envelopes and volunteer time as CanadaHelps automatically issues you tax receipts. Go the blue button on our website.
5- Changes: As announced last weekend, I have been appointed both Pastor of St. Thomas More (for 6 years) and Administrator of St. Willibrord’s (one year renewable). Mass times will change in both parishes. Note my new email address: email@example.com
6- Our mass attendance last weekend: 5pm Saturday, almost the pre-pandemic level of 50. 9am Sunday however is around 40, compared to 100 pre-pandemic. Having erred on the side of caution and safety in re-opening, I believe our parish is extremely safe. Thanks to the volunteers who continue to make this happen.
7- We require more readers at weekend masses. Please email or phone Patricia to offer yourself or inquire. Parish office hours: Monday 11-2, Tuesday through Thursday 9-3:30.
8- That said, we are revisiting the question of mass times. Only if you were not at mass last weekend when everyone was polled, Click here to state your preferred time -- Only complete one of the two questions. Note that Sunday mornings neither the 10 or 1030am times are available, both to allow me to offer a morning mass at St. W’s, and because we have agreed to allow N.D.-de-la-Garde parish to have morning mass at St. TM’s.
9- This Saturday’s mass will include First Communions – come out to support and pray for our parish children. Sunday at 10:30 the following weekend former St.TM curate Bishop Robert Harris will be celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation. He will also be preaching the weekend masses.
10- Prayerfully consider participating in a Public Square Rosary Rally at noon on Saturday October 10. It will be on the Verdun Boardwalk near Godin St. This is one of 700 such rallies across Canada offered for reparation of offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the conversion of Canada. For more info or to notify of your intention to participate, call Caroline Landry (514-767-6256) or Maureen Dearden (514-751-2733).
11- Next weekend I will be renewing my prayer list. If there is anyone on the current list who needs continuing prayer, or others you would like prayed for, please email me or leave a message on the parish voicemail. Separately, weekday mass intentions are arranged with Trish at the parish phone number.
12- The Quebec Assembly of Catholic Bishops through the ministry of the Catholic Social Action office of our Archdiocese has made available this brief, important document on our mission in the province. Have a read of it and send me your feedback to inform our direction as a parish.
Blessings in Christ,
Saturday, August 15, 2020
2- Our Archbishop has requested prayers for Lebanon and that parishes take up a second collection for relief for the horrible Beirut disaster. We will do so this weekend with envelopes in the pews. For a tax receipt, mark your regular envelope number on them, or your name, or “Lebanon” on your own spare envelope. I have worked together with my fellow Lebanese-Canadian Christian and Muslim leaders to obtain 1:1 matching donations to yours, passed through a Catholic agency. You may also drop an envelope in the office mail slot so marked.
3- Our mass attendance since re-opening last month has climbed, close to pre-pandemic levels at 5pm Saturday, but still just under half those levels at 9am Sunday. I take this opportunity to thank the over two dozen volunteers who have contributed to keep us safely receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It seems to have been done very smoothly thus far.
4- In two or three weeks, with the congregation during the announcements we will revisit the question of the most suitable time for Sunday morning mass.
5- Next weekend I will be renewing my prayer list. If there is anyone on the current list who need continuing prayer, or others you would like prayed for, please email me or leave a message on the parish voicemail. Separately, weekday mass intentions are arranged with Trish at the parish phone number.
6- A reminder to parents of children in catechesis: we will meet by zoom Monday, 7pm. Email for the link if you don’t have it.
7- Keeping the Feast of the Assumption:
Pope Francis today, on the Feast (1 minute read)
Consider it Thoughtfully (5 minutes)
Say the Angelus (1 minute). Daily take 3 minutes, or even 1, for the Angelus: Although the Angelus has been traditionally said three times daily, at 6 am, noon and 6 pm, you can pray it at anytime. (In my home parish growing up and even today, 10:30 Sunday mass is 90 minutes, concluding with the noon Angelus).
Pray the Rosary, particularly the glorious mysteries (note the 4th) today with these mediations. Consider joining the Tuesday evening online Rosary group for whom I am chaplain.
Join priests around the globe every evening as we all pray the Magnificat (1 minute), while contemplating Our Lady’s humility, joy and grace, and/or other Marion Antiphons as our last prayer before bed (another minute), before “the great silence begins.
Grapes, proposals and other Traditions on this Feast.
Our Lady of Lebanon, as we celebrate your glorious Assumption, pray for the people of that devastated country, and for us.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Soul Health XVI: We’ve safely re-opened the church; more volunteers needed; church funerals this week
Sunday changed to 9 am.
2- A couple of tweaks based on an assessment of re-opening weekend:
- There’s space for all – no need for mass passes or registration
- Entrance to the church will be only by the main doors on the street corner
3- Parishioner Joseph Whelton died on Sunday after receiving the Last Rites of the Church hours earlier. His funeral mass is Friday at 1pm; due to the current usable space restrictions for health and safety, the funeral is private. The family asks for your prayers for Joseph, and intends to made available a video of the funeral.
4- Parishioner Joanne Morin died in April of complications related to COVID. Her funeral mass is Saturday at 10am.
5- To continue to offer the two weekend masses this summer, we need even more volunteer greeters. The training is now much simplified after our weekend experience. And we need a laptop operator for music at the masses. Please call the parish number to volunteer.
6- Over two dozen of you have already volunteered in various capacities to re-open the doors. “Well done, thou good and faithful servants” (Matthew 25:21)
7- This week: FREE COURSE: Happiness and the Meaning Of Life, from Bishop Barron’s Institute – 6 videos ~15 minutes each.
8- I announce a special meeting of parishioners to elect a new warden, filling a vacancy for Sunday 26 July at 9:45am (after mass, in the pews). That warden would hopefully become our Treasurer. Nominations may be given to me or any of the wardens.
St. Thomas More, Pray for us
Father Robert+ Pastor, St. Thomas More Parish Verdun