Sticky post


Monday, May 25, 2020

Soul Health VIII

“I hope to succeed in my mission to ‘infiltrate’ among young people…to enter among them as silent as a virus and infect them with an incurable disease, Love!”

Matteo Farino, died in 2009 at age 19, elevated towards sainthood last week by Pope Francis

1. Tune-in tomorrow, Sunday 10am, when Fr. Robert will be offering the homily at St. Monica’s online:

https://tinyurl.com/yddvh769


2. Then offer 10 minutes of quiet at noon, to take up the Archdiocese’ invitation to “all people of good will.” This is in conjunction with “…the bells of parish churches and chapels will ring every Sunday at noon for 10 minutes as a sign of hope…to support those most affected by the pandemic, including residents of CHSLDs and homes for the aged, as well as those who take care of the sick.”


3. On Pentecost, in two weeks, we’re hoping to offer our own online Mass from St. Thomas More! Details next week. This was proposed by one of you, the fruit of prayer and two online meetings this week with the Wardens and the Pastoral Council (see Soul Health VII #8). This requires volunteers – see below.


4. Adult Faith Formation is going forward! There’s a viable group in another parish that would like me to lead a programme, and to invite you as St. TM parishioners to participate. We’ll gather online some Friday evenings starting in two weeks, likely using Bishop Barron's new series, The Sacraments. You're participation would be wonderful. Sign-up by emailing me.


5. Archbishop Lépine’s just issued pastoral letter, “Primacy of the spiritual life”:

https://tinyurl.com/ybjpyeec


6. !!Spread this virus!! Amazing story of Matteo Farino, quoted above:

https://tinyurl.com/y8pvehs5


7. Call for volunteers to participate in our online Pentecost mass. Please email me:

· Three readers, submitting phone video from home · One someone experience person, perhaps a youth, to video me celebrating the mass at St. Thomas More

The mass intention this and every Sunday is for you, the people and parishioners of St. Thomas More.

Blessings to all,

Fr. Robert Pastor, St. Thomas More Parish Verdun


Monday, May 11, 2020

Soul Health VII...ending with a beautiful bedtime story

Soul Health VII

“The doors of our churches are closed but our hearts are open” -- Archbishop Lépine in his pastoral letter

https://tinyurl.com/yd9y5yv4

1. To keep our hearts open during this pandemic, the Vatican has published a wonderful free online booklet, Strong In The Face Of Tribulation. Three distinct sections include how to remain faith-filled during this time, and beautiful thoughts from Pope Francis compiled from his daily homilies the last 2 months, updated regularly online. I encourage you to take a look:

https://tinyurl.com/ycv227fo


2. The Archdiocese is inviting all people of good will to 10 minutes of quiet at noon every Sunday. Join us. “…the bells of parish churches and chapels will ring every Sunday at noon for 10 minutes as a sign of hope during this period of health emergency. All people of good will are also invited to take a break of silence or prayer at the same time to support those most affected by the pandemic, including residents of CHSLDs and homes for the aged, as well as those who take care of the sick.”


3. Parish Finances: Today, appropriately, is #ThankYouThursday. Thanks to your generosity last month, parish revenues virtually matched our reduced expenses in the first four months of 2020. And that was over and above the amazing Food Drive!

April givings came very close to what was budgeted, except for Easter which was down substantially, in some measure connected to no loose collection. So many of you even came to put your envelopes through the office mail slot -- Very impressive support for your parish. You are encouraged to keep it up during lockdown, remembering that most of our expenses continue.


4. I have become chaplain to a Tuesday evening rosary, prayer and reflection group. If you’re interested in trying it out on Zoom, write for the link: Danielle Morin daniellemorin27@gmail.com


5. A hearty thanks to our calling team who reached out on behalf of the parish to all on our parish list. If you didn’t receive a call, or even if you did, but would like to talk, call me the parish. One of the fruits of the call around: over 45 people added to my prayer list!


6. Who is worthy of our aid?

https://tinyurl.com/yd7s24fr


7. Archbishop Christian Lépine invites everyone to join him on Thursday, May 14, at 8 a.m on Salt + Light Television, for a Mass being offered for the special intentions


8. Hopefully next week we’ll have a Pastoral Council meeting (yes, zoom), to brainstorm about how to continue our parish ministry. Please feel free to indicate your interest in joining us for a meeting.


9. A brief, beautiful bedtime story of these times:

https://tinyurl.com/ycfmqrec


The mass intention for you is offered every Sunday. Blessings to all,

Fr. Robert Pastor,
St. Thomas More Parish
Verdun

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Soul Health VI: 8AM TOMORROW special live mass, Food Drive report, and more




Good evening Companions in the Risen Christ
,

Briefly, two programmes, some information on tomorrow’s special consecration, and the Grapevine:

1. The Food Drive: Wonderful! A really faithful response from our parish of serving those in need. It was beautiful to experience. Specifics below, including a link to photos.


2. Adult Faith Formation! Please Consider it, especially if you haven’t before. I would like to offer a 6-session program by Zoom, with a video, questions and discussion for a small group of 10 max. beginning next week. However, we don’t have enough interest yet to make it viable. If you are curious, please go to the 2-minute survey; sign up there as well:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68QVRCH


3. In the face of the pandemic, tomorrow, May 1, all the Canadian and American bishops will consecrate their respective dioceses to Mary, Mother of the Church, seeking her protection.

https://tinyurl.com/y8xzfk9n

May is the month of Mary annually. Watch live Archbishop Lépine’s consecration mass tomorrow 8am, following the link on this page:

https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/news-and-info/latest-news/archbishop-lepine-consecrate-archdiocese-montreal-mary-mother-church


4. Read the latest Grapevine diocesan newsletter

https://tinyurl.com/ujbr6ju

So, the Food Drive…

Well done, in this time of need. The beneficiaries of your generosity were the Manna Food Bank here in Verdun, and Le Pont, a 2-year old ministry of our Diocese to temporarily shelter newly arriving refugees. A special thanks to one of our catechism parents for doing all the pick-ups from your homes yesterday afternoon and delivering them to the rectory.

Two car loads are going to Manna, along with some cash donations marked for them.

Me and another driver took two car loads last night to Le Pont. Photos can be found on our website:

https://www.stthomasmoremtl.ca/


In addition to the office lobby full of bags and boxes of groceries, over $2500 came in from several donors. I would like to commend you for your generosity. Trish and I both were deeply moved at the overwhelming response, how you opened your hearts to those who are desperate.

This is truly Catholic faith in action, and taking seriously your Easter vocation as believers in the Risen One. We read each of the 50 days of Easter at Mass from the Acts of the Apostles, the story of faith in the resurrection put into action. So we have a new chapter to Acts of St. TM parish!

With the cash I was able to purchase and deliver for each of the 9 families (21 residents) of Le Pont: a 4-day supply of fresh meat and fish, a flat of eggs, a jug of vegetable oil, a large bag of rice, and loads of vegetables and fruits. And there is enough cash left over to twice more provide another 4-day supply of fresh meats, as well as veggies, which I will undertake next week.

May the Risen Christ richly bless you,

Fr. Robert+

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

UPDATE: 26 hours left...in the Food Drive...

...in our Parish Food Drive...READ this UPDATE with new info:

Greetings all,

First, there has been some interest in the small group Adult faith education programme I would lead by videoconferencing; a handful more of interested persons would make this feasible. To register your interest, please fill out this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68QVRCH

The Food Drive is in full swing, with bags of groceries already dropped at the rectory door this morning -- Thanks for your generosity:

If you would like a pick-up, please let me know by replying to this email this evening.

Food drop off at the rectory:

non-perishables: on the rectory steps until sundown today or tomorrow

perishables: tomorrow only (Wednesday)

Before 4pm: meat and dairy on doorstep; all other perishables directly in the back of red Kia Soul out front

4pm-6pm; all perishables directly into the Kia Soul (these will be delivered departing 6pm)

After 6pm -- no more perishables accepted

NO ITEMS PAST BEST BEFORE DATE -- I've already found some, meaning I've had to personally go through all the bags to check them. It turns out it they were only in one bag -- thanks to all of you who have or will donate with this in mind. With most donations coming tomorrow, please spare me having to check through everything if even one unusable item is found in one bag.

Details:

Drop food off on the Rectory steps (980 Moffat) today (non-perishable only) or Wednesday (anything) -- see 2. above.

Cash or cheques in envelopes marked “Food Drive”, or your parish envelope offerings can also be safely slipped through the Rectory mailbox.

Food Requirements:

For Le Pont https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/archdiocese/le-pont :

· Fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, rice, vegetable oil, Bread, peanut butter, Yogurt, Milk, snacks for children

· Maintenance and Disinfection products for the residence

· Disinfectant spray (Lysol), Wet disinfectant wipes, Disinfectant, antibacterial liquid or spray, Hydroalcoholic solution for hands

For the local Food Bank: everything else

Please, please put the Le Pont donations in separate bags/boxes from the Food Bank, so I don’t have to sort and separate.

P.S. No donations can be past their ‘Best Before’ or ‘Expiry’ dates. (To do otherwise is distinctly unhelpful and contradicts Catholic Social teaching).

Thanks in advance for meeting this desperate need in these difficult times.

Fr. Robert+
Pastor,
St. Thomas More Parish, Verdun

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Give a moment for the dead and grieving in Nova Scotia, tomorrow...

Good evening,

Let us meaningfully say, "Our prayers are with you," to the people of Nova Scotia and all who grieve the weekend massacre. This is not cliché, rather as mentioned in yesterday’s Soul Health V email, tomorrow (Friday) the Mass of the Dead will be offered for the deceased and all affected.

1. How to participate

2. Spiritual Communion

3. A Reflection, in lieu of a homily

4. The Prayers and Readings


1. How to participate

The mass will be offered at 1pm, ending at 1:30. You are invited during that time, or anytime during the day to do any or all of the following: light a candle, observe some silence, read the prayers below and the regular mass prayers to yourself, read the Reflection, and pray. You can also be in full communion by making a Spiritual Communion (as any day), with all other Catholics doing the same tomorrow.

2. Spiritual Communion

Pope Francis has reminded us that we are in communion just as if we have received the sacrament itself when we:

a. express our desire to be in communion, and

b. confess our belief that the Sacrament is the true Body of Christ in which He is really present, and

c. resolve and follow through to receive the consecrated host as soon as it is possible

Pope Francis:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LNjJaWuidw (2 minute video)

and

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-offers-this-spiritual-communion-prayer-during-coronavirus-pandemic-53326

3. Reflection

We cannot help but feel broken-hearted for the horror that last weekend unfolded in our country, seemingly next door in Nova Scotia. 22 innocents slaughtered – a female RCMP officer defending us, a pregnant health care worker overworking during the pandemic, and 20 other parents, children, relatives, friends and colleagues. And in tight-knit serene communities. A week ago, it was unimaginable.

But evil, the evil of just one deranged soul, gruesomely committed this country’s worst slaughter.

How to respond? What to do?

First, I was on a videoconference yesterday (Thursday) on the topic parish ministry during the pandemic, led by Fr. James Mallon from Halifax. He began by expressing his and Nova Scotians appreciation for our concern. He also observed, “It’s so disturbing to see on the international news small towns in your own small province mentioned because of an unspeakable evil.” In our backyard it seems.

And it may seem that unspeakable evil may have won. Not so. Not so.

Even the apostles, except St. John fled from the cross, fearing evil had defeated their master, Jesus. All the more were they surprised by Easter, His rising from the dead three days later -- His conquest and utter defeat of evil and its ultimate achievement, death.

Only then did they understand that the previous Friday was a sacrifice, and the night before at Supper, when he had said, “This is my Body” and “my Blood” which tomorrow will be given up for you, that he was inviting them to share in that sacrifice of self-giving love.

And thus, St. Paul, who 4 years later on his way to persecute Christians was confronted by the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus, later wrote to the Church in Rome which he hadn’t yet visited, as in today’s reading, “For I am persuaded that neither death” -- yes, death -- “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

St. Paul was so persuaded that he joined his life to Christ’s as a loving sacrifice, going to Rome in chains to his own death by beheading.

At the beginning of his Gospel, St. John retrospectively writes of the coming of Christ, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

What can we do? By joining in today’s Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, offering your sacrifice of prayer and thanksgiving, you participate in the light, indeed sharing in the communion of the The Light, Jesus Christ, God. You share in that light that darkness cannot overcome, that defeats evil, and death, proclaiming instead the victory of life in Christ. And you share in bringing hope of eternal life to all the deceased, and the hope wrought of solidarity to all who grieve. Amen.

4. The Prayers and Readings

The Collect (the prayer just after the confession of sin at the beginning):

Almighty God and Father, it is our certain faith that your Son, who died on the Cross, was raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Grant that through this mystery your servants, who have gone to their rest in Christ, may share in the joy of his resurrection. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Readings (in your bible or easily found on the internet)

Romans 8:31-39
Psalm 23
John 14:1-6

Prayer of the Faithful

Let us in faith call upon God the almighty Father, who raised Christ his Son from the dead, as we pray for the salvation of the living and the dead:

That God may establish the Christian people in faith and unity, let us pray to the Lord.

That He may rescue the entire world from all the evils of war and violence, and comfort with His unfailing grace and love the friends and families of the deceased for whom we pray, the people of Nova Scotia, all who grieve with them, let us pray…

That He may be pleased to show Himself a father to our brothers and sisters who lack work, food or housing, and who are fearful or anxious because of the pandemic, let us pray …

That He may be pleased to admit for ever to the company of the Saints his deceased servants slaughtered in Nova Scotia, who once through Baptism received the seed of eternal life, let us pray…

That on the last day he may raise up all slaughtered in Nova Scotia, that with us they may share in Heavenly Banquet on the Body of Christ, the Bread of eternal life, let us pray…

May the prayer of those who cry to you benefit the souls of your servants, O Lord: free them, we pray, from all their sins and make them sharers in your redemption. Through Christ our Lord.

Prayer Over The Offerings

As we humbly present to you these sacrificial offerings, O Lord, for the salvation of your servants we beseech your mercy, that they, who did not doubt your Son to be a loving Saviour, may find in him a merciful Judge. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Preface for the Dead (after Sursum Corda/Lift up your hearts…)

It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

In him the hope of blessed resurrection has dawned,
that those saddened by the certainty of dying
might be consoled by the promise of immortality to come.
Indeed for your faithful, Lord,
life is changed not ended,
and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust,
an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.

And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy…..

Eucharistic Prayer III will follow, and where normally it is said, “To our departed brothers and sisters…”, this will be replaced with the section beginning, “† Remember your servant (then name each of the deceased)…”

http://www.ibreviary.com/m/messale.php?s=liturgia_eucaristica&id=74

Prayer After Communion

Lord God, whose Son left us, in the Sacrament of his Body, food for the journey, mercifully grant that, strengthened by it, our brothers and sisters may come to the eternal table of Christ. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Soul Health V

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Dear Companions in the Risen Christ,

Gospel Trivia: “Companions” literally means “together in bread,” and so we are. Hence “Holy Communion.”

Engage for Easter! Put your faith into action. Please read further below about:

How to participate and contribute to our Parish Food Drive this week, for Le Pont and the Manna Food Bank in Verdun. How to join Friday as an instrument of hope with the people of Nova Scotia in their grief.

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day, or the opportunity, that isolation provides to lean on and strengthen your faith. “One reaction (to isolation) is to embrace more love in our lives and to find new ways to express it” (Our Archbishop – see item 4). I would like to offer a 6-week Adult Faith Formation opportunity via Zoom. This should be of assistance to you and our parish.

Also:

4. If by Friday you haven’t received a call from the parish to check-in, please let me know by replying.

5. Thank You all parishioners who have dropped weekly offering envelopes into the parish office mail slot. If you haven’t, please remember that our financial needs continue – we can pick-up contributions next Wednesday during the food drive pick-ups. Please leave a message on the parish number with your address and phone number.

6. “Montrealers, you are not alone”, wonderful insights of our Archbishop Lépine in The Gazette:

https://tinyurl.com/ybc4fcv8

The excellent monthly devotional aid Magnificat has offered us FREE copies of the May edition. They contain the daily mass readings, reflections, and so much more. Full disclosure: I sometimes draw my weekday homily ideas from there. Please reply if we can drop a copy off at your door next Wednesday.

Pope Francis’ beautiful homily for last Sunday’s Divine Mercy Feast:

https://tinyurl.com/y84sn89d

In response to the Nova Scotia massacre, I will be offering this Friday at 1pm the Mass for the Dead, and for all the people affected. Tomorrow I will send out some specifics on how to join in spiritually, as well as a brief reflection.

It would be mutually encouraging to participate in an Adult Faith Education program, particularly during lockdown. If you are at all interested, and I encourage you to consider this, please take 3 minutes to complete the survey to give me a better idea of what best works:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/68QVRCH

It would involve six sessions on Zoom where we would watch a video clip, reflect and discuss, beginning the first week of May. If there’s enough interest (and I hope there is), I could offer two parallel programs at different times to suit different needs. We will use the excellent material of the engaging Bishop Barron, the best known priest in the English-speaking world.

PARISH FOOD DRIVE

Last week, having seen at least 100 people lined up at the local Food Bank, and having received a request from Le Pont, the new Diocesan refugee temporary home, I have discussed with a couple of you how we can respond. We are having a PARISH FOOD DRIVE, with our St. Vincent de Paul Society. This provides an opportunity for each of us to support our neediest of neighbors, to engage your friends inviting their help, and to participate as a community even under lockdown:

HOW:

Call the parish number (514) 768-4741 by this Monday (Apr. 27), leaving a message with phone number and address for Wednesday food pick-up from your doorstep (within Lasalle, Ville-Emard and Verdun). You’ll receive a callback to confirm details. Or drop food off on the Rectory steps (980 Moffat) during the day Tuesday (non-perishable only) or Wednesday (anything). Cash or cheques in envelopes marked “Food Drive”, or your parish envelope offerings can also be safely slipped through the Rectory mailbox or picked up.

Requirements:

For Le Pont

https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/archdiocese/le-pont :

· Chicken or other meat, fresh vegetables and fresh fruit, vegetable oil, Bread, peanut butter, Eggs, Yogurt, Milk, snacks for children

· Maintenance and Disinfection products for the residence

· Disinfectant spray (Lysol), Wet disinfectant wipes, Disinfectant, antibacterial liquid or spray, Hydroalcoholic solution for hands

For the local Food Bank: everything else

Please, please put the Le Pont donations in separate bags/boxes from the Food Bank, so I don’t have to sort and separate.

P.S. No donations can be past their ‘Best Before’ or ‘Expiry’ dates. (To do otherwise is distinctly unhelpful and contradicts Catholic Social teaching).

Thanks in advance for meeting this desperate need in these difficult times.

Finally,

With my wishes for a continued joyous Easter season amidst these unsettling times.

In the Risen Christ,

Fr. Robert+
Pastor
St. Thomas More Parish, Verdun

Monday, April 13, 2020

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! -- Soul Health IV

Dear sisters and brothers in the Risen Christ,

Strange as it may seem, in these strangest of times, with this Easter greeting I share with you the joy I palpably experienced celebrating both the Easter Vigil mass Saturday evening and Sunday mass, and hopefully will beyond the 50 days of this Easter Season.

** “…living the spirit of the Easter season mean(s) … Live with Joy…a deep-down gladness that cannot be taken away, even in the midst of sorrow,” even amidst pandemic, lock-down and uncertain futures. “With this faith, we are able to hold on to an enduring sense of joy even in the midst of the sadness we experience…” (Fr. Lloyd Baugh, St. Monica’s NDG http://www.stmonica.ca/pastors-corner/be-fearless-be-joyful-be-renewed-living-the-spirit-of-easter )

1. The attached photo shows chanting the Easter Proclamation on the church steps, at 8pm with all the other priests and our Archbishop doing the same, in solidarity and communion with you and all the faithful confined to quarters around the world, and the man who stopped his car, hopped out and devotedly knelt on the church steps for the duration (I blessed him with the Paschal Candle before returning inside).


2. A 1-minute video of the Pope at the Easter Vigil: ‘Even from the grave Jesus brings life’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3nFOHhEs3Q&feature=youtu.be


3. Our Episcopal Vicar’s Easter Message 2020: “Resurrection in a Time of Pandemic”

https://mailchi.mp/377ee917124d/the-grapevine-issue-14-vol-2724754?e=d2c6a13de9


4. A photo of the Good Friday Veneration of the Cross


5. Easter Egg hunt: The egg, in some cultures (including mine) decorated by Christians at Easter, is an ancient Christian symbol of new life. Where to hunt for them: What makes a Gospel a Gospel (Good New) is that it ends with an account (or accounts) of the Resurrection of Jesus to new life. Two rather different and beautiful ones, with reflection questions:

a. John 20:1-18, ending with Mary Magdalene as the Apostle to the Apostles

Where do we encounter the Risen Christ in our life? How do we share this Good News with our families and others?

b. Luke 24:13-35, including the Risen Jesus celebrating the Eucharist with disciples

How would my life be different if our hearts would “burn within us” such that we truly no longer fear death? Do we recognize Jesus in the Sunday Eucharist?

I wish you and pray that you, in the midst of all the confusion, uncertainly and restrictions, experience and live the joy of Christ Risen from the dead, with His gift of new life, new hope, and new vision beyond what we can ask or imagine.

He is truly Risen! Alleluia!

In the Risen Christ,

Fr. Robert+
Pastor
St. Thomas More Parish, Verdun

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Soul Health III: The Holy Triduum begins this evening

Dear parents of children in Catechesis, and all parishioners,

I’ll be offering the Holy Thursday Mass in less than an hour, and again at the Easter Vigil, with special intention for all our parishioners. Despite being physically separated from the sacraments, Pope Francis reminds us if you make spiritual communion (see below), you are as much a part of the offering and in communion as being here. On spiritual Confession, see the link below.

This evening, like the Archbishop most other priests in the Archdiocese at the same hour, I will be blessing the neighborhood from the parish steps with the Sacrament of the Body of Christ during this time of pandemic.

I want to emphasize, particularly to parents, that the Holy Triduum (3 days) is integral to our catechesis, as the mysteries it observes are the very core of our faith, and hopefully of our life. So I encourage you to participate in these – the most symbol-filled liturgies of the year this evening, Good Friday, and Saturday’s Easter Vigil --- online or on tv, not least so that your children can better understand what is being discussed and asked of them when catechesis resumes.

1. Pope Francis yesterday invited us to live the Triduum as "one great domestic liturgy" https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-04/pope-general-audience-easter-triduum-catechesis.html

2. One minute video: Pope Francis’ observing the Triduum https://www.romereports.com/en/2020/04/09/pope-begins-easter-triduum-at-vatican-without-pilgrims/

3. Spiritual Communion in these exceptional circumstances: Make a statement to God of your desire to partake, and that you believe Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, and that you will partake as soon as it is permitted, and:

4. Participate in the liturgies on cable tv – Salt & Light channel is broadcasting them all, or:

5. Livestreams in the Archdiocese include:

a. https://www.becket.ca/

b. https://stig.ca/live-stream/

c. The Good Friday Way of the Cross, led by Msgr. Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal and broadcast on the Archdiocese of Montreal’s YouTube page, will become available at 10 AM on Good Friday morning

d. With Pope Francis live from the Vatican, 6am Good Friday Liturgy and 9am Stations of the Cross: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJHI8bI0LWg

6. More Holy Week guidelines from the Archdiocese are found on our parish website: https://www.stthomasmoremtl.ca/

7. On Spiritual Confession (4 minute video by Fr. Mike of St. Ignatius, NDG): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmaOANC29zM

8. I would like to extend my thanks to parishioners who made calls this week to most of you. If you did not receive a call, please call me at the parish number or reply to this email.

Finally, in these challenging times, keeping in our prayers in union with Christ Crucified all who suffer around the world, not least in body, mind and spirit from the pandemic, I wish you a most Blessed and spiritual Triduum, looking ahead to the new and renewed life celebrated at Easter. In Christ Crucified and Risen,

Fr. Robert+
Pastor
St. Thomas More Parish, Verdun

Sunday, April 5, 2020

LITURGICAL SUGGESTIONS AND DIRECTIVES

a. Palm Sunday : i. What to do in the parish?

• Therefore, there will be no blessing of palms in the parish churches, oratories and chapels of our diocese, nor a distribution of these at the doors of the church or elsewhere, in any way whatsoever.

ii. What can be done as a family? Families are invited to place an image or statue of Jesus visibly in a window of their home to mark the start of Holy Week. This represents an opportunity to proclaim our faith in the public square. On the diocesan website you will find additional suggestions and a proposed image, which can be printed and used for this purpose. (See details concerning the website in section 4 of this document).

iii. What is available for youth? Although young people, youth ministers, their supporters and the people of God around them will not be able to gather this coming Saturday, World Youth Day remains the international day of celebration and prayer with and for youth! Join them live on April 4, at 5 p.m., on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygTbG11Y4kA&feature=youtu.be to follow Palm Sunday Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Lépine, and to appreciate their creative response to this year's theme: "Young man, I tell you, get up!" "

b. Chrism Mass: The Archbishop will preside at the celebration of the Chrism Mass “in camera” (privately) at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m.

FOR THE EASTER TRIDUUM: We propose that pastors and the People of God participate, as far as is possible, in simple, simultaneous gestures as a sign of our communion within the Church. We invite pastors and teams who plan to participate in these initiatives described below to notify the communications department (communications@diocesemontreal.org ), so that they can direct news media to parishes where these initiatives are being undertaken. Those who have access to social media are urged to share these moments digitally so that a greater number of faithful can unite in prayer. To celebrate the Easter Triduum, in addition to the suggestions that follow, a simplified version of the liturgical celebrations will be sent at the beginning of next week, for those who need them.

c. Holy Thursday: According to the Decree of March 25 previously cited, the faculty to celebrate Mass in memory of the Lord's Supper, without the presence of the faithful, is granted to all priests. They are requested to celebrate in an appropriate place, to omit the foot-washing ceremony and the concluding procession with the Blessed Sacrament. A parallel, simultaneous gesture to take place in the parishes: Following the celebration of Mass, continue with an hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by the blessing of the neighbourhood. Following the celebration of mass, priests able to do so are encouraged to spend an hour in private adoration from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30, in the church or a place of their choice. Around 8:30 p.m., they are asked to go outside the main entrance to bless the neighbourhood with the Blessed Sacrament. This can also be conducted inside the church. After the blessing, the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle. At home: the faithful in our diocese can join this adoration in spirit by placing a lighted candle in their window from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. To accompany this time of common prayer, suggestions for Prayers of the Faithful, focusing in particular on serving others along with meditations on the Gospel account of washing the disciples’ feet, will be published on the diocesan website. These and other suggestions will also be available early next week.

d. Good Friday: A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Erect a cross outside, at the principle church entrance. In memory of the Passion of Our Lord, pastors are encouraged to place a processional cross outside, at the principle church entrance from noon to 3 p.m.

At home, the faithful can venerate a crucifix and place a cross in their window, as a sign of confidence in Christ’s sacrifice for us and in the victory of Love over Evil, suffering and death. To celebrate the Lord’s Passion (in camera: 2 or 3 participants maximum):

A special intention is included in the Prayers of the Faithful: for those in distress, for the sick and the deceased. A suggestion regarding the formulation of this prayer will be communicated at the beginning of next week.

Only the presiding minister venerates the Cross.

The collection for the Holy Land is postponed until September 13, 2020.

The traditional Archbishop's blood drive is cancelled. On Good Friday, Archbishop Lépine still encourages the faithful who are able to donate blood to do so but at a blood clinic close to their homes. Consult the Héma-Québec site to find the nearest site:

https://www.hema-quebec.qc.ca/index.en.html

e. Holy Saturday: In the early evening, before the Vigil: keep watch with Mary in the silence of Holy Saturday. All are invited to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. Pastors who, through social media, can link their faithful to this time of prayer are urged to do so.

Some resources: Family Prayer in each home:

https://www.diocesemontreal.org/sites/default/files/ressources/Foi%20catholique/prieres_courantes/Booklet%20-%20Family%20prayer.pdf, by Archbishop Lepine

f. Easter Vigil: A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Welcome the Light of Easter. At 8 p.m., pastors are asked to light the paschal candle, placed as near as possible to the open doors of their parish church, to bless it and recite the Easter proclamation (Exsultet). This ceremony can also be conducted in the church interior

Soul Health II: Holy Week begins this eve!

Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Urgently the question arises of how to remain in communion with God and His Church, with Holy Week, that most sacred time of the year, beginning this evening. Perhaps because of all the restrictions on physically receiving the Sacraments, a unique blessing is the burst of information about how to virtually practice your faith within the limitations. I have tried to consolidate some of it, although this is still lengthy.

This morning the Pastoral Council met by teleconference, following a Fabrique meeting Thursday evening, recommending this email to guide you to opportunities. Your feedback by email would be most welcome.

1. All of you should be receiving a call during Holy Week from a designated parishioner on my behalf to touch base and check-in with you, and provide whatever we can as a parish.

2. Although Patricia is working from home, you can still contact the parish office by email or phone for anything. Messages are checked daily and calls returned.

3. I continue to offer the daily and Sunday masses for booked intentions privately. The pro populo mass for you will be concelebrated by me tomorrow, Palm Sunday. Blessing of palms has been ordered postponed.

4. Holy Week: please see the just released guidelines from the Archdiocese below. Each of you is “invited to place an image or statue of Jesus visibly in a window of their home to mark the start of Holy Week.” I will be carrying out all THE EASTER TRIDUUM recommendations from those guidelines, as found on our parish website: https://www.stthomasmoremtl.ca/

5. Holy Thursday evening I may carry out the blessing of the neighbourhood by walking a couple of blocks with the Sacrament if I get positive feedback from you in advance and recommendations of which nearby blocks (weather permitting).

6. I am sending separately a copy of the Grapevine, an e-newsletter from the English service side of the Archdiocese. You are encouraged to subscribe to the Grapevine, and the Archdiocese’s own English newsletter, containing helpful info at this time, both at:

https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/news-and-info/newsletters

See also: https://www.facebook.com/pg/englishpastoralservices/posts/?ref=page_internal

7. Livestream Holy Week Masses beginning tomorrow, in addition to those in links above:

a. https://www.becket.ca (West Island parish)

b. https://stig.ca/live-stream (NDG parish)

c. Add Salt & Light tv for free to your cable subscription, or see the links part way down this page:

https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/news-and-info/latest-news/schedule-holy-week-celebrations-archbishop-christian-lepine-salt-light

8. FAMILY PRAYER In every Home has just been published by our own Archbishop Lépine. It’s a free PDF full of age appropriate suggestions for couples, children and families:

https://www.diocesemontreal.org/sites/default/files/ressources/Foi%20catholique/prieres_courantes/Booklet%20-%20Family%20prayer.pdf

9. And from St. Thomas à Becket Parish Friday email: In case you missed last week’s beautiful and moving prayer service by Pope Francis:

https://tinyurl.com/v8ywa2a

Spiritual life resources:

1) Pray the Rosary “in the Holy Land”.

https://tinyurl.com/w7aeczy

2) 10 Spiritual Counsels in a Time of Coronavirus:

https://tinyurl.com/sz5b2wu

3) The Word Among Us, a popular devotional magazine, is providing free access to the website during the current crisis:

www.wau.org

Let me close with a thought from the opening of the Archbishop’s booklet:

The family is the basic unit of society and the cradle of life and faith; it is, in fact, the domestic church. Through personal and family prayer, the family is called to participate in God’s plan of love, his plan for Creation and Salvation.

We are living through a pandemic crisis affecting all of humanity, which, by extension, affects all families as well. With physical distancing and home confinement measures being implemented, there is an opportunity to rediscover prayer, providing a benefit to each person and each family as well.

This is why I am publishing a prayer booklet, to make it easier to pray, to read the Bible, to recite the rosary, whether alone, as a couple, as a family, with children and young people.

I wish you a fruitful, strengthening and healthy Holy Week as we together journey with our Lord Jesus the Christ into Jerusalem, to Last Supper table then to the Garden of Gethsemane, up the Via Dolorosa to the Cross and, finally, to the Empty Tomb.

Together In the Crucified and Risen Christ,

Fr. Robert+

Pastor, St. Thomas More (Verdun)

5th COMMUNIQUÉ - April 1, 2020

Directives, guidelines and suggestions to pastors, parish pastoral teams and religious congregations

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This is our second week of the province-wide confinement, and our hope is certainly being tested as we prepare to observe the richest liturgical season in our pastoral year: the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord. Nevertheless, the strength of the Risen Christ impels us to live the coming days with creativity and a sense of wonderment, discerning His presence at the very heart of our life, of our family and our neighbourhood.

A. A REMINDER OF EXISTING DIRECTIVES

I would like to highlight a number of directives that were sent to you in one or another of my four previous communiqués (March 18; March 20; March 24; March 26) and which are still applicable today:

1. All places of worship, offices and gathering spaces in parishes remain closed until further notice. The only exceptions are spaces dedicated to food banks or other services deemed essential for public health.

2. Only celebrations of Mass “in camera” (private) are authorized: maximum 2 or people present, including the celebrant, observing the required physical-distancing practices in place. Hygiene measures were outlined in the March 24 communiqué.

3. All church funerals and Liturgies of the Word in funeral homes are postponed. Burials of coffins or urns must be held with a restricted number of participants (2 or 3 maximum).

4. All marriages planned for April and May are postponed. (See the note from the Chancery office attached to the March 26 communiqué.)

5. The Anointing of the Sick: Permitted only in the case of anointing a dying person; in this case, follow the instructions presented in the March 24 communiqué.

6. Sacrament of Reconciliation: Due to the strict directives curtailing most public movement and because this sacrament must be celebrated with the penitent physically present, it is not possible to offer this sacrament at this time. For more details, see section 3 of this document.

7. For the same reasons, reception of Holy Communion is currently not possible, including the Viaticum. See section 3 of this document.

8. All catechetical formation activities are suspended until further notice. Where possible, encourage families to participate in online catechetical activities at home.

9. All baptisms – children and adult – are postponed until a later date, except for a person in imminent danger of death. (See guidelines in the March 24 communiqué.)

10. The baptisms, confirmations and first Communions of adults planned for the Easter Vigil are postponed to a later date, as are the scrutinies and other preparatory rites for the Christian initiation of adults.

11. The first Communions and confirmations of children, adolescents and adults scheduled for the spring are postponed until next fall-winter.

12. The directives concerning the chapels and oratories of religious congregations, dated March 20, remain in force.

13. Archbishop Lépine specifically asks all ministers – priests, permanent deacons, and lay persons – aged 70 and over, as well as those at risk because of their state of health, to stay at home.

B. ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES AND INFORMATION

As we approach Holy Week, here are some instructions, guidelines and suggestions to assist you in preparing for the upcoming celebrations and pastoral activities. All of these measures or initiatives respect a basic precautionary principle: we do not want to encourage gatherings, even indirectly; we, therefore, do not encourage the faithful of our parishes to leave their homes or to travel unnecessarily.

1. LITURGICAL SUGGESTIONS AND DIRECTIVES

a. Palm Sunday :

i. What to do in the parish?

Where possible, Mass is celebrated with a strict minimum of participants (2 or 3, including the minister who presides).
• As announced in the March 26 communiqué, according to a Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (Prot. 154/20; March 25, 2020), the liturgical celebration must take place within the church building, using the third form of the entrance rite for Palm Sunday provided in the Roman Missal, to the degree that this is possible. It begins with the singing of the Introit, which retells the story of the entry into Jerusalem, and includes two verses of Psalm 24. This exceptional form excludes the blessing of the palms.
• Therefore, there will be no blessing of palms in the parish churches, oratories and chapels of our diocese, nor a distribution of these at the doors of the church or elsewhere, in any way whatsoever.
• For parishes that have received palms, we encourage you to preserve them, as best as you can (cool, in their sealed packaging or in a damp environment), with the hope that we will be able to bless and distribute them later in the spring when, as a community, we celebrate the victory of the Risen One.

ii. What can be done as a family?

Families are invited to place an image or statue of Jesus visibly in a window of their home to mark the start of Holy Week. This represents an opportunity to proclaim our faith in the public square. On the diocesan website you will find additional suggestions and a proposed image, which can be printed and used for this purpose. (See details concerning the website in section 4 of this document).

iii. What is available for youth?

Although young people, youth ministers, their supporters and the people of God around them will not be able to gather this coming Saturday, World Youth Day remains the international day of celebration and prayer with and for youth! Join them live on April 4, at 5 p.m., on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygTbG11Y4kA&feature=youtu.beto follow Palm Sunday Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Lépine, and to appreciate their creative response to this year's theme: "Young man, I tell you, get up!"

b. Chrism Mass:

The Archbishop will preside at the celebration of the Chrism Mass “in camera” (privately) at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. All ordained ministers of the diocese are urged to follow the celebration live, to experience spiritual communion during the renewal of the episcopal, presbyteral and diaconal promises, which will take place during the celebration.

There will be a blessing of the holy oils and the consecration of holy chrism. However, the distribution of these oils is deferred until the restriction on public gatherings is lifted.

FOR THE EASTER TRIDUUM:

We propose that pastors and the People of God participate, as far as is possible, in simple, simultaneous gestures as a sign of our communion within the Church. We invite pastors and teams who plan to participate in these initiatives described below to notify the communications department (communications@diocesemontreal.org ), so that they can direct news media to parishes where these initiatives are being undertaken. Those who have access to social media are urged to share these moments digitally so that a greater number of faithful can unite in prayer. To celebrate the Easter Triduum, in addition to the suggestions that follow, a simplified version of the liturgical celebrations will be sent at the beginning of next week, for those who need them.

c. Holy Thursday:

According to the Decree of March 25 previously cited, the faculty to celebrate Mass in memory of the Lord's Supper, without the presence of the faithful, is granted to all priests. They are requested to celebrate in an appropriate place, to omit the foot-washing ceremony and the concluding procession with the Blessed Sacrament.

A parallel, simultaneous gesture to take place in the parishes: Following the celebration of Mass, continue with an hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by the blessing of the neighbourhood. Following the celebration of mass, priests able to do so are encouraged to spend an hour in private adoration from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30, in the church or a place of their choice. Around 8:30 p.m., they are asked to go outside the main entrance to bless the neighbourhood with the Blessed Sacrament. This can also be conducted inside the church. After the blessing, the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle.

At home: the faithful in our diocese can join this adoration in spirit by placing a lighted candle in their window from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

To accompany this time of common prayer, suggestions for Prayers of the Faithful, focusing in particular on serving others along with meditations on the Gospel account of washing the disciples’ feet, will be published on the diocesan website. These and other suggestions will also be available early next week.

d. Good Friday:

A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Erect a cross outside, at the principle church entrance. In memory of the Passion of Our Lord, pastors are encouraged to place a processional cross outside, at the principle church entrance from noon to 3 p.m.

At home, the faithful can venerate a crucifix and place a cross in their window, as a sign of confidence in Christ’s sacrifice for us and in the victory of Love over Evil, suffering and death.

To celebrate the Lord’s Passion (in camera: 2 or 3 participants maximum): A special intention is included in the Prayers of the Faithful: for those in distress, for the sick and the deceased. A suggestion regarding the formulation of this prayer will be communicated at the beginning of next week.

Only the presiding minister venerates the Cross.

The collection for the Holy Land is postponed until September 13, 2020. The traditional Archbishop's blood drive is cancelled. On Good Friday, Archbishop Lépine still encourages the faithful who are able to donate blood to do so but at a blood clinic close to their homes. Consult the Héma-Québec site to find the nearest site: https://www.hema-quebec.qc.ca/index.en.html

e. Holy Saturday:

In the early evening, before the Vigil: keep watch with Mary in the silence of Holy Saturday. All are invited to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. Pastors who, through social media, can link their faithful to this time of prayer are urged to do so. Some resources: Family Prayer in each home: https://www.diocesemontreal.org/sites/default/files/ressources/Foi%20catholique/prieres_courantes/Booklet%20-%20Family%20prayer.pdf, by Archbishop Lepine

f. Easter Vigil:

A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Welcome the Light of Easter. At 8 p.m., pastors are asked to light the paschal candle, placed as near as possible to the open doors of their parish church, to bless it and recite the Easter proclamation (Exsultet). This ceremony can also be conducted in the church interior According to the decree previously cited by the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Easter Vigil can only be celebrated in cathedrals and parish churches. After the Service of Light, pastors have several options: follow a simplified version of the Vigil, or join, via the various means of digital communications, one of the celebrations being broadcast. A simplified version of the Easter Vigil liturgy will be sent to you next week. For the baptismal liturgy, only the renewal of baptismal promises is retained. At home the faithful are invited to place a candle in a window, at 8 p.m., to welcome Easter and express their faith in the Resurrection. Other suggested activities will be sent to you at the beginning of next week.

g. Easter Morning:

A parallel, simultaneous gesture in the parishes: Bells! Pastors and those responsible for chapels are encouraged to ring the bells of their places of worship at 11 a.m. for 10 minutes. (Note that this is at a different time from the previous Sundays.) At home: At the same moment, the faithful are invited to “ring bells” and to sing the Gloria and Alleluia to celebrate their Easter joy. Since Quebec has rediscovered Sunday as a day of rest during this pandemic, we encourage the faithful living under the same roof to take the time to enjoy a family meal together and to share the Easter joy with their loved ones by telephone or other means of communications. The Office du catéchèse du Québec is preparing a paschal ritual that can be incorporated into a family meal to use either at suppertime on Holy Saturday or on Easter Sunday. Details will be sent to you soon.

2. CRESCENDO OF THE BELLS:

The Archbishop wishes to thank all the pastors who responded to the invitation to ring their church bells at noon for 10 minutes on March 29. We have received many positive comments that the sound of the bells was a source of comfort for our fellow citizens. This initiative also had considerable media impact, thanks to the coverage provided by mainstream media and which circulated on social media. This underscores that the Church occupies an essential place in public life. We, therefore, call on pastors and those responsible for chapels to ring their church bells once again this Sunday, April 5, at noon for 10 minutes, as a sign of hope, solidarity and abiding concern for those most-in-need. Please inform us if you are able to participate in this initiative: (communications@diocesemontreal.org). We also encourage all the faithful to spend a moment in prayer at the same time that the church bells are ringing (praying The Angelus, for example).

3. THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION AND HOLY COMMUNION:

We all recognize that the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are vital for the People of God. Being deprived of these, as we are presently due to the pandemic, represents a big sacrifice for many of us. Let us hold fast to our belief that the Lord knows best how to meet our needs, even during this “sacramental fast.” In this country, we have the privilege of gathering safely to celebrate the Eucharist, to receive Holy Communion, and to celebrate God’s forgiveness with a priest. Let us benefit from this form of “fasting” to increase our desire, our thirst for the sacraments, the Eucharist in particular. On this subject, I invite you to discuss and share this brief commentary from the Archbishop with your network of contacts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8178udXElSg&list=PL1FW1Sj7s9W3ynBL2-1qChdr4Og3ebdIe&index=6&t=0s It is also an opportunity to discover, or rediscover, other treasures within our spiritual tradition through which the Lord sends us his grace along with many other graces: the Word of God, the Liturgy of the Hours, contemplative prayer, the care of those most-in-need – these are all ways to encounter the living and life-giving God. You might find a brief review of the following guidelines helpful: Since it is not possible at this time to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, various other means of communication, such as the telephone, Internet, can be very helpful in listening, providing comfort, imparting a blessing and encouraging the penitent to obtain absolution at a later date when public-health conditions permit a sacramental encounter. We ask all pastors to inform the Body of Christ of the following instruction from the Apostolic Penitentiary: “Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).” (Note of March 19, 2020). Since it is not possible to receive Holy Communion currently, we are invited to discover and develop the worthy practice of spiritual communion, a longstanding tradition in the Church. Those who administer Holy Communion are encouraged to share resources on the subject. Here is one: https://aleteia.org/2018/09/20/cant-receive-the-eucharist-heres-how-to-make-a-spiritual-communion/

4. COMMUNICATING TO NOURISH HOPE:

a. Archbishop Christian Lépine is preparing his fifth pastoral letter, which you will receive shortly

b. https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/covid-19 : this page offers numerous resources to continue our missionary initiative together. You will find various “information blocks.”
i. Stay informed: up-to-date information regarding diocesan guidelines, press releases, important news, pastoral letters from the Archbishop;
ii. View video clips, “Care of the Soul” series, presented by Archbishop Lépine
iii. Pray at home with the Word of God: includes reflections on the Sunday readings (Magnificat) https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/covid-19/praying-home-with-god-word
iv. Follow daily mass at home: daily mass is broadcast from Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in Montreal. Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. mass is broadcast live, courtesy of Salt + Light Television. It is then available daylong, beginning at 9:30 a.m., on the diocesan website. In addition, Salt + Light TV is currently available free, without subscription, on the main Canadian cable channels.
v. Eucharistic Adoration: live-streamed or archived.
vi. Children and families, in self-isolation but not alone: resources for children and parents: children and families living in self-isolation in a sane, holy way;
vii. Human and Christian solidarity: how does our parish, diocese, Christian, community and family network remain an open Church … when church doors are closed?

c. During the pandemic, Living with Christ is making readings for daily Mass available to nourish our prayer life: https://www.livingwithchrist.ca/index.php/intentions

5. SPIRITUAL SUPPORT:

The pandemic is creating many situations that cause emotional and spiritual distress; we see it everywhere. In the Church, as Easter approaches, many among us might feel a sense of confusion, desolation. Let me review briefly a couple of suggestions that were made in the March 26 communiqué to you : Where possible, we encourage our pastoral staff to take the time to dialogue with people by telephone, e-mail, or different forms of video-chat and to make an effort to contact isolated parishioners. Leave an appropriate message on the parish answering machine and post it on the doors of the church and the parish office so that anyone in need, spiritual or material, will be directed to the proper resource. Publicize the telephone number of the spiritual help-line that the diocese created to offer support during the pandemic: 1-888-305-0994. Also, refer people to the diocesan website to learn about other diocesan initiatives that offer a supportive pastoral presence. To the extent possible, participate in one of these diocesan initiatives. Priests willing to offer a listening ear are urged to contact André Dupré: adupre@diocesemontreal.org, 514-272-4441.

6. NOTE TO FABRIQUES:

A new communiqué, dated March 30, was sent to all parish fabriques by Ms. Laura Rochford, diocesan financial director and bursar, pertaining to federal government financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic: https://mcusercontent.com/a433eb20c800445084b2a96b3/files/265bc57b-6e90-4920-8128-05b8f2bbd31e/MEMO_CERB_20200330.pdf On the other hand, in order to appreciate the actual situation of each parish, very soon fabriques will receive a form to help them describe their current reality regarding the remuneration of pastoral and support staff, parish communication during the pandemic, and the status of pastoral activities.

We remind you that the diocesan offices remain closed until further notice. However, don’t hesitate to call 514-931-7311 or email: vg@diocesemontreal.org, should you need additional information or have questions.

Brothers and sisters, during this trying time that puts faith and hope to the test, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ and hear him say once again to us:

“Take courage! I have conquered the world.” (Jn 16:33).

In Him,

+ Alain Faubert, V.G. Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Soul Health: Livestream Mass, e-mission this week, e-resources and more

Greetings Parishioners and friends of St. Thomas More

During these difficult times, this is a first attempt at trying to communicate electronically, to provide you with online resources during isolation. St. TM is belatedly arriving in the electronic age. I anticipate have this and more info posted on the new parish website in the coming days, so do check and scroll down https://www.stthomasmoremtl.ca/

1 - This is a time more than ever to put our trust in our loving God to guide and comfort us and the world. Pope Francis yesterday offered some pertinent reflections and an extraordinary blessing:

https://www.catholicregister.org/faith/item/31356-urbi-et-orbi-covid-19-is-not-god-s-judgment-but-a-call-to-live-differently?mc_cid=8806734941&mc_eid=0da80e9c4

Video: https://www.romereports.com/en/2020/03/27/pope-gives-urbi-et-orbi-blessing-in-this-storm-our-facades-fall-away/

2 - Online Sunday English masses:

Today's invitation to tomorrow's mass from: St. Ignatius, NDG,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1GXlSSM03k

11am: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5AJFqxOIrs&feature=youtu.be

9am St. Luke's (West Island): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USTp6k9mn1w&feature=youtu.be

3 - Join me this week online at the much-anticipated St. Jean Brebeuf (Lasalle) parish Lenten mission!  FREE

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/101367601224

4 - And (men only), a major Catholic men’s conference beginning April 3 has gone virtual. Speakers include Fr. Larry Richards, Jason Evert, Fr. Mike Schmitz and many other well-known figures. And it’s FREE. I have signed up---why not join me?

https://www.virtualcatholicconference.com/Mensconference2020

5 - Tuesday evening I was invited to a prayer meeting with the rosary online, by the south shore group that played our mass last month. Open to all. If interested this Tuesday, email me.

6 - Some resources have been made free because of lockdown, which I subscribe to anyway:

- iBreviary is a free app with many prayers, including the Liturgy of the Hours— the Church’s official prayer prayed by priests five times each day, which many laypersons find spiritually nourishing.

- MAGNIFICAT is now offering complimentary access to its iOS and Android Apps throughout May. To register for free access in English, visit www.magnificat.com/free. Also, complimentary access to MagnifiKid www.magnifikid.com/free

- And https://formed.org/faithathome?fbclid=IwAR1d6xHYMa39gf_Am1ydx4F-5sNRkHkPwSmnfUDgVWEUZ04y9GnSCIqz29A

Finally, just to be reminded that (Spirit) inspired creativity and imagination can produce the divine gift of beauty, watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eXT60rbBVk&feature=youtu.be

On behalf of the wardens, I remind you that the parish’s expenses continue; your donations are much appreciated. Envelopes may be put in the parish door mailbox.

Please feel free to share this friends and family. If you wish to be removed from this list, just let me know.

In Christ,

Fr. Robert+ Pastor St. Thomas More

Friday, March 27, 2020

Donations to St. Thomas More

Important notice:

The parish still has expenses and therefore everyone is invited to continue giving through their envelopes. They can either drop them in the office mail slot or leave a message on parish phone as to where envelopes can be picked up.