Thursday, December 16, 2021

Soul Health LX (60)

**Television Special Tonight at 8:00pm!**

Witnesses of Hope: The Greatest of All Gifts

Highlighting the lives and works of Christians in the Middle East, this TV special airs Thursday, Dec 16th 2021 on Salt & Light TV. You can also stream it on a special Facebook live event through CNEWA Canada’s Facebook page by clicking here.

The hour-long program will be hosted by Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann and Mary Rose Bacani and will include a panel discussion on the reality and challenges that these Christians are facing, musical performances in Arabic, Aramaic and English from a children’s choir from Good Shepherd Chaldean Cathedral in Toronto, and reports and updates from Holy Land Christian communities.


The Third Commandment:

"Remember to keep holy (to set apart) the Sabbath Day"

As Catholics, we are called to observe all Sundays and specific feast days as Holy Days of Obligation. These are days in the Church calendar when we are meant to set apart time for God by attending Mass and spending more time in prayerful, contemplative rest than we would on any other normal day. In addition to Sundays, Canada’s only two Holy Days of Obligation are Christmas (either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day) and the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

Our human nature has a tendency towards making our daily work the focus of our lives, sometimes to the point where our jobs and other activities take precedence over our relationship with God and the spiritual work that we need to do to prepare for eternal life with Him. Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation are the days we set apart from all other days to keep God at the center of our lives and to develop our faith.


Father Robert's Installation as Pastor of Saint Thomas More

Last Saturday the Episcopal Vicar, Father Raymond Lafontaine, came to celebrate Mass and install Father Robert as our pastor. Thank you to all parishioners who came to support Father Robert's vocation and mission amongst us, and to all who showed their support from home through their prayers!

Special thanks to John Davidson for the photograph!


To our parishioners who have not yet returned due to the pandemic:

We miss you!

Many thanks to our volunteers for our recent Advent Call-Around, which has helped us stay in touch with our parishioners who haven't been able to rejoin us yet at the parish for Mass and other activities.

If you a parishioner who has not yet returned due to the pandemic and did not receive a call, please email Angela at or call the parish office.

As he did last year, Fr Robert is happy to bring Communion to any parishioners who are unable to rejoin us at the church, and to hear Confessions at your front doors. Call the parish office if you would like a home visit!


Magnificat Subscriptions

Parishioners who are subscribed to Magnificat can now pick up their January editions at the back of the church. If you are renewing your subscription for 2022, please contact the parish office.

If you’re looking for a faith-centered Christmas gift that keeps on giving, consider buying your loved ones (and yourself!) a yearly subscription to Magnificat for $64.00!

Magnificat is a monthly spiritual guide designed for daily use at home or at church, and is a useful tool in becoming more engaged in your faith life. It features daily readings, prayers, reflections, and short essays on our rich Catholic heritage in one pocket-sized publication to help you enliven and enrich your life in Christ.

Copies of the January 2022 edition of Magnificat are available for you to put under the tree to start your loved ones off the incredible year-long journey of growing in faith, hope, and love with Magnificat. Contact the parish office to get yours today!


Enhance Your Advent Experience!

The Archdiocese of Montreal now has a page dedicated to the Season of Advent where you can find content specifically curated to enhance your Advent experience this year. Click here to explore it with your families, and grow in faith together!


A little closer to home, our Family Faith Formation group extends an invitation to all parishioners to join us on this year’s Advent Field Trips! If you are interested in attending, please contact Angela at

Sunday, December 19th: Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs (4155 Wellington)

10:30am -2:00pm

This excursion includes Mass at St Willibrord at 11:15am with coffee and refreshments afterwards, before heading to Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs to view the Christmas display there.

Street parking is available around St Willibrord.

Notre Dame is within walking distance so we will go there on foot.


Open Now: Pray More Advent Retreat - Online, self-paced, and flexible registration fees! 
Featuring 19 presentations and reflection guides, the Pray More Advent Retreat is an online retreat that allows you to dive into Advent at your own pace. Following the guidance of 6 speakers including theologian, author, and speaker Dr Edward Sri, participants in the retreat can grow closer to Christ during this season of preparation. Registration fees are flexible – you can choose what you’d like to pay, and even if you can’t pay, you can still register for free and gain access to all 19 presentations!

For more information and to register, visit


This evocative 16th century prayer is offered daily at every mass during Advent in the Catholic Ordinariate Rite

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness,

and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life,

in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility;

that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty,

to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal;

through him who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Spirit, now and ever.



Annual Canned Goods Collection

The Annual Canned Goods Collection for our Christmas Baskets is underway, but ends this weekend (December 18th-19th)!

We are accepting donations of non-expired canned or boxed goods and non-perishable food items. We especially need the appropriate foods associated with meals during the Christmas Season (example: canned fruits and puddings, cookies and treats for children).

Parishioners wishing to make a donation towards meat and other perishables are asked to place their offering in the St. Vincent de Paul Boxes on the walls at the back of the church.

Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour will resume in January 2022. Volunteers are needed each week to help make Coffee Hour a success. Please call the parish office if you’re interested in contributing to this opportunity for fellowship and community building!

Altar Servers

If you have children aged 10 or over who would like to help at Sunday Mass, we invite you to encourage them to become Altar Servers! Please speak with Fr Robert after Mass or contact the Parish Office.

Family Faith Formation

If you are not yet enrolled in FFF and have been waiting for our return to in-person gatherings to register, please contact Angela.

We’re also looking for more Catechists! If you are searching for more joy and fulfilment in your life, please consider joining our team of volunteer Catechists! No experience teaching (Catechism or otherwise) necessary – all we require from you is a love for Christ and for families, and a commitment to the future of the English Catholic Parishes of Verdun! Please contact Angela or Father Robert if you would like more information.



**Free Weekend Concerts** in Old Montreal throughout December!

Notre Dame des Bon Secours (400 Saint-Paul Street East)

Saturdays and Sundays from December 4th-19th 1:30pm *or* 3:00pm

Les Choralies returns this year offering free concerts for the holiday season at Notre Dame des Bon Secours, Montreal’s oldest chapel. Featuring a diverse selection of traditional holiday carols performed by guest choirs, these free concerts will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December, with show times at 1:30pm and 3:00pm. For more details, visit:

Benefit Concert: The En Route Foundation & Conversations Cultural Centre presents the Communion & Liberation Choir

Saturday, December 18th 2021 - 7:00-8:30pm; $25 for adults and $10 for students

La Chapelle du Grand Séminaire de Montréal

2065 rue Sherbrooke Ouest | West

Montréal, QC, H3H 1G6

All proceeds of this benefit concert will go to Le Pont, a charitable organization of the Catholic Church of Montreal whose mission is to support, without regard to their religion, families who are seeking asylum and whose circumstances are often extremely precarious. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Blessings in Christ, the King who is to come,

Father Robert+

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