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Friday, February 25, 2022

Soul Health LXVIII

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

The requirement for vaccination passports to enter places of worship has, at last, been lifted!

As we prepare to celebrate Mass this weekend together under one roof again, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, let us not forget that our faith also calls us to be kind and compassionate, and to love as God has loved us.


***

Due to the treacherous ice conditions outside the church, the front steps and main entrance of the church are off limits until further notice. Please use the street-level doors on Moffat or Bannantyne.


***

Lent is nigh! Shrove Tuesday, March 1, and Ash Wednesday, March 2

The season of Lent begins this coming week!

Shrove Tuesday (Shrove=Confessed/absolved) Confession & Mass Schedule:

- St Thomas More: 10:00am-10:50am - Confession (in the confessional at the back of the church); 11:00am - Mass in the Sacristy

- St Willibrord: 7:00pm-8:00pm - Confession (St Willibrord Rectory Chapel)

Ash Wednesday Confession & Mass Schedule:

- Saint Thomas More: 10:00am-10:50am - Confession; 11:00am - Mass

- Saint Willibrord: 6:00pm - Confession; 7:00pm - Mass

Remember that Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and abstinence in the Catholic Church.

- Fasting: One full meal during the day. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but their combined amount should not be equal to that of a full meal. The norms of fasting are obligatory for Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59, unless exempted due to medical circumstances.

- Abstinence: Including every Friday in Lent. No meat -- seafood, eggs, and dairy are permitted. The norms of abstinence are obligatory for Catholics above the age of 14.


***

Weekend Mass Schedule:

- Saturday: Confession, 3:30pm; Mass, 4:00pm

- Sunday: Confession, 9:00am; Mass, 9:30am


Weekday Masses

- Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00am in the Sacristy

For all Masses, please observe the following:

- Masks, social distancing, and sanitization are required

- Communion will be brought to you in place

Mass intentions for the week of February 12-19:

- Saturday, February 26: 4:00pm – Joyce Neeson by Maureen Dearden

- Sunday, February 27: 9:30am – For all parishioners

- Tuesday, March 1: 11:00am – Deceased Members of the Gallagher and Purcell Families by Their Estate

- Wednesday, March 2: 11:00am – Deceased Members of the Alguire and Robidoux Family by their Estate

- Thursday, March 3: 11:00am – John & Joan Purcell by Their Estate


***

Adult Faith Formation: The Lenten Journey

This Lent, we invite all parishioners to join the adult candidates preparing for Easter Sacraments on the Lenten journey of formation, fellowship, and faith!

Adult Faith Formation will be meeting in person, starting on Ash Wednesday with Mass at 7:00pm and a Gathering afterwards. After Ash Wednesday, AFF will meet on Sunday mornings – details for these Sunday Gatherings will be announced at our Gathering on Ash Wednesday.

If you are interested in joining Adult Faith Formation, please contact Father Robert (vicarofverdun@gmail.com) or Angela (pa.englishparishes.verdun@gmail.com).


***

Help Wanted

The parish is in need of a part-time groundskeeper to help with maintenance and small repairs. Occasional hours, depending on the jobs that need to be done; compensation dependent upon skills. For more information, please contact Father Robert by calling the parish office or emailing him at vicarofverdun@gmail.com.


We need volunteers!

Possible ways to contribute as a Mass volunteer include: reading, taking the collection, greeting parishioners at the door, sanitizing inside, and setting up for Coffee Hour after Mass! There are so many ways to contribute to the needs of God's people and to let your light shine! Please contact the parish office if you are interested in volunteering.


Magnificat: March Edition and Lent 2022 Companion

The March edition of Magnificat has been delayed, but should be available by Ash Wednesday.

Copies of the Lent 2022 Companion by Magnificat are available at the back of the church for $2 per copy. With reflections on the daily readings, prayers, and quotes to contemplate, the Lent Companion provides readers with ways and opportunities to bring the Word into daily life and turn the Word into living faith.

Envelopes are provided inside each copy so you can drop your payment in the collection basket. Current subscribers to Magnificat will be able to pick up their Lent 2022 Companion this weekend.


Collection Envelopes and Making Online Contributions

Envelopes are available at the back of the church. If you haven't signed up for a set before and would like a set for 2022, please contact the parish office.

For parishioners who prefer to be paperless, regular or one-time donations can also be made at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/50630. Canada Helps is a secure online platform that’s a good alternative to envelopes for parishioners who cannot easily get to the parish to drop off their donations, or even for those who wish to go paperless.

The weekly collection is an incredibly important resource for the parish, and your contributions to it support our various programs and efforts to serve our parish and our community.


***

February 26th: Accompaniment & Support for Persons who are Separated or Divorced

The Diocesan Centre for Marriage, Life and Family invites individuals who are separated or divorced to join Deacon Francis Joannette in a journey towards rebuilding themselves in Christ. The next encounter in this free series is on February 26 from 1:30pm-3:30pm (includes a break) and will explore the topic “It is in weakness that I am strong: When you don’t have the strength to move on.”

Those interested in participating can register by filling out the form located here.

For more information, contact the Centre for Marriage, Life and Family at centreDMVF@diocesemontreal.org or 514-925-4300 x 206.


***

Yours in Christ,

Father Robert Assaly +



Friday, February 18, 2022

Soul Health LXVII (67)

Be crowned with kindness and compassion - we have one last weekend of passports and outdoor Masses!


Dear Parishioners and Friends,

COVID-19 regulations for churches and places worship remain in effect for one more weekend.

This weekend will be our last with the 12:30om outdoor Mass at St Willibrord, which is a joint Mass for both parishes. Parishioners who are able to attend the outdoor Mass are encouraged to do so, to stand in solidarity with our unvaccinated brothers and sisters in Christ.

The outdoor Masses these past two months have been a remarkable and inspiring demonstration of the determined and unshakable faith of Montreal's Catholics.
Once we are all able to celebrate Mass together under one roof again, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, let us not forget that our faith also calls us to be kind and compassionate, and to love as God loves us.


***

Weekend Mass Schedule:

- Saturday: Mass, 4:00pm

- Sunday: Mass, 9:30am

- Sunday: 12:30pm Outdoors at the St Willibrord rectory steps (351 Willibrord)

No Confessions before Mass for this weekend only


For all Masses this weekend, please observe the following:

- Masks, social distancing, and sanitization are required

- For indoor Masses, vaccination passports are required for non-volunteer individuals over the age of 13 Unvaccinated children under the age of 13 are welcome


Parishioners wishing to volunteer at Mass may call the parish office!

Possible ways to contribute as a Mass volunteer include: reading, taking the collection, greeting parishioners at the door, assisting with clearing the steps and sanitizing inside... There are so many ways to contribute to the needs of God's people and to let your light shine!


***

Weekday Masses

- Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00am in the Sacristy

- Wednesday at 7:00pm and Friday at 11:00am in the Rectory Chapel

- Vaccination passports are required

- Masks and social distancing are required

Mass intentions for the week of February 12-19:

- Saturday, February 19: 4:00pm – For all parishioners and those who call this parish home

- Sunday, February 20: 9:30am – Mr Adolf Schweighart by Mrs Violet Huggins

- Tuesday, February 22: 11:00am – Patrick & Mary McIver by Their Family

- Thursday, February 24: 11:00am – Victor Olaguera by His Wife & Family


***

Father Robert’s Prayer List

Father Robert is renewing his prayer list. If you would like to add your name or those of your loved ones (up to six names), please contact him at vicarofverdun@gmail.com or contact the parish office.

Income Tax Receipts

Parishioners who requested Income Tax Receipts may pick them up from the table at the back of the church. Receipts are in numerical order according to your envelope numbers.


Collection Envelopes and Making Online Contributions

Parishioners who use envelopes for their Sunday offerings can drop off their envelopes at the parish office while the church is closed. Regular or one-time donations can also be made at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/50630. Canada Helps is a secure online platform that’s a good alternative to envelopes for parishioners who cannot easily get to the parish to drop off their donations, or even for those who wish to go paperless. The weekly collection is an incredibly important resource for the parish, and your contributions to it support our various programs and efforts to serve our parish and our community.


Called, Chosen, and Sent: An Invitation to Families from Fr Raymond Lafontaine for this Friday, February 18 – 7:00pm

Fr Raymond Lafontaine, Episcopal Vicar, extends a warm invitation to families to join this week’s instalment of Called, Chosen, and Sent, a course inspired by the TV series The Chosen. Focusing on the Season 1 episode, “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” this session provides an opportunity for us all to explore what it means to have child-like faith and to be children of God.

The waiting room for this event opens at 6:45pm and spaces in the Zoom room are limited to 100 participants on a first come, first served basis.

Zoom info: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81610509302

Meeting ID: 816 1050 9302

One tap mobile

+1 438 809 7799,,81610509302# Canada

+16475580588,,81610509302# Canada

+17789072071,,81610509302# Canada


To help you prepare for the event and to view this week's episode beforehand, you are invited to review the Summary Kit below: SUMMARY KIT for Week 3


***

Yours in Christ,

Father Robert Assaly +


Friday, February 11, 2022

Soul Health LXVI (66)

Dear Parishioners and Friends,


These last two weeks especially, I have been present to many people hurting from stigmatization over vaccination status or opposing views on pandemic measures. We re-open the parishes this week in the face of increasing polarization over pandemic responses, especially vaccination passports, in our society, in our families and the Church. Let us endeavour do so in the spirit of unity.

It was well said at Christmas by the Bishop of Pembroke: “Archbishop Lépine of Montreal recently published a very eloquent letter. He asks us to fight the virus instead of fighting each other with judgment and resentment towards those who do not think as we do, between the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated. Otherwise, the virus will win over us and hurt us not only physically and psychologically, but will divide us spiritually to the point of hatred towards our neighbour, instead of the unconditional love that Christ wants to give us by taking on our mortal condition on this great Christmas Day.”

No pastor is called to divide the white sheep from the black sheep, much less based on vaccination status. All are welcome, while we are adhering to all the rules: unvaccinated children under 13 are welcome regardless, as are unvaccinated others who are willing to volunteer during the mass. If you would like to volunteer at mass this weekend, please call me to arrange this by noon Saturday (514-768-4741).

As all others will require vaccination passports, so as not to exclude anyone we are also offering an outdoor joint parish mass Sunday at 12:30pm on the steps of St. Willibrord’s rectory. Singling out the unvaccinated has them, as one stated, “exposed to the gaze and judgment of others.” I encourage you who are able, to come well-dressed and make this your Sunday mass obligation regardless of your vaccination status, as an expression of the light of our unity shining in the darkness of division.

I give the last word to St. Paul: “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6).

In the Unity of the Holy Trinity, one God,

Father Robert Assaly +



***


The doors are reopening!


Weekend Mass Schedule

Saturday: Confession, 3:30pm; Mass, 4:00pm

Sunday: Confession, 9:00am; Mass, 9:30am

Joint Outdoor Mass at Saint Willibrord Parish, 12:30pm

Weekday Mass Schedule

Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00am in the Sacristy

The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is also available throughout the week by appointment. Please contact the parish office.

For all Masses (weekend and weekday), please observe the following:

- Masks, social distancing, and sanitization are required inside

- Vaccination passports are required for non-volunteer individuals over the age of 13

- Unvaccinated children under the age of 13 are welcome

 
Parishioners wishing to volunteer at Mass may call the parish office!

- Possible ways to contribute as a Mass volunteer include: reading, taking the collection, greeting parishioners at the door, assisting with clearing the steps and sanitizing inside... There are so many ways to contribute to the needs of God's people and to let your light shine!

- Mass intentions for the week of February 12-19:

- Saturday, February 12: Harold Murray, by Maureen Dearden

- Sunday, February 13: For all parishioners and those who call this parish home

- Tuesday, February 15: Father Ken Martin, by the Estate

- Thursday, February 17: The Intentions of the Sons of the Olaguera Family, by Agnes Olaguera

Father Robert’s Prayer List

Father Robert is renewing his prayer list. If you would like to add your name or those of your loved ones (up to six names), please contact him at vicarofverdun@gmail.com or contact the parish office.


***

Income Tax Receipts

Parishioners who requested Income Tax Receipts may pick them up from the table at the back of the church. Receipts are in numerical order according to your envelope numbers.


Collection Envelopes and Making Online Contributions

If you've gone paperless, consider making your contribution to the weekly collection through secure electronic donations via Canada Helps at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/50630.

The weekly collection is an incredibly important resource for the parish, and your contributions to it support our various programs and efforts to serve our parish and our community.


***

Tuesday February 15- Loyola High School: Information Session for September 2022 Enrolment

A Jesuit Catholic high school that offerings a well-rounded educational experience, Loyola High School is currently seeking applications for Secondary 1 through 4 for September 2022. Parents of students currently in Grade 6 or above and eligible for English school are invited to attend Loyola’s 2022-23 Admissions & Bursary Information Session, on Tuesday February 15th at 7:00pm on Zoom. You can register here for this information session, and if you have further questions, please contact Kuljinder Kaur at kaurk@loyola.ca.


The Bible and the Virgin Mary

Parishioners and friends of the parish who are seeking to gain more knowledge of Catholicism and deepen their faith are invited to join Father Robert on this online course taking place on Thursday evenings at 7:00pm!

Developed by the Saint Paul Center and based on Dr Scott Hahn’s book Hail, Holy Queen, participants will rediscover Mother Mary through Sacred Scripture during this course. From the newly confirmed to the fully engaged, this study has something for all Catholics!

The Bible and the Virgin Mary is accessible through the following Zoom link: https://concordia-ca.zoom.us/j/91966291246. More information on this program can be found on the Saint Paul Center website here.

Each gathering for this study begins with 30 minutes of prayer with the Rosary, followed by a video, discussions, and teaching with Father Robert.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Soul Health Special Edition - February 9th 2022

In the next 48 hours, we will have more clarity on the details for the reopening of the churches this weekend.

For now, here’s what the Mass schedule this weekend will look like for the English Roman Catholic Parishes of Verdun:

Saint Thomas More

Saturday, 4:00pm
Sunday, 9:30am (Confession: 9:00am)



Saint Willibrord

Sunday, 11:15am Indoors (Confession: 11:00am)
12:30pm Outdoors


***


The Pillars Trust Fund presents: The Heart of Giving!

Tomorrow, the Pillars Trust Fund is hosting a Virtual Comedy Night fundraiser on Zoom! Funds raised from this event will go towards their first annual Easter Baskets. A collaborative effort between the Pillars Trust Fund and beneficiaries like the Newman Centre, the Easter Baskets will provide support and sustenance to less fortunate.

At a cost of $25 per household, as well as 50/50 raffle tickets at $5 apiece and with other registration options for larger groups, this virtual event will help you contribute to a worthy cause while you laugh the winter blues away! For more information and to register, visit: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E920047QE&id=10

Keep an eye on your inbox for the regular weekly edition of Soul Health!


Friday, February 4, 2022

Soul Health LXV (65)

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

The joining on the outdoor altar of parishioners profound offering in the snow and chill to Christ's offering on the Cross speaks volumes, and bears witness to Him as "the light shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).

Bundle up and joyfully join us for one more weekend celebrating Mass in the open air:

- St Thomas More: Mass at 10:00am on the chu-rch steps, Communion at 10:25am

- St Willibrord: Mass at 11:15am in front of the rectory, Communion at 11:40am

Masks and 1m physical distancing required. Communion will be brought to you in place.

Yours in Christ,

Father Robert Assaly +



***

One more weekend until churches re-open!

For one more Sunday, all are welcome to the open-air Masses, even those who are not parishioners of St Thomas More or St Willibrord! And, if you choose to attend Mass online or on television, consider completing your Sunday with Communion at either church. You can attend Mass online with:

- Saint Ignatius of Loyola https://stig.ca/live-stream/

- Saint Thomas à Becket https://www.becket.ca/

- Saint Joseph’s Oratory https://www.saint-joseph.org/en/keep-in-touch-with-the-oratory/

- On TV, the Salt & Light channel is also a great option for attending Mass virtually
  

Starting the weekend of February 12th-13th, the Mass schedule at St Thomas More and St Willibrord will be:

- St Thomas More: 9:30am indoors

- St Willibrord: 11:15am indoors, 12:30pm outdoors (Communion at 12:55pm)

Complete details for the reopening of both parishes for Sunday Masses on the weekend of February 12th-13th will be communicated in next week’s newsletters.


Starting next week, we can once again celebrate weekday Mass in the Sacristy!

- Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00am

- Vaccination passports are required

- Masks and social distancing are required


Mass intentions for the week of February 6th-12th:

- Sunday, Feb 6th: For all parishioners and for all who call this parish home

- Tuesday, Feb 8th: Nadine Klians by Melinda & Helmut

- Thursday, Feb 10th: For the Soul of Maurizio by Elena Miroglio


Collection Envelopes and Making Online Contributions

Parishioners who use envelopes for their Sunday offerings can drop off their envelopes at the parish office while the church is closed.

Regular or one-time donations can also be made at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/50630. Canada Helps is a secure online platform that’s a good alternative to envelopes for parishioners who cannot easily get to the parish to drop off their donations, or even for those who wish to go paperless.

The weekly collection is an incredibly important resource for the parish, and your contributions to it support our various programs and efforts to serve our parish and our community.


***

Montreal Youth Mission / Mission Jeunesse MTL: **Youth Alpha**

If you have done an Alpha course before, you'll already be familiar with how the Alpha program can change your life. The Archdiocese Youth Mission, in collaboration with the parishes of St Ignatius of Loyola and Holy Name of Jesus, is now hosting a virtual Youth Alpha program to bring faith and fellowship to teens all over Montreal!

Running online on Thursday nights (7:00-8:30pm) until March 24th, Youth Alpha is an experience that allows teenagers to come together to talk about life’s big questions, forge new friendships, and grow in faith. New participants can register until February 6th 2022 at https://microsites.diocesemontreal.org/microsites/missionjeunesse-mtl/en/youth-alpha/


**Don't forget!** "Called, Chosen, Gathered, and Sent: A Journey Inspired by The Chosen TV Series" starts tonight!

For those who registered and will be joining Fr Raymond Lafontaine and other Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Montreal – including Father Robert and Angela! – don’t forget that this program runs on Friday evenings throughout February (Feb 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th) on Zoom!

This program will help you see the life of Jesus through the eyes of the people that walked on Earth with him – the disciples, Mary his mother, the Pharisees, the children, those he healed. What would that look like? What difference would it make for your personal journey of faith, your experience of belonging to a church community, your witness and service to the world around you?

Did you miss the change to register for live participation? If you’d like to follow along at your own pace, fill out the form at the bottom of this page to receive a virtual kit to guide you on this journey to experience Christ in a whole new way!


Registration is now open until February 5th for the first Bible in a Year Virtual Retreat!

Join Fr Mike Schmitz (who you may already know, especially if you’re in our Adult or Family Faith Formation programs!) and Jeff Cavins on February 18th-20th for a three-day virtual retreat that will help you cultivate a lifelong relationship with the Word of God.

Only a limited number of spots are available for this event, which is hosted by Ascension Press. There is a registration fee of $54.95 and you need a working email address to register and attend. Click here for further details including the retreat schedule.


The Bible and the Virgin Mary

Parishioners and friends of the parish who are seeking to gain more knowledge of Catholicism and deepen their faith are invited to join Father Robert on this online course taking place on Thursday evenings at 7:00pm!

Developed by the Saint Paul Center and based on Dr Scott Hahn’s book Hail, Holy Queen, participants will rediscover Mother Mary through Sacred Scripture during this course. From the newly confirmed to the fully engaged, this study has something for all Catholics!

The Bible and the Virgin Mary is accessible through the following Zoom link: https://concordia-ca.zoom.us/j/91966291246. More information on this program can be found on the Saint Paul Center website here.

Each gathering for this study begins with 30 minutes of prayer with the Rosary, followed by a video, discussions, and teaching with Father Robert.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Soul Health Special Edition - February 1st 2022

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

As it seems our churches will only be permitted to re-open with vaccination passports mandatory (perhaps excepting children), this perspective from one of our faithful in the Diocese is at least a cautionary tale about being drawn into the false narratives polarizing our society. A family member who was on Parliament Hill on the weekend read it and replied to me simply, "Very good, very true."

The divisiveness is wilfully propagated by some of our political leaders and bolstered by various media. Let us not succumb to the temptation to marginalize anyone, moreover based on their vaccine status or pandemic views, as each of us who is called by God to be instruments of His Unifying Love as Trinity -- three relationships -- sharing the Sacrament of Unity.

Yours in Christ, 

Father Robert Assaly +


***

Did you miss your chance to register? Called, Chosen, Gathered, and Sent: A Journey Inspired by The Chosen TV Series

Registration for live participation has closed for this online series hosted by Fr Raymond Lafontaine, Episcopal Vicar, but if you'd like to follow along at your own pace, email the team at parishvitality@diocesemontreal.org for a virtual kit to guide you on this journey to experience Christ in a whole new way!

For those who registered and will be joining Fr Raymond Lafontaine and other Catholics in Montreal - including Fr Robert and Angela! - don't forget that this program runs on Friday evenings throughout February (Feb 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th) on Zoom!

This program will help you see the life of Jesus through the eyes of the people that walked on Earth with him – the disciples, Mary his mother, the Pharisees, the children, those he healed. What would that look like? What difference would it make for your personal journey of faith, your experience of belonging to a church community, your witness and service to the world around you?


Couch Talk is back – Make time for your couple, and rekindle your love and marriage!

Hosted by the Diocesan Centre for Marriage, Life, and Family, Couch Talks is a free ongoing series of virtual get-togethers for married couples to explore topics about married life in ways that are relevant to today’s society and challenges. The 2022 series starts tonight, February 1st from 8:00pm-9:30pm. For more information and to register, please click here.


Heads Up! Registration is now open until February 5th for the first Bible in a Year Virtual Retreat

Join Fr Mike Schmitz (who you may already know, especially if you’re in our Adult or Family Faith Formation programs!) and Jeff Cavins on February 18th-20th for a three-day virtual retreat that will help you cultivate a lifelong relationship with the Word of God.

Only a limited number of spots are available for this event, which is hosted by Ascension Press. There is a registration fee of $54.95 and you need a working email address to register and attend. Click here for further details including the retreat schedule.


For other events coming up in the Archdiocese of Montreal, check out the latest edition of The Grapevine here, and subscribe to it today!