Soul Health CVII
***There will be the annual meeting of parishioners at
3pm on Saturday, December 17***
If you are a frequent, regular mass attender, your participation is anticipated, as it is your commitment and input that will shape this critical discussion.
With the parish at a crossroads, the outcome of your participation may well determine the future of the parish and even whether we continue.
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
The Third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday and takes its name from the Latin version of the Entrance Antiphon used on this Sunday: “Gaudete in Domino semper” - “rejoice in the Lord always.”
The importance of joy in Christian discipleship is tremendous enough that homilists, catechists, and theologians alike take great care to make a distinction between mere happiness and true joy. In a nutshell, while happiness is fleeting and dependent on external circumstances, joy is enduring and is born from the grace of God within us.
As put by Saint Josemaria Escriva, Christian joy “comes from the abandonment of everything and the abandonment of yourself into the loving arms of our Father.” And yet, it can be hard for us to abandon ourselves to God, especially if all we do is show up to Mass once a week.
Christian joy is born from the knowledge and understanding that we are children of God, which we glean from cultivating our faith and nurturing our hope. If we want our faith and hope to be strong enough to bear the fruit of joy, we must make tremendous efforts in our practice of discipleship, especially in building up our parish through fellowship and service to one another.
As we light the rose candle and rejoice in the Lord’s coming ever closer, let us also open our hearts to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with the courage we need to take a leap of faith into deeper discipleship - especially as we prepare for our upcoming parishioners’ meeting.
Deacon Bernie expects to be home in a few days.
Pray that he be well enough to be here at the altar on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Mass Schedule
Sunday, December 25th: Mass - 9:00am
Sunday, December 11: For All Parishioners
Tuesday, December 13 (St Lucy): Intentions of Maria Olaguera & Victor Olaguera Jr on the occasion of their birthdays by Their Family
Thursday, December 14: Anniversary of Gino Giordani by His Wife & Family
The Sanctuary Lamp
This week the Sanctuary Lamp is lit for Hazel Boyce by Kathie & Tony Fargnoli
As our Mass intentions are booked far in advance, the Sanctuary Lamp can be lit in memory of your loved ones or for intentions. The candle is lit for the week for a suggested offering of $20.00. For more information and to book a specific week please contact the office.
Include Confession in your Advent plans!
Father Robert is available for confessions before the Saturday Mass starting at 4:00pm. You can also call the parish office to book an appointment.
Parishioners are also invited to St Ignatius of Loyola Parish in NDG on December 14 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. for In the Quiet, a beautiful evening of live music, time with Jesus, and the option to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Several priests, including Father Robert, will be available to hear confessions, and the evening will wrap up with some festive snacks and refreshments.
Support one of our parish's oldest traditions: The St Thomas More Christmas Baskets
For over 50 years, our parish has supported families in need in our community through Christmas Baskets. This year, Trish (who has been leading the project for 30 years!) projects that over 40 families will benefit from our efforts.
The Annual Canned Goods Collection used to fill the Christmas Baskets is now underway, and continues until the weekend of December 17-18!
We invite you to make contributions of canned goods and non-perishable food items, and 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 monetary donation towards the meat and perishable items are asked to place their offering in the St. Vincent de Paul Boxes on the walls at the back of the church.
Give the Gift of God's Word (and more!) with Magnificat
We have free copies of January Magnificat that can be put under the tree for those interested in buying a one year subscription (14 issues) as a gift for a loved one (or yourself)!
Envelopes for 2023
The 2023 sets of Church Offering Envelopes will be available beginning next weekend. Envelopes are in alphabetical order.
New Sunday Missals for 2023 now available
We have some copies of the Living with Christ Sunday Missals which are available on the shelves at the back of the church. The cost is $7.00.
St Willibrord: The Christmas Baskets Project
The Christmas Baskets Project at St. Willibrord’s Parish is a 100% volunteer-powered mobilization that helps provide food and Christmas cheer to 200 families in Verdun. Click here for more information about drop-in days coming up over the next two weekends!
Coffee Break Catechesis
In honor of the Immaculate Conception, which we celebrated on December 8th this past week, spend your coffee break with Fr Mike Schmitz to learn more about Our Lady and what it means when we call her "Immaculate Mary."
- To build fellowship and overcome social isolation, the Choir of Saint Donat created a community initiative to bring people together through music. Let’s Sing Christmas Songs at Church is the first fruit of their labours - watch it here.
- The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund
- The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund was established to accept donations from 73 Catholic entities across the country, and to advance healing and reconciliation initiatives. It seeks to support projects that are determined locally, in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners. Learn more and support this Catholic commitment to healing and reconciliation at https://www.irfund.ca/
- CAPP was founded by Pope St. John Paul II to advance the principles of the social doctrine of the Church: the dignity of the human person, solidarity and subsidiarity. Learn more at https://www.cappcanada.ca/ and watch the replay of September's virtual launch of CAPP-Canada at https://www.cappcanada.ca/launch
- Catholic Action Montreal
- Motivated by our faith, Catholic Action Montreal empowers its community through a network of gifted individuals, partners, and organizations, enabling them to respond to an expressed need, resulting in profound changes in the community. Learn more and get involved at https://catholicaction.ca/
Yours in Christ,
Father Robert Assaly+