Please Join in Praying for Life on May 2nd and May 4th

MONDAY MAY 2nd—Day of Prayer & Fasting to Defeat Bill C14  

Alliance for Life Ontario & Campaign Life Coalition invite all pro-lifers to fast and pray on Monday, May 2, that the government of Canada invoke the notwithstanding clause to defeat Bill-C-14.  For more info: (aflo@mgl.ca); (www.allianceforlife.org); (519-824-7797).

 

WEDNESDAY MAY 4 –  Join the Nationwide ‘12-Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care’

The CWL of Canada calls all people of faith to join nationwide in 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care.  There is a pressing need for all Canadians to have a greater accessibility to Palliative Care. It has become an urgent priority in the face of the impending legislation for euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Palliative/Hospice care is end-of-life care with true compassion. It allows individuals who are facing death not to be burdened by pain and suffering but to receive the necessary support that truly respects their human dignity both physically and spiritually rather than choosing physician-assisted death as a desperate last resort.

We invite all parishioners, family and friends to join in prayer on May4th. Please consider taking some time between 7am and 7pm to pray for greater access to Palliative Care for all Canadians and for the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death. Let us also offer our prayers for the religious and conscience rights of Health Care institutions and Health Care Professionals.

Pope Francis reminds us of the need for prayer, mercy, reconciliation and compassion. “Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer.”  http://cwl.ca/12-hours-of-prayer-for-palliative-care-may-4-2016/

Here is the May 1, 2016 Bulletin.

May is the Month of Mary. 

The tradition of dedicating the month of May to Mary, came about in the 13th century. Some say because it was created to replace various pagan cults. The actual reason is the fact that this month is the time when spring is at  the height of its beauty.  Spring is also connected with nature renewing itself.  In her way, Mary gave new life to the world when she gave birth to our savior Jesus Christ.

The link between Mary and the month of May became popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it had a firm hold among their students at the Roman College and a short time later it was publicly celebrated in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the rest of the Church.

The pious practice of honoring Mary during the month of May has been especially promoted by the Popes. Pius XII made frequent reference to it and in his great Encyclical on the Sacred Liturgy Mediator Dei. He characterized it as one of “other exercises of piety which although not strictly belonging to the Sacred Liturgy, are nevertheless of special import and dignity, and may be considered in a certain way to be an addition to the liturgical cult: they have been approved and praised over and over again by the Apostolic See and by the Bishops”

Devotion to Mary is one an important part of the Catholic identity. As our mother she is an example of a committed “Yes” to the will of God. Because of the devotion to her many people ask her for help in the most difficult moments of their life as any child does with his mother.

From:  http://saltandlighttv.org

Fr Bob Writes – May 1, 2016

We are now only a couple of weeks away from the celebration of Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples of Jesus in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, and the Church was born.  Our next few bulletins will therefore look at the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in our lives.  The following is an excerpt from Fr James Mallon’s book: Divine Renovation, pp 178ff

“The key phrase…is “when the Advocate comes” (John 15:26).  Everything waits on the coming of the promised Holy Spirit. …The New Testament authors are clear about two things: promise and fulfillment.

In Luke-Acts, the great two-volume work written by Saint Luke, there is, from the opening, a clear sense that the Holy Spirit is at work.  John the Baptist is proclaimed to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” even before his birth (Luke 1:51).  The Angel Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and that the power of the most High will “overshadow” her (Luke 1:35).  Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41) when Mary visits.  Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:67) and the Holy Spirit rests upon the prophet Simeon and reveals to him that he will behold the Lord’s Anointed.  In spite of the activity of the Spirit before and throughout the ministry of Jesus, there is still a sense that the promise of God has not been fulfilled, and an expectation that it will come soon.  After the Resurrection, Jesus tells them (ie his apostles), “I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

The fulfillment of the promise is imminent.  The clouds burst on the day of Pentecost and those cowering men are transformed by a new Power that will lead to the Gospel being proclaimed to the ends of the earth (Acts 2:1ff).  What follows throughout the Acts of the Apostles is the constant proclamation of Christ, his death and resurrection accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit.  To repent and believe would lead to baptism and to the experience of being filled by the Holy Spirit – which is as tangible as going down into the waters of baptism.  This encounter with the Holy Spirit is not abstract, but is truly an experience of God’s power, which transforms the community of believers and the individual believer.

In the early Church, then, proclamation was always accompanied by demonstrations of power through the Holy Spirit.  To respond to the Gospel was to receive the proclamation and be filled with this Spirit of Power, which is God in us.  This experience of the Holy Spirit was fundamental to the growth of the early Church, and is essential for the Christian life today, especially in the call to the New Evangelization.  It is no surprise, then, that churches that are healthy and growing facilitate and encourage their members not just to believe in the Holy Spirit, or to receive the Spirit of God sacramentally, but to truly experience the Spirit of power in their lives.  The first wave of evangelization came from a realization of the fulfillment of “the promise” on the day of Pentecost, a realization that was experiential and transformative.  So, too, will the New Evangelization be fulfilled only by a new Pentecost.”

Fr Bob Writes – April 24, 2016

“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” 

So runs the opening verse of our responsorial psalm this Sunday.  The idea of the Mercy of God is not something new.  It is not the brain-child of Pope Francis or Saint Faustina.  It is as old as the Old Testament itself.  Countless Old Testament passages speak of it.  In fact the very first mention of God’s merciful heart comes from God himself.  When Moses asks God to “show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18), God passes before him and describes himself to Moses in this way: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).  It is a self-description which is echoed throughout the Old Testament by various psalmists and prophets.  The experience of Israel throughout her history is marked by God’s mercy, even if it is, at times, and due to Israel’s manifold sinfulness, a “severe mercy.”

If this is so, what happened to God’s justice, his punishment of sin?  Well, it is there, in Exodus 34, but it comes right at the end of God’s self-description, when he says: “by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation”.   Even this is an expression of a “severe mercy”, because God is saying that he draws a line under how far punishment for sin will go down a family line, whereas blessings flowing from a person’s faithfulness, extends to “a thousand generations“.

It seems then, that, in placing a priority on God’s justice over God’s mercy, as was done in past generations, we have exactly inverted God’s order of priorities.  God wants to be known firstly, as a God of mercy, and only latterly, as a God also of justice.  What Pope Francis and saint Faustina have done is to put the list of God’s qualities “right side up.”  And in fact, Pope Francis is not the first pope to mention God’s mercy.  In his book “The Name of God is Mercy” ,he highlights the teachings of Pope St John XXIII, Pope  Paul VI, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI .  He quotes Pope Benedict : “Mercy is in reality the core of the Gospel message: it is the name of God himself, the face with which he revealed himself in the Old Testament and fully in Jesus Christ, incarnation of Creative and Redemptive Love.  This love of mercy also illuminates the face of the Church, and is manifested through the Sacraments, in particular that of the Reconciliation, as well as in works of charity, both of community and individuals. Everything that the Church does and says shows that Gods has mercy for man.”