We Continue to Pray for the Release from Captivity of Joshua, Caitlan and their Children

As we continue with our united prayers for Joshua Boyle, Caitlan Coleman and their families (prisoners in Afghanistan), could you join us as you are able, to pray at least one decade of the rosary and one decade of the Divine Mercy chaplet daily for the next 2 weeks, for the release of the captives.

Oh Heavenly Father, grant hearts of mercy to their captors so that they may be released safely to their loved ones. We ask this through the merciful heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, united to the merciful heart of His most Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Ransom and greatest Intercessor.  We humbly pray.


Pilgrimage to Cap-de-la-Madeleine and Sainte Anne de Beaupre

Consider joining us!  This is our second Annual pilgrimage.  It will take place September 24-27 inclusive (leaving Sunday and returning Wednesday).  Come join our parish community journey on a of faith. The theme will be Our Lady of Fatima in keeping with the 100th anniversary of her apparitions.  Explore with us why the apparitions of our Blessed Mother 100 years ago are so important for us today.  We will take a day trip to Ste Anne de Beaupre, and there will be a teaching Mass one day.  Please contact Nicole Lahey (838-2606 or email nicola.7@hotmail.com) or Deacon Mark to sign up. This pilgrimage is limited to 55 participants.  Click on the link below for the Information Sheet / Registration Form.

Pilgrimage Sept 2017-Info & Reg form

Fr Bob Writes – August 20, 2017

The story of the encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman in this Sunday’s gospel at first looks as if Jesus is being misogynistic and racist.  But a closer look reveals that Jesus is being anything but.

Jesus has come to this place on the northernmost borders of Israel for some quiet retreat time with his apostles.  The woman crashes in uninvited into his personal space, and is shouting and demanding that Jesus responds to her need immediately.  She is being rude, albeit obviously desperate.  Jesus knows that he cannot respond to any and every demand on his time.  He is human, after all, and needs downtime, like all of us.  He has to set personal boundaries, again like all of us, to make sure he is not totally worn out all the time.  He also believes that the first step in evangelizing the world is to evangelize his own people, the Jews, who have been prepared for millenia to receive the Messiah.  Thus Jesus says, in answer to the disciples request to send the woman away, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.”  It is for his disciples after his ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, to go out and evangelize the world (cf Acts 1:8).

The disciples want Jesus to give the woman what she wants and send her away; she is being a nuisance.  But Jesus will not be dismissive.  He wants to take the measure of this woman.  So he gives her audience, and meets her in a personal, face-to-face way, and allows her to stretch his boundaries in this particular case.  He is touched by her reverence when she comes into his presence, kneeling before him and simply pleading “Lord help me.”

Modern history indicates all too well the animosities which exist among people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds.  It was no difference in Jesus’ time.  Jews and Canaanites didn’t get along any better than Jews and Samaritans.  “Dogs!” they would call them.  Jesus makes reference to the derogatory term in his dealings with the woman.  Here we must go beyond the mere written word to imagine the way in which Jesus spoke the word.  The woman must have sensed from Jesus’ tone that he was not putting her down but inviting her to a bit of verbal sparring.  She understood and gave Jesus a great comeback statement.  Jesus, who in earlier conversations quoted in the gospels enjoyed such verbal interaction, applauded the woman’s persistence, wit and faith by healing her daughter.

Fr Bob Writes – August 13, 2017

The dramatic story told in our gospel this weekend of Jesus walking on the water towards the apostles struggling to stay afloat in their boat, and of Peter’s attempts to walk on water like Jesus, have some important theological and spiritual points to make.

Firstly, the boat represents the church wherein the apostles conduct their mission, a church beset by persecution, opposition and apostasy, symbolized by storm and night.  The stormy sea is symbolic in biblical writings of chaotic evil over which God triumphs (cf Psalm 77:17; 107:25-30).  In the midst of turmoil, it is clearly the abiding presence of Christ that saves.  His Lordship over nature and human beings is underscored in various ways.  He walks on the water (ps 77:19), he identifies himself as “I am (he),” the same self-identification used by God to Moses in the scene of the burning bush (cf Exodus 3:14), Peter addresses him as “Lord,” a biblical term for God, and pleads for salvation, which only God can deliver.

I always marvel at Peter’s request to come to Jesus across the water.  If I had been in his position when Jesus identified himself, I would have asked Jesus to come over to the boat instead.  The story is much better, however, as Peter must go through the turbulence to get to Jesus.  The force of the storm does not immediately abate. As long as Peter keeps his focus on Jesus, however, he does okay.  When he turns his focus again to the storm, he begins to sink.  Given that the storm represents, among other things,  the problems we face in life, we too will sink if we let the storm hold our focus.  As I shared in my homily last Sunday, our faith and hope must be “centred” on Jesus.  May we keep our eyes fixed on him as we pass through the storms of life.

12-Hour Vigil of Eucharistic Adoration for the Release of Joshua, Caitlan and their Children

Please continue to pray for the release of Joshua Boyle (of Smiths Falls), his wife Caitlan and their two children who have been held prisoner in Afghanistan since 2012. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Ransom, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and St Raymond Nannatus, and trusting in the Love and Mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we pray for them and their families.

Join us to pray for them during a special 12-hour Vigil of Eucharistic Adoration from 7pm on Saturday August 12th to 7am on Sunday August 13th.  Drop into St Philips Church (127 Burke Street in Richmond) anytime during this 12-hour vigil.

Please join us in praying a Novena to Our Lady of Ransom.  To find about more about Our Lady of Ransom and to join us in this simple, beautiful and powerful Novena, click this link:  Novena to Our Lady of Ransom.

Exposition of the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima – Sunday August 13, 2017, 9am – 5pm

Join us at St Philips Parish (127 Burke Street in Richmond) on the 13th of every month from May through October— A statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be solemnly exposed from 9am to 5pm for the faithful to venerate.  Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence opportunity for the 100th anniversary of the Our Lady of Fatima apparitions throughout the centennial year. In an exerpt from the ‘statement from the Fatima Shrine in Portugal’, the faithful may gain the indulgence by…

Praying before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The faithful, with devotion, can visit a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place place of prayer during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October 2017, and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honour of the Virgin Mary. In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

Upcoming dates for exposition will be Sunday August 13th (with regular Sunday Mass at 10:30am), Wednesday September 13th and Friday October 13th.