Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion – 2016-2017 School Year

For all students entering Grade 2 next year!  Parents, please book these dates on your calendar now so that your child can attend all the necessary sacramental preparation dates. Thank you.

St Philips School Students-Save the Date Letter, June 22, 2016 First Communion-Reconcilication

All Other School Students-Save the Date Letter, June 22, 2016 First Communion-Reconcilication

St. Philip Parish to Participate in Refugee Family Fundraiser!

On Saturday, November 12, 2016, St. Philip Parish will participate in the Richmond Village Refugee Welcome’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” fundraiser.

The RVRW is raising funds to sponsor a Syrian refugee family and bring them to Canada.

Please see the event’s poster for further details.

Further details on the RVRW can be found on their website: www.richmondvillagerefugeewelcome.ca

Tickets can be purchased by calling Janet Stewart (613-838-3942) or Marjorie Cassidy (613-591-6247).

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St. Philip Parish Canopy Construction Set to Begin!

Please see this coming week’s bulletin for the latest update on the parish’s canopy project.

For those parishioners who are unaware, the project consists of the replacement of the existing concrete pad, redirection of the deteriorating ramp off towards the existing side garden and the construction of a roof over the front entrance of the church building. This project has been in the works for several years now and involves a significant capital investment in the beautification of the church building.

Construction is tentatively set to begin after Labour Day, and be completed by Thanksgiving.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE: We have good news and not-so-good news on our long-awaited Front Entranceway reconstruction project. First the good news – you will soon see signs of activity as we demolish the existing steps and begin to construct the new Front Entranceway to our church with completion by early October. This project has been in the planning stages for several years and we are excited to finally see some “concrete” progress (no pun intended). We anticipate that the front door will be open during construction for weekend Masses but will make sure signs are posted if an alternate entrance to the church is necessary.

Now the not-so-good news – construction costs are higher than anticipated. In consultation with the TAC and Project Team, Fr. Bob has agreed to proceed using funds from other Parish accounts to cover the higher costs. However we want to make sure that this Project is fully-funded so more fund-raising is planned. A Christmas Concert by the Ennis Sisters (Nov. 25th in our Parish Hall – save this date in your calendar) is one example and others are being discussed. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Front Entranceway project and please consider a further donation.

If you have any questions on this project please contact Peter Moore, any member of the TAC or Fr. Bob.

St. Philip Temporal Affairs Council Issues its Latest Reports to Parish Community

The St. Philip Temporal Affairs Council (“TAC”) issued two reports to the parish community last month. The first report is the TAC’s annual report to the parish community for the year ending December 31, 2015.  The second report is a financial-only report detailing the state of the parish’s finances for the first six months (January to June) of 2016.

The 2015 annual report can be viewed here.

The 2016 semi-annual financial report can be viewed here.

Parishioners who have questions concerning these reports or wish further information on them can speak with Fr. Bob or with any TAC member.

To view previous reports, please visit the St. Philip’s TAC page and look for it under the heading, “TAC Reports to Parishioners and Other Reports.” Parishioners will find links to past TAC reports starting with the quarter ending September 30, 2013.

Fr Bob Writes – August 21 & 28, 2016

A friend of mine embarked this week on the ‘Camino de Santiago”. This is a 500 mile trek from France, across the Pyrenees, to the shrine of St James the Apostle in Compostela, Northern Spain.  It is a hike taken by thousands of people, of all ages, every year.  For some, it is a kind of pilgrimage, for others , it is a journey of self-discovery.  It is so famous that a movie was made of it a few years back, called “The Way.”  It stars Martin Sheen, who plays a man alienated from his son, who discovers that his son has just died at the start of making the Camino.  Sheen, intrigued by what would possess his son to undertake  such a journey, takes his son’s ashes, and makes the trek himself, determined to finish what his son had started, and along the way meets various fellow – hikers , all making the journey for reasons of their own.  By the time he finishes the Camino, Sheen has come to some kind of peace within himself and reconciliation with his son, whose image appears to him at various stages along the way.

The Camino is an apt metaphor for our own journey through life.  Full of unexpected twists and turns, bringing us into contact with others who will have a significant impact on us, and whom we will significantly impact in turn.  My friend had to prepare very seriously for this marathon trek, disciplining his body by walking to and from work (an hours journey each way) every day, denying himself various “comforts,” especially with regards to food and drink .  He would no doubt agree with the comment of the writer of our second reading this weekend, who writes: “Discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later is yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. ”  Discipline seems to be rather an unwelcome word these days, but anyone who has ever achieved anything worthwhile in their life knows its importance.  There is simply no way to avoid its yoke, whether one is training to become a professional musician, or an Olympic athlete, or simply trying to maintain a certain level of fitness and health.

Spiritually, also, we are not likely to make much progress in our faith-journey through life, if we are not prepared to develop and maintain good habits of prayer and reading of Scripture and other spiritual devotions, as well as opening our hearts to give mercy to those in need around us.  Such habits struggle to assert themselves over against the perennial tug of our sinful nature towards lethargy and apathy and complacency, but, as our second reading this weekend reminds us, when we achieve mastery of our selves by these means, we experience the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” and blessed rest at the end of our life’s Camino, in heaven.

Fr Bob Writes – August 14, 2016

Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12)

These words from our second reading this weekend remind me of some wise words of Pope Francis.

“Purifying the eyes!”  I am invited to listen to Jesus, and Jesus manifests himself, and by his transfiguration he invites us to gaze at him.  And looking at Jesus purifies our eyes and prepares them for eternal life, for the vision of heaven.

 Perhaps our eyes are a little sick, because we see so many things that are not of Jesus, things that are even against Jesus: worldly things, things that do not benefit the light of the soul.  And in this way this light is slowly extinguished, and without knowing it we end up in interior darkness, in spiritual darkness, in a darkened faith: darkness, because we are unaccustomed to looking and imagining the things of Jesus”  (March 16th, 2014)

“An authentic faith always involves a profound desire to change the world. Here is the question we must ask ourselves: Do we also have great vision and impetus?  Are we also daring?  Do our dreams fly high ? Does zeal consume us? (cf Psalm  68:10)

Reflection: What are your eyes fixed on? The things that you watch, what do they tell you about your heart?  How can you fix your eyes on Jesus more?  Does what you fix your gaze on inspire you to dream big dreams?  Does zeal consume you?