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Holy Thursday Mass (April 9, 2020)

Stayed tuned to this page on Thursday, April 9, 2020 by 7:30pm for Holy Thursday Mass at St. Philip Parish, celebrated by Fr. Bob Poole!

We thank everybody who viewed and provided feedback on the recording and streaming of our Palm Sunday Mass. It was our first ever attempt at doing it and we have tweaked our setup to improve the video and sound quality. The remaining Masses of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday) are being recorded and made available online at the following times: Good Friday Mass, 3pm on April 10; Easter Vigil Mass, 8pm on April 11; and Easter Sunday Mass, 10:30am on April 12. Thank you! Tom Chmara and Pat McIver

Community Prayer Intentions – Now Online!

Would you like the community to pray for a special intention?

We are a praying community … and separation cannot stop us from praying for one another! We are establishing an ‘online’ list of Community Prayer Intentions so we can keep praying (just as we support each other ‘in person’ and during the Prayers of the Faithful during Mass). Click the following link to see the Community Prayer Intentions so you can pray in solidarity with your friends and fellow parishioners.

Email your intentions to stphiliprcp1819@gmail.com; the list of intentions will be updated online about every two days or so. When you submit your intention, please also let us know if you would like it to be anonymous, or if you would like your name included with the intention. We encourage all parishioners to click the link and pray for the intentions of others.

Office is Closed but we ARE working…

Due to the current health situation, we have decided to use caution and close our ‘physical’ office until further notice – but please know that both phones and emails will be monitored regularly during our regular office hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 1:30pm.

To contact us, please email us at: stphiliprcp1819 [at] gmail [dot] com or phone us at 613-838-2314.

Join Bible Study Live!

Join Fr. Bob and your fellow parishioners on Monday evening at 7pm for our regular weekly bible study, now being conducted online using the Zoom platform.

To get started, visit Zoom.us and download the app. It works on a Windows computer, Apple computer, your iPhone or iPad, or any Android device!

Once you have downloaded and installed the app, and created a Zoom account, email the parish office at stphiliprcp1819@gmail.com by 4pm on Monday to obtain the meeting ID and the passcode. The meeting details will be sent out by email shortly after 4pm on Monday, so be sure to check your inbox!

Fr. Bob Writes – April 5, 2020 – Palm Sunday

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”(Psalm 22:1)

This poignant, excruciating cry from the responsorial psalm for this Sunday, Palm/Passion Sunday is echoed by Jesus from the cross during the narration of the Passion during the same liturgy.

Perhaps there are some amongst us, faithful believers, who are nonetheless seeing this present coronavirus, as a sign that God has indeed “forsaken” or abandoned us.  Are we being punished for our sins, and the sins of all the world?  Such thoughts can plague us as we hear, day by day of an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, and deaths, including priests, doctors and nurses. 

We need to remember that, in Jewish liturgy, to proclaim the first line of a psalm, meant to proclaim the whole psalm.  Psalm 2 does begin with a sobering declaration: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  It does go on to speak of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual agonies undergone by the psalmist: “My hands and feet have shriveled /I can count all my bones” and “all who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they shake their heads’ and “they divide my clothes among themselves and for my clothing they cast lots.”  But the psalm itself concludes with a mighty declaration of trust and faith in God: “In the midst of the congregation I will praise you /glorify him, stand in awe of him!”

All the readings during this Sunday’s liturgy, which is Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday, speak of how suffering and death lead to resurrection and triumph.  This is the God-intended, Scripture-ordained, path for God’s Anointed One, His Messiah, Jesus Christ.  We cannot hope to emulate Christ and be His faithful disciple, if we are unwilling to take up our own cross, which may be the fear and uncertainty we are feeling right now in the midst of the coronavirus, or even suffering the symptoms of the virus ourselves.  The pangs of doubt, of anxiety, the sufferings attendant on not being able to get to Mass or even enter our parish church to pray, all of these are the stuff of sacrifice and surrender, the things we hand over to God and ask him to join with the sufferings of his beloved Son, Jesus, fulfilling St Paul’s own words from his letter to Colossians: “I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” 

This is the path all the saints followed, in imitation of Jesus, the path by which they ascended to holiness, the path by which you and I, too, are called to follow. “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?  Or what will they give in return for their life?” (Matthew 16:24-26)

I wish you a blessed and spiritually fruitful Holy Week!!

Fr. Bob Writes – March 29, 2020

‘And Jesus wept’ This verse, the shortest in all the gospels, is found in our gospel passage from John 11 this weekend, Jesus weeps as he sees all the mourners around the tomb of his good friend, Lazarus, who had died four days ago.  Jesus deliberately kept away from visiting Lazarus as he was dying, even though Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary, had pleaded with him to come and save their brother from dying.  This was in part due to the political situation, with many of the authorities on the look-out for Jesus, to arrest him.  But it was also due to the fact that Jesus wanted to prove to everyone that nothing, not even death, was stronger than He.  He knew that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, he was confident in his power to save, yet he also wept at the tomb of his good friend, to show us that death is a part of life, and must be accepted, but it also is not the end of life.  As the first Preface for the Dead in our Eucharistic Prayers for Mass declares: “Lord, for your faithful, life is changed, not ended.”|

Changed, not ended.  Jesus is greater than death, greater than sickness, and, yes, greater than the coronavirus.  This is a time for us, not to run away through fear from the virus, but to stand up to it, and pray to the Lord, for him to overcome this epidemic, believing that he can even raise people from the dead.  Even though we are in lock-down mode right now, there is nothing stopping us going into prayers of intercession and spiritual warfare, agreeing to pray together at a certain time and day the rosary, or the Divine Mercy, or whatever, even if we have to be in our own homes while we are doing it.  The Bible, the Word of God, is a “living power for those who believe” and we can, and should, declare it aloud during our prayer times, especially Scriptures like Psalm 91, which speak of the protection of God, or 2 Corinthians 20, which speaks of the victory of the people of God over an overwhelming enemy, because “the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v.15) , or Acts 4: 23-31, where the early Church prays to God for deliverance and boldness against the forces seeking to destroy them, and “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with all boldness” (v. 31).

We are not “in the flesh,” i.e. weak and helpless human beings, but we “are in the Spirit” because “the Spirit of God dwells in you,” as our second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Romans this weekend tells us.  Let us start to agree together in prayer, to lift up our voices in a united prophetic declaration, as illustrated in our first reading this weekend from the prophet Ezekiel.  Let us call upon God to “open our graves” of fear, and discouragement and despair and raise us up as people of faith and trust in God, and boldness through the power of the Spirit.”  Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, as he declares to Martha in our gospel today, before challenging her  “Do you believe this?”

Do you believe this, brothers and sisters, do I?

“At-Home Vigil of Prayer” Saturday March 28, 8am-4pm

Our vigils continue as usual…but in a different format. ALL are invited to join our next ‘At-Home Vigil of Prayer’ THIS Saturday, March 28 from 8am to 4pm by praying BY YOURSELF, IN YOUR OWN HOME.  This month’s intention is for ‘an end to the coronavirus.’ Pray in any way you chose. Fr Bob encourages is to include this National Prayer for Canada. Choose any amount of time you have between 8am and 4pm. Our parishioners will pray individually, but in solidarity with each other and with the world.

All Parish Masses & Activities Cancelled

To all our parishioners: here is an announcement from Archbishop Prendergast, SJ on March 23rd: “Following the orders of Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit concerning closure of places of worship, I ask that effective immediately all churches in the Alexandria-Cornwall and Ottawa dioceses be closed—even for private prayer—until further notice”. For St Philips and St Clares, this includes all parish activities including weekend and evening Masses, all business and prayer meetings, Stations of the Cross, ‘Poor Man’s Suppers’, all Eucharistic adoration, euchre and social gatherings. Please email or call the office at 613-838-2314 if we can provide more information.

Please keep watching this website for updated information and communications from Fr. Bob Poole.

St. Philip Parish Temporal Affairs Council Issues Latest Report

The St. Philip Temporal Affairs Council has issued its latest report for the six months ending December 31, 2019.

A hard copy of the report is available in the next parish bulletin that is physically distributed.

The latest report can also be viewed here.

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.