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Parish to Live-stream Only Sunday Masses during Summer Months

As stated in this weekend’s bulletin (June 25-26, 2022), due to a shortage of live-stream ministry volunteers and to allow our remaining volunteers some time off during the summer, St. Philip Parish will not be live-streaming Saturday evening Masses, effective immediately and through to Labour Day weekend. We plan to return to live-streaming Saturday evening Masses beginning on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Additionally, we will not be live-streaming the Sunday Mass on Sunday, August 7, 2022.

Anybody interested in joining the livestream ministry is encouraged to contact the Parish Office.

We thank all of the live-stream ministry volunteers, both past and currently, for their dedication to this ministry, and for their service to the parish community. We wish them all a relaxing and healthy summer season.

Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, July 3, 2022

“Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; give to him glorious praise”. So begins our responsorial psalm today. In these days, we have a special reason as Catholics to rejoice, because of the decision of the US Supreme Court over a week ago, overturning Roe v Wade, which decision back in 1973, opened the door for abortion to become legal throughout the country, a decision that was quickly followed here in Canada, and elsewhere in the world. We can only hope and pray that the reverse will now become true – that abortion will be restricted and eventually made illegal over all the world, including here in Canada. This won’t come about, of course, by a mere change in the law of  a country, but by a change in the heart of the country. In other words, that each person would come to believe that abortion involves the deliberate  killing of a human being in its mother’s womb. That the child in the womb isn’t simply a “potential“ human being, but a human being “with potential”. That this is not merely a collection of cells in the body of the woman, and therefore just an extension of her own body, but a separate body and a separate life, as fully entitled to the right to life as any human being outside the womb.  

It used to be that every Catholic accepted these truths as unarguable. But alas, today, we cannot say that. Many Catholics seem unable to understand and accept that human life must ,logically and scientifically , begin at conception, not at some point chosen arbitrarily , and using muddled science, along the path from conception to birth. Even when abortion advocates admit that science now proves that the child in the womb is exactly that, a human child, they simply change the argument by saying that, in any case, the mother’s “rights” trump those of the child within her womb. Which… Read more...

“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. Or Have I?” – Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, June 26, 2022

I performed a wedding ceremony at St Philip’s last Saturday. The couple picked a reading from the book of Ruth, which was not a reading most couples choose. In fact, most Catholics probably don’t even realize that there actually is a book of Ruth in the Bible. The passage the couple chose contained these words: ”Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die – there will I be buried. Not even death shall part me from you!”

These beautiful words of commitment are actually spoken by a daughter-in-law to her mother-in-law, who have both recently lost their husbands. But a moment’s thought will show us that these words perfectly describe the commitment entered into between a couple at their wedding ceremony. In fact, these words are really appropriate for any kind of serious and lasting commitment. Including the commitment we make as disciples of Jesus Christ.

 Our psalm today echoes that kind of commitment. Listen again to the words of the psalmist and ask yourself: ”Does this express how I feel about Jesus?” “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you. The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot”. The mention of a “portion” and a “lot” are actually references to the Jewish tribe of Levi, whose members formed the priestly class in Israel. They, of all the twelve tribes of Israel, were not given a share in the land of Canaan, when it was invaded and conquered by Israel, led by Joshua, , and then divided up amongst the tribes  . It was understood that it was the destiny of the Levites to dedicate themselves to a life of service to God, to being mediators between God and the people.… Read more...

Parish to Live-stream Only Sunday Masses during Summer Months

As stated in this weekend’s bulletin (June 25-26, 2022), due to a shortage of live-stream ministry volunteers and to allow our remaining volunteers some time off during the summer, St. Philip Parish will not be live-streaming Saturday evening Masses, effective immediately and through to Labour Day weekend. We plan to return to live-streaming Saturday evening Masses beginning on Saturday, September 10, 2022. Additionally, we will not be live-streaming the Sunday Mass on Sunday, August 7, 2022.

Anybody interested in joining the livestream ministry is encouraged to contact the Parish Office.

We thank all of the live-stream ministry volunteers, both past and currently, for their dedication to this ministry, and for their service to the parish community. We wish them all a relaxing and healthy summer season.

“The Gift of the Eucharist” – Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, June 19, 2022

It was said of St Philip Neri that he was so in love with the presence of Jesus in the eucharist, that when he celebrated Mass, his heart could be heard beating loudly. So, he took to celebrating Mass privately, with just one altar server present. At the consecration, Philip would take hours contemplating the presence of the Lord in the Eucharistic species. The altar server would go out of the chapel and return in an hour and knock to see if he could come in. Usually the answer was “No”, so he would go away and come back hourly, until he was allowed to come in again, to resume serving at St Philip’s Mass. When Philip died and they opened him up, they found that his heart was so enlarged that it had actually pushed his ribs outwards. 

I’ve had some heart issues lately, but, alas, they were not to do with my heart being so inflamed with love for the eucharist that it had become enlarged. Oh, how I wish it were!  I still struggle to “get it “, to grasp hold of the fact that Jesus himself, in his body , blood , soul and divinity, is really and truly present in the bread and wine after consecration at Mass. I wish I could “let it in”, let the reality of what is going on in the Mass enter into and inflame my heart with love for the Eucharistic Jesus.  I feel that I, indeed all of us, should be so blown away with this truth of Christ’s Presence in the Mass that we are on our faces, prostrate before the altar at that moment. One Protestant pastor said to me a few years ago, that “if I believed what you Catholics are supposed to believe about the Mass, I would be coming up to communion on my knees”.… Read more...

“To Know Him is to Love Him” – Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, June 12, 2022

Story of St Augustine walking by shore and seeing little boy trying to pour the ocean into a little hole in the sand – “Neither will you be able to get the immensity of God into your tiny little mind!”

The story serves as a reminder to us not to try to work out God, as if our minds alone can grasp hold of his fullness. As St Augustine once wrote: ”If we could circumscribe God with our minds, he wouldn’t be God”. The immensity of God far, far outstrips our ability to comprehend him. Which doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t even try. St Paul speaks to the people of Athens, who were so proud of their ability to search the mysteries of the universe with their minds and their philosophy , and says to them, in Acts chapter 17:”The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything , since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things” (Acts 17: 24-25). This God, says Paul, has given us signs of his existence, so that we “could search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him – though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For “in him we live and move and have our being”. (17: 27-28). The mystery of God as Trinity is not a puzzle to be worked out, it is an ocean, and we are invited to plunge ourselves into that ocean, to explore more and more of the mystery, knowing we will never succeed in encompassing it altogether.

For the Athenians, as for all those who do not know Jesus Christ, that is all that they can do – to “grope” after God in an attempt to find him.… Read more...