Attending the 200th Anniversary Events on September 29, 2019?Read this for important information, including a change in the post-Mass meal.
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Come Celebrate St. Philip Parish’s 200th Anniversary – All Welcome!

Come celebrate with us as we culminate a most beautiful and holy year of “Pray, Love and Celebrate”!

200th ANNIVERSARY MASS: SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH  – Join us at 10:30 am on Sept 29th for our special 200th Anniversary Mass!  Archbishop Prendergast will preside along with Fr. Bob and a few other parish priests from years gone by.  Know any previous parishioners who have moved away?  Why not invite them to join you!   Come celebrate with friends old and new.  Seating will be on a space available basis, and there will be overflow seating in the Hall.  After Mass we will head to the hall for brunch and socializing.

On September 21, 2019, St. Philip Parish will be holding a Gala Dinner and Dance in honour its 200th anniversary year. Get your tickets today as they are selling fast! See the poster for details.

Sacraments of Confirmation, First Communion and First Reconciliation

If you attend St. Philip or St. Clare parish, reside in Richmond proper or if your child goes to St Philip Catholic School of Richmond Public School in Richmond, we welcome Catholic students to register for the sacraments of Confirmation, First Reconciliation and First Communion.  Parents and students should plan now to attend our one and only Registration Night:  Wednesday September 25th.   We have set out our calendar of dates early, and we present it to you in the attached link. We have done this so that you may plan ahead to ensure that you and your child are available for all the dates – including the Registration Night, the Enrollment Mass, the preparation workshop and the date of the celebration of the Sacrament.   Students need to attend all the preparation dates in order to be well prepared for these sacraments. Please click on these links for more information and dates to hold:

Confirmation (Grade 6 in Sept 2019)

First Communion and First Reconciliation (Grade 2 in Sept 2019)

Fr. Bob Writes – September 22, 2019

In our second reading this weekend, St Paul calls for the churches to pray for civil authorities. Christians at this time were definitely in the minority, and Paul wanted no conflict with authorities which could hamper the spread of Christianity.  He wants prayer to include all people, Christian and non-Christian, in the interests of peace and good order.  Early Christians were solicitous about their appearance as good citizens since they did not participate in the government’s official religious cult.  Paul asks for prayers for civil leaders on two scores: it will lead to the concession of an undisturbed and respected life for the Christians; it may lead to their leader’s conversion and salvation.  Paul hoped that the behaviour of Christians would be so exemplary that even rulers would be attracted to faith in Jesus Christ. 

What is the role of Christians regarding civil authorities today?  With a general election approaching in this country, how should we respond to the leaders of the various parties competing in the election?  Should we pray for them and support them?  What about challenging them to rule with Christian values?  Are there values so important for us, e.g. abortion, that we would consider ourselves compelled to vote against someone who is opposed to the particular value, even if we agree with their other values?  Are there times and situations we should not

Fr. Bob Writes – September 15, 2019

The gospel passage this weekend gives us the well-known parable of the “Prodigal Son” from the gospel of Luke.

Both Luke and Matthew recount the parable of the lost sheep, but only Luke includes the extra parables of the lost coin and the lost (or prodigal) son.

Note that the parables are addressed to the Pharisees and scribes who were complaining that Jesus ate with “sinners.”  They condemned those who had gotten too enamored by things of this world…the lost sheep who had wandered away from the practice of the faith…the coin lost in the cracks of life. They didn’t go after them or search for them, trying to find them and bring them back, for they did not consider them or any value.  They are the older brother in the parable while those they considered as sinners are represented by the younger brother. 

The people in the latter group were Jewish in background and belief but had chosen pathways in life which caused them to leave the embrace of the Jewish community.  Tax collectors worked for the Romans and were, therefore, not welcome in synagogues.  Prostitutes were excluded for their lifestyle as were a number of other “sinners” for one reason or another.  Although not publicly practicing their religion, they still felt a desire in their heart to be at peace and reconciled with God, evident in their attraction to Jesus.  Unlike the judgement of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus gave “sinners” an open door and a way to come back to God.

Jesus could read their hearts and received them as the father in the parable received his returning son.  His openness gave them an opportunity for reconciliation with God resulting in a celebration.  At times we may tend to be like the Pharisees, judging and rejecting people rather than opening a door for restoration and reconciliation with God.  We need to make a conscious effort to take Jesus’ approach if we are to call ourselves Christians.  Through the father in the parable, Jesus challenges us to be understanding and patient with those who differ from ourselves in the way they think and act…to look for the commonality which binds us together in the same family.

Fr. Bob Writes – September 8, 2019

Fr Bob writes :  As we begin a new parish and school year, we remind ourselves that we are on a journey, a journey that has as its goal the kingdom of heaven. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus is also on a journey.

Luke begins his gospel account with the infancy narratives of Jesus (chapters 1 – 2) followed by Jesus’ ministry in Galilee (chapters 3 through 9:51). Then in 9:52 Jesus “sets his face” for Jerusalem.  The remainder of the gospel recounts that journey to the goal of confrontation leading to the victory of the cross and resurrection.  Jesus knows where he is going and what lies ahead.  The reader is invited to join Jesus on that journey as we symbolically place ourselves within the great crowd that travels with him. 

Jesus turns and addresses the crowd in our gospel passage this weekend.  The word “turned” adds a lot to this passage.  It implies that Jesus had been pondering things over in his mind for some time as they walked along.  He wanted to challenge the crowds’ motives for following him. He wanted them to be sure they were ready to complete the journey with him.  He had to stop to turn around.  Things came to a halt. 

We also need time to stop and consider where we are going in this Christian journey.  The Greek word which is translated as “turn” also means to “convert.”  Jesus turns physically to challenge his followers to conversion.  He uses images from construction and warfare to encourage those who follow him to calculate what one needs to do to complete the journey, mindful of the sacrifices and dedication necessary.  If being one with Jesus now and living eternally in heaven are among your goals, what do you need to do?

200th Anniversary Celebratory Events on September 29, 2019

A celebratory Mass in honour of St. Philip Parish’s 200th Anniversary will be held on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 10:30am. Archbishop Prendergast will preside. Come and celebrate with the Archbishop, Fr. Bob, past priests, parishioners and former parishioners!

Following the Mass, the parish will be hosting a brunch in the Rev. Michael Gillissie Parish Hall!

Initially, the parish was planning to host a parish potluck meal after the celebratory Mass. However, this has since been changed to a parish celebratory brunch consisting of ham, sausages, pancakes, potatoes, fruit and vegetables, breads and assorted beverages. Everybody is invited to enjoy the food and fellowship in honour of the parish’s milestone!

Please be aware that the parish anticipates significantly higher numbers of parishioners, former parishioners, dignitaries and other individuals to attend the celebratory Mass and the brunch. The parish strongly advises people arrive early to get their “first come, first served” seat, as the holding/reserving of seats will not be allowed. We thank everybody for their assistance and patience in this regard.

If you have any questions or want more information regarding the 200th Anniversary celebratory Mass or brunch, please contact the parish office at 613-838-2314.