Fr. Bob Writes – December 25, 2014

“Our heart is wide open to you . There is no restriction in our affections, …In wide your hearts also ” (2 Corinthians 6: 11 – 12).

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the definitive opening wide of the Trinity’s heart to us. Ever since the creation of mankind, God has been reaching out to us, providing continual proofs of His love for us, inviting us to engage with him in personal relationship. Throughout the millenia, He had been revealing more and more of Himself, His inner nature, His desire to share Himself with us . And now with the birth of his own Son into the world, God fully gives himself to us . It as if God had been testing us out, seeing if He could trust His greatest gift , his own Son, to us . And now He makes the supreme commitment of Himself to us . “God so loved the world, that He gave us His only Son” (John 3:16).

“No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (John 1:18) . Jesus reveals the heart of God the Trinity, and it is one of self-giving love, first between the members of the Trinity themselves, Father , Son and Spirit, and then between the Trinity and us . The Spirit is the bridge of love between the Father and Son and ourselves. It is the Spirit overshadowing Mary’s womb (Luke 1: 35) that enables the Son of God to to become incarnate as a human being. It is the Spirit who enables the Son to come into the world as Gift from the Father to us . This is the ultimate act of trust from God to us, to hand over his innermost self, His Son, His Word, His Heart, to us . It is an intense moment of total vulnerability for God to come amongst us as a baby, trusting himself into our hands. No wonder Mary had to be conceived free from original sin, so she could be totally open to the action of God in her life. Who else could be trusted with such a gift as God’s own Son ?

Indeed, “God’s heart is wide open to ” us , and “there is no restriction in ” His affections for us . So now, God, having given absolute proof of His commitment to us, asks us what we are going to do about it. The Incarnation of His Son challenges us “in return, to open wide your hearts also” Are we willing to respond to God’s total self-gift by making the same gift of self back to Him? God has given us total freedom in this one area – the disposal of our heart’s commitment – and we can choose to hold ourselves back from God, or choose to respond to Him, in the same measure that He has opened Himself out to us, i.e. totally.

This Christmas, as we approach the manger scene , and see the helpless baby surrendered into his mother’s arms, understand that this is God surrendering Himself into ours. How will we choose to respond ?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our parishioners !!

Back online…

The parish website recently underwent a malicious hacker attack that resulted in site going down. Unfortunately, the old site had to be removed in its entirety and a new one has to be re-established.

We are working hard to having the website restored in a timely manner, and appreciate the parish community’s understanding while we endeavour to get it back online. In the meantime, many of the links to documents, pictures, etc. will not work.

For any inquiries or for Mass times, please call the parish office at 613-838-2314, or email the parish office at

For website inquiries, contact

Christmas Mass Times and Other Notices

December 24th: 4:30pm (St Philip’s Church)

4:30pm (St Philip’s Hall)

7 pm (St Clare’s Mission)

9 pm (St Philip’s Church)

Midnight (St Philip’s Church)

December 25th: – 10:30am (St Philip’s Church)

December 26th – Special Mass for Altar Servers – all welcome (St Philip’s)

Weekend of December 27-28 – Regular Mass Schedule (Sat 4:30pm and Sun
10:30am at St Philip’s and Sunday 9am at St Clare’s)

January 1 – Solemnity of Mary – 10:30am (St Philip’s)

Weekend of January 3-4 – Regular Mass Schedule (Sat 4:30pm and Sun
10:30am at St Philip’s and Sunday 9am at St Clare’s)

Please note these cancellations over Christmas:

Mon Dec 22 & 29 – No Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Mon Dec 29 – No Monday Mass or bible study at St Philip

Tues Dec 23 and 30 – No Tuesday Mass at St Clare

Wed Dec 24 – No Euchre

Wed Dec 31 – No Adult Education / RCIA

Thurs Dec 25 and Jan 1 – No Prayer meeting

Regular schedule of ministries & activities resumes January 5th

Knights Host Another Successful Santa Lunch!

knights_santa_lunchSanta’s Helpers (left to right): Peter Moore, Bill Flynn, Lloyd Gervais, Luc St-Jean, Dcn. Louis, Tom “Santa” McHale, Mark McGuire, Dale Robichaud, Neil Van Gelder, Bernie Roosen, Ernie Beaudette, Ray Hewitt, Brian Goss, and Dan McKenna

On Sunday, December 14, 2014, the St. Philip Knights of Columbus hosted their 10th annual Santa’s Lunch inside the Parish Hall. Approximately 100 children with their parents attended to have a tasty lunch, listen to timeless Christmas music and have the opportunity to meet Santa. All children received a take-away loot bag filled with candy, and food donations were received that benefited our local Richmond Food Bank. Many thanks goes out to those who came, as well as to the many Knights who helped make this another successful lunch!