Fr. Bob Writes – September 9, 2018

This year coming up, September 2018 – 2019, we celebrate 200 years of existence as a parish in Richmond. Indeed, St Philip’s is older than the diocese of Ottawa, which was created from the older diocese of Kingston.

The theme we have chosen for this anniversary year is: Pray-Love-Celebrate.  As a parish family, we will seek to live a life of prayer, love and celebration throughout the year ahead.  No parish endeavour can survive without a strong foundation of prayer.  No parish community can be faithful to Christ unless it lives a lifestyle of love in service.  No parish can experience the joy of the Holy Spirit unless it gives space and time to celebration.

In the weeks ahead, we will spell out the various activities and programs which will mark our anniversary year.  We will be introducing the Alpha course to the parish, as well as the Youth Alpha course.  There will be extra bible studies, and extra times for adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.  We will carry out a teaching Mass, to deepen our understanding of the Eucharist, which is the “source and summit of our Catholic Christian life,” according to the Second Vatican Council.  In October we will have a service of blessing of animals, close to the feast of St Francis of Assisi.  There will be parish missions and a parish retreat to mark Advent, Lent and Pentecost.  Parishioners will be invited to pledge extra time for prayer and spiritual devotions during the year in our “Pray” book.

They will also be invited to commit to various acts of service in the community in our “Love” book. We are hoping to introduce a ministry to the elderly and shut-ins, as well as a bereavement counselling ministry. We will have a book of remembrance which includes pictures of deceased members of the parish which will be brought to the altar during the month of November. Our elementary school, St Philip’s, and our high school, Sacred Heart, will be invited to join in making these pledges of prayer and service. The Peru mission, which will be held in February, will be a sign of our love in service beyond our parish boundaries.

Our “Celebrate” book will encourage our parishioners to submit photos of themselves, and of weddings, baptisms, confirmations, first communions and other celebrations. We intend to have a children’s Mass, a youth Mass, a Mass for the elderly and shut-ins, a wedding anniversary Mass, a parish Mass and social to mark the feast of St Philip, our patron (May 3rd). All of this will culminate in a grand celebration of our anniversary on September 29th, 2019.

We will keep you posted on all the events which will be marking this extra special year.  We also invite individual members of the parish to submit ideas for ways in which we can make this year extra-special.

There is a special prayer for our 200th anniversary which will be made available in the form of a book-mark, which we invite you to take home and pray every day of the year ahead.

Pray- Love – Celebrate…    Let it Begin!!