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“The Lord is Coming – Are You Ready?” Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, November 13, 2022

It was great to visit England again after an absence of over two years, to meet up with various members of the family, to have the chance to soak in the history of such cities as Oxford and Durham, and even to attend a soccer match and drink at a country pub or two. All quintessential English experiences. 

But I have to say that I left my home country after two weeks, with a heavy heart and worried for my homeland. Not only are they having to deal with a new monarch, but also a new prime minister, with a huge migrant problem and with an economy which is in the hole to the tune of an astonishing 50 BILLION pounds. The new prime minister had issued a solemn warning to the country that they were all facing a bleak economic future, with a lot of austerity measures, higher taxes and many spending cuts , to come , The recession England is facing, will probably , according to the experts, not be over anytime soon. Everyone in the country, rich or poor, young or old, will have to tighten their belts and settle in for the long haul. The era of living on the cheap, with low interest rates and taxes was over. 

Our readings today give us a similar bleak assessment for our world. Not in terms of economic difficulties and austerity measures, but in terms of everyone having to settle in for the long haul. Ahead of us lie “wars and insurrections…famines and plagues…dreadful portents and great signs from heaven” as well as great persecution, even from members of our own families. However, with this message of doom and gloom from our gospel today, comes a glimmer of hope. Jesus assures us who count ourselves among his disciples that “not a hair of your heads will perish” and that “by your endurance you will gain your souls”. Read more...

Bulletin of November 13, 2022

Here is the November 13, 2022 Bulletin.

A Response to War

Eternal God
Save us from weak resignation to violence
Teach us that restraint is the highest expression of power
That thoughtfulness and tenderness are marks of the strong.

Help us to love our enemies
Not by countenancing their sins,
But by remembering our own
And may we never for a moment forget
That they are fed by the same food,
Hurt by the same weapons,
Have children for whom they have the same high hopes as we do.

Grant us the ability
To find joy and strength not in the strident call to arms
To grasp our fellow creatures
In the striving for justice and truth.

~ prepared by a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim (August, 1990). From A Collection of Prayers for Peace, posted on the World Council of Churches website.

Bulletin for October 30, 2022

Here is the October 30, 2022 Bulletin.

There is a lot going on this week! Blessings for a safe and fun Halloween to all our families.

Tuesday is ‘All Saints Day’ – This day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints’ Day observances tend to focus on known saints –that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church. All Saints’ Day was formally started by Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13 in 609 AD. Boniface IV also established All Souls’ Day, which follows All Saints. (Catholic.org)

Wednesday is ‘All Souls Day’ (The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed) – All Souls Day is a holy day set aside for honoring the dead.  According to Catholic belief, the soul of a person who dies can go to one of three places. The first is heaven, where a person who dies in a state of perfect grace and communion with God goes. The second is hell, where those who die in a state of mortal sin are naturally condemned by their choice. The intermediate option is purgatory, which is thought to be where most people, free of mortal sin, but still in a state of lesser (venial) sin, must go. Purgatory is necessary so that souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter into heaven. There is scriptural basis for this belief. The primary reference is in 2 Maccabees, 12:26 and 12:32. “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out… Thus made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin.”  Consistent with these teachings and traditions, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful on Earth, the dead are cleansed of their sins so they may enter into heaven.… Read more...

Shoebox Campaign – Samaritan’s Purse

Help to put a smile on the face of a child in need around the world this Christmas!!!  Again this year, St. Philip’s and St. Clare’s will be collecting Shoeboxes for these children through Samaritan’s Purse.   Shoeboxes will be available for pick up at the back of the church this weekend.  Please  return them to the church by Tuesday, November 1st. Contact Debbie McSheffrey at 613 204-8085.

Sunday Missals & 2023 Donation Boxes- Now available to Pick up

If you ordered a Sunday Missal, it is now available for pick up at the back of both St Philips and St Clares. 2023 donation boxes are also available for pickup. If you still wish to order a missal, it is not too late! Order your Sunday Missals now – $5 each. Download the order form using this link. Please fill out this form, including payment, put it in an envelope ‘Attn:  Office’ and drop it in the weekend collection basket OR send it to the office by mail (127 Burke St., PO Box 59, Richmond, K0A 2Z0).  Please note that we are unable to provide tax receipts for this purchase.  Missals must be paid for in advance and will be available for pickup the weekend after we receive your order.

“Will There be Faith on Earth? – Fr. Bob’s Homily for Sunday, October 16, 2022

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  It seems a bit of a strange question for Jesus to ask at the end of today’s gospel. What kind of faith is Jesus talking about? The kind of faith shown by the widow in his parable about the unjust judge, the faith to keep on plugging away, bugging the judge until he gives in and gives her the justice she is seeking? Are we meant to understand from Jesus’ parable  that God is like that unjust judge, and that we have to keep on bugging him before he finally agrees to our prayer requests? .Of course not, however many Catholics do believe that is meant to be the point of the parable. But consider: Jesus says that this judge neither fears God nor respects any human being. If the judge is meant to represent God, then what are we saying – that God does not fear himself? – which is an absurdity. Or that God has nothing but contempt for human beings? – again absurd, since Jesus has spent his three years of public ministry, showing over and over again that God has total love for us, his creation, and wants to spend eternity with us, every one of us.

The point Jesus is making is that if an evil human can eventually be worn down by a widow’s persistent plea for justice, how much more will an all-good God be concerned to answer our prayers for a more just world to be brought about? .So what kind of faith is Jesus asking for when he returns at the end of time ? If we look carefully at the context of Jesus’ words, we find that Jesus is referring to the end times, the end of the world, the return of Jesus in his Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgement, eternal life.… Read more...