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.

St. Philip Weekly Collection Report

To increase transparency and accountability, the St. Philip Temporal Affairs Council publishes in the parish bulletin weekly offerings received in the collection basket. The weekly offerings received help to fund the parish’s ordinary operations (e.g. salaries, utilities, taxes, repairs and maintenance). This does not include those donations received through pre-authorized payment (which provide a reliable and regular revenue stream) or restoration donations (which cannot go towards paying the parish’s regular monthly costs.

For comparison, St. Philip requires $1,370 in weekly offerings made through the collection basket to cover its usual and ongoing monthly expenses. This amount is in addition to the regular monthly donation amounts the parish receives.

This summer, the parish’s weekly offering through the collection basket has averaged $1,008 per week. This represents a cash shortfall of $3,200 over the last two months for the parish what the parish needs to cover its regular operating expenses.

St. Philip Parish’s collection amounts over the last several weeks were as follows:

August 25, 2019 – $944 | August 18, 2019 – $942 | August 11, 2019 – $1,065 | August 4, 2019 – $1,028 | July 28, 2019 – $1,018 | July 21, 2019 – $998 | July 14, 2019 – $968 | July 7, 2019 – $1,270 | June 30, 2019 – $866

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.