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Fr. Bob Writes – March 22, 2020

“Not as man sees; does God see, because man sees the outward appearance, but God looks into the heart” (1 Samuel 16).

As the apostles in the gospel today think the blind man lacks God’s favour due to his malady, so Samuel judges God’s favour based on physical appearance.  Young Samuel had been placed in the service of the Lord under the priest Eli at the sanctuary in Shiloh. 1 Samuel 3 recounts how he learned to listen to the voice of God. “Speak Lord your servant is listening.”

In today’s first reading, as Samuel is to select the next king of Israel and Judah, he does what we often do…neglects to ask God’s guidance, trusting in his instincts to guide his decision-making process, thus judging “as man sees.”  Before Samuel acts, God quickly corrects him to see as God sees. looking not at the appearance but into the heart. Samuel was operating under some stress at the time. Saul, whom he had anointed, was still king.  If news got out that Samuel was anointing a replacement without the king’s knowledge, the prophet’s life would be on the line.

We, too, make some of our worst decisions under stress, forgetting to consult God.  The present coronavirus epidemic is a case in point.  How many decisions have we been making in the current climate, based on panic, anxiety, selfishness, distrust of God?  May God catch our attention as quickly as he did Samuel’s when, under whatever stresses that may affect us, we forget to consult God for the decisions we must make in life. 


Letter from Archbishop Prendergast SJ, March 23, 2020: “Following the orders of Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit concerning closure of places of worship, I ask that effective immediately all churches in the Alexandria-Cornwall and Ottawa dioceses be closed—even for private prayer—until further notice. Please see the attached letter for more details.

For a Spiritual Communion, please click here.

For a list of Masses on TV and the Internet, please click here.

Office is Closed but we ARE working…

Due to the current health situation, we have decided to use caution and close our ‘physical’ office until further notice – but please know that both phones and emails will be monitored regularly during our regular office hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 1:30pm.

To contact us, please email us at: stphiliprcp1819 [at] gmail [dot] com or phone us at 613-838-2314.

Donating to the Parishes in These Challenging Times

St. Philip Parish relies on approx. $1,300 each weekend from the collection basket. The basket represents approximately 2/3rds of the total collection revenues received in a year (the remaining 1/3rd represents donations made via pre-authorized payment) and about 40% of all revenues received. Foregoing one weekend’s (at the moment) collection basket proceeds puts even more strain on the parish’s cash position, as the bills must still get paid. 

Fortunately, the parish offers another way for parishioners and individuals to make donations: online. Since 2014, we have been setup with It is a non-profit Canadian organization that allows charities (like St. Philip Parish) to receive donations online for a small fee (4% of the amount donated). Parishioners can make payment using any major credit card or via their PayPal account. Individual will get an instant tax receipt generated by for their taxes.  

It’s a secure, encrypted website so a parishioner’s personal information is safe.

UPDATE (April 3, 2020): We strongly encourage people who wish to donate to the parishes to do so using While we are appreciative of donations made by cheque or cash, we are unable to ensure these donations get deposited into the parishes’ bank accounts in a timely manner. Furthermore, social distancing restrictions and civil requirements to stay at home and only go out for essential activities makes it very difficult for our volunteer collection counters to deposit these funds. Therefore, at this time, we are unfortunately unable to accept donations made by cheque or cash.

Click here to make a online secure donation through today.

For those parishioners and individuals who are not already signed up for the pre-authorized payment (“PAP”) service and who usually make their financial donation to the parish through the weekly collection basket, St. Philip Parish would be extremely grateful if they utilize the service to make their donations until we get through these challenging times.

Individuals who would like to sign up for the parish’s PAP service can complete this form, and email it to the parish office.

Parishioners who have questions or need further information can contact the parish office.

St. Clare Mission

Individuals who wish to donate to St. Clare Mission can also use the service. Click on the “Donate Now” button and select the “04 General Offering – St. Clare Mission” fund. This will inform St. Philip Parish that the funds are to be directed to St. Clare Mission.

Fr. Bob Writes – March 15, 2020 – Third Sunday of Lent

O Deus Ego Amo Te

O God, I love thee, I love thee –

Not out of hope of heaven for me

Nor fearing not to love and be

In the everlasting burning.

Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me

Didst reach thine arms out dying, 

For my sake sufferedst nails and lance,

Mocked and marred countenance,

Sorrows passing number,

Sweat and care and cumber,

Yea, and death, and this for me,

And thou couldst see me sinning:

Then I, why should I not love thee,

Jesu, so much in love with me?

Not for heaven’s sake ; not to be

Out of hell by loving thee;

Not for any gains I see;

But just the way that thou didst me

I do love and I will love thee ;

What must I love thee, Lord, for then ?

For being my king and God. Amen.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Fr. Bob Writes – March 8, 2020. Second Sunday of Lent.

“Abram went as the Lord directed him.” 

Most people, even in our modern age, don’t move very far from the place where they were raised.  There is a certain security in having family nearby and living in familiar territory.  Such was even more the case for many peoples in ancient times who sought to live under the protection of their gods which were often associated with territories.  Still, people were on the go even in ancient times.  Armies marched to war in foreign countries.  Merchants travelled extensively.  Nomads and shepherds moved from place to place seeking greener pastures.  In such instances, people often had household gods symbolized by statues which they brought with them for personal protection.

Abram (before he became “Abraham”) was one of those nomad peoples, used to travelling from place to place.  What makes this journey in our first reading this weekend different is that Abram does it at the behest of Yahweh, a god unknown to him beforehand.  God seems to have appeared to him “out of the blue” and invited him to go on this journey to an unknown land, and Abram goes as he is directed.  He is placing his belief and trust in this unknown god who has appeared to him, making these incredible promises of blessings, especially with regards to a multitude of posterity.  What is significant is that Abram puts his faith and trust in Yahweh for this, even though he is already 75 years of age, and his wife Sarah is only a few years younger, and well beyond the prospect of becoming pregnant. 

This story relates to the gospel for this weekend, the gospel of the transfiguration of Jesus, in the acceptance of God’s guidance into the unknown paths of life which lie ahead of us.  We are given this story of the transfiguration every Lent on the second weekend, to remind us that, no matter what befalls us, we can rest assured that Christ is Lord, and totally in control of our circumstances.  We are invited during Lent to make the same journey of faith and trust in Jesus, that Abram makes in Yahweh.