A Lesson Learned Many Long Years Ago

Thursday, June 15, 2017 Written by

 

Recently I heard on the news of a teenager who was charged with handling fireworks which created a grass fire on an acreage. This reminds me of an incident in my life. I think that enough time has passed now that I won’t get in trouble for admitting to the following youthful indiscretion:

When I was 13 years old, living on a farm 40 km North of Carrot River, I would sometimes go to Carrot River, stay with my Uncle Mike and play with my town friends. One summer day, I met with my friend Terry who happened to have some 2” firecrackers. We decided to light and throw some on the quiet streets of Carrot River. There happen to be some younger kids ahead of us and we lit and threw a couple firecrackers towards them. Then we heard a car approaching us from behind and a voice shouting “Stop in the name of the law!” It was the Town Police calling out from his window as he speedily approached us. Terry said, “Let’s run down the alley and empty our pockets of any firecrackers as we run.” 

Be Still and Know

Thursday, June 8, 2017 Written by

 

This month at the Cathedral, you can definitely tell that school is wrapping up for the year. Over the last week, a multitude of children and youth (and those supervising them) have made their way through the doors of our Cathedral to rehearse or to take part in Year End Masses, Farewells and other Liturgies. Many more are expected in the coming weeks. One afternoon this week, I had the pleasure of listening to one Grade 8 class go through their class list, student by student, and describe each student’s dreams and ambitions, as well as where they would study in the coming years.

I have to say, listening to the proceedings, I admired the certainty of it all. Each student had their proper path marked out. They were going to do this, go to school there, study that, become this. And frankly, I remember feeling precisely that certain at my Grade 8 farewell; I was going to move on to Holy Cross for High School like my brothers had, get my Diploma and be awesome while doing it! 

Then and Now.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 Written by

Looking back.

Jane & I came to work at Holy Family in youth ministry and faith formation six years ago. Six years. It feels like even longer, probably because so much has changed. We started out sharing an office, one which for some reason had a ridiculously huge desk. I recall running up and down the stairs to get stuff from the printer, or to use the washroom, conveniently located right beside Deacon Bob’s desk. I’m sure he loved that.

A Whole Lot of Hope

Thursday, May 25, 2017 Written by

 Friday, May 5th was a momentous day for many. That evening, our Cathedral parish hosted a highly successful fundraiser for Mary's Hope, a ministry based out of the Cathedral and working in conjunction with Legacy Ridge Foundation to provide spiritual healing to women and men who have been victims of childhood sexual abuse. It was important for us as a community to be involved with this ministry. Early on in his Pontificate, Pope Francis urged the faithful to go to the fringes. He eloquently stated that such journeys would take us to a messy world and yet, he called upon us to never lose hope and to trust where God was leading us.

You see talking about and discussions about childhood sexual abuse (let alone the notion of ministering in this area) is not a popular thing. There is nothing elegant, romantic or feel-good about the issue. Such abuse is dark and evil. It is gut-wrenching, and many times the horrific actions forced upon these children are unbelievable, especially when the abuser is a family member or known friend. Our notions of family love are thrown out the window when we hear the terrible stories that children endured at the hands of the very ones who were to protect them. Being sexually abused by the people who are to love and to protect destroys the fabric of a trusting relationship but also, unfortunately, greatly affects the relationship with God. The questions, although painful, are very real: Where was God when this was happening? How come I sang "Jesus loves me this I know" but that same Jesus didn't stop the rape? Why did God hate me that much that I had to go through this?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how heavily the cathedral has come to be used since we’ve moved in, and how having that many people coming through the doors impacts the costs of maintenance and upkeep on our facility. While many of you said how much you appreciated the insights into what is involved in keeping this space running, we’ve also heard people talking about what we do (or what they suspect we do) spend our money on.

Someone recently speculated that one of the reasons we’re running a deficit must be because we’re spending huge sums of money on flowers and other decorative items. According to their calculations, since someone they knew had recently spent several thousand dollars for flowers at their wedding, we must surely be spending at least that much here each month, given the large array of plants and flowers we use to decorate the Cathedral. 

Visiting our Blessed Mother

Friday, May 12, 2017 Written by

As the 100th anniversary of the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three shepherd children in Fatima is only days away, my strong memory of actually visiting the spot becomes ever stronger.

Last year my husband and I had the opportunity to visit Fatima. As I stepped down from the bus, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace despite the fact that we were surrounded by other pilgrims. Tour operators trying to corral their charges, buses coming and going and the hum of whispers did not detract from my sensing that we were in the presence of something very special. I broke away from our group to what I knew was a once in a lifetime experience.

I often get asked the question: “How are things going with the youth groups?” or “what exactly do you do in youth ministry” or (my personal favorite) “why so much pizza???”

Youth ministry exists in our church to provide our youth with opportunities for evangelization, discipleship, and community. This takes flesh in many ways; from taking selfies with a cardboard cutout of the Pope, to leading a group of high school students through Eucharistic Adoration, to ordering in enough pizza for 100 youth on a Tuesday night – the Holy Spirit moves in many ways! 

The Jubilee Year of Fatima

Friday, April 28, 2017 Written by

We are fast approaching the month of May, wherein we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Apparition of the Blessed Mother to three children – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Blessed Francisco and Jacinta may be canonized within this Jubilee Year of Fatima as the Holy Father Pope Francis has accepted and approved the needed miracle for their canonization. We also pray for the beatification of Sr. Lucia also within this blessed jubilee year.

In order to worthily celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Apparitions of Fatima, by the mandate of Pope Francis, a Jubilee Year has been granted, with the inherent plenary indulgence, from November 27th, 2016 to November 26th, 2017.

A plenary indulgence of the jubilee is also granted: 

Palm Sunday is the last Sunday of Lent. The liturgy has a peculiar mix of emotions. It begins with the commemoration of the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem in the form of a procession. The people of Jerusalem took what was near at hand, namely palm branches from their local trees. Many countries have splendid customs of creating elaborate "Palms" which are clusters of branches decorated with strings of red berries, ribbons, even coloured eggs, a sign of anticipation of the resurrection. These "Palms" form a wonderful bond between home and church.

After the liturgy, the blessed palms receive a place of honor in our homes, usually by a cross. For the entrance rites on Palm Sunday, the processional cross is also suitably decorated. 

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