No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP
Love, Mercy and Justice are one!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We had the privilege of celebrating the Feast of the Divine Mercy at the Cathedral of St. Columbkille this past Sunday. This feast was preceded by the popular Novena to Divine Mercy, which always begins on Good Friday, and ends with the Feast of Divine Mercy on the second Sunday of Easter. It has the particularity of granting a plenary indulgence to those who pray this novena, which can be applied either to oneself, or to a deceased person of one’s choice.
This feast was instituted by St. John Paul II in the year 2000; the same day that Sister Faustina was canonized. Better known as “Sister Faustina,” this Polish nun is said to have had visions and locutions from the Lord. Christ had said to her, “The Feast of Mercy came from my innermost being; I desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter.” The holy Pope John Paul II did not decide to canonize Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska arbitrarily and only because she was of Polish origin like him. Rather, it was because of the profound divine wisdom and knowledge that she gives us in her writings, especially in her work entitled “Diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska,” in which one discovers a genuine treasure of knowledge and spiritual benefits arising from the nature and effects of God’s infinite mercy, and as revealed by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
I had the opportunity to speak briefly on Divine Mercy last Sunday, between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m., shortly after the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. I am sharing with you here an important element that I brought to light when I delivered my message: Love, Mercy and Divine Justice are in reality one and the same interrelated reality that expresses or defines the very essence of the mysterious being of our God. And since we are created in his image and likeness, we would do well to delve more deeply into this mystery of spiritual unity that must exist between the three attributes, for they are also an integral part of our spiritual being that comes directly from God.
Even after spending a million years in the presence of God, we will never fully understand the depth of the mystery of unity that exists between these three divine attributes. It is only in order to better understand intellectually this mysterious reality that we have broken it down into three distinct entities. These three attributes should never be considered as different entities from each other, as if at certain times God would use one or the other according to his good will or pleasure.
In conclusion, we would do well to reread the entire Bible in the light of this fundamental truth. For even chastisements, which are apparently the effects of divine justice alone, would suddenly appear to us in a new light: that of a parental correction motivated solely by love and mercy towards the loved one. This correction would therefore aim at educating and making the person grow, rather than simply punishing him or her because a just retribution is imposed on the recalcitrant and disobedient who dares to defy the supreme authority. And this re-reading would allow us to see and better grasp the correlation and the perfect and infinite harmony that will always exist between Love, Mercy and Divine Justice.
Let us remember that there is no Justice without Love and Mercy. No Love without Mercy and Justice. No Mercy without Love and Justice. May this thought lead us to imitate God and to live as true children of God: capable of unconditional love, capable of forgiving our neighbor 70 times 7 times, and capable of correcting and educating our neighbour in all justice-charity-mercy. To do this, we must certainly ask for and receive all these graces from God; but let us implore them every day with confidence and insistence in order to witness to the world that we are indeed already risen in hope in Christ!
Sincerely yours in the risen Christ,
+Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke
FROM THE DIOCESE
During the stay-at-home order issued by Premier Doug Ford, most of our chancery staff members are working from home. You may reach them by email. For the directory, please check our website at www.pembrokediocese.com.
The Most Reverend Guy Desrochers C.Ss.R. announces the following appointments:
- Reverend Timothy Moyle has been appointed Pastor of Sainte-Anne Parish, Mattawa. This appointment is effective May 1, 2021.
- Reverend Scott Murray has been appointed Pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish, Chapeau; St Paul the Hermit Parish, Sheenboro; and St Joseph Parish, St Joseph. This appointment is effective May 1, 2021.
After a period of consultation among the priests in the Diocese, the Most Reverend Guy Desrochers C.Ss.R. announces the following appointments to the office of Dean:
- Reverend Mitchell Beachey as Dean of the Pembroke Deanery
- Reverend Kerry Brennan as Dean of the Renfrew Deanery
- Reverend Patrick Dobec as Dean of the Barry’s Bay Deanery
- Reverend Michael Goring as Dean of the Pontiac Deanery
- Reverend Cyril Okebanama, S.M.M.M., as Dean of the Mattawa Deanery
All Deans are appointed for a term of three years as of March 27, 2021.
Sincere thanks to all who accepted a new appointment.
Celebrating the Year of Saint Joseph
Resources to commemorate the year of St. Joseph can be found here.
FROM THE CCCB
Life and Family Suggestions for Homilies and Prayers of the Faithful During April 2021
Even during a time of social isolation because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Sunday liturgy continues to offer nourishment for prayer and reflection during the whole week – whether we are meditating on the readings, or participating in a television broadcast of the Mass and making a spiritual Communion.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) continues to post possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the Sunday liturgy with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. The proposed texts for the month of April 2021 include suggestions from the Thursday of Holy Week (Holy Thursday), 1 April, to the 4th Sunday in Easter, 25 April 2021. As usual, the suggestions for homilies and prayers can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of April are available on the special Family and Life webpage, under the section “Suggestions for Homilies & Prayers of the Faithful”.
2021 National Week of Life and Family
Material, prepared by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF), is available at https://www.cccb.ca/national-week-for-life-and-the-family/. This week will be observed May 9-16, 2021, with the theme, “Family, the Domestic Church: A Sign of Hope and Life”.
Anxiety is not a Choice – How You Live Your Life Is
(Psychological and Spiritual Reflections on Coping with the Pandemic and Other Big Stressors) by Dr. Len Gignac, Psychologist
The idea that anxiety and even fear is not a choice may be, at first, startling. The fear of contracting COVID-19 certainly triggered a lot of this discomfort, and people have had to make some difficult choices about how to deal with it all. Like it or not, the truth is that pain and suffering are part of life. Mental suffering like fear/anxiety are also experienced in varying degrees at different times. It is important to distinguish between normal fear/anxiety and that which threaten our threshold of tolerance and begins to run our lives. (Read more…)
MARRIAGE, FAMILY, YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS
NET Canada is searching for the next generation of Catholic missionaries. Do you have what it takes to join them? Request an application, fill it out, and send it in to register for the next virtual come and see retreat (May 1st) to learn more about NET and how you can grow in your faith and change the lives of youth in Canada. Go to netcanada.ca/apply to start your journey!
Holy Mass – Extraordinary Form
Holy Masses in the extraordinary form are offered at St. Columbkille Cathedral on the first Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. These Latin Masses are in the form of the Liturgy as it was celebrated at the time of the Second Vatican Council—the same form which nourished the faith of many of our ancestors. English translations of the entire Mass are provided. Next Latin Mass: May 1st.
Message from the Catholic Bishops to the Faithful on the Expansion of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
During this Easter season as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the new life we have in him, we desire to engage our Catholic faithful on a subject of crucial importance to all of us. Bill C-7 has now become law, expanding euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada, known as “Medical Assistance in Dying” (“MAiD”). Link to letter: here.
OTHER CATHOLIC EVENTS
Galilee Centre Presents – Ron Rolheiser Retreat
Featuring Fr. Ronald Rolheiser, Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, April 16-18, 2021. For details, please follow this link: Ron Rolheiser Retreat – Galilee Centre.
Bootcamp for the Laity – ” The Role of Laity in the Church”
A virtual conference presented by Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of Ontario (C.C.R.S.O.) with Bishop Scott McCaig and Fr. Ben St. Croix on Friday, May 21st and Saturday, May 22nd. To register or for more information go to https://www.ccrso.net/copy-of-conference-rsvp.
Board Chaplaincy Leader – Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board
The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board is in search of a Board Chaplaincy Leader. Deadline to apply is April 23, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. For a full description and qualifications, please contact NPSCSB at email@example.com or visit the website at https://www.npsc.ca/employment.
Executive Director – Galilee Mission Centre
Galilee Mission Centre of Arnprior Ontario is seeking a new Executive Director who will be responsible for the administration and promotion of Galilee Centre as an inclusive Spiritual Life Centre to the broader community. Working with a staff of full and part-time employees and a network of volunteers, the Executive Director plans, oversees and promotes programs and services that respond to the broader community needs. They will be responsible for overall management and organization of the Centre’s operations and implementation of Board of Directors’ decisions. For more information on this full time job opportunity and how to apply, please click here: www.galileecentre.com.
Development Officer / Peterborough Campus Ministry
Peterborough Campus Ministry is seeking an experienced Development Officer for a full-time (35 hours) two-year contract as soon as possible. For specifics on responsibilities, qualifications, employment details, or to submit an application, please contact Fr. John Perdue, Director of Peterborough Campus Ministry at 705 874-1871 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall Building and Construction Coordinator
The Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall is looking for a Building and Construction Coordinator to integrate the Properties team. Full time position. Bilingualism (French & English) is an asset. For details, please visit https://en.archoc.ca/employment-opportunities. Application deadline: April 30, 2021. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is looking for a Project Coordinator for the National Liturgy Office. Contract: 20 hours/week until Nov. 30, 2021. Job description at https://www.cccb.ca/career/project-coordinator-contract-national-liturgy-office/. For more information: email@example.com.