It was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP
Finding peace in the midst of new COVID restrictions and confinement
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we are undergoing a third “Stay at Home Order” under the recommendations of health authorities and the explicit directives of the Ontario government. When I learned last Friday that we would be confined until May 20th with even more restrictions, I let a little wind of discouragement blow through me: “Not again,” I said to myself! I thought of my 93-year-old mother who has not had a visitor for a month and who will have to wait another month before seeing me again, like so many other elderly, vulnerable and lonely people who have been left alone on several occasions since the beginning of the pandemic. I was also thinking of the many merchants and workers who see their income melt away with each lockdown and who struggle to support their families; I was thinking of the many depressions and discouragements that will possibly lead some to take their own lives; I was thinking of all my activities and meetings that will have to be continued by Zoom instead of being done in person; I was pessimistically anticipating the new restrictions that will once again be imposed on the number of faithful present at Mass and at other liturgies….
I was tempted to shout out loud to the government and the health authorities: “Enough! Don’t you see that we are getting tired of all your restrictions and lockdowns? Why do you only report the deaths from COVID every day in the media? Do you not count all the people who die because they cannot be operated on in time? Have the other people who die for all sorts of reasons other than COVID become undocumented, unimportant people? Are you not also seeing all the elderly and abandoned people who have lost the desire to live and who eat less and less every day because of these forced isolations, and which will cause them to die prematurely because of the morbid loneliness that overwhelms them?” Some of the faithful of the diocese have also written to me asking for advice or asking me to undertake with them a crusade of protests to the government, to challenge all the restrictions and lockdowns that are imposed on us, especially those that concern our places of worship.
After several hours of musing, more or less pessimistically, I prayed for peace and to make sense of it all. The next day, I seemed to have a better understanding that this pandemic is allowed by God. Our so-called modern society, which makes almost no reference to God in its morals, in its speeches and ways of behaving, has more or less rejected God as Father and Savior. Our Creator has lost his rightful place in the hearts of many. And because God, by his omnipotent and omnipresent divine nature, can use everything to draw us to himself – and because he is a loving Father who longs for us to return to him wholeheartedly – he uses these lockdowns and restrictions to make us reflect and to bring us to conversion, which alone can give us profound and true peace of mind.
Strengthened by this conviction and trusting in God’s love and merciful justice, I better understood why Christians must view our present reality through the eyes of God. The Christian is a “giver of meaning” who is able to lead people who are looking for meaning in life and to invite them on the road that leads to true freedom, the freedom that only God can give to the one who opens his or her heart wholeheartedly to Him.
I will close by sharing with you a reflection that a Christian woman recently shared on Facebook. Please feel free to share this wise thought with your friends and with the people you meet. They could benefit greatly from this reflection:
“This is a mild setback compared to what faith has survived before. Jews and Christians were in worse situations so many times, when they were under the rule of an alien empire, enslaved, with their temples and houses of prayer burnt down, seized or closed, obliged to worship alien kings as their gods, persecuted, running away to foreign countries, hiding in exile, hiding in catacombs, you name it. Every time this happened, their communal services, prayers and psalms spread underground and they came back more numerous. I have smiled to myself a few times, when I attend online services. Not an underground anymore, now we’re in the Internet cloud.” (Ms. Monica Do Coutto Monni, quoted with her permission)
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.
Celebrating the Year of Saint Joseph
Resources to commemorate the year of St. Joseph can be found here.
FROM THE CCCB
Message from the Holy See to Mark the Celebration of Ramadan 2021 – Friday, April 16, 2021
To mark the month of Ramadan and its conclusion (Id al-Fitr), the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue published a message entitled Christians and Muslims: Witnesses of Hope. The message is intended to be shared with Muslims and those working in interfaith dialogues. The celebration of Ramadan began this year in Canada on 13 April and will continue for 30 days until it concludes with the celebration of Id al-Fitr on 12 May 2021.
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: Postponed until further notice.
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
Renewal Ministries’ Annual “Gathering”
If you missed the live stream this past Saturday, the 3 hour event is still available for you to experience on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjkSTuTrCaI. Join us for inspiring LIVE talks from Ralph Martin and Peter Herbeck, praise and worship, prayer for healing, and more. The theme, “Seek First the Kingdom,” is a command with a promise from the Lord. This event is aimed at helping us internalize those words of Jesus so we can “be not afraid” and bear fruit in today’s world.
Virtual Healing Service – Encounter Ministries – Jesus said “I do will it, be made clean”
Join us on April 23rd from 7-9 p.m., for a night of prayer and encounter with the healing love of Jesus Christ. This healing service, offered by the Encounter Ministries Kingston Campus, will feature testimonies of healing, a breakdown of how to pray for healing, and opportunities for individual prayer ministry. Registration required. No cost. Visit: https://ourladyofdivinefire.regfox.com/encounter-virtual-healing-service.
Arise! Put on the Armour of Light
May 1st, 9:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. (also recorded to be available later at your convenience). A unique, full day on-line retreat experience to meet the needs of women in unprecedented times. This year’s line-up of stellar speakers will include: Heather Khym, Mary Bielski, Rachel Herbeck, Debbie Herbeck and Bishop Scott McCaig. “You know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.” (Romans 13:11-12, RSV). For more information/registration ($30): https://arisecatholicmovement.ca/about-arise-2021-put-on-the-armour-of-light?fbclid=IwAR2Kc-HWaizbkYFBjAlVMHe2FZafwopZ1s-XPp8yjwK-oE1-gLwd38tyjo8.
Galilee Centre Retreat
Galilee presents Dr. David Perrin of St. Jerome’s University who will speak on The Collapse of Self-Transcendence: COVID-19 and the Reshaping of Meaning-Making in Everyday Life. Please join us for this live streamed event on May 4th. For more information, and to register, please click here or see upcoming events at www.galileecentre.com.
Online Prophetic Boot Camp – Encounter Ministries
May 14-15, 2021 (Friday evening and Saturday). This event provides the foundations for you to hear God’s voice more clearly for yourself and the world around you through training and activation of the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit. Based on the curriculum of the Encounter School of Ministry, attendees will experience activation-based learning in a safe and relational environment grounded in teaching faithful to the Church. Our hope is that you would experience a great acceleration in your ministry and walk away with years’ worth of tools and ideas for equipping in the prophetic gifts and building a prophetic culture in the Church. For more information or to register: https://encounterministries.us/prophetic-boot-camp-kingston-campus/.
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.
UNBOUND – 2 Day ONLINE Conference
Saturdays May 29th and June 5th, from 9 a.m. to noon. Deliverance – Freedom – Belonging. Discover your true identity and destiny as a beloved child of God! Information and registration: https://ourladyofdivinefire.regfox.com/unbound-freedom-in-christ-online-conference.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.