WEEKLY BULLETIN – December 15, 2020 (Ferial)

John the Baptist came and the sinners believed him.

(Matthew 21.28-32)


Dear clergy and faithful,

Today, I would like to draw your attention to the decree that Pope Francis issued last week dedicating a “special year of St. Joseph”. This year will take place from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. Where does this inspiration come from? This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. So what better way to mark this anniversary, which would no doubt have gone unnoticed by many of the faithful? This great news was published in his most recent apostolic letter entitled “Patris corde” (with a Father’s heart). Note the tenderness with which Pope Francis expresses himself in speaking of the great St. Joseph: “A beloved father, an affectionate, obedient and welcoming father, a father of creative courage, a worker, always in the shadows”.

Although the Gospels remain very discreet about the life of St. Joseph, it is not necessary to have done advanced theological studies to conclude that God certainly filled him with sublime graces to fulfill his mission as adoptive father and protector of the Holy Family and of the Universal Church. His example of humility and holiness, patience and courage in adversity and trials are just some of the traits revealed to us in the Gospels. But his human and spiritual perfection extends far beyond this horizon. One has only to read certain apocryphal writings such as the Proto-Gospel of James to get a better idea of this, or to delve into the writings of certain mystics such as the venerable Mary of Agreda, who tells us about the life of St. Joseph in her book entitled, The Mystical City of God.  Although these writings are not officially recognized by the Church as the object of our Christian faith, they are nevertheless eloquent accounts that can help us better grasp the greatness, humility and supernatural mission of Saint Joseph.

I wish you all a holy year dedicated to our good and holy Joseph. Let us be creative and not fail to celebrate this special year in many ways. Let us not be afraid to make known the virtues and holiness of our great and chaste Patron Saint of the Universal Church!

+ Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R., Bishop of Pembroke



For the repose of the soul of Innocent Okebanama, father of Fr. Cyril Okebanama, who died in Nigeria on December 14th; and for Rosanna Okebanama, Fr. Cyril’s mother, who passed away on November 19th.

Christmas holiday schedule

The Chancery will be closed from Wednesday, December 23rd, to Friday, January 1st, inclusively. It will re-open on Monday, January 4th. The staff at the Diocesan Administration Office takes this opportunity to offer you and your family a Christmas Season filled with peace and joy!


The Psalms: A Doorway to Jewish-Catholic Dialogue – Monday, December 14, 2020

On the recommendation of the Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews and Interfaith Dialogue of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and the approval of the Conference’s Executive Committee, the CCCB – Canadian Rabbinic Caucus bilateral dialogue released a new resource entitled: “The Psalms: A Doorway to Jewish-Catholic Dialogue.”

The resource presents a selection of teachings and reflections flowing from the Dialogue members’ deep study of a selection of psalms from the perspective of both traditions. This document likewise serves as an invitation for further dialogue among the faithful of the Catholic and Jewish communities in Canada.

The Psalms: A Doorway to Jewish-Catholic Dialogue

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Releases Guidebook: “The Bishop and Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Vademecum” – Friday, December 11, 2020

On Friday 4 December 2020, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity released a guidebook (vademecum) to encourage and assist Bishops in their ecumenical ministry. The resource, entitled “The Bishop and Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Vademecum”, was released, in part, to mark the 25th anniversary of Pope Saint John Paul II’s Encyclical on ecumenism, Ut unum sint, and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Pontifical Council in 1960. The guidebook is available on the website of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi Ends Mission in Canada – Thursday, December 10, 2020

His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi, currently Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, as Apostolic Nuncio to Albania, which ends his mission in Canada. Archbishop Bonazzi was appointed to Canada on 18 December 2013 and began his mission upon arrival to Ottawa on 4 February 2014. (Read more…)

New Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall – Monday, December 07, 2020

On 4 December 2020, His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. He is succeeded by the Most Reverend Marcel Damphousse who has served as Coadjutor Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall since his appointment in May 2020. Archbishop Prendergast had earlier submitted his resignation when reaching the age limit of 75 as stipulated by Canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law. (Read more…)

Journey Through Advent – A Video Series to Introduce and Reflect on the Season – Monday, November 23, 2020

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) announced a new online weekly video series created to help Canadian Catholic faithful to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Entitled Journey through Adventthe series is a joint project involving the CCCB’s Office national de liturgie, the National Liturgy Office, and the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis. The initiative was developed as a way, through the modern method of video messaging, to offer a resource that enriches faith formation during a time of joyful anticipation for the coming of the Lord and Saviour into the world. (Read more…)

Directory for Catechesis Webinar Series available on CCCB website

In October 2020, the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis hosted a four-part webinar series on the recently released Directory for Catechesis. The webinar recordings and the supporting PowerPoint Presentations are now available. Click here to access the Directory for Catechesis Webinar Series Resource Kit.  Info: m.shea-lawrence@cccb.ca.


Pope Francis Proclaims “Year of St. Joseph”

With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” 8 December 2020, to 8 December 2021. (Read full article here)



Consider two options for online Confirmation preparation. Simple and cost effective. Both are excellent programs to help young people prepare and be strengthened for their mission in the Catholic Church. Please visit https://www.catholiconline.school/pages/confirmation or https://www.hopestone.ca/confirmation. For more information contact Deacon Adrien Chaput at 613 732-7933 ext. 206.


Diocesan Young Adult Ministry (18 to 35 yrs.)

Join us on Wednesday, December 16th at St. Columbkille Cathedral parish hall from 7-8:30 p.m. for some Advent fun and the second half of Session #2 – No Greater Love, a Biblical walk through Christ’s Passion by Edward Sri from Ascension Press. Holy Hour and reconciliation is available from 6-7 p.m. as well. To join the e-mail group please contact Yvette Bourque at 613 732-7933 ext. 208.

Parishes…..looking for ways to reach out and minister to youth during the pandemic?

LIFETEEN has new resources for youth grade 6-8 and 9-12 that are all online and virtual to help keep teens engaged in their faith and connected to the Church. Contact Yvette Bourque at 613 732-7322 ext. 208 for more information. I would be happy to discuss the options that are available.


Christmas Mass schedules

Many parishes are changing their Mass schedules this Christmas because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Please check your parish bulletin for Mass times.

Holy Mass – Extraordinary Form

Holy Mass in the extraordinary form is 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 Mass – January 2, 2021.


Catholic Independent Schools of the Diocese of Victoria – Position of Superintendent

The job posting is available on the website of the Diocese of Victoria, BC (https://www.rcdvictoria.org/employment).

Home Hosts – FCSRC

Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County, with regard to the Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth program, is currently seeking possible Home Hosts to assist with providing accommodations, either short-term or long-term, to youth who are experiencing homelessness within our county. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Breanne Emon, Renfrew County Safe Shelter for Youth Coordinator, FCSRC, at 613 635-6180 or email: breanne.emon@fcsrenfrew.on.ca.


Marianhill Lottery 2021 supports the “Building Care” Redevelopment Project

Marianhill 2021 Lottery tickets are now available through to January 31, 2021. Lottery funds go towards the purchase of furniture and equipment for the new building. Each $25 ticket provides you with 69 chances to win. Early Bird draw December 16, 2020. Call Marianhill to order 613 735-6838 ext. 4306 OR download ticket order form at https://marianhill.ca/news/. Tickets will be mailed via Canada Post. Thank you for supporting the Marianhill Foundation!

A Love That Never Changes (By Miriam Stulberg, member of Madonna House)

I doubt if anyone in North America or Europe has ever experienced, as we did that year in Magadan, a Christmas so totally devoid of advertising glitter. After the Russian Revolution, religious feasts had been replaced by secular holidays. Traditions such as the Christmas tree, gift-giving, and family gatherings had been transferred to New Year’s, which then became the most popular celebration of the year. Orthodox Christmas didn’t fall until January seventh, in accordance with the Julian calendar, and had only recently been reinstated as a public holiday. (Read more….)

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