WEEKLY BULLETIN – February 2, 2021 (The Presentation of the Lord)

My eyes have seen your salvation.

(Luke 2. 22-40)


Diocesan Offices Closed

In keeping with the stay-at-home order issued by Premier Doug Ford, the chancery office is closed until further notice. The chancery staff will work from home, and can generally be reached by email.

NEW! Chronicle from Bishop Guy Desrochers

Click here to read Bishop Guy’s chronicles. His latest chronicle: Pope Francis creates a new ecclesial entity called CHARIS.


First Meeting of the Diocesan Evangelization Team

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

More than a month ago, we began to set up a team that will take charge of a new evangelization project for our diocese. I have asked a fellow priest, Fr. Sean Wenger, a member of the Companions of the Cross community in the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, to facilitate the first Zoom meeting of the evangelization team that took place last Saturday. He has worked closely with me in the founding of the evangelization team for the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, and has a specialization (Ph.D.) in the field of the New Evangelization.

After having heard the suggestions of my advisors, I asked nine people with aptitudes or experience in the field of evangelization to be part of our new team: first of all, Mrs. Yvette Bourque (a catechist already working for our diocese in marriage preparation, in a group of young adults and for the faith education of students and families), Deacon Adrien Chaput (also a catechist of the diocese for the Christian initiation groups), Mr. Patrick Sullivan (evangelist and lay preacher already very present online), Renée Sylvain (former member of CCO and member of the Madonna House community for several years), Mme Lucile Tourigny (volunteer deeply involved in the francophone community of Saint-Jean-Baptiste), Fr. Réal Ouellette, representing the clergy and faithful of the francophone sector of our diocese, Fr. John Burchat, representing the clergy and faithful of the English-speaking sector, Fr. Michael Smith (Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia) and Deacon Chris Barrett (in charge of Communications for the Diocese, who will be an important asset in making known to all the initiatives and future activities undertaken by the Evangelization Team.

At the end of this first of two sessions given by Fr. Wenger, CC, the members of the new team expressed their great satisfaction and appreciation for the rich content of the teachings imparted to us, which were divided into three periods of one hour each. The purpose of this first session was to help us grasp the essence and urgency of our duty to evangelize now, as envoys of Christ to form new disciples; to better understand the secular reality in which we live today by using statistics based on recent surveys of Catholic and other believing communities, before embarking left and right on all sorts of projects that would end up dispersing rather than gathering; to begin by identifying a dream or long-term vision before structuring ourselves as a team, a dream that would become truly unifying and capable of energizing our entire diocese. Once the dream is well elaborated and defined, the objectives and the means to realize it concretely will follow.

Understand that even though we are still in the early stages of development, we are all very enthusiastic and full of faith in the inspirations and actions that the Holy Spirit will raise up in the hearts of our team members and in the hearts of all the faithful and future disciples that the Lord will be able to add to His great family. I thus urge you, dear members of the clergy and faithful, to carry this new project of evangelization intensely and faithfully in your daily prayers from now on. Let us pray that this project will become a rallying point for our entire diocese and that it will arouse in hearts the enthusiasm to become true disciples of Christ, converted and transformed in depth by his immeasurable and unconditional love for each one of us.

You will soon have at your disposal a diocesan prayer that we can all recite for the success of this ambitious project.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

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


Life and Family Suggestions for Homilies and Prayers of the Faithful During February 2021 – Wednesday, January 27, 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 February 2021 include suggestions from the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 7 February, to the 2nd Sunday of Lent, 28 February 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 February are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section “Suggestions for Homilies & Prayers of the Faithful.

2021 Meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land Moves to Virtual Setting – Wednesday, January 27 2021

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was modified to host the annual meeting of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land in a virtual setting. The meeting began on Saturday 16 January and concluded on 21 January 2021, with the participation of the Most Reverend Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Laurier, and Vice-President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). This annual international gathering involves representatives from Conferences of Bishops in Europe and North America who meet with the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS) to promote dialogue and peace in the region.

The agenda featured a series of online meetings with regional religious and political leaders who shared information pertaining to the current reality in the Holy Land and Gaza, the youth of the region and the role of education, as well as to projects and social initiatives for those in need. Delegates likewise met with the new Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.

As customary, the participating Bishops issued a news release at the conclusion of their annual meeting.

Link to the website of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land

Link to the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Episcopal Resignation for the Diocese of Trois-Rivières – Wednesday, January 27, 2021

On 25 January 2021, His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Luc Bouchard, Bishop of the Diocese of Trois-Rivières, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese for health reasons. (Read more…)

2021 World Day of the Sick

The 29th World Day of the Sick will be celebrated, as it is every year, on 11 February, the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Holy See has released the Holy Father’s Message which is entitled “You have but one teacher and you are all brothers” (Mt 23:8), which encourages a trust-based relationship with the sick and the nurturing of integral human healing. In his Message, Pope Francis writes: “…the commandment of love that Jesus left to his disciples is also kept in our relationship with the sick. A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love. Let us strive to achieve this goal, so that no one will feel alone, excluded or abandoned.”

Message of the Holy Father


Pope’s Prayer Intention for February 2021

The Pope’s Prayer Intention for February 2021: We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded. Also available online at https://www.popesprayer.va/.


Diocesan Young Adult Ministry (18-35 yrs.)

This gathering is postponed until further notice due to the Ontario government restrictions.

Diocesan Marriage Preparation Program (Feb. 27th and March 6th)

This course will be online only. New deadline date to register is Feb. 15th as materials need to be mailed out to participants.

Teens – be prepared for Lent

Order the Teen Lent Companion by LIFETEEN and use it to develop a daily prayer life that will last you a lifetime. See other great resources for teens at www.lifeteen.com.

Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO)

Are you in University and interested in learning about the Catholic faith and meeting others like you? CCO (Catholic Christian Outreach) is a University Campus ministry that does just that AND is now online! Contact a CCO representative at your University by clicking here: https://cco.ca/get-connected.


Catholic young adults Grade 12 and up to age 30 are invited to one of the upcoming “Do Something Amazing” Retreats! These are virtual retreats where you will learn what it means to become a NET missionary! Saturday, February 6th 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, Saturday, February 27th 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, and Saturday, March 20th 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

To attend, simply fill out a NET Application! netcanada.ca/apply. Once you send it in, you will be registered and receive further details! Share this link with Catholic young adults in Grade 12 up to age 30 who you think would benefit from discerning if God is calling them to serve with NET next year! For more information call or text: 613 292-9991.

By my Side Ottawa – A Program of Spiritual Friendship and Healing for Separated and Divorced Catholics

This 6 week online women-only and 6 week online men’s-only program starts on March 27, 2021. By My Side is a non-profit structured support group for separated and divorced Catholics. All classes are hosted virtually. Christ holds those who suffer close to his heart and desires to bring about healing. This program helps participants find their way to reconciliation, peace and hope through Christ and the Church. We ask participants for a $40 payment to help cover resources and promotion. Any leftover funds are donated directly to charity. Our program (previously known has Journey of Hope Ottawa) began 6 years ago and has had over 100 class participants. Included are resources, 2 follow-up classes, and monthly Facebook posts offering Spiritual Food for Thought. To find out more and to register go to www.bymyside.ca.


Bill C-7 – Call to Action

The proposed legislation to expand the Federal euthanasia and assisted suicide will be subject to debate in the Senate February 1-3. To protect the vulnerable, all are encouraged to write to the Senate and ask that they please vote against Bill C-7. Automated e-mail: The Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience (canadiansforconscience.ca); or in writing to the Senators: Senators (sencanada.ca).


Biblical Archaeology Lecture Series ISRAEL LAND OF EVERLASTING PROMISE

International Heritage Tours is delighted to extend this invitation to you from The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT). IMOT is hosting 1 more lectures on biblical archaeology, in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. IMOT will welcome us all, a Nature and Parks Authority representative will say a few words, followed by each inspiring lecture and at the end Q&A. Webinar3 Early Christianity at Caesarea Maritima hosted by Dr. Iosi Bordovich on February 9th. Click on the “Webinar” links to register!

St. John the Apostle Catholicism Video Series

Join Father Lindsay Harrison from St. John the Apostle Parish, Nepean via “Zoom” each Thursday at 7:00 p.m. starting on Thursday, February 4th for “CATHOLICISM”, a video series hosted by Bishop Robert Barron. This acclaimed series explores the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Catholic faith and the importance of sharing it with others. To register for these free online sessions, click here. Info: https://sites.google.com/view/sjavirtualchurch/news-upcoming-events.

The Word 2021 – The International Catholic Bible Summit

From February 11th-13th, 70 of the most trusted and inspirational Catholic Bible experts in the Church today will be showing you how to confidently and quickly approach the Bible for answers, hope, and peace in your day-to-day challenges and struggles. For more information and to register at no cost, visit https://www.cardinalstudios.org/catholic-bible-summit-home.

2021 National Theology on Tap

Intentional Disciples presents “Virtual National Theology on Tap” on Friday, February 12th at 9 p.m. E.T. with guest speakers Ralph Martin and Archbishop Chaput. Visit the Intentional Disciples website for more information.

Lift Jesus Higher Rally

Livestream on February 27th. Lift Jesus Higher Rally (LJHR) is an annual event for Youth and Adults that focuses on evangelizing through uplifting music, testimonials, confessions, reflections, Divine Mercy celebration and Eucharistic Adoration. For information, updates, and registration, please visit the LJHR website.


Diocese of Whitehorse – Positions for Catholic School Principals

Jobs to be posted in mid-February on: https://network.applytoeducation.com/Applicant/AttSearchex.aspx?DirectLink=1 (use Yukon filter). Info on how to apply: https://yukon.ca/en/employment/jobs-schools/apply-teaching-or-school-administrator-job#apply-for-a-job. For general info: whitehorsediocese.ca.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria – Executive Assistant

The job posting is available on the Diocesan website at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/employment.


Coldest Night of the Year

Coldest Night of the Year is a virtual walk raising money to help The Grind Pembroke Community Kitchen. Your help is needed to reach out to help others. You can help by fundraising and walking on Saturday, February 20th.  Click here for details and to register! Coldest Night of the Year – join others in sharing the warmth, because . . . it’s cold out there!

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.

Print your tickets