If I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you.
MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP
Why are you standing there looking at the sky?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
An old woman once entered a small church on the feast of the Ascension. As she greeted the priest, she said to him, “Father, on this feast of the Ascension, you will surely talk to us about heaven!” And the priest replied, “Dear friend, you will probably be disappointed to hear what I have to say, but no: today I am going to speak to you rather about the earth, because the Ascension is the feast of the earth.”
Why is this the feast of earth rather than of heaven? Let us consider the account in the Acts of the Apostles: as Christ ascended into the clouds, two men dressed in white (angels, no doubt) spoke to the disciples who were standing there with their eyes fixed on heaven: “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
The angels of God actually wanted to challenge the apostles and disciples to rejoice rather than grieve over the departure of their Master. And why did they say this? Because once he has returned to his Father, the Holy Spirit can be sent to us from heaven on the day of Pentecost, to clothe us with his Presence, his strength, his protection and all the necessary gifts and charisms that would allow us to continue the mission of evangelization that Jesus began on earth and that he now entrusts to each one of us.
Our world would hate and persecute us much less if we were content to contemplate the clouds, decorate the churches and promote a God who would not demand any change in the attitudes or behavior of his children. This would be a religion of mediocrity. In such a case, what would happen to our apostolic zeal which impels us to announce the urgency of conversion in order to avoid the last judgment and to be welcomed into heaven? And with such a perception of God and religion, we would all become insipid and lukewarm Christians, without backbone and without savour, because the destiny and salvation of souls who stray from the path of God would not really dwell in our hearts and would leave us indifferent and without compassion.
If we Christians have come to disturb so much the world in which we live, it is precisely because the Spirit of Christ lives within us, challenges it and disturbs it deeply. Our belief in God, our time of intimacy with Him and our way of life often become a living reproach for these living dead who can no longer bear the divine light: on the contrary, it dazzles them and hurts them because their eyes have long since become accustomed to the darkness that invades this world. Having said this, we must admit that we nevertheless love deeply these living dead, because they are our brothers and sisters and because Christ offers them, as he did for each of us, the grace to be healed of their blindness, of this spirit of darkness which seduces them and imprisons them spiritually.
Here is an indisputable sign that describes the character and personality of true Christians: inhabited as they are by the Spirit of God, they no longer fear earthly death and they desire, following the example of Christ, to give their life for others if necessary, in order to introduce them also into the abundant and eternal life of which Jesus spoke in the Gospel of John. Authentic Christians are not afraid to offer themselves as a sacrifice and to serve God and neighbor, because their only motive is the eternal happiness of others. Like a mother who has just given birth to her first child and would want to share and express out loud her joy to the whole world, they always seem eager to share with them the profound spiritual happiness that inhabits them and inspires them.
On this feast of the Ascension, we should realize that our mission is both divine and earthly, for it must lead us to work for the well-being of human beings while keeping our hearts, not our eyes, fixed on the realities above through our actions and thoughts, our times of prayer and meditation.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us alleviate human miseries, let us console and heal all forms of illness, oppression and injustice, violence or lies, perversity or obsession of any kind that come our way. Let us dare to invite our brothers and sisters who have distanced themselves from the Christian faith to participate again in our liturgical assemblies and in our prayer or faith-sharing groups. The great celebration of the Ascension invites us to do so and challenges us to live in expectation of the fulfillment of the promise of the sending of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Until then, let us show the Lord our true desire to be clothed with this power from above to accomplish the mission he has entrusted to us on earth. Let us always keep heaven in our hearts and work boldly and joyfully at the tasks and activities that we must accomplish on earth as Christians. Yes indeed, the feast of the Ascension is the feast of earth rather than of heaven!
Sincerely yours in the Risen Christ,
+Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke
FROM THE DIOCESE
1,500th Anniversary of the Birth of St. Columbkille, 520/21-2021
by Fr. Michael Smith
From December 7, 2020 to December 7, 2021, the Catholic, Anglican, and Presbyterian Churches in the northwestern part of Ireland (including the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland) are celebrating the 1,500th anniversary of the birth of a local son, St. Columbkille (also known as Colmcille and Columba, “Dove of the Church”). The Catholic Diocese of Raphoe, in County Donegal, has made contact with our diocese, and will communicate with us as the celebrations progress. (Read more…)
The Policy and Procedures for the Prevention and Management of Sexual Abuse of Minors and Adults who in Law are the Equivalent of Minors
Please read here
There is a survey on the last page that the Ecclesia committee would appreciate you filling out and returning in the collection basket at any Mass. Deadline for the surveys to be submitted is July 30th. Thank you for your participation in this endeavor. Please note that the May issue of Ecclesia can now be found on our website at https://pembrokediocese.com/ecclesia/.
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.
FROM THE CCCB
New Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-up by a Catholic Bishop furthers the commitment of the Catholic Church of Canada to protect minors and vulnerable persons from sexual abuse – Thursday, May 06 2021
Ottawa – The Bishops of Canada launch a national, bilingual service for reporting situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a Bishop. This service furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors. (Read more…)
2021 World Communications Day – Wednesday, May 5, 2021
On 23 January 2021, the liturgical memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and journalists, the Holy See released the Holy Father’s Message for the 55th World Communications Day. The message is entitled “Come and See” (Jn 1:46). Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are.
In his Message, Pope Francis emphasizes the importance of authentic human communication: “In order to tell the truth of life that becomes history (cf. Message for the 54th World Communications Day, 24 January 2020), it is necessary to move beyond the complacent attitude that we ‘already know’ certain things. Instead, we need to go and see them for ourselves, to spend time with people, to listen to their stories and to confront reality, which always in some way surprises us. […] This year, then, I would like to devote this Message to the invitation to ‘come and see’, which can serve as an inspiration for all communication that strives to be clear and honest, in the press, on the internet, in the Church’s daily preaching and in political or social communication. ‘Come and see!’ This has always been the way that the Christian faith has been communicated, from the time of those first encounters on the banks of the River Jordan and on the Sea of Galilee.”
In Canada, World Communications Day will be celebrated on 16 May 2021, the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.
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”.
Let Us Implore the Protection of Mary
Pope Francis has asked the entire Church to offer up the Daily Rosary in this month of May dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary for an end to the pandemic. Throughout the month, 30 shrines worldwide have been designed to help us pray, saying the Rosary in their language, with intentions related to the pandemic. On May 23rd the Rosary will be recited at Notre Dame du Cap in Trois-Rivières. Full list of the Shrines and the intentions at Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization: http://www.pcpne.va/content/pcpne/en/news/2021-04-23.html. Recordings available on the Vatican You Tube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7E-LYc1wivk33iyt5bR5zQ.
MARRIAGE, FAMILY, YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS
Catholic Alpha for Youth
Online meeting with experienced Youth Ministry Leaders on Thursday, May 13th at noon. Engaging youth in this unique season can feel challenging, especially as students grow weary of the constantly changing restrictions and social limitations. You are invited to an inspiring conversation hosted by three experienced Youth Ministry Leaders, Nick Simoni (Teacher and Chaplain at Bishop Carroll High School, Calgary), Tristan Mackenzie (Youth Minister, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Montreal) & Tim Gonsalves (Alpha for Youth National Director). These leaders are going to share how Alpha for Youth can be used as a tool in your parish, or school, to help young people come into a relationship with Jesus and help build your youth ministry as a whole! Alpha Youth is also available in FRENCH. They will provide encouragement, inspiration and practical tools on how you can engage youth in conversations about faith and empower them to evangelize to their friends. To sign up click the link here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_G2_IUyWoQWqU9qNKAONslQ .
NET Canada Info Session
Have questions about becoming a missionary? Interested in applying to serve with NET Canada but don’t know where to start? Come to our info session to find all the answers to your questions and more! Email today to reserve your spot. Virtual, May 18th, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Info: email@example.com.
Do Something Amazing Retreat
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 retreat to learn more about NET and how you can grow in your faith and change the lives of youth in Canada. Go to www.netcanada.ca/apply to start your journey! May 22nd, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) Online Conference introduces “Multiply” – June 4 and 5, 2021
CCO has, for over 30 years, been involved in University outreach to young adults. Now, they are expanding their horizons and moving into parishes to bring their amazing method of intentional accompaniment and materials (Faith Study Series) that are effective and relevant on so many levels. If you and/or your parish is interested in “making disciples of all the nations” then this conference is for you and your leaders. This is an invaluable opportunity for you and others to take the next step into the mission! To find out more go to www.cco.ca/multiply.
National March for Life Events
During the National Week for Life and Family, May 9 – 16, 2021. Visit https://marchforlife.ca/march-for-life-week-schedule/ for up-to-date information and virtual links to the National March for Life events. EWTN will air the National Mass for Life to be celebrated by the Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall, Marcel Damphousse, on May 13th at 10:30 a.m., with greetings from Archbishop of Toronto, Thomas Collins and Archbishop of Montreal, Christian Lépine. Sadly, the live coverage of the March for Life had to be cancelled. Recognizing the risks of COVID-19, the March for Life organizing committee prepared a week-long line-up of virtual events, including: Life on Film, a series of free movie screenings, an online Candlelight Vigil, the Rose Dinner, the youth conference, and several online Masses and prayer services. For details, visit marchforlife.ca.See our pro-life website: www.ewtn.com/tv/extra-watch-live/canada and the promo video for the National Mass for Life: https://youtu.be/WNTUVFV37sI. We will likewise update you with additional information on EWTN Canada programs related to March for Life, as it comes.
First Step Options Pregnancy Resource Centre – Upcoming Event
Hosted by the Pine Ridge Family Church on Saturday, June 5th from 8 a.m. – 12 noon. A display featuring information and services offered free of charge by FSO will be at hand, as well as an opportunity to leave a donation. For more information please call 613 635-7440 or check out the website at www.firststepoptions.com.
OTHER CATHOLIC EVENTS
Journey through the Acts of the Apostles… As the Church is Born
Already started…Mondays from 7-8:30 p.m., April 19th to May 17th. Join Fr. Ben St. Croix, CC as we 5-week teaching series with Fr. Ben St. Croix, CC, and Brian Sullivan, CCRSO President. The Acts of the Apostles is an invaluable book in the Bible that captures the zeal, determination and faith of many courageous men and women during the earliest days of the Church. This study will help us renew our understanding of the apostolic mission in the world today as the Lord continues to purify and revive us. To register: https://companionscross.org/acts/.
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.
Pentecost 2021 Festival of Praise
Featured online from 2:30 – 5 p.m. (prayer teams 4:30-6 p.m.), on Sunday, May 23rd. No charge. The Ark and The Dove is partnering with Praise Nation and Pentecost Today USA to bring you an afternoon of worship and renewal as we pray together for a new and ongoing Pentecost! Join us online at https://www.thearkandthedoveworldwide.org/en/pentecost-2021/ for a Pentecost celebration at The Ark and The Dove, home of the Duquesne Weekend – Baptism in the Holy Spirit!
Pentecost Mission – Receive the Holy Spirit!
Renewal Ministries – 4 Sunday evenings from May 23rd to June 13th. Join us via livestream for a four-part Pentecost Mission that will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and help participants welcome Him more deeply into their lives! Each session will include dynamic preaching and teaching, followed by a time of worship and prayer for greater activation of the workings of the Holy Spirit. We look forward to journeying with you closer to the heart of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit! Information/registration: https://www.renewalministries.net/pentecost-mission/.
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.
Research and Resource Development Assistant
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is searching for someone to support the mission and mandate of the CCCB Office for Family and Life. Interested candidates are requested to submit a cover letter and a resume at email@example.com. Application deadline: May 20, 2021. For more information please check the website at https://www.cccb.ca/career/research-and-resource-development-assistant-office-for-evangelization-and-catechesis/.
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: May 28, 2021. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
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 May 31, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. For a full description and qualifications, please contact NPSCSB at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at https://www.npsc.ca/employment.