Father, glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you.
MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP
When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will lead you into all truth
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Next Sunday we will officially close the Easter season with the Solemnity of Pentecost. From the day of the great feast of Easter, the most important day of the entire liturgical year (also called the Solemnity of Solemnities), to the day of Pentecost, we will have celebrated the same feast of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus fifty times (the Greek word “Pentecost” translates as “fiftieth” day). On the evening of Pentecost, we will therefore extinguish the Paschal candle to signify the closure of this liturgical season.
Here is some historical information that may stimulate the intellectual curiosity of some of you. The feast of Pentecost is recounted to us for the first time in the book of Exodus: “From the day after the Sabbath, from the day you brought the sheaf of offering, you shall count seven full weeks. You shall count fifty days until the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then you shall offer a new oblation to the LORD” (Ex 23:15-16).
Fifty days after the feast of spring – the number 7 (x 7) being the biblical number that represents fullness – one comes to thank God for the harvest and offers him the first fruits of the work of the fields. It is called the “Feast of the Harvest” or “Feast of Weeks”. (Lev 23:15-22)
However, this Jewish tradition will gradually fade over the years: it will become rather a complement to the feast of the Jewish Passover. As the Hebrew people had come out of Egypt on Passover to make a covenant with their God at Mount Sinai, the “Feast of the Seven Weeks” became the new feast of Pentecost called “Day of the Assembly” and was henceforth centered on the covenant. It will therefore be celebrated 50 days after the Israelites’ liberation from Egypt, as it corresponds approximately to the number of days that passed before God made the Covenant with his people.
Let us now return to the Christian Pentecost and its meaning. Given that Christ is the divine Pontiff (“bridge-builder”) who allows us to enter at last into the true and definitive Covenant with God, thanks to the gift of his life on the Cross, it is good to remember that when John the Evangelist speaks of Jesus exhaling his last breath, he uses the term “he imparted” his spirit: as if to signify already an advance of the gift of the Holy Spirit that he will breathe on his apostles on the day of his resurrection: “Having thus spoken, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit'” (Jn 20:22).
But it is only fifty days after his death that Jesus will finally send the fullness of the Spirit of power and truth. It is at this moment that the Holy Spirit will inflame the hearts of the apostles and will definitively dispel their fears by enabling them to proclaim the Good News without fear of persecution or death. Even though they had already received an advance of the Spirit on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, the apostles had not yet received the fullness of the Spirit. The proof is that the apostles locked themselves in the upper room after Jesus’ death and barricaded themselves inside for fear of the Jewish authorities and for fear of suffering or dying like their Master. Perhaps this is why Jesus said to them in next Sunday’s Gospel: “I still have many things to say to you, but for the moment you cannot bear them. When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will lead you into all truth. “(Jn 16:12-13)
Dear friends, on this great day of the Solemnity of Pentecost, let us ask God, or rather demand from Him, to send us his Holy Spirit in fullness. How beneficial it would be for each of us to experience the divine outpouring of his Holy Spirit! Following the example of the poor and timid apostles who were completely renewed by this fire from above, we would become burning coals capable of lighting the fire that Jesus came to light on earth.
We can now ask the question: does the outpouring of the Spirit require certain dispositions from us? Of course, it does! Let us first do a good interior cleansing if necessary (perhaps through the Sacrament of Reconciliation); let us increase our daily time of intimate prayer with God; let us desire and even long to receive his Spirit, by letting many short acts of devotion flow from our lips every day, which will testify to God our desire to invite him into our hearts; and finally, let us not be afraid to make a few sacrifices and perform acts of charity towards our neighbour. All these thoughts, desires and actions will become true and powerful magnets that will attract the Holy Spirit, who will soon enter our hearts and accompany us with intensity in our mission of evangelization.
“Come, Holy Spirit, into our hearts and send a ray of your light from heaven. Come into us, Father of the poor, come, giver of gifts, come, light of our hearts.” (Sequence, Day of Pentecost)
Sincerely yours in the Risen Christ,
+Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke
FROM THE DIOCESE
Hello from the new Director of Pastoral Work
Dear friends! Having been very recently hired by the diocese as director of pastoral work I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Pierre-Alain Giffard, I am the father of two young teenage girls and the spouse of my wife Marie. Practically all my life has been devoted to theology and evangelization. I have also worked with people with disabilities, both physical and mental. What could I say that could be of interest to you? I am a specialist in the Church mission, having studied and practiced extensively in the field. I hold a doctorate in practical theology and my research focuses on missional congregations. Why are some parishes growing while others are declining? This was one of the central questions of my dissertation. For the past 15 years I have worked at the diocesan level in Quebec and Manitoba, and I have also been a professor at Saint Paul University. I am enthusiastic about the renewal project of Bishop Guy Desrochers. He has asked me, among other things, to ensure the leadership of the diocesan evangelization team. I hope that we will have the opportunity to meet and to communicate with me, you can write to me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Pierre-Alain Giffard
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…)
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
2021 World Day of Migrants and Refugees – Monday, May 17, 2021
The 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on 26 September 2021. The theme of Pope Francis’ Message is “Towards an ever wider ‘we’”. In his Message, the Holy Father reminds us that “Salvation history thus has a ‘we’ in its beginning and a ‘we’ at its end, and at its centre the mystery of Christ, who died and rose so ‘that they may all be one’ (Jn 17:21). The present time, however, shows that this ‘we’ willed by God is broken and fragmented, wounded and disfigured. This becomes all the more evident in moments of great crisis, as is the case with the current pandemic. Our ‘we’, both in the wider world and within the Church, is crumbling and cracking due to myopic and aggressive forms of nationalism (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 11) and radical individualism (cf. ibid., 105). And the highest price is being paid by those who most easily become viewed as others: foreigners, migrants, the marginalized, those living on the existential peripheries.”
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.
St. John Bosco Conference Livestreamed Session
Calling all catechists, Catholic school teachers, youth ministers, evangelizers, RCIA coordinators, and anyone who hands on the faith to others! This is your time, your place to come be renewed in mind, heart, and skills. Experience many engaging speakers, moving worship, and outstanding fellowship that will rejuvenate you for life and mission. July 14, 6:45-9:00 p.m. Offered by Steubenville Conferences. Cost: free. https://steubenvilleconferences.com/.
MARRIAGE, FAMILY, YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS
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.
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
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.
St. Paul Street Evangelization Workshop
On-line Saturday, May 22nd, noon to 3 p.m. EST. The Virtual Street Evangelization Workshop is a hands-on evangelization training seminar designed specifically for street evangelization. When so many efforts to promote the New Evangelization are focused primarily on catechesis about evangelization, this workshop teaches Catholics, no matter their previous education or experience, how to share their faith effectively and enthusiastically with the people they encounter out on the street. During this two-and-a-half-hour training, you will hear presentations by experienced evangelists that teach and model the SPSE method of direct evangelization. After each lesson participants will get a chance to practice and sharpen their skills in small group breakout sessions. The workshop equips participants with the skills and confidence they need to start evangelizing. Registration $29.99 US https://evangelizationschool.com/store/product/virtual-street-evangelization-workshop
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!
Global Prayer for China
www.GlobalPrayerforChina.org — (May 23-30) features resources for pastors, parishes, and individuals, including up-to-date information on the repression and persecution of Christians in China, as well as the genocide of the Uyghurs and others suffering atrocities and injustices throughout China. It includes profiles of individual prisoners of conscience and pastoral resources for prayers and homilies, as well as the text of Cardinal Bo’s call for prayer.
Growing in Wisdom: Seeking Deeper Generativity
A Two-Day Introductory Gathering on June 4 – 5, 2021, from 12 noon to 6 p.m. EDT. Galilee Centre in cooperation with the Oblate Retreat Centres across Canada presents this two-day introductory virtual session which will include presentations from Fr. Ron Roheiser, Faculty of Forest Dwelling Program, Oblate School of Theology, other faculty members and previous program participants. Growing in Wisdom: Seeking Deeper Generativity is a two year program grounded in the Forest Dwelling Program beginning in September 2021. If you are 60+ and are interested in exploring what a Spirituality for your Wisdom Years could mean for you, please join us for this two-day “Come and See” event to learn more. Cost is only $25 per person. Must register by June 1. For more information go to: https://www.galileecentre.com/growing-in-wisdom-seeking-deeper-generativity/.
Catholic Women’s Fall Retreat Morning of Reflection
The Women’s Fall Retreat team is presenting a Pentecost-Morning of Reflection on Saturday, June 5, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sarah Damm, a renowned Catholic speaker will help us reflect on the gift of the Holy Spirit. Gather with us, along with Fr. Brian McNally of the Archdiocese of Kingston, our WFR Spiritual Director, for a morning of faith-deepening talks, inspiring music and small group breakout sessions. You will have the opportunity to connect with other women who are followers of Christ. Join us as we consider what it means to “Rejoice in the Lord.” To register for this event, go to https://pentecost-morningofreflection.eventbrite.ca. The cost for the morning is $20.00 and will be presented on the Zoom platform. Follow us at https://www.facebook.com/womensfallretreat.
Power and Purpose Conference Livestreamed
Experience the Holy Spirit’s power and healing. Rediscover the “one thing” – the one Person – that matters most – Jesus Christ. Allow him to reveal the purpose of your life: to live in true freedom and joy of the Spirit. Be uplifted by the witness and fellowship of disciples like you. June 5, 6:30-10:00 p.m. Offered by Steubenville Conferences. Cost: free. Info: https://steubenvilleconferences.com.
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.