Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP
Thirty days of prayers to Mary… with our Holy Father!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Pope Francis has surprised us again this year with a new initiative that will, I hope, stimulate our Marian devotion. After having decreed that the year 2021 would be dedicated to St. Joseph, the Holy Father has seen fit to invite us to pray to Mary every day, in a very special way, during the month of May to implore an end to the pandemic that affects us all to varying degrees.
In the past, how many extraordinary graces have been granted to humanity through the powerful intercession of the Virgin Mary! Let us think of the brilliant victory that the Christian fleet, under the command of Don Juan of Austria, won by crushing the powerful Turkish navy of Ali Pasha on October 7, 1571. This miracle was granted by the Virgin Mary at the request of the Pope, who implored her to save Christendom from the Ottoman expansionism that had set out to conquer the whole of Europe. When the Christian world began to recite the Rosary with the Holy Father to stop this expansion, shortly afterwards, the Holy Father had a vision of the happy outcome of the battle of Lepanto. And at that very moment, Don Juan knelt on the bridge to thank God for his protection. To commemorate this victory, the feast of Our Lady of Victory was instituted, which was later changed to the Feast of the Holy Rosary by Pope Gregory XIII.
Pope Francis invites us to combat with him, through the prayer of the Rosary and during the entire month of May, this pandemic that seems to want to drag on and continue its ravages on all levels: social, economic, psychological, physical and spiritual. It would be good to remember that we are not only praying to defeat COVID and its devastating effects, but that we are also doing so to express to God our desire to give him again an important place in our hearts. The technological and scientific advances of recent times have certainly contributed to the intellectual and material enrichment of many, but unfortunately, this has often been to the detriment of our spiritual being and to the detriment of the less fortunate. These advances have had harmful consequences on the whole planet, which unfortunately is becoming more and more indifferent and without compassion towards the misery of others.
Let’s take it a step further: our modern times have led us to exalt all forms of individualism, sensualism, the spirit of consumerism and possession, and faith in the omnipotence of man, all to the detriment of the relationship of love that God would so much like to share with each of us. We have come to ignore, and even reject by our attitudes of indifference and pretended independence, the great gift of life and eternal happiness that God has been willing to grant to those who will faithfully love him until the end. A kind of pan-planetary blindness is taking over the minds of many men and women who are more concerned about dying physically and being buried into a black hole, than about dying and ending up, body and soul, in eternal darkness! What a sad desolation! Our world should meditate more often on the words of Jesus:
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what advantage does a man have in gaining the whole world if it is at the cost of his life? What could he give in exchange for his life? (Mk 8:35)
Let us join without hesitation in the prayer of the Holy Father who invites us to pray every day in May for the end of this pandemic… and for the beginning of an affective, persevering and renewed relationship with our loving God whose “mercy extends from age to age to those who fear him. “(Lk 1:50)
Each day in May, let us join this true “prayer marathon”, where thirty shrines located around the world will be connected to the Pope’s prayer and will lead the Marian prayer each day. The Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape is one of them! Pope Francis will open and close this month of prayer in Rome to implore an end to the pandemic. And to promote this Marian devotion, he has also blessed a number of rosaries that have been sent to each of these shrines. During this month of Mary, at the request of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, let us unceasingly raise our prayers to God. (Acts 12:5) Through virtual media, social networks or other means, let us faithfully follow this beautiful prayer of the rosary every day, and that our Holy Father wants to undertake with all Catholics and Christians around the world who will want to join us in invoking the end of the present pandemic.
Link to the livestream by Shalom World to the shrines around the world leading the daily rosary for the May Rosary Marathon. You can also watch the recordings of the past 3 days from the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCErQl0ZF36rb667dMJCjC3A/search?query=rosary+marathon. Please NOTE: it is at 6p.m. Vatican time daily. So wherever you are in the world, check what 6 p.m. Vatican time is for you in your part of the world. That is all you have to do – and it will be at the same time daily for you – irrespective of where in the world the shrine is! For Toronto (Ontario) it is 12 noon daily in our time zone.
Sincerely yours in the risen Christ,
+Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke
FROM THE DIOCESE
The May issue of Ecclesia was delivered last week for distribution in parishes. In this issue 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
Message on the Occasion of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker 1 May 2021 – Friday, April 30, 2021
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) published a message on the occasion of the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on 1 May 2021.
Life and Family Suggestions for Homilies and Prayers of the Faithful During May 2021 – Wednesday, April 28, 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 May 2021 include suggestions from the 5th Sunday in Easter, 2 May, to the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 30 May 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 May are available on the special Family and Life webpage, under the section “Suggestions for Homilies & Prayers of the Faithful”.
Statement to Support the Implementation of UNDRIP in Canadian Law
The members of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) published a statement to support the implementation of The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP) in Canadian law.
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”.
Pope’s Prayer Intention for May
Universal intention – The world of finance. Let us pray that those in charge of finance will work with governments to regulate financial markets and protect citizens from its dangers.
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.
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 is offering live coverage of March, Thursday, May 13 from 11:30 – 2:30 p.m. (www.ewtn.com) and the Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by Archbishop Damphousse with greeting from Cardinal Collins and Archbishop Lépine.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.