Message in a Bottle #11

As you probably have heard, our provincial health authorities, as well as Archbishop Valery, have given us the green light to resume weekend Eucharist with a maximum of 50 parishioners. This is good news but comes with a list of protocols as long and as twisty as the Petitcodiac River. As staff, we have been working diligently, behind the scenes, trying to prepare our worship spaces and our worshippers for the new, albeit temporary, way Eucharist will be celebrated. We anticipate hiccups, frustrations, and returning to the ...

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Reflection – Come Holy Spirit…

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.”

Pat Marrin, of NCR’s “Pencil Preaching” compares last week’s feast of the Ascension to a graduation. Jesus is preparing his disciples for a new and transformed way to live out their understanding of Jesus and his mission. I can imagine Jesus delivering a rousing, convocation speech to the disciples, “You’re ...

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Churches Reopen!

Some exciting news and a ton of information to share with everyone!  As you know, the Province of NB has moved us all into Phase 3 of its Covid Recovery Plan, now allowing ‘gatherings with physical distancing of 50 people or fewer‘.   This is exciting for us all as it means that Archbishop Vienneau has given us authorization to reopen the churches for Mass, beginning this coming weekend (May 30th/31st), as the church celebrates Pentecost!

That being said, the safety of every ...

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Homily – May 24th, 2020 – Ascension Sunday

The first reading came from a book within the Bible called the Acts of the Apostles and written by the same author who wrote one of the four gospels, the Gospel of Luke. The opening line in Acts, Luke writes, “In my first book, Theophilus.” The first book refers to the Gospel of Luke. Acts of the Apostles his second book. So, think of the Bible not as a book but as a collection of books or a mini library.

Who is this Theophilus? Probably a high-ranking ...

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Message in a Bottle #10

If you are keeping track, you know that we have not gathered for Sunday Eucharist since March 15th, the third Sunday of Lent. I half-jokingly suggested we were celebrating our “Last Supper” not realizing then that my words would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We are all waiting, including Bishop Vienneau, for the health authorities to open churches for limited gatherings like we see in some sectors of society. Throwing the doors of the church wide open, though, will probably not happen until a universal vaccine is available. Until ...

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Reflection – Relentless Hope

It is a quote that I use frequently when sleep does not come.  This week has been one of those weeks.  We are being battered, and though important to put it in perspective, remembering that others have suffered much worse for far longer, the tragedies are relentless.  Every week there is something else.  Poor Nova Scotia; I’m not sure how much more they can take.

“Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Those with faith know that to be a truth.  ...

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Homily – May 17th, 2020 – 6th Sunday of Easter

‘I will not leave you orphaned….’  The early Church must have relied heavily on this promise of Jesus because it moved forward even under the most trying of circumstances. In the reading from Acts we hear how Philip, the deacon, not the apostle, went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed Christ to them. The impetus for this action of Philip was the persecution that followed the death of Stephen. On that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were ...

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Message in a Bottle #9

Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) authored 57 books during his lifetime, but perhaps his most notable work was his book entitled Night. Read it if you have not already. Wiesel was born in Transylvania which was annexed by Hungary in 1940 and subsequently invaded by the Nazis in 1944. Although only about 100 pages long, Night is a powerful telling of the horrors that he and his family went through in the Nazi-run concentration camps. Elie’s mother and sister were murdered in Auschwitz. Elie and his father were imprisoned ...

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Reflection – Tell Me the Truth

In Maya Angelou’s Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, she wrote, “Human beings are more alike than unalike, and what is true anywhere is true everywhere…” 

This line puzzled me, and it seemed such a lofty proclamation to make, but I eventually began to understand it as an invitation to reflect on what I believed to be universally true.  Humans share common truths, and what is true is true for everyone. I guess these would be the Big Truths which connect humans and draw us ...

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Homily – May 10th, 2020 – 5th Sunday of Easter

Back in the summer of 2001, five years after I had moved away from the Ottawa Valley, the City of Ottawa hosted the Francophone Games. Immediately after the Games closed over 100 participants, from abroad, decided they were not going back home to their country but instead were seeking refugee status in Canada. The next day, a popular radio talk show host (akin to Rush Limbaugh) began his show with a roar. He came out with guns firing. Calls immediately came in about what it means to ...

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