Message From The Pastor – January 19, 2014

Dear Beloved Parishioners and Guests,
At least once a year, many Christians become aware of the great
diversity of ways of adoring God. Hearts are touched and people realize
that their neighbours’ ways are not so strange. The event that touches
off this special experience is called the Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity, traditionally celebrated between January 18-25.
We Canadians live in a country that is marked by differences in language, culture
and even climate; we also embody diversity in our expressions of Christian faith. Living
with this diversity, but being faithful to Christ’s desire for the unity of his disciples, has
led us to a reflection on St.Paul’s provocative question in 1 Corinthians: “Has Christ
been divided?” In faith we respond, “No!” yet our church communities continue to
embody scandalous divisions. Paul’s quote also points us to a way in which we can value
& receive the gifts of others, even now in the midst of divisions to still strive for unity.
We have much to be grateful for in the diversity of peoples and expressions of
faith in our country. Although our history has many examples of how we have not always
lived in mutual respect for and support of each other, we know that our country was built
upon co-operation and seeking ways for peace at home and in the world. As Christians
and as churches, we are called to a receptive gratitude towards the gifts of God in the
other, and to embody thankfulness and caring for the whole country and the world.
When we consider the many blessings and gifts of God manifest in our land, we
begin to recognize that we must treat one another with dignity and respect. This very
recognition has called us to confession and repentance, and to the seeking of new ways
of caring and respecting each other and God willing, fostering greater unity and oneness.
In this bulletin, review the multifarious prayer services in various Wpg churches
as we invite everyone to pray together for unity and to experience different traditions of
Christian spirituality. We warmly encourage our parishioners to actively participate in the
evening services. As you observe, we at St. Joseph’s again are welcoming other churches
to join us in prayer – on Friday, Jan. 24Th 7:30 pm. Please try your best to come & pray!
And speaking of “prayer”, we happily will be hosting a special Lenten Mission,
preached by Fr. Jack Kingsley CSsR on Mar. 15-19th. Please book these dates…
Many of you have taken Holy Water home and are blessing your home as a family.
We have prayer sheets available to assist you. Do phone us if you wish Fr. Frank or
myself to visit you personally and bless your home with our priestly blessing…
May Frs. Frank and I wish you a wonderful peaceful
loveful week and we look forward to praying with you…