Message From The Pastor – March 16, 2014

Dear Beloved Parishioners and Guests,

May we warmly welcome our Redemptorist missionary

Fr. Jack Kingsbury CSsR who will be praying with us and sharing the ‘Word of God’ for the next 4 evenings at 7 pm Sunday to Wednes.

We strongly encourage you to participate in all 4 evenings if at all possible… you will not be disappointing! God will truly bless you!

On March  5th our Pope Francis shared some wonderful thoughts entitled “Sterile priests do not help the Church’. These insights could verily be applied to all of us priests as we try to minister and preach to our parishioners. Let me quote his words:

“Jesus walked through towns and villages, feeling compassion for those he encountered; people who were “tired and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd”. “We are here to listen to the voice of the Spirit that speaks to everyone in the Church   in this, our time, which is indeed the time of mercy”.

“ It is up to us, as ministers of the Church, to keep this message alive. The Pope asked, “What does it mean to be a priest?”. He explained that “priests are moved by their sheep, like Jesus when he saw the people, tired and exhausted, like sheep without a shepherd”. He commented that the priest, following the example of  the Good Shepherd, is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and the servant of all.  The Holy Father added that the heart of a priest must be susceptible    to being moved, as “sterile priests do not help the Church. … We can think of today’s Church as a kind of ‘field hospital’, where we need to tend to injuries. … There are many people who are wounded by material problems, by scandals, even in the Church. … People wounded by the illusions of the world. … We priests must be there, close to these people. Mercy means, above all, taking care of wounds.  Do you know what your parishioners’ wounds are? Are you close to them?”

“Mercy accompanies the path of holiness, and helps growth. But how? Through pastoral suffering, which is a form of mercy. It means suffering with the people, like a father and a mother suffer for their children….  The Pope then shared some questions that helped him when a priest comes to him for advice. “Do you cry? How many of us cry when faced with the suffering of a child, the destruction of a family, before the many people who cannot find their path. As a priest, do you cry for your people?   We will be judged for how we have been able to be close to ‘every flesh’, to our neighbours, to the flesh of our sisters and brothers.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
May we wish all of you a Happy Lenten preparation for joyful Easter!