Sunday, 31 May 2020

Good Shepherd Parish invites you...

Is COVID-19 turning you into a monster? Do you feel like a zombie? Unemotional? Slow? Lethargic? Non-communicative? Join us as we spill the tea.

This is not your average youth group event. This one-hour event happens at your home with 15 other teens. You will not want to miss this "Monster Tea Party". 
Sign up to save your spot!

Friday, 22 May 2020

A Year of Prayer

A Year of Prayer

A year ago at the Mass of Chrism, Bishop Fabbro announced that beginning on Pentecost Sunday, 9 June 2019, and lasting until the next Pentecost Sunday, 31 May 2020, we would observe a special Year of Prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our diocese as we seek to be “a mission-oriented Church that forms disciples of Jesus”. 
On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together “in one place”. We cannot be together physically during the pandemic, but we can be united spiritually during these days which are meant to be an intense preparation for the Great Feast of Pentecost. 

Bishop Fabbro is asking that we mark these days, which will bring to a conclusion our Year of Prayer, by a novena to the Holy Spirit. The novena will begin on Friday, 22 May, and continue until Saturday, 30 May, the Vigil of Pentecost. His hope is that all the faithful of our diocese, all our parishes and our families will unite in prayer each day of the novena, and that all of us will include in the different prayers we use, a daily recitation of the common prayer for the Year of Prayer (below).

Link to the Bishop's letter
A Letter from Bishop Fabbro

Year of Prayer
Send forth your Spirit, O Lord,
and fill the hearts of your people
with an ardent desire to follow Jesus,
to be his missionary disciples.
Fill us with joy and a desire to know your word.
May we boldly proclaim the Good News to others;
for when we help others to know that God loves them,
they will know true happiness.
Fill us with a deep desire for the Eucharist.
May we recognize Jesus
in the proclamation of the Scriptures
and in the Breaking of the Bread;
for when we are united with Jesus,
joy is constantly born anew.
Fill us with a true love of neighbour.
May we seek opportunities for reconciliation,
and with big hearts serve those in need;
for in serving them, we know we are serving your Son.
With the help of the Holy Spirit,
may we commit ourselves
to loving you and doing your will.
We make this prayer
through Christ our Lord. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

In Light of The Recent Announcement

In light of the recent Ministry of Education announcement, I share with you a prayer written by my colleague, Mrs. Erin Malone Walls, Campus Minister at St. Joe's High School.

Lord, we pray for all staff and students who learned with finality that we won’t return to school this year.

We pray for daycare kids and preschoolers
who are too young to understand
why they can’t see their teachers and friends,
who miss the stories being read,
the songs being sung and all the creativity of play.

Engaging children with prayerWe pray for the elementary students
who miss their teachers and friends.
For children who will miss their classes and opportunities,
who thrive through being challenged,
who depend upon school meals,
who have learned to socialize and flourish.

Prayer 101: How to Start Talking to God - for ...We pray for high school students
who miss their teachers and friends.
For those who struggle with the loss of spirit and belonging.
For those who miss the competitions in the classrooms,
in the gyms, on the stage.
For those who have spent the year finding themselves
as musicians, athletes, artists, socialites, scholars, and more,
but now feel stuck at home
without a place to fully share who they want to be.
We pray especially for our grade 12 students
who have been planning and looking forward
to the traditional prom and graduation ceremony,
who now have to cope with lost dreams and feelings of disappointment.

We pray for the vulnerable.
For families without options of daycare.
For parents who feel ill-equipped.
For students who depend on the structure of school
in an otherwise chaotic life.
For the children with special education needs.
For those without technology, that have been given unequal opportunity and are feeling left behind. 

We pray for all of our staff
A Prayer for Our Children's Teachers - Blessed Is She
who miss the daily interaction with students and colleagues.
Who worry about our students,
who aren’t able to reach out to our students in need,
who don’t get the opportunity
to celebrate our students’ achievements,
who didn’t get to say goodbye. 

All-knowing God, losing a school year hurts.
Teach us to live in the reality of our feelings
yet hold on to hope.
Shelter the vulnerable, help those who are broken,
comfort those who mourn.
Be our hope and our strength.
Help us to be that hope for one another.

Erin Malone Walls, Campus Minister, St. Joe's High School

Monday, 11 May 2020

A Reflection on Mary, 

Mother of God and Mother of All of Us

6 Fascinating Facts about Mary, Mother of Jesus - Beliefnet
During these unprecedented times in our world, there are so many hidden heroes who are quietly working behind the scenes and literally saving the lives of strangers. These “front line” workers have been called to  … as St. Teresa of Calcutta says “do small things with great love.” Our world has become very aware of the value of these individuals and the work they accomplish each and every day. 

Our faith also has a person who shares in the similar qualities of our front line workers. This person is our Blessed Mother Mary. We are invited to think about Mary’s life, as it was during her time on Earth. A young girl who was given the task of bringing new life into the world and a life that would change the world. Her “YES” to the plan God presented to her not only changed her life, but changed the world.

Imagine this young girl, unaware of how God’s plan would be fulfilled. Imagine her fear of the unknown, her own doubts about her ability to succeed and raise her son to be the person God called him to be. 

She had to trust in the plan God had for her and she promised to fulfill that plan to its completion. Day after day, our front line workers face the same uncertainty. These men and women have to trust in their own skills that God gave them and, have faith and hope in their own actions while they struggle to save lives. 

The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of GodHoly Spirit Catholic ...We also have a plan. We are called to trust in our own abilities to succeed at what we have been asked to do. Many of us are experiencing anxiety, depression and frustration. We long for days to be together again. Like Mary, we are people who have been called to change our world for the better. Our actions today are altering the course of human history and years from now, people will look at us to see how we coped with the reality of our human existence. 

This week, we can reflect on Mary’s life and the lives of our front line workers. These are people of courage who bring hope. These are people of faith who shine light into the darkness. During Education Week, we looked at “igniting hope” in our world. This week, may we challenge one another to keep the flame of hope alive in our hearts, minds, homes and communities. 

Reflection by Campus Minister, Jeff Gendron

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Student Reflection Friday

The Life of a Teen in Isolation

By Siobhan O’Donoghue

The ordinary life we all knew has changed before our very eyes and it can be overwhelming with so much uncertainty.  This is a time in history that we will all remember.  This pandemic has affected all of us in our own ways and it is through this tough time that we are being challenged to improve.
I can’t quite pinpoint the hardest part of this pandemic.  Obviously not getting to see my friends is a struggle but I would rather do my part now so that hopefully this can reduce the length of the restrictions we are currently under.  School has definitely taken a turn however I don’t mind online classes so far.  Personally my biggest struggle is not being able to visit my family who live out-of-town.  My grandparents require more help as they are getting older and I worry for them.  Being so far and unable to run errands or do simple chores for them isn’t easy.  
Even through these tough times I am still working part-time which is both a blessing and a curse.  I’m happy to do my part to serve the community and it helps to get out of the house.  However putting myself at risk by interacting with so many people seems to go against all the other steps I have been taking to stay safe. Customers also tend to be more intolerant which adds to unneeded stress and frustration.  
Throughout this unprecedented period, I have found myself turning to God more than usual.  My family and I usually go to church every Sunday.  With churches being closed we “go to” church via live stream.  It’s definitely a different feeling being just the four of us rather than a whole faith community but it means a lot to still be able to hear the sermon and nurture my faith.  
With so much darkness in our world right now I have found myself more grateful for the little things.  I don’t want to say that God is trying to punish us but I think that he is trying to readjust our thinking to make us more grateful.  We took advantage of being able to go places and to see our families and friends but when everything is over, I hope that people will be more appreciative.  God gave us one life and it is our job to make the most of it.
It’s quite simple to be lazy while being stuck at home.  Having extra free time has led me to do more of the things I enjoy but didn’t make time for previously.  This is a unique opportunity we are being given and should do those things we “never have time for”.

The world may seem like a dark place at the moment but it is important to remember all of our blessings and that there is still good going on in the world.  Together we will get through this. And as a great poet once said “You can’t have a rainbow without the rain.”

Monday, 4 May 2020