Parish Bulletin – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 6 September 2020
Tuesday 10 am. No Mass due to the ordination of Fr. Michael Coyne
Wednesday 10 am. Lorna Brazeau – The Gaudette Family
Thursday 10 am. No Mass due to Council of Priests Meeting
Friday 10 am. Bernice Battis – Gene & Eddie O’Brien Family
Sunday 9 am. Missa Pro Populo
Sheenboro Saturday 5 pm. Carmelita Gleason – Jimmy and Elie Sullivan
St. Joseph’s Sunday 9 am. Loretta Reid – Brian Gallagher
Chapeau Sunday. 10:30 am. (1) Joan Turner – Gail, Cecil & family
(2) Rhea Vaillancourt – Jerry & Marie Paule Muldoon
Collections from Last Weekend:
St. Joseph’s: $720.00
Rev. Mr. Michael Coyne is to be ordained a priest of our Pembroke Diocese this week on Tuesday in St. Francis Xavier Church in Renfrew. I ask you to join your prayers with those of the Pembroke priests and Bishop that Fr. Mike’s priestly vocation will be fruitful and holy for many years to come. Ad multos annos Fr. Mike!
Last Sunday two new members where added to our number with the baptisms of Rhea Adele Demers and Noah Bechamp. Rhea is the daughter of Jennie Mainville and Jason Demers. Noah is the son of Jessica Lepine and Nicholas Bechamp.
Are you interested in registering for either of the two Zoom projects I’ve announced during which we will study the first volume of Pope Benedict’s series, ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ on one day and C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Screwtape Letters’ on another? If you are, please send me an email at email@example.com so that I can forward you the required link to participate in the conversation in real time on zoom.com as well as instructions on how to join in with your own questions and insights. The Jesus study will give us both valuable insights into how to interpret sacred scripture from one of the greatest theologians of our time as well as improve our understanding of the truths taught to us by Christ through the four Evangelists and St. Paul while Lewis’ Screwtape book will help one to learn about the nature of good and evil as lived out in our daily lives. Through the use of a published study guide for each, each course will probably run for about 8-12 weeks, depending upon how quickly we can move as a group in reading both works. Hopefully we will be able to begin both studies during the week of September 21st with the Jesus study beginning on Tuesday 22/09/2020 at 7 pm and Screwtape running on Fridays at 2 pm beginning on 25/09/2020. All are welcome to participate so please share the word to anyone you think might benefit from joining in and learning more about our Catholic faith.
Sadly, during these COVID19 times, it is impossible for us to host our annual parish suppers in either Chapeau or St. Joseph’s this year. This is a problem for both parishes because we depend on the funds raised by those events to pay for the heating and lighting those churches throughout the winter months along with helping to pay for other major expenses like insurance bills etc. Bottom line: We need to come up with some way to replace these lost dollars so that we can keep functioning. So I am asking you to use your creative instincts and start proposing other ways in which we can raise the money we need to keep functioning on a full-time basis in the years to come. Feel free to email me (my address is listed in the previous announcement) or speak to me on the phone or in person if you have any suggestions as to how we can best solve this problem. Other parishes in the northern corners of our diocese organize and annual ‘Door to Door’ collection campaigns where volunteers go out to ask for funds from those who don’t normally attend to our services. In the short run such programs have proven quite effective in raising funds, but they have proven insufficient over the long-term as people get tired of being asked for funds year after year if the church is not an important part of their life. If we could assume that once the COVID crisis is past (hopefully sooner rather than later) that people will return the full practice of their faith as before the virus )with a concomitant rise in collection donations), a short-term boost in finances might be all that we will require. Alas though, I fear that many people might have become used to having their Sundays free to themselves and their own devices and might not resume the discipline of regular Mass attendance once the danger from the virus is vanquished. So a short-term solution, while helping us in this immediate crisis, might only delay an inevitable point in the future where we regularly run short in our capacity to pay our bills. So it is with a degree of pastoral urgency that I think we need to address this issue before it becomes an unsolvable dilemma for we Catholics of the Upper Pontiac. If you are interested in studying this problem together, please contact me so that I can coordinate our efforts in finding a solution to this funding problem. Thank you.
Scriptural Reflection on this Weekend’s Readings:
- Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come to you once again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, my faith tells me that you are present. You are ready to listen and desire to speak with me. Your presence gives me hope because you are the all-powerful God, the creator of heaven and earth. You are the source of all that is good in my life. Nothing happens to me without your knowing and permitting it. My hope leads me to love. I want to be one with you in mind and heart, identifying myself with your will and your standards.
Lord, send your Spirit upon me to better comprehend your words. You tell me that deciding to follow you on the way of the cross is an arduous task. Give me the hope and confidence that you will be there with me, strengthening my weak will. Make love the motor that moves me to renounce my disordered attachment to creatures, even the most precious ones, and especially to forget about myself in order to serve you, my supreme Love.
Petition: Strengthen me with your grace, Lord, help me to grow in my love for the Church and for souls..
1. Go to the One Who Sins Against You: Today’s text is part of a larger discussion that includes the preceding parable of the lost sheep. God wants us to love as he loves, even loving those whose sins may have directly harmed us in some way. This is hard. Sometimes we are not particularly forgiving and merciful towards those who sin. We can easily look down on them and imagine that we are much better than they, or we can become impatient that they are not like us. When someone sins against us, we have to look beyond our pain. Indeed, we have to embrace that pain in the redemptive way that Christ shows on the cross and in the Eucharist. We should not write that person off as lost, turn our back, or walk away. We should go to the one who sins against us and seek in love to bring him home to the Father’s love.
2. Reconcile Them to the Church: God’s love for the fallen sinner should not only be evident in our lives but should also live in our local churches. Is our parish open and inviting to sinners, or has it become the last refuge for the saved? Does our church go and seek that lost sinner, or do we expect the lost sheep to find its own way to us? God wants us to go to the lost sinner and seek to bring him home to the Church. This means that we need to live as missionaries, as evangelists going out to the street corners and public squares, wherever the lost sinners may be. God loves them and wants to reach them through us. We are his hands and his feet; he wants to speak his words through our lips. How does God want me personally to become involved in this mission of the Church in my local parish?
3. I Am in the Midst of You: As we go out to fulfill Christ’s mission toward lost sheep, he goes with us. We are not alone. He promised his disciples that he would be with them to the ends of the earth. This should give us confidence. Jesus is with us, and he is going to help transmit his love for some lost soul through us, through our words and gestures. He will give us the strength to carry on his work. There is also some benefit when we gather together with others in the Church as well. Jesus is present in the Church, where two or three are gathered in his name. We are with him to the degree we are united to the Church. As we become committed and involved in our local parish, we are closer to Jesus.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, move me to conquer my fears and complexes, my laziness and indifference, and to become engaged in the Church’s mission to save souls. Don’t let me blindly walk by the ones you love, the ones you shed your blood to redeem. Don’t let my heart harden against them, but help me to go to them with your love and forgiveness.
Resolution: I will find a way to become engaged in the Church’s mission of evangelization.