Category Archives: COVID-19

Parish Bulletin – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 04/10/2020

Parish Bulletin – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 4 October 2020

STREAMED MASSES:

TUESDAY:*              10 AM             Mary Lampkin – Angie Retty

WEDNESDAY:**      10 AM             Sharon Sullivan – Peggy Nadeau & Brenda Collver

THURSDAY:*           10 AM             Loella Meehan – Betty Morris

FRIDAY:***              10 AM             Mary Lapierre – Margaret & Cecil Raymond

SUNDAY:            10:30 AM             Missa Pro Populo

*These Masses will be streamed online, but all parishioners are welcome to attend. All weekday Masses are celebrated in St. Joseph’s Church.

** Includes public recitation of the Rosary during Exposition

*** Includes public recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during Exposition

LIVE MASSES:

Sheenboro:      (Saturday)       5 PM   1) Lloyd Parsons – Doreen & Brennan Family

                                                            2) Miles & Willis Venasse – Dianne Mainville

St. Joseph:       (Sunday)         9 AM       Glenn Lapierre – Heather Lapierre

Chapeau:         (Sunday)   10:30 AM  1) Patsy Gagnon – Mike & family

                                                            2) Jack & Helen Hill – The Family

ATTENTION: The Québec government has changed the rules once again. We can once again have up to 50 people attend Mass in Sheenboro and St. Joseph’s and 140 people in Chapeau. However, you now need to provide either an email address or a phone number when you sign in at Church. PLEASE REMEMBER… If you are sick or have a cough, please do not attend. Remember, the Bishop has suspended our obligation to attend a Sunday Mass until further notice so please stay home so as to not make others sick. Here is a list of common symptoms of the COVID19 virus.

Fever greater or equal to 37.8 Celsius,

  • new or worsening cough,
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sore throat,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • changes in sense of smell or taste,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • abdominal pain,
  • runny nose or nasal congestion (different than usual allergy symptoms).

Atypical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in children:

  • Unexplained fatigue,
  • malaise or muscle aches,
  • delirium (acutely altered mental status),
  • unexplained falls or functional decline,
  • exacerbation of chronic conditions, chills,
  • headaches,
  • croup,

If you have any of the above symptoms, please stay home! God will understand!!

Collections:

St. Paul the Hermit:   $  260.00

St. Joseph’s:                $  660.00

St. Alphonsus:             $  690.00

Total Online Donations to Date:  $ 7,581.33

THANK YOU!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1) The video course studying Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI continues on Tuesdays at 7 pm. No one has registered for the The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis course so I am going to move it to Thursday evenings at 7 pm. It’s never too later to register! Please email me at frtimmoylepp@gmail.com so that I can send you the link required to join in the conversation.

2) Congratulations to Johnathan Duff and Stephanie Rosien who were married this weekend in our St. Joseph’s Church. Please pray for them to have many happy and healthy years together as a married couple.

3) Congratulations also go out to Charles Michael Carroll, infant son of Cody & Andrea (England) Carroll (in Chapeau) and to Claire Darcy Pasch, infant daughter of Josh and Molly (McGuire) Pasch (in St. Joseph’s) who were both baptized last Sunday. Again, I ask your prayers for these newest members of our Catholic community.

4) On behalf of the parishioners of St. Paul the Hermit Parish in Sheenboro I wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to Fr. Tom Fitzpatrick who has offered Mass there on Saturday evenings since our churches came out of the lockdown. We are very fortunate to have access to Fr. Tom whenever the need arises so please remember to pray for his health and welfare. I will be resuming the celebration of the Saturday evening Mass in Sheenboro effective this weekend.

5) MOVING SALE: 11 Rochon Street in Chapeau (home of Sheila Stacey) this Saturday, October 3rd from 9 am to 4 pm.

6) CHAPEAU R.A.: Annual General Meeting on Wednesday October 21st at 7 pm. This meeting will be held virtually this year due to the COVID19 virus on Zoom. Anyone who wants to join into the meeting can contact Karie Bissonnette (613-401-2850) and she will send you an invitation link to the meeting via your email address.                                                                                                                           

7) I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how we can still offer Catechetical Instruction for the youth of our parishes and have concluded that we need to take a page out of the new protocols followed by schools and offer it online. So, we require the assistance of a few Catechists who would be willing to work with me in putting the material they traditionally use online so that they can be distributed electronically to the students. These are uncharted waters for us but there is a wealth of material online that we can use to create our own program to meet our local needs. If you are at all interested in helping either to prepare or teach these video sessions with our Catholic children, please contact me as soon as possible so we can decide whether or not to proceed this way or simply take a year’s pause and wait for the pandemic to finally pass us by and in-person classes can resume as before. Thank you.

 Addendum: I have received two responses so far to help to offer this important service online. We need at least four more people to be able to offer the course for all the students from Gr. 1 to Gr. 6. Please consider helping out with this initiative so that the children of our parishes can receive their Sacraments this year together with those who missed out on last year’s due to the COVID19 lockdown at the start of 2020.

8) We’ve come up with a plan to help recoup some of the revenues we’ve lost with the cancellation of our parish suppers in Chapeau and St. Joseph’s. We’re calling it our ‘Staying Warm this Winter Initiative. We are going to ask every household on the Island to consider making a one-time donation to the parish equal to the amount they would have spent if we could have held them this year. (ex: $15 for each adult and $7.50 for each child under the age of 10 years of age living at home. Of course, people are always welcome to add more if they would normally have spent money on our various draws, silent auctions and games of chance too!) Every family that makes such a donation will have their name thrown into a drum for a chance to win a handmade quilt! We thank Sylvia Dungeon for donating one to St. Alphonsus and Ethel Jones for donating one for St. Joseph’s. The draws will be held in each respective Church on the last Sunday of November (29/11/2020) at the end of Mass. You can make your donation either through the parish blog at http://uppontiacparishes.wordpress.com, by Canada Post (P.O. Box 40, Chapeau, QC. J0X1M0) or by dropping it off during business hours at either of the two parish offices. Or, you can drop your donation in a separate envelope in the collection basket at any Sunday Mass up to 22 November 2020. PLEASE JUST DO NOT INCLUDE IT IN YOUR REGULAR SUNDAY OFFERING ENVELOPE as 10% of those funds go to our diocese. If it comes separately, we can keep all 100% to help in paying our winter heating bills for the rectory and both Churches. Thank you for your anticipated participation and support to help us get through these difficult and chilly financial times.


Fr. Tim

Scriptural Reflection of this Weekend’s Readings

Matthew 21:33-43
In this section of the gospel, which follows directly from last week’s parable of the two sons sent to tend their father’s vineyard, Jesus is again caught up in controversy with some of the Jewish leaders. He offers them a much more pointed story that the previous one. It begins like Isaiah with the planting and fencing of a vineyard and building a ‘tower’ as a winepress. Jesus then goes in a different direction from Isaiah, not focusing on the failures of the vines. New actors are the tenants to whom the owner gives the care of the vineyard. This agricultural practice would have been a recognisable situation at the time, and he seems to have had no trouble drawing the listeners into his story.

To work on the land at that time, arrangements were made for the sharing the proceeds of a successful harvest. So far, so expected. But when the owner sends his servants to collect his share, the tenants refuse to pay up and mistreat the servants. Such a case of injustice leads the listeners to feel indignant. Finally, the owner sends his son, whom he expects will be respected as his personal representative. Instead the son is thrown out and then killed. Their hope of inheriting seems odd by legal practices of our times, but there is historic evidence that then land left without heirs could be taken over by the tenants.

The listeners have been drawn into the story and pass the obvious judgment that the tenants should be dismissed, and the land given to others. Jesus does not directly tell the Jewish leaders of the time that they are the ‘wretches’ who have not been worthy of trust. Instead he quotes Psalm 118/119 which speaks of God choosing what people have rejected, something totally unexpected. (The ‘keystone’ is the one that holds the whole stone building together.) The prediction is that a new people will become God’s chosen community, based on Jesus as its foundation.

This is a more of an allegory than many of Jesus’ parables, with a precise meaning for the various details. The servants who come to the tenants are the prophets and teachers God has sent in the past – like Isaiah – to warn and counsel. ‘The son’ is a veiled indication that Jesus is God’s son who will be rejected and killed. Some commentators also see the reference to ‘outside the vineyard’ foreshadowing the crucifixion outside the city of Jerusalem.

At least some of the point was taken by those to whom the story was directed, for immediately following the story, there is the conclusion which is not read in the liturgy: ‘When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they saw that he was speaking about them, but when they tried to arrest him, they feared the crowds who considered him a prophet.’

The Christian reader already knows that eventually the enemies will find a way around the ‘crowds’ who supported Jesus and carry out the death foretold in the parable. But we also know God will bring the reversal of the Resurrection and the new community he predicted.

Parish Bulletin – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 27 September 2020

Parish Bulletin – 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 27 September 2020

STREAMED MASSES:

TUESDAY:*              10 AM             Rose Mary Gaudette McKay – Alice Roy

WEDNESDAY:**      10 AM             Margaret Maloney – Lorne & Vince Agnesi

THURSDAY:*           10 AM             Yvonne O’Brien – Sharon Gribbon

FRIDAY:***              10 AM             Carl Bowers – The Lapierre Family

SUNDAY:            10:30 AM             Missa Pro Populo

*These Masses will be streamed online, but all parishioners are welcome to attend. All weekday Masses are celebrated in St. Joseph’s Church.

** Includes public recitation of the Rosary during Exposition

*** Includes public recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during Exposition

LIVE MASSES:

Sheenboro:      (Saturday)       5 PM   Teresa McDonald – Harold & Marilyn Morris

St. Joseph:       (Sunday)         9 AM   Lorette Reid – Mike & Lise Gallagher

Chapeau:         (Sunday)   10:30 AM  1) M/M Carmen Keon – Lois & Barry Ferguson

                                                            2) Lucille Vaillancourt – Eric, Lorraine Demers & family

Please remember to call the Parish Offices to reserve a space at any live Masse for all three Churches as attendance is capped at 25 people (including priest). If you are sick or have a cough, please do not attend. Remember, the Bishop has suspended our obligation to attend a Sunday Mass until further notice so please stay home so as to not make others sick. Here is a list of common symptoms of the COVID19 virus.

Fever greater or equal to 37.8 Celsius,

  • new or worsening cough,
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sore throat,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • changes in sense of smell or taste,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • abdominal pain,
  • runny nose or nasal congestion (different than usual allergy symptoms).

Atypical signs and symptoms of COVID-19 should be considered, particularly in children:

  • Unexplained fatigue,
  • malaise or muscle aches,
  • delirium (acutely altered mental status),
  • unexplained falls or functional decline,
  • exacerbation of chronic conditions, chills,
  • headaches,
  • croup,

If you have any of the above symptoms, please stay home! God will understand!!

Collections:

St. Paul the Hermit:   $  802.00

St. Joseph’s:                $  915.00

St. Alphonsus:             $  618.00

Total Online Donations to Date:  $ 7,458.08

THANK YOU!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1) The video courses studying Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI (Tuesdays at 7 pm) or The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Fridays at 2 pm) begin this week. It’s not to later to register! Please email me at frtimmoylepp@gmail.com so that I can send you the link required to join in the conversation.

2)  Message from Bishop Desrochers to the clergy and faithful in the Quebec sector of the diocese: 

This afternoon, the Quebec Minister of Health advised people to avoid voluntarily all “social gatherings” as a means of stemming the spread of COVID-19.  

I would personally encourage you to keep the churches open, unless there is some future directive to the contrary. The Mass and the other Sacraments are not “social gatherings” where people are sitting closely together and talking loudly. Hand-sanitizing, physical distancing, and the wearing of masks at least when physical distancing is a challenge have been effective in ensuring that no outbreak has occurred in Quebec as the result of a church service.  

The dispensation from the Sunday obligation remains in effect. Please exercise your good judgment. If you feel sick, please stay home.  

At this time, I repeat the urgent request that you receive Communion in the hand rather than on the tongue.  

Let us pray that a safe and ethical vaccine will soon be found. 

With the Lord’s help, we will get through this.  

+ Guy Desorchers, C.Ss.R. 

Bishop of Pembroke 

Message de Mgr Desrochers aux membres du clergé et aux fidèles du secteur québécois du diocèse : 

Cet après-midi, le ministre de la Santé du Québec a conseillé aux gens d’éviter volontairement tout « rassemblement social » afin d’endiguer la propagation de la COVID-19.  

Je vous encourage personnellement à garder les églises ouvertes, à moins d’une directive contraire à l’avenir. La messe et les autres sacrements ne sont pas des « rassemblements sociaux » où les gens sont assis ensemble et parlent fort. La désinfection des mains, la distanciation physique et le port de masques, au moins lorsque la distanciation physique est un défi, ont permis de s’assurer qu’aucune éclosion ne s’est produite au Québec à la suite d’un service religieux.  

La dispense de l’obligation du dimanche reste en vigueur. Veuillez exercer votre bon jugement. Si vous vous sentez malade, veuillez rester à la maison.  

Je vous réitère la demande urgente que vous receviez la communion dans la main plutôt que sur la langue.  

Prions pour qu’un vaccin sûr et éthique soit bientôt trouvé. 

Avec l’aide du Seigneur, nous nous en sortirons.  

+ Guy Desorchers, c.ss.r. 

Évêque de Pembroke 

 3) The following is a report explaining the repair work that has been done of St. Paul the Hermit Church in Sheenboro. Our deepest thanks and gratitude to Martin Flood for generating this report as well as overseeing the entire project from start to finish. His efforts saved our parish literally tens of thousands of dollars!

St Paul the Hermit Church Repairs

September 2020

Summary

Total Expenditures to 20/09/2020                 $28,968.79

Additional to be expended (approximately)     1,000.00

                                                                                                       _________

Total Cost of Repairs                                               $29,968.79

Total Funds Collected to 20/09/2020 $24,662.35                   

Total Funds Still Needed to be raised             $5,306.44

Details of Expenditure

Re-glaze and paint exterior window frames              $ 2,056.39

Repair & paint ceiling & ductwork on ceiling $3,736.69                                    

Repair and paint wall inside front entrance.                                                               

Outside updating & Repairs                                   $4,354.50                                                  

Purchase and installation of new fire door

Purchase and installation of ice guard on roof to protect

 electrical stack

            Repair of framing and soffit under electrical stack

            Repair of soffit at front door

            Install aluminum cladding on one outside window frame to

            Prevent further rot

Rebuild retaining wall & installation of outside stairs                   $10,025.84

Purchase of outside stairs and railing                                                        $ 1,958.65

Repointing of exterior walls of Church                                                     $ 6,837.56

Repointing yet to be completed                                                                    $ 1,000.00

                                                                                                                       ________

Total                                                                                                            $29,968.79

Funds Collected to September 20, 2020                                                    

Toonie Collection                                                                            $  8,662.35

Special Donations in memory Hayes Estate                   $10,000.00

Teresa & Elmer Hayes and parents                                          

Parish Wood Lot                                                                               $ 6,000.00

            ($4,800.00 sold and paid plus $1,200.00

            Cut and waiting on landing as of June 2, 2020)      _________

Total                                                                                                  $24,662.35

Toonie Collection as Reported in Parish Bulletin

October 6, 2019                                                          $ 122.00

October 15, 2019                                                        $ 143.00

October 20, 2019                                                        $ 158.00

October 27, 2019                                                      $ 1,101.00

November 3, 2019                                                      $   20.00 

November 10, 2019                                                    $   93.45

November 24, 2019                                                     $  94.00

December 1, 2019                                                       $ 119.00

December 8, 2019                                                       $   74.00

December 15, 2019                                                     $ 235.00

December 22                                                               $   87.90

January 12, 2020                                                    $  5,798.00

January 19, 2020                                                         $  61.15

February 2, 2020                                                         $  69.10

February 9, 2020                                                         $  70.00

February 16, 2020                                                       $ 91.00

February 23, 2020                                                       $ 77.30

March 1, 2020                                                             $ 70.70

March 13, 2020                                                           $ 87.75

March 20, 2020                                                           $ 90.00

Total                                                                       $8,662.35

4) We will be publishing a financial report for all three parishes in a couple of weeks. Watch for it here in the bulletin as well as an individual post on the parish blog. A couple will also be put up on the bulletin board of each church. Unfortunately, we cannot print out copies for people to take home from church as we still don’t have permission in Québec to distribute paper items in Church due to the COVID restrictions.

5) I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how we can still offer Catechetical Instruction for the youth of our parishes and have concluded that we need to take a page out of the new protocols followed by schools and offer it online. So, we require the assistance of a few Catechists who would be willing to work with me in putting the material they traditionally use online so that they can be distributed electronically to the students. These are uncharted waters for us but there is a wealth of material online that we can use to create our own program to meet our local needs. If you are at all interested in helping either to prepare or teach these video sessions with our Catholic children, please contact me as soon as possible so we can decide whether or not to proceed this way or simply take a year’s pause and wait for the pandemic to finally pass us by and in-person classes can resume as before. Thank you.

Scriptural Reflection of this Weekend’s Readings

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I am on my way, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

Introductory Prayer: In you, Lord, I find all my joy and happiness. How could I offend you by chasing after fleeting success and lifeless trophies? I believe in you because you are truth itself. I hope in you because you are faithful to your promises. I love you because you have loved me first. I am a sinner; nevertheless, you have given me so many blessings. I humbly thank you.

Petition: Lord, help me to follow you, regardless of circumstances and times.

1. A Higher Authority: Jesus is in Jerusalem, exchanging words with the Pharisees. They have tried to trap our Lord by asking him where he gets his authority. Our Lord, in his wit, turns it back to them. He asks them a question which brings them to accuse themselves of lacking fidelity to God. Jesus is looking for faith. Faith is the attitude that searches for authority in life higher than one’s own. When God calls us to live his will, we should in faith accept it and live it. Even if it seems inconvenient or uncomfortable to us, we should not look for ways to live outside it. It is very important that we bypass inauthentic outlooks on life.

2. Christ’s Mentality: If we are to understand this Gospel passage, we must make an effort to rid ourselves of the “modern mentality.” In the modern mentality, we do whatever we please as long as we don’t step on anyone else’s toes. Jesus proposes a different mentality. Jesus suggests that we not only listen to but also do the will of God in our lives. Neither son in this parable was perfectly in tune with Christ’s suggestion, but at least one of the sons came to his senses and repented for his stubbornness of heart.

3. An Apparent Defeat: Many of us reading through this scene would congratulate Jesus for putting down his enemies and winning the debate. We would toss confetti at the Lord for his wisdom and knowledge in getting out of this predicament. This, though, wasn’t the case. Jesus felt it as a loss. He did not care about appearing better than the others. He left this encounter saddened because he truly desired that the Pharisees believe him and accept his saving message. We ought not to try to shine over our foes. Instead, we should work hard to help them see the light.

Conversation with Christ: With even a little of your charity, I could certainly be a son of two “yeses.” Help me to say “yes” when you ask me something and also to do it immediately – without hesitating for even a moment. Lord, may your will be done!

Resolution: This week, when the alarm goes off early to start my day, I will make an effort to be diligent and punctual for love of God’s will. 

New COVID Restrictions Imposed on Parish Churches

ATTENTION: TO ALL PARISHIONERS OF CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN PONTIAC COUNTY – The Quebec government has raised our COVID level from Yellow to Orange. This means that effective immediately, there can only be 25 people (including the priest) in any Church at one time. So if you are planning to attend Mass in either Chapeau, Sheenboro, or St. Joseph’s please call the parish office to reserve a spot.

Parish Bulletin – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 20 September 2020

Parish Bulletin – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 20 September 2020

STREAMED MASSES:

TUESDAY:*              10 AM             NONE

WEDNESDAY:**      10 AM             In Thanksgiving to God & St. Teresa for a Favor Received

THURSDAY:*           10 AM             Loella Meehan – Norman & Heather Lempke

FRIDAY:***              10 AM             Mary Lampkin – Raymond Morris

SUNDAY:            10:30 AM             Missa Pro Populo (Note time change)

*These Masses will be streamed online, but all parishioners are welcome to attend. All weekday Masses are celebrated in St. Joseph’s Church. Each Mass is followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction at 10:55 am.

** Includes public recitation of the Rosary during Exposition

*** Includes public recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during Exposition

LIVE MASSES:

Chapeau:         (Tuesday)     11 AM   Funeral Mass for Cathie Fleury Davidson

Sheenboro:      (Saturday)       5 PM   Rhea Vaillancourt – Betty Morris & Family

St. Joseph:       (Sunday)         9 AM   Merrill Allard – Jerry & Louise Gallagher

Chapeau:         (Sunday)   10:30 AM  1) Deceased Family Members of the Mercier Family – Art & Frances Fleming

                         2) Theresa & Florian Allard, Laurette & Rene Picotte – Annette & Roger Allard & Family

Please remember to call the Parish Offices to reserve a space at the live Masses for St. Joseph’s and Sheenboro only as attendance is capped below the new government limits due to the constrictions of social distancing and the size of the buildings. We will be able to accommodate 150 people in the Chapeau Church. If you are sick or have a cough, please do not attend. Remember, the Bishop has suspended our obligation to attend a Sunday Mass until further notice so please stay home so as to not make others sick.

Collections:

St. Paul the Hermit:   $  260.00

St. Joseph’s:                $  870.00

St. Alphonsus:             $  995.00

Total Online Donations to Date:  $ 7,331.08

THANK YOU!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1) The video courses studying Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI (Tuesdays at 7 pm) or The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Fridays at 2 pm) begin this week. It’s not to later to register! Please email me at frtimmoylepp@gmail.com so that I can send you the link required to join in the conversation.

2) Did you know that there have now been eight new cases of COVID infection in the Pembroke region over the past seven days with an outbreak being declared at Fellows High School? Please be certain to practice all of the requirements as requested by our Public Health officials (hand hygiene, masks, limiting time in the public square, avoiding large crowds, etc.) both for your own safety and for the safety of those you love. Don’t let your guard down now. If we fail to stop this most recent rise in the virus’ spread in our area, we will face another government ordered shut down of our parishes once again. Let’s all do our part to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

3) Congratulations to Beau Fredrick Paul Morin, infant son of Ali Chalmers and Eric Morin who was baptised in St. Alphonsus Parish last Sunday.

4) Please remember to pray for the repose of the soul of Cathie Fleury Davidson whose funeral will be celebrated in Chapeau this week. Cathie is the wife of Sheldon Davidson and mother to Kyle Davidson. She is the sister to Mariette Sallafranque Fleury, Wayne Fleury, Kevin Fleury, Carl Fleury, and Brenda Fleury Wescome.

5) Our weekend Streamed Mass from St. Joseph’s is now available on both Facebook (on my timeline and the Catholic Parishes of the Upper Pontiac Page) and on my YouTube channel (Search Fr. Tim Moyle to find the channel on YouTube) as of 10:30 am on Sunday morning. Our continued thanks to Louis Schryer for his help in providing this service for all our shut-ins.

Scriptural Reflection of this Weekend’s Readings

Encountering Christ:

1. Gratitude: In this passage the workers became jealous when they saw that others who worked a shorter shift received the same daily wage. This passage is an invitation to grow in personal gratitude for the work we are called to do. It is a blessing to have a job, to be chosen for a task and to contribute to a cause. Work is gratifying, even though it can also be tiring and hard. In the words of St. John Paul II, “Work is a good thing for man–a good thing for his humanity–because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfilment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes “more a human being”(Laborem Exercens). Let us thank God for the work he places in our hands and accomplish it to the best of our ability for his glory.

2. Freedom from Comparison: Our hearts can easily move from gratitude to indignance when someone receives more than we judge is his or her due. Let’s look at the situation of the latecomer to the vineyard. Did he spend anxious hours looking for work before he was hired? Was he passed by earlier because he was older, handicapped, or dealing with a sick child at home? We can never fully comprehend the plight of another. In addition to personal gratitude for our own situation, we are called to have empathy for others. Comparing ourselves to others blocks our ability to see things from their perspective—the basic requirement for empathy.

3. Rejoicing in Another’s Good Fortune: Blessed be God, who distributes gifts according to a purpose (see Romans 12:6). We can always trust God’s good judgment. Only when we are firmly grounded in the knowledge that we are loved by God can we truly rejoice at another’s good fortune. If we labor all day as faithful disciples in his vineyard, blessed be God. If we find our meaning and purpose in God later in life, blessed be God. Either way, our reward for a job well done far surpasses our human efforts. We will never deserve heaven. It is God’s free gift given to those who know, love, and serve him in this world.

Conversing with Christ: Dear Lord, I am grateful for the ability to work in your vineyard, spreading the good news to the souls you place in my life. Please help me to grow in compassion and empathy for those in need of conversion. I want to be your emissary in this suffering world and reach out to meet the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of others. 

Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will practice gratitude for the work you have given me to do.  

For Further Reflection: Laborem Exercens, by St. Pope John Paul II.

Parish Bulletin – 24th Sunday In Ordinary Time – 13 September 2020

Parish Bulletin – 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 13 September 2020

STREAMED MASSES:

TUESDAY:*              10 AM           Raymond Gleason – Sheila Greenough

WEDNESDAY:**   10 AM           Florian Allard – Michel and Roma

THURSDAY:*           10 AM           Brandon Perrault – Earl Lepine

FRIDAY:***                10 AM           Mary, Dave, Judin & Family – Gen Keogh

SUNDAY:                     9 AM             Missa Pro Populo

*These Masses will be streamed online, but all parishioners are welcome to attend. All weekday Masses are celebrated in St. Joseph’s Church. Each Mass is followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction at 10:55 am.

** Public recitation of the Rosary during Exposition

*** Public recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during Exposition

LIVE MASSES:

Sheenboro:      (Sat)   5 PM   Iona Morris – Teresa Downey

St. Joseph:       (Sun)   9 AM   Dean & Diane – Sharon & Helen Fitzpatrick

Chapeau:         (Sun) 10:30 AM  1) Tom & Mary Carroll – The Family

                                                            2) Alvin Lepine – Andy & Bev Fleury

Please remember to call the Parish Offices to reserve a space at the live Masses for St. Joseph’s and Sheenboro only as attendance is capped below the new government limits due to the constrictions of social distancing and the size of the buildings. We will be able to accommodate 150 people in the Chapeau Church. If you are sick or have a cough, please do not attend. Remember, the Bishop has suspended our obligation to attend a Sunday Mass until further notice so please stay home so as to not make others sick.

Collections:

St. Paul the Hermit:   $  864.00

St. Joseph’s:                $1020.00

St. Alphonsus:                $  955.00

Total Online Donations to date:  $ 7,138.58

THANK YOU!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1) If you are interested in participating in the video courses studying Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI (Tuesdays at 7 pm) or The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (Fridays at 2 pm), please email me at frtimmoylepp@gmail.com to register. This is necessary so that I can send you the link required to join in the conversation.

2) Did you know that there have been four new cases of COVID infection in the Pembroke region over the past seven days? Please be certain to practice all of the requirements as requested by our Public Health officials (hand hygiene, masks, limiting time in the public square, avoiding large crowds, etc.) both for your own safety and for the safety of those you love. Our region was basically spared from the virus’ first wave across our country. We won’t be so fortunate if we let down our guard now. If we fail to stop this most recent rise in the virus’ spread in our area, we may face another government ordered shut down of our parishes once again. Let’s all do our part to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

3) Congratulations to Theo Michael Donnelly, infant son of Stephanie Gagnon and Jeremy Donnelly who was baptised in St. Alphonsus Parish last Sunday.

4) We continue to battle with our internet provider to address the issues that have been hampering our live streamed Masses. Your patience is appreciated. If we cannot soon rectify the situation, we will explore other options and services that might better suit our needs. If you too are having issues with the service you are receiving from Reseau Picanoc, especially since their sale to Maskatel, I encourage you to contact both Andre Fortin (MNA) and Will Amos (MP) and register your complaint with them. We deserve far better service than we have been receiving and they are the two individuals who can be of the most assistance in obtaining it in our corner of the province.

5) Our sympathies and consolations go out to Pauline Lepine Godin (our parish secretary) and her children upon the death of her brother-in-law, Murray Godin this past week. Please keep Murray’s soul and the consolation of those who loved him in life in your prayers.

Scriptural Reflection of this Weekend’s Readings: Encountering Christ:

1. A Priceless Debt: We could never pay back the debt on our own for our sins. Some sin can cost us our very lives, “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This is why God the Father sent his beloved Son to ransom us. Christ literally paid the price for our sins with his own blood: “…you do not belong to yourself. You have been purchased at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). None of us are exempt from the need for God’s mercy: “…all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his blood” (Romans 3:23-25). How cognizant are we of the price Christ paid for our sinfulness?

2. Justice and Mercy: Because God is love, the Justice we deserve is overcome by his mercy. Pope Francis said, “Justice and mercy in God are one thing. Mercy is just, and Justice is merciful.” There at the cross, justice and mercy met in the person and sacrifice of Christ. Jesus endured the punishment we deserve and paid every ounce of the penalties we deserve to pay. Because we all have sinned, we have therefore received the gift of God’s mercy; we are called to act accordingly by being merciful and compassionate, like God (see Psalms 103).

3. Choose to Forgive: When we forgive others, even and especially when they cannot make amends for how they have hurt us, we are acting in imitation of Christ: “[And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ” (Ephesians 4:32). We must choose to forgive whoever has wronged us. Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is an act of the will. What happens when we do not choose to forgive? We run the risk that our own sins will be held against us. Our first reading for Mass today considers this point: “Forgive your neighbor the wrong done to you; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Does anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord? Can one refuse mercy to a sinner like oneself, yet seek pardon for one’s own sins?” (Sirach 28:2-4).

Conversing with Christ: Dear Jesus, thank you for paying the price for my sins with your own precious body and blood. Help me to remember that I belong to you, and to live with gratitude for that fact. Help me to choose to forgive others, as you have forgiven me.

Resolution: Lord, today, by your grace, I will choose to forgive someone for a wrong they have done to me. I will pray and ask God to help me to forgive that person fully and with my whole heart.

For Further Reflection: Read St. Thomas Aquinas’s writing on justice and mercy here: Summa Theologiae I, q. 21. Or, read all of Psalm 103, meditating on God’s kindness, mercy, and compassion.

Parish Bulletin – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 06/09/2020

Parish Bulletin – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 6 September 2020

Streamed Masses:

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

Live Masses:

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:

Sheenboro: $220.00

St. Joseph’s: $720.00

Chapeau: $957.00

THANK YOU!

—————————————————————

Announcements:

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 frtimmoylepp@gmail.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.

Parish Bulletin – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2 August 2020

Parish Bulletin – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2 August 2020

STREAMED MASSES:

TUESDAY:*                  10 AM             Lily Sullivan and Deceased Family – M.J. Sullivan

WEDNESDAY:*            10 AM             Carmelita Doyle – Mary & Ed McCann

THURSDAY:*               10 AM              Gordon McCrea – Helen & Maureen Morris

FRIDAY:*                     10 AM             Bernice Battis – Colleen Gribbon

SUNDAY:                        9 AM             Missa Pro Populo

*These Masses will be streamed online, but there will not be any exposition or benediction following as they will be celebrated privately at my cottage during the month of August.

LIVE MASSES:

Sheenboro:     (Saturday)        5 PM    Donald Retty – Rosemary & Martin Flood

St. Joseph:       (Sunday)          9 AM   Merrill, Mike, & Danny Allard – Patsy & Family

Chapeau:         (Sunday)   10:30 AM   Trevor Lindley – Jerry & Marie-Paule Muldoon

Please remember to call the Parish Offices to reserve a space at the live Masses for St. Joseph’s and Sheenboro only as attendance is capped below the new government limits due to the constrictions of social distancing and the size of the buildings. We will be able to accommodate 150 people in the Chapeau Church. If you are sick or have a cough, please do not attend. Remember, the Bishop has suspended our obligation to attend a Sunday Mass until further notice so please stay home so as to not make others sick.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1) Bishop Guy Desrochers C.Ss.R, has announced the following moves to take effect on 1 September 2020:

Rev. William J. Kenney is retiring from active full-time ministry. He will be in residence at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Renfrew. Sincere thanks to Father Kenney for his years of dedicated service.

Rev. G. Ryan Holly is appointed Chancellor. In addition, he is appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Pembroke; Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, La Passe; and Our Lady of Grace Mission, Westmeath. The Bishop confirms Father Holly in the role of Judicial Vicar.

Rev. Michael A. Smith is appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. He remains Pastor of Paroisse St-Jean-Baptiste, Pembroke.

Rev. Scott J. Murray is appointed Director of the Liturgy Office and Diocesan Master of Ceremonies. He remains Pastor of St. Anne Parish, Mattawa.

Rev. John P. Lacey is appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Renfrew, and St. Patrick Parish, Mount Saint Patrick.

Rev. Justin B.J. Bertrand is appointed Administrator of Holy Canadian Martyrs Parish, Combermere, and St. Francis de Sales Mission, Latchford Bridge.

Rev. Réal Ouellette is appointed Administrator of Paroisse St-Thomas-d’Aquin, Astorville; Paroisse Ste-Bernadette, Bonfield; and Sacred Heart Parish, Corbeil.

Rev. Cyril Okebanama, S.M.M.M., is appointed Pastor of St. Theresa Parish, Temiscaming, and Our Lady of the Lake Mission, Kipawa.

Rev. Peter G. Proulx is appointed Parochial Vicar at St. John Chrysostom Parish, Arnprior. Father Proulx will also be available to replace priests in parishes.

Rev. Peter T. Do is appointed Parochial Vicar at Paroisse St-Pierre, Fort-Coulonge; Paroisse St-Charles-Borromée, Otter Lake; St. Elizabeth Parish, Vinton; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission, Waltham.

Rev. Mr. Michael F. Coyne, at the time of his ordination to the priesthood on September 8, 2020, will become Parochial Vicar at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Renfrew, and Most Precious Blood Parish, Calabogie.

2) We have a number of very ill parishioners these days in all three of our parishes. Please remember to pray for:

-Rosemary Ryan who is recovering from a stroke and expects to soon return home

-Jerome Sallafranque, Leonard Duff, Leo Beaulieu, and Dan Kelly (cancer).

If you know of someone who is in need of prayers, please call either parish office and we will include them in the weekly bulletin.

3) The Quebec government has mandated that everyone 12 years of age and older is to wear a mask in all public interior places. Remember though that it isn’t our local merchants that are requiring this of anyone so please don’t give them any grief if they ask you to put one on to shop in their establishment. The benefit of wearing a cloth mask is that it stops the vapour droplets that we all exhale when we breathe from infecting other people. This is important as one can be spreading the COVID-19 virus without having any symptoms themselves. So as annoying and uncomfortable as wearing one might be, please remember that doing so is a way of fulfilling the commitment God laid on our shoulders when we were baptized to love our neighbour.

4) As I mentioned above, I am taking my vacation during the month of August, but I will be available to celebrate weekend Masses and funerals and will stream my private Mass Tuesday to Friday at 10 am from my cottage. I thank Fr. Tom Fitzpatrick who has stepped in to assist by celebrating the Sheenboro Masses for the next 10 weeks. You can always reach Pauline Monday to Wednesday as well as Fridays at the Chapeau office (819-89-5757) and in St. Joseph’s on Thursdays (819-689-5232) if you require something from the parish. I will return to work fulltime on Tuesday September 8th and we will resume our regular office schedules at that time. I appreciate your understanding in letting me rest peacefully, free from parish business during the August weekdays.

5) Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming evident that we will have to cancel our Parish Suppers this year in both Chapeau and St. Joseph’s. Given the importance of these events to the financial health of both parishes, we are asking every family to consider making at least a one-time donation equal to the amount they would have paid to purchase tickets for the meal if it had occurred. This equates to $15 for each adult in the family and $5 for each child under 10 yrs of age. Please make the effort to fulfill this commitment before the end of the Summer as we rely on the proceeds of those parish suppers to pay our heating and insurance bills. God willing, we’ll be able to put on these delicious events again next year. Thank you.

 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR VARIOUS MINISTRIES DURING THESE PANDEMIC TIMES

6) We continue to search for volunteers to help serve in the parishes during these unusual times. In particular, we are looking for people to help distribute communion to those folks who do not feel comfortable yet attending Mass with a group of people. You will be asked to take the Blessed Sacrament to these people in their homes immediately following whichever Mass you attend. Please call the parish office if you are willing. I have also had one couple step forward to help initiate a live streaming of either the Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. But we need at least two or three more people to get this project off the ground. Hopefully, we’ll be able to have everything in place to begin this spiritual initiative immediately after Labour Day.

7) This Saturday, August 1st is the Feast Day of St. Alphonsus of Ligouri. Not only is he the patron of the Chapeau Parish, but he was also the founder of the Redemptorist Order of which our Bishop, +Guy Desrochers, is a member. Please lift up special prayers on our Bishop’s behalf this weekend as well as for all the other members of the Redemptorist Order in Canada and around the world. Good St. Alphonsus… Pray for us!

8) Congratulation to Koralie Marie Sharon Roussell-Fleming who was baptized after Mass in Chapeau last Sunday. Koralie is the daughter of Derek and Karolann Fleming. Please remember to pray that she has a long, happy, and blessed life as a Catholic member of the Roussell-Fleming family.

9) Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mr. Donald Reid, formerly of Waltham who passed away this week. Donald was the widower of the late Loretta Desrochers. I also ask you to pray for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Rhea Vaillancourt whose funeral was celebrated in Chapeau on Tuesday. Rhea was the widow of the late Jean Vaillancourt and mother of Andre, Louise, and Charlie Vaillancourt. May God grant comfort and consolation to both of their families and friends.

Spiritual Reflection From This Weekend’s Readings:

Jesus Is a Team Player

Let’s put ourselves in this scene.

  • After a long day, the exhausted and exasperated disciples try to get Jesus to send away the hungry throng.
  • But Jesus looks at them, so preoccupied with their own selfish concerns, and says, “Feed them yourselves.”
  • Imagine their shock.
  • Five thousand men, with another few thousand women and children, and the Master wants the apostles to give them a meal.
  • They look at each other in confusion and apprehension.
  • They point out that they have barely enough food even for themselves, let alone to feed thousands of hungry hangers-on.
  • But Jesus insists, and finally they hand over their little stash, and Jesus works wonders.

The most obvious lesson hidden in this scene is about Christ’s heart.

  • Jesus’ compassion leads him to put aside his own plans for the sake of the needy crowds.
  • And then it overflows in a miracle so awe-inspiring that it is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels.
  • This is our God! He is always thinking of us! He fills us with good things and is preparing even better things for us in heaven.

But there are other lessons here too – like the lesson about how Jesus works.

  • After blessing and breaking the bread, he gave it to his apostles and told them to distribute it, and the miracle only occurred when they obeyed him.
  • This is still how Jesus works today. He’s a team player, not a solo act.
  • He feeds each one of us with his Word and his sacraments through the Church.
  • And he feeds those outside the Church with the light of his truth through each one of us.

At least, he wants to – but it’s up to us to let him.

Being a Good Member of Christ’s Team

Jesus is a team player, and we are on his team.

The goal of Christ’s team is nothing less than eternal life and everlasting happiness.

To achieve that goal, each of us needs to fulfill three basic team responsibilities.

First, we need to keep our eye on the ball – on Christ, that is.

  • We need to stay close to our team leader, getting to know him better every day, learning to see all things as he sees them.
  • This we do by prayer, by reading and studying Church teaching, and by conversations with other people who know Christ well.

Second, we need to play good defense.

  • Good defense means avoiding unnecessary temptations.
  • We are all vulnerable to temptations that come from our own selfish tendencies, from the devil, and from the self-centered world around us.
  • God gives us enough grace to resist temptations, but we cut ourselves off from that grace when we purposely put ourselves in dangerous situations,
  • like wasting time surfing the Internet,
  • going to parties centered on destructive behavior,
  • distancing ourselves from family relationships and healthy friendships,
  • or even just being lazy.

Third, we need to play good offense.

  • Good offense is simply doing God’s will.
  • 90% of the time, God’s will is easy to identify.
  • It means following the commandments,
  • obeying our conscience,
  • fulfilling well our normal responsibilities,
  • and striving to love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • 10% of the time, God’s will is hard to see – then we need extra prayer, patience, and the advice of a priest or other wise person.

Jesus is eager for us to discover the joy and satisfaction that comes from being more active members of his team.

If we keep our eye on the ball, play good defense, and play good offense, we won’t let him down.