A Word from the Pastor

If you happened to be away last week, you may have missed the financial report for the parish, which was published with last week’s bulletin. It is still available online and there are copies here at the parish. The sheets with the more detailed figures are also available at the office.

This weekend we welcome Ryan Alemao who is in our Archdiocesan house of formation, Serra House. As part of his experience, Ryan will be with us most weekends throughout the academic year. He is here to be close to the realities of parish life, which do look a little different when you are here all day on a Sunday! The most important thing is that he will experience the life of faith that you share with him. He also will bring his graced perspective as a young man praying about and preparing for a possible vocation to priestly life. This will be a blessing for us all. Welcome, Ryan!

The Catholic Register recently carried a story about the killings of Christians in Pakistan. The article is located at www.catholicregister.org/content/view/3334/849/. It quotes Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, Archbishop of Lahore expressing concern about the blasphemy laws that are used as a pretext for intimidating the Christian population. Alerting the Canadian Government to these concerns is both real and responsible. Visit the website of the Archdiocese of Lahore and consider sending them an e-mail of encouragement. www.archdioceselahore.org. Archbishop Saldanha spent two years with me at Precious Blood Parish. Leaving his family, he was ordained on September 11, 2001. He left his family here to go and shepherd them.

The other immediate issue I want to draw your attention to is this private member’s bill in the House of Commons that would make euthanasia legal. Not only would it justify killing and result in many deaths, but it would reinforce a view of life that is absolutely inconsistent with our respect for human life as a gift. We are to be stewards of life not define its boundaries. See the bulletin article below. Visit the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto, www.archtoronto.org. We need to be heard.

How do I respond to all the urgent problems in the world? There are many. Sri Lanka, world poverty and starvation, climate change, AIDS and so many other sufferings exist around the world. It requires the formation of conscience and attention to discerning what God’s call for each of us. There are people called to work toward answering these problems. There is a cost. Each of us needs to listen.

It is important to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. In Canada, we have responsible government. Those who are our representatives, members of provincial legislatures and the House of Commons need and often seek input from those who elect them. This is why citizenship is important; it gives us the opportunity to be governed by people are accountable to us. As people who have the sacredness of human life and personhood at the very core of our faith, we are well-equipped to speak. We need confidence and wisdom.

When we engage our public officials we need to do it with respect both for them and for their office. This is what is consistent with our belief. It makes our work difficult since we cannot fall into rhetoric or slogans. Also, our individual vocations do draw us in different directions sometimes. Mother Teresa kept her work, spirituality and message simple. She did not set out to solve all the world’s problems. And in doing so she allowed God’s grace to change the hearts of many. We need to encourage each other. We have different parts of the field to work in. The work is really important and I will return to these questions of morality, justice and charity regularly.

In Christ, Fr. Bob