My Dear Parishioners,

As I write this Thanksgiving weekend note, I was wondering, what are the things I should be grateful for?

I am grateful to the Lord for calling me, as unworthy as I am, to be his servant to shepherd His flock! Thank you, Lord! I am also grateful for this wonderful faith-filled community of St. Francis Xavier. I am blessed to be your Pastor. Your genuine faith, humble services, caring love and honest efforts to witness to the Lord need to be acknowledged gratefully. As always, we are called to serve the Lord in each other.

This Thanksgiving weekend let me gratefully acknowledge our dedicated staff, Joanita Miranda – our head secretary, Alden Wilson – Business Manager, Marilou Alinea - Receptionist, Raddy Oscan- Custodian, Laura Bell – Youth Minister, and all student staff. I am also grateful to hundreds of our lay leaders who dedicate their time and talents at various ministries. How can I forget Fr. Jim and Fr. Joao – my associates, for their undivided support and hard work.  May God Bless you all. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

30 Young Lectors starting in November

I am happy to announce that as part of our new pastoral vision, we have trained 30 young people to join in the Lectors ministry. It was exciting to see that there was a generous response from our young people to become proclaimers of the Word of God. This gives us greater hope as our young people are proud of their faith. Our youth are brave to be witnesses for Christ. It is my prayer that the presence of teenagers and youngsters proclaiming the Lord, might inspire other young people in the congregation. I congratulate the parents of these young people as well.

As we welcome our young people to this ministry, many of our loyal and dedicated lectors might experience the frequency of proclamation will be re-aligned. Some of you are in this sacred ministry for so many years with great deal of devotion and dedication. Many have been inspired by your proclamation, witness and commitment. Thank you for the understanding and welcoming our young people to this ministry. May God bless you and continue to be the face and voice of Christ.

I thank our Lector Co-Ordinator Lynette Vaz and her team leaders who have developed a lector schedule at each Mass starting November, with a mature adult lector assigned to mentor a young lector. This is a great opportunity to develop an intergenerational ministry. On behalf of our Pastoral team, I wish all the best for our Lector team. As was the John the Baptist, may you be the voice of the Lord.

Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor


My Dear Parishioners,

This week, you might have received a letter regarding the inception, growth and challenges of our parish community and its church building. We have an eventful history and an exciting future. St. Francis Xavier parish is like any others, built upon the strong faith and commitment of its people. We gratefully acknowledge all their sacrifices, prayers and commitment. As we move forward after 20 years of its operation, we are faced with urgent renovation and maintenance to the building and a renewed vision for our faith community. Therefore, the pastoral vision designed for our parish is:  A Vision To Restore & To Renew. To Restore the Building and Renew our Life.

In the coming months, our Pastoral Council, Stewardship, Liturgy, Building, Finance, Faith formation committees and various organizations will be focusing on the above said vision. Our Building and Finance council in consultation with the Archdiocese of Toronto, has already developed the plan for the Restoration of the church building and its facilities. All other various committees and organizations will be engaging in the thought-process of ‘Renewal of life’ in our faith community. 

In 1994, Catholic Bishops Conference of United States reflected on the mission of parishes in this way: “The parish is where the Church lives. Parishes are communities of faith, of action, and of hope. They are where the gospel is proclaimed and celebrated, where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth. Parishes are the homes of Christian community; they are the heart of our Church”. This is what we aim by the Renewal of Life program – to transform our parish as the heart of our faith community. To develop our parish as an engaging, inspiring and caring community.

This week is so special in the life of our parish. On Sunday October 6 at 3.00 p.m. and Tuesday October 8 at 7.00 p.m. our building committee is going to present to us what they found from the building assessment study. I encourage all of you to participate in that meeting and kindly ask your questions or raise your concerns if there are any. As a faith community we journey together. We need to understand who we are, where we are, and where we are heading. So please plan to attend.
May God Bless you.

Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor


My dear parishioners,

The most watched and read lines of last week was not from any world leaders of power. It was the intervention of a Swedish teenager Gretta Thunberg at the United Nations about Climate Change disaster: "This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you," she said.

"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words," Thunberg said.

We need young people like Thunberg who are convinced, brave and committed. Last week, we had the information sessions for the confirmation program. We receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation. Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude (Courage), knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Sacrament of confirmation prepares us to be the brave witnesses of Christ and his values. Thunberg was speaking out for a world at the brink of disaster. We need young Catholics who may come out with the same passion for the souls that are in disaster in today’s world. My hope and prayer are our faith formation programs, youth ministry activities, family life etc. may help our next generation more convinced about the love of Christ.

Pretty Srilanka

As I went for my brother in law’s memorial Mass in India, I had an opportunity to accept the invitation of Bp. Harold Antony Perera of Kurunagela Diocese in Srilanka. It was my very first visit and must admit, that I was pleasantly surprised by this most beautiful island in the Indian Ocean. The hospitality of the people, clean and excellent roads, the green slush everywhere makes you think that this may be the garden of Eden. I was also able to visit the retreat centre of Bro. Lalit Perera and the National seminary in Kandy. What amazed me in that trip was seeing a ninety-year-old man picking up the leaves from the roadside in front of his house. My host family explained to me that most people do this to keep the country clean. A true practical application of the German Poet Goethe’s famous line: “If everyone sweeps in front of his own door, the whole world will be clean”. Good job Srilanka.

Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor