TWENTY FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME



My dear parishioners,


As hard-working Canadians, we always look forward to long weekends, celebrations and family time. After labour day and Thanksgiving, Halloween is the next fun-filled event for kids. Despite its Celtic origin, the current celebration of Halloween with scary demonic decorations and ghost imitation has created so much concern among recent immigrant parents. At the same time, kids really look forward to the trick or treat candy collection night. Therefore, this week, I would like to share my pastoral plan to address this concern of our families.

Halloween is a contraction of Hallow’s Eve or All Saints' Eve, which is observed in several Western Christian countries. It begins the three-day observance dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows) martyrs, and all the faithful departed on November 1st. Today's Halloween traditions are originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, which have had pagan roots prior to Christianity.

Children like candies and fun. Therefore, they might insist to go for trick or treat. At the same time, the scary ghost costumes they wear for the night might defeat the original intent of the night. This is the eve of saints. It is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate and learn about saints.

This year, our parish is offering parents and children a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Halloween without loosing fun and its original intent. Our ‘Catechism of the Good Shepherd’ Ministry with the help of Youth ministry and other lead volunteers of the parish, will be organizing a Saints Costume Contest on Saturday October 26.

There will be cash awards for winners and huge bag of candy for all participants. One of our parishioners who prefer to remain anonymous has generously donated $2000.00 for this beautiful night. Please pray for this family. I would encourage all children to participate in this contest and learn about a saint that you are going to dress up.

I would also invite all families to this beautiful evening to enjoy the saint’s night. You may also consider volunteering and contribute few bags of candies for this night. More details of the contest and celebration will be posted on our info TV and website in the following weeks. Stay tuned…

Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor

TWENTY FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME


My Dear Parishioners,


My favourite Bible passage for baptism ceremony is from Matthew 19:13-15. One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. Then Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

If you ask me what the primary priority of St. Francis Xavier parish is, without doubt I will say: Bring children and youth closer to Christ. Keeping that in mind, we are going to undertake a huge challenge of parish based Sacramental preparation program. It has been the highly desired goal of the archdiocese to bring the faith formation a joint effort between family, parish and school.

Since we have completed the preliminary planning stage, I am getting scared realizing the magnitude of this program. Imagine having 500/600 students for this program! It’s almost like running a school! Trusting in the Good Lord and relying on the generous spirit of our volunteers we are going to embark this missionary project. I am so grateful to Caroline Athaide, the principal of St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Elementary school, for volunteering to be the principal of this program.  Thank You – big time; you kept my blood pressure normal. A special thanks to all our committed volunteers who signed up to guide the students. We still need more high school student as volunteers. Hey folks, it’s going to be a win-win situation. You get community hours and we could keep our students happy by your presence.

I am sure, many parents and students may be wondering how this is going to be? Let me assure you, there is nothing much to worry. We could discuss all your concerns in the upcoming parent meeting in September or through individual meetings. You might have already received a schedule of events. Please check the date and attend that meeting. If you cannot make it the specified day, feel free to attend other information session. If you lost that information sheet, please feel free to get another copy from the office or check our new information T.V. in the foyer.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Prov 22:6

May the Lord bless you and your families,

Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor

TWENTY THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME



My Dear Parishioners,

On this feast day of the birthday of our Blessed Mother, I wish you all the blessings of Blessed Mother.

On the world day of social communications, Pope Francis started his message with the following line: “We are members of one another (Eph 4:25) From social network communities to the human community”. The holy father also warned us about the dual edge nature of social communication network in today’s world. “The Net is an opportunity to promote encounter with others, but it can also increase our self-isolation, like a web that can entrap us. Young people are the ones most exposed to the illusion that the social web can completely satisfy them on a relational level.  There is the dangerous phenomenon of young people becoming “social hermits” who risk alienating themselves completely from society. This dramatic situation reveals a serious rupture in the relational fabric of society, one we cannot ignore”.

As individuals and community, we are called to live as Light of the world and Salt of the earth. Every opportunity should be used to proclaim the Good News. I am so proud of some of our members who have used their intellectual talents, strong faith and human efforts to bring greater glory to the Lord and protection for us.

Mr. Joseph and Orlin Anupol with their family members voluntarily invested a great deal of time and efforts to install the security cameras for our parish. Our BLD prayer group has donated the 70” T.V. in the hallway to promote all our parish programs. Our young office staff, Danielle Dominguez and Shania Netto developed all power points for the T.V.

Our IT Team under the leadership of Jennifer Kalwachia is tirelessly working to bring our parish I.T. concerns in a manageable and cost-effective level. Thank you, dear friends, for your contributions. May God bless you all in these amazing tasks - most of the time away from public attention.

May the blessings of the Lord be with you all and your loved ones.

Fr. James Cherickal, Pastor