THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
March 7, 2021
From the Desk of our Rector
Every now and again one experience can lead to thinking about another. That happened to me this week. I would place this under the category of “things I can’t do anymore”. Wednesday evening found me in the fourth session of an online beginner yoga class. Just taking time out to relax and stretch is a benefit but I soon realized I’m not as flexible as I once was. I was simply listening to instructions and then looked up at the screen, convinced the instructor had her left toe in her right ear. Seeing other movements that I can’t do right now and remain only in my imagination I figured it was a good time to take a break and put my dinner in the oven, while still able to walk.
Like you, during, Lent and the pandemic, I’ve been doing a lot of praying, reading and reflecting. I began to think about what we’ve had a chance to experience this past year. It hasn’t been easy for many and some have hit the wall while wrestling with the fact there are things we have been prevented from doing. People who lost loved ones during the pandemic were prevented, by the necessity of health and safety protocols, from grieving properly. This affects both families and friends.
And that’s where the light came on for me. And that was it for me. In the midst of the pandemic and its changes, are we grieving properly? What am I doing with my anxiety, anger, impatience and irritation? There is lot to grieve. We have experienced losses – loved ones, family we can’t be with, physical touch, safety, mental health, the usual patterns of life that keep us sane. We miss people and we do like to keep our own schedule. Everything piles up and stops and I realize, at best temporarily, I can‘t do anymore what I used to be able to do. Of course we encourage each other to stay strong, hang in and be positive. We are made to be people of hope and we are but there’s another step sometimes missing. Do I allow myself to admit that I’m sad over these losses? As someone asked, “Do I mourn my losses?” I can be hopeful and positive for a time but if I haven‘t admitted my losses first, it won’t last. The priest and spiritual writer Henri Nouwen, wrote: “A growing surrender to the unknown is a sign of spiritual maturity. Those who are brave enough to let themselves feel the depth of their loss are the really creative people. They are free to move constantly away from the familiar, safe places and can keep moving forward to new, unexplored areas of life.” These are challenging times for everyone of any age. However, if we move forward we will find ourselves in places we’ve never discovered before. The way to the days ahead is to mourn what we’ve lost, allow ourselves to feel vulnerable and accept help, be kind and patient with ourselves and others, so that when we do move out of the pandemic, we will appreciate what we will find in the days ahead.
How’s Lent going for you? During this time we have been invited to fast, pray and support those in need. We don’t carry out these practices to earn God’s love. That is always presumed because of his death and resurrection. We do them to respond to those Jesus places in front of us. Who are those in need? Do I know them? Am I becoming more sensitive? Am I responding?
Fr. Jim Mockler
Lent: A Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love
“In our Lenten journey towards Easter, let us remember the One who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit.
Faith: In this Lenten season, accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s word, which the Church passes on from generation to generation. It is a message that all of us can receive and understand thanks to the wisdom of a heart open to the grandeur of God, who loves us even before we are aware of it. Christ himself is this truth. Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us (cf. Jn 14:23).
Hope: In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation which we have often mistreated (cf. Laudato Si’, 32-33; 43-44). In Lent, in order to give hope to others, it is sometimes enough simply to be kind, to be “willing to set everything else aside in order to show interest, to give the gift of a smile, to speak a word of encouragement, to listen amid general indifference” (Fratelli Tutti, 224). To experience Lent in hope entails growing in the realization that, in Jesus Christ, we are witnesses of new times, in which God is “making all things new” (cf. Rev 21:1-6). It means receiving the hope of Christ, who gave his life on the cross and was raised by God on the third day, and always being “prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls [us] to account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Pet 3:15).
Love: Love rejoices in seeing others grow. Love is a leap of the heart; it brings us out of ourselves and creates bonds of sharing and communion. Love is a gift that gives meaning to our lives. It enables us to view those in need as members of our own family, as friends, brothers or sisters. To experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his Servant, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you” (Is 43:1). In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters.
Dear brothers and sisters, every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving. The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us – as communities and as individuals – to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of the Father.”
Excerpt from Pope Francis’ Lenten Message, 2021.
To read the full text of Pope Francis’ Lenten Message, click here.
Year of Saint Joseph
Pope Francis announced a year dedicated to St. Joseph beginning Dec. 8, 2020. During this special year, lasting until Dec. 8, 2021, Catholics are urged to pray to St. Joseph and reflect on his unique contribution to our understanding of Christian belief and tradition. His role as the earthly father for Jesus of Nazareth reminds us of the many ways we, too, can live out God’s call for us to be disciples of Christ.
The year was announced in the form of an apostolic letter from Pope Francis entitled Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), marking the 150th anniversary of a papal declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
Throughout this year we will provide you with resources to aid you in your prayer and understanding of St. Joseph.
Prayer For the Year of St. Joseph
God of tender strength, in this year, we entrust ourselves to you,
through the intercession of your servant Joseph.
Attentive to the words of an angel,
he provided shelter and protection to Mary and your Son.
As a father, a spouse, a worker and a refugee, he knows our struggles,
and we see him reflected in the faces of all in need.
Under his protection, may our Church and our country
walk the paths of goodness and justice.
May our service, like his, be hidden,
so that in all things, you might be glorified.
We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever. Amen.
© Rev. Michael Bechard
Art & Faith: Lent
Loyola Press is offering a visual prayer experience this Lent with Arts & Faith: Lent. Each week a video commentary is presented about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. These videos take a new look at this season of spiritual renewal through the lens of sacred art. Click here to view this series that began Ash Wednesday and continues until Easter Sunday.
Best Lent Ever
Are you still searching for a resource to accompany your prayer this Lent?. Best Lent Ever, by Dynamic Catholic journeys through Matthew Kelly’s latest book, I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life’s Essential Daily Habit. Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing through all forty days of Lent, you will receive a daily email with a short video to help you reconnect with yourself and your God. It is not too late to access this resource. Click here to sign-up.
Family Resources for Lent 2021
The Diocese of London has prepared resources for Lent including: Tips for Family Prayer, a Lenten Reflection video with Bishop Fabbro (French transcript is available) and a Family Prayer Challenge. To access printable versions in English and French languages, click here.
Journey Through Lent-CCCB Video Series for Lent
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s video series for Lent 2021, Journey through Lent continues each week with reflections on the Gospel reading for each Sunday in Lent by Bishop Gerard Bergie and Archbishop Marcel Damphousse. Click here to access.
Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross will be prayed each Friday at noon. This virtual service will feature our Cathedral’s stations in still images accompanied by prayer and reflection. The service will be available each week on our YouTube channel.
“Share Love, Share Lent”-Development and Peace
With the entire human family suffering from COVID-19, the Share Lent campaign invites us to share love and express solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Global South, whose vulnerabilities are being exacerbated by the pandemic. Remembering the inherent dignity of all human beings, let us heed the Pope’s reminder that “justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day.” (FT 11)
To learn more about this year’s Share Lent campaign, click here. New materials are being added each week.
Bishop Fabbro has written to all parishioners to support the Share Lent campaign. Click here to access the letter.
St. Peter's has monthly day parking available in our North parking lot. The cost is $120/month which is substantially below our competitors in the area. Please email or call at or 519-432-3475.
We remember in prayer all those who are sick. including Fe Esplana, mother of Emilio Esplana; Sr. Mary Talpas, of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph; and comfort those who mourn.
We pray for those serving in pastoral ministry throughout our diocese:
Rev. Christopher Gillespie; Rev. Frederick Howard-Smith; Deacon Andre Dedecker; Mrs. Betty Hompoth, Pastoral Minister; Deacon Victor Salazar; Rev. Gerard Bedard;
Rev. Joseph Kannath
Requested Mass Intentions
March 10—Wednesday 12 PM
Maureen Myers; Helene Diesbourg; Mary Elizabeth Neary; Deceased Members of the Rogelj & Kmet Families; Intns of Anna & Laco Toth & Family; Intns of Sister Stephanie Rettinger
March 13—Saturday Vigil Mass 5 PM
Edel Quinn; Francesco Corcurullo; Rita Clement; Isagami Verceles; Giovanna DiCola; Intns of Jana Zemankova & Family
March 14—Sunday 8:30 AM
Larry Mellen; Kathleen Brunton; Laurenso Son Tran; Robert Kenneth Scott Carswell; Jose G. Medonca; Intns of Sister Jane Marie Stoeks
March 14—Sunday 10:30 AM
David Magee; Diane Kisilak; Anthony & Mary Pinto; Janet Patricia Anderson; For the Souls in Purgatory; Intns of Veronica Abrook
March 14—Sunday 12:30 PM
For the intentions of the parishioners of St. Peter’s Cathedral