SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
May 22, 2022
From the Desk of our Rector
“In a world that has enormous possibilities and increasingly diverse influences, Christianity is desperate for more ambassadors and fewer bureaucrats.” So says Alan Hilliard. When we encounter Jesus in the Gospel, we are reminded that we are to be examples of our mission by the way we love.
Jesus does not just suggest this but commands it numerous times promising us the guidance and strength to do it. However, it has always been a challenge but we are called to do it and if we do it, we will make a difference.
Just how does Jesus really call us to love?
At some point along our journey we would have heard there are different definitions for “love’’: the passionate love that seeks to possess the one loved, - romantic love , the love of friendship, rooted in attraction to another discovering there an emotional bond, and love that is a gift that does not have to do with feeling or attraction. This love is not so much affection as connection, a matter of being with and doing for another. Strangely enough we have also heard we don’t even have to like the other, but we do have to love. This is the love with which Jesus wishes to strengthen his disciples. He said: “it was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go out and bear fruit that will remain. “ This love is a gift from God. St. John reminds us: “Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, because God is love. “
It’s easy for us to love some people. They are just loveable people. They think the way we do. They appreciate our humor. Thy always agree with us. But the radical challenge for every Christian is this: how can I love those I do not like? Is Jesus really asking me to love the unlovable, the inhuman people who have done something awful to us – to our face or behind our back, who don’t like or agree with us, or those who hurt us? Well, it would appear, yes! So, is it impossible? Is it an unreal task? How can I do that? I can’t, if I haven’t understood what the love we celebrate at Easter means.
Jesus is not asking us to become best friends with our enemies nor to like those who are quite unlikable. But, he is commanding you and me to care, to be concerned for every child, woman and man who comes across our path. It is possible if we accept the help to do it that God gives us. It is possible to love as Jesus loved not because we’re brilliant or super-gifted but because he loves us and lives in us. And isn’t that one of the best motivators for loving – to realize we have been loved first? All Jesus is asking us to do is care wherever we find ourselves: this city, our parish, where we work and have fun, the home we take for granted, our own environment. God took on our flesh in the person of Jesus. He walked our ways, experienced what we experience in our sorrows. He lived among us with a particular concern for those who were sinners. This unconditional love ended in crucifixion. And that’s the love we celebrate. So, your mission and mine is to reach out to everyone we encounter with respect, compassion and love. The Eucharist, the Word of God, and our prayer give us the strength to be a witness to a God who loves people of every nation and all of creation. We will be moved out of our comfort level and beyond ourselves but isn’t that how love works?
Fr. Jim Mockler
The Divine Bus Driver
“The early Church had some start-up problems. We hear of one and its resolution in today’s First Reading from Acts of the Apostles. Male circumcision for the Jews was the proper rite of initiation. Bountiful progeneration was a promise by God to Abraham and his descendants. Circumcision was the sign of Jewish dedication to that promise. The Jews who formed the early followers of Jesus were forced to a reconsideration when “pagans” and “gentiles” wanted to enter, or be initiated, into the growing Church. Should they be forced to be circumcised into their Jewish tradition in order to enter their following of Jesus? There was not unanimity about this answer.
John’s whole Gospel has more to do with the faith-growth of the first and second centuries, than with an exact and historical relating of the events of the life of Jesus. The events of His life are actually quite limited compared to those which are related in the first three Gospels. There are more discourses, arguments and poetic expressions in John’s Gospel which are all intended to attract followers to Jesus and keep them together as followers of “the One Who has been sent.” We have those same struggles and wonderings about Jesus and our willingness to respond to His ways. What we read today and will hear next Sunday are verses intended to encourage us in living with the promise of the Holy Spirit Whose coming we will celebrate in two weeks. As followers in the Church we are listening in to Jesus comforting, encouraging and blessing us.
Now for a brief reflection on this encouraging passage. Abandonment! My younger brother, at the age of six, was put on a city bus by his older brother and was told to stay on until the end of the line. Across the street from the end of the line was our house. This was quite a trauma, being left alone on this huge bus with all these strange people and a driver whom Pat didn’t know. He did ask the driver if the bus was going to Forty-Third Street and was that forty-third street in Milwaukee and was there a big white house across the street? No amount of assurance was satisfying, nor is it still to this day.
The Divine Bus Driver is telling us, his passengers, that we will not be left alone, but actually we will be the “Big White House” the dwelling place of God if we believe. Believing does invite questions, but we are invited to trust what the Driver says. The “world” gives a sense of peace which is temporary and conditional. Jesus offers a peace which results from the permanent relationship He offers us through his Gift of the Spirit. We do have worries and fears which are appropriate for us as fragile “bus-riders”. We are comforted by knowing there are other “riders” who for centuries have ridden with their fears and yet in faith. The “world” needs certainty and demands the security of knowing. Human relationships of love go leaping into future “bus-rides” together. This leaping, yes this, is how we fulfill his request that we love him by keeping his Word. His Word is not a command or law, but an invitation to be aware and accepting of his love for us during his life, death, and resurrection, and now in his sending of the Holy Spirit.
God loves us in Christ, but this love does not protect us from experiencing worries and fears. That love does not protect us from bumping our noses, stubbing our toes, breakings of hearts, nor losing our way. His love does not protect us from our being human, but encourages us to get on the bus, stay on the bus until we get to the end of the line where our home is right across, well, over there.”
Excerpt from Daily Reflection, Creighton University’s Online Ministries, Fr. Larry Gillick, S.J.
London North Central Catholic Family of Parishes Update
The new mass times for the London North Central Catholic Family of Parishes was announced in last week's bulletin. Effective July 5, 2022 the mass times are as follows:
St. Michael’s: Sat.: 5:00 pm; Sun: 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 12:00 pm
St. Peter’s: Sat.: 5:00 pm; Sun: 9:00 am, 11:00 am
St. Josephine Bakhita: 4th Sunday of the month, 2:30 pm (St. Michael's)
St. Michael’s: Tues.-Fri: 8:00 a.m.
St. Peter’s: Tues.-Fri.: Noon
A new logo has been created to represent our Family of Parishes. Click here to see the full insert from last weekend to update you on the logo, Mass times and work of the Transition team.
Please continue to pray for the Transition Team as we discern the future direction of the London North Central Catholic Family of Parishes.
St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Michael, St. Peter… Pray for us.
Celebrating Fr. Jim Mockler
As was announced in January, Fr. Jim will be retiring at the end of June after 18 years as Pastor and Rector of St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica and 51 years of ministry in our Diocese. We will formally honour and celebrate Fr Jim:
Sun. June 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Centennial Hall-Lower Level
Formal Remarks at 3:30 p.m.
St. Vincent de Paul May Appeal
As we continue to serve our neighbours in need, we have increased the amount we give to each household in an attempt to keep up with the rise in prices we all are experiencing. As always, we can do this only because you have been so generous with both your money and your prayers. We ask that you please consider responding to our annual May appeal. Appeals to our parish help us raise the funds we need to distribute the necessities of life to our friends in need. It runs for the month of May. If you have envelopes we would appreciate your support. If you don’t have envelopes and donate monthly, you may have already allocated a donation for May. Thank you. If not, you can go on line and do a one-time donation on the St Peters website and select “My donation is for St. Vincent de Paul” or if you send a cheque to the parish office indicate Donation to St Vincent de Paul. Thank you for your on-going and generous support.
Cathedral Singers—Welcomes New Members!
If you have an interest in music ministry and time to commit your musical talents, do consider joining the St. Peter’s Cathedral Singers.
Requirements: basic skills for reading music, a good ear for music, a firm commitment to rehearsals and Sunday Masses, and an openness to collaborative learning.
Rehearsals: Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 9:45 a.m.
The choir sings at the 10:30 Sunday Mass (September to June) and at Diocesan events such as Mass of Chrism, Ordinations, etc.
Ages 14 and up are welcome.
Contact: Gloria Gassi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-641-1384.
Currently masks are worn in choir for Covid safety.
Cleaning for a Cause: Last Weekend on May 28-29!
Our parish's Knights of Columbus will be available to receive your eWaste to avoid the landfill. Drop off your electronics every Saturday and Sunday in May from 9 am to 2 pm. in the main lot. Examples to drop off include: TVs, screens, computers, laptops, cords, wires, small household appliances, audio/video equipment, tools, vacuums, etc. Essentially, anything with a cord will qualify. No Large appliances are accepted. All proceeds go towards supporting the good works of our council.
Spring Cleaning for a Cause is an Electronic Products Recycling Association-approved event!
Diocesan Pastoral Council
Earlier this year, Bishop Fabbro announced his intention to revive the Diocesan Pastoral Council, which is a consultative body made up of Lay Faithful that will act as an additional advisory council for the Bishop of the Diocese of London. The members of the Council will identify pastoral needs, study them and with prayer, discernment and dialogue, present possible solutions for the Bishop to consider.
In the coming months the diocese will host a series of Town Hall meetings for those who may be interested in being a part of this council. Following a period of discernment, two representatives from each deanery will be appointed to the council which will begin meeting in September 2022. Please prayerfully consider attending one of the following Town Hall Meeting to get more information about the Diocesan Pastoral Council and how to submit a name for consideration to the Bishop. Keep this initiative in your prayers as the church continues to respond the Pope Francis’ call to engage synodally and give a more prominent voice to the laity in the discernment of future pastoral directions for our Diocese.
Upcoming dates for the Town Hall Meetings are: May 24 in London at St. George; May 25 in Huron Perth at Precious Blood in Exeter; May 26 in Windsor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel; May 30 in Ingersoll at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Delhi; May 31 in Chatham at Blessed Sacrament.
More information and alternative Town Hall dates here.
Diocese of London Supports the Fugitive Slave Chapel Project
On May 12th, Bishop Fabbro presented to Fanshawe Pioneer Village a cheque for $5,000 from the Diocese to support the relocation of the historic Fugitive Slave Chapel (founded in 1847) to the Pioneer Village for further restoration and permanent display. From Bishop Fabbro’s letter accompanying the donation: “We are grateful for the opportunity to support this worthy project to help preserve the histories of Black communities that have existed in southwestern Ontario for two centuries.
Papal Visit to Canada; July 24-29
The Vatican announced late last week Pope Francis will be visiting Canada July 24-29. Pope Francis will adopt only three communities as a base for his Canadian visit: Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit.
The locations will limit travel for the Holy Father while still allowing an opportunity for both intimate and public encounters, drawing on participation from all regions of the country. For the CCCB announcement, click here.
London Area Right to Life
London Area Right to Life (LARLA) invites you to their open house on Saturday, June 25 @ 1-3pm, at Gibbons Park. Find out more about the organization and how you can become a member and volunteer. There will be refreshments and fun! To RSVP and receive more details visit this page.
LARLA is a charitable organization which seeks to provide evidence-based education on the value of human life and support for vulnerable lives in the community. You can inquire or join any events by contacting email@example.com; 519-659-3334.
St. Peter's has monthly day parking available in our North parking lot. The cost is $125/month which is substantially below our competitors in the area. Please email or call at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-432-3475.
We remember in prayer all those who are sick including John Chidiac.
We also pray for those who have died including including
Pat Smith, father and father-in-law of Terry & Rob Tate;
and comfort those who mourn.
We pray for those serving in pastoral ministry throughout our diocese:
Rev. Slawomir Szwagrzyk; Deacon Frank Lepain;
Rev. Louis Revard; Rev. William Kornacker; Rev. Piotr Wojakiewicz, C.S.M.A.;
Shirley Markham, Parish Nurse; Jessica Lemon, Campus Minister