Back in August I had a chance to attend to Karl Heinz Wawak, and a few days later to preside his funeral. During these occasions I had a chance to meet someone whose face I never saw until today. How can that be? Because he was still in utero!
Our parish baptismal ministry team—of which I am extremely proud—continues its journey to ministerial excellence. This evening we had a gathering of the Steering Committee for the baptismal ministry, and reviewed our progress of constant improvement in the service we offer the people of God.
For the last 5 weeks (including this one), the attendance at Sunday mass has increased considerably. Our church seats 750-800 reasonable comfortably. Last week the official count at our 11:00 am mass was 903. This week it is 938, but unofficially it was probably 980+. Whew!
Our parish has a local council of the Catholic Women’s League, and this year they are celebrating their 40th anniversary. I had the honour of presiding a special pinning ceremony at the 4:30 pm mass, as well as to attend a dinner held afterwards.
My Wednesday post was about the meeting I had with our Faith First parents. I just want to say I have great parishioners.
Why, you ask? The next morning I found an email letting me know that there was a surprise for me in the parish hall fridge. Along with a note were two containers of homemade seasonal soups! So today I tried the butternut squash soup, and was it ever good. I’m looking forward to trying the pumpkin soup soon.
It’s a scenario it seems every pastor has to contend with sooner or later: fixing the roof of the church. In fact, I’m convinced that it is one of the key ecumenical issues of the 20th century. It has to be, because at every ecumenical clergy gathering the topic of somebody’s church roof comes up sooner or later……
This evening we had a gathering of the parents of our children in the Faith First program. I’m told about 250 people showed up.
Yesterday I published a post regarding the Windsor Report of the Anglican Communion. I’d like to treat here a topic that I believe will be important for understanding the dynamics of what will colour much of the debate: the so-called Ecstatic Heresy.
This evening I had the chance to hear confessions at the Montreal Challenge weekend. I always love hearing confessions, and this is especially true for the Challenge movement — I have a soft spot in my heart for Challenge, as I myself learned a lot through it, and I helped found it here in Montreal. It was during my own Challenge weekend that I first met people who fearlessly proclaimed their personal relationship with Jesus, a relationship rooted in love. I knew I wanted to be able to speak of my own love of the Lord in the same “courageous” terms.
Today we had a special meeting of our liturgy committee. We have decided to take the Vatican document Redemptionis Sacramentum seriously, and are doing a paragraphy by paragraph review of the document to see where we are doing well in our Eucharistic celebrations, and where we may be slipping up a bit.
CNN is reporting on an Italian study which links specific genetic factors to the incidence of male homosexual orientation. If this is true, it will finally prove to the world that the Catholic Church is *not* the enemy of homosexuals.
I had the pleasure of presiding a convalidation service today for a couple here in the parish. They had once exchanged vows in a civil ceremony, but realised that they wanted to invite God more explicitely into their marriage. Their original marriage was legally valid, of course, but because their vows were originally exchanged outside of the Church it was not recognized by the Catholic Church as valid.
I’ve posted in the past regarding a family in my parish who are experiencing the phenomenon of “oiling statues” in their home. Last Thursday was the 10th anniversary of the start of these events, so today we has a special Mass of Thanksgiving for the “phenomenon”.
I got a letter this week informing me that I am now a member of the “Appeal Committee for the Diocesan Tax”. What is the diocesan tax? It is a 9% levy put on all Catholic organizations that have the right to teach in the name of the Church, to help fund the expenses of the Archdiocese. Many people think that in the Church the money flows from the top down, as though the Archdiocese has some sort of machine in the basement of the cathedral that generates cash on a daily basis.
Once a month I get together with some brother priests for a time of prayer and sharing on our life and ministry. This month half our group headed up to Île d’Orleans near Quebec City for a conference, so rather than cancel our meeting we decided to hold it at the shrine of Notre-Dame-du-Cap near Trois Rivières.
I was chatting with a parent of one of our altar servers today. He wanted my opinion on the practice of witchcraft. Apparently his daughter was invited to a birthday party at the house of a girl whose family is into Wicca. They were going to play wiccan games, cast “fun” spells, and so on. Riiiiiiiiiight.
Tonight I taught my first class on the history of theology. We had a strong focus on the Jewish antecedents of Christianity, particularly the debates in the early Church over how to incorporate the Gentiles. It was very interesting.
The phrase "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" is one of the highest expressions of the Christian imperative of forgiveness and reconciliation. That being said, it isn't always easy in the real world. I'm often asked questions by people who seek to live this petition, but who are questioning if they are living it well.
Just war doctrine is fundamentally a doctrine about conflict between states. Now the State is considered in Catholic social doctrine to be an institution which arises out of the demands of human nature. Every human being seeks the greatest good in his life, but quickly discovers that it is impossible to attain without the assistance of others. In addition, it is necessary to establish certain conditions in order to help individuals attain their own particular good. Somebody needs to provide law and order.
What is a “just war”? Is such a thing even conceivable in Catholic thought? As a matter of fact, the Church does assert that “as long as the danger of war remains and there is no competent and sufficiently powerful authority at the international level, governments cannot be denied the right to legitimate defense once every means of peaceful settlement has been exhausted.” (Gaudium et Spes no. 79).