Pastor’s Desk

Back to School

Fr.-JeromeIt’s school time again. There is excitement in the air, mixed with anxiety, happiness and maybe a little sadness that summer is over. Some kids feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of school because of all the new things, new teachers, new friends, and maybe even new school. Luckily these new worries only stick around for a little while. Probably the nicest things about going back to school are new books, the fresh fragrance of their clean classrooms, and re-uniting with old friends. An enjoyable part of school life, perhaps with every kid, is the excitement of moving up a grade. The more studious types say school time is cool time, as they enjoy the challenge of home work, tests, and assignments. The happy go lucky have a ‘missing holidays’ kind of look on their faces. It’s time again for hard work. Teachers kick off the school year by introducing themselves and talking about all the stuff the class will be doing that year. Some teachers give students a chance to tell something about themselves to the rest of the class. So children, it’s a great time to make new friends. Fortunately for the kids, the weather seems to be perfect to begin their school year.

I wish all the students the very best.  Do well again in your further studies. If you are in grade two or seven, think about enrolling your names for the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. Be bold and be on your toes and get set go. God is our protector, pray at all times and He will protect you always.

Fr.Jerome

Faith in God

Fr.-JeromeDear brothers and sisters:  Today’s scripture proposes that faith in God and trust in His promises gives us serenity, security and deep joy.

The first reading shows how the Old Testament patriarchs had such faith in God’s promise that they left all their worries in His care. We have that example, in particular, with Abraham’s response to preserving faith, when God asked him to leave his comfort zone behind and go to unknown territory. The gospel reaffirms that a person who belongs to Jesus Christ need have no fear. One who makes God his principle treasure, and commits in faith to Jesus as a guide, like Abraham, can take a journey that will lead to the true home. If we keep our eyes fixed on the vision that God has revealed to us through the scriptures, or in ordinary life, we can live with unfailing confidence in His presence.

On the other hand, we also see in the scriptures that the God who grants such favours to His people is also seen as a demanding God. He demands faith from His people. The leaders in the scriptures were put to the test on faith. Like that of Abraham and his wife Sarah when it seemed that the promise of children could never be realized. Later Abraham was put to the test by the command to slay his son. His response showed the depths of his obedient faith.

God expects his chosen people to be always on the alert, striving to serve Him, using their talents to promote God’s kingdom on earth. A faith in the Lord which is merely at the level of words, and does not lead to action, is not real faith. The faith that has value in the sight of God is the one that leads to obedience and loving service. The example of Abraham, whose struggles to remain faithful to God, is a call to everyone. We don’t know in advance how God’s demanding love will clash with our habitual selfishness. We don’t know when our personal illness, bereavement or some other type of experience will put us to the test. But we do know that our life will be a success if we set our hearts on values that go beyond all the temporary goods of the world. Our faith, like Abraham’s, is leading us forward pointing to something still to come, and at the end of our pilgrimage, like his, all God’s promises will be fulfilled. Let us strengthen our faith in God.

 

Fr.Jerome Mascarenhas

 

Praying As Jesus Taught Us

Dear brothers and sisters:  Sometime ago, I remember someone asked me, “Why doesn’t God hear my prayer?” So, here is the answer. When we pray, are we attempting to change God’s mind?  Sometimes we think we can. But do we really want to change God’s mind? I don’t think so. We must trust in God’s will.  He loves us with a love beyond anything we could possibly imagine.

In the first reading, we read that Abraham wasn’t trying to bring God around to his way of thinking. Nor was he trying to remind God of how good God is. He was at a deeper level, claiming what he knew God really wanted him to do. So then how do we pray? What should be our attitude in praying? Are we praying so that we can tune in and conform to God’s plan? If we try to get God’s thinking to come around to our thinking, we will fail. All such prayers are of no use. What is important is to put ourselves at God’s disposal. So when we think God has not answered our prayers, perhaps we should examine our attitudes. If prayer is all about what we want and we don’t get what we want from God, we will likely stop praying. Prayer is a means for us to become more present in our own struggles and successes, and come closer to God. He is always waiting for us, calling us into a closer relationship with Him. Prayer is our coming back home to God.

In prayer, we discover wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and strength. God becomes more effectively present within us.  The disciples asked Jesus only how to pray, not how to perform miracles, nor how to teach, but they asked only one thing, how to come closer to the Father.

If we remember the prayer Our Father, we are saying it as “not my will but your will be done”. God is always loving, forgiving and caring. He wants to teach us to give and to forgive, to love and to be loved – to pray as Jesus taught us.

 

 Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

Go and do likewise

Dear brothers and sisters: the gospel of today gives us a beautiful parable, “The Good Samaritan”. A scholar of the law asks Jesus a question meant for discussion, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus, in his usual manner, answers a question with a question, “What is written in the Law?”

According to the book of Leviticus, loving one’s neighbor is a sacred responsibility of the faithful Jewish person. But, Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan to move from the Law to the good news. It has several meanings. Let us see why two people pass by on the opposite side. They believed their faithful understanding of their religious laws of physical purity were enough. For Jesus, keeping our eyes and hearts open to the wounded is more blessed than keeping our eyes on adhering to legal structures. Now the Samaritan is moved with compassion and goes to help the wounded person. Here, Jesus is the compassionate stranger to our fallen and those who are robbed of human dignity.  Jesus is on our side and takes us to the inn after tending to our wounds through the reception of sacraments. The good news is that we are healed from our wounds and he sends us back on our life journeys.

It is  time to go and do likewise. The good news of Jesus which keeps us always reminded, invites us to do something good in the name of Jesus. Jesus has brought us back from the fallen, stripped and beaten ways of the world. He has brought us back from the tyranny of death. Though we have all sorts of daily distractions, still we are not free from this primary responsibility to go and do likewise – to become Good Samaritans.

  Fr.Jerome Mascarenhas

 

With Gratitude – With Enthusiasm – With Confidence

Our dear Bishop gave a fitting homily on the 60th Anniversary celebration.  He highlighted the past & present with a sense of gratitude to all the Religious clergy who served over the years, and long time parishioners, in particular, for their support and dedication in building the existing structure and the community. He also gave us a clarion call to celebrate this event with enthusiasm because this illustrates to the others what we are, and what we believe. He asked us to go forward with confidence because we always deal with uncertainties in our day to day life. We express our sincere gratitude to him for his esteemed presence.

Thank you to everyone who shared in our 60th Anniversary. Your support in services, prayers, and finances has encouraged our church family in more ways than one. Many friends and family members came out to help us celebrate this special day and we say thank you for encouraging us with your presence. We were glad that the sun came out; the weather forecast was not accurate. We thank God for answering our unceasing prayers for the good weather.

The 60th Anniversary for some was a “homecoming” event. I met a couple of our good neighbors who shared our joy in the afternoon feast.

We thank all the anniversary committee members who shouldered the responsibility of seeing to every minute detail of the celebration. International food tasting gave us our wide variety and vibrant community spirit. Thank you to all who donated food, gift items, cultural entertainment, and to all the volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly. Thank you to the stained glass group for their surprise, majestic work of art illustrating St. Aloysius. Thank you to Timothy Schmaltz for his pro-life sculpture and his breathtaking exhibit. Thank you Kitchener Rangers Street Team for their contribution; the amazing performance by our parish magician,  the Great Gerard, face fainting from Michael’s craft booth, and for uninterrupted entertainment, the children’s bouncy castle made possible by a parishioner, and our Emcee, Dan. We are grateful to those who gave the fabulous items for Raffle and silent auction; those who had spent valuable time getting them and organizing the event; those who shared their talents in singing, folk dances, music, and plays; those who shared the canopies and barbeques for the celebration, and the Knights of Columbus for their honour guard at all the liturgies.

Thank you to all! God bless.

I wish all a great, fun filled summer.

 

 Fr. Jerome Mascarenhas

 

 

 

Come Let Us Celebrate!

Dear brothers and sisters:

 Today we celebrate our 60th Anniversary as a faith community. Our patron saint, Aloysius, has been an inspiration to all of us. The Lord has blessed us during sixty years with faith and love through priests from theCongregation of Resurrection, who are pioneers of this parish; clergy from the Diocese of Hamilton; religious women, seminarians, lay ministers, and now we have the recently ordained Auxiliary Bishop, in the person of Daniel Miehm, a former member of our parish. This milestone which goes to our records, is a clear example that we are a growing community.

 Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to Baptize nine little babies from our parish. I would like to welcome them to our community. They are Nathan, Ava, Edgar, Mason, Audrey, Katelyn, Aurora, Xavier and Lucas.Congratulations to the parents and Godparents.

 Our Liturgy calls us to continue our proclamation of the gospel to all people. Jesus asked his disciples this question, in particular, Peter, what he thinks about Jesus? He replied positively, “You are the Messiah, the anointed one.” We are called to proclaim here, the message of the anointed one. When we come together to express our faith in Jesus, we come together as family, united in His love. Jesus draws to our attention that it is necessary to renounce one’s life and to follow Jesus by persevering in the trials that may come on our daily path. But for those who strive for fame and name, wealth and pleasures, they are lost. It’s better to have little and to be happy with it, being thankful to God for all that one receives. They who defend and spread the faith shall be glorified by God. Those who are ashamed of Jesus and their faith, refusing to defend and spread the Catholic faith will be the losers. Therefore, following Jesus means taking up our crosses and following Him.

This weekend we have a great opportunity. Come, let us celebrate our faith and friendship together!

  Fr. Jerome


 

“Young Man Arise”

We are back to our ordinary time of the liturgical year.  Easter is over, and the preceding solemnities of our faith, have definitely rekindled in us the taste for God, but our faith journey never ceases.  God is never tired in His saving act.  We have for today in the gospel, a young man who was given the right to live longer.  The scripture tells that God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, (Ezekiel 33:11) He always desires life, not death.

 Jesus had the ability to restore life and to make a person whole.  When Jesus did the restoring of life, everyone was shocked, even his mother, who was a widow.  But, Jesus approached the crowd and touched the coffin. He made a physical touch with the dead man. Jews understood that contact with a dead body made oneself ritually unclean.  But for Jesus, it was an act of cleansing and purifying from all sorts of corruption and sin.  This physical touch showed the depth of His love and concern for her.

 The episode tells us that if you want to be made whole, Jesus will free us from the power of sin and moral corruption, and even death itself. Jesus’ simple  command, young man, arise”, not only restored him to physical life, but brought freedom and wholeness to his soul as well as his body.  Jesus promises everyone who believes in Him, abundant life in this and eternal life. Do you trust in Jesus to give you everlasting hope in the face of life’s trails, misfortunes, and moments of despair?

 

Fr.Jerome

 

 

 

United in His Body and Blood

Dear brothers and sisters: Thank you for your prayers and good wishes while I was away from the parish.  My schedule was quite hectic as I visited my home and family. The ordination ceremony of my nephew was moving.  The weather was very hot, close to 40 Celsius. It’s obvious with the tan on my face.

After coming back from holidays, I find myself in a refreshed mood. The past weeks had been busy with funerals, weddings, and two days of Confirmation. 90 young boys and girls made their Confirmation respectfully. I would like to congratulate them in particular for their willingness to complete the process of Initiation. Parents and Sponsors, I can’t forget your role in their faith journey, thank you too. I would like to acknowledge the services being carried on in preparation for Confirmation, especially to Fr. Martin, Associate Pastor, all the teachers, the resource persons, members from Legion of Mary, young adults of our parish, volunteers, and special thanks to Bishop Miehm and Msgr. Kroetsch, for administering the sacrament. The choir was excellent, and to the altar servers and ushers, I extend thanks for your time and service.

There is no time for rest as we are preparing for our 60th anniversary celebration on June 23. Many activities are being planned for that day. The banner is already displayed in the church and this brings a sense of the upcoming festivities. I look forward to your whole hearted co-operation and participation. Mark your calendar.

Dear friends, it’s so appropriate for me here to share with you my reflections for this Sunday. Today we are celebrating the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, the Feast of the Corpus Christi. We in our usual terms say, “I go to Mass”, but the Eucharist is essentially, and of its very nature, a community action in which every person present is expected to be an active participant, our identification with the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  This is expressed not in a one to one relationship with Him, but in a community relationship.  We relate to Him through His risen Body, which is the whole community bearing  His name. Every Lord’s day, we come together as that body, as a community to give thanks. Hence, Eucharist is thanksgiving. We eat the body and drink the blood of Christ and express our unity in Him. The key to being united to Christ is love.  Love not only for God, but for every single person.  During this 60th Jubilee year, let us come together to celebrate as a family united with Christ in His body and blood.                                              

   Fr. Jerome

 

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Feast of the Holy Spirit

Today, we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. In the Old Testament, Pentecost was the celebration of Moses receiving the Law on the fiftieth day after the Israelites’ departure (Passover) fromEgypt(Ex 19-20). In the new dispensation, Pentecost is the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus, on the fiftieth day of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. According to the law ofIsrael, one hundred and twenty was the number for an official liturgical gathering. Thus, the hundred and twenty disciples who gathered in the Upper Room, were the ideal worshiping community.

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in the form of two symbols: the sound of a violent wind, and cloven tongues of fire. May our meditation on these two symbols increase our faith in the Holy Spirit.

 1. The Wind: In the Hebrew language the word for wind and spirit is the same. Wind symbolizes God because like God it is invisible and mysterious. The wind is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Often in the Old Testament, God revealed Himself in the form of wind or breath.

On the day of the Pentecost, there was the sound of a violent wind from heaven, which filled the whole house where the disciples were seated. This wind was sent not to destroy them, but to invigorate them.

2. The Fire: The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in the form of cloven tongues of fire. Fire, too, is the emblem of the Holy Spirit. Moses saw God in the Burning Bush. God manifested His presence over the Tabernacle by a pillar of cloud by day and by a pillar of fire by night.

Fire not only gives life and light, but also zeal. It inflames the recipient. Similarly, the Holy Spirit set the disciples’ hearts ablaze. After Pentecost, their hearts were on fire for Jesus and His love. They eagerly went everywhere proclaiming the love and the message of Christ.

 My dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, let us pray that the Lord may once again fill us with the Holy Spirit so that our hearts, which may be dead like dry bones, may be set ablaze with the love of Christ, and we may proclaim the Good News of  Christ to our brothers and sisters. May this feast fill your heart and your family with Holy Spirit.  God bless you!

                                                Fr. Vijay Martin

 

 

 

 

 

First Holy Communion April 7 and 14, 2013 – “Body broken – blood shed”

Dear brothers and sisters:  It is with great Joy I would like to congratulate the 83 children and the parents of children making First Holy Communion. We are blessed.

Children, you have been looking forward to this day for a long time and now you are excited. After showing your willingness in attending the preparatory classes, praying and then making first Confession, you are now ready to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. When Jesus comes to you tell Him that you love Him and He will surely love you. Children, continue to pray to Jesus every day.  He will bless you and your family.

Parents, for you this is also is a special and happy day. Today you see your children take a new step in faith as you present them to share in the fullness of the Lord’s Supper for the first time.  It is fitting you should lead them forward in this way because you were reminded when you had them baptized, that you are their first teachers in the ways of faith. It is through you more than anyone else that they have come to know about God. It is on you they will continue to depend for many years to come, to help them grow in their response to God’s love in their lives. No matter who the teacher, or what the parish does, unless the children sense their parents’ faith, they will not absorb faith. The faith you hand on will be their strength through life. We assure our support in the coming years in teaching the faith. Remember to bring them to church on Sundays on a regular basis, give them that which cherishes and nourishes them for life.

Sisters, teachers, volunteers, friends, people of the parish and Fr. Martin, this is a time of great rejoicing for you also. You have in various ways helped to lead these children to this special day. Thank you — I am grateful to everyone. Remember them in your prayers. Though I am not physically present here today with you, still I am with you in spirit praying for you all. But, when I come back from my home visit, I look forward to seeing you and your children at Church on Sundays.

Finally children, the last word is for you. I still remember my First Holy Communion day. Don’t forget your Holy Communion day. May Jesus make this a very happy day for you and your families. May He bring you great joy and fill your hearts with His love.

Fr.Jerome Mascarenhas

 

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