Dear St. Joe’s parishioners,
As churches remain closed during the Provincial lockdown, Fr. Jim offers us a video reflection from his home. In his reflection, Fr. Jim notes that it is only the heart that sees rightly — only the heart sees what is truly essential. God reveals the mystery of the Divine Presence to us in a way that we can appreciate. He offers us the gift of Creation and the opportunity to see everything sacramentally. He offers us the gift of life and faith; human beings are a miracle, each of us precious and unique in God’s sight. We reflect the Creator’s divine light. He offers us the gift of time. Each day offers new beginnings. We are challenged to see the beauty in everyone and in everything. Finally, God gives us the gift of the other. All people are members of the same body.
On this New Year’s Eve 2020, we are sharing the Capital Chamber Choir’s recently recorded musical offering titled, “The Holiday Sessions”. The CCC rehearses at St. Joe’s each week and is conducted by our Music Director, Jamie Loback. This year many of the choristers contributed to our Christmas liturgies including the Service of Lessons and Carols on December 20 as well as at the 7:00pm mass on Christmas Eve. This short concert was recorded in the church on Wednesday, December 16, 2020. The complete playlist is available here.
Pope Francis offers us the following message this Christmas and as we begin a new year:
“Let us remember that Christmas is usually a noisy party. We can actually use a bit of silence to hear the voice of love. Christmas is you when you decide to be born again each day and let God into your soul. The Christmas tree is you when you resist vigorous winds in difficulties of life. The Christmas decorations are when your virtues are colours that adorn your life. The Christmas bell is you when you call, gather and seek to unite others.
You are also a Christmas light when you illuminate, with your life, the path of others with kindness, patience, joy and generosity. The Christmas angels are you when you sing to the world a message of peace, of justice, and of love. The Christmas star is you when you lead someone to meet the Lord. You are also the wisemen when you give the best you have no matter to whom. Christmas music is also you when you conquer the harmony within you. The Christmas gift is you when you are truly a friend and brother to every human being, when you are truly a friend and sister to every human being. The Christmas card is you when kindness is written in your hands. The Christmas greeting is you when you forgive and re-establish peace even when you suffer. The Christmas dinner is you when you serve bread and hope to the poor who live by your side.
You are, yes, Christmas night when humble and conscious, you receive in the silence of the night, the Saviour of the world, without noise or great celebration. You are a smile of trust and tenderness in the inner peace of a perennial Christmas that establishes the kingdom within you. “
Vocation Reflection: “Follow the Star”
While public Masses remain suspended until January 23, 2021 due to the Provincial lockdown, Fr. Jim continues to say private Masses for all intentions registered for January.
In our Parish Update of January 8, 2021, we will share Christmas offering and collection plate numbers. If you use envelopes and would like to continue supporting the Parish during the lockdown, we invite you to consider mailing your envelopes and a cheque to us or to contribute through Canada Helps. We can also process credit cards via telephone. After January 4th, please call 613-233-4095, ext. 251. Thank you for your continued generosity.
Many of our staff will work from home during the lockdown. At the same time, we will continue to check and return — at regular intervals — telephone messages left for our front office beginning January 4th, 2021. Both the St. Joe’s Women’s Centre and the St. Joe’s Supper Table will offer clients essential services during the period of the lockdown.
Although we still face uncertainty as we enter a new year, we wish you good health and a hopeful start to 2021, as we await a time when we can once again gather safely in our church.