Dear St. Joe’s parishioners,
It has been a long three months. When we suspended Mass in mid-March, there was still snow on the ground. This weekend, as we reopen for our Sunday Masses, we are in the midst of a summer heatwave. So much has happened in these months — as a community, as a society and in our own lives. One thing we learned is the importance of, and opportunities offered by digital communication. In his reflection for this Sunday, parishioner John Mark Keyes speaks about this, and about the distance that we have all experienced.
- Parish Mass registration: Please register for Mass on June 27-28, 2020 here. Thank you to all who have registered for Mass this weekend; your registrations are important as they help us to ensure physical distancing.
- Thank you to the liturgical space/decorating committee for getting the sanctuary ready for the resumption of public Masses in Ordinary Time!
- Prayers for Emily Tripp and her family: Parishioner Joan O’Connell’s mother-in-law died on June 13th in her 98th year. We extend our prayers to Joan and her family. Please see Emily Tripp’s obituary here.
- Update from the Refugee Outreach Committee: Since mid March, the Refugee Outreach Committee and its Settlement Support Team have been active while keeping a physical distance from those in our circle. Our activities include: checking with individuals and families regarding needs and public health and education updates; providing remote English language tutoring, practice and academic help to 6 adults and 10 school age children; supporting access to technology, educational programs and medical services; allocating financial assistance and help with tax filing; hosting in partnership with The Catholic Centre for Immigrants; exploring education and career pathways; delivering of food, cooling fans and an a/c unit and furniture for a family move; arranging for summer camps, bicycles and related safety equipment. We have held virtual monthly review meetings with the family of 7 whom the parish has sponsored. At this eighth month of their settlement year, the family is doing very well, delighted that their relatives who came to Canada three years ago who have moved closer to them. The increased collaboration of ROC volunteers is a positive outcome of our Covid 19 experience. This spirit was evident this week when 14 of 17 members of the full ROC team members participated in our final meeting for the 2019-20 year using the parish Zoom account. Two co-researchers from the University of Ottawa attended as observers to gain perspective for their research on ROC history. The Refugee Outreach Committee welcomes new members, particularly those who might be open to Executive positions, perhaps by shadowing the Leadership Team at the outset. Please communicate with the ROC parish contact Dona Bowers (email@example.com) regarding membership or any comments or questions related to our ministry. We are grateful to the parishioners and administration of St Joe’s for the generous and varied ways you support our work.
- Sunday offering for June 14, 2020: $4,277. Thank you for your continued generosity! If you are attending Mass this weekend and would like to make a donation, you will find a Sunday offering basket near the main entrance of the church. You can leave your donation here at either the beginning or the end of Mass. If you are not yet returning to St. Joe’s for Mass this weekend or will be away, please consider using Canada Helps. You may choose the Parish fund of your choice through this form: http://www.st-josephs.ca/about/donations/.
- A Petition for the Protection of Gatineau Park — Shared by a St. Joe’s parishioner:
As you may know Gatineau Park, located across the bridge in Quebec only minutes from Canada’s capital, is a park in name only and doesn’t benefit from any protections laid out in Canada’s National Parks Act. It is one of the most visited parks in Canada with 2.7 million visitors annually, is home to 90 endangered plant species and 50 endangered animal species, yet it there are no protections in place to ensure its ecological integrity! There is a local petition on the House of Commons site that could use your support. There are less than two weeks to gather the required number of signatures to ensure the petition to protect Gatineau Park will move to the next stage and be presented before Parliament. Please consider signing and sharing the petition! Important note: e-petitions submitted through the House of Commons are a 2-step process. You’re name will not count towards the petition if you do not click on the link to verify your signature in the confirmation email. Step 1: Sign petition at https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Sign/e-2414 Step 2: Check email for confirmation link and click to be counted!
We can use our collective voices as champions for nature to ensure the future biodiversity of the region by pushing for the formal establishment of Gatineau Park as a real park! Thank you!
During the summer months, this weekly online parish update will replace our traditional print bulletin. Please do send me updates from your ministries if you would like to share these with the parish community.
I hope to see you soon!