Dear St. Joe’s parishioners,
This Sunday’s reflection is offered by parishioner and Oblate Associate Eleanor Rabnett. Reflecting on both the readings and the realities that we are living during the pandemic, Eleanor shares: “Sometimes it helps to stop looking at the rubrics, the programs; letting go of the letter of the law. When COVID-19 arrived I found myself dwelling on how different it was with our churches being closed; how isolated I felt during the initial lockdown. I felt vulnerable and confused because nothing seemed the same as it had been before the pandemic. I kept asking Jesus to hold and console me, to find me in a world that I no longer knew how to navigate on my own. It took me awhile – heck it is still taking me awhile. But I persist in trying to look at this new and challenging way of being…I learn how to smile through my mask and to recognize the smiles of each of you as you wear your masks and let your eyes do the smiling. Transformation! I’m looking at a new world – hopefully with eyes like those of the Canaanite woman – eyes recognizing her own dignity, seeing through the lens of deep faith and persistence and with a heart full of audacious love.”
Eleanor offers this reflection as a video, in full-text format and in person this Saturday and Sunday at Mass. (Text version: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time August 15 – 16 Year A ).
- Prayers for Mary Angéline Asselin: On Friday, August 7th, Sienna and Charles Asselin welcomed their daughter Mary into the world. Sienna and Charles were married at St. Joe’s earlier this year. Due to complications, Mary needed an 8-hour long, life-saving surgery this week. Fr. Jim prayed for Mary, as did our community at noon Mass this past Wednesday, asking that Sienna, Charles and Mary be overwhelmed by God’s loving presence and healing powers. Mary survived the surgery and her parents express their gratitude for our community’s prayers. Let us continue to pray for recovery and healing.
- Parish Pastoral Council nomination process coming soon: As we begin preparations for our Annual General Meeting, scheduled for Sunday, October 4th, 2020 at 1:00 p.m., Parish Pastoral Council will be seeking to fill a Member-at-Large position from within our parish community for a two year term. We will be sharing the nomination form in next weekend’s parish update. Please begin reflecting on whether you or someone you know in our parish community might consider participating on PPC.
- Breakfast/snack kits available: The Parish has received its last batch of breakfast/snack kits for this summer. Each box includes breakfast and snack items such as cereal, apple sauce, crackers, granola bars and shelf-stable milk. The boxes have been provided by the Ottawa Network for Education and they are for families with school-age children. If you would like a box for your kids, please drop by the front office Monday to Friday, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Thank you from the Women’s Centre: A wonderful donation of beautifully made children and adult cloth masks was delivered to us by Julia, Sofia and Lilia. Thank you so much to these wonderful girls for making and donating masks for use by our program’s valued participants.
- Sunday Offering for August 9, 2020: $4,895. 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 vocations reflection by Fr. Richard Beaudette OMI: Our former Pastor offers the Oblate community this Sunday’s vocations-focused reflection. In reference to this weekend’s readings, Fr. Richard shares: “As we contemplate the gospel story of the Canaanite woman, we are invited to open our hearts and minds to the ongoing call of God in our lives and to an openness to see life and vocation differently than we do presently and to a willingness to respond in new ways. Like a road we choose to walk along might have unexpected turns and corners, so it is with God’s invitation. We start along the journey and ‘behold’ there is an unexpected nuance to the call. When we walk along the road to which God calls us, there can and will be unexpected and awesome surprises.” To read the full reflection in pdf format, please click here: Fr. Richard Beaudette – Vocation Reflection Aug16.
- Funds Raised for the Refugee Outreach Committee: The 17 members of the Refugee Outreach Committee and its Settlement Support Group continue to share the parish’s “time, talent and treasure” with our new neighbours – 9 adults and 10 children. During this Covid-19 time some of us have gained expertise in using virtual tutoring with children and their parents over Zoom. We have acquired bicycles for all the children and some adults and have engaged them in CanBike safety workshops. Some children have also been enrolled in summer camps at their community centres. We are striving to assist a family of a special needs child with the registration fees for a 5 week specialized summer camp. With their limited and changeable income, the family can afford only 1 week. The fees are unusually high this year due to the high level of supervision and experienced staff and covid-19 safety requirements. Fortunately 80% of the funds have been raised. We welcome tax receiptable donations from parishioners to ensure the child is able to attend the full program offered. Please contact Dona Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613 299 9789 for more information. Good news! Our parishioners have a responded with great generosity yet again! We now have the full registration covered and the parents are thrilled for their child and their opportunity for some respite. Thank you to our inclusive, responsive parishioners. –The Refugee Outreach Committee.
- Meditation continues in our church on Mondays beginning at 9:30 a.m. and on Fridays at 7:00 p.m. Please enter through 151 Laurier East for both.
Please continue to share with us parish news and prayer requests for inclusion in this weekly Parish Update. We look forward to hearing from members of our community.