John Mark Keyes’ Reflection, Music and a Parish Update on the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Dear St. Joe’s community,

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, we are sharing with you a song that many of you will recall fondly, performed by parishioner Kathy Crowe, along with organ music offered by Tom Fagan and a reflection by John Mark Keyes.

The pandemic has left a mark on our parish community and on how we perform music, yet this song remains powerful. Thank you to Liam Kennedy-MacDonald for helping with the recording and editing, and many thanks to Kathy, Jamie and the choir.

Holy Is His Name performed by Kathy Crowe and members of the St. Joseph’s Parish Choir:

In his reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, John Mark Keyes shares: “Conception and birth are at the core of our being. None of us would be here otherwise. It is also through the birth of children that we pass ourselves on to the next generation. This is what God’s promise to David was about. It was not just a promise to him, but a promise to his people and to all of us, a promise of God coming to establish an everlasting kingdom embracing us all…”

John Mark’s reflection is available as a video below, as a pdf document (2020-Advent 4th) and in person at Mass.

Liturgical Resources 

Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 20 2020 – Liturgy of the Word for use at home


READINGS FOR CHILDREN – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Fourth Sunday of Advent – Prayers of the Faithful

What to expect when you attend mass on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Mission Prayer

Organ Music performed by Tom Fagan

Parish Update:

A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will take place on Sunday, December 20, 2020 at 4pm in the church. In this service, we listen to nine Scripture readings which recount the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News. Each lesson is followed by a carol performed by a chamber choir in the organ loft. The collection from the service will go to St. Joe’s Supper Table and Food Bank.

Christmas Mass Registration

There is a waiting list for the Christmas Eve 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Mass, as both have reached capacity. To add your name to the waiting list, please contact the front office: 613-233-4095, ext. 251. Please also let the front office know if you need to cancel your reservation, as this way we can accommodate those on the waiting list. There is space available for those who would like to attend the Christmas Eve Mass at 9 p.m., as well as Christmas Day at 11:00 a.m. To register for these, please click here.

2021 Donation Envelopes Have Arrived

The boxes of donation envelopes for 2021 have arrived for parishioners who use these for their Sunday offerings. In light of the pandemic, and to avoid congregating near the entrance at Mass, these boxes will be available for pick-up from the front office next week at the following times:

  • Monday, December 21st through Wednesday, December 23rd: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 24th: 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

If you cannot make it on one of these days, please let the front office know and we will do our best to make alternative arrangements.

Exploring Sacred Music

Jamie Loback will facilitate and host the last session of our last Advent Community Learning series on Monday, December 21st, 2020, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The session will take place on Zoom. To register and receive your unique link to access the session, please click here.

It has been so encouraging to see the high level of interest in this series. Thank you to everyone who helped and participated in what was a new initiative for our community.

Sunday Offering for December 13, 2020: $8,151. 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: You can also read more about the donation of securities here.

Thank you to the Christmas Cheer Foundation!

The St. Joe’s Supper Table gratefully received a donation of $1,500 from the Christmas Cheer Foundation in support of our community meal program.

Thank you to St. Basil’s R.C. Parish!

The St. Joe’s Supper Table is grateful to have received a donation of $500 from St. Basil’s Roman Catholic Parish. Thank you!

Thank you to St. John the Apostle R.C. Parish

The St. Joe’s Women’s Centre is grateful to have received a donation of $450 from St. John the Apostle Roman Catholic Parish. Thank you!

A Vocations Reflection by Oblate Associate Serena Shaw:

“Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you. Luke 1: 28

Wouldn’t it be easy if we were all visited by an angel sent by God that would share with us the plan God had for our lives?

God may not have sent an angel to most of us; however, he does have a plan and he does share it with us. And, we are more like Mary than we think, in that we too must listen and then decide if we will answer God’s call. One of the first things that the angel says to Mary is “Do not be afraid.” This is interesting to me; as there are really two things to be afraid of. The first is the obvious fear of being visited by an Angel; and the second thing to be afraid of was God’s request.

This is where we can find our similarities with Mary, we are probably all afraid of what God is asking of us. So much so, we will even go out of our way to not listen to what God is leading us to. In today’s culture, we are very used to believing that we are in control of our lives. We make plans about everything we do, which in itself isn’t a problem. However, are we taking time to discern what we are being  called to? I think often we are not, but the bigger question may be, do we actually go out of our way to ignore what God is trying to tell us. Is it a passive not hearing, or an active act of ignoring?

I’m not sure I believe that if we really want to hear what God is saying to us it would be that difficult. I don’t think God wants it to be that hard to discern his plans. I think what likely makes it difficult is that it doesn’t always go along with our own plans. And remember that Mary made her decision for the whole world, for her community. Is this what makes us hesitate? It is definitely harder to decide something when it is for the greater good, rather than what is best for our selves. Yet, this is exactly what we are called to do as Christians, as followers of Jesus.

I believe we often don’t understand that by doing what is best for our community, we will make the best decision for ourselves. This is how we will be most fulfilled; by using our gifts and talents to serve our brother and sisters. I truly believe we are all God’s favoured ones, maybe not in the way that Mary was, in that she could carry the Son of God, but favored in how he loves us unconditionally. And so, my hope is that we can quit ignoring what we are called to, and that we take the time to hear what is being asking of us so that we can find our vocation and say yes to God.”


We will publish our Christmas Parish Update, the last one of this calendar year, on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, along with our Christmas liturgical material and a special recording. If you would like to share any ministry updates in the last Parish Update of the year, please contact us using the email below by Wednesday at noon.



Christopher Adam
email: [email protected]

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