John Rietschlin’s Reflection, Liturgical Resources, a Parish Update & Online Registrations

Dear St. Joseph’s parishioners,

This weekend’s reflection is offered by John Rietschlin. Exploring the readings, John shares:

“A closer reading of our scripture texts in the light of COVID-19broadens our understanding of the ‘normal’ times for which we might pray. The higher rates of death from COVID-19 and its more frequent occurrence amongst frail seniors, Indigenous communities, poorer and racialized immigrant populations, others living in crowded conditions, those who must go to work in care centres, factories or grocery stores, or distribution centres—all of these things remind us that “normal” in our society was never just and equitable. They remind us that many are excluded from the full fruits of the community by the social, political, and economic realities that give others privilege. Like the lepers of Moses’ or of Jesus’ time, many of our fellow human beings are excluded from the camp. COVID-19 has provided all of us with vivid evidence of this.”

You can read the text version of the reflection here:  20210214 – 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Terry Byrne and Tom Fagan Explore the Church’s Casavant Organ in Part 5 of the Parish History Video Series

St. Joe’s Church History — Questions and Answers regarding our Church Organ

Qu. 1     Is the organ too loud for our church?

Ans.1     No. Although the organ may be played too loudly for some people’s taste, it can’t be played too loudly for the building.  Our organist, Tom Fagan, tends to play the organ more softly before mass. After Mass, he plays it louder as we exit the church but only for a short period of time as some people like to gather after Mass and talk.

Qu. 2     How does Tom determine the level of sound needed for each piece of music?

Ans. 2    While playing, Tom will listen carefully to ensure that he can detect the individual words being sung by the people singing. If he can hear the words being sung, he knows that he is not drowning them out.

Keep in mind, the sound of the organ in the balcony is much louder than what it sounds like at the altar. The aim is to work in harmony with the choir.

Qu. 3     Why is it that at times the organ seems to be playing too fast for the choir?

Ans. 3    The sound has to come together in the middle of the church. Based on the acoustics of the church, this can occur. However, based on organ recordings made during the pandemic, Tom has become more aware of some adjustments he can make.

Qu. 4     How do the pipes play?

Ans. 4    Air is blown into the pipes which make them play. This air is blown up from a room (aka blower room) where we store our Welcome Desk materials.

Qu. 5     How many pipes does our organ use?

Ans.       1789 pipes. There are wooden pipes, metal pipes and reed stops such as oboe, clarinet, trumpet and a large 16’ trombone on the pedal.

Qu. 6     In what condition is our organ?

Ans.6     In the late 1970s, we moved away from using the organ on a regular basis. During that time, church music had evolved to using more guitars and a piano. In addition, our church was not in a solid financial situation to maintain the organ, especially if it was not being used regularly.

In 2005 we started to re-integrate it into our celebration of mass. At that time, the organ was in poor shape due to lack of use, dust in the pipes, water leaking from the roof etc. However over the past 15 years, we have made gradual improvements to it and it is in much better shape. Even today, some additional pipes are being added to the organ as a result of a financial contribution to the parish for this expressed purpose.

Our Casavant organ OPUS 1454 cost $11,400 when we bought it in 1932, the equivalent of $203,383 today. The cost to replace it today would be well over one million dollars.

Liturgical Resources

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 14 2021 – Liturgy of the Word for use at home


READINGS FOR CHILDREN – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2021 – Prayers of the Faithful

Organ Music Performed by Tom Fagan

Parish Update

Regional Reopening in Ottawa

We are expecting an update on the lifting of the stay-at-home order in Ottawa and that we will be considered an ‘orange’ zone. The Province anticipates that we will return to the colour-coded reopening framework next week. We await provincial guidelines and direction from the Archdiocese on the precise date of reopening our church for weekend Masses with 30 percent capacity, and instructions on Ash Wednesday as well. If we are able to proceed with Ash Wednesday (without the marking of the sign of the cross on the forehead), this will occur at Noon on February 17th Once we receive more information, we will send an email to all registered parishioners confirming these details.

Live Liturgy of the Word via Zoom on Sunday, February 14th at 10: 30 a.m.

All are welcome to attend our live Zoom Liturgy of the Word service on Sunday, February 14th at 10:30 a.m. Please register on Zoom here to receive the link.

Pancakes “to go” in support of the St. Joe’s Supper Table

Please join us in celebrating this Tuesday as the Supper Table holds a pancake breakfast to go to commemorate the start of the Lenten season. We are offering this meal to go from our small chapel from 10am – 12 pm on Tuesday, February 16 2021. You can access this celebration through the side door on Cumberland Street. Free will donations to the Supper Table are graciously accepted.

Announced Weekday Masses

The maximum capacity at all weekday Masses during the period of the stay-at-home order is 10, including Fr. Jim. Please register online for the Mass you would like to attend. Registration is automatically closed once capacity is reached. (Weekend Masses remain suspended until further notice — we expect an update on resuming weekend Masses and less restrictive capacity limits by February 16th.)

Development and Peace Share Lent Kick-off Event

For over 50 years, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada has been organizing its Share Lent campaign during the period of Lent.  This year’s campaign theme, Share Love, Share Lent, is inspired by the message of love and social fraternity in Pope Francis’s encyclical, Fratelli Tutti. Through this campaign, we will discover how the work of Development and Peace is anchored in Catholic Social Teaching and how we can heed the Pope’s call for solidarity and love for our neighbour.

To launch this year’s campaign, you are invited to participate in a conversation on Saturday, February 20 at 1:00 p.m. – the World Day for Social Justice – between Most Rev. Pierre Goudreault of the Diocese of Ste-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and member of Development and Peace’s National Council Executive; Fr. John Patrick Ngoyi, director of the Commission of Justice, Development and Peace (JDPC), a long-time Development and Peace partner in Nigeria; and Gabrielle Dupuis, young adult member and diocesan council chair for Ottawa-Cornwall English sector and a St. Joseph’s parishioner. The event will last 1 hour and will be recorded.

Sign up here –  – and learn how Development and Peace’s mission and values are inspired by Catholic Social Teaching.

Watch for other events and learning opportunities throughout Lent.

Fratelli Tutti Discussion Series

Our series on the most recent encyclical continues. To register for the third session, click here.

Please not that the final session of the health and wellness series on coping during the pandemic, originally scheduled for Family Day, has been cancelled. 

Lenten Programming hosted by St. Irenaeus House 

The St. Joe’s Supper Table Volunteer Chaplain invites parishioners to the following Lenten programmes:

Lectio Divina over Zoom each Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Lectio Divina is a reflective exercise centered around the reading of scripture. We will be meeting virtually over Zoom to reflect on the Sunday’s Gospel and share with each other our insights and what the scriptures are calling us to look at in our lives and where they are leading us. Please join us by using the following link:

Church Offering for February 7, 2021: $4,072Thank you for your generosity, including during this period of lockdown. We are grateful for your support, especially as most of our expenses continue. If you would like to continue giving in this period, you can mail in your offering envelopes/cheques to the parish front office, donate through Canada Helps or call us at 613-233-4095, ext. 251 to donate through credit card.

Pastoral Visiting Ministry

Although we cannot visit with you in person, our pastoral care volunteers are wondering if they could call you to see how you are doing. If you or a loved one would like a phone call – to check-in, chat and see how you are doing – please reach out. You can contact Andrew at ext. 235 or, who will then forward your information to our ministry. Our prayers are with you all at this time.

Vocation Reflection:

“Unclean, Unclean” By Arokia Vijay Deivanayagam OMI – Vocation Team – Central

“We perceive Jesus’ willingness to touch and show compassion to all those who have been rejected, abandoned, and forgotten. As followers of Christ, we need to have this attitude of willingness: willingness to show compassion towards the outcast, abandoned, rejected, and forgotten. Like Jesus let us reach out and touch the poor and the needy in our midst.”

Read the reflection here (published on Friday February 12):

Thank you for continuing to follow our Parish news and other weekly content.

Happy Family Day,


Christopher Adam

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