Michelle Miller’s reflection, Liturgy of the Word and a Parish Update on the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Dear St. Joe’s parishioners,

While many of us are separated from our mothers this Mother’s Day, we remain thankful for all they have done for us and for all that we have learned from them. Parishioner Michelle Miller provides us with a video reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Easter in which she shares with our community her thoughts on two attributes of mothers and motherhood, namely wisdom and presence, and on what she has learned from her mother too. “Who in your own life are you feeling the absence of presence from, and how will you rely on the wisdom of that person you care about,” Michelle asks, as so many in our parish are not able to be with our loved ones in person during this time of pandemic. “Let us rely on wisdom. Wisdom is often personified in Scripture as the feminine aspect of God…We will often not think that presence is enough. But it is, when it is dancing with wisdom,” Michelle adds.

Please see Michelle’s full video reflection here:

Thank you to Jamie Loback and Tom Fagan for preparing the pastoral material and musical resources below, and to Michelle for this Sunday’s reflection!

Pastoral & Liturgical Resources from St. Joseph’s Parish

Music from St. Joseph’s Parish

Parish Update:

  • Prayers for the Rietschlin family: Amanda Rietschlin, daughter of parishioners Donna and John Rietschlin, wife of Corey Squires and mother of their sons, died Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 after a protracted illness. John and Donna were able to spend time with Amanda in this last part of her journey into new life. There will be a Celebration of Life for Amanda at a later date. Let’s keep Donna, John and their family in our prayers. Please see the Obituary of Amanda Rietschlin here.
  • Prayers for the Girard family: We send our condolences to parishioners Sylvie and Raphael Girard. Sylvie’s uncle, Louis Doucet, died in a long-term care home in Montreal. Fr. Jim celebrated a private Mass for Louis Doucet on Thursday, May 7, 2020.
  • Thank you to the Ottawa Food Bank! The Ottawa Food Bank has provided St. Joe’s Supper Table with a $25,000 grant to help cover the operational and programming costs of our weekly rectory food bank service. We are grateful for this generous assistance. Ryan Mitchell, Manager of the St. Joe’s Supper Table, continues to reach out to the Sandy Hill community in this time of pandemic. Ryan has been delivering food hampers to homes, as well as scheduling appointments for residents to pick up food and supplies from the rectory.

    Patsy Stevens and Ryan Mitchell in the St. Joe’s Supper Table food bank on Friday, May 8th, 2020.
  • Thank you to the Benefaction Foundation! The St. Joe’s Women’s Centre gratefully received a $1,000 grant from Toronto’s Benefaction Foundation to be used for operational expenses.
  • Breakfast/Snack kits available for school age children in the Parish: Boxes containing a selection of healthy breakfast and snack items are available for families with school age children. Each box weighs 3.2 kg and contains shelf stable food, including cereals, 2% milk, granola bars, unsweetened apple sauce, fresh fruit and wholegrain crackers. A total of 80 kits were prepacked in a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certified facility and have been delivered to St. Joseph’s Parish, with a second shipment of 80 kits expected later this month. If you’re interested in receiving a kit or if you know of a family in our parish or the broader community who may benefit from this service, please contact me by email at [email protected]. This service is made possible thanks to a parish partnership with the Ottawa Network for Education.

    Breakfast and snack boxes at St. Joseph’s Parish.
  • Sunday offering for May 3, 2020: $6,233. Thank you for your continued generosity! If you normally use Sunday envelopes for your offering and would like to continue giving during the lockdown, please consider using Canada Helps. You may choose the Parish fund of your choice through this form: http://www.st-josephs.ca/about/donations/
  • News from the Care for Creation Working Group: We will soon celebrate the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, as well as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. A Catholic group called the Joint Ecological Ministry, made up of a number of Catholic religious congregations including the Centre Oblat, has started a campaign called “Catholics United for Climate Change”. This campaign is asking Catholic individuals, parishes, and congregations in Canada to sign a letter urging the Government of Canada to take swift and concrete steps to address the climate emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to face the inequality and inhumanity of our political and economic systems which promote unlimited growth and economic gain without sufficient care for Creation. This is humanity’s kairos moment, when we have a chance to imagine the world we want and what a post-pandemic green and equitable recovery might look like. Please take a look at this link and consider signing the letter by May 22. And while you’re at it, why not share that you have signed the letter on any social media you might use!

As we continue to look for ways to reach out to the parish community meaningfully during this pandemic, thank you for all your feedback and prayers.


Christopher Adam
Parish Executive Director

6 thoughts on “Michelle Miller’s reflection, Liturgy of the Word and a Parish Update on the Fifth Sunday of Easter”

  1. Hi Michelle,
    Thank you for your 5th Sunday of Easter reflection. It was so powerful and timely. My daughter, Amy, has told me so many good things about you and now I understand what she means! May God Bless you in your work and also your Mom in her time of death.
    Joyce Carnegie

  2. Thank you Chris, Jamie, Michelle and Tom for the inspirational resources. I’m blessed to be a part of this prophetic 21st century parish.

  3. Thank you to all who have helped and invited us to gather and pray together each week, to sing, listen, and dance as we join in with our responses. We are so blessed to have each other and to share as we can.

    A special thank you to you Michelle for sharing your reflection. It was beautiful especially in sharing your mother and her wisdom with all of us. What a gift our are to all of us. Presence – so very necessary for all of us in these days. Blessings and love.

  4. Michelle you were so present to us simply by the manner in which you communicated from your heart and your wisdom. I felt as though you were present in my home, and your genuine faith sharing brought tears. I appreciated that you recognized that for some a mother may not be available but someone else has been the motherly presence. Inspiring wisdom, sincerely imparted.

  5. Greetings St. Joseph’s from Berkeley, California! Thank you for the courage and grace to allow Michelle to share this beautiful reflection on Mother’s day and on the fifth Sunday of Easter. Michelle’s reflection masterfully weaved the themes and eloquently presented them. May I always remember God’s presence in spite of this time of physical distancing.

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