Fr. Jim Bleackey’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Fr. Jim offers the reflection for the sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time and shares:

“Last week when I was in the Oblate kitchen making a cup of coffee, I happened to look out the window and saw a group of people sitting in the garden, in front of the Women’s Centre and the Supper Table; relaxing in the sun and enjoying each other’s company. They were people who appeared to carry all their belongings with them and who were most likely guests who often come to our doors seeking food, refreshments and a place in our community. As I watched, I saw a young man digging into his pack and when he appeared to be missing something, looked around to the others in the group. Immediately, someone pulled out a sweater from his bag and gave it to him. Another person gave him a sandwich. And someone else offered him an apple. From my viewpoint, it appeared that the group was concerned  for the young man, doing what they could to help him out.  This is another example of how generous the poor can be with those in need…” Continue reading Fr. Jim Bleackey’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mike Britton’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This weekend’s reflection is offered by Mike Britton, in which he shares: “You and I are a work in progress. And the work is done not just by ourselves in this life, but by grace from God. That grace comes in many ways and one of the greatest opportunities for it is in each other. What else is the good we do, after all, than God’s actions through us?” Continue reading Mike Britton’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Fr. Richard Beaudette’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Fr. Richard Beaudette OMI offers the homily this weekend and is also presiding at our in-person liturgies. He shares:

“The idea of being anointed prophet is one well beyond our notion of probability. Who of us feels competent to speak God’s Word in a way that calls and challenges others to conversion? Of course, as Paul would remind us, our baptismal call to be prophetic is not something that we can do on our own. Rather than offering a life of comfort and safety, this baptismal call puts great expectations on us; expectations that can only be met when we recognize our individual weakness and open ourselves to the indwelling of the Spirit and the power of Christ dwelling in us and personified in the Christian community. As prophets, we are called to proclaim that the reign of God is at hand and to co-create a just and loving society. ” Continue reading Fr. Richard Beaudette’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

John Rietschlin’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

John Rietschlin offers the reflection at our Masses this weekend. John shares:

“Many of us will know that Julian was a 15th century mystic who spent some fifty years, most of her adult life, living in a single room during the Bubonic plague. Julian experienced a series of visions from God as a young woman and then spent many decades praying and reflecting on these visions and writing about them. When she died, she left a single book written over a lifetime—the first book by a woman in the English language. This book is the source of our knowledge about her and her visions. What did she see? In the midst of the darkness and death from the plague, Julian saw God’s total goodness. She saw that every human being is totally “oned” with God. In the midst of fear, she saw that God is fully present in every aspect of creation. The beauty shining through a flower, a sunset, a smile is the beauty of God. She saw that sin causes us to lose sight of God, but that God never loses sight of us—God continues to love every one of us.” Continue reading John Rietschlin’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Reflection from the St. Joe’s Refugee Outreach Committee and a Parish Update

On World Refugee Day,  the reflection at our weekend liturgies is offered by members of the St. Joe’s Refugee Outreach Committee. The Committee shares:

“Perhaps we do have power to calm the seas and winds that drive people from their homes, as well as to provide a more welcoming place to those who make it here safely. Whether as a country, as a community, or one to one, we need to stay awake, to care for and support one another…” Continue reading A Reflection from the St. Joe’s Refugee Outreach Committee and a Parish Update

Mark McCormick’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark McCormick offers us this weekend’s reflection. In it, Mark shares: “Jesus asks us today to be on the leading edge of change, for we cannot escape the conclusion that human hearts outside of God make enemies of the other. When we watch unfolding tragedies and say “no more” and “not again”, the pattern still endures and emerges with another group suffering under our oppressive ways.

In Christ, our hearts are tamed and taught in the gentle and humble ways of peace, understanding and friendship. These are the ways that Jesus lived. His sacred heart reaches out to us today to imitate his compassion for one another.” Continue reading Mark McCormick’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are gardeners, whose role must be to tend to the seeds that God has planted

One of my hobbies is gardening and I think I am pretty good at it! Here’s one example- as many of you will know, this is a peony. It’s the time of year when peonies bloom- they are over the top in terms of their beauty and profusion, with multiple blooms in any one bush.

I have taken time and care, nurtured my plant with rich soil, added fertilizer to spur growth and ensured just the right amount of water. I am proud of my gardening skills!

Jesus’ story for us today about the tiny but mighty mustard seed makes us think. Within the mustard seed, any seed, is contained all that is required for the seed to grow, to blossom and flourish. The Gospel reminds me that I have had nothing to do with producing that seed. When I think of my time and labour and my outsize pride and boasting, Jesus tells me that God does the growing, not me- “we sleep and we rise each night and day and the seed would sprout and grow- without us knowing how”- the earth produces plants with seeds sown by God. Continue reading We are gardeners, whose role must be to tend to the seeds that God has planted

A message from the Chair of Parish Pastoral Council

Good evening. My name is Donna Rietschlin; I am the Chair of St. Joe’s Parish Pastoral Council.

Thank you for being part of this evening of prayer, silence and reflection. We have come together for so may reasons and with so many thoughts, feelings and intentions. Some of us are angry, some of us want immediate action, some of us are confused, some of us are sad, some of us are ashamed . . . when we are faced with the pain of our indigenous sisters and brothers, we respond in many ways. Ways that often reflect our own pain and past hurts. Since May 27th I have spoken with many of you and received your emails, Chris Adam and Fr Jim have heard from you, too. Thank you for reaching out and for sharing your stories, your frustrations, your anger, and your ideas about how to move forward as a parish community.

Last night the parish pastoral council met to pray, to listen to some of the responses and reflections available online from our indigenous sisters and brothers, and to listen to one another. Our listening and conversations have begun again. The harm done to the first peoples of this land began more than 400 years ago with the arrival of European explorers and settlers. The harm continues today, much of it caused by institutions and cultures of which we are a part. Many of the indigenous people speaking today are asking us to listen to them, to learn their history and ensure justice prevails. They will lead the way forward.

Our indigenous sisters and brothers ask that we become educated. Continue reading A message from the Chair of Parish Pastoral Council

Fr. Garry LaBoucane & Fr. Jim Bleackley: A Conversation

Fr. Garry LaBoucane, a Métis Elder and Oblate priest ministering in Vancouver, B.C. shares with St. Joseph’s Parish:

“Let the Indigenous voices be heard…Anything that is said or written about Indigenous people needs the voices of Indigenous peoples. Nothing should be done without the voices of the people….The Body of Christ is badly wounded…Francis reminded those who read his book that God always heads for the margins of life, and we all know Jesus did this repeatedly in word and in action…

The dream that God had and has is a dream that God shared with all peoples, and continues to do so. My ancestors were nomadic, and I follow their example. This is the longest time I’ve ever stayed in one place. So I’m nomadic. My ancestors lived in tents. The significance of that is that it’s important for us to be able to move, from one position or one place to another, and not to take an immoveable stance in life. My own people, the Cree people, the Blackfoot people, and the people here in these territories, they always welcome the stranger. In our language: come on in! So, it’s an invitation to talk, to share, to learn. Unfortunately, when the strangers first came to this part of the world, they walked into the house and they took over everything, and they changed the way of life. I think what we can learn from this hard event is that it’s better that we camp together, we move together. It’s better to return to the dream God has for us.” Continue reading Fr. Garry LaBoucane & Fr. Jim Bleackley: A Conversation

An inclusive community of faith