Raphael Amato’s reflection and a parish update on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Raphael Amato offers the reflection for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. In it, he shares:

“How will we find our way forward when the known guideposts that lit our path no longer shine? Where do we go when it seems as if darkness is all around us and it feels that God is nowhere to be seen? Or God’s name is being used to sow division and distrust.

There is a hidden invitation in Jesus’s words; that is to be attentive and to choose to focus on what is essential, to be more attentive to my call as a Christian, as a follower of Jesus to be a healing and active presence in this world.

While things are falling apart, it seems that there is a tendency to turn in on ourselves or to be positive and be solution focused.  I see this in my work a lot, where people are proud because they are solution focused and not problem focused. Rather than just to find solutions too quickly,  I think that we are being called to ensure that each person is heard — not to jump ahead and divide who is right and wrong. Being positive does not mean painting a rosy picture and denying the pain and suffering, but rather believing that we have the capacity to rise together and choose how we want to move forward.

The first action I believe is to read the signs collectively, and to listen to each person — to share their read of what is occurring.

Each small action has a collective impact; it is not just the policy makers, or governments or experts that need to solve this. We need to decide to be in the middle of this and show how we can walk through this by developing a collective wisdom that entails a listening to the earth, the animals around us and to all living things.” Continue reading Raphael Amato’s reflection and a parish update on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

A St. Joe’s evening of listening and learning with Kateri Native Ministry

St. Joseph’s Parish Pastoral Council has committed to making Reconciliation our pastoral focus this year. As part of this commitment, the Parish hosted an evening gathering with Donna Naughton, Executive Director of Kateri Native Ministry, on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. in our church. We had the opportunity to listen and to learn about Kateri Native Ministry’s work in the area of healing and Reconciliation. In particular, we learned about the Kendaasawin Program, which brings Indigenous awareness to communities and individuals, and supports healing through an embrace of both Traditional and Christian heritages. Continue reading A St. Joe’s evening of listening and learning with Kateri Native Ministry

Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

In his reflection for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, our Pastor, Fr. Jim Bleackley OMI, shares:

“The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love. Also, let us ponder Jesus’ warning about how one’s abundance can blind a person to the present condition of global society, where injustices abound, and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and often exploited by a system that favours the rich and powerful. Let us examine our hearts to see if our self-reliance makes it difficult for us to stand in solidarity with the poorest of our brothers and sisters.” Continue reading Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

John Rietschlin’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the reflection for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary time, John Rietschlin shares:

“Today’s gospel passage ends with Jesus saying to the scribe “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Would Jesus say that to me today? To each one of us here? This week, I invite each of us to take a few moments to reflect on that question. How are we living the two greatest commandments? How are we loving the Lord our God? How are we loving and respecting God’s creation? How are we loving our neighbor? Then, let us give thanks for the grace that we each receive to grow in love.”

Continue reading John Rietschlin’s Reflection and a Parish Update for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

All Saints’ & All Souls’ at St. Joseph’s Parish

In the book A Pilgrim’s Almanac, Edward Hays shares:

The Feast of all Saints is a day to celebrate all saints, including the unknown saints whose names are not mentioned in the Holy Hall of Fame of the Church. This is a day to recall that we are all called to be holy. Pray today that someday in the future this will be your feast day too. November 2nd is the Feast of All the Holy Dead. It is a day to remember those you loved who have passed through the doorway of death. Take time today to prayerfully recall those family members, friends and significant people in your life who have died. 

Continue reading All Saints’ & All Souls’ at St. Joseph’s Parish

Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In his reflection on the Gospel narrative of Bartimaeus as presented in Mark, Fr. Jim shares an experience with a guest of the St. Joe’s Supper Table.

“Let me tell you my story about being blind and the gift of perception I received. As you know, during the pandemic the St. Joe’s Supper Table had to change the way they cared for the poor who come to our doors. Instead of an evening meal served indoors, they began to provide take away meals for breakfast, lunch and supper. This generous service drew many people to the parish every day, and even had a few who decided to find a place of refuge on the empty spaces around the parish.

One individual was not only homeless, a drug addict, and a hoarder but also had a mental impairment. Many times, when I would come to church early in the morning, I would find him spreading all his belongings from one end of the parking lot to the other. Usually, my efforts to have him pack up his things and suggest he find another spot only resulted in both of us becoming frustrated and impatient with one another which would make me feel very troubled and bothered. In a way I felt like the people in today’s gospel who tried to hush the shouting blind beggar when he  asked Jesus for help.

As I wrestled with my guilty feeling about my lack of care, I found myself wondering why I saw this stranger as a problem to be dealt with rather than a brother in need. Talk about having your eyes and heart opened.  It was a grace moment that when we encountered one another in the same situation, it allowed me to approach this unique individual with dignity and respect, a brother in need and not a problem to be solved. I have learnt his name, have taken time to hear his story and I worry about his safety and well-being. Like Bartimaeus, his poverty is a challenge and a call for me. ” Continue reading Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update on the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

John Mark Keyes’ Reflection and a Parish Update for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

As we begin the Synodal process in the Catholic Church, John Mark Keyes shares in his reflection:

“Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. This message seems to have been all too often lost in our Church and in its institutional hierarchy. In fact, the notion of hierarchy itself is at odds with Jesus saying that whoever wishes to be first among you, must be slave or servant of all. In the Catholic Church, governance from the top has often been the norm, with little scope for the majority of its members, the faithful, to have a say in how decisions are made or how the institutional Church is managed….We have recently been reminded of some of the horrific effects of what is known as clericalism, in the abuses committed by members of the clergy and religious communities  — most notably, in the Indian residential schools. Where was Jesus’ message when these things happened?…I have had and continue to have difficulty understanding what has unfolded and continues to unfold around clerical abuse here in Canada and around the world — most recently in France. But I am also not prepared to abandon the Church, for it has made me who I am and has given me so much nourishment.,.” Continue reading John Mark Keyes’ Reflection and a Parish Update for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update for Thanksgiving Weekend

As Fr. Jim reflects on the readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, he shares:

“When Jesus repeats the statement by saying that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” the disciples experience the alarm felt by the rich young man as they realize that total renunciation is humanly impossible. No wonder the disciples asked one another “then who can be saved? ” Their fear and disappointment had Jesus remind them that everything is possible for God. In a world where people treasure earthly things, Jesus invites his followers to focus on the goodness of God in order to help them understand that this dispossession on all levels is the way into fulness of life. In a culture where wealth and possessions are so highly valued, we need to experience a different way of life to be receptive to Jesus’ life-giving message.” Continue reading Fr. Jim’s Reflection and a Parish Update for Thanksgiving Weekend

Pastoral Employment Opportunity

Job Title: Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry & Faith Formation      Job Type: Full-time at 37.5 hours per week                                        Location: 151 Laurier Ave. East, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N8                                Starting Salary: $45,000 + Benefits
Start Date: October 2021
Closing Date: Open until filled

St. Joseph’s Parish, an inclusive and vibrant Roman Catholic faith community, is hiring a Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry & Faith Formation to join our staff team. Established by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1856, it is the Parish’s mission to reach out to the most marginalized in our broader community in the spirit of the Church’s teachings on the Preferential Option for the Poor and to sustain a parish that is open and welcoming to all. Located adjacent to the University of Ottawa, student outreach and offering young Catholics a positive faith community are central aspects of our pastoral work. Continue reading Pastoral Employment Opportunity

An inclusive community of faith