Roshene Lawson’s reflection, Liturgy of the Word and a Parish Update for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Dear St. Joe’s parishioners,

On this Sixth Sunday of Easter, parishioner Roshene Lawson offers a reflection videotaped at her Saint Vincent Hospital office, where she works as the spiritual chaplain. “Love is an action that we do to manifest the love that God has for us. It’s not just a bunch of words. It’s a verb, an act, a way of helping and supporting one another, especially when faced with challenges, such as a pandemic,” Roshene shares in her reflection. “We start by suspending judgement. By taking a breath before criticizing someone for wearing a mask or not wearing a mask or for doing groceries in pairs or for going out for a run or a walk that might be necessary for their mental health and wellbeing. Everyone is living the pandemic differently and withholding judgement is one way to live God’s love,” Roshene adds. Please see the full video reflection below or click here for the full-text version: Reflection for May 15.

Liturgical & Pastoral Material from St. Joe’s:

Music from St. Joe’s:

Thank you to Jamie Loback and Tom Fagan for the liturgical material, and to Roshene for the reflection!

Parish Update:

  • Mark your calendars! The Ottawa Children’s Choir will perform a virtual concert on Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 3pm. This special performance will take place live on YouTube. The choir consists of children from ages 6-15. These talented young people have worked very hard to create this performance using online platforms and recording technology during this period of physical distancing. St. Joe’s is the home of the OCC, where they normally hold their weekly rehearsals and concerts. The choir will be accepting online donations, 25% of which will be given to the Food Bank program administered by St. Joe’s Supper Table. 
  • Breakfast kits/snack boxes: This week, St. Joseph’s Parish distributed 80 breakfast kits and snack boxes to families in our Parish and also the broader community. We were able to provide the Refugee Outreach Committee, the Wiggins Food Bank and Immaculata High School with healthy snacks for children in their circles. Thanks as well to Fr. Tim Coonen OMI of Holy Canadian Martyrs, our sister English Oblate parish, for connecting us with Immaculata and assisting with the distribution! St. Joseph’s Parish has now received an additional 80 boxes through our partnership with the Ottawa Network for Education. Next week, we will be serving a dozen families at École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Anne in Lowertown and we will continue to provide outreach to Immaculata High School as well. If you would like a box for your family or know of parishioners who may benefit from this program, please contact me at:
  • The St. Joe’s Women’s Centre and Supper Table Food Bank services: The Women’s Centre is relaunching its weekly grocery program on Thursday, May 21st, 2020. The day before, the Women’s Centre will have the facility professionally sanitized. The Supper Table continues to offer its food bank service weekly, by appointment, at the 151 Laurier Ave. East location. On Friday, May 15th, Ryan Mitchell and his volunteer Patsy Stevens also offered a satellite food bank service at Wiggins/Stratchona Heights. We continue to see a heightened need for our food bank services, including from residents of our neighbourhood who are accessing a food bank for the first time due to the economic impact of the pandemic. 
  • St. Joe’s video meditation with Chaplain Rick Gariepy:  Prior to the pandemic, parishioner Rick Gariepy offered weekly Christian meditation to guests of the St. Joe’s Supper Table every Wednesday afternoon. Rick prepared a meditation video this week for our entire parish community from his home chapel in Chelsea, named after Saint Irenaeus. We invite parishioners to take a look at it here.
  • Laudato Si’ Week: May 16 – 24, 2020:  Pope Francis, saying he wanted to renew his “urgent call to respond to the ecological crisis”, has asked Catholics around the globe to participate in the international observance of “Laudato Si’ Week” which runs from May 16-24. The week is designed as an occasion for Catholics to look at steps they have taken to protect the environment and assist the world’s poor, and to come up with next steps.
    • Laudato Si’ Week and COVID-19 – Laudato Si’ tells us that “everything is connected” and, tragically, this health catastrophe has much in common with the ecological catastrophe. Laudato Si’ can help us reshape the world that will come after the pandemic has passed. We have the opportunity to start anew, ensuring that the world that arises after this crisis is sustainable and just. As we prepare for Laudato Si’ week, let us reflect together on how Pope Francis’ encyclical may guide us through the current crisis. For more info, contact the Archdiocese’s Environmental Stewardship coordinator, John Dorner, at
    • Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and Laudato Si’ – A full week of activities and events. During Laudato Si’ Week, the Global Catholic Climate Movement will host online workshops and training to bring special focus to the week-long journey of transformation. One of these is a free webinar, Women of Faith – EcoLeaders on Wednesday, May 20 at 1:30. Women of faith who have been living Laudato Si’s message for decades have much to contribute to the conversation of renewal. The webinar, featuring Sister Priscilla Solomon, CSJ, and Sister Linda Gregg, CSJ, will highlight their important and practical work in Care of Creation, Indigenous justice, and Ecological justice. Registration is free through the GCCM Canada website.
    • World-wide Moment of Prayer – Noon on Sunday, May 24 — Bring solidarity to our world in a shared moment of prayer at noon local time on Sunday, May 24 because “everything is connected”. Catholics from all across the globe will be united in spirit as together we recite the Common Prayer for the 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si’. Go to to download your prayer card and to register. Also feel free to share your own prayers on social media using the hashtag #LaudatoSi5. The Development and Peace website also has a full array of resources to help you celebrate Laudato Si’ Week. “The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue to go unheeded”, the pope said. “Let’s take care of creation, a gift of God, our good creator.”
  • Sunday offering for May 10, 2020: $5,187. 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:
  • A word of caution: Please be careful if you receive a message from someone who appears to be a parishioner asking you for assistance. We’ve learned of at least one instance where a parishioner’s email was hacked and others in our community received unusual messages from this account. If the Parish administration learns that someone in our community is in need of assistance from us, we will make sure to either offer the help that we can from our existing resources or will reach out to our parishioners directly.

We’re grateful for your feedback — again this week, we received emails, phone calls and comments on our site and on social media about how you are reflecting on and praying with each weekend’s pastoral material.

Peace and take care,


Christopher Adam
Executive Director

2 thoughts on “Roshene Lawson’s reflection, Liturgy of the Word and a Parish Update for the Sixth Sunday of Easter”

  1. Have just listened for a second time and read the text of Roshene’s reflection, and have found reassurance from her commentary of acceptance and the unique ways we may choose loving responses to others. Appreciation for the wisdom she provides in her capacity in the frontline service during the pandemic.

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