Our Parish Update - Tuesday, April 14, 2020

  • April 14, 2020
    TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2020

    Br. Joe Frechette, SJ:   Update
    Br. Joe Frechette,  SJ has been unwell in recent weeks.  He has been diagnosed with  inoperable cancer.  He is choosing to leave this province to live at the Jesuit Infirmary in Pickering, Ontario.  He sends everybody his deepest gratitude for his shared life and ministry over 42 years in St. John’s.  Even though Br. Joe will be in Pickering, he will always be in our hearts.  Br. Joe and always was and is  “a man with and for others”.
        Anyone wishing to stay in contact with  Br. Joe, please do so -
    Jesuit Infirmary
    2325 Liverpool Road
    Pickering, ON     L1X 1V4

    Emails can be forwarded c/o  Fr. Earl Smith, SJ -  earlsmithsj@gmail.com

    Thank you to our parishioners who have sent us their generous donations.
    The option for direct giving is still being looked into.  An update will be forwarded as we know more.

    When I “watched”my first live-streamed  Mass, it left me feeling flat.   Everything seemed lopsided, or rather  one-sided, with the presider, reader and cantor on one side and no one on the other.  While it really was a Mass, it  struck me how integral  the people -   the worshiping community - are, to complete the liturgy, to complete the circle.  But even more disturbing was the sight of the empty pews, while all the actions, words and singing during the Mass were the same as if the pews were full.  It added a distinct sense of being unreal.
    I have been giving this experience a lot of thought, or rather my thoughts  going around in circles, until today’s edition of Companions 80 arrived.  One of the featured articles was “ How  can one better participate in masses  from our  own home?”, written by Colleen Dulle, of America  Magazine.  Recounting her own experience of watching a Mass on TV, she discovered “ a vast gulf . ....  between going to Mass and simply watching Mass the way one watches Netflix.” I quickly  realized that she had named my experience, that  I had “watched” Mass, not actively “participated”   in it.
    The writer  goes on to mention Sister Bernadette Reiss, F.S. P., translator of the Pope’s Masses into English.  Sister recommends creating a church-like atmosphere   in  your  home -lighting a candle, placing a Bible, a crucifix, or an icon near your TV or computer.  (Personally, it never occurred to me to go to my prayer space). She also recommends using the same gestures of the Mass - sitting, standing or kneeling, and making a Spiritual Communion.  Just as Jesus used his body in the   Incarnation, just as we use our bodies at Mass in church, we can also use our bodies to participate in Mass at home.
    Colleen Dulle then goes on to quote Catherine Addington, a young Catholic in her twenties, who regularly watches Pope Francis’ daily Masses on Youtube.  She initially   had the same reaction to watching Mass on TV, but then observed, “ I think it does have something to do with the fact that we don’t know how to watch anything in a holy way.”  She now “watches” Mass differently than watching Netflix.  Instead of stretching out on the sofa, she now sits up, mutes her cell phone and makes the same gestures as other Catholics around the world.  This gives her a sense of   unity.
    The faithful would make a Spiritual Communion when the consecrated host was elevated.  She says that the next time she followed these practices at a live-streamed Mass and she actually voiced the words of the Mass, she felt “ a union of word, gesture, prayer and time.”
    Since both of these women included an Act of Spiritual Communion in their participation, I offer the following as a possibility for you.  My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament.  I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul.  Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.  As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you.  Never permit me to be separated from you.
    I thank the writer of this article, Colleen Dulle, and the women she consulted. I look forward to following their recommendations, so that I can be an active participant in the next live-streamed Mass on my computer.  DEO GRATIAS !!!      
         Maria R. Kelsey
        Pastoral Assistant
    1.    Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.
    2.     Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to do a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.
    3.     Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets and avenues. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.
    4.     Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!

    5.     Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!
    6.     Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!
    7.     Develop a self-care toolkit. This can look different for everyone. A lot of successful self-care strategies involve a sensory component (seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring book is wonderful, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation. For children, it is great to help them create a self-regulation comfort box (often a shoe-box or bin they can decorate) that they can use on the ready for first-aid when overwhelmed.
    8.     Spend extra time playing with children. Children will rarely communicate how they are feeling, but will often make a bid for attention and communication through play. Don’t be surprised to see therapeutic themes of illness, doctor visits, and isolation play through. Understand that play is cathartic and helpful for children—it is how they process their world and problem solve, and there’s a lot they are seeing and experiencing in the now.
    9.     Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.
    10.     Everyone find their own retreat space. Space is at a premium, particularly with city living. It is important that people think through their own separate space for work and for relaxation. For children, help them identify a place where they can go to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cozy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts”. It is good to know that even when we are on top of each other, we have our own special place to go to be alone.

    Contributed by Peggy Maloney, Staff St. Pius X Parish


    Given the current circumstances, the St. Augustine's Seminary Annual Closing Retreat will be live-streamed only, on this Facebook Event page. Fr. Charles Anang, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, will lead the Retreat. The conferences would occur as they normally would at the seminary with a slight change of time:
        From Monday April 13 to Saturday April 18
        Daily at 11:30 am (NT) and at 5:30 pm (NT)
        (except Saturday no 4pm conference)

    This retreat is available online to the general public on this EVENT page, so feel free to share with others.

    They are live streamed and also recorded so that you can access the conferences any time you so wish - see link at bottom.
    The link gives you access to an open page of Facebook (but you don’t need to be on Facebook).

    Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.
    Elisabeth Elliot, 1926-2015
    American Christian Author and Speaker

    When I review the events of my life from the viewpoint of God’s love, then I see that my life is an experience of grace, an experience of being loved.  And this applies even to the shadow sinful side of my life because in some sense I wouldn’t even know  that I’m a sinner or that I was dysfunctional or limited unless grace was given to me to recognize that.  
    Fr. John English, SJ,
    Canadian Jesuit
    Promoter of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius


    O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of your presence, your love and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for. Living close to you, we shall see your hand, your purpose, your will through all things.    
    St. Ignatius Loyola


    “My God and my refuge, strip away my habit of blaming - either others or myself - for any big or little tragedies in my life. Challenge me to move beyond the "blame game" and to understand that these misfortunes and setbacks are not under my control. Teach me instead to live through these events and see them as fruitful opportunities for faith and love.”    Amen.
    Henri Nouwen

    I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

    Still haven't decided where to go for the Easter Season
    -  The Living Room or The Bedroom.

    Home-schooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting
    and 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.