Our Parish Update - Tuesday, May 12, 2020

  • May 12, 2020
      TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2020


    Please continue your prayerful support for our Jesuit brothers at the 25 bed, Rene Goupil Infirmary in  Pickering.  Six men have died over the last ten days. Fr. Charlie Sitter, SJ, 93 years of age, died on Saturday morning. Some men are still very sick. One man is recovering after a hospital stay. There is hope along with great concern and intense medical attention provided to the sick.
    Br. Joe Frechette, SJ, continues to safely live in Pickering at La Storta Jesuit Community.  He continues to get and await ongoing medical assistance from local hospitals,  although not without challenges. As true ‘here’ and ‘there’ hospital services are not easily accessed.
    Other related news includes a decision by our Provincial, Fr. Erik Oland, SJ, to temporarily close Rene Goupil Infirmary and move our men to safe lodgings where they can continue to get top standard medical care.  The Infirmary needs to be thoroughly sanitized and upgraded before our men can continue to live there.
    A letter written by the Provincial on this topic can be read as an attached file.
                                                                                                                  Fr. Earl Smith, SJ

    Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ
    Father General of the Society of Jesus

    What part of the path to God is the COVID-19 epidemic showing us?\
    The current experience of COVID -19 is showing us many things about ourselves and our world. In particular, I want to focus on how it is lighting up various aspects of our path to God and how, even in difficult times, there is consolation to be found.

    First of all, it is showing us that we are one humanity. Every human being, every people, each culture that contributes to human diversity is part of this one, varied, rich and interdependent humanity.

    It is showing us how overcoming a crisis is possible. It is possible when we become aware of the importance of looking after the Common Good and taking seriously our own individual responsibility. We can only live as one body. Separately, for each person or each people on their own, it is impossible.

    It is showing us that there is no difference in age, race, religion or social status within our one humanity. Each and every one of us is part of it, no one is left out, no one of us can do without the others.

    It is showing us that we want to walk together. We are all concerned, we help each other to overcome fears and anxieties. Each one of us is looking for a way to lend a hand, starting by putting what we ourselves want in second place and accepting the measures and sacrifices that allow us to contribute to the good of all.

    It is showing us the competence and generosity of those who are in the front line, caring for those affected, seeking solutions or making difficult decisions for the good of all. It is showing us the sensitivity of so many people or organizations and the enormous reserve of solidarity that exists: in young people, in adults and in the elderly, in all corners of human society.

    It is showing us the power of faith, the strong bonds that unite believers, the love of Jesus Christ that impels us, reconciles us and unites us. There are so many people praying together on social media. They want to profess their faith, that faith which they feel in the depths of their hearts and which they cannot keep to themselves.

    I have been receiving information about the many creative initiatives that have been taken both in the provinces, regions, communities and apostolic works of the Society of Jesus... as well as in collaboration with others. I thank the Lord for all of this. I encourage you to continue looking for the best ways to be close to those in need, in order to continue to walk the common path together.

    I join in the prayer of the whole body of the Society of Jesus, of the Catholic Church, of all Christian Churches, of other religions or beliefs and of all those who, with their attitude of solidarity, are looking for and are finding appropriate ways to continue to lend a hand.

    We do not know how long this stretch of the road is or what will follow after. So, let us ask for light to see the way forward and the grace that we need to walk it as brothers and sisters, in solidarity with the whole of humanity and with the planet on which we live.May the Lord bless us and keep us as we walk this journey together.
                                                       Margaret Mary Smith

    I am positively overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of prayerful support given me from across our parish and St. John’s in response to my Mother’s untimely COVID-19 related death.  I am tired as life is like attending an near ending wake. There are many signs of joyful hope mixed with occasional tears.  I am encouraged to keep wide open my hurting heart because of your many expressions of love for me.  Gratitude is my first prayer these days of May!       Fr. Earl Smith, SJ
                                                       Carmel Sharpe

    We are saddened at the news that Carmel Sharpe, mother of Ruby Sharpe (deceased March 21, 2020) passed peacefully away  on Saturday, May 9 at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home where she had been a resident for the past few months.  

    Carmel was a member of another parish, but anyone who knew Ruby knew her mother as well.  Carmel attended many events at St. Pius X Parish, especially those sponsored by the  CWL.  She had a wonderful sense of humour and sense of adventure, which she surely passed on to Ruby.  Mother and daughter have been reunited.  Please remember Carmel and her family in your prayers.

    More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
    That is what I have wanted all my life from my

    But now there is a difference,
    the initiative is entirely with God.
    It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
    to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.
    Pedro Arrupe, SJ

    SOURCE:   Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits, page119



    To pray means to open your hands before God. It means slowly relaxing the tension that squeezes your hands together and accepting your existence with an increasing readiness, not as a possession to defend, but as a gift to receive.  Above all, prayer is a way of life that allows you to find stillness in the midst of the world where you open your hands to God’s promises and find hope for yourself, your neighbour, and your world.  In prayer, your encounter God not only in the small voice and the soft breeze, but also in the midst of the turmoil of the world, on the distress and joy of your neighbour, and in the loneliness of your own heart.
    Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air.  Prayer is the breath of your life that gives you freedom to go and to stay where you wish, to find the many signs that point out the way to a new land.  Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in a time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday mornings or mealtimes.  Praying is living.  It is eating and drinking, acting and resting, teaching and learning, playing and working.  Praying evades every aspect of our lives.  It is the unceasingly recognition that God is wherever we are, always inviting us to come closer and to celebrate the divine gift of being alive.  

    In the end, a life of prayer is a life with open hands- a life where we need not be ashamed of our weaknesses but realize that it is more perfect for us to be led by the Other than to try to hold everything in our own hands.
    Source:  Henri Nouwen, You Are The Beloved, April 27, page 129

    Go in peace and faith.
    If you are tired, may you find rest,
    if you are anxious, may you find peace,
    if   you are lonely, may you find friends,
    and if you are dying, may you find new life
    and know that nothing can separate you from
    the love of God in Christ Jesus.
    Dorothy McRae-McMahon

                    A Trinitarian Blessing
    May God,  the Creator, bless you
    and nourish all your best ideas.

    May Christ, the wounded healer, touch you
    and make you whole.

    May the winds of the Spirit
    lift you into flight,
    free as a bird
    and high as a kite.
    Jean Mortimer

                 Source:   600 Blessings and Prayers from Around the World
                                                         Compiled by Geoffrey Duncan

             OUR PIUS WISDOM
    Prayer is co-operation with God. It is the purest exercise of the faculties God has given us--an exercise that links these faculties with the Maker to work out the intentions He had in mind in their creation. Prayer is aligning ourselves with the purposes of God... Prayer is commission. Out of the quietness with God, power is generated that turns the spiritual machinery of the world. When you pray, you begin to feel the sense of being sent, that the divine compulsion is upon you.
    E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973)

    I suddenly saw that all the time it was not I who had been seeking God, but God who had been seeking me. I had made myself the centre of my own existence and had my back turned to God. All the beauty and truth which I had discovered had come to me as a reflection of his beauty, but I had kept my eyes fixed on the reflection and was always looking at myself. But God had brought me to the point at which I was compelled to turn away from the reflection, both of myself and of the world which could only mirror my own image. During that night the mirror had been broken, and I had felt abandoned because I could no longer gaze upon the image of my own reason and the finite world which it knew. God had brought me to my knees and made me acknowledge my own nothingness, and out of that knowledge I had been reborn. I was no longer the centre of my life and therefore I could see God in everything.
    Bede Griffiths, (1906-1993)
    Benedictine Monk, Rc Priest, Engaged in Christian-Hindu Dialogue

    Growing Spiritually
    A friend  passed along this anecdote about his 10 year old niece. His sister has been ill, so he called to see how she was doing. His niece answered the phone.  “Hello,” he whispered.  “Hi, Honey. How’s your mother doing?” ... “She’s sleeping,” she answered, again in a whisper.  “Did she go to the doctor?” ... “Yes. She got some medicine,” the niece said softly.  “Well don’t wake her. Just tell her I called. What are you doing by the way?”  Again in a soft whisper, she answered, “Practising my trumpet.”

    The community theatre in Wadworth, OH, was holding auditions for their children’s spring play. All youngsters auditioning had to fill out a form. One six year old girl, whose Dad is a local dentist, told him what to put on the form.  Dad entered this list of his daughter’s special talents: “I can dance, sing, whistle, and I have excellent oral hygiene.”
    Source:   The Joyful Noiseletter, Vol. 35, No. 2, March-April 2020
    Yes, we are locked out of churches,
    shrines and cathedrals.

    Yes, we are locked in our homes.

    Yes, this is a precious moment
    to remember that church is bigger than stone and building.

    Yes, this is perhaps a gentle reminder
    that prayer is larger than architecture and liturgical design.

    This is the perfect time to return
    over and over to the sanctuary of the heart:

    “Whenever you pray,
    go into your inner room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret;
    and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
    Matthew 6:6
    Source:   FACEBOOK - Philip Chircop

    Tuesday, May 12

    Canada Health Day has been sponsored by the Canadian Healthcare Association and the Canadian Public Health Association for over 30 years. The day is meant to highlight the importance of public health in the well-being of all Canadians.  In these days of COVID-19, the health and safety  of all Canadians has been a paramount concern for us.  We are grateful for our health care system, Medicare, our provincial and federal health care leaders, and all who work in our health care systems, especially those who risk their lives or indeed  lost their lives in doing so.  In comparison to so many other countries, we are truly blessed.  BUT, we have also seen some huge gaps in our health care system.

    The following  excerpts are taken from The End of the Beginning: What We’ve Already Learned about Pandemic Response by Health Care Canada  Paul-Émile Cloutier, who shares his immediate recommendations here.

        •    We underestimated the power of this virus.  COVID-19 respects no geographic or social boundaries.
        •    Hospitals, community-based health care professionals and, most recently, Canadian Armed Forces personnel have stepped up to fill the gaps in long-term care facilities.
        •    The temptation is strong to ease up, to get back to “normal”. However, now more than ever, we need the federal government to continue to work collaboratively with provinces, territories, municipalities, and Indigenous leaders to strengthen health care in Canada, especially in the recovery phase.
        •    And, we must all continue to do our part by continuing to physically distance to protect against another COVID-19 wave.
        •    One of those gaps is the fact that Canadian health care facilities, . ., are among the oldest public infrastructure in use today.
        •    We must ensure that addressing the short-term crisis does not preclude us from tackling the long-term challenges facing Canada’s health care system.
        •    Health care will need much more strategic support from our federal government to address the coming, different surge of patients who have been waiting for care due to COVID-19 demands.
        •    In a truly integrated health system, with an up-to-date, comprehensive pandemic plan, the federal government would have a national stockpile of readily accessible emergency supplies and the ability to flow supplies and materials as needed to the front lines because lines of communication and processes would be clear and practiced.
        •    As a prosperous G-7 country, there is no reason why we did not have clear procedures ready and in place to bring in mandatory containment measures, physical distancing rules, business closures and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front- line health care workers.
        •    Team Canada may well be at or near the end of the beginning in terms of our battle with COVID-19. What lies before us is a true nation-building opportunity, one where we transcend our 13-jurisdiction provincial patchwork of health systems and create a true system that functions in the service of health, not bureaucracy.