OUR PIUS UPDATE, TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2020

  • March 24, 2020
    Dear Parishioners:
     
    In an effort to stay in ongoing contact with all of you we hope to send ‘Our Pius Update’  late Tuesday afternoons.  This will include current updates and short inspirational articles from various sources. There will also be our usual weekend bulletins sent out on Friday afternoons.  Our Parish website and myParishapp will continue to be our primary sources of information.  We welcome input on this new initiative. 
                                                   
     
    Our Parish
     
    St. Pius X Church continues to be open for daily personal prayer.  A small number of persons spread themselves throughout our big Church during day light hours.  The Church is daily sanitized.  All are welcome.
     
    It is with sadness that we inform you that Ruby Sharpe, well known CWL member and Past President has died on Saturday, March 21 st.  A celebration of her life will take place at a later day.             
     
     
    The Archdiocese
     
    There is daily live streaming of Masses from the Basilica at 9:00 am each morning, Sunday to Saturday.  It is also possible to access Mass throughout the day.
     
    The separate Live Stream Mass link:      https://www.thebasilica.net/
     
    On the Archdiocesan website - www.rcsj.org is also found a wide range of updates relating to the manner our faith community is invited to respond to our current health crisis. Please access is at your leisure.       
     
     
                                                                                       
     
     
     
                                                                                                    Living Faith: Daily Scripture Readings
     
    You can get free, temporary access to ALL Living Faith devotionals here                
    http://www.livingfaith.com/?mc_cid=41ee8a2a87&mc_eid=0188cae3aa             
     
    Living Faith January/February/March 2020
    La Fe Viva January/February/March 2020
    Living Faith Kids March 2020
     
     
    ‘Pius’ Smiles
     
    One man speaking to another about his retirement activities had recalled … I called an old engineering buddy of mine and asked what he was working on these days.  He replied that he was working on “aquathermal treatment of ceramics, aluminum, and steel under constrained environment.” I was impressed until, upon further inquiry, I learned that he was washing dishes with hot water under his wife supervision.
     
     
    Blogs on Corona Virus
     
    Maria’s Musings
     
    The title of this entry really should be “Maria’s Wanderings” because that is exactly what my brain and my feelings have been doing since Saturday, March 14, 2020. From the beginning of March until that date, I had been watching and reading everything I could about COVID - 19.  I thought that I was prepared for its arrival in our province.  I was as ready as I could be,  until the first confirmed case was announced on March 14.
     
    It was if a dagger had gone through my stomach.  Fear and an ominous sense of dread surrounded me.  It was ironic because I had been looking forward to celebrating March 18, the four  year anniversary of my cancer surgery.  So, I began comparing and contrasting my thoughts and feelings, then and now.  What was the same and what was different and more importantly, WHY?
     
    From four years ago, I remember the shock, terror and yet the realization that the tumour was cancerous and that there were going to be many changes in my future.  I also remember the patience and support of the few people that I initially told.  I remember the expertise and caring of my medical team and the support of so many parishioners when my “news” was announced to the Parish.  I remember praying, and for some reason unknown to me at the time, I prayed for healing,  rather than a cure.
     
    Today, we are still in the early days of terror, shock and disbelief.  We are facing dramatic social changes, forcing us to examine what we hold dear.  (It certainly makes decluttering a lot easier.)  Physical distancing is vitally necessary but it goes against a basic human need for physical contact and a basic human instinct to reach out to others, as we did in Snowmageddon.  In January, we found new and creative ways to live and to help others in need.  We did this with humour, grace, and a great deal of ingenuity.  This is an even greater challenge now, but as citizens of this great province, and parishioners of St. Pius X Parish, we CAN do it. 
     
     
    • We can learn as I did, what a difference a phone call, a card or an e-mail can make.
    • We can learn as I did, the infinite value of human friendships and relationships.
    • We can learn as I did, that being in control is really an illusion.
    • We can learn as I did, that complete independence is also an illusion.
    • We can learn as I did,  the value of finding one thing each day to be thankful for, no matter how hard that day had been.
     
    Four years ago, the  most important lesson I learned was the value and importance of prayer, my personal connection to God.  I could actually feel the presence of so many people praying for me and with me. I experienced “the Communion of Saints”.  My deepest desire for all of us is that through prayer, we will stay connected to God and to one another. Please join me in praying these verses from Psalm 16,
    “You,  Lord,  are all I have and you give me all I need.  My future is in your hands.”
                                                                                                                                                                                   
     
    *****************
     
    Johnston Smith, Winnipeg, MB, IgNation Blog, March 21, 2020
    Johnston is a Winnipeg based former teacher-administrator at St. Paul’s High School.  He is also a promoter of the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius and offers retreats in daily live.
     
    Yesterday around 2:00 PM, I went to my local bakery. There was not a loaf or a bun in sight. Going to another nearby bakery, I found the same thing, that is, nothing. My nephew who works in a Safeway (like a Loblaw’s, for those east of Manitoba) sent out images of empty shelves. Turn on the tv and I saw images of toilet tissue tugs of war.
     
    On the BBC website, there were stories of exhausted and almost despondent health care workers in Italy, faced with making life/death decisions as they ration out their services and supplies. And on my more local channels there were shots of anxious people unsure whether they should go on their sun vacations or complaining that Jets games had been cancelled.
     
    Such are the faces of the human responses to the blow rendered to our occupations and preoccupations by the COVID-19 virus as it makes its rude entry into the consciousness of the Western world.
     
    f there is anything good out of all of this it is the cold-water shower with which our arrogance and folly have been doused. When China was suffering, we clucked cluck clucked and patronizingly put it down to their supposed dirty habits and backward social system.
     
    We assumed that nothing like that could ever happen to us because of…..our moral superiority?  And so, we frittered away two months, indulging our vanities, preferring to fuss over the latest Trump inanity or to argue about trans-gender washrooms or to agonize over which pronoun to use.
     
    Forgive me if I cannot get out of my mind the image of Neville Chamberlain waving a piece of paper. Over the decades we let bean counters chip away the redundancies (i.e., the slack needed to respond to surges in demand) in our health care system, preferring “just in time” delivery of vital services.
     
    No army general would ever eliminate his reserves as a “cost cutting measure”! This epidemic is exposing the utter folly of saying that businessmen (I say “men” advisedly) know best how to run government when we look south or even at some of our own governments here in Canada.
     
    In any emergency there are two key factors in making a mitigating response. The first is to recognize that the situation IS an emergency. The second is to ACT QUICKLY AND DECISIVELY.
     
    If you worry about being wrong, you are paralyzed:  the perfect becomes the enemy of the good. Bureaucracies are the antithesis of this sort of action…and politicians who all always have one eye on the next election and the other on preserving their own power are, too.
    There is a very good reason why armies are not commanded by committees, why police do not do a cost/benefit analysis before quelling a riot and why ER doctors and nurses don’t go on a retreat prior to treating a bleeding patient.
     
    It looks like we have been poorly served by our leaders and our institutions; yet, in a democracy, these are reflections of our own short-sightedness and misguided desires.
     
    At the core of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is Principle and Foundation. Retreatants are invited to examine their own “disordered affections” in the light of the fact that the ONLY thing a good Christian must seek is to know, love and serve God.
     
    Every other desire we have must be held up to this singular and over-arching purpose, just as we might hold up a gem to a bright light to see its imperfections.
     
    The Ignatian dictum “tantum quantum” means that all our desires and aspirations must be pursued “only in so far as” they lead us towards the end for which we have been created.
     
    This current pandemic is an opportunity for us as a society, as a church and as individuals to really look at our priorities, examining them in the light of Gospel values.
     
    It can be an invitation to get our priorities in line. In a real way, this is a sort of “enforced Lent” which, if undertaken in humility and love, will lead to Easter.
     
    Our ‘Pius’ Prayer
     
    This inspired reflection of Henri Nouwen challenges us growth while we journey, although with social distancing, through our current health crisis, although separated from persons we love including our parish faith community.
     
    “I am amazed that true friendship and community becomes possible insofar as I am able to share my weaknesses with others.  Often I become aware of the fact that in the sharing of my weaknesses with others, the real depths of my human brokenness and weakness and sinfulness started to reveal themselves to me, not as a source of despair but as a source of hope. As long as I try to convince myself or others  of my independence, a lot of my energy is invested in building up my own false self.  But once I am able to truly confess my most profound dependence on others and on God, I can come in touch with my true self and real community can develop.”
                                                                                                      Source: You Are The Beloved, July 27, page 227