Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Holy Hour...

A Holy Hour of prayer with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will take place New Year's Eve beginning at 11 PM.  It will conclude with Benediction at midnight followed by a short social gathering. 

The Holy Hour will be a time of peaceful reflection on the past year, a time offer one's new resolutions for the coming year to God, a time of thanksgiving, reparation, and petition.

The recitation of the Te Deum, an ancient hymn praise and thanksgiving will be included.  It is also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because of its association with St. Ambrose.  First attributed to Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, or Hilary, it is now credited to Nicetus, Bishop of Remesiana (4th Century).  A plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions when the hymn is publicly recited on the last day of the year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas from St. Peter's!

"Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born; let us rejoice.  Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life.  The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness."
(St. Leo the Great, Christmas Homily)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Mass Schedule

Our Mass schedule for the upcoming Christmas weekend is:

Christmas Eve (December 24)

5 PM (Family Mass) and Midnight

Christmas Day (December 25)

10 AM

Wishing you a Happy and Holy Christmas!

"Let us rejoice in the Lord, for our Saviour has been born in the world.  Today true peace has come down to us from heaven."
(Entrance Antiphon, Christmas Mass During the Night)

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Christmas Message from Bishop Colli

'Today A Light Will Shine Upon Us'

Each day when I listen to the news and read my newspaper, I am overwhelmed by the events of unrest and chaos that seem to plague our world.  Protesters, government upheavals, rebellions, and political unrest seem to dominate the airwaves.  One might ask what is happening to our world?  Is there no peace and calm anywhere?  Will this turmoil ever cease?

These questions are thought provoking and important especially today.  We seek some peace and comfort in our lives and yet we are surrounded by turmoil and noise.  This applies not just to the world around us, but also at times to our personal lives.  Where will we find this peace?

In the message of Christmas and in the weeks as we prepare to celebrate this important feast, we ask the Lord to instill within us, some sense of peace and calm, in the midst of all the turmoil and busyness that mark this time of year.  Today a light will shine upon us, says the prophet Isaiah.  A light that is unlike the light of this world.  This light comes from above and it is the light of God in Jesus Christ His Son.  This light will not only bring some peace within our hearts but it will also help us to see the way for our daily living.  Our openness to this light, is a sign of our willingness to see this season and this feast in its true light.  This is not just a holiday or a time for gift giving and fancy meals or decorations.  It is a time for us to examine our hearts and to discover if we have allowed the light of God to touch us and to guide us in our everyday living.

If our heart is open to this light and peace, then our relationships will change.  There will be a greater sense of love and respect for one another.  There will exist a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude for the abundance that we have.  There will be a true sense of compassion and concern for others manifest in our outreach to help, especially those who are less fortunate in our society.  There will exist within us a sense of reconciliation and forgiveness, to reestablish bonds and relationships, esepcially in our families, that have been severed through anger, argument or jealousy.

This light from above can change our life and give us a deeper appreciation for the gift of life itself which we enjoy.  So in the midst of the turmoil, upset and impatience, let us allow this light to shine on us.  We need not wait until Christmas for this to happen, since the light and grace of Jesus Christ is available to us now.  A simple prayer seeking this light and an openness of heart to allow God's light to enter us will be sufficient.

May these days that lead us to Christmas and may the celebration of this great feast with our families and friends be a time for us to allow the light of the Lord to shine in us and to help us bring some peace and goodness to the world around us.  A Merry and Holy Christmas to all.

Fred J. Colli
Bishop of Thunder Bay

Final Week of Advent... Holy Hours

As preparation for Christmas begins in earnest, our Holy Hours of prayer continue.

This week, we pray especially for the needs and intentions of parishioners whose last name begins with the letters U-Z.

Monday: U
Tuesday: V
Wednesday: W
Thursday: Y
Friday: Z

An insight from Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

We must not separate our lives from the Eucharist. 
The moment we do so, something shatters. 
People ask us, "Where do the Sisters get the joy and strength to do what they do?" 
The Eucharist contains more than just receiving; it also contains the satisfaction of Christ's hunger.  He says, "Come to me." He hungers for souls.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine

In light of the recent celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, here are a few words on a place of 'local' interest:   About 10 hours down the road from Thunder Bay, near the picturesque suburbs of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, sits the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

Dedicated in 2008 by the founder, Archbishop (now Cardinal) Raymond Burke, the shrine was built to draw people closer to the mystery of God's love and mercy, to promote Marian devotion and to inspire prayer for the upbuilding of the culture of life.  Click  here to visit the shrine's website and to find out more...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Prepare the Way of the Lord...

Advent is a time of preparation and reflection, hope and anticipation.  We prepare for the great celebration of Christmas most fittingly by being renewed in spirit through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Following the 7 PM Mass on Tuesday, December 13, a number of priests will be on hand to hear individual confessions for as long as necessary.  Fr. Jim Grant will con-celebrate the Mass and will offer an inspirational message on healing.

Our evening of prayer and reconciliation will be made extra-special as our parish welcomes for the first time the relics of St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun whose life and ministry helped spread the inspiring message of God's great mercy.

The evening of prayer and reconciliation will be structured as follows:
  • Mass at 7 PM (Fr. Jim Grant will preach)
  • Veneration of the Relic of St. Faustina
  • Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  • During and following the Chaplet, the priests will remain for those who wish to make their confession.
Mass will be preceded by the Holy Hour (beginning at 6 PM) and Rosary (6:30 PM)  as per usual.

“I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy.
Let all souls draw life from it.
 Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust.
Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good.
Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.”
(Message from the Lord as recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina, par. 1520)

Getting into the Christmas Spirit...

The anticipation for Christmas got a real boost last week as members of the St. Peter's Catholic Women's League gathered for the annual pre-Christmas social. 
Here are a couple photos from the gathering:

Sisters in the League look on
as one of their members  belts out an enrapturing, solo rendition of "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Much to the amazement of the crowd,
Fr. Terry proves that he is a card-carrying member of the International Contortionists Society.

Holy Hours for the Third Week of Advent...

Our Advent Holy Hours continue...

This week, the intentions and needs of all parishioners whose last names begin with the letters N to T will be remembered in prayer.

Monday: N
Tuesday: O
Wednesday: P
Thursday: R
Friday: S
Saturday (in the morning): T

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And the winning numbers are...

Thanks to all who made this past Sunday's Evergreen Tea a great success!

The following are the winning numbers for prizes yet to be claimed:


Individuals who have these winning numbers are asked to please call the parish office (623-8106) to make arrangements to claim your prize.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This week's Holy Hours...

Our Advent Holy Hours continue...
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament begins one hour prior to weekday Mass. 
This week all parishioners whose last name begins with the letters "G" to "M" will be remembered in a special way.

Monday:  G
Tuesday:  H
Wednesday:  J
Thursday:  K
Friday:  L
Saturday(in the morning):  M

"Never make a decision without stopping to consider the matter in the presence of God."
(St. Josemaria Escriva)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

O come let us adore him...

It may be a little too early to sing the beloved Christmas hymn, O Come all Ye Faithful, but it's never too early to offer our prayer of adoration to Christ the Lord.  Prior to every weekday Mass through the season of Advent, a holy hour with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be offered for the special intentions of our parishioners and for the needs of our parish.  Each day will be dedicated to specific parishioners and their loved ones. 

This week all parishioners whose last name begins with the letters "A" to  "F"  will be remembered in prayer.

Monday: A
Tuesday: B
Wednesday: C
Thursday: D
Friday: E
Saturday (morning): F

May the holy season of Advent be for you and your loved ones a season of great grace and renewal!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lift up your hearts!

With only a day before the Mass is prayed using the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal, it's worth taking a moment to consider what the heart of the Mass is, the true depth of meaning underlying the words and the gestures.  

Here is a short video that may offer some food for thought:

Well done, good and faithful servant!

After serving the church for many years, the book of prayers for Mass currently known as the Sacramentary is about to 'retire from active duty'.  Tomorrow morning's Mass will be the last time the Sacramentary will be used in the Liturgy.  A short prayer at the end of Mass will mark the moment.

As Advent begins for the church a new liturgical year, the anticipated Mass for the First Sunday of Advent will witness the debut of the long-awaited 3rd edition of the Roman Missal.  After weeks and even months of preparation, we are about to experience the perennial truths of the faith with a certain newness of expression. 

Of course, both time and a light-hearted sense of patience will go a long way in helping the cause as we 'de-program' and 're-program' ourselves in the way of prayer. With the help of God's grace, may our prayer life continue to deepen and bear much fruit for the glory of God.

"Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Coming soon... Evergreen Tea and Bake Sale

From 1 to 3:30 PM on Sunday, December 4, 2011, the St. Peter's parish Catholic Women's League will be hosting an Evergreen Tea and Bake Sale.  A penny auction, raffles, and a used jewellry sale will add to the excitement.  Tickets will be sold at the door or are available in advance after weekend Masses.  See you at the tea!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Health Care: Life and Death Choices" Workshop

Understanding bioethics has become increasingly important as science and medicine develop new techniques that regularly challenge our traditional understanding of the sanctity of life. 

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to better understand the issues and to make the right decisions as Christians.

Workshop runs on Saturday, November 26, 2011 from 9 AM to 4:30 PM

Guest Presenter: Moira McQueen, Executive Director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute

Topics: What is Bioethics, Conscience, Conversion, Personhood, In Vitro Fertilization, Stem Cell Research and Cloning, Withdrawal of Treatment, Do-not-resuscitate orders, Prolonging life, Relieving pain, Health Care Directives, Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide, Palliative Care, Sacraments of the Sick, Spiritual Needs.

St. Anthony's Church, 123 Hilldale Road
Phone: 768-1878 or e-mail:

Advanced Registration: $10
At the Door: $15
Bring a lunch (refreshments and snacks provided)

Seven Billion Reasons to Give Thanks...

According to people who track such things, we earthlings now number seven billion!  Some suggest the earth is too small to accomodate any more.  Perhaps what is more likely is that the hearts and minds of some of earth's citizens are too small to accomodate any more.

For another perspective which explores the depth of humanity underlying the sometimes impersonal statistics, check out this editorial piece from the Holy See Press Office:

 Fr. Lombardi Editorial: Baby 7 Billion

Dear baby number seven billion! I don’t know if you are a girl or a boy, whether you are Indian or Chinese, born in a great city or a tiny village. I don’t know if you were born in the fertile South American lowlands or under an igloo above the arctic circle.

I don’t know if you were born on a remote island, or in a refugee tent. I don’t know whether you are healthy or sick or handicapped. I don’t know whether both your parents were there to embrace you at your birth, or whether your mother alone was there to hold you. I don’t know whether people will say there are too many or too few of you and your contemporaries. Today, I don’t care about that.

This world you are coming into is a bit complicated and it’s not friendly for everyone. We haven’t done a very good job preparing it for you. The leaders of the richest and most powerful nations are sitting around a table, struggling to find a way forward. We too are asking ourselves about your future.

But today I want to tell you that you are unique and special, that you are a wonderful gift, that you are a miracle, that your spirit will live for ever, and so you are welcome. We hope that when you smile someone will respond to your smile, and when you cry someone will caress you. We hope you can go to school and that you won’t go hungry. We hope that someone will answer your questions wisely and encourage you as you find your place in the world. We hope you will be able to love others, that will be able to grow, and work, and live among your family, with many friends, in a nation and in a world that is free and at peace. We pray that you can understand that your life will find its fullest meaning not in this world but in the next.

Because this is what you were born for. Your Creator and Father made you for this. We will do our part to make this possible; but you will have to do your part, too, because your future will also depend on you and the choices you make—and it will be up to you to welcome baby eight billion.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Remebering our beloved deceased...

Members of the parish Catholic Women's League will be leading a memorial service for all parishioners who have passed away since All Soul's Day 2010 and all others whose funeral services have been conducted through our parish over this time. 

This service will take place on Sunday, November 6, beginning promptly at 9:40 AM.  Those attending and taking part in this service are asked to arrive by 9:30 AM.

"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead,
that they may be loosed from sins"  
2 Maccabees 12:46.

Going back in time...

Daylight Savings Time ends November 5. 
Turn back your clock on Saturday night and avoid the shock of arriving early to church on Sunday morning.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

(Courtesy of "The Sacred Sandwich")

This week in the parish...

Solemnity of All Saints   Tuesday, November 1.    Mass at 7 PM.

The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed (All Souls) Wednesday, November 2.  Mass at 9 AM

Cemetery Visits with Blessing of Graves... Thursday, November 3. 
          St. Patrick's/Mountainview Cemetery after the 9 AM Mass.
          St. Andrew's Cemetery at 12:30 PM (meet at the mausoleum).

First Friday... Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction following the 9 AM Mass.

First Saturday ... Anointing of the Sick following the 9 AM Mass.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Give yourself a (coffee) break...

Some things you just don't want to miss out on..... 
Our next Coffee Sunday is one of them.

Prepare yourself for an extra-ordinary coffee break
with mouth-watering hamburgers, hotdogs, salads and desserts
served along with the coffee. 

Free will offering.  Proceeds go toward the parish lift fund. 

Uplifting musical entertainment will be provided by
"John Fletcher and Friends." 

See you at the next Coffee Sunday!
(November 13, after the 10 AM Mass)

Two-Bit Time!

This Sunday, October 30, beginning at 1 PM, the Catholic Women's League will be hosting the annual Two-Bit Auction. 

Tickets are $4 each and will be available at the door.  Bring your quarters!  Many great prizes are waiting to be won.  See you at the auction!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Call Your Mother!

The month of October is traditionally known as the month of the Holy Rosary.  To mark this special month we will pray the Rosary prior to our 10 AM Sunday Mass in place of the regular Divine Mercy Devotion.  Our theme for Children's Liturgy for the month will also be the Rosary. 

An excerpt from Pope John Paul II's 2002 letter on the Rosary:

"Mary lived with her eyes fixed on Christ, treasuring his every word: 'She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart" (Lk. 2:19).  The memories of Jesus, impressed upon her heart, were always with her, leading her to reflect on the various moments of her life at her Son's side.  In a way those memories were to be the 'rosary' which whe recited uniterruptedly throughout her earthll life....
The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary's own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative parayer.  Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning, as Pope Paul VI clearly pointed out: 'Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ: 'In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think they will be heard because of their many words' (Mt. 6:7).  By its nature, the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closest to the Lord.  In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are disclosed."  (#11-12).

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat..." (Matthew 25:35)

One paid team member is required for the St. Jude Breakfast Club with added duties of Lunch Supervisor.  Anyone interested in this position can contact Mr. Myron Karpiuk, Principal of St. Jude School, at 623-5989.  Someone is needed as soon as possible to provide this very important service.

"Sin, Punishment and Redemption in Dante's 'Divine Comedy'...

A Presentation by Dante scholar, Professor Elio Costa of York University, will take place on Thursday, October 13 at 10 AM at the Catholic Pastoral Centre meeting room.  All welcome! For more information, call Roy Piovesana at 343-9313.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will you be the Missing Link?

Life Chain Weekend!!!!

Life Chain is an annual international event which is held to increase public awareness of the dignity of human life and to pray for an end to abortion.  
Locally, this year's Life Chain will take place twice: Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2, from 2-3 PM each day. 
Participants are asked to meet at the corner of Central Avenue and Balmoral Avenue (in parking lot near Future Shop) and to come early in order to sign. 
"If a human being is no longer safe in his mother's womb, where in the world can he be safe?"
(Phil Bosmans, b. 1922, Belgian priest and writer)

Diocesan Patronal Feast of Our Lady of Charity....

A message from the Most Rev. Fred Colli, Bishop of Thunder Bay:

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Our celebration of Our Lady of Charity this year is held on the weekend of October 01-02, 2011.  We ask the Mother of the Lord and our mother, to pray for us as a diocesan family and to unite her prayers with ours for the building up of the Church in northwestern Ontario.  We thank God for the blessings our diocese has received over this past year, in particular for the journey taken by our young people who participated in World Youth Days in Spain.

We ask Mary to pray with us as we pray for vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate, religious life and marriage in our diocese.  And we look foward to sharing our prayers with the world at the International Eucharistic congress in Dublin, Ireland in June of 2012.

We ask Mary to pray for our families, especially those struggling with difficult economic and social situations.  United in worship as a diocesan family, may this weekend as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Charity, be a time for grace and renewal for all of us.

Sincerely in Christ,

+ Fred J. Colli

Our Lady of Charity, pray for us!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Welcoming the New Missal...

New Roman Missal for Canada
It won't be long now!  Here is an overview of some of the ways we will be preparing on the parish level for the long-awaited and much-anticipated New Roman Missal:

  • An October workshop will be offered for all parishioners focusing on the background, purpose and content of the new translation.  (Date to be determined). One of the resources for this workshop will be the DVD entitled “A New Translation for a New Roman Missal” produced by Midwest Theological Forum.
  • The new translation will perhaps affect us most on the level of liturgical music.  With the new Missal also comes the invitation to rediscover the beauty of the sung Mass by drawing from our rich heritage of sacred music.  Parishioners will be invited to join in music practice sessions which will focus on praying the texts of the Mass through sacred song.  Stay tuned for practice times!
  • Pew cards with the text of the new translation for the congregation will be placed in the pews for use during the time of transition.  (For those who purchase them, the Sunday Missals for the new liturgical year will also include the new translations).
  • A short service of de-commissioning of the Sacramentary will take place at the end of the 9 AM Mass on Saturday, November 26, to mark the last time this book will be used for the sacred liturgy.
  • The Masses of the weekend of November 26/27 will begin with a service of blessing for the New Roman Missal and the Advent Wreath. 
  • A great resource on the new translation is available for you in our religious goods cabinet.  An offering of $5 is being requested for the CD/Booklet package by Dr. Edward Sri, professor of scripture and theology.  The booklet includes a tear off reference card with the new text for the people.
  • Finally, over the next few weeks, the weekend homilies will begin to explore different parts of the Mass with special emphasis on why we say the things we say.
In the meantime, a thought to ponder:

"The liturgy is never a mere meeting of a group of people, who make up their own form of celebration.... Through our sharing in Jesus' appearing before the Father, we stand both as members of the worldwide community of the whole Church and also of the communion of saints.  Yes, in a certain sense this is the liturgy of heaven."
      - Pope Benedict XVI, God and the World

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let you Souls do the Walking...

It's that time of year....

5th Annual Marian Walking Pilgrimage
Saturday, October 8th.   Mark your calendars! 
Beginning at St. Peter’s Church with Mass at 9 AM.  "Signing in" begins at 8:30 AM.

The pilgrimage will include visits to neighboring churches before reaching the final stop, St. Patrick Cathedral.  Prayer, song and fellowship will mark the journey.  All are welcome!  Lunch will be held in the Cathedral auditorium. 

Please register by signing up on the sheet provided on the vestibule bulletin board or by calling the rectory office at 623-8106 by Wednesday, October 5. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Fever...

After a short summer break, things are starting to kick in to high gear again!  Hopefully for all our blog visitors, this summer was an enjoyable one!

The next few posts will be related to some of the up and coming events happening on the parish and local level this fall.  To begin, here are a few details on this weekend's workshop:

Diocesan Liturgical Workshop (Preparing for the New Translation of the Mass)
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, this Friday, September 16, from 7-9:30 PM
and Saturday, September 17, from 9 AM to 4PM.  (Bring a bag lunch for Saturday). 

For anyone interested in learning about liturgy and the new translation of the Roman Missal.  Workshop Animators: Rev. Bill Burke (National Office of Liturgy) and Mr. Normand Blanchard (Ontario Liturgical Conference Music Commission).  Sponsored by the Diocesan Office of Worship. Free Admission.  Please register now by calling the Pastoral Centre (343-9313).

Monday, August 8, 2011

A pilgrim people...

This week a group of eighteen pilgrims from across our diocese make their way to Spain to take part in World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid.  The theme of this year's WYD is "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith."   The diocesan delegation will begin its pilgrimage by being hosted by the members of a parish in the Diocese of Plasencia, which was established in 1189 AD.  Cultural, religious and community events are planned for this leg of the journey.

On the 16th of August our pilgrims will make their way to Madrid to take part in the catechesis sessions, devotional programs and cultural activities leading up to the final Mass with His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. 

To help friends and family back home follow the pilgrims' progress, a blog has been set up on which updates and photos of the journey can be posted.  Visit the blog at:   Please pray for the pilgrims that their journey might be a blessed and enjoyable one!

Friday, July 29, 2011

For life...

The t-shirt says it all.  Earlier this month our parish welcomed members of the Crossroads Canada team - a group of young people walking across Canada to pray for conversion of hearts and that the dignity of human life might be upheld and respected.  Pictured above are some of the walkers who joined us for our parish picnic.  It was a joy to have these 'pilgrims of hope' in our midst.  Recently, we received a note from the team with the following message:

"Dear Fr. Terry and St. Peter's Parish,
Please accept this thank-you from all of us on Crossroads, for your wonderful support and overwhelming generosity!....We will always remember your kindness and will continue to pray for your ministry and the intentions of your parish.  Please keep us in your prayers as well, as we complete our walk for life!
In Christ and Our Lady,
The Crossroads Team."
To follow the group in their journey, visit for updates and reflections.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pilgrimage Update

Here are the latest details for this Saturday's Memory Lodge/St. Benedict's Pilgrimage:
  • A bus has been booked.  As of today (Tuesday), almost all the seats have been spoken for, but there are still a couple left for those wishing to take the bus.  Call the parish office ASAP if you haven't reserved a seat and wish to.  The bus will leave St. Peter's at 10 a.m.  Pilgrims, please arrive early to board by then.  For others wishing to drive out in their own vehicle, directions can be made available before departure.
  • Our first stop will be the shrine on Memory Road.  If it's a rainy day, you may wish to bring an umbrella along!  After visiting the shrine we will take a lunch break at a host home on Memory Road.  Please bring your own lunch.
  • After lunch, we make our way to St. Benedict's to celebrate Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. 
  • The journey home begins after Mass.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Holy Smoke! A Parish BBQ!

Our annual parish picnic/BBQ is this Sunday (July 10)  following the 10 a.m. Mass, which (weather permitting) will be held outdoors.  Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided.  Contributions of salads or baking are welcome.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Friday and First Saturday...

Just a couple quick online reminders as we prepare to celebrate the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

Tomorrow's Mass (July 1) for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus will be at 9 a.m., followed by a short service of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. 

We also celebrate tomorrow the World Day of Prayer for Priests and Canada Day.

Saturday's Mass (July 2) for the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be at 9 a.m., followed by the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. 

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Feasts, Eggs and Anniversaries...

The Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul is only hours away!  This year's feast bears special significance as it also marks the Holy Father's 60th anniversary of priesthood. 

As noted in a previous post, our celebration of this anniversary will begin with a Holy Hour at 7 p.m. tomorrow followed by a DVD presentation on the pope.  Refreshments will served.

A proposal to serve 'Eggs Benedict' in tribute has been panned in the wake of cholesteral-related questions and other worthy concerns.  However, a little 'B&B' (Benedictine and Brandy) will be on hand to help out the coffee.  Pictured below is the notable 'coffee assistant':

Courtesy of Wikipedia, via a parishioner, here are a few interesting facts about 'Benedicitine' liqueur (and Catholic culture!) :

"Benedictine is a herbal liqueur beverage developed by Alexandre Le Grand in the 19th century and produced in France.  It is claimed that at the Benedictine Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy, monks had developed a medicinal aromatic herbal beverage which was produced until the abbey's devestation during the French Revolution and that from this Le Grand developed the formula now in use....

The recipe is a closely guarder secret, ostensibly known to only three people at any given time....

B&B was developed in the 1930s when consumers began a trend of mixing Benedictine with brandy to produce a drier taste....

Every bottle of Benedictine has the initials D.O.M. on the label. Mistakenly thought by some to refer to "Dominican Order of Monks", it actually stands for "Deo Optimi Maximo"; "For our best, greatest God".

Well said!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Calling all Pilgrims...

For the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, (Saturday, July 16) a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine on Memory Road (south of Thunder Bay) and St. Benedict's Chapel (Highway 61 at Boy Scout Road) is being planned. 

Pilgrims are asked meet here at St. Peter's Church to board the bus or car pool for a departure time of 10 a.m.  The visit to the shrine will be followed by Mass and picnic at St. Benedict's. 

To register as a pilgrim, please add your name to the sign up sheet in the church foyer, or contact the parish office.  A special invitation is extended to families and youth.

Below are a couple of pictures of St. Benedict's from the not-too-distant past when the white stuff was still with us...

St. Benedict's is a mission of Holy Family Parish, whose pastor is Fr. Antoni Fujarczuk.
Mass is offered there on the third Sunday of each month.

An interior view of the church...

...and the 'confessional' in the sacristy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

To search and to find...

The following is a timely article entitled "Going in Search", written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.  It is one in a short series of reflections called, "Meditations at Vacation Time." 

The reference to "hopelessly jammed" roads may not apply as much to Northwestern Ontario as it does to other areas, but I'm sure we can still appreciate the point.    Enjoy!

Going in Search

One of the remarkable facets of our modern civilization is the reappearance of the nomadic element:  every weekend entire columns of automobiles stream out of the towns, only to return to their points of departure on Sunday evening, along roads that are hopelessly jammed.  When it is vacation time, this phenomenom becomes a veritable mass migration; an entire nation seems to be on the road.  In the so-called highly developed countries, the roads are among people's most frequented locations, and the money currently invested in them is an indication of the state of mind that causes people to become restless wanderers.  What is the reason for it?

Clearly, people do not really feel at home in their houses and apartments.  Many of them get out of their "home" as quickly and as often as they can.  Their house seems to be more an expression of the prison of everyday life than a place of security where one is glad to be.  We can suggest, therefore, that this escape to four wheels indicates a yearning to throw off the constraints of the workaday world and to embrace freedom, the open spaces, an entirely different milieu, a place where, at last, one can be oneself in creativity and freedom.  This regular mass migration on the part of industrial society thus expresses something very profound about man and human nature.  He cannot be completely at home among his possessions.  He is driven by an unrest, yearning for something more, something bigger.  He is looking for a freedom that transcends the freedoms and fulfillments of settled life.

Cannot we see here somthing of the truth of what the Bible says about man being a pilgrim in this world, unable completely to find a home in it?  Surely we can discern here something of the restlessness of heart of which Augustine speaks - Augustine, who had been a restless seeker, unsettled and driven about, until he finally grasped why nothing was enough for him.  Today's nomad may feel that the automobile (and auto is the Greek word for 'self') is an expression of his freedom and self-determination, something that is irreplaceable quite apart from its functional usefulness.  But does it give him selfhood and freedom, or does it not in fact force him back into the rat race?

So our vacation habits could lead us to take a good look at ourselves and encourage us to embark on a more momentous adventure than we generally envisage.  Surely the journey which is really worthy of man is that which takes him out of everyday constrictions in the search for the Eternal, the search for the face of God, and hence enables him to transcend all earthly limitations.  And might this not result in man discovering both freedom and a sense of being at home?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them...

Despite the low temperature and torturously cool wind, this past Wednesday's "Prayers for Deceased Priests and Bishops" brought out a strong crowd of pray-ers from  around town.  Pictured below are a few of the attendees, including Msgr. Stilla from St. Patrick's Cathedral, who led the evening's prayer service.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI: 60 Years a Priest

Pope Benedict XVI pictured celebrating Mass this past weekend
during his apostolic visit to Croatia.

Catholics around the world are being invited to join in prayerful celebration as our Holy Father celebrates 60 years of priesthood on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. 

A Holy Hour of Prayer will take place here at St. Peter's on Wednesday, June 29 at 7 p.m..  After the Holy Hour a documentary entitled "Pope Benedict XVI: A Love Affair with Truth" will be shown in the church hall.

Annual Memorial Service for Deceased Priests and Bishops...

On behalf of Knights of Columbus Council 7332, all are invited to attend the annual memorial prayer service for deceased bishops and priests of our Diocese.  The service will be held this Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at the Priest's Plot in St. Patrick's Cemetery.  The service will be led by Monsignor Stilla.

Prayer for a Deceased Priest

Among Your apostolic priests, O God,
you honoured Your servant (Name) with the priestly dignity. 
Grant also, to number him always in their company. 
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Papal Prayer Intentions...

Please join in praying for the following intentions of our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, for the month of June:

"That priests, united to the Heart of Christ,
always be witnesses to the caring and merciful love of God.

That the Holy Spirit bring forth from our communities many missionaries
who are ready to be fully consecrated to spreading the kingdom of God."

Some 'up-lifting' thoughts...

Sometimes all it takes is a visit, a kind word, or a joke to give someone the lift that they may be needing.  Giving a building a lift is an entirely different story, especially when it's a Concord Hydraulic Passenger Lift! 

Our plans to provide much-needed upgrades to our parish lift are well underway.  Work will hopefully begin this summer and be completed by the summer's end.  This poject is expected to cost an estimated $45,000. 

A special lift fund has been set up for those wishing to make donations specifically for this cause.  If you feel called to help give this project a financial 'lift', your contribution will be gratefully accepted!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Remembering: A Lesson in the Classroom of Life

This coming Sunday, June 5, at St. Peter's Church, we remember the past with gratitude.  25 years have passed since the 75th anniversary celebration for St. Peter's School in 1987.  At that time, students assembled items to place in a 'time capsule' (trunk) along with some memorabilia and photos from previous generations. 

The contents of this trunk will be publicly displayed for the first time as we return to where the school first began: in the basement of St. Peter's Church.  Following the 10 a.m. Mass, a short program will take place in the church hall with a ceremonial opening of the time capsule followed by a time of fellowship and refreshments.  The school building may be no longer, but the memories remain strong.  All are welcome!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit..."

This weekend, seven of our parishioners will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation during our 10 a.m. Sunday Mass, at which the Most Reverend Fred J. Colli, Bishop of Thunder Bay, will preside. 

We pray for these candidates that they may be strengthened in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We pray also for their sponsors, families, and our whole parish community, that the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation may bring about a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our midst.  To quote a seminary professor: "When the Holy Spirit is at work, it's good to be in the neighbourhood!"

Stuck in a rut?

Don't worry.  You're not alone!

While tidying up the church grounds this past week, a couple of Knights of Columbus volunteers nearly lost a trailer loaded with trash to a hungry sink-hole in the back yard.  Quick thinking and a heroic rescue effort on the part of the Knights saved the trailer from its untimely demise.   With thanks for a job well done!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Feast of St. Philip Neri

This coming Thursday (May 26th) we celebrate the feast of St. Philip Neri.  From the Liturgy of the Hours comes this brief biography:

"Saint Philip Neri was born at Florence in 1515.  He went to Rome and began to work with young men among whom he fostered Christian life and formed an association for the poor and the sick.  Oradined to the priesthood in 1551, he founded the Oratory where spiritual reading, singing and works of charity were practiced.  He excelled in his love of neighbour and in evangelical simplicity along with joyous service of God.  Saint Philip died in 1595."

Of local interest is the mission church of St. Philip in Hymers, a small village about 30 minutes south-west of Thunder Bay.  Sunday Mass is held there during the summer season for area Catholics as well as tourists and campers.    A couple of photos of the church:

Merciful Father,
you continually raise up your faithful
to the glory of holiness.
In your love
kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit
who so filled the heart of Philip Neri.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Yearning for Learning?

Finding a post-secondary institution of learning that is both affordable and dedicated to fostering faith can be a real challenge.  Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy , in beautiful Barry's Bay, Ontario, is one such institution which is committed to forming  "young hearts and minds to play a role in the revitalization of authentic culture." 

Since it's founding in the year 2000, the Academy's Catholic liberal arts program has succeeded in equipping many young Catholics with the "intellectual tools needed to be an effective apostle in the third millenium."  Please consider including the faculty and mission of the academy in your prayers so that they may continue to be blessed in their much-needed apostolate.   

(main academy building on far left, next to St. Hedwig's Church) 

(another picture of  more of the campus)

On a related note, the Feast of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom is celebrated on June 8 of each year.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Taking the Plunge: A Holy Saturday Meditation on Baptism...

While walking to church yesterday, a man approached me and said, “Excuse me, sir. My wife and I moved here a couple of years ago, and we have a child that we would like to get baptized.  What would it take to get him baptized here?” 

After asking him a couple of questions, I invited him to phone to set up a time to meet.    Then he asked, “So how much is this going to cost?” 
I said, “Oh, not too much....only your life....only your child’s life!  Call me when you’re ready.” 
I’m not sure if he appreciated the humour, but I think he understood the point. 

Baptism is not a ten minute ceremony, but a lifelong relationship.  Baptism is not a formality, but a joyful response to the gift of faith.

We baptize because we believe.   We believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and God, as “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

The very word “baptize” means to “plunge” or “immerse” (CCC #1214).   So St. Paul’s teaching on Baptism could also go like this:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been immersed into Christ Jesus were plunged into his death?  Therefore we have been buried with him by plunging into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:3-5).

In many ancient churches, the baptismal 'font' was more like a small pit.  Three steps led the one to be baptized down into the shallow pit.  The three steps represented the three days the body of Jesus remained in the tomb.  After being baptized, the new Christian emerged by way of another three steps, united with the Risen Lord who rose on the third day. 

On Baptism, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, a great theologian of the early church, wrote:
“Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift.... It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship” (CCC #1216).

Soon after I was ordained, a friend of mine said to me, “May you never get used to being a priest!”  (Thankfully this hasn’t happened yet!)   My Easter prayer for you is similar:  May you never get used to being a Christian! May you live as one who has been plunged into the life and “love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39) and walk always “in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Triduum Liturgy Schedule...

With Holy Week already well underway, here's the liturgy schedule for the Triduum (the three great days):

Holy Thursday

7:00 p.m.     Mass of the Lord's Supper
                        (Personal prayer and Adoration of the Blessed
                          Sacrament to follow Mass until midnight).

Good Friday

11:00 a.m.   Children's Prayer Service
3:00 p.m.     Solemn Good Friday Liturgy with Holy Communion
                       (following this service, Confessions will be heard
                             until 5 p.m., or longer if necessary.)
7:00 p.m.     Stations of the Cross

Holy Saturday

8:00 p.m.     Solemn Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday

10:00 a.m.   Easter Sunday Mass

"On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away.  In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night.  What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in the semblance of the gardener god walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn."      - G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man