Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Light is On for You...

The churches of our diocese, including St. Peter's, will be open every Lenten Thursday evening (except April 14th and 20th) from 6 to 7 to provide an opportunity for the Sacrament of Confession and/or private prayer. 

In our parish, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration throughout the hour. 

For other parishes, it might be a good idea to call ahead to confirm the time, as some priests may have to make some adjustments depending on their daily Mass schedule.

"To those who have been far away from the sacrament of Reconciliation and forgiving love, I make this appeal: Come back to this source of grace; do not be afraid!  Christ himself is waiting for you.  He will heal you, and you will be at peace with God."
(Pope John Paul II, San Antonio, 1987)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Life... It's a good thing....

After the morning celebration of the Solemnity of St. Joseph, our parish played host to an afternoon gathering for the Annual General Meeting of the Thunder Bay and Area Right to Life Association.  Among the over 70 people in attendance were a number of individuals from North Shore communities such  as Terrace Bay, Schrieber, and Rossport. 

Guest speaker, Jojo Ruba, of the Calgary-based Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, praised the many ongoing initiatives of the local pro-life movement, especially among the youth.  At the same time, he encouraged those in attendance to develop effective ways to become pro-life ambassadors and to contribute to the transformation of our culture for the better.

Pro-life youth representation.

Mr. Ruba, delivering his message to an attentive crowd.

Solemnity of St. Joseph.... More food for thought....

As planned, the Mass for the Solemnity of St. Joseph was followed by some fellowship and festivities the parish hall.  The celebration was made complete with St. Joseph Fritters and other tasty, homemade treats!

Pictured below is a display for St. Joseph's Day featuring a statue of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus with a banner with a symbol of St. Joseph and the Latin title "Protector St. Ecclesiae" (one of the titles from the Litany of St. Joseph which means "Protector of the Holy Church").

"What is crucially important here is the sanctification of daily life, a sanctification which each person must acquire according to his or her state, and one which can be promoted according to a model accessible to all people: 'Saint Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies; ...he is the proof that in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need of great things - it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic.'"
(Pope Paul VI quoted in Pope John Paul II's 1989 Apostolic Exhortation, Redemptoris custos)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Solemnity of St. Joseph... March 19th...

Saint Joseph,
Patron of the universal Church and of Canada,
watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus;
help protect it and guide it as you did with your adopted Son.  Amen.

This Saturday morning we will celebrate
the Solemnity of St. Joseph with Mass at 9 a.m.
followed by a festive gathering in the church hall. 
All are welcome!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bishop Colli's 2011 Lenten Message

LENT 2011

You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him.”

Pope Benedict XVI uses this phrase from St. Paul's second letter to the Corinthians to give us a theme for reflection during this season of Lent. Our baptism is the door which allows us entry into the Church and gives us access to the wonders of God through the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist. In Baptism we become members of Christ's body, and members of the Church and along with the benefits of this membership we also assume the responsibilities of helping to build the kingdom of God here on earth and to build up the Church of Christ through our witness to the Gospel. Through Baptism we are created anew and share in the life of God. Through this life we also become sharers in the death and resurrection of the Lord, which is expressed in a special way in our Lenten journey together.

As believers, we enter this holy season of prayer and penance and we reflect in particular on our relationship with God and with one another. The upheaval in our world, the turmoil in countries of the Middle East and even the unrest in our own nation, prompts us to turn to the Lord in our prayer, especially for a change in the hearts of world leaders, and for peace and justice to be restored in the world.

In our prayer we seek a closer union with Christ, and we beseech Him to hear us. Pope Benedict XVI notes: "In order to undertake more seriously our journey towards Easter and prepare ourselves to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord - the most joyous and solemn feast of the entire liturgical year - what could be more appropriate than allowing ourselves to be guided by the Word of God? For this reason, the Church, in the Gospel texts of the Sundays of Lent, leads us to a particularly intense encounter with the Lord, calling us to retrace the steps of our Christian initiation, in light of the new and decisive steps to be taken as we follow Christ in a fuller giving of ourselves to him."

The Word of God nourishes us at each Mass and in our daily prayer and readings. It is a means by which we come to know Christ more intimately and to know of his interaction with others and his example of mercy and forgiveness so generously given. We all seek that mercy and forgiveness during the season of Lent. In our prayer, in our fasting and in our almsgiving or outreach to the poor, may we recognize that through our Baptism we carry Christ to the world. Our actions speak of Christ to others. Our witness helps the message of the Gospel, the message of hope to encourage others.

May this season of grace be a time for inner reflection, a deeper appreciation of the gifts and goodness we share, a time for rebuilding broken relationships through mercy and forgiveness and may "this Lent renew our acceptance of the grace that God has bestowed upon us from our Baptism so that it may illuminate and guide all our actions" (Pope Benedict XVI).

Sincerely in Christ,

+ Fred Colli

Bishop of Thunder Bay

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you...

Join in praying the 'Way of the Cross' in church
on Lenten Friday's at 7 p.m.

You may also wish to pray the Way of the Cross anytime during the week by visiting the "The Stations of the Cross" section of our parish website. To visit click here.  Each station is featured, along with meditations written by St. Alphonsus Ligouri.

These 40 Days...

"The distinctive English word 'Lent' is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for 'spring', which appropriately coincides with the great forty-day fast, common to both East and West at least since the fourth century....The English word has the advantage over the Latin words based on 'quadraginta' or 'forty' because it calls to mind the new life, growth, hope and change that should characterize this time of prayer, penance and conversion, this season of initiation in the grace life of the Church.

In these forty days, Mother Church vests herself simply in violet.  Her sacred halls are bare, and much of her gracious music is muted.  Flowers at her altars and shrines are set aside, and, at the end of the season, the lamps will be extinguished, the bells will fall silent and her altars will be stripped.  But this is her true springtime, when her children grow in grace, in ways often imperceptible, sublte and varied.  Lent thus reminds us that the great graces are given by God, not when our senses perceive them or when our hearts are full of consolations, but in the silence and the stillness of 'the night.'"       (from "Cerermonies of the Liturgical Year", by Msgr. Peter Elliott, sec.  88-89)