Can You Take Me Higher?

by May 13, 2021Pastor's Blog

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.

Mk 16:15-20

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. As we prepare for the birthday of the Church, Pentecost, we continue to pray with hope and confidence, Come Holy Spirit. Our preaching series on Christian Stewardship comes near to its end. Also, please welcome Deacon Steven who will be preaching at some of our masses this weekend. As our Gospel reminds us, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Deacon Steven Gaudet has officially been called to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Marcel Damphousse. Please stay tuned for a LIVE interview next week where Dn. Steven will share some of his joy! Let us continue praying for him as he prepares for ordination, June 11th, 7pm, at St. Finnan’s Basilica.

Last weekend, I preached (see video) on this week’s March for Life. The theme this year, “You are not alone.” We continue to pray for life, from conception to natural death. In preparation for this week, I was happy to participate in a Webinar by our CWL sisters on “A practical discussion about Palliative Care”. This talk organized by Kim Scammwell was given by Simone Stenekes, RN MN, CHPCN(C), Clinical Nurse Specialist. There was 600+ who registered to hear more on this topic. What is it? What is Palliative Care? It is an an approach to care, to look at quality of life, and to provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms! Its aim is to care for the person as a whole. It affirms life, and regards dying as normal part of journey. Indeed, its intention is neither the hastening nor postponing of death. Palliative care does not end at death, but continues in bereavement programs for families! For more information, please visit these resources which were provided:

  • Information and support on advanced illness, palliative care, and grief.
  • Quality palliative care helps you honour your culture, spirituality and traditions.
  • helping parents help children! The 4 C’s that Children Want to know: 1) Did i Cause it, 2) Can i Catch It, 3) Can i Cure it, 4) Who is going to take Care of me
  • helps you to understand and work through your grief.

My “Graduation Picture” from Amazing Parish Pastor’s Boot Camp

Finally, I had the last of my coaching series – Boot Camp – with Amazing Parish this week. For the past four weeks I have been talking with a few brother priests from different dioceses in the States, and Canada. The goal has always been trying to understand how to lead better, working in the Lord’s vineyard. They have been encouraging me to lead differently. I look forward in sharing this with you.

I also had a Zoom Conference with Divine Renovation on Wednesday. There were a few dozen priests on the call, discerning best practices in time management and working in the mission. We have talked about this for almost a year now. Our three points of focus continue to be Evangelization, Liturgy, and Leadership. A quick poll indicated that most pastors only spend 20% on this, while 80% on administration. With the help of Amazing Parish, Divine Renovation, and our current leadership, our aim is to correct this balance back to 80% Preaching, Sacraments, and Leadership. The remaining 20% would be for everything else. How do you see this working out in our parishes? I look forward to your feedback.

For example, how do we prioritize the mission? Are there new ways to lead? This past year has been difficult on our ministry, families, and leaders. We looked for new ways to proclaim the Gospel! Congratulations once again to our ALPHA Team who worked so hard to share the joy of our faith through our online sessions! We had another great reunion on Thursday night, and continue to plan for another session starting in the Fall. Also, stay tune for more information for ALPHA Connect Groups starting soon. As parishes we must prioritize the mission. Like the Gospel from a couple weeks ago reminded us, “He is the vine, we are the branches”. Therefore, the vine produces fruits but we must also undergo pruning – we cannot be everything for everyone, we are in the business of making disciples!

Have a great week. Peace.

No pastor, not even the best one, can run a parish on his own. With fewer priests, more demands from parishioners in a complicated society and a faster pace of life, he can’t do it alone. Every pastor needs a leadership team, a special group of people who are collectively committed to helping him make the parish amazing and bring more people to Christ and his Church.

Amazing Parish on Being a Better Pastor
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