Keep Walking

by Jul 3, 2024Pastor's Blog

“Keep adding.
Keep walking.
Keep advancing.”

St. Augustine

Summer is here! I’m sure many of you will be vacationing, visiting, and receiving family and friends over the next couple of months. Let us pray that God keeps us healthy and relaxed during this beautiful season. Let us find time to pray and rest as well.

Let’s continue to pray for our Ten Year Plan. During this year of discernment, it is exciting to see our parish grow.

St. Augustine once wrote on progress that we should “keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.” Our parish vision, is to create an environment where we can continue to grow in our Catholic Faith, making new disciples, open and living the Gospel. We are building on our existing strengths and churches, preparing our parish for the next generation. Both the Parish Pastoral and Finance Council are discerning how best to implement the discussed objectives and goals. Indeed, we have already begun. For example, the Youth Ministry is very active and some of our youth group are currently in Halifax for a leadership conference. We are improving pastoral care as we visit our brothers and sisters in the residences on a weekly basis. We are also improving access to all Sacraments, including Baptism, First Communion and Confirmations. We have already begun discussion on what 2033 will be like when we celebrate the 200th anniversary of St. Finnan’s Basilica.

I have a few items to bring to your attention. The parish office will be closed from July 22 to August 2, reopening on Tuesday, August 6th. I will also be away on vacation the first two weeks of August – please double check our Mass schedule. Our parish staff – Lorne, Kayla, and Ann, will also be taking some vacation time in July and August. Deacon John and Fr. Gilles never take vacation, so they will continue to be available.

Also, starting August 1, I’ll also have a new roommate. Please help me welcome Fr. Ikedi Obikaonu – you will see him around our parish at times.

How very good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.

Psalm 133:1
Fr. Ikedi Obikaonu, myself, and Fr. Rick Lorenz having lunch at Stephanie’s Grill and Bar in Hawkesbury

The Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall has appointed Fr. Ikedi as pastor of St. Jude Parish in Hawkesbury. They have also invited him to live in Alexandria and I welcomed the opportunity for priestly fraternity. We will be able to discuss ministry together, and grow in faith together. His room is almost ready, and I’m excited for you to meet him. Though his main responsibilities will be in Hawkesbury and Pendleton, he might be able to take one or two Masses for us sometimes. He is also a great soccer player, but I hope he’ll join us on the Ultimate Frisbee field on Fridays as well.

Finally, what’s the next chapter look like for us as a parish? We still have a lot to do. For example, please consider attending our meeting in September for a new accessibility project at the Basilica to help parishioners enter our beautiful church. It is exciting to see our parish grow, and making disciples will take time. Come Holy Spirit.

I will continue to share with you updates on our journey. Let us continue praying for each other. Peace.

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