Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. Of all the gifts that God gives us, the one He wants the most is our heart. He wants us to share out of our love for Him, not out of obligation. Using our talent in parish ministry and contributing money to support our parish mission is important, but it’s more important to spend time in prayer with God daily and discern how He is calling us to be generous with all of our gifts. Not just the visible ones, but the invisible ones like love, mercy and forgiveness.
I hope you had a good week. I enjoyed the meetings this week, which once again had an emphasis on the new Synod process, a spiritual journey for all of us until February 2022. On Tuesday I had three Zoom meetings – first with our Communications Team, followed by the Presbyteral Council, and finally the College of Consultors for the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. Let us continue praying for our Church
During the Presbyteral Council – priests from across the Archdiocese that assists the Archbishop – we spoke about Indigenous relations and a summary from the CCCB. We also summarized Fr. Gerard Monaghan (Chaplain to the Ottawa Catholic School Board) and Fr. John Whyte (Chaplain to the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario)’s presentation on working with our Catholic School boards. How can the parish support their school, and how can the school promote their parish? The Synod process invites us to communion, participation, and to mission. Let us pray for the children preparing for the Sacraments this year, especially First Confession on Saturday, and First Communion during the first week of Advent.
We also discussed the difficult reality of this pandemic on our parishes, and what it means going forward. For example, with the shortage of priests, what do we do in an emergency when one of our brothers is sick, or cannot be present at Sunday Masses? The Liturgy of the Word might be one possibility in some parishes, in extraordinary circumstances. This is not a long-term solution, but might be needed for one or two weekends.
The Synod process – a time for us to listen to each other – is a spiritual journey. I’ve invited our brothers and sisters from Maxville Manor and Chateau Glengarry to pray for our mission this year. After a year+ of being away, they enjoy being together again around the family table, the altar, to celebrate our faith in God in Our Lord Jesus truly present in the Eucharist.
Have a great week. Peace.
ps. Updated, 2021-10-28: the first phase of the Synod process has been extended to August 15th, 2021.