A MESSAGE FROM DEACON RON:
WHO DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT LOOKS LIKE?
During religious instruction classes, I was taught that we received the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. I don’t remember my Baptism, but I do remember my Confirmation. In those days, the ceremony included a light slap on the face from the Bishop. I was told that through the anointing with the Oil of Chrism, and the prayers of the Bishop, I received the gifts of the Spirit. The slap was supposed to awaken those gifts within me, but I still couldn’t see who the Holy Spirit looked like. In this weekend’s Gospel message, Jesus is preparing the Apostles for the days not far away when he won’t be with them anymore. He promises to send them another “Advocate” who will be with them forever. He’s preparing them for Pentecost when the Holy Spirit will rest on them like tongues of fire. Great description, but it still doesn’t show us what or who the Holy Spirit looks like?
These past few months of self-quarantine and social distancing have been a trial for us, “a new normal” as they say, but it’s also been a time of learning. It’s given me the opportunity to finally understand who the Holy Spirit truly looks like.
“The Holy Spirit looks like all the people out there who are trying so hard to make sure we are taken care of.”
But there’s more good news! Through our Baptism, the Holy Spirit is alive in each one of us, and because we have the Spirit in us, we are as St. Teresa of Avila said; “Living Christs in this world.” It’s a big reality to swallow but it’s true! We are the hands, the feet, and the words of Christ on earth. We just have to open ourselves up and let the Spirit go to work.
So how are we going to respond? How can we awaken the Spirit within us? Are we willing to let Jesus bring us to the next level?
Today is the perfect time to awaken this sleeping giant. Can you imagine what we could do together if we all learned to give ourselves to God and to what he’s asking us to do and be. He will transform us, and through the Holy Spirit, we will be able to bring big change to our world.
Sounds great doesn’t it? But before it can become a reality, we must do some work and preparation on our own.
Like Father Dennis told us last week, these less active and quieter pandemic days are an opportunity to deepen our prayer life.
- We need to pray and develop a routine of personal prayer time. Maybe start with 10 minutes at the same time each day to be quiet and talk to God. The end of the day works well because it gives us a chance to have a look at our day, the good things and the bad. Then we can say thanks and ask for forgiveness. As your routine develops add more prayer time, maybe in the morning or mid-day.
- We need to study to become better informed. Read something about the Catholic Church, it doesn’t have to be much, maybe a few pages or a chapter each day of a book that will help you learn more about our faith.
- We need to be generous and freely share with others and our Parish, our God given gifts of time, talent, and treasure.
When we develop these routines of prayer, study, and generosity, we will have the tools that we need, and the confidence that the Holy Spirit is with us, so we can go out into our world, and bring Christ to everyone.
So, who does the Holy Spirit look like?
Look around at your neighbours, friends, loved ones, front line workers, and you will see how the Spirit looks just like us. After all we were formed in the image and likeness of God.
Blessings to all,
A Few Things Are Open at St. Mary's —
** BIBLE STUDY GROUP HAS RESUMED MEETINGS, but on Zoom. Details in the BULLETIN.
** Recent developments have cancelled our Saturday Confessions. If people urgently need to see Fr. Dennis to celebrate the sacrament, they need to call him to make special arrangements.
** At this time, the CHAPEL is open for prayer only during weekday office hours. Details in BULLETIN.
** EUCHARISTIC ADORATION is held Tuesdays and Saturdays, 10 am –noon for 14 people per hour (Fr. Dennis is #15); reserve a seat through the Office (see below for details).
** The PRAYER CHAIN continues. Contact Linda Nicol at firstname.lastname@example.org
** GROCERY CARDS are available for purchase. Call the Parish Office.
** VIRTUAL COFFEE on Thursdays at 9 am. See details in the BULLETIN.
** RCIA/RCIC AT ST. MARY'S remains active, meeting on Zoom for a weekly Breaking of the Word and/or working at home.
Every Tuesday and Saturday, Eucharistic Adoration will be held in the main worship area here at St. Mary’s Church. Due to the requirements of social distancing, we currently can only gather in groups of 15 people maximum per hour, so we will be scheduling 14 parishioners per hour (10:00 am - 11:00 am, and 11:00 am - 12:00 noon) who would like to participate. Of course, the main worship area offers plenty of space for this purpose, and Fr. Dennis will be the 15th person. Parishioners will have to sign-up in advance by email or by phoning the office, in order to reserve a seat. Entering and exiting will be through the west doors only, and hand sanitizer will be made available at the door.
Please sign-up in advance either by email at email@example.com or by phoning the office at 403-932-2944, in order to reserve a seat.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS SCHOLARSHIPS
- Open to all Grade 12 students of St. Mary’s (any school, and including home schooled) who are planning on attending a post-secondary university, college, or technical school after graduation.
- A $750 cash scholarship will be awarded to both one male and one female candidate.
- Candidates should submit a one to two-page letter which outlines their academic, athletic, volunteer, and parish life accomplishments and activities associated with their Grade 11 & 12 years. It should also describe their post high school plans.
** Deadline for submissions is June 30, 2020.
- Such submissions should be forwarded for consideration via email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
For ALL the information, see the BULLETIN
** About our SCHOOLS
** From the DIOCESE
** From Mt. St. Francis and FCJ
** Inspirational Thoughts, Prayers, Videos and Music
** A little HUMOUR
ST. MARY’S CHURCH — NAME THE BELLS CONTEST
Contest is open to all St. Mary’s Parish children up to age 16!
There are 3 bells in the church bell tower. One bell is named Julius! The other two bells don’t have names.
The top bell is cast in bronze and weights 145 lbs (65.7 kgs). It measures 18” (45.72 cm) across the bottom. It was cast in about 1903 in France by the Robert & Jean Boller Foundry and rings in the note of G.
The middle bell is Julius! It is cast in bronze and weighs 220 lbs (99.7 kgs). It measures 21” (53.34 cm) across the bottom. It was cast in about 1903 in France by the Georges & Francisque Paccad Foundary and rings in the note of E.
The bottom bell is also cast in bronze and weighs 400 lbs (181.43 kgs). It measures 26” (66.04 cm) across the bottom. It was cast in 1905 by McShane Foundry, Baltimore USA. It was originally used in St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Ladywood, Manitoba and rings in the note of C.
Please submit your name, phone number and/or email address, your suggested names for the top and bottom bells and why you chose the name to: email@example.com
Two winners will be selected, one for each bell!
All submissions must be received by Friday, May 29, 2020.
Members of the St. Mary’s 125th Anniversary Committee and Father Dennis will pick the winners! The winning bell names will be announced in the online Church bulletin and in Flock Notes!
Enter as many times as you wish! Good luck!
PARISH GIVING— Our monthly expenses such as Mortgage (Interest and Principal), Diocesan support, Insurance premiums, Utilities, Operations & Maintenance and Payroll, continue as normal. With the cancellation of Masses, our weekly collections INCOME has and will continue to drop significantly. Collections make up the majority of the funds required to offset our monthly costs and disruptions to this revenue stream will have significant long-term financial effects on the Parish.
In order to help this situation, there are a number of ways to ensure that your generous donations can continue to help St. Mary’s during this very difficult time:
1. Weekly donations by cheque can be mailed in to: St. Mary’s Parish, 10 River Heights Dr. Cochrane, T4C 0N8.
2. Weekly donations can be sent via e-Transferr directly to St. Mary’s Bank account using firstname.lastname@example.org as the target email account (Identify the transaction as "Donation" and if you are password-protecting the transaction, you can use your envelope number as the answer to the security question).
3. Periodic donations can be made (weekly, monthly etc.) via Direct Debit or Credit Card payment by simply completing the proper form from our website www.stmaryscochrane.ca/forms. The form can be printed, scanned or photographed then emailed, or mailed, or dropped off at the church during our regular office hours. You can also contact me (Greg) directly and arrange this by telephone.
4. The Diocese has a plan for sending donations to our parish at https://www.catholicyyc.ca/give.
5. QUESTIONS? Please don’t hesitate to contact me (Greg Braganza, Accounting). Email: email@example.com Telephone: 403-932 -2944, ext.228.
HOSPITAL VISITS BY PRIESTS: We have been informed by Alberta Health Services, that priests who are registered with them, can see patients for the purpose of administering the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, for those in danger due to sickness or old age. To make the necessary arrangements for visits to Rockyview Hospital or Foothills Hospital ; South Health Campus or Peter Lougheed Hospital; or Alberta Children’s Hospital. Please see BULLETIN for particulars.
- Mask Makers w Love – AB - Spring 2020: In light of the Covid-19 Crisis, members of this group are making gifts of personal protective equipment for the safety of frontline healthcare and essential services people, as well as other service providers, friends and families. Our objectives - to support, and to help prevent the spread of COVID 19, as well as to encourage and show our appreciation. To do this, we are making cloth masks and laundry bags, to be used in conjunction with (not instead of) social distancing. We need a few more mask makers, as well as donations of tightly-woven, 100% cotton fabric and ¼”elastic. Contact: laureen Mackenzie: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, Fr. Dennis is blessing all the masks and bags before they are taken to be distributed. Please say a prayer for the safety and well-being of the recipients.
HEART OF JESUS CAMPAIGN: From April 19 (Divine Mercy Sunday) till Pentecost Sunday (May 31), the faithful of the Diocese are encouraged to go out of their way to thank the people who are making sacrifices to provide the essential services that help to create stability in our homes and country during this difficult and unstable time.
You can participate in a few different ways using the postcards, prayers, and posters available at https://www.catholicyyc.ca/heartofjesus.html
See new video for #HeartofJesus below.
WHOOOOOO'S GOT THEIR GROCERY CARDS?* Co-op (6% profit),
* Nofrills/Superstore (5% profit),
* Safeway/Sobeys (5% profit), and
* Save On Foods (6% profit).
GROCERY CARDS PURCHASE still available with special arrangements during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- cards are available at the Parish OFFICE
- we are respectful of social distancing,
- the door handles into the office area are sanitized before and after someone comes in
- the debit / credit card machine is sanitized carefully after each use
- OFFICE HOURS:
- Mon. & Tues. 8 am - 2 pm;
- Wed. & Thurs. 8 am - 3 pm;
- Fri.: 9 am - Noon
- Information, Helen Stock (403) 932-2782 OR email@example.com
We purchase our grocery gift cards in bulk at a discounted price; you buy them from us for $100 and get to spend $100 - an excellent fundraiser, which is used to help make St. Mary’s Mortgage payments.
* THANKS to Maria and Gustavo Aguilar for ringing ST. MARY'S BELLS every SUNDAY AT NOON!!
- BULLETIN BY EMAIL: Would you be interested in receiving our weekly St. Mary's Church bulletin by email? The email copy is in beautiful colour. If you are interested, please contact Charlene at the Parish Office to be put onto the bulletin email list 403-932-2944; firstname.lastname@example.org
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ all about St. Mary's 100 years (1895-1995). Simply click "100 Years" tab at top of this page to read the history. This year, 2020, St. Mary's celebrates 125 years!
The ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE has put the 100th Anniversary Book on the parish website for all to enjoy (and to catch up on our history). Check out more about our past under “About Us” —> “History” and “Church Construction.”
Thanks to the book's author, Bev Pamenter, and the St. Mary's 125 Anniversary Committee for providing us with this digital publication.
125th ANNIVERSARY PRAYER:
Most Gracious God, we give You praise and thanksgiving for the gift of our parish community. For the past 125 years, You have guided our spiritual journey, and have inspired Your people to come together in prayer and fellowship. Renew our spirit and strengthen our resolve to reach out and serve others as a sign of Your love and, in doing so, be true beacons of Christ’s light in our world. May Mother Mary, our patron, continue to inspire us to be a holy people. And may our devotion to You help us to seek new ways to give witness to the love of Jesus in our commitment to love each other now and in the generations to come. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.