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On Sunday, May 20, the Church celebrates Pentecost. This Solemnity  comes fifty days after Easter and ten days after the Ascension of Jesus. Pentecost, which marks the end of the Easter Season, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.

Following Mass on Pentecost Sunday, the Easter cross is removed from the sanctuary, signifying that the Easter Season has come to an end. The Paschal candle will be moved to stand next to the Baptismal font. It will be used during the celebration of Baptism, when the candles of the newly baptized are lit from it. It may also be placed near the body of the deceased at a funeral Mass, as a reminder that we entered into the death of Christ through our Baptism and we will rise again with Him in glory.

The week of May 13-20, 2018 is being observed as the sixth National Week for Life and the Family. The theme of this year’s Week is “Love: Encountering the Other”.  In his Message for this National Week, Bishop Lionel Gendron, President of the Canadian conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) invites us to "allow ourselves to be empowered by Christ and moved by his Spirit; then—beginning with the members of our own families—let us encounter each other with love! "

Each year, on the Sunday before Pentecost, the Church celebrates World Communications Day. This year’s theme is “The truth will set you free (Jn8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace". The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and journalists, observed annually on January 24th.

World Communications Day was established by Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council in order to draw attention to “the vast and complex phenomenon of the modern means of social communication.” One of the documents produced by the Second Vatican Council, Inter Mirifica (Decree on the Media of Social Communication), was devoted entirely to communications media and it initiated the only worldwide annual celebration commissioned by the Council – World Communications Day – which was first celebrated in 1967 and continues to be observed annually.

On Sunday, May 13th, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension. The Bible tells us that Jesus ascended into heaven on the 40th day after the Resurrection, so the Ascension falls on the Thursday of the sixth week of Easter.  However, in Canada, as in a number of other countries, the observance of this feast day has been transferred to the following Sunday, the seventh Sunday of Easter.

On Sunday, April 22, the Church marks the 55th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The message which Pope Francis has written for this day is entitled Listening, discerning and living”. Pope Francis has also linked his message to the upcoming Fifteenth Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled to take place in October, entitled “Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment”.

In 1963, Pope Paul VI designated Good Shepherd Sunday as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Good Shepherd Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Easter; that is, the Sunday three weeks after Easter Sunday. The name comes from the Gospel reading for this day which in all three lectionary years is taken from the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John. In this reading, Jesus is described as the Good Shepherd, who protects us as his flock and promises us the gift of eternal life.

Please join in praying that young men and women may hear and respond generously to God`s call to consecrated life.

The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord`s instruction to, ‘Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest’ (Mt 9:38: Lk 10:2). While the Church appreciates the vocation of all Christians given at Baptism, it concentrates its attention this day on vocations to ordained ministries, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.

Sympathy is extended to Father Joy Paul Kallikatukudy and his family on the death of their mother Mariam Kallikatukudy.    Mrs. Kallikatukudy died on Saturday, April 7, 2018 in India.  She was predeceased by her husband, Papachan Kallikatukudy, on November 14, 2014.

Please join in praying for the repose of her soul and in praying for the grace of God’s consolation for Father Joy and his family.

On Monday, April 9th, the most recent Apostolic Exhortation, entitled Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), was promulgated in Rome. This latest writing of Pope Francis was written to encourage all people to accept the call to holiness in daily life.

 

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE

OF THE HOLY FATHER
FRANCIS
ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS 
IN TODAY’S WORLD

 

1. “REJOICE AND BE GLAD” (Mt 5:12), Jesus tells those persecuted or humiliated for his sake. The Lord asks everything of us, and in return he offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created. He wants us to be saints and not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence. The call to holiness is present in various ways from the very first pages of the Bible. We see it expressed in the Lord’s words to Abraham: “Walk before me, and be blameless” (Gen 17:1).

2. What follows is not meant to be a treatise on holiness, containing definitions and distinctions helpful for understanding this important subject, or a discussion of the various means of sanctification. My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph 1:4).

Click here to read Gaudete et Exsultate in its entirety.

URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE 
OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

EASTER 2018

Central loggia of the Vatican Basilica 
Easter, 1 April 2018

 

Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Easter!

Jesus is risen from the dead!

This message resounds in the Church the world over, along with the singing of the Alleluia: Jesus is Lord; the Father has raised him and he lives forever in our midst.

Jesus had foretold his death and resurrection using the image of the grain of wheat. He said: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). And this is precisely what happened: Jesus, the grain of wheat sowed by God in the furrows of the earth, died, killed by the sin of the world. He remained two days in the tomb; but his death contained God’s love in all its power, released and made manifest on the third day, the day we celebrate today: the Easter of Christ the Lord.

We Christians believe and know that Christ’s resurrection is the true hope of the world, the hope that does not disappoint. It is the power of the grain of wheat, the power of that love which humbles itself and gives itself to the very end, and thus truly renews the world. This power continues to bear fruit today in the furrows of our history, marked by so many acts of injustice and violence. It bears fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment, where there are migrants and refugees (so often rejected by today’s culture of waste), and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery.

Recently our diocese received a grant from the Ex Corde Foundation of the Diocese of Hamilton.  This grant will assist in the funding of the pastoral ministry of the Innu Aboriginal Parishes of Our Lady of the Snows in Sheshatshui and Tshukuminu St. Anne in Natuashish for 2018.

2018 Easter Message

by the Most Rev. Lionel Gendron, P.S.S.,

Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and

President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

In Canada, the celebration of Easter, which coincides with the emergence of spring, is always filled with a sense of new life. As we begin to throw off our winter coats and boots, the days are becoming longer, the sun is getting warmer and new life abounds in the budding trees and the plants that are emerging from the ground.

But what is this new life that fills us with Easter joy? It is in fact new life rooted in the profound understanding that by the death and resurrection of Christ we have been reconciled with God. Whatever might separate us from God has been removed, destroyed, and by this reconciliation, we have gained freedom from the darkness of sin and death. We are free, able to throw off that which binds us so as to immerse ourselves in the all-encompassing embrace of our loving God.

But new Easter life asks more of us. Easter reminds us that while we celebrate our reconciliation with God, we are called to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters, in our families, our parishes, in our communities and in our world. We are called to share our Easter joy by making peace with our neighbour.

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