Homily – January 15, 2017

January 15th, 2017

Throughout the world the church is observing the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. We are called to be aware of and responsive to the reality of the millions of our brothers and sister who are suffering the reality of being refugees and immigrants. We see time and again the blight of men, women and children who are forced to flee their homelands because of civil strife and religious persecution. We see desperate people, paying a small fortune to get passage on unsafe boats to find safe harbour in Greece or Italy. Thousand die as boats sink and human traffickers make a fortune from the desperation of these people. We see pictures of the refugee camps in Turkey, Syria, Jorden, Sudan and other countries where people seek safety. The UN’s refugee organization claims there are millions upon millions of refugees in camps around the world.

Imagine what it must be like to know you are really not wanted, that you are a burden and a threat to those upon whom you depend for a daily hand out. Imagine the suffering of people in camps in the Baltic region as they face the harsh winter conditions of those regions. In other camps people suffer under blazing sunshine and drought conditions. Seeing these heartrending scenes night after night on the news we can become numb if not indifferent to their sufferings. Pope Francis refers to ‘The universal indifference’ that plagues the human family as we witness ancient cities reduces to rubble, the sorry plight of refugees, blatant social injustices in the exploitation of working men, women and children and the crisis of climate change. The issues are endless and destroy the lives of our brothers and sisters. We may not be able to do much about these situations nor offer much solace to these good people but Pope Francis wants us to avoid the sin of indifference and be aware of them and grieve that good people, desperate people suffer in such horrible conditions.

Today’s gospel tells us of Jesus being baptized by his cousin John the Baptist in the Jordon River. John bore witness to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. When we say or sing the Lamb of God at Mass and as we prepare to receive Holy Communion we say Jesus takes away the sins of the world.

As one commentator wrote, ‘we all sin, and we sin in different ways and at different times but all our sins are of a piece: they are different manifestations of our sinfulness.

The Church has recently developed concept of social sin is an attempt to articulate the sinfulness of humankind. It isn’t just that we do wrong things: the fact is that we are basically “off center.” It is our “original” sin that matters most, our fundamental option for ourselves and our wants over and above God and others.

But sin is not our final reality. Through the passion and death of Jesus on the cross and Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, grace and love are the final realities. By his wounds we are healed. By his grace we can turn away from sin and believe and live the good news.

Mindful of the sufferings of so many good men, women and children who suffer the reality of being unwanted immigrants and refugees, you good, good people of St. Gabriel’s can take comfort in the fact that from years ago you answered the appeal of the Vietnamese boat people and right up to the present blight of Syrian and Iraqi refugees you have opened your hearts and homes to others. We’ve been blessed with a capable and generous refugee committee. This you should know, the words of Jesus are true;’ whatever you do to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you do to me.’

Bulletin – January 15, 2017

January 14th, 2017

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION

Sunday, February 5th after 12:30 PM Mass

Saturday, January 28th marks the beginning of Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Rooster. For many years, the Asian community in our parish has gifted our parish community with a wonderful Lunar New Year Party. Our Lunar New Year Celebration will take place on Sunday, February 5th after the 12:30 PM Mass in the Gathering Space. All are welcome. Don’t forget to mark your calendar!

Volunteers and donations are also welcome. Please contact Linda Law at 416-918-8029.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

January 16th – January 21st, 2017

MONDAY – MARIE FUNG – Requested by her Family
TUESDAY – EDGARDO RECANA – Requested by his Family
WEDNESDAY – MAURICE MICHAEL – Requested by Charmaine Michael
THURSDAY – THOMAS DONAGHY – Requested by the Donaghy Family
FRIDAY – MARIE & LOUIS FUNG – Requested by the Family
SATURDAY – MR. & MRS. WONG SANG MOU – Requested by Catherine Soong

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre.

Rosalie Hall assists young parents and their children to realize their potential through the provision of a wide range of child development, community, residential and educational services.

Good Shepherd provides hot meals and shelter for the homeless in our city as well as a chance to start again through the Resettlement or DARE Programs

With everyone struggling at this time, your food donations are more important than ever. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your generous support.

WORLD LEPROSY DAY – USED STAMP COLLECTION

Sunday, January 29th is World Leprosy Day. When leprosy is diagnosed and treated early. The healing time is much faster and permanent disabilities are prevented. The average person can be diagnosed and cured for just $99.

Please bring us your used postage stamps. These are passed on to Effect Hope helping them work towards the day when leprosy is eradicated. They are happy to accept any and all trimmed stamps, leaving no less than ¼ inch and no more than ½ inch paper border. Stamps may be deposited in the basket on the cabinet just outside the Parish Office. For more information go to www.worldleprosyday.ca.

TCDSB KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Wednesday, January 18th
Beginning at 10:00 AM

Imagine the Possibilities!

Junior Kindergarten in the Toronto Catholic District School Board provides children with a variety of learning experiences in a caring, faith based environment. Students develop a positive attitude about themselves and others, become more independent and responsible, develop self-regulation and social skills, and learn to solve problems.

Parents can apply online beginning at 10:00 AM on January 18th at SOAR.tcdsb.org and follow up with a visit to the school to present required documents. Or they can register at their local school with the required documents beginning January 18th, 2017 at 10:00 AM.

For more information phone 416-222-8282 ext. 5314 or go to www.tcdsb.org/kindergartenregistration.

NEW BEGINNINGS

Monday, January 16th at 7:00 PM

1155 Yonge St., Toronto – 4th Floor

A New Beginnings Talk entitled, “Identifying the Innermost Root Source of our Chronic Problems”, will be held on Monday, January 16th at 7:00 PM at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 1155 Yonge Street, 4th Floor.

The speaker will be Dr. Ken Fung, MD, MB FRCS.

“The evening will be about reclaiming one’s authentic identity as a child of God, ‘Imago Dei’ and uncovering the ‘root cause’ of our chronic problems, praying for inner healing.”. All are welcome.

BLESSED TRINITY CATHOLIC WOMEN’S LEAGUE

Tuesday, January 17th from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Day of Recollection
Fr. Francis Ching will be leading a Day of Recollection at Blessed Trinity Church in the parish hall on Tuesday, January 17th from, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Tickets, which include lunch, are $20 each. Please call Kay Booker at 416-357-5378 for tickets.

“FROM JERUSALEM TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD”

Tuesday, January 17th from 7:00 Pm to 9:00 PM

Blessed Trinity Church

The Fellowship of St. Joseph and the Association of Hebrew Catholics are proud to present Fr. Seamus Hogan. He will share a dynamic and intereactive presentation on the development of the early Church
and its Jewish Roots. All are welcome. For more information go to ahctoronto@gmail.com.

MILK BAG PROJECT

Wednesday, January 18th from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Gabriel Room

Volunteer milk bag weavers will be meeting this Wednesday afternoon, January 18th from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM in the Gabriel Room. All are welcome! RSVP to sharongusz@gmail.com if you are able to attend.

THEOLOGY ON TAP: Understanding the Joy of Love

Monday, January 23rd from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Duke of York Pub, 39 Prince Arthur Avenue

All young adults (19-39) are invited to join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation on theological topics with Special guest: Fr. Tom Rosica CSB, CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation.

Pope Francis’ Post Synodal Exhoration, Amoris Laetitia, (The Joy of Love) published April 14th, 2016, draws on the long history of Church teaching and reflects a very intense Synodal experience that extended over two and a half years. Fr. Rosica served as the English-language Media Attaché at the October 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family and the October 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. He works closely with the Holy See Press Office.

Munchies will be provided and a cash bar is available. Come and bring a friend! For more information, contact Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt at 416-467-2645 or email faithconnections@csj-to.ca.

MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE

Weekend of April 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2017

St. Gabriel’s Parish

A Marriage Preparation course will be offered here at St. Gabriel’s the weekend of April 21st to 23rd, 2017. The course will be held Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM. For a registration package please email Marie Deans at deansm@sympatico.ca.

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR CONSECRATED LIFE

Sunday, January 29th at 3:00 PM

On Thursday, February 2nd, the Church celebrates the World Day for Consecrated Life.

In the Archdiocese of Toronto we are blessed to have living and serving among us more than 900 religious men and women of 100 different religious congregations. This World Day for Consecrated Life is a wonderful opportunity for us to thank God for the gifts of these religious sisters, brothers and priests and to pray for God’s blessing upon them in their efforts to faithfully live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick will preside at a special Mass on Sunday, January 29th at 3:00 PM at St. Paul’s Basilica, Toronto in celebration of the vocation and witness of these special men and women religious who are such a vital and important part of the life and ministry of the Church in our Archdiocese. All are welcome to attend.

SACRED PAUSES RETREAT

Saturday, February 11th, from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

Blessed Trinity Parish Hall, 3220 Bayview Avenue

You are invited to take time out in your busy day to break for and receive blessings at the Sacred Pauses Retreat being held at Blessed Trinity Parish Hall on Saturday, February 11th, from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Simple practices introduced at Sacred Pauses retreat will help you live out your day more mindfully. Our facilitator, Trena Finnegan, is a graduate from Regis College in spiritual direction. Please register at Blessed Trinity parish office before February 3rd. The registration fee is $15.00 per person and includes lunch. All are invited.

FINANCE CORNER

Weekly Offertory
Collection for last week:
Envelopes 416 $ 7,606
Loose Change 1,283
Weekly Portion of Pre-Authorized Giving 167 3,084
Total 583 $ 11,973

OFFERTORY ENVELOPES FOR 2017

The 2017 Offertory Boxed Envelopes are available in the Gathering Space. Please pick yours up as soon as possible.

If you are contributing cash to the Offertory Collection without any identification, you will not receive credit for your contribution. You must provide your full name and address. If you are not currently using parish envelopes and wish to have a set issued for 2017, please contact the Parish Office and we will prepare a box for you. This is the most effective way to keep track of your donations.

Please do not use envelopes from previous years since that envelope number may have been reassigned to another parishioner.

Homily – January 8, 2017

January 8th, 2017

You might say that this feast with it powerful symbolism of the star rising in the East, these searchers for the truth making their long and perilous journey following the star, ending their journey as they find Mary and Joseph and the child in the stable in Bethlehem, is the feast that proves that Jesus Christ is Catholic, not a Roman Catholic but in fact the perfect Catholic.

The word Catholic means universal and today’s feast teaches the truth that Jesus was born, lived and died on the cross for all peoples of any nationality and of any faith. Non-Christians may not know and accept Jesus as we do but Jesus knows and accepts them totally.

Jesus taught us that Salvation is from the Jews. Our Christian faith did not come out of nowhere. We have roots, deep roots in Judaism. In Jesus that salvation was extended to us as Paul tells us in our second reading, ‘The Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body and sharers in the promises in Christ Jesus. Peter expressed this truth when he witnessed the conversion of Cornelius and his whole family,’ I truly understand that God shows no partiality but any one of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God.

A few years ago I received a very interesting Christmas card

from a friend in Ireland. She`d been in Derry on Bloody Sunday on January the 30th in 1972 when many unarmed men and women were gunned down in the streets of Derry. Because of this experience she was heavily involved in the Irish Peace Movement. The Christmas card showed the Wise Men seeing the Star resting over Bethlehem but their long journey was stopped by the Israeli security wall that blocked their entrance to the town. A barrier to the birthplace of the Prince of Peace.

Walls seem to be very much on some people`s minds these days. Pope Francis reminded us that Christians are meant to build bridges not walls.

This great feast of the Epiphany teaches the truth that Jesus the Christ came for all peoples of all times. Did we ever stop and think that, by the way we relate to other people we may be building walls instead of bridges. These walls hinder, not just non-Catholics but even Catholic family members and friends who are ‘turned off’ by our attitudes of bigotry and discrimination that we harbour toward peoples of other faiths, other nationalities, cultures and life styles, that we bring to church with us every Sunday? Do we hear the harsh and dismissive things we say about other people who do not share our faith and values? Do we appreciate the fact walls can be built with words as well as with bricks and mortar.

Can we be Christian men and women who help others to follow the Star that brings them to the truth of Bethlehem as we live this Mass outside these walls?

Jesus challenged us to so let our lights, our living of our faith in him, so shine before those who do not know him, that seeing our good works and come to know him better. Can we see ourselves as stars guiding good people to come to know Jesus in a better way, luring them over the bridge that leads them to him? Remember Jesus is Catholic; he came for all peoples in all times.

Bulletin – January 8, 2017

January 7th, 2017

The Epiphany of Christ is a shining light set at the turning of the year to illuminate all that has gone before and to guide us through the year ahead.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

January 9th – January 14th, 2017

MONDAY – DELPHINE OAKIE – Requested by the Oakie Family
TUESDAY – MARY EDITH NICOLLE – Requested by Margaret Anne Leckie & Mary Alice O’Mahony
WEDNESDAY – LOUISE MUSCAT – Requested by Lina Abela Pulis
& Christopher Muscat
THURSDAY – PERRY TANG – Requested by Shella Tang & Family
FRIDAY – FR. DON SANVIDO – Requested by Jeanne Robinson
SATURDAY – GEORGE OLDEN – Requested by Kathleen Olden Powell

SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL

A Big Thank You!

Your kindness and generosity at Christmas made a big difference to all our families. Thank you to each and all for your donations and gifts over the season. Your goodness has helped in ways you may never know but be assured it is deeply appreciated

LEPROSY MISSION OF CANADA

Collecting Stamps

This is a wonderful time of year to collect stamps from your Christmas cards and letters to give to the Leprosy Mission of Canada, who are renowned for their effectiveness in the prevention, detection and treatment of leprosy. Stamps may be left in the basket outside of the office.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre.

Rosalie Hall assists young parents and their children to realize their potential through the provision of a wide range of child development, community, residential and educational services.

Good Shepherd provides hot meals and shelter for the homeless in our city as well as a chance to start again through the Resettlement or DARE Programs

With everyone struggling at this time, your food donations are more important than ever. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your generous support.

JUST COFFEE

Fair trade organic coffees will be on sale after all the Masses next weekend.

Regular ground coffee: $5.50
Decaffeinated: $6.00
Whole Beans: $5.50
Chocolate Bars: $4.50 incl. Taxes
Hot Chocolate and Cocoa: $6.00
Teas: $5.00

MARRIAGE PREPARATION COURSE

Weekend of April 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 2017
St. Gabriel’s Parish

A Marriage Preparation course will be offered here at St. Gabriel’s the weekend of April 21st to 23rd, 2017. The course will be held Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM. For a registration package please email Marie Deans at deansm@sympatico.ca.

TCDSB KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Wednesday, January 18th

Beginning at 10:00 AM

Imagine the Possibilities!

Junior Kindergarten in the Toronto Catholic District School Board provides children with a variety of learning experiences in a caring, faith based environment. Students develop a positive attitude about themselves and others, become more independent and responsible, develop self-regulation and social skills, and learn to solve problems.

Parents can apply online beginning at 10:00 AM on January 18th at SOAR.tcdsb.org and follow up with a visit to the school to present required documents. Or they can register at their local school with the required documents beginning January 18th, 2017 at 10:00 AM.

For more information phone 416-222-8282 ext. 5314 or go to www.tcdsb.org/kindergartenregistration.

MOSAIC INTERFAITH

Sunday January 15th from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM

Zoroastrian Temple, 3590 Bayview Avenue

Mosaic Interfaith invites you to their annual event to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King at the Zoroastrian Temple 3590 Bayview Avenue on January 15th from 2.30 to 4:00 PM. Professor Jamil Jivani, visiting professor at Osgoode Hall and founder of Citizen Empowerment Project will speak on “Continuing to dream: the quest for justice in our time” . There is a second entrance to the Temple at 35 Creekside Drive. See poster on the bulletin boards. For more information or to RSVP by January 12th call Nora at 416-218-0680

THEOLOGY ON TAP: Understanding the Joy of Love

Monday, January 23rd from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Duke of York Pub, 39 Prince Arthur Avenue

All young adults (19-39) are invited to join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation on theological topics with Special guest: Fr. Tom Rosica CSB, CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation.

Pope Francis’ Post Synodal Exhoration, Amoris Laetitia, (The Joy of Love) published April 14th, 2016, draws on the long history of Church teaching and reflects a very intense Synodal experience that extended over two and a half years. Fr. Rosica served as the English-language Media Attaché at the October 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family and the October 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. He works closely with the Holy See Press Office.

Munchies will be provided and a cash bar is available. Come and bring a friend! For more information: visit our Toronto Theology on Tap web page, or contact Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt at 416-467-2645 or email faithconnections@csj-to.ca.

FINANCE CORNER

Weekly Offertory
December 25th $ 14,293
Christmas Collection $ 32,352
New Year’s Day $ 3,692
Collection for January 1st, 2017
Envelopes 406 $ 9,256
Loose Change 1,570
Weekly Portion of Pre-Authorized Giving 167 3,084
Total 573 $ 13,910

OFFERTORY ENVELOPES FOR 2017

The 2017 Offertory Boxed Envelopes are available in the Gathering Space. Please pick yours up as soon as possible.

If you are contributing cash to the Offertory Collection without any identification, you will not receive credit for your contribution. You must provide your full name and address. If you are not currently using parish envelopes and wish to have a set issued for 2017, please contact the Parish Office and we will prepare a box for you. This is the most effective way to keep track of your donations.

Please inform the Parish Office if you have recently moved, so that we may keep our parish records up to date.

Please do not use envelopes from previous years since that envelope number may have been reassigned to another parishioner.

Homily – January 1, 2017

January 1st, 2017

This month of January takes its name from the two faced god – Janus – his one face looks back, his other face looks forward – Janus was the diety of opening and closing – of ending and beginning.

The scripture quote I like best for Jan 1 is that quote from St. Paul when he writes – one thing I do, I forget what is behind and I strive on to what is ahead – going with confidence to the throne of God’s mercy.

We can look back over this past year and remember things that we wish were different, better – we can remember words and actions and attitudes we regret. These come first to mind. But these words and actions and attitudes were only part of the past year. Can we bring ourselves to remember the good things we’ve done, the kind and helpful words we spoke, our efforts to be more open to other people and the times we were there when they needed us? These positives were probably more part of our past year that the negatives – but being good old guilt ridden Catholics the negatives always take first place. God forbid we should acknowledge the good things, the kind and loving and helpful things we’ve done this past year. God forbid we admit, ’we are good people.,

So each of us can make our own the mind set of St. Paul – I forget what is behind and I strive on to what is ahead – going with confidence to the throne of God’s mercy.

Today is also the feast of Mary the Mother of God. Pope Paul V1 summed up the life of Mary with this simple phrase – she whose life was available to God. An availability expressed in her response to the angel Gabriel’s disturbing message – you shall conceive and bear a son and you shall name him Jesus. Be it done to me according to your word.

Like the deity Janus – we can look back over the past year and recognize all those times our lives were available to God as we met the needs of our brothers and sisters in need. We can recognize the times when, because we were so caught up with our own needs and desires, we were not available to God as we might have been.

Looking ahead to this new year of 2017 we pray for ourselves and for each other that each of us be given the grace of generosity and that our lives, as was Mary’s, be always available to God as we meet God in all those persons who come into our lives.

Made God bless us with a happy, healthy and especially a holy new year.