Homily – May 1, 2016

May 1st, 2016

In the very early years in the life of the church a very serious problem arose. Peter and Paul and the other apostles preached in the synagogues the teachings of Jesus and told about his death and resurrection to their Jewish co-religious. Then something unexpected happened. Non-Jews, the Gentiles were attracted to this new faith and wanted to join this new community. An important question came up; how to integrate these new Christians coming from pagan religions into this new religion made up of Jewish men and women who believed Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth was the long awaited Messiah?

For centuries Jewish people were guided by the Law and the Prophets. For centuries they were taught, unless you were circumcised according to the Law of Moses you cannot be saved. Many were convinced that these new comers must be told they are to keep the Law of Moses, especially the law of circumcision.

We read in the Acts of the Apostles that at a special meeting in Jerusalem there was no small discussion and debate about all this and some questioned why those who wanted to put the yoke of Jewish laws on the Gentiles when the Jews themselves found them unable to bear.

Down through the ages people have been convinced that certain practises can never be changed because they are expressions of the will of God. A big section of the early Jewish Christian community felt this way about circumcision. They forgot that circumcision was the ritual by which a Jewish boy child was initiated into the Jewish people, it had nothing to do with that child’s relationship with God, with that boy’s salvation.

The Apostles taught that our relationship with God, our salvation came about through our belief in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. For the Apostles this was of first importance. Circumcision was not an issue.

As one church historian observed, ‘One of the most seductive temptations of the believer is to identify the will of God with the will of the believer, and not the other way around. God’s will has been squeezed into patriotism, leftism, capitalism, feminism, the hierarchy, ecclesiastical tradition. Things have been given an importance they did not deserve. How often have we heard that certain practises must never change because they are the will of God? When I was in the seminary a professor spent a whole class pontificating that the Mass will never be celebrated in the language of the people because it could lead to nationalism. Seven years later he was celebrating the Mass in English.

Our first reading tells us about what has been called the First Council of Jerusalem. It remind us that our Christian Catholic faith entails the remarkable belief that the Spirit of God continues to work through the very human processes of decision-making in our Church best happens when we take seriously both our religious experience and our tradition, trusting that the Spirit of God works even through endless debate, exhausting meetings, and hesitant leadership helping us to bring about clarifications and resolve conflicts.

We had a recent example of this in our own time. Pope Francis called for a Synod of Bishops to discuss the pastoral needs of the modern day family. He called together 279 bishops from around the world. Seventeen married couples were also invited. The Synod was held over a two year period and Pope Francis was at most of the meetings. He began the Synod by encouraging all present to speak their minds and not hold back for fear of repercussions.

The main concerns of the bishops as they gathered for the Synod were. ‘How can we heal the wounds of a broken culture? How do we best support families, given the challenges of modern life? What is truly merciful? If the family is central to both society and the Church, how do we best express the truth of its importance? What to do about co-habitation. The divorced and civilly remarried and other matters. The bishops discussed how the early Church addressed issues of marriage and separation, and reviewed the history of Church practice and discipline on marriage. They also explore how contemporary moral attitudes have shaped modern perceptions of marriage and divorce, and how the Church can offer pastoral guidance in this area. Some bishops were determined to hold the line on the disciplines of the past while others called for new pastoral ways of looking at the stresses that challenge the modern family.

The synod issues that garnered the most headlines revolved around the question of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, as well as Catholic attitudes toward homosexuality.

In his own pastoral reflections on all the reports from the Synod Pope Francis took a very pastoral stance as opposed to a canon law stance.

He was adamant when he wrote, “In no way must the church desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God’s plan in all its grandeur,”

He disappointed many when he stated with the synod’s insistence that the church cannot consider same-sex unions to be a marriage as it has been understood for centuries but Francis also insisted, “Every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity.”

Pope Francis wrote that he understood those “who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion. But he said ‘I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.”

The Holy Father also said ‘The worst way of watering down the Gospel is when we put so many conditions on mercy that we empty it of its concrete meaning and real significance.

As always Pope Francis does not judge but he meets people where they are and wants to walk with them, encouraging them to be where God would want them to be in their journey toward God.

As we continue to celebrate our Mass may be pray for all the families in our parish family. We pray that solid families be stronger, that troubled families be healed, that single mothers or fathers be strengthened to not give up, that those divorced and civilly married know they are welcome here and may we all remember the advice of Pope Francis that Holy Communion is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.

Bulletin – May 1, 2016

April 30th, 2016

CONFIRMATION

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated on Sunday, May 15th for students in Grades 7, 9, 10 and 11 and on Sunday June 5th for students in Grade 8 at 7:30 PM at St. Gabriel’s Church. In preparation for this Sacrament, a Confirmation Retreat will be held on Saturday, May 14th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at St. Gabriel’s Church. All candidates must attend. Candidates are reminded to bring a signed letter from the service coordinator or a parent stating the completion or anticipated date of completion of volunteer service hours.

CHILDREN’S FAITH PROGRAM

Registration forms for the Children’s Faith Program are now available in the parish office. This program is for children of the Parish who attend public or private schools. Classes are held at St. Gabriel’s School every second Sunday beginning September 11th, 2016.

Please note that a separate Sacramental registration form is required if your child will receive the sacraments of First Communion, Reconciliation or Confirmation during the 2016/17 year.

MILK BAG WORKSHOP

Tuesday May 17th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Gabriel Room

Hello fellow parishioners,I have booked the St. Gabriel’s Room for Tues. May 17th for our next weaving event. We will try to weave from 1:00 – 3:00 or 4ish as long as our energy and supplies last.

Thank you to those that took bags home to cut…. I have already received some back!! Hope to see you next month and feel free to bring a friend.

Sharon Gusz

ANNOUNCED MASSES

May 2nd to May 7th, 2016

MONDAY – MARY ANNE OLDEN – Requested by Kathleen Olden Powell
TUESDAY – JOHN HONG – Requested by his Family
WEDNESDAY – MARY T.C. LIU – Requested by Agnes Wong
THURSDAY – MAURICE MICHAEL – Requested by Charmaine Michael
FRIDAY – GUS CALDERONE – Requested by Marie Calderone
SATURDAY – JUSTIN MCCARTHY – Requested by Bill & Carolyn Markle

ROSARY GROUPS

Chinese: Sunday, May 1st at 3:30 PM in the Gabriel Room.
English: Saturday, May 7th at 3:15 PM in the Gabriel Room.

For information, please contact Linda Law at 416-918-8029.

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – FIRST FRIDAY

Friday, May 6th from 9:30 AM to 12 Noon

EDUCATION

Catholic Education Week 2016 begins this Sunday, May 1. You are invited to discover what celebrations are happening in your children’s school to celebrate the ongoing gift of publicly-funded Catholic education and if possible, attend. Publicly-funded Catholic education has existed in Ontario since 1841 and its graduates have served Ontario and Canada very well. The current generation of students in our publicly-funded Catholic schools serve with the same spirit and generosity as their previous generations.

Pope Francis has declared 2016 a “Holy Year of Mercy” as a way for the Catholic church to “make more evident, its mission to be a witness of mercy”. The Holy Year began on December 8, 2015 and will be celebrated until November 20, 2016. Throughout the year, there will be a series of jubilee celebrations on the theme of mercy for teenagers, deacons, the sick and disabled, prisoners, catechists and clergy.

As well, Pope Francis opened the Vatican’s Holy Door on December 8th. The Holy Door is opened to evoke the concept of forgiveness which is the main focus of a Holy Year. The theme God’s mercy is illustrated in fifteen of the sixteen bronze panels that make up the Vatican Door. There are seven such Holy Doors in the world, including one in Quebec City.

Catholic Education Week 2016 combines both the theme of mercy and the act of opening doors of reconciliation, mercy and forgiveness to all around us.

PLANNING TO BE A CATHOLIC TEACHER?

It is important for you to know that to be hired to teach in any Catholic School Board in Ontario, as part of your application for employment, there must be a letter of reference from your pastor. If you are planning to apply to teach in a Catholic School, a contact with the pastor is highly recommended. Please plan to have a conversation with your Pastor early in the process, well before applications are to be submitted

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL BUNDLE-UP COLLECTION

Weekend of May 7th/8th

The Society for St. Vincent de Paul will hold their annual Bundle Up Collection next weekend, May 7th/8th. Bring your gently used clothing, household linens, shoes and small household goods to share with others. Appliances, furniture and books cannot be accepted.

A St. Vincent de Paul truck will be in the Church parking lot to receive donations. The truck will be open in the parking lot on Saturday, May 7th from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and Sunday, May 8th until 1:00 P.M.

Volunteers will assist with the loading before and after each Mass. The Society will donate, exchange for vouchers or sell these donations to support their outreach efforts. Thank you for your continued support.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre. Your donations are very much needed and appreciated.

Thank you for your generous support.

SHARELIFE

Working wonders for the elderly…

Elva is a client in her late 70′s who spent her life overcoming the challenges of Spine Bifida. Despite her physical disabilities, Elva travelled the world as a music teacher and pianist for the national Ballet in Canada. Wheelchair- bound for the last 25 years, Elva gradually found herself less able to continue playing the piano and doing the things she enjoyed. Last year, the Society of Sharing matched Elva with a friendly visitor, Adam a young university student, with whom she can converse with as though there were no age difference. Adam is seen as an encouraging and familiar friend and someone to share ideas with as well as assist her with her cell phone, computer and printer. With his help, Elva is able to go to out to the movies or see local sights. Because of Adam, Elva’s world has opened up and she is now reconnected to her community and able to share her incredible gifts of wit, intelligence, and positive attitude, giving her a renewed sense of meaning and purpose. This year, our support for ShareLife will help to expand this volunteer model into the Peel Region to assist seniors in this area. Last year ShareLife-supported agencies provided outreach programs that met the needs of over 2,200 seniors. This year, with your support, we can do more to help the elderly within our archdiocese.

ShareLife to date: $104,662
Next ShareLife Sunday is May 29th.
Please give generously.
You can work wonders!

MEAGAN’S WALK – CREATING A CIRCLE OF HOPE

5km Fundraising Walk and Hug
Saturday, May 7th, 2016
Registration from 8:30 to 9:30 AM at Fort York
10:00 A.M. Walk to SickKids

On Saturday, May 7th, the fifteenth annual Meagan’s Walk: -Creating a Circle of Hope will take place.
Registration opens at 8:30 A.M. at Fort York, followed by family activities and entertainment. The Walk begins at 10:00 AM. and concludes at SickKids with the “Hug”.

Proceeds from this event will be shared between the Meagan Bebenek Endowment Fund and awareness, research and treatment of paediatric brain tumours at SickKids.

FAITH FINANCE & SELF-KNOWLEDGE

A Catholic Young Adult Seminar
Saturday, May 7th, from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM.
Gabriel Room, St. Gabriel’s Church

You are invited to attend a Catholic young adult seminar, “Faith, Finance and Self- Knowledge” being held here at St. Gabriel’s on Saturday May 7th from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM.

Guest speakers include Fr. Brando Recana CP, Quentin Schesnik and Rose Heron. The cost of $15 includes lunch. Space is limited. To register, please contact Pauline at pauline.susanto@gmail.com.

FROM ABRAHAM THREE FAITHS

May 16th at 7:30 PM
St. Luke’s Church, 39 Green Lane, Thornhill

Mosaic Interfaith invites you to attend the next presentation in their series “From Abraham Three Faiths” to take place at St. Luke’s Catholic Parish, 39 Green Lane, Thornhill on Monday May 16th at 7.30 PM. The subject is “Everyone Wants to go to Heaven but Nobody Wants to Die” exploring the meaning of death and the kind of faith which disarms death from Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives. Panellists are Rev. Canon John Hill, Rabbi Michael Stroh and Dr. Liyakat Takim from Christianity, Judaism and Islam respectively.

Please see the flyer on the bulletin boards. For more information or to RSVP call Nora at 416-218 0680.

A DATE TO REMEMBER:

CATHOLIC SPEED DATING – CELTIC EDITION

Saturday, May 14th from 6:30 PM. to 9:00 PM
Newman Centre, 89 St George St, Toronto

Faith Connections and the Newman Young Adult Ministry invite single young adults (18-39) to a Catholic Speed Dating evening! Tickets are $35. Those registered will be divided into age groups. ID will be required. This event will be followed by a Celtic Ceilidh Dance Social!

Space is limited. Registration is required by May 8th. To register, call Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt at 416-467-2645 or visit www.faithconnections.ca – a ministry of Fontbonne Ministries, Sisters of St. Joseph, Toronto.

FREE ESTATE PLANNING SEMINAR

Wednesday, May 18th at 7:00 PM
Holy Cross Catholic Funeral Home & Cemetery, Thornhill

Catholic Cemeteries and the Archdiocese estate planning team will share information about:
How to protect your loved ones with a proper will
How to ensure your wishes are legally protected
Powers of Attorney
The advantage of pre-arranging funeral, burial and cremation
The cost savings of making an estate plan
Finding lawyers and estate planning advisors
Our Catholic traditions around wills, burials and funerals.

An estate planning kit will be provided at no cost. Refreshments will be provided.

RSVP to Frank Jannetta, Catholic Cemeteries at 416.733-8544 ext. 2023 or fjannetta@cc-fs.ca.

FINANCE CORNER

Our operating expenses average $14,550 per week.

Collection for April 10th, 2016:
Envelopes 431 $ 8,380
Loose Change 969
Weekly Portion of Pre-Authorized Giving 165 3,034
Total 596 $ 12,383

Please inform the Parish Office if you have changed your address or are moving out of the Parish so that we may update our records.

If you have prior year’s offertory envelopes, please do not use them! Each year we go through the unused envelopes for which no donations have been received and may reassign that number to another parishioner.

Homily – April 24, 2016

April 24th, 2016

Most religious communities treasure the accounts of the final days of their founders. It was during those last days of life the foundress or founder would leave her or his legacy to the community that meant so much to them. St. Paul of the Cross’ legacy to we Passionists was, ‘I place my trust in God. The Congregation is his; the lights he gave me for founding it were his. He will take care of its progress. My hope is in God.

When someone in the family dies the family comes together to say their last goodbyes and the dying person has the chance to do the same. It is an important time for all. In the Hebrew scriptures we read of the death of Isaac and his final words to his sons Esau and Jacob,’ Be loving of your brothers as a man loves himself, with each man seeking for his brother what is good for him….loving each other as themselves.’ We remember the great commandment of loving God with all our mind and heart and strength and loving our neighbour as ourselves.

In his farewell Jesus challenges his disciples to keep a new commandment, ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ In the past our neighbour was limited to the family members of the clan not to total strangers. Christ’s love is a universal love, no limits allowed. We are to be there in love for people we don’t know, men and women who are hungry, homeless, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned. These are the friends and neighbours and strangers who come into our lives sometimes at the most inconvenient of times challenging us to listen to their stories and love them with that same totality with which Christ loved us.

How did Christ love us? St. Paul tells us that Jesus did not consider his equality to the Father as something to be kept to himself. He emptied himself of his divinity and took on the fullness of our humanity and sharing in our humanity he took to himself the reality of a slave, an obedient slave, an obedience that brought him to his shameful painful death on the cross.

Paul tells us something we already know that can be times when a generous person will die for the sake of a friend – there is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for a friend – but what shows how great was Christ’s love for us is that while we were still sinners – still estranged from God – Christ died for us so that we could be one again with God.

Christ died for us knowing our sinfulness, knowing our selfishness, knowing how we exploit others for our own pleasure, knowing our propensity for violence toward others, knowing how we exclude other people from our lives. Knowing all these things about he was willing to die on the cross for us.

For Christ we were not tiny speck in the mass of humanity, he died for each of us as a person he loved – even unto death.

Love one another as I have loved you. Impossible! We are so caught up in our own little worlds, our needs, our wants we have so little time for others. That’s not always true. Think of the love you share with your spouse, think of the love you pour out on your children as you work through the struggles and stresses of marriage and parenthood. Think of the number of times you’ve been there for friends and neighbours, think of the many times you’ve been asked from this pulpit to be there through your generosity for men, women and children you will never know.

Love one another as I’ve loved you; accept one another as I accept with all your faults. Respect one another as you fight the good fight against racism, sexism, bigotry just as I respect you for how you were born, where you were born, when you were born.

We all know the difference between loving people and liking people. There a some people we will never like because of personality clashes and personal histories. To love people is to accept and respect them as they are knowing they are our brothers and sister, sons and daughters of God – loved by God with the same intensity with which God loves every one of us.

May we be graced every day to love others as we have been loved – totally, unconditionally.

Bulletin – April 24, 2016

April 23rd, 2016

FROM THE DESK OF FR. BRANDO

THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Thank you, good people, for your overwhelming response to the appeal for help from Fr. Rey Ondap in the Philippines.

A total of $34,321 was collected. Your caring and generous support towards the Indigenous People of the Philippines will make a great impact on their lives as they face the difficult challenge brought by El Niño.

Your financial assistance will be used entirely to provide basic provisions for their needs. There’s no doubt that the need is huge. However, your staggering support will help to alleviate their desperate situation.

Thank you again for your compassionate support. I pray that the good Lord may bless you and your family.

WELCOME! BAPTISM

The Parish Family of St. Gabriel’s would like to welcome:
Max Rorey Alonsagay-Tacay
James Thomas Barbetta
Isabella Stella Brennan
Sophie Etiembre
Zoe Isabella Grant
Cristian Marko Harispuru
Ovie Jeremiah Mayomi
Enajite Florence Mayomi

These children received the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, April 17th, 2016. Congratulations!

CHILDREN’S FAITH PROGRAM

Registration forms for the Children’s Faith Program are now available in the parish office. This program is for children of the Parish who attend public or private schools. Classes are held at St. Gabriel’s School every second Sunday beginning September 11th, 2016.

Please note that a separate Sacramental registration form is required if your child will receive the sacraments of First Communion, Reconciliation or Confirmation during the 2016/17 year.

MILK BAG WORKSHOP

Tuesday May 17th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM
Gabriel Room

Hello fellow parishioners,I have booked the St. Gabriel’s Room for Tues. May 17th for our next weaving event. We will try to weave from 1:00 to 3:00 or 4ish as long as our energy and supplies last.

Thank you to those that took bags home to cut…. I have already received some back!! Hope to see you next month and feel free to bring a friend.

Sharon Gusz

ANNOUNCED MASSES

April 25th to April 30th, 2016

MONDAY – MARGARET CHAN – Requested by Agnes Wong
TUESDAY – MARCELINO FERNANDES – Requested by Tita Fernandes
WEDNESDAY – GERARD WALSH – Requested by his Family
THURSDAY – MARGARET MULLANE – Requested by Margaret Anne Leckie & Mary Alice O’Mahony
FRIDAY – ALLAN PERSAUD – Requested by the Persaud & Goldenberg Families
SATURDAY – VICTOR JOSEPH – Requested by Margaret & Family

CONFIRMATION

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated on Sunday, May 15th for students in Grades 7, 9, 10 and 11 and Sunday June 5th for students in Grade 8 at 7:30 PM at St. Gabriel’s Church. In preparation for this Sacrament, a Confirmation Retreat will be held on Saturday, May 14th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at St. Gabriel’s Church. All candidates must attend. Candidates are reminded to bring a signed letter from the service coordinator or a parent stating the completion or anticipated date of completion of volunteer service hours.

ECO – SABBATH

Sunday, May 1st at 11:30 AM in the Gabriel Room

On the first Sunday of each month, the Passionist Centre for Ecology and Spirituality facilitates a 30 minute reflection and discussion prompted by the readings for that Sunday’s liturgy. All are welcome to attend.

ROSARY GROUPS

Chinese: Sunday, May 1st at 3:30 PM in the Gabriel Room.
English: Saturday, May 7th at 3:15 PM in the Gabriel Room.

For information, please contact Linda Law at 416-918-8029.

PLANNING TO BE A CATHOLIC TEACHER?

It is important for you to know that to be hired to teach in any Catholic School Board in Ontario, as part of your application for employment, there must be a letter of reference from your pastor. If you are planning to apply to teach in a Catholic School, a contact with the pastor is highly recommended. Please plan to have a conversation with your Pastor early in the process, well before applications are to be submitted.

CATHOLIC EDUCATION WEEK 2016

May 1st to May 7th

Catholic Education Week 2016 begins on Sunday, May 1. You are invited to discover what celebrations are happening in your children’s school to celebrate the ongoing gift of publicly-funded Catholic education and if possible, attend. Publicly-funded Catholic education has existed in Ontario since 1841 and its graduates have served Ontario and Canada very well. The current generation of students in our publicly-funded Catholic schools serve with the same spirit and generosity as their previous generations.

Pope Francis has declared 2016 a “Holy Year of Mercy” as a way for the Catholic church to “make more evident, its mission to be a witness of mercy”. The Holy Year began on December 8, 2015 and will be celebrated until November 20, 2016. Throughout the year, there will be a series of jubilee celebrations on the theme of mercy for teenagers, deacons, the sick and disabled, prisoners, catechists and clergy.

As well, Pope Francis opened the Vatican’s Holy Door on December 8th. The Holy Door is opened to evoke the concept of forgiveness which is the main focus of a Holy Year. The theme God’s mercy is illustrated in fifteen of the sixteen bronze panels that make up the Vatican Door. There are seven such Holy Doors in the world, including one in Quebec City.

Catholic Education Week 2016 combines both the theme of mercy and the act of opening doors of reconciliation, mercy and forgiveness to all around us.

SHARELIFE

Working wonders for our new arrivals in Canada…

“As an Iraqi Christian, the Office for Refugees (ORAT) has provided me with the opportunity to meet other people who have experienced the same thing that I have. We are able to help support each other in this new journey to Canada and without ORAT, I do not know where I would be today. It is possible I would still be in Jordan, afraid for my life, unable to practice my religion, and under threat of deportation. The work that ORAT did truly gave me hope and a chance at life free from persecution and fear. ORAT has also invited me to volunteer with them, and I am even able to sponsor a new person or family to come to Canada with their help.”
Sara, a Christian refugee from Iraq.

Since 2009, ShareLife-supported ORAT has sponsored over 2,500 families to be resettled in the GTA.

ShareLife to date: $103,312
Next ShareLife Sunday is May 29th.
Please give generously.
You can work wonders!

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall and the Good Shepherd Centre. Your donations are very much needed and appreciated. Thank you for your generous support

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL BUNDLE-UP COLLECTION

Weekend of May 7th/8th

The Society for St. Vincent de Paul will hold their annual Bundle Up Collection on the weekend of May 7th/8th. Bring your gently used clothing, household linens, shoes and small household goods to share with others. Appliances, furniture and books cannot be accepted.

A St. Vincent de Paul truck will be in the Church parking lot to receive donations. The truck will be open in the parking lot on Saturday, May 7th from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. and Sunday, May 8th until 1:00 P.M.

Volunteers will assist with the loading before and after each Mass. The Society will donate, exchange for vouchers or sell these donations to support their outreach efforts. Thank you for your continued support.

MEAGAN’S WALK – CREATING A CIRCLE OF HOPE

5km Fundraising Walk and Hug
Saturday, May 7th, 2016
Registration from 8:30 to 9:30 AM at Fort York
10:00 A.M. Walk to SickKids

On Saturday, May 7th, the fifteenth annual Meagan’s Walk: -Creating a Circle of Hope will take place.
Registration opens at 8:30 A.M. at Fort York, followed by family activities and entertainment. The Walk begins at 10:00 AM. and concludes at SickKids with the “Hug”.

Proceeds from this event will be shared between the Meagan Bebenek Endowment Fund and awareness, research and treatment of paediatric brain tumours at SickKids.

FAITH FINANCE & SELF-KNOWLEDGE

A Catholic Young Adult Seminar
Saturday, May 7th, from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM.
Gabriel Room, St. Gabriel’s Church

You are invited to attend a Catholic young adult seminar, “Faith, Finance and Self- Knowledge” being held here at St. Gabriel’s on Saturday May 7th from 8:30 AM to 4:15 PM.

Guest speakers include Fr. Brando Recana CP, Quentin Schesnik and Rose Heron. The cost of $15 includes lunch. Space is limited. To register, please contact Pauline at pauline.susanto@gmail.com.

FINANCE CORNER

Our operating expenses average $14,550 per week.

Collection for April 17th, 2016:
Envelopes 402 $ 7,610
Loose Change 1,158
Weekly Portion of Pre-Authorized Giving 165 3,034
Total 567 $ 11,802

Please inform the Parish Office if you have changed your address or are moving out of the Parish so that we may update our records.

If you have prior year’s offertory envelopes, please do not use them! Each year we go through the unused envelopes for which no donations have been received and may reassign that number to another parishioner.

Homily – April 17, 2016

April 16th, 2016

In our first reading we heard about the rejection of Paul and his companions by the leaders of the synagogue in Antioch. Paul responds by telling them they’ve had their chance to hear the good news of Jesus and that by refusing to listen, they were the losers. Paul would take his message to the Gentiles.

The Gentiles were non Jewish people and were considered as of less value to those who saw themselves as the people of God. Gentiles were shunned by Jews and any Jew who socialized with them was considered to be in danger of being contaminated by pagan ways. But the Gentiles were good men and women who lived their lives according to their own lights and beliefs.

Who are the gentiles of today? Who are the people who need to hear the good news that they are important to God, acceptable to God, loved by God and their lives would be different if God was important to them. Today’s Gentiles could be unchurched men and women, friends we know who may have come from a catholic or non- catholic family background but were only exposed to a primitive form of religious education. Or they are people we’ve called ‘recovering Catholics’, good men and women who were raised in a very strict family or experienced an unbending parish life, good people who were never encouraged to think for themselves but to do what they were told, good people who won’t go back to the old ways and mind sets. Today’s Gentiles are successful career oriented young people who are living the good life but are totally un interested in God or the things of God. Then there are men and women who lived in good parishes and went to catholic schools but now are totally indifferent to life in the church. We have good people totally scandalize by the sexual crimes of priests and the cover-up or denial of bishops and want nothing to do with the church. These are all good people.

On this Sunday we are asked to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It’s no secret we have a shortage of vocations in our archdiocese and in every diocese in Canada. At different times I’ve asked young men in the parish if they ever thought of becoming a priest. They look at me as if I was out of my mind. Personally I’m happy to be a priest, always have been, because my priesthood has been blessed and supported by good people like you.

By our baptism we are all members of the priesthood of all believers. Priests preach the good news of Jesus Christ who died on the cross to restore us to the life and love of God. Every one of us is to witness to the truth of God’s love for all by how we live out our own faith. As one saying goes ‘we may be the only bible people will ever read ‘ or as St. Francis is supposed to have said, ‘ preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.’ We are all meant to draw other people to God and Jesus by the way we live our own Catholic Christian faith, by what we say, by what we do, by the way we relate to others.

We are to make our faith authentic; believable to others by the way we live this Mass outside these walls. We make our faith convictions attractive to others when in our social life or places of work we refuse to tolerate expressions of bigotry, misogyny, racism or homophobia. We make our faith authentic when we get involved in the struggles of the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the beaten down men, women and children of Toronto.

Could we imagine that can follow the example of Paul and Barnabas and reach out to the Gentiles in our lives and through the simple, unpretentious living of our lives lure them back to a vital relationship with Christ in the family of our church?

Think about it.