Homily – July 13, 2014

July 13th, 2014

Even though Jesus was teaching from a boat he used imagery that was familiar to all who listened. In the planting season the farmers would be in the plowed fields throwing the seed onto the soil. Sometimes the wind would carry the seed to places the farmer didn’t intend. Jesus tells about the fate of seeds that landed in different places – the pathway, on rocky ground, in among the weeds and the good ground soil on which most of the seed fell. The rest was up to Mother Nature – the watered earth bringing forth the seed sprung to life. Jesus is teaching about the different ways people accept and respond to the life and love of God their lives.

I’d like to ask you a question. Where do you see yourself in today’s parable? Well you certainly are not on the pathway nor on the rocky ground, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. You, like me are probably among the weeds trying to survive, trying to live the life to which God calls us, and trying to be as Christ-like as possible. We get caught up in the cares of the world and our energies are focused on family issues, job security issues, career issues, health and aging issues – you name it. We get around to God when these issues become too much for us to handle.

But that is not all that bad. Jesus told another parable about a farmer planting grain and of jealous neighbour sneaking in at night and sowing weeds among the grain. When this was discovered the farmer’s laborers wanted to root out the weeds but the farmed stopped them saying by doing that they might damage the grain. His advice was to let both grow together til the harvest and then they could sort it all out.

The farmer sensed that the grain’s struggle to overcome the weeds could provide a better crop of grain. His advice was wise; let both grow together til the harvest.’ We are all good seed but we find ourselves struggling with weeds in our lives, the cares of the world and our own personal issues with anger or resentment toward others, with our narrow-mindedness toward people of other nationalities, other cultures, other life styles. We find ourselves struggling with being accepting of the ‘different’. But these very struggles that call us to be more Christ like in our relationships with others remind us that we need the grace, the help of God in our lives, remind of the words of Christ, ’without me you can do nothing.’

St. Paul is a great example of a person who struggled with weeds. There was one in particular that plagued him. He referred to it as a ‘thorn in the flesh’ and three times he begged Christ to pluck it out and three times Christ refused. Paul resigned himself to living with this weed saying,’ gladly will glory with this weed that the strength of Christ may dwell in me.’

Our weeds, the cares of our world, won’t go away. They will challenge us all our lives but remember the strength of Christ dwells in us. May we trust the truth that our weeds will help us, with God’s grace, to yield a harvest of a hundred fold.

Bulletin – June 29, 2014

June 29th, 2014

This is the last bulletin until September. We wish you all a happy and safe summer! July 1st is Canada Day. The office will be closed on Tuesday, July 1st for the holiday. There will be no 9:00 A.M. Mass.

CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2014 at St. Gabriel’s School. Well done! We wish you every success as you begin the next stage of your school life.

THANK YOU FOR OUR PARISH PICNIC

A special word of thanks to all the good men and women who worked so hard to provide us with a Barbeque last Sunday. The food was great, the weather was wonderful and a grand time was had by all. Special thank to Ms. Linda Law who coordinated the event.

AN EVENING OF CONVERSATIONS

“Stewardship of the Earth: Fort McMurray and the oilsands”

St. Gabriel’s Church, Gabriel Room
Tuesday, July 8th from 7:30 to 9:00 P.M.

“The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth. What we do to the earth, we do it to ourselves”. Father Paul and Fatima Lee, our Lay Pastoral Associate, recently attended a conference at Fort McMurray, Alberta, on Native Treaty and Water rights — to hear from those who have been most impacted by the development of the Oilsands, and how they have been affected. The conference, at which the Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa gave the keynote address, discussed justice as well as environmental issues.

On Tuesday, July 8th Father Paul and Fatima will share with parishioners and friends their experiences of the trip to Fort McMurray. If you are interested in the subject, or you would like to know more about it, you are invited to join us for an evening of conversation, to begin at 7:30 P.M.

ST. GABRIEL’S YOUTH GROUP BAKE SALE

June 29th after all Masses

The St. Gabriel’s Youth Group will be selling baked goods at all the Masses this Sunday, June 29th. Proceeds will go towards costs of Youth Group related events. We invite you to come out and support our young people!

ANNOUNCED MASSES

Please see the insert in the parish bulletin or check the bulletin board for announced Masses during the summer months.

OUR NEW HYMNALS

Our new hymnals have arrived. Our goal is always to have everyone participate, so pick up and crack open those new books and sing to the glory of God! Any contributions towards these books would be greatly appreciated. Since the Catholic Book of Worship will still be used, please do not remove them from the Church.

CONTINUING ADULT EDUCATION

The Church has had many great thinkers over the years, including St. Augustine in the 5th century and St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. In our time, we have great thinkers too, one of whom is the Passionist priest Fr. Thomas Berry, 1914 – 2009. He introduced us to seeing God’s creation in a new way and our role as humans within it. He called it “The New Story”. Next fall on every other Tuesday evening and repeated every other Thursday morning, we will discuss his “New Story”, the wisdom that ensues and the challenge it evokes. We guarantee an interesting discussion! Watch for beginning dates in September.

PLANNING TO BE A CATHOLIC TEACHER?

It is critical 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 (or if your adult child) is planning to apply to teach in a Catholic school, it is highly recommended you contact the pastor before Thanksgiving. Please plan to have a conversation with your pastor early in the process and you will avoid disappointment and stress at the time when applications are to be submitted.

DONATE YOUR OLD EYE GLASSES

You can help others by donating your old eyeglasses. Glasses will be sent to the Lions Club for distribution to the needy in developing countries. Donated glasses may be left in the box provided just outside the Parish Office.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL

Each month the food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall. With everyone struggling at this time, these 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.

BUNDLE UP WEEKEND COMING UP!

Bundle-Up Weekend September 20th/21st

There will be a Bundle-Up Weekend on September 20th/21st. Start today to gather gently used clean clothes for the third weekend of September.

CANADIAN TIRE MONEY – MATERCARE

We are still collecting Canadian Tire money in support of Matercare International. Please support this worthwhile campaign by dropping your Canadian Tire money in the collection basket or bringing it to the Parish Office.

CASSEROLES FOR THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Thank you to all who prepared casseroles for the Good Shepherd Centre. For the summer, your prepared casseroles (frozen please) will be collected at the Masses on the weekends of July 26th /27th and August 23rd /24th for delivery to the Good Shepherd Centre.

More volunteers are needed, especially in the summer months. Please get a copy of a casserole recipe and a pan and give it a try. Three recipes are available on St. Gabriel’s web site. Printed copies of the recipes are also available in the Parish Office. Remember to mark the label on the pan lid with the name of the casserole. For more information, you may contact Irene Albrecht at 416 221-2791.

EFFECT HOPE NEEDS YOUR HELP

The Leprosy Mission of Canada, Effect: Hope is looking for volunteers to trim stamps. If you are interested, please call Linda at 905-886-2885 for further information.

FINANCE CORNER

Our operating expenses average $14,550 per week.

Collection for last weekend:

Envelopes 420 $7,928
Loose Change $1,213
Weekly Portion of PAG 177 $3,193
(Pre-Authorized Giving)
Total $12,334

SHARELIFE

ShareLife For 2013: $193,410
ShareLife to Date: $157,491.50

ROSARY GROUP OUTDOOR MEETING

July 5th from 2:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Marian Shrine of Gratitude
3100 Weston Road (at Sheppard)

The Rosary group will hold an outdoor prayer meeting at the Marian Shrine of Gratitude on Saturday, July 5.They will meet here at St. Gabriel’s Church at 2:00 and go together to the Shrine. Carpools can be arranged if needed. There, they will pray the rosary and return to St. Gabriel’s at about 4:30 P.M. All are welcome to join them.

FAITH CONNECTIONS HIKE AND PRAYER

Edwards Gardens
Saturday, July 5th, 2014 at 10:30 A.M.

Faith Connections invites all young adults 18-39 to join them for a Hike and Prayer followed by a picnic at Edwards Gardens. Please bring water, a picnic lunch, sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate gear (rain or shine). Meet at the south west corner of Leslie St. and Lawrence Ave. East (under the Edwards Gardens sign. RSVP is appreciated.

Please call Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt at 416-467-2645 or visit www.faithconnections.ca — a ministry of Fontbonne Ministries, Sisters of St. Joseph, Toronto.

FAITH CONNECTIONS’ STREET PATROL

Two dates: Wednesday July 16th & Wednesday August 20th 6:30 P.M.
Meeting on the steps of St. Patrick’s Church,
141 McCaul St.

Young adults ages 18-39 are invited to join Faith Connections in walking the streets of downtown Toronto, offering food and friendship to those in need. Bring sandwiches and drinks to share with people you meet. Also appreciated are soft fruits, veggies, snacks or sweets. RSVP required. Call Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt at 416-467-2645 or visit www.faithconnections.ca — a ministry of Fontbonne Ministries, Sisters of St. Joseph, Toronto.

ANNUAL MASS FOR THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED

Wednesday, August 13th at 7:00 PM

The Annual Mass for the Faithful Departed will take place on Wednesday, August 13th at 7:00 PM at the following cemeteries: Holy Cross Cemetery, 8361 Yonge Street, Thornhill, Ontario Mount Hope Cemetery, 305 Erskine Avenue, Toronto, Ontario

Homily – June 29, 2014

June 29th, 2014

It is amazing the things God can do with us to bring about his work of salvation. Peter and Paul were two totally different personalities. Paul had an intense and rigid personality. He was strict in his religious observances; he was a student of the law and a keeper of the law. Paul saw the early followers of Jesus as apostates, traitors to their ancient faith. In his enthusiasm he would like to have them wiped off the faith of the earth. Paul brought that same enthusiasm and intensity into his new found life as a follower of Christ. He would say of himself,’ I live now, not I but Christ lives in me……… for me to live is Christ.

Peter and his brother Andrew were successful business men. They made an honest living as fishermen, fishing on the Sea of Galilee but Peter lacked the stability and conviction of Paul. Peter could hot or cold, ‘Even if I had to die for you I would never deny you. Just a few hours later this same Peter swears on an oath, ‘I know not the man.’

Christ used these two different personalities to found the beginnings of his new faith communities. They didn’t always agree on things, they had their differences. Paul withstood Peter to his face when Peter allowed himself to be influenced by Jewish Christian who saw the Gentiles as second class citizens in the church. Two totally different personalities but Christ used them both to bring about the beginning of the Christian community.

Just as Christ used these two different men with their different strengths and weakness to bring about the growth of the early church so Christ can use each one of us, with our strengths and weakness to strengthen the life of the church today.

We have evidence of this in our own time when we are so struck by the warm, welcoming personality of Pope Francis as compared to the almost shy and private personality of Pope Benedict

Everyone knows that the personality of Pope Francis is so different from the personalities of Pope Benedict and John Paul 2. Someone described the differences in this way; Pope John Paul was the heart of the church, Pope Benedict was the brains of the church and Pope Francis is the soul of the church.

The truth of the matter is that Christ can and does use each one of us with our own distinct personalities to complete his work on earth by building up the body of Christ, the church. It could be our business acumen that keeps a parish finances on an even keel. Christ could use our outgoing, generous personality to help in the social and justice works of the church as it works to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, welcome immigrants, visit hospitals and prisons. Christ can use the intellectual gifts with which we are bless to call us to the great vocation of teaching, either in our schools of teaching religious education programs. Christ could use your understanding and compassionate personality so that could be with those who mourn the death of someone they loved or those who mourn the loss of their own health or their independence. There are men and women whose personality tends them toward prayer and silence and so they are called to pray for the needs of the church and the world around them. As St. Paul reminds us ‘there are a variety of gifts and all kinds of services to be done. We just have to be open to God’s nudges and be willing to be available to others.

We are blessed by God with our own individual personalities and talents. In gratitude for this blessing we look into our lives and the way we live it and in thanksgiving for the gift of ourselves we might have the willingness to say, ‘Lord what would you have me do? How can I be of service to the building up of the body of Christ, the Church? How can I take the gifts with which I have been blessed and put them at your service?

Years ago when lay women and men could be Ministers of the Eucharist I asked this guy in the parish if he would be a Eucharistic Minister. He immediately said ‘no’ I’m not worthy. So I said to him I was up all night trying to figure out who was the most unworthy person in the parish and your kept coming up time and again. With that he said, ’I’ll do it.’

Peter and Paul had no idea that one day they would share the same faith that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the living God, and would work in different ways to share that truth with the world around them. May we too be surprised and open to the possibilities God has in store for us as we try to live our lives as followers of Christ, our Lord and Savior and be willing to use the gifts with which we’ve been blesses to bring the life and love of Christ to those around us.

Bulletin – June 22, 2014

June 22nd, 2014

ST. GABRIEL’S YOUTH GROUP BAKE SALE

June 29th after all Masses

The St. Gabriel’s Youth Group will be selling baked goods at all the Masses next Sunday, June 29th. Proceeds will go towards costs of Youth Group related events. We invite you to come out and support our young people!

PARISH PICNIC

Sunday, June 22nd after the 12:30 Mass

The Parish BBQ Picnic will be held this weekend on Sunday, June 22nd after the 12:30 Mass in the parking lot. There will be hot dogs, games, face painting, lucky draws, music and more… Tickets are $2 each.

Please bring your families, friends and neighbours to enjoy a summer afternoon with your parishioners. We need volunteers to help and make this event happen. Please sign up by putting your name and phone number on the sheets at the back of church. For more information, you may call Linda Law at 416-918-8029.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

June 23rd to June 28th, 2014

MONDAY – RITA WILLIAMS – Requested by Margaret Anne Leckie
TUESDAY – ROBERT BALASZ – Requested by Stephen Previdsa
WEDNESDAY – SOULS IN PURGATORY, DECEASED MEMBERS OF FRIENDS OF SUFFERING SOULS – Requested by Agnes Wong
THURSDAY – KENG OWYONG – Requested by Helen Owyong
FRIDAY – DAVID SHELDRICK – Requested by Teresa Sheldrick
SATURDAY – FRANCIS PEREIRA & DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE PEREIRA & PAUL FAMILIES – Requested by Sophie & Candida Pereira

WELCOME! BAPTISM

The Parish Family of St. Gabriel’s would like to welcome:
Tiffany Keira Chan
Daniel Jim Ohn Fong
Chase Daniel Valdez

These children received the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, June 15th, 2014. Congratulations!

OUR NEW HYMNALS

Our new hymnals have arrived. Our goal is always to have everyone participate, so pick up and crack open those new books and sing to the glory of God! Any contributions towards these books would be greatly appreciated. Since the Catholic Book of Worship will still be used, please do not remove them from the Church.

CHILDREN’S FAITH PROGRAM REGISTRATION

Registration forms for the Children’s Faith Program for next year are now available in the Parish Office. This program is for those children attending private or public schools. Please note that all registrations must be returned by June 30th, 2014.

CONTINUING ADULT EDUCATION

The Church has had many great thinkers over the years, including St. Augustine in the 5th century and St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. In our time, we have great thinkers too, one of whom is the Passionist priest Fr. Thomas Berry, 1914 – 2009. He introduced us to seeing God’s creation in a new way and our role as humans within it. He called it “The New Story”. Next fall on every other Tuesday evening and repeated every other Thursday morning, we will discuss his “New Story”, the wisdom that ensues and the challenge it evokes. We guarantee an interesting discussion! Watch for beginning dates in September.

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.

SHARELIFE

ShareLife For 2013: $193,410
ShareLife to Date: $157,491.50

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL – MARYGROVE CAMP

Thank you for your generous support of Marygrove Camp. $3,688.60 was raised to support this important work of the Society for St. Vincent de Paul.

BUNDLE UP WEEKEND COMING UP!

Bundle-Up Weekend September 20th/21st

There will be a Bundle-Up Weekend on September 20th/21st. Start today to gather gently used clean clothes for the third weekend of September.

CASSEROLES FOR THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Your prepared casseroles (frozen please) will be collected at the Masses next weekend for delivery to the Good Shepherd Centre. More volunteers are needed, especially in the summer months. Please get a copy of a casserole recipe and a pan and give it a try. Three recipes are available on St. Gabriel’s web site. Printed copies of the recipes are also available in the Parish Office. Remember to mark the label on the pan lid with the name of the casserole.

For the summer, your prepared casseroles (frozen please) will be collected at the Masses on the weekends of July 26th /27th and August 23rd /24th for delivery to the Good Shepherd Centre. For more information, you may contact Irene Albrecht at 416 221-2791.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL

Each month the food we collect is sent to Rosalie Hall. With everyone struggling at this time, these 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.

DONATE YOUR OLD EYE GLASSES

You can help others by donating your old eyeglasses. Glasses will be sent to the Lions Club for distribution to the needy in developing countries. Donated glasses may be left in the box provided just outside the Parish Office.

CANADIAN TIRE MONEY – MATERCARE

We are still collecting Canadian Tire money in support of Matercare International. Please support this worthwhile campaign by dropping your Canadian Tire money in the collection basket or bringing it to the Parish Office.

FAITH CONNECTIONS HIKE AND PRAYER

Edwards Gardens
Saturday, July 5th, 2014 at 10:30 A.M.

Faith Connections invites all young adults 18-39 to join them for a Hike and Prayer followed by a picnic at Edwards Gardens. Please bring water, a picnic lunch, sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate gear (rain or shine). Meet at the south west corner of Leslie St and Lawrence Ave East (under the Edwards Gardens sign. RSVP is appreciated.

Please call Vanessa Nicholas-Schmidt at 416-467-2645 or visit www.faithconnections.ca – a ministry of Fontbonne Ministries, Sisters of St. Joseph, Toronto.

QUEEN OF APOSTLES RENEWAL CENTRE

Spring Men’s ACTS Retreat
June 26th to June 29th 2014

Come Deepen Your Faith.
Private Rooms with 2 piece ensuite.
Excellent Food for the Soul and Body.
Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre
Please call905-278-5229

BLESSED TRINITY LADIES BRIDGE 2014/2015

The ladies of Blessed Trinity Parish are thinking of organizing an afternoon bridge group. If you would like to join, please call Maureen Cullen at 416-222-8755.

FINANCE CORNER

Our operating expenses average $14,550 per week.

Collection for last weekend:
Envelopes 386 $7,389
Loose Change $1,221
Weekly Portion of PAG 177 $3,193
(Pre-Authorized Giving)
Total $11,803

CHURCH BULLETIN ADVERTISING

Liturgical Publications will be setting up the advertisements for our church bulletin. The advertising will begin in September 2014 and supports the bulletin service. Please support the bulletin and advertise your product or service. Call Liturgical Publications at 905-624-4422.

Homily – June 22, 2014

June 22nd, 2014

In November of 2013 Pope Francis wrote a letter to the church titled The Gospel of Joy. He said some very startling things. He said, ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy which spurs us on to do our best.’ Pope Francis said, ”I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.’

As regards this feast of Corpus Christ the Pope has this to say about Holy Communion, ‘it is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. Before we receive Holy Communion we say ‘Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, say but the word and my soul shall be healed’ No one of us is worthy to receive the Body of Christ. Worthiness has nothing to do with our coming to receive Holy Communion. Need has everything to do with our coming to the priest or a minister of the Eucharist holding out an empty hand to show our neediness, our weaknesses and our struggles. The Body of Christ, the bread of life is a gift not a reward though I think that through the years we have been taught to see it as a reward for behaving ourselves. The Body of Christ is meant to nourish us, strengthen us, encourage us to get up and keep on trying when we know we have failed. When we walk up to receive the Body of Christ we are answering Christ’s call to all, ‘Come to me all you who labor and find life burdensome and I will refresh you.’ The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’

Different times in years past I would celebrate Mass for Sisters in their convent chapel. This was in the days when we all wore our religious habits. We all received Holy Communion on the tongue. When a sister received Holy Communion she would flip her veil over her head to keep out any distractions at this moment. She was to be alone with Jesus. This was a special time requiring peace and quiet. When you go back to your place after receiving Holy Communion you probably close your eyes and say your private prayers. You speak to Christ about your own or your family issues. You pray for family and friends who are ill or out of work. You’ll pray for harmony in the family. You may pray for family members and friends who feel it is no longer important to be with us here as we praise and thank God. In that short quiet time you place before the loving Christ the burdens of your life – trusting his promise ‘and I will refresh you.’

But there is far more to Holy Communion that Jesus and me. In the second reading Paul teaches us that our personal act of holding out an empty hand to receive the Body of Christ makes us one with every other person who has done the same. We who are many are one body for we all partake of the one bread. For Paul, receiving Holy Communion binds one not only to Christ but also to one another, to the entire Christian community . The Eucharist has a horizontal as well as a vertical direction. When we receive Holy Communion we are involved in the wellbeing of the Church and of the world, the Body of Christ.

The Body of Christ, the whole human family is plagued with so many problems. Social injustices, the exploitation and oppression of women and children, the unjust distribution of wealth, the human assault on the environment, the homeless and the hungry of our city and country, the effects of our consumerism on the health and wellbeing of Earth, the civil wars blighting so many countries, these too should be the things we bring to Christ when we receive him in Holy Communion, a conscious act that makes us one with the total Body of Christ. We may feel we cannot change the world but we can make every effort that the world does not change us. Pope Francis talks about the globalization of indifference – we tend to block out these harsh realities from our lives. This is not a good thing. These realities touch our lives too. We did not weave the web of life we are a strand in the web and what happens to the web happens to us and we should be conscious of wellbeing of the total web of life.

We’ll continue to celebrate this Mass as we celebrate Christ’s goodness and graciousness to us as he encourages each of us – this is my body, take and eat – this is my blood, take and drink.