Homily – March 31, 2019

March 31st, 2019

Two things happened in this story that we might think about. We know how overjoyed the father was when his missing son returned home but think on this, how hard it must have been for the father to let his son go in the first place. He knew his son to be restless and unhappy. Farming was not for him. He wanted to see the world. His father was not happy with the son’s request for his inheritance. He knew his son would blow it, living the good life of parties surrounded by false friends. But here’s the wonder, the father loved the son well enough to let him go. He gave his son the personal freedom he needed, the wings he needed at that time in his life. The father showed his son more love in letting him go than the love and excitement he showed when his changed and chastened son returned.

I read somewhere that parents are to give their children two things, roots and wings. Roots are the values by which they live their lives and wings are the freedom to find their own way. There can be times when wings carry them far from their roots, like the son in today’s gospel but we know that roots are stronger than wings and hopefully when wings weary the roots supply the strength for them to return home.

The other thing in this story is the tragedy on the faithful’s son resentment over what he saw as the unfairness of it all. As he complained to his father,’ for all these years I have been working like a slave for you, I’ve never disobeyed your commands, you never let me throw a party for my friends.’ We can just hear the truth of the unfairness of it all. That unfairness was something he would not let go. We can imagine it was a grudge he carried for years, a grudge that would empty his own life of happiness. Every time he met his brother in the field the unfairness of it all would rise up like bile in his throat.

This powerful story asks two things of us; are we willing to give those we love the freedom to live their lives beyond our control? Are we willing to let them grow up? Are we willing to let them find their own way, make their own mistakes. Giving wings challenges our need to control. Giving wings challenges our love.

Lent is a season to ‘pass over’ to pass from the world of unfairness, unappreciated love, unjust judgements to a world of reconciliation. Lent challenges us to pass over from resentment and let go of past hurts and painful memories. Lent challenges us to pass over family conflicts and longstanding resentments and let the pass be the past.

The message of Lent and of the gospel is clear, ‘we implore you, in Christ’s name to be reconciled to God. That can only happen when we are reconciled to those who have hurt and disappointed or even betrayed us.

Continuing this Mass we pray for ourselves and for each other that we be that trustful enough of those we love to give them the wings of freedom and discovery and we be grounded by deep roots of understanding and compassion and forgiveness and be able and willing to welcome back into our lives family members and friends who may have hurt and disappointed us.

Bulletin – March 31, 2019

March 30th, 2019

PARISH LENTEN RETREAT

“Finding Increasing Light When Right Seems Wrong and Wrong Seems Right”

Saturday, April 6th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Fr. Rick Frechette will lead our Parish Lenten Retreat on Saturday, April 6th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The theme of this year’s Lenten Retreat is “Finding Increasing Light: When Right Seems Wrong and Wrong Seems Right.” Fr. Rick gave our Parish Advent Retreat in 2014 and is back with us for an afternoon of inspirational talk that will hopefully shape our Lenten experience and praxis.

Fr. Rick who is a Passionist priest is also a medical doctor who founded St. Luke Foundation for Haiti and continues to serve our impoverished brothers and sisters in Haiti. Paul Haggis, an Oscar-winning writer-director lauded Fr. Rick as “a man who does daily battle with cynicism and hatred” but that Fr. Rick’s works “threaten to make an old atheist,” like Paul Haggis himself to “believe in God.”

Please come and invite your friends and family from other parishes to attend this retreat. It is open and free to everyone.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

April 1st – April 6th, 2019

MONDAY – ALLAN PERSAUD – Requested by the Persaud & Goldenberg Families
TUESDAY – CATHERINE MINAN-WONG – Requested by Noreen Chang
WEDNESDAY –
THURSDAY – CATHERINE MINAN-WONG – Requested by Eva
FRIDAY – VLADO PETRANOVIC – Requested by Mira Petranovic
SATURDAY – GUS CALDERONE – Requested by Marie Calderone

FIRST COMMUNION INTERVIEWS

Interviews for children who are preparing to receive their First Communion are now being scheduled.

Interviews will begin on Tuesday, April 23rd and continue until Friday May 10th. They are scheduled every 15 minutes from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Please call the Parish Office at 416-221-8866-to book your appointment with Fr. Brando or Fr. John as soon as possible.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Stations of the Cross will take place each Friday evening during Lent at 7:30 PM.

We also encourage your attendance at our daily Mass throughout Lent.

LENTEN AND EASTER SCHEDULE 2019

Stations of the Cross:
Friday Evenings at 7:30 PM

Parish Lenten Retreat:
Saturday, April 6th
From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Reconciliation Service:
Wednesday, April 10th at 7:30 PM

Individual Confessions: Wednesday, April 17th
From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Palm Sunday, April 14th:
Masses
Sat., 4:30 PM
Sun., 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM

Holy Thursday, April 18th:
No 9:00 A.M. Mass
7:30 PM Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Followed by Adoration until 10:00 PM

Good Friday, April 19th:
10:00 AM – Morning Prayer
3:00 PM – Solemn Passion of Our Lord
7:30 PM – Stations of the Cross

Holy Saturday, April 20th:
No 4:30 PM Mass
8:00 PM Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday, April 21st:
Masses 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM

Easter Monday, April 22nd:
No 9:00 AM Mass
Office Closed

EXTRA PARKING AT ELKHORN PUBLIC SCHOOL

THE GIFT OF RECONCILIATION

We have already begun the preparation for the greatest feast of all: The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. During this time of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting, the Church endeavors to remind parishioners of the gift of Reconciliation, as a loving act through which the Father restores us to the fullness of life and to call them to full participation in the Holy Week and Easter liturgies. We will have a Reconciliation Service on Wednesday, April 10th at 7:30 PM. Our Day of Confession will be April 17th from 3:00 PM to 6:00PM.

ECO – SABBATH

Sunday, April 7th 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 GROUP

Chinese: Sunday, April 7th at 3:30 PM in the Gabriel Room

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

SHARELIFE

Living the Gospel locally and around the world

“It is important that we continue to support the ShareLife appeal, to provide for the needs of the marginalized both here in our communities and around the world. Sometimes the results are obvious and sometimes they’re invisible, but always they make a tangible difference in the lives of the people we are helping. Please prayerfully consider how you can be supportive today on ShareLife Sunday.”

Cardinal Thomas Collins

Today is ShareLife Sunday.
Thank you for your generosity.

CASSEROLES FOR THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Your prepared casseroles (frozen please) will be collected at the Masses next weekend. Each month, the casseroles are picked up early on Monday morning for delivery to the Good Shepherd Centre.

More volunteers are needed to help feed the hungry in our city. We encourage you to pick up 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. For more information, you may contact Irene Albrecht at 416 221-2791.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

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

Your food donations are more important than ever as the numbers of needy people continue to increase substantially. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your generous support.

WALK-IN COUNSELING CLINIC

Two Locations, Open Tuesdays or Thursdays

Catholic Family Services of Toronto in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Toronto and the Ontario Government offers walk-in counseling services for individuals, couples and families. The single-session consultation is aimed at helping clients set goals and build on their strengths and resources. No appointment or referral is required and fees are geared to income. Clients are served on a first come first serve basis

There are 2 locations:
1155Yonge Street, suite 101 open on Tuesdays from
9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

245 Fairview Mall Drive, suite 201 open on Thursdays from
9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

For more information, contact 416-921-1163-or 416 222-0048.

VATICAN FLAG RAISED AT CITY OF TORONTO TO HONOUR ST. JOHN PAUL II

Nathan Philips Square, near the Courtesy Flag Pole 100 Queen Street West

This Sunday, March 31st at 2:00 PM

To celebrate St. John Paul II, the City of Toronto will raise the Vatican flag in a ceremony, taking place this Sunday, March 31st at 2:00 PM at Nathan Phillips Square. All are welcome to attend. While Pope John Paul II Day in Ontario takes place on April 2nd, the weekend event will also recognize the significant contributions of the late pontiff.

THE GARDEN SHED

GARDEN MINISTRY COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECT Indoor Seed-Planting Event

Sunday, March 31st

On Sunday, March 31st the children who attend the Children’s Liturgy at the 10:30 Mass will participate in a liturgy that connects scripture and their faith with the planting of seeds for our community garden: lettuce, tomato, pepper, kale and cabbage. The seed trays will then be put in locations where they, and you, can watch the germination. Parents may want to consider having the children dress in their “gardening best!”

South Garden

The redevelopment of the south garden is in progress! You may have seen Robert Cordy, Organic Horticulturalist, who has worked with St. Gabriel’s for the last two years, in the garden taking measurements and plotting the layout of what will be a micro-forest with herbaceous perennials and flowers. Its off-set swale layout will encourage retention of moisture and efficient drainage from the site and its mulched pathways will entice meanderings.

For more information on the Garden Ministry, please contact Heather Bennett at heathermjb@gmail.com.

FINANCE CORNER

The Finance Council wishes to share this with all who come together as our worshipping community … “The financial burden of the Parish is the responsibility of each and all parishioners to the extent that your means allow.” Our operating payments average $17,000 per week”.

Please consider giving your offertory by picking up Envelopes, enrolling in Pre-Authorized Giving (PAG), or Donate Now (through the Archdiocese of Toronto website). Please come by the parish office if you have any questions

Homily – March 24, 2019

March 24th, 2019

As some of you may know we haven’t had much luck with our garden outside this window. We did have high hopes. We discovered that because our garden space was also the roof of our underground parking it could only take so much soil, not enough to fulfill our garden plans. We’ll be starting again this spring with more plans.

In a way our garden committee is like the gardener in today’s gospel with his plea for another year to tend the fig tree. We’ll give it another try, They’ll work on it, and try something new.

In today’s gospel Jesus is not the impatient landowner but the gardener, anxious to give this struggling fig tree another chance.

The soil that nourished the religious life of the people of Jesus’ time lacked the nutrients necessary to nourish a healthy relationship with God. Maybe the nutrient that was lacking was the one that nourished the insight that there is more to a person’s relationship with God than keeping a mass of regulations and customs. The nutrient needed was the one that fostered the grow of a loving relationship with God that showed itself in the love and care and respect for one’s neighbour, a love and care and respect for a stranger. The soil needed a nutrient that provided the ability to seek justice and peace with neighbours and strangers.

Jesus, the gardener would provide that nutrient through his preaching and through his life giving death on the cross.

I think we are all trying to comprehend what possessed a man to enter two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and murder 50 men women and children and wounding many others. What hatred and anger and fear possessed him and caused him to wipe out other human beings he saw as different from himself. We find out he is infected with the virus of White Supremacy. The white race is superior to all others. Other races must be kept in their place, inferior of course. How quickly we forget the devastation such thinking brought on Europe and Russia just 70 short years ago. But scientists know that our human race had its beginnings in Africa, we’re all out of Africa no matter how we got to where we are today.

It seems there is a nutrient missing in our spiritual growth in the teaching of Jesus; love one another as I have loved you. Our present soil seems to contain toxics that set us against one another. A toxic that makes us see other peoples as less than us, a toxic that nourishes us to see the stranger, the immigrant as a threat to our own wellbeing.

It’s one thing to wonder was possessed this White Supremacist to do what he did but his madness can make us look into ourselves and see if we might be influenced in our attitudes and actions by that same toxicity: a toxicity that makes us consider men and women of different faiths, cultures, races and life styles as inferior to ourselves.

In spite of evil, God does continue to work, God’s plan does continue to unfold, and our very misfortunes become part of the growth of love, truth, and justice. There are times when we forget that God is ultimately in charge. I’ll end quoting these words of hope;

The divine plan often unfolds under a dark wing, today’s error is at the service of tomorrow’s truth, and God’s providence often bypasses the structures of power. And so our faith needs to look deeper than what’s happening on the surface, our hope needs to ground itself on something beyond what’s on the daily news, and our charity needs to be less fearful and less paranoid. God is always alive and working underneath. Nothing will be lost of our efforts and sufferings, even of our failure and errors.

We pray that Jesus, the hard working gardener of today’s gospel care for and nourish our growth in his life and love.

Bulletin – March 24, 2019

March 23rd, 2019

PARISH LENTEN RETREAT

“Finding Increasing Light When Right Seems Wrong and Wrong Seems Right”

Saturday, April 6th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Fr. Rick Frechette will lead our Parish Lenten Retreat on Saturday, April 6th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The theme of this year’s Lenten Retreat is “Finding Increasing Light: When Right Seems Wrong and Wrong Seems Right.” Fr. Rick gave our Parish Advent Retreat in 2014 and is back with us for an afternoon of inspirational talk that will hopefully shape our Lenten experience and praxis.

Fr. Rick who is a Passionist priest is also a medical doctor who founded St. Luke Foundation for Haiti and continues to serve our impoverished brothers and sisters in Haiti. Paul Haggis, an Oscar-winning writer-director lauded Fr. Rick as “a man who does daily battle with cynicism and hatred” but that Fr. Rick’s works “threaten to make an old atheist,” like Paul Haggis himself to “believe in God.”

Please come and invite your friends and family from other parishes to attend this retreat. It is open and free to everyone.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

March 25th – March 30th, 2019

MONDAY –
TUESDAY –
WEDNESDAY – DIANA STAHL – Requested by Geoge Stahl
THURSDAY –
FRIDAY –
SATURDAY – DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE CHUCHRA & WROBEL FAMILIES – Requested by Jack & Wanda Wrobel

FIRST COMMUNION INTERVIEWS

Interviews for children who are preparing to receive their First Communion are now being scheduled.

Interviews will begin on Tuesday, April 23rd and continue until Friday May 10th. They are scheduled every 15 minutes from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday.

Please call the Parish Office at 416-221-8866-to book your appointment with Fr. Brando or Fr. John as soon as possible.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Stations of the Cross will take place each Friday evening during Lent at 7:30 PM.

We also encourage your attendance at our daily Mass throughout Lent.

LENTEN AND EASTER SCHEDULE 2019

Stations of the Cross:
Friday Evenings at 7:30 PM

Parish Lenten Retreat:
Saturday, April 6th
From 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Reconciliation Service:
Wednesday, April 10th at 7:30 PM

Individual Confessions: Wednesday, April 17th
From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Palm Sunday, April 14th:
Masses
Sat., 4:30 PM
Sun., 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM

Holy Thursday, April 18th:
No 9:00 A.M. Mass
7:30 PM Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Followed by Adoration until 10:00 PM

Good Friday, April 19th:
10:00 AM – Morning Prayer
3:00 PM – Solemn Passion of Our Lord
7:30 PM – Stations of the Cross

Holy Saturday, April 20th:
No 4:30 PM Mass
8:00 PM Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday, April 21st:
Masses 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM

Easter Monday, April 22nd:
No 9:00 AM Mass
Office Closed

EXTRA PARKING AT ELKHORN PUBLIC SCHOOL

WELCOME! BAPTISM

The Parish Family of St. Gabriel’s would like to welcome:

Benjamin Agravante Blanco
Adrian Kai-Ming Hubert Dabrowski.
Arielle Keianne Liu
Emmaline Lilly Versteeg
Mila Penelope Fernando Sy

These little ones received the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, March 17th, 2019. Congratulations!

THE GIFT OF RECONCILIATION

We have already begun the preparation for the greatest feast of all: The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. During this time of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting, the Church endeavors to remind parishioners of the gift of Reconciliation, as a loving act through which the Father restores us to the fullness of life and to call them to full participation in the Holy Week and Easter liturgies. We will have a Reconciliation Service on Wednesday April 10th at 7:30 PM. Our Day of Confession will be April 17th from 3:00 PM to 6:00PM.

SHARELIFE

How can you “Live the Gospel” when life is so busy?

Many people help those in need by volunteering at a local organization. But if your schedule doesn’t allow for it, you can still make a huge impact in your community by supporting ShareLife-funded agencies. Next Sunday is the first ShareLife collection. Over the next week, please reflect on your ability to “Live the Gospel” by making a sacrificial gift to our parish ShareLife campaign.

Next Sunday, March 31 is ShareLife Sunday.

Please give generously.

CASSEROLES FOR THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Your prepared casseroles (frozen please) will be collected at the Masses next weekend. Each month, the casseroles are picked up early on Monday morning for delivery to the Good Shepherd Centre.

More volunteers are needed to help feed the hungry in our city. We encourage you to pick up 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. For more information, you may contact Irene Albrecht at 416 221-2791.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Each month the 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.

Your food donations are more important than ever as the winter continues and numbers of needy people continue to increase. Please check the expiry dates before donating since we cannot pass on food that has expired. Thank you for your generous support.

WALK-IN COUNSELLING CLINIC

Two Locations, Open Tuesdays or Thursdays

Catholic Family Services of Toronto in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Toronto and the Ontario Government offers walk-in counseling services for individuals, couples and families. The single-session consultation is aimed at helping clients set goals and build on their strengths and resources. No appointment or referral is required and fees are geared to income. Clients are served on a first come first serve basis

There are 2 locations:

1155Yonge Street, suite 101 open on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

245 Fairview Mall Drive, suite 201 open on Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

For more information, contact 416-921-1163-or 416 222-0048.

VATICAN FLAG RAISED AT CITY OF TORONTO TO HONOUR ST. JOHN PAUL II

Nathan Philips Square, near the Courtesy Flag Pole 100 Queen Street West

Sunday, March 31st at 2:00 PM

To celebrate St. John Paul II, the City of Toronto will raise the Vatican flag in a ceremony, taking place on Sunday, March 31st at 2:00 PM at Nathan Phillips Square. All are welcome to attend. While Pope John Paul II Day in Ontario takes place on April 2nd, the weekend event will also recognize the significant contributions of the late pontiff.

THE GARDEN SHED

GARDEN MINISTRY COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECT

Workshop – Organic Gardening This Weekend

This Saturday, March 23rd from 1:00 to 3:00 PM in the Gabriel Room.

This Sunday, March 24th from 1:45 to 4:00 PM in the Gathering Space.

This two part workshop will teach you everything you need to know about organic vegetable gardening, from basic garden mapping skills to planning and planting your vegetable garden. Maintenance, pest management, disease control, seed saving, processing, and composting will also be discussed. Feel free to attend both days or just one and to bring a friend.

Indoor Seed-Planting Event

On Sunday, March 31st the children who attend the Children’s Liturgy at the 10:30 Mass will participate in a liturgy that connects scripture and their faith with the planting of seeds for our community garden: lettuce, tomato, pepper, kale and cabbage. The seed trays will then be put in locations where they, and you, can watch the germination. Parents may want to consider having the children dress in their “gardening best!”

For more information on the Garden Ministry and workshops, please contact Heather Bennett at heathermjb@gmail.com.

FINANCE CORNER

The Finance Council wishes to share this with all who come together as our worshipping community …

“The financial burden of the Parish is the responsibility of each and all parishioners to the extent that your means allow.””.

Please consider giving your offertory by picking up Envelopes, enrolling in Pre-Authorized Giving (PAG), or Donate Now (through the Archdiocese of Toronto website). Please come by the parish office if you have any questions

Homily – March 17, 2019

March 17th, 2019

According to John’s gospel Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, was the first to be curious about Jesus and accepted Jesus invitation to spend some time with him. Andrew was so taken with Jesus he went to his brother Simon claiming ‘we have found the Messiah.’ He brought Simon to Jesus who named Simon, Peter. Later on Jesus called James and John to follow him.

We can imagine that one day Jesus said to Peter, James and John,’ walk with me’ Simple enough invitation. But that walk up the mountain side changed their friendship with Jesus. They saw him no longer as a man calling people to a closer friendship with God but as a man transformed, his face changed, his cloths dazzling white. Moses the lawgiver and Elijah the prophet talking with him about his future destiny in Jerusalem. Wonder of wonders God claiming Jesus to be God’s son, God’s chosen one. No wonder Peter blurted out, ‘Lord it is good for us to be here.’

Sometime after that event on the mountain Jesus again invited Peter, James and John. ’Walk with me.’ This time the walk was not up a mountain but into a garden, actually and olive grove called Gethsemane. There was no glory, there was fear, there was pleading as Jesus sweat blood and begged,’ Father if it is possible let this chalice pass. This time there was no voice from heaven, only silence.

There will be times in our lives when we are invited to ‘walk with me.’

And be given an insight into how we are blessed with good health, a happy marriage, sons and daughters who make you proud. We have a job or career that challenges us and we are blessed with good friends. We know we are blessed and a sense of thanksgiving wells up within us. We have a sense we are close to God and God is close to us. On walks like these we can say from our hearts, ‘Lord it is good to be here.’

And there can be other times when we are invited ‘walk with me’ and it is not a sunny day. Our walk is into a dark place, a worrisome place, an unknown place. Gethsemane. We may be anxiously awaiting test results, the future looks grim. We may be concerned about our jobs or how we can pay those credit cards. Maybe our Gethsemane that day is deciding to hand over the keys to the car or deciding on whether or not to go to a place of assisted living. We have to decide on whether or not to give up our mobility, our independence. Hard choices. Maybe our walk with the Lord in the time we decide on the health of a relationship we are in, or how we can seek help to deal with an addiction with which we struggle. This is not a walk in the park; it is a walk in the dark.

On the mountain Peter blurted out, ‘It is good for us to be here.’ He didn’t say that in Gethsemane. Peter was frightened and confused seeing Jesus in such a state of struggle. He really didn’t want to be there.

Every day, in one way or another or whether we hear it or not, we are invited, ‘walk with me’. Our walk might be up a mountainside on a sunny day or it might be on a gloomy day into a gloomy place. Each walk offers its own possibilities. We walk with one who knew the splendor of the mountain and the dread and struggle of the garden. But as the song reminds us, ’we never walk alone.’