Homily – January 20, 2019

January 19th, 2019

There was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It was not the first wedding in Cana and it wouldn’t be the last but it was a wedding Cana would never forget.

I was a guest at a wedding a few weeks ago. In a way it was over the top. The many showers before hand, the dress, the wedding party, the ceremony, the banquet, nothing was spared. It was far removed from that wedding in Galilee.

The families in Cana were hard working people who couldn’t afford to splurge on anything. I imagine that a wedding banquet was something like a potluck supper – everybody brought something for the common table. The wedding was a community affair, everybody shared.

Tragedy of tragedies they ran out of wine. The party is over. Mary spots the problem and tells Jesus about it. He doesn’t want to get involved. Jesus tells his mother, ’my hour has not yet come. Mary would not be put off and tells the servants, do whatever he tells you.

I don’t think many families in Cana had servants so that would make the lack of wine more embarrassing for the host family. Jesus tells the servants what to do, and there is an abundance of wine, the bride and grown are spared a great embarrassment and the party goes on and Jesus reluctantly let’s his glory be known and his disciples believed in him.

The servants offered Jesus gallons of the stagnant rain water usually used to wash the dusty feet of guests. No matter, he made it the best tasting wine.

We know how important water is to all of us. There is nothing more refreshing that a nice cold drink of water. We all know men and women and even children in Toronto, in Canada, around the world, who because of the circumstances of their lives, drink from the cup of the stagnant water of poverty, illness and disease, discrimination, misunderstanding, marital conflict, drug abuse, sexual abuse, unemployment, homelessness and other life situations that diminish their human worth and dignity. Men, women and children in our neighbourhoods suffer a thirst, a drought for respect and acceptance of themselves as persons, thirst for adequate housing, a just wage, home care or just simple companionship.

This Sunday our gospel lets us watch Jesus as he begins in his years of public ministry, being there for people in any need, offering the celebratory wine of their human worth and dignity, the wine of their healing of mind and body, the wine of being loved by God, and finally the life giving wine of his death on the cross.

Can we imagine that this is our personal life’s mission, as followers of Jesus who was always there for those who needed him? Will we use the gifts given each of us by the Holy Spirit Paul describes in our second reading; gifts of wisdom and knowledge, and compassion, gifts of faith or healing to enrich the lives of others; not with a glass of choice wine but a with simple cup of water of human kindness, love and acceptance.

Remember this promise of Jesus, ‘whoever offers a cup of cold water to one or these little ones will not lose his reward.’

Refreshing others may we be refreshed by the kindness of others.

Bulletin – January 20, 2019

January 19th, 2019

YOUTH GROUP OFF TO PANAMA

Nine members of the St. Gabriel’s Youth Group will leave for Panama early Sunday morning accompanied by two adults. They will be attending the World Youth Day in Panama and will return on January 29th. We wish them a safe and fruitful trip. Please remember them in your prayers.

SAFETY IN THE PARKING LOT

The safety of our parishioners is of prime importance and must be exercised in our parking lots above ground and underground. Please refrain from parking on the driveways and fire routes. Please park in designated parking bays only. Fire routes and driveways must be kept clear at all times in case of an emergency. Let us “go in peace” when we leave after Mass by our show of consideration and love towards our fellow parishioners in the parking lots.

MAKING OUR CHURCH “SCENT FREE”

Many people suffer from intense allergies today. Chemicals used in scented products can make some people sick, especially those with fragrance sensitivities, asthma, allergies and other medical conditions. Help us make the air we share healthy and fragrance free. We appreciate your help with making our Church comfortable for all.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

January 21st – January 26th 2019

MONDAY – CHRIS BICKNELL – Requested by Peggy Evans
TUESDAY – ROGELIO BONIFACIO – Requested by Lulu Luz
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY – JUNE BIENVENU – Requested by Carol & Hugh MacKenzie
FRIDAY
SATURDAY – GEORGE OLDEN – Requested by Kathleen Olden-Powell

MARRIAGE SUNDAY

Sunday, February 10th at 4:00 PM

St. Clare of Assisi Parish, 150 St. Francis Ave., Woodbridge

Marriage Sunday highlights the importance of the sacrament of marriage and complements World Marriage Sunday celebrations that take place across North America.

The Celebration of Marriage Mass will take place on Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at St. Clare of Assisi Parish, 150 St. Francis Avenue, Woodbridge. Cardinal Thomas Collins will preside over this special Mass where couples celebrating their milestone 25th, 40th, 50th and 60+ wedding anniversaries will be honoured.

A reception will follow Mass. All are welcome to attend. Couples celebrating milestone anniversaries are asked to register online to ensure reserved seating at surveymonkey.com/r/marriagesunday2019.

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

2019 ECUMENICAL PRAYER SERVICE

Next Sunday, January 27th at 4:30 P.M.

St. James Anglican Cathedral, 106 King Street East

An ecumenical prayer service will be held St. James Anglican Cathedral next Sunday, January 27th at 4:30 PM. The Prayer Service will be led by Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox bishops along with leaders from Christian churches in the GTA.

For further information, please contact the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs at 416-934-3400, Ext. 344 or Ext. 527 or email ecumenical@archtoronto.org.

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & 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 begins 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.

CASSEROLES FOR THE GOOD SHEPHERD CENTRE

Next Weekend, January 26th/27th

Your prepared frozen casseroles will be collected at the Masses next weekend for delivery to the Good Shepherd Centre.

More volunteers are needed to help feed the hungry in our city. Three recipes are available on St. Gabriel’s web site. Printed copies of the recipes are also available in the Parish Office. Please 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.

WORLD LEPROSY DAY

Sunday, January 27th – Used Stamp Collection

Sunday, January 27th is World Leprosy Day. Effect:Hope is a Christian organization, focused on achieving lasting, positive change among people living with the effects of leprosy and similar diseases – conditions long forgotten by much of the world. They continue to go into the slums and poverty-stricken communities of the world to bring healing and hope. They provide ulcer care, food and sanitary conditions, a safe home, help with mobility, job training and small business loans Your donation is a gift that will change their lives forever.

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 please go to www.worldleprosyday.ca.

CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Began January 16th

Registration for kindergarten children has begun at the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Families with kindergarten-aged children are now welcome to register their children for the September 2019 school year. For September 2019, all children born in 2015 are eligible to attend Kindergarten.

For parents who are not available during the regular school day, most schools are hosting extended hours for registration one evening during the month of January. For specific dates and times, contact the Catholic school in your neighbourhood.

For more registration information, please call 416-222-8282, ext. 5314 or visit www.tcdsb.org.

RETROUVAILLE WEEKEND: Help for Troubled Marriages

Weekend of January 25th to January 27th

At a hotel located in Mississauga, Ontario

If you are thinking of separation or divorce or you are already separated, but want to try again then Retrouvaille can help. This program will give you the tools to help get your marriage back on track. It will also give you the opportunity to rediscover one another and examine your lives together in a new and positive way.

For more information and to register, phone 416-281-6007 or email info@torontoretrouvaille.com. You may also visit www.torontoretrouvaille.com for more information.

THEOLOGY ON TAP – DISCERNMENT

Are you following God’s lead?
Monday, January 28th, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Duke of York, 39 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto
He’s back by popular demand!

Please join them on Monday, January 28th, as Kevin Kelly shares insights on discernment and how he used the discernment of spirits to follow God’s call for his life.

Kevin grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 2011. He completed his philosophy studies at Regis College in 2016 and then began his Masters of Divinity there. For two years, Kevin worked at the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice and was assigned to a special project in Montreal at the Church of the Gesù. Kevin returned to Regis College in September 2018 to finish his theology studies and then pursue further studies in psychology and spiritual direction. One of his interests includes integrating Ignatian spirituality with the realities of the business world. He will be ordained into the Diaconate in May of this year.

SAVE THE DATE! TOGETHER IN WORSHIP

Wednesday, February 27th at 7:00 PM

St. Gabriel’s Church

Together in Worship, featuring Leo Marchildon, Josh Tamayo and the Together in Worship Vocal Ensemble will perform here at St. Gabriel’s Church on Wednesday, February 27th at 7:00 PM. A portion of the proceeds will be donated in Sienna Margani’s name to the Blu Genes Foundation in support of treatments for Tay Sachs Disease. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students.

GARDEN MINISTRY

GARDEN PLANNING & SEED SELECTION WORKSHOP

This Sunday, January 20th from 1:30 to 3:30 PM
Gabriel Room

Please join us for a Garden Planning and Seed Selection workshop with Robert Cordy, on Sunday, January 20th from 1:30 to 3:30 PM in the Gabriel Room. Come, look at seed catalogs and dream about your future garden. Learn how to select seeds, set a budget, and grow healthy plants. Bring along a Google screen shot or pictures of your garden. We can help you select the best way to start your garden.

More information about the Garden Ministry is available on our web page. If you have questions, please email 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.

Offertory envelopes are now in the hallway outside the Gabriel Room. Please pick yours up as soon as possible.

Homily – January 13, 2019

January 13th, 2019

Last Sunday we celebrated the first of three manifestations of Jesus when total strangers sought out the new born king of the Jesus. In today’s feast we celebrate the fact that Jesus is one like us in all things. He joined the people who came to John the Baptist seeking baptism, waiting his turn. He wanted to be identified with those around him .John resisted baptizing Jesus saying,’I need to be baptized by you and you come to me? Jesus insisted,’ it is proper for us to do it in this way. The manifestation that Jesus was favored by God was God’s spirit descending like a dove and the words; this is my son, the beloved in whom I am well pleased. Jesus wanted to be identified like one of us but the Father wanted us to know that he identified himself with Jesus.

In the Orthodox churches of the East the feast of the Baptism of Jesus was seen as far more important that last week’s feast of the Epiphany.

This is the feast that wants to make us think about our own baptism. While pouring water over our heads and saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and or the Holy Spirit – a ceremony far removed from the elaborate ceremony of baptisms in the early church when adult men and women who were gifted with the faith to see that Jesus crucified and risen as the one who made peace with humanity and God, were buried in the water of a stream or pond, symbolizing Jesus’ death and burial and coming up out of the water were clothed in a white garment, symbolizing their new life in Christ, their new life in the Christian community.

We all know that the Eucharist in the greatest of the sacraments when we are nourished with the body of Christ but Baptism is the most important of all the sacraments because it enables us to receive all the other sacraments.

Unless we are converts to the Catholic Church most of us have no memory of our baptism, we were infants. Baptism birthed us into our life with God, God our Father, Jesus our Savior, the Holy Spirit strength.

This feast challenges us to take and honest look at how we living the life that is ours through our baptism. St. Paul tells us that through our baptism, our birth into the Christian faith, we are to put on Christ. Paul tells us ‘clothe yourselves in Christ’. This feast challenges us to ask questions. How Christ like are we in the way we treat those who love us, in the way we relate to those who don’t love us. How Christ like are we in the ways we struggle to forgive those who have harmed us, disappointed us? How Christ like are we in the way we are there for those who need us; family members and friends who are ill, in nursing homes or confined to their own homes, people who would love a visit or a phone call? How Christ like are we in the ways we we welcome strangers into our lives as Christ did when with open arms he said, come to me all you who find life burdensome and I will refresh you with my friendship and support.

Asking ourselves such questions we will discover what impact the simple ceremony of our baptism has in our lives today and maybe we will, with the help of God’s grace, make greater efforts to live Christ-like lives. May the Father see in us what he saw in Jesus; a daughter, a son in whom he is well pleased.

Bulletin – January 13, 2019

January 12th, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF FR. BRANDO – THE PIETA

Thank you to Catherine Soong and her family for the very generous donation of the beautiful olive wood carving of the “Pieta” from Bethlehem which is now in our Gathering Space. The Pieta was very significant to St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin to whom our church is dedicated.

ANNOUNCED MASSES

January 14th – January 19th 2019

MONDAY – MADELEINE REAUME – Requested by Nicolette
TUESDAY – MARGARET MORIARTY & CATHERINE MORIARTY – Requested by Teresa Sheldrick
WEDNESDAY – MAGDALENE LAM – Requested by John Chan
THURSDAY – DORIS GARCIA – Requested by her Family
FRIDAY – MAURICE MICHAEL – Requested by Charmaine Mchael
SATURDAY – SPECIAL INTENTION – Requested by Mark DesRoches

FOOD FOR ROSALIE HALL & 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 begins 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.

JUST COFFEE

Weekend of January 19th/20th

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: $4.25

MILK BAG PROJECT

Wednesday, January 16th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Gabriel Room

Did you know that milk bags can be cut, looped and woven into sleep mats for individuals or families in developing countries? Please drop the colourful outer bags in the bin located in the gathering space. Please make sure that the bags are clean, dry and flat.

Volunteer milk bag weavers will be meeting Wednesday afternoon, January 16th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the Gabriel Room. All are welcome!

WALK-IN COUNSELING SERVICES

Catholic Family Services of Toronto offers walk-In counseling services at two locations. The single-session consultation is aimed at helping individuals, couples, or family clients address their concerns. No appointment is required. Counseling is available at Central office, 1155 Yonge St. Suite 100, Toronto every Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. To contact, phone 416 921-1163. Counseling is also available at North office, 245 Fairview Mall Drive Suite 201, North York every Thursday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Contact 416 222-0048 or email: info@cfstoronto.com for more information

THANK YOU FROM THE CATHOLIC CHILDREN’S AID

The Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto would like to thank you for the continued support our parish provides to the Hope For the Children Program. The thoughtfulness and generosity of the parishioners has made such an impact on the children they serve. They felt extremely blessed and thankful for your support this season. To read the complete letter, see the bulletin boards.

MOSAIC INTERFAITH

Temple Har Zion, 7360 Bayview Avenue
Sunday, January 13th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

MOSAIC Interfaith invites you to attend their annual program in honour of Martin Luther King’s birthday at Temple Har Zion, 7360 Bayview Avenue on Sunday January 13th, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF ST. JOSEPH TORONTO

Tuesday, January 15th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Blessed Trinity Church, 3220 Bayview Avenue

Dr. Nathan Gibbard, Director of Ryerson Catholic Campus Ministry will present “I am Joseph, your Brother” a talk presenting the history of the “brother” metaphor in understanding Jewish-Catholic Relationships as a framework for dialogue and understanding, Please join them. All are welcome.

CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Beginning January 16th at 10:00 AM

The Toronto Catholic District School Board welcomes families with kindergarten-aged children to register for the September 2019 school year beginning on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at 10:00 AM. For September 2019 all children born in 2015 are eligible to attend Kindergarten.

For parents who are not available during the regular school day, most schools are hosting extended hours for registration one evening during the month of January. For specific dates and times, contact the Catholic school in your neighbourhood.

For more registration information, please call 416-222-8282, ext. 5314 or visit www.tcdsb.org.

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY 2019 ECUMENICAL PRAYER SERVICE

Sunday, January 27th at 4:30 P.M.

St. James Anglican Cathedral, 106 King Street East

An ecumenical prayer service will be held St. James Anglican Cathedral on Sunday, January 27th at 4:30 PM. The Prayer Service will be led by Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox bishops along with leaders from Christian churches in the GTA.

For further information, please contact the Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs at 416-934-3400, Ext. 344 or Ext. 527 or email ecumenical@archtoronto.org.

FIRST AID & CPR TRAINING

Saturday, January 19th from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Blessed Trinity Church Hall

All men, women and members of the Youth Ministry are invited to learn how to save a life with First Aid Training. Highlights are hands on CPR training for adult and child, training with an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) hands-on first aid training given by a Lifesaving Society trainer/examiner. A Free will donation would be appreciated.

RETROUVAILLE WEEKEND: Help for Troubled Marriages

Weekend of January 25th to January 27th

At a hotel located in Mississauga, Ontario

If you are thinking of separation or divorce or you are already separated, but want to try again then Retrouvaille can help. This program will give you the tools to help get your marriage back on track. It will also give you the opportunity to rediscover one another and examine your lives together in a new and positive way.

For more information and to register, phone 416-281-6007 or email info@torontoretrouvaille.com.

You may also visit www.torontoretrouvaille.com for more information.

GARDEN MINISTRY

GARDEN PLANNING & SEED SELECTION WORKSHOP

Please join us for a Garden Planning and Seed Selection workshop with Robert Cordy, on Sunday, January 20th from 1:30 to 3:30 PM in the Gabriel Room. Come, look at seed catalogs and dream about your future garden. Learn how to select seeds, set a budget, and grow healthy plants. Bring along a google screen shot or pictures of your garden. We can help you select the best way to start your garden.

If you would like more information about the Garden Ministry, please email 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 – January 6, 2019

January 6th, 2019

I hope to be taking a course at Glendon College beginning the middle of this month. It is a course on Populism. Populism has been described as a range of political approaches that deliberately appeal to people who feel they have been shorthanded by society or people who bear a grudge at society because they see themselves at the bottom of the later. Populist politicians are divisive, setting people against one another. The immigrant, the refugee, the stranger are a threat to someone else’s job security. They are going to over-tax the resources of our social services, our schools, our affordable housing resources. Populist politicians conjure up ‘enemies.’ For Hitler it was the Jews, for Mussolini it was the Masons. Today it’s the Muslims especially if they are refugees. Populism is raising its ugly head in the U.S., in Canada, and in Europe.

Populism flies in the face of today’s feast of the Epiphany. These strangers from the East symbolize the truth that the infant they sought came to bring salvation to men and women of every tribe and tongue. This feast of the Epiphany is a feast of openness, a feast of welcome.

The great meaning of Epiphany is expressed in our second reading from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, ‘The Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

The Jewish people were and still the people of God. They treasured and protected their privileged place in God’s eyes. They never forgot the ancient promise spoken so many times in their scriptures ‘I will be you God and you will be my people.

Our early church was made up of Jewish men and women who came to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was their promised Messiah. He was not the victorious liberator they expected but a crucified savior who by his death and resurrection made peace with humanity and God. As our faith spread to other people the Jewish Christians resented their presence and insisted they follow the Jewish law of circumcision and dietary laws. They were the populists of those days. They resented the presence of Gentiles, the outsiders in the community. Paul fought these people tooth and nail and even Peter had to admit that any person of any nationality who did what was right was acceptable to God.

St. Peter put another after his encounter with Cornelius, a gentile Roman centurion, ‘The thing I have come to realize is this, and that any person of any nationality who does what is right is acceptable to God’

Now the question is, are we wise enough to live this truth and the openness of this feast of Epiphany and love and accept and respect men and women of different faiths or no faith, men and women of different social and racial and cultural backgrounds, men and women of different life styles? Are we wise enough to see through the narrowmindedness and especially the deviseness of populist politicians, be they local or national? May we be wise enough to see that refugees and immigrants to Canada are not a threat but a blessing to our country. May our prayer for each other today be that we all be wise enough to seek a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ and what he taught and what he did? He died for us all because he loves us all no matter where we come from, what we believe, how we live our lives.