SUNDAY & WEEKDAY MASSES RESUMED ON LIMITED BASIS

June 27th, 2021

We remain grateful and want to thank all the parishioners of St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish for their ongoing support during this period of great difficulty and uncertainty.

Under Step 2 of the provincial reopening plan, as of June 30th, attendance at all liturgical celebrations will be limited to 25% capacity of the church.

In order to attend Sunday masses, a reservation for each attendee is required.

Please review the Protocol for Sunday Mass celebrations before making any reservations. Please click Sunday Mass Reservations. If you have any difficulty in registering, please call the parish office during regular office hours.

There is no reservation required for the 9:00 am Monday to Friday weekday Mass but sign in upon arrival is required.

For the safety and health of our community, please remain home if you show or have any signs or symptoms of Covid-19. Under a City of Toronto by-law, all attendees are required to wear non-medical grade masks or face coverings throughout their entire time of attendance at church while at the same time respecting the physically distance rules of 2 metres (6 feet).

We continue to thank you for your financial contribution during this time. If you cannot attend the Masses, you can mail or drop off your envelope contribution to the parish office. As well you can sign up for Pre Authorized Giving by picking up a form in the parish office or printing the form, completing it and submitting it to the parish office.

We are looking forward to seeing you.

Homily – August 1, 2021

August 1st, 2021

Last Sunday’s gospel told of Jesus feeding a crowd of close to 5000 men, women and children with five barley loaves and two fish. The people were so impressed they want come by force and make Jesus king. Jesus left them and took the disciples with him and went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. But the people followed and found him. He chides them that they want more food. Then he introduces them to the reality we know as the Eucharist, Holy Communion.

Jesus cautions the people not labor for food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life which the son of man will give them.

Once again this dubious crowd demanded a sign – give us a sign so that we may believe. They remembered their ancestors were given Manna to eat in the desert, what does Jesus offer them. Jesus challenges their imagination and their faith by his claim; ‘I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Now that the restrictions on our social lives are being lifted we anxious to get together with family and friends. We are at ease having friends over for a meal or a drink. It lifts our spirits getting together with others to break bread. We nourish one another with companionship and conversation.

For the next couple of Sundays the gospel will be centered on Jesus Christ as our bread of life come down from heaven as did the Manna. He makes this promise, I am the bread of life, and whoever eats this bread will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty

Later on Jesus makes another promise. Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you cannot have life in you.t the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you cannot have life in you.

This virus has caused Havoc to our Sunday celebrations; only so many people can attend, they have to register beforehand, they have to wear masks, the way we share communion is so controlled, there is no greeting of peace, we can’t sing, we can’t spend any social time in our gathering space.

It’s all so controlled, contrived, so not Holy Communion.

Hopefully when people are more comfortable with crowds and come again to our Sunday Masses we can again be nourished by the body and blood of Christ. We are hungry, not just for Holy Communion but also for company of our fellow parishioners. We need their presence, we need their faith.

Our common faith tells us that the Word made flesh; the incarnate Christ is present as our bread of life. The crucified Christ gives his flesh and blood as food to all of us

At this Mass, at every Mass we are nourish, strengthened, supported and encouraged by the scriptures we hear, sometimes by the sermon we hear but always the bread of life we receive in communion, in oneness with all those around us.

Bread is more than bread, it is the body of Christ, wine is more than wine, and it is the blood of Christ. Take and eat, take and drink, never be hungry.

Homily – July 25, 2021

July 25th, 2021

Pope Francis has asked that this Sunday be celebrated as Grandparents day. Tomorrow is the feast day of Sts Anne and Joachim, the parents of Mary, the grandparents of Jesus. We have no scriptural knowledge of them. Their names appear in non-scriptural writings in the second century. Their feasts have been celebrated since 1584.

But Pope Francis, who was close to his own grandparents, wants us to honor and celebrate our grandparents and the contributions they made to our lives. So today we honor and thank our Grandparents for the ways they influenced our lives. Speaking to today’s Grandparents Pope Francis says, ‘This is your vocation at your age- to preserve our roots, to pass on the faith to the youth and to care for the little ones, a great task.

I never knew my grandparents. They all died before I was born. But grandparents pass on to us family stories, grandmother pass on families recipes, grandfather pass on the family histories. They pass on to us family memories.

As Canadians we are or should be shocked and embarrassed by the history of the residential schools and the impact they had on future generations of indigenous men and women and their children. These children were robbed of their past. Separated from parents and grandparents these children were robbed of the wisdom and life skills of their parents and grandparents. These children, who now lie in unmarked graves, were robbed of age old skills of hunting and trapping and fishing, and how to survive in the wilderness they never experienced living in the wild, under the stars. They never heard family stories, family history or tribal history. They were never exposed to their native spirituality. They were robbed.

Indigenous girls never were taught family meals, never learned how to tan a deer hide, never learned how to make moccasins or do bead and quill decorations. They were robbed.

The lasting effects of all this is that in their own parenting they had nothing to pass on to their children, they lacked parenting skills.

I watch a program on TVO about indigenous men and women who became architects and designed community and cultural centers on the reserves. In planning their projects every one of them said,’ first of all I listened to our Elders, listened to our Elders. Listened. They knew that years have wisdom the days know nothing of.

Preparing to celebrate the lives and example of the grandparents of Jesus we thank and honor the influence and wisdom of our grandparent, living and dead.

Homily – July 18, 2021

July 18th, 2021

In our second reading from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian were recent converts to the faith but by accepting Christ this brought into the long history of the Jewish people’s relationship with God. He tells these new Christians that they are part of something very ancient. They were strangers to the covenant between God and the Jewish people; they had no hope without God in this world. But now in Christ Jesus they who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Christ is their peace, in his flesh he has made the circumcised – the Jews and the uncircumcised the Gentiles -into one and has broken down the dividing wall, the hostility between us. Through his passion and death Christ has created in himself one new humanity in place of two, making peace and reconciling both groups, Jews and Gentiles, to God, thru the cross.

This unity of Jews and Gentiles meant so much to Paul and his greatest grief was the inability of Jews to accept Jesus as the Christ, their longed for Messiah.

Paul was blessed with a deep and personal relationship with Christ. He would say, for me to live is Christ, Christ lives in me, the life I live I live it trusting in the son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. Yet Paul was willing to forgo that intense relationship if only his Jewish brothers and sisters would accept Jesus as the Messiah,

In his letter to the Romans he writes; I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own Jewish people, for to them belong the glory, the adoption,the covenant, the giving of the Law and from them comes the Messiah.

It is sad to read in our papers about acts of anti-Semitism here in our city, anti-Semitic slogans, swastikas’, painted on Jewish home and places of worship. These mindless acts of hurt are also hurled against our Moslem neighbours and friends. Dark deeds done in the darkness of night.

These are un-Christian acts done by people ignorant of our Jewish – Christian legacy. We are all spiritual Semites, all descendants of Abraham, our father in faith.

We do well to remember the words, the warning of Christ..Whatever you do to these brothers and sisters of mine, Jews, Moslems, you do to me.

It is a daily challenge to keep the great commandment, love one another, respect one another, accept one another, as I you.

Residential Schools – Information from the Archdiocese of Toronto

July 12th, 2021

Dear friends of the Archdiocese of Toronto,

Over the past several weeks, there has been a painful national conversation on the tragic history of residential schools in Canada. The role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system has been a central part of that discussion.

We acknowledge the terrible suffering that took place and condemn the system, established by the federal government and operated by faith communities, which separated children, often forcibly, from their parents and attempted to strip away their language, culture and identity.

The Catholic Church must continue to atone for our involvement in this dark history. It is undeniable that some Catholic teachers (priests, religious men and women and lay staff) entrusted to care for children at residential schools assaulted the dignity of the students through mistreatment, neglect and abuse.

A recent poll suggested that only 10% of Canadians have a thorough understanding of the history of residential schools. We also know that many Catholics have asked for additional information, unsure of this history and wondering how to respond when asked about it. In addition to resources like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, we have prepared a webpage at: www.archtoronto.org/residentialschools with numerous resources, links and information.

We encourage you to access our latest document, “Background for Catholics – Residential Schools”, which provides answers to eight frequently asked questions on recent topics of discussion.

We’d also like to make you aware of the following recent developments:

On June 29, 2021, it was announced that a delegation of Indigenous Elders/Knowledge Keepers, residential school survivors and youth from across the country will meet with Pope Francis from December 17-20 at the Vatican. There will be four days of meetings – focused on encounters with First Nations, Métis and Inuit participants – as well as a final audience with all delegates coming together on December 20, 2021. Pope Francis is deeply committed to hearing directly from Indigenous Peoples, expressing his heartfelt closeness, addressing the impact of colonization and the role of the Church in the residential school system, in the hopes of responding to the suffering of Indigenous Peoples and the ongoing effects of intergenerational trauma.

We have received numerous inquiries regarding financial support related to residential schools. A more detailed response on the settlement process, what has been paid and where we have fallen short, can be found in the latest “Background for Catholics – Residential Schools” document. Currently, dioceses across the country, including the Archdiocese of Toronto, are in discussions to determine how to best engage in a renewed financial effort to meet the goal of the $25 million “best efforts” campaign. In addition, the archdiocese is developing a series of pastoral initiatives, with Indigenous participation, to engage parishioners and the broader community in a continued journey of prayer, listening and dialogue as part of ongoing reconciliation efforts.

We look forward to sharing more information with you on these plans in the days ahead.

Together We Pray

“For the children who died in residential schools throughout Canada and for all those who continue on a journey through the darkness, that there may be healing founded on truth and that the Spirit will inspire our ongoing commitment to reconciliation.

God, through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, continue to offer us correction so that your grace might change and transform us in our weakness and repentance.

Give us humility to listen when others reveal how we have failed and courage to love others as ourselves, mindful of your love for the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Amen.”

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.

Thomas Collins
Archbishop of Toronto

ALTAR LINEN COMMITTEE NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

July 12th, 2021

The Altar Linen Committee would like to invite volunteers to assist us our work to ensure that the linens used in our church as washed and maintained properly especially during this time of pandemic.

The work, usually once a month, consists mostly of taking home the soiled linens used for the altar, credence table, and communion and washing and ironing them. They are to be returned to the church sacristy no later than a week after pick up.

If you are interested or need detailed description of our work, please contact Ginette Harquail at 416 226 1989. Thank you.