Archive for the ‘Notice’ Category

Reservation system for Sunday masses

Sunday, July 5th, 2020

In accordance with guidelines established by the Province of Ontario and the Archdiocese of Toronto, individual mass attendance at St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish is limited to 110 people (respecting the 30% capacity limitation as well as the physical distance requirement of 6 feet / 2 metres) including the celebrant.

You are required to either use the Eventbrite reservation system (St. Gabriel Sunday Mass Reservation) or else telephone (416-221-8866) the parish office to reserve your mass time. We require the names of the attendees, phone number, email address. If the number of attendees exceeds the space limitation, there will be a short wait list.

To make a Sunday Mass reservation, please click on the red button to the right. You will be taken to the parish reservation system. Please click on the picture of the church altar and a new page will open and then click on “Select a Date” in the red bar. Choose the mass time you want to reserve for and click on “Tickets”.

Protocols for Sunday Mass celebrations

Sunday, July 5th, 2020

Welcome back to S. Gabriel’s Parish! We missed seeing you at church and are so happy that the church is now open for Sunday masses, albeit on a limited capacity basis.

We recognize that things may not look or feel the same as they did before. Some may find this awkward or uncomfortable. Others may wonder why we have these new measures at all.

We want to assure you that these temporary measures are only in place to make sure you stay healthy. We also want to assure you that we have done everything we can do to protect your health while you are at church.

The church is thoroughly sanitized before every Mass thanks to a team of volunteers. More volunteers, especially for the 4:30 pm and the 10:30 am and 12:30 am masses, are needed to ensure the cleaning process is quick and effective. If you are willing to help after this, or any other Mass, please contact the parish office.

A few notes about Mass attendance for some time to come:

  • While not mandatory, we strongly encourage you to wear non-medical grade masks or face coverings to church. If you are unable to wear a face covering for the entire Mass, please consider wearing it when entering and exiting the church and while lining up for Holy Communion.
  • Where possible, please maintain six feet (two metres) of physical distance from other parishioners who are not members of your household.
  • Although we do have a cantor and organist, we will not have communal singing during Mass at this time – so no singing!
  • All children’s ministries during Mass are cancelled.
  • The offertory basket will not be passed around. If you are able, after Mass please leave a donation in the marked baskets as you leave the church. Also, please consider signing-up for Pre-Authorized Giving which is a convenient way to support the church whether you are present or not. Signup forms are available from the parish office. Thank you for your generosity!
  • At the Sign of Peace, please nod or bow to your neighbours rather than shaking hands.
  • If you suddenly feel sick during the Mass, please leave the church for the safety of all parishioners. If you were to learn that you or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of attending Mass here at St. Gabriel’s, please contact our local public health agency and also the parish office. We will protect your identity, except in conversation with public health officers to stop the spread of the virus.
  • At Holy Communion, we ask that you follow direction of the ushers. You can use the lines on the floor to maintain physical distancing. Please stop at the mark that is six feet (two metres) from the priest or Eucharistic Minister.
  • If you are receiving the Eucharist, when you have stopped at the six-foot (two-metre) spot, the priest or Minister will say “The Body of Christ” and you will reply “Amen”. With your mask on, approach the priest or Minister and receive the Eucharist in your hand only. Move to the spot marked on the floor to your left or right, remove your mask and consume the Eucharist. Then put the mask back on your face and return to your pew.
  • If you are receiving a blessing only, please cross your arms and receive the blessing from the original six foot (2 metre) spot and then return to your seat.
  • After extensive consultation with medical professionals specializing in pandemic management, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, has decided that Holy Communion on the tongue will be temporarily suspended to stop the spread of the virus. We will return to this practice, for those who wish to receive in this way as soon as we are safely able to do so.
  • We will not distribute the Precious Blood at weekday masses.
  • At the end of Mass, we ask you to promptly leave the church, while maintaining six feet or two metres of physical distancing where possible. Please follow the instructions of the ushers. When everyone has left, cleaning volunteers will close the church doors so they can ensure this sacred space is thoroughly sanitized before the next Mass. They need as much time as possible to do this job properly.
  • To reduce the amount of cleaning required we ask you to please refrain from venerating or touching the church’s statues and the tabernacle.
  • All other Mass events and programs are cancelled at this time. We hope that these chances to meet with one another can resume when it is safe to do so.
  • And thank you for returning to our parish! The recent months have been difficult for all of us, so we hope this celebration of the Eucharist was a comforting and uplifting sacred experience. As Catholics, the Mass is the source and summit of our life in Christ. We thank God that we could celebrate this Mass here – with you – again today. Have a wonderful day! After months away from our parish, these temporary measures allow us to celebrate together once again in a way that we can protect one another. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation. It is great to see you all once again.

Good Friday Morning Prayer

Friday, April 10th, 2020

Mary, Anchor of Hope during this Uncertain Times

INTRODUCTORY PRAYER: A Prayer for Openness

(adapted from Joyce Rupp, OFM, “Open the Door: A Journey to the True Self” p. 13)

Remember the Holy One is with you. Bring to mind this loving presence within you and around you as you pray the following:

  1. Touch your fingertips to your forehead, saying:
    Open my mind to remember your presence.
  2. Touch your fingertips to your mouth, saying:
    Open my mouth to speak your wisdom.
  3. Touch your fingertips to your heart, saying:
    Open my heart to extend your love.
  4. Hold both hands out, open, palms up, saying:
    Open my hands to serve you generously.
  5. Hold your arms, wide open, saying:
    Open my whole being to you.

Make a deep bow to the loving presence of the God in you.


(adapted from Pope Francis, Prayer to Mary, Woman of Listening)

Loving God, we ask You that –
through Mary, a woman of listening, You open our ears;
Grant us to know how to listen to the word of your Son Jesus
Among the thousands of words of this world;
Grant that we may listen to the reality in which we live,
To every person we encounter, especially those who are poor, in need, in hardship.

Through Mary, woman of decision,
Help us illuminate our mind and our heart,
So that we may obey, unhesitating, the word of your Son Jesus;
Give us the courage to decide,
Not to let ourselves be dragged along, letting others direct our life.

Through Mary, woman of action,
We obtain that our hands and feet move “with haste” toward others,
To bring them the charity and love of your Son Jesus,
To bring the light of the Gospel to the world, as you did. Amen.

READING: Hosea 5:15 – 6:3

I will return again to my place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face. In their distress they will beg my favour: “Come, let us return to the Lord; for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord; his appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.”

[New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSVCE): Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]


The love that Jesus has for us is selfless. He gave up His life for the love of humanity. And so is the love that Mary shared with her son – a selfless kind of love – and one the we, as mere mortals can and are capable of. This kind of love is eloquently explained by Joyce Rupp in her book Open the Door: A Journey to the True Self, when she writes:

“Selfless love is real. In spite of the horrors of war and other brutal ways that humans treat one another, love is possible. Unselfish people reside everywhere. They love unconditionally, dedicate themselves to alleviating suffering, are willing to give their all for one another, intent on being the life-givers and spirit-transformers. These are not do-gooders, holier-than-thou people. No, this kind of love is seared in trials, purified by personal, shaped by persistent rededication and self-giving that goes beyond required duty. Each day people on this planet open the door of their hearts and love pours forth. No matter how discouraged we might be get about the world’s violence and hatred, let us remember that generous love thrives in kind souls and express itself daily.

Selfless love does not come about overnight. For most, it takes a lifetime of effort. Yet, not nothing is more central to Christian life than other-centered love.”

[Joyce Rupp, OFM, “Open the Door: A Journey to the True Self” p. 150-151]

During this difficult times, health care workers, first responders, and essential workers around the world have shown that kind of selflessness. Time and time again, many of them have succumbed to death along with the people they cared for and tried to save. The tiny virus that virally spread across the globe, irrespective of national boundaries and status in life is currently hard to contain. Researchers have burned many a candle watts to find a vaccine to contain if not to stop the virus that jumped species. We all have been asked to do our part in order to help with the containment of this pandemic through self-isolation, social or physical distancing, and outright community quarantine. We are all called to offer “unselfish giving and support” to stay within our homes and workplaces…”and other common places of personal encounter” in order to mitigate this pandemic and so that others might live. It is hard but we must trust that those health care workers and scientists know of what they speak of, and because they are putting their lives on the line for all of us. May we, like Mary, find a deep anchor in our faith in her Son, and in his Abba, that this too shall pass.

Perhaps one of the learnings we can take during this pandemic is that when human beings are sheltering ourselves in place, the earth is healing itself. There is less air pollution and smog in many metropolitan areas where less cars area on the roads and highways (take New York City, Rome, Parish, and Metro Manila as examples). Waterways are clearing (like Venice and Thames) and fish are seen to be coming back. Animals have been roaming about and exploring city streets now that humans have stopped encroaching in their natural habitats for the time being (check out the herds of goats, sheep, boars, and deer that have been on the news lately), etc. Eventually, I hope, nature’s healing will also bring about humanity’s healing as a result of this pandemic.

In closing, let us also ponder this inspirational poem written by Laura Kelly Fanucci during this covid pandemic:

“When this is over, may we never again take for granted:
A handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store,
conversations with neighbors, a crowded theatre…
Friday night out, the taste of communion, a routine checkup, the school rush each morning…
Coffee with a friend, the stadium roaring, each deep breath…
A boring Tuesday, Life itself.
When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to be…
we were called to be….
we hoped to be and may we stay that way…
better for each other because of the worst.”


God of infinite mercy, we trust in you and your power working in us. Please hear and answer our prayers:

  • In this time of bewilderment and fear during this pandemic, we ask you to give us the courage to take care of one another as Jesus did. For those who are ill, especially those who are frightened and alone, for those who cannot access healthcare, for those who are the most vulnerable to this disease: the elderly, those with chronic disorders, those who are migrants and refugees and those who are homeless and lost, hear our prayer!
  • In the midst of our sadness and grief, we ask you to give us words to comfort one another. For those who are dying, and for those who have already died from the Covid-19 virus, for those with no one to tend them and for those who tend them, hear our prayer!
  • In the midst of our struggle to ensure a healthy future for all who live on this planet, we ask you to give us the hope that surpasses our current understanding. For all those who are involved in the health care field, particularly doctors, nurses and first responders who at considerable personal risk are working to save human lives, hear our prayer!
  • In the midst of our own anxiety we ask you to give us the courage to support one another as You would. For spiritual leaders and our faith communities, for artists and poets, for prophets and teachers, for those who are unexpectedly unemployed, for employers who share what they can, for our government and financial institutions and those who lead them, hear our prayer!
  • In the midst of our desire to find hope, we pray for those in laboratories who work with COVID-19 testing and for researchers who are working diligently for effective treatments for the disease and for a vaccine that may help stop the spread of the disease, hear our prayer!
  • In the midst of need to find order and stability, we pray for civil leaders in nations, provinces, states, cities, and villages; for all of those who have become “helpers” during this crisis volunteering their time and talent to do good on behalf of others who are less fortunate, hear our prayer!
  • In the midst of our growing awareness that all life on Earth is connected, we ask for the heart to respect and cherish all life. That all peoples recognize that we are all your children, hear our prayer!
  • (You may add your own intercessions here.), hear our prayer!

[adapted from Cynthia Serjak, RSM. A Prayer for Uncertain Times. (March 17, 2020).; and from Fr. James Pizker, Intercessory Prayer during this Pandemic.]

God, we ask that all who are affected by this virus be held in your loving care. In this time of uncertainty, help us to know what is ours to do. We know you did not cause this suffering but that you are with us in it and through it. Help us to recognize your presence in acts of kindness, in moments of silence, and in the beauty of the created world. Grant peace and protection to all of humanity for their well-being and for the benefit of the earth. Amen.

[Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, A Covid Prayer]



(adapted from Pope Francis, Prayer to Virgin Mary for protection)

O Healing God,
Through Mary, may you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.
At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain, with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.
We are certain that you will provide, so that,
as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the God’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:
He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test –
and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

Church & Parish Office CLOSED Until Further Notice

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

March 24, 2020

Dear Parishioners of St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish,

In order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and so as to comply with the Government of Ontario’s new regulations requiring that all non-essential workplaces be closed, we are sorry to inform you that the church and the parish office must remain closed until further notice.
This is a deeply painful, but necessary, decision for our faith community.

However, we are still here for you during this difficult time. You can still leave a voicemail at the parish office: 416-221-8866 or you can email us at: We will return your messages soon as possible. Visit for updated information from the Archdiocese of Toronto and for links to view the Daily Mass online.

Please continue to pray for those sick and those caring for them. Be assured of our daily prayers for you.
Yours in Christ

Rev. Fr. Brando Recana CP
Pastor of St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish

Click the image to open Fr. Brando’s message. (Letter opens in new tab.)

CANCELLED: Weekday and Weekend Masses beginning March 17, 2020

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

For more information, please read the March 17, 2020 Cardinal’s message on COVID-19 by clicking on the following link:–march-17-2020