Fr. David writes:
During the week I received the good news that Bishop Mark’s mother, Maura O’Toole, is now recovering at home after being discharged from hospital. Bp. Mark is very grateful to everyone for their prayers for his mother. While, if you are a bishop you obviously can muster a lot of prayerful support, our prayers for Maura are also in a way prayers for all those who are walking the long and treacherous journey which is being hospitalised with the Covid19 virus. So we do thank God that Maura is recovering and continue to pray for others in the same situation.
And while we are on the subject of Bp. Mark, I enclose a letter from him. While this was obviously written for those in the Plymouth diocese, it has a lot of general remarks that I hope you will find of interest.
This Sunday is “Good Shepherd Sunday”, a time when we recognise Christ as the Good Shepherd who has an unconditional love for his sheep. With this in mind the Church also holds this weekend as a time when we are asked to pray particularly for vocations within the Church. A second attachment includes a prayer for vocations and some words from the Pope, again supplied from my home diocese.
A couple of items that have come up from the parish:
A family in the parish asked about whether participants at Zoom Masses should have their cameras on or not. The parishioners made the point that it was lovely to see other people and not just their ‘log-in’ names. Certainly, from my point of view, the other week I saw my good friend’s daughter, Catherine, for the first time in many years and it was a delight. Conversely, some people are self conscious so don’t want to be seen (and some might still be in their PJs, so shouldn’t be seen!) But we leave it up to you; you are very welcome either to have your camera on or off, but people do like to see familiar faces. If nothing else, you might consider turning your camera on just for the period before Mass starts so people can see you and say hello, but it is up to you.
Our bell in the church in Fernie is being rung on Wednesdays; we do this so that all those who are working so diligently to keep our community going during this difficult time know that the rest of us appreciate their efforts. We will continue doing this for as long as the ‘lock-down’ continues, but once we start to return to normal we will stop ringing the bell as we will, hopefully, be able to tell people directly of our gratitude.
Last Friday, 1st May, the Catholic Bishops of Canada consecrated their individual dioceses to Mary, Mother of the Church, seeking her protection during the Coronavirus pandemic, similar to what other Episcopal Conferences throughout the world have already done. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), in fraternal communion with the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), agreed that this Marian consecration be held on the same day in both countries, making this a most meaningful and powerful intercession throughout North America to the Blessed Mother.
The first day of May holds particular significance as it marks the beginning of an entire month when we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. “May is the month dedicated in a special way to the Mother of Christ. We believe that she is, in a spiritual but real sense, our mother too,” said the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and CCCB President. “We turn to her and ask for the help of her powerful and maternal prayers to God for us. To consecrate ourselves to Mary means to be united with her in entrusting our lives entirely to God.”
On behalf of the parish I joined our Dean, Fr. Jim McHugh, in Kimberley for a special Mass where we consecrated our deanery to the protective prayers of Mary. I know that many people watched on television or on-line similar events from across North America. So we continue to pray for an end to this pandemic, and ask Mary in her maternal role to keep a prayerful watch over the Church at this difficult time.
In many parts of the world May is a time of festivals to Our Lady. In the Philippines they hold the festival ‘Flores de Mayo’, the flowers of May, or ‘Flores de Maria’, the flowers of Mary. So we do thank those from the Philippines or with Filipino heritage for the joy and colour that they bring at this time of year as they honour Our Lady.
Here in the Elk Valley as we move into May the weather is getting better, the sun has some real warmth to it, and I have moved from winter tyres to summer tyres, or at least, as this is a mountainous area, I have moved from winter tyres to “All Season” tyres! So this prompted me to end with the following prayer, “Go n-éirí an bóthar leat…”, or in English,
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
With a promise of prayers,
Fr. David & Thumper…
Fr. David John is inviting you to join him for Sunday Mass
Topic: Sunday Mass
Date & Time: Sunday 3rd May 09:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 250 423 6127
One tap mobile
Meeting ID: 250 423 6127
Attached letter from Bp. Mark:
Attached letter about Vocations: