Shepherd’s Perspective

“The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” (John 10:1-21)

From Dec. 1, 2019
First Sunday of Advent

Hard to believe—but it’s TRUE NONETHELESS, this is the first Sunday of Advent! Christmas is less than one month away… This weekend also marks the beginning of a New Liturgical Year for the Church and we will enter into this New Year with a NEW Gospel, the Gospel of St. Matthew. While some of us might be inclined to think: “Well it’s the beginning of a New Year, so we are going to start at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew.” Surprise, surprise: we are actually starting with some of the last teachings and sayings of Jesus before he enters into his passion because during the time of Advent, what the Church wants us to do is to make TWO ACTS OF PREPARATION. First, the obvious one would be the preparation for the celebration of Christmas, and the second act of preparation is preparation for the second coming of Christ.

With a two-fold time of preparation now upon us, we are being invited to refocus the goals of our spiritual lives. The best way to ‘PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD’ is by removing obstacles, habits, worries, distractions and sins from our hearts that block out His Grace from our lives. Here’s a nice short reflection that invites us to be truly present to this incredible season of Grace:

I was worrying and fretting about Life. When suddenly my Lord came to me. This is what He said: “When you worry about the Past with all its mistakes and regrets… you worry in vain my child… for I am not there. My Name is not: I Was. When you worry about the Future with all its uncertainties and insecurities… you worry in vain my child… for I am not there. My Name is not: I Will Be. But when you live in the Present my child… there you will find Me walking with you. My Name is: I Am…”

Please know that as part of our exciting Advent preparations, St. Patrick’s annually plans the following outreach programs—Christmas Hamper, Gift Tags on the tree and a New One coming up—BROWN BAGGING FOR CALGARY KIDS (BB4CK)—which will start in January 2020. BB4CK helps to ensure that over 4000 students in our city receive lunches in school.

Our Parish community will start by preparing lunches in our kitchen every Monday and Wednesday from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. for one school in the neighbourhood and expand as the need arises. The Alberta Health Services has granted us a permit to run this program.

We will be looking for grocery shoppers; kitchen help and drivers to deliver. If you are able to help please contact Claire Hughes screening@stpatrickcalgary.com and advise where you can help. You may also contact your Ministry Coordinator who will be provided a sign-up sheet.

Please also read the details of our Snack drive in the bulletin. Let’s help to eliminate Child Hunger one student at a time as we wait in hopeful anticipation for the return of our Lord surrounded by the Angels in Glory!

In Christ,

Fr. Jerome 

From Nov. 24, 2019
Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe

Finding ourselves in the midst of introducing and responding to a NEW STEWARDSHIP INITIATIVE within the context of each of our 8 Celebrations of the Holy Mass—while this incentive continues to unfold over the next few months’ time—I would like to draw a special attention to our incredible Music Ministry that we are blessed to have at St. Patrick’s. As many of you know, SACRED MUSIC experienced during The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not simply an ‘add-on’ or an ‘after thought’; rather, SACRED MUSIC is that which elevates the heart, mind and soul into
an authentic experience of worship!

As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI expresses so eloquently in his book entitled, “The Spirit of the Liturgy”:

“When man comes into contact with God, mere speech is not enough. Areas of his existence are awakened that spontaneously turn into song. Indeed, man’s own being is insufficient for what he has to express, and so he invites the whole of creation to become a song with him.” (136)

Here’s another beautiful reflection he offers us for contemplation: “The saints in heaven stand, “as it were [on] a sea of glass mingled with fire…having the harps of God in their hands: And singing the canticle of Moses, the servant of God, and the canticle of the Lamb. As we have seen, Christian liturgy is always a cosmic liturgy…In the celebration of Holy Mass, we insert ourselves into this liturgy that always goes before us. All our singing is a singing and praying with the great liturgy that spans the whole of creation.” (151-2)

Given that such is OUR EXPERIENTIAL REALITY, coupled with the fact that God graciously bestows gifts within every believing community—on behalf of all of our Choir Directors—I would like to invite those of you who are blessed with the GIFT OF MUSIC, whether in singing or skilled in playing an instrument, to please come forward and assist our worshiping community in “singing a new song to the Lord for he has done marvelous things!” (Psalm 98)

At this time, here is one of our most pressing musical needs at hand: 9:00 Sunday Morning Choir: A PIANIST and more Choir Members 

At one of the same time, I’m sure that all of our Choir Directors at the following Mass times would love to have more Instrumentalists and Choir Members join them.

Saturday at 5:00 PM, Saturday at the Traditional 7:00 PM Mass, Sunday at 10:45 AM, Sunday At 12:30 PM, the Special-Needs Mass on Sundays at 5:00 PM, and the 7:00 PM Sunday Evening Mass.

If you are blessed with the GIFT OF MUSIC, or desire to grow in acquiring this Gift from the Holy Spirit, please e-mail me at frjerome@stpatrickcalgary.com and I will be sure to forward your information to the appropriate Choir Directors who will then be in touch with you. As far as time commitment goes, you would be looking at investing in one practice rehearsal evening per week.

As St. Augustine puts it: “The singing of the Church comes ultimately out of love. It is the utter depth of love that produces the singing.” Thanking all of you in advance for taking this to prayer and contemplation.

In Christ,
Fr. Jerome Lavigne