Parish Updates

Update from the Archdiocese of Toronto – May 27, 2020

The decision to close our parish churches on March 24, 2020, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic was a very difficult one and we recognize the tremendous spiritual sacrifice of the faithful during this time. We also want to do all that we can to minimize the potential spread of Covid-19 in our community.

We know that you have questions and are anxious to return to your local parish. This update will let you know where we are at present and what we’ve been doing to prepare for the days ahead.

 

ALL Q&A from Archdiocese of Toronto

New Community Garden & Community Outreach Garden Initiative: Let’s Grow Together

 

Community Matters

Grace Anglican Church and Blessed Frederic Ozanam Catholic Church are pleased to announce the establishment of a new community garden and outreach garden initiative. We are looking for your help in creating a vibrant community resource that will enhance the quality of life for individuals and families in need.

At this time, we are looking for individuals and families willing to care for seed packs (seeds in egg cartons filled with compost) for a few weeks and give them a good start. We will be asking the “foster families” to then join us on Saturday May 30th for a community planting day at one of our outreach gardens. The harvest from the gardens will directly support outreach in our local area. A 5$ donation is requested to support start up costs of the initiative.

Pickup will be this coming Saturday May 9th from 9-11 am at the Grace Church parking lot located at 19 Parkway Ave. Social distancing precautions will be in effect.

There are a limited number of seed packs so we ask that you contact us to reserve your package as soon as possible.

A traditional community garden will be set up on the Bur Oak site with approx 100 plots. Plots size will be approx 10ft x 20ft and will available on a first-come first-serve basis. A 20$ donation per site is requested, with funds going to the building fund for a new church on the site. Please contact us to reserve your spot.

If you are interesting in participating in either of these initiatives or would be interested in volunteering to help in any other way please contact us at communityoutreachgardens@gmail.com or call/text 1-289-768-0838.

You can also follow us on Facebook at COGS Community Outreach Gardens or Instagram at CommunityOutreachGardens for updates.

Thank you and God Bless,

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”- Helen Keller

Faith, Hope, and above all Love, …our Easter Guiding Light

Dear friends and parishioners of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam Parish,

Greetings to all who visit our website! I hope you will consider this site to be a valuable information resource, especially in these early years of beginning our journey of growing and nurturing our new parish in the Markham East area of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Your questions, comments and suggestions are always appreciated. We are in the Easter season of 2020. Finally the world is united. We are united in fear of what tomorrow will bring, of not knowing if our societies will withstand the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and if we or our family members will survive this terrible moment.

We are in the garden of Gethsemane with the disciples and our faith is being badly shaken. Many of us are suffering and are tempted to feel that we have nowhere to turn as science, our governments and the knowledge we have developed to this point in history offer us no real solutions.

The pandemic is making the suffering of vulnerable people – migrants and refugees, the elderly, the sick, the poor and unemployed – even deeper. We pray that our leaders rise to the challenge of promoting unity and a shared responsibility in all of our countries. At this point in history, this turning point which is throwing our lives and societies into chaos, can each of us have the honesty and courage to say “I alone do not have the answer”?

In the midst of loss, uncertainty and suffering, something incredible is happening: we are noticing the bonds which form our human family. Bonds that we previously took for granted or ignored. As we live in isolation and we all become marginalised and vulnerable, the global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and other people need us too.

It is as though the stone that covers the tomb is slowly being rolled back to allow a light of recognition. This light heralds Easter and the Risen Christ.

Meanwhile, changes that would have been unthinkable three months ago are actually happening: air quality has improved in a number of countries and warring parties in some others have called ceasefires. These may be temporary, but they remind us that seemingly irresolvable human problems aren’t eternal. We are reminded that Jesus stayed in the tomb for a brief time before rising to eternal life. Death does not have the final say when you make space for hope.

My deepest thanks go to all those health care workers, and volunteers and all those who are by the side of people who have fallen sick or who are vulnerable and isolated in the midst of this crisis. I feel immense gratitude towards all those who trustingly open their hearts and give themselves fully to bring the lights of love and hope into people’s lives at this dark time.

The love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5:14). This love, seen in small and large gestures of hope and solidarity, is calling us to a new future and a new way of living. COVID-19 knows no borders but neither do faith, hope and love.

The answer to this crisis lies in all of us and in our unity. As people around the world face Easter without the possibility of physical communion, without the possibility of celebrating the Eucharist physically together, we have this time in the desert where we can reflect deeply on what “The Body of Christ” means for each of us. In the darkness of this crisis, the light of Christ will shine. Jesus is truly risen! He will not die again. May Jesus rise for people around the world through our love!

Let us pray for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference. Let us pray to find the deeper meaning of this challenge that is facing the whole of humanity and which is calling us to faith and to resurrection.

I wish you all an Easter of love and peace.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Joseph

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