Dear brothers and sisters,
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!”. With these words, St. Paul greeted the Christian community of Philippi, encouraging them to remain steadfast in their faith, and rejoicing as they did. I share his sentiments, as the current Covid-19 virus pandemic challenges us all to grow closer to God, to deepen our faith, and to strengthen our trust in the providential goodness of God our Father. All this, as we seek to find creative, safe and effective ways to contain the spread of the virus while still serving our neighbours, especially our beloved Seniors, the infirm and those in particular need.
At Blessed Frederic Ozanam Parish, we are following closely the directives of civil and Church authorities. These are changing daily; our parish response must be adaptable and responsive, while maximizing opportunities to share the presence and compassion, the ministry and the Sacraments of the Church to those who request them.
At the request of Cardinal Collins, the celebration of Mass has been suspended for weekdays and weekends until further notice. There will be a Mass everyday livestreamed from the Cathedral at 7.30 am, – please read the Cardinal’s letter attached. As to other sacraments etc. also refer to his letter.
Even without Sunday Mass, each of us is still obliged to keep the Lord’s Day holy. Please do find and make time for private prayer, pray the rosary, share the Sunday readings at home as a family, watch Mass on television and make a Spiritual Communion. Churches however, will be open for individual private prayer. Be generous and kind to one another and offer up the suffering of privation of the Eucharist as an offering for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world who cannot attend Sunday Mass regularly, or who do so only at risk of their well-being, their safety, or even their lives.
Finally, do not hesitate to call the office for further details (289-554-0556), or visit the website of the parish (www.blessedozanam.ca) or that of the Archdiocese (www.archtoronto.org). And read the informative and instructive “A Faith Response to the Corona virus” appended to this emailA Faith Response to the Corona virus
I conclude with the opening lines of Psalm 27, and I encourage you to pray all of this Psalm on your own: “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident”. Jesus is Lord, let us move forward together with confidence and peace.
God bless you all, and if you would, please circulate this email to all the members of your particular ministry, and parishioners you know.
Fr. Joseph Grima
Please read a letter from our Archbishop Thomas Cardinal Collins to know more details:Cardinal’s message on Covid-19, March 17, 2020