God Revealing God
That the world exists at all reveals something about God. God does not need the universe in order to be God. When we come to the awesome awareness that our world, and we in it, exist only because God wants our existence, we can begin to reflect on the One who does this. In creating the universe, God reveals God’s self, since there is nothing else that could be a model. But we have to allow ourselves to be intrigued by the mystery that there is anything at all.
Creator God, help me fathom that the universe exists in part to reflect You who created it.
► Read about Saint Patrick, whose feast we celebrate today.
► Pray with Tim Muldoon and The Ignatian Workout for Lent: An Online Retreat.
Gospel – Jn 12:20-33
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”
Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them,
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.
“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven,
“I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
- Very Rev. John Schuster has announced his retirement from the position of Moderator of the Curia, which will become effective at the time of the pastoral moves in August, 2018. Fr. Schuster will continue to serve the Diocese of Calgary as Vicar General. Fr. Schuster has worked at the Catholic Pastoral Centre as Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General since 1989. Fr. Schuster was born in Cliftonville, Saskatchewan and ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1965 by Archbishop Jordan. Fr. Schuster has served at the Catholic Pastoral Centre and several parishes of the Calgary Diocese as Pastor and Assistant Pastor. Additionally, his brother priests have elected him to the positions of Dean and Vice Dean. Fr. Schuster is a respected priest in the Diocese whose ministry has supported the growth of the Diocese and its faithfulness. He is a well-loved presence at the Catholic Pastoral Centre known for his empathy, quick wit, and short meetings. Fr. Schuster says, “I have happily and obediently served five Bishops and seen the growth of the Diocese over that time. It is a blessing in my life to have had the opportunity to serve as Moderator of the Curia and I will continue to support Bishop McGrattan and Fr. Wilbert Chin Jon in my role as Vicar General.” Bishop McGrattan expressed his deep appreciation for Fr. Schuster’s work saying, “Fr. Schuster has been a constant and faithful servant for the Diocese of Calgary. I am personally grateful for his support in my transition to the Diocese of Calgary and I thank Fr. Schuster for his willingness to continue sharing his knowledge of the Diocese and experience as Vicar General.”
- Rev. Wilbert Chin Jon will be appointed as Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Calgary effective August 1, 2018. Fr. Chin Jon was born in the Philippines and ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Calgary in 2004. He has an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from the Ateneo de Davao University, a Jesuit university in the Philippines, and a Master of Divinity degree from St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario. Fr. Chin Jon has fourteen years of experience in parish ministry as Associate, Administrator and Pastor. Fr. Chin Jon was Pastor of Our Lady of the Rockies in Canmore from 2015 until the present. As of April 13, 2018, Fr. Chin Jon will reside at St. Bernard’s/Our Lady of the Assumption in Calgary and administrate the parish until the time of the pastoral moves when he will assume the full-time role of Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Calgary. He will also begin a period of orientation at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre under the direction of Bishop William McGrattan and Fr. John Schuster.
- Fr. Nathan Siray is appointed as Pastor at Our Lady of the Rockies in Canmore effective April 13, 2018. Fr. Siray was born in Calgary and ordained to the priesthood in 2011. He received his Master of Divinity degree from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. Most recently since 2015, Fr. Siray served as Pastor at St. Bernard’s/Our Lady of the Assumption in Calgary. On December 3, 2017, Bishop McGrattan announced the designation of the new church, Our Lady of the Rockies, as a Diocesan Marian Shrine, taking effect on the consecration of the new church building. Fr. Siray will pastorally lead this vision for the new church in his appointment at Our Lady of the Rockies Parish.
Evangelization and Catechesis Survey
Bishop McGrattan is very interested in seeing the results of the participation of our Diocese in the Canadian Bishop`s survey on Adult Catechesis and Formation. The results of this survey, will be very helpful to him and our Diocesan Office of Religious Education for future planning and implementation of programs. It would be greatly appreciated if you would assist us and the CCCB Commission by participating in this important survey.
- The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3WSJBBF
- The survey will remain open and can be completed online until Friday, March 23, 2018.
Reminder to all Parish Priests and Catechists that the deadline for the CCCB survey is next week Friday. Please be sure to have someone from your parish complete the survey questions by next week.
Lay Association Spring Seminar
We have a vocation by the virtue of our baptism, and no one is excluded because we are called to a life of holiness through different paths. God calls each and every one of us individually to a special vocation. How should we foster vocations within our young people so to live their life in complete service for the Lord? How do we work together as Lay Associations for this important task?
Join Bishop McGrattan in the Spring Seminar for the Lay Associations in the Diocese of Calgary with theme: Vocations & Youth Apostolates. Cost for this session is $10.00 and includes a BBQ Lunch. There is a limit of 5 attendees per organization.
- Date: May 5, 2018, from 10 am to 2 pm. Cost: $10 including bbq lunch.
- Location: Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church, Calgary. Hosted by God Squad.
- To register for the Spring Seminar, click here.
- If you haven’t already, register your Lay Association with the Diocese: click here
- For more information, contact Fr. Adrian Martens at email@example.com or call 403-218-5528.
Man of the Shroud Exhibition
St. Peter’s Parish is honoured to present the “Man of the Shroud Exhibition”, a collection of documentary museum boards and recreated artifacts of Christ’s Passion, including an actual-size photographic reproduction of the Shroud of Turin.
- Keynote speakers: Fr. Andrew Dalton and Barrie Schwortz.
- Date of exhibition: March 23 – April 10, 2018, from 9 am – 9 pm. Cost: Freewill Donation.
- Location: St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church (541 Silvergrove Dr. NW, Calgary).
- For more information, visit www.st-peters.ca
- Download poster here.
Feast of The Divine Mercy
All are invited to join Bishop McGrattan and the Sisters of Divine Mercy for a beautiful grace-filled celebration of the Feast of The Divine Mercy!
- Date of event: Sunday, April 8. Beginning 2:30 pm with Eucharistic Adoration, confession, live inspirational music.
- Where: Holy Spirit Catholic Church (10827 – 24 Street SW, Calgary).
- For more information, contact Holy Spirit Church Parish office at 403-251-3381.
- Download poster here.
Mom’s Retreat Day at Divine Mercy Centre, Calgary
Opportunity for mothers to spend some time with the Lord. There will be opportunity for group and individual prayers, confession, Mass, adoration, socialization.
- Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 10:30 am to 4 pm
- Where: Divine Mercy Centre, Calgary (15206 Township Road 262, Calgary, Alberta T3P-1A7)
- For more information contact 587-583-7545 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit: http://sistersofdivinemercy.org/
- Download poster here.
- An Evangelization & Faith Formation Director – St. Michael Catholic Parish, Calgary – New
- Parish Volunteer Coordinator – St. Michael Catholic Parish – Calgary – New
- Youth Ministry Coordinator – St. Michael Catholic Parish – Calgary – New
- Full Time – Employment Opportunity – Program Manager – Elizabeth House
- Full time – Sacrament Coordinator – Ascension Catholic Parish, Calgary
For more information about these positions, qualifications and application details see the Diocesan website at http://www.calgarydiocese.ca/articles/employment-opportunities.html
Diocesan Events & Announcements – Links
- News.CalgaryDiocese.ca | What’s happening in the Diocese of Calgary
- Events.CalgaryDiocese.ca | Diocesan events and registrations
If your parish or organizations would like submit events/announcements for inclusion on the diocesan website, please contact Lia O’Hara via e-mail or call 403-218-5511
2018 Lenten Message February 13, 2018
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday as we gather to receive the “mark of ashes,” an exterior sign of our desire for interior change and renewal. The time period of Lent mirrors the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, the 40 years the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness – a biblical number reflecting the passage of a generation and the emergence of a new one. Lent is an annual opportunity in the liturgical year to engage in a spiritual renewal and to prepare for Easter by returning to the Lord in every aspect of our lives through the practices of prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
Daily life can be occupied with many distractions which impact upon the peace in our hearts and draw us away from the practices of prayer. Lent is a time in our faith lives that invites a return to solitude, silence and prayer. Lent resounds with the words of the psalmist calling us to “be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46) Pope Francis has described the experience of prayer in this way, “In the face of so many wounds that hurt us and could lead to a hardness of heart, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of the boundless love of God, in order to experience his tenderness.”
The pace of life sometimes isolates those who live in poverty or with underemployment. This isolation reduces our personal contact with people living with insufficiency and those who could help can become disconnected from the needs of others. The time of Lent echoes with the exclamation, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” (Mt. 25: 35) It is this reconnection which Lent summons in our hearts. Through acts of sacrificial giving and in being truly present to the needs of others we recognize the sacred reflection of God in another person, we see their needs and our faith inspires us to respond generously.
When speaking of fasting, the third penitential practice of Lent, Pope Francis says, “Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour. It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger.” This penitential practice helps us to control our desires and to be freely attentive and open to the love of God.
This is indeed a holy season in the liturgical year. May this season of prayer, almsgiving and fasting be a time of true spiritual conversion for all of us which in preparing our hearts to rejoice with the Risen Christ at Easter!
Yours in Christ,
☩ Most Reverend William T. McGrattan, D.D.
Bishop of Calgary
The word “Lent” comes from the old English, “lencten,” which means “spring.” In Middle English is derived the words, lenten, lente, lent; related to the Dutch, lente, the German, Lenz, also rendered “spring.” In Old German are found the related words: lenzin, lengizin, and lenzo, which probably comes from the same root as “long” and referring to “the lengthening days,” as the earth moves from the winter solstice toward the spring equinox.
In the Christian Church, Lent refers to the period of abstinence preparatory to the Feast of Easter. As this fast falls in the early part of the year, it became confused with the season, and gradually the word Lent, which originally meant spring, was confined to this liturgical use. The Latin name for the fast is Quadragesima derived from the Sunday which was the fortieth day before Easter.
The length of this fast and the rigor with which it has been observed have varied greatly at different times and in different countries. In the time of Irenaeus (second century A.D.) the fast before Easter was very short, but very severe; thus some ate nothing for forty hours between the afternoon of Good Friday and the morning of Easter. This was the only authoritatively prescribed fast known to Tertullian. In Alexandria about the middle of the 3rd century it was already customary to fast during Holy Week; and earlier still the Montanists boasted that they observed a two weeks’ fast instead of one.
Of the Lenten fast or Quadragesima, the first mention is in the fifth canon of the council of Nicaea (A.D. 325), and from this time it is frequently referred to, but chiefly as a season of preparation for baptism, of absolution of penitents or of retreat and recollection. In this season fasting played a part, but it was not universally nor rigorously enforced. At Rome, for instance, the whole period of fasting was but three weeks, according to the historian Socrates (History of the Church), these three weeks being not continuous but, following the primitive Roman custom, broken by intervals.
Gradually, however, the fast as observed in East and West became more rigorously defined. In the East, where after the example of the Church of Antioch, the Quadragesima fast had been kept distinct from that of Holy Week, the whole fast came to last for seven weeks, both Saturdays and Sundays (except Holy Saturday) being, however, excluded. In Rome and Alexandria, and even in Jerusalem, Holy Week was included in Lent and the whole fast lasted but six weeks, Saturdays, however, not being exempt. Both at Rome and Constantinople, therefore, the actual fast was but thirty-six days. Some Churches still continued the three weeks’ fast, but by the middle of the 5th century most of these divergences had ceased and the usages of Antioch-Constantinople and Rome-Alexandria had become stereotyped in their respective spheres of influence.
The thirty-six days, as forming a tenth part of the year and therefore a perfect number, at first found a wide acceptance. But the inconsistency of this period with the name Quadragesima, and with the forty days’ fast of Christ, came to be noted, and early in the 7th century four days were added, by what pope is unknown, so that Lent in the West would begin henceforth on Ash Wednesday.
About the same time the cycle of paschal solemnities was extended to the ninth week before Easter by the institution of stational masses for
Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays. At Constantinople, too, three Sundays were added and associated with the Easter festival in the same way as the Sundays in Lent proper. These three Sundays were added in the Greek Church also, and the present custom of keeping an eight weeks’ fast (i.e. exactly 8 X 5 days), now universal in the Eastern Church, originated in the 7th century. The Greek Lent begins on the Monday of Sexagesima, with a week of preparatory fasting, known as the “butter-week”; the actual fast, however, starts on the Monday of Quinquagesima this week being known as “the first week of the fast” The period of Lent is still described as “the six weeks of the fast”, the seven days of Holy Week not being reckoned in.
Holy Week Liturgies:
The liturgies for Holy Week 2018 (Holy Thursday (March 29), Good Friday (March 30) and the Easter Vigil (March 31)) will take place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church. These are the reasons they will take place in Our Lady of the Assumption instead of St. Bernard’s:
Firstly, the number of our parishioners has grown and based on the attendance at the Holy Week liturgies last year, in particular Good Friday, St. Bernard’s church has become too small to accommodate our entire parish community. The Church envisions that a parish’s celebration of the Holy Week liturgies take place in one church building as opposed to having the various celebrations in multiple locations.
Secondly, Fr. Cristino Bouvette, Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Calgary, and the University of Calgary Catholic Community, have asked that they be able to use St. Bernard’s church for their Holy Week liturgies. While the university community have used our churches in the past for the Easter Vigil, they have also requested to have celebrations for their community on Holy Thursday and Good Friday at St. Bernard’s. St. Bernard’s church is the ideal size for their community.
Finally, Emmanuel Syrian Orthodox Community, who have been weekly meeting at St. Bernard’s for their Sunday Divine Liturgy, have also inquired about using St. Bernard’s church for some of their own Holy Week celebrations.
Easter Sunday Mass (April 1st) will take place at 9:00am at St. Bernard’s and at 11:00am at Our Lady of the Assumption.
Thank you for your understanding in regards to this matter.
Peace, Fr. Nathan
Lenten Soup Dinners and Stations of the Cross:
Beginning on Friday February 16th, we will resume our Parish’s Lenten custom of hosting Friday Soup Dinners, followed by the praying of the Stations of the Cross. The Soup Dinner will begin at 6:00pm and the Stations of the Cross at 7:00pm.
Please help to contribute to these dinners by making a meatless soup and/or providing bread and buns. We are also asking that you RVSP for dinner so we know how much soup and bread needs to be provided. To volunteer to provide soup and bread for the dinners and to RSVP, please contact Monique Tobicoe at email@example.com or (403) 288-4986.
The Lenten Dinners/Stations of the Cross will occur on the following dates:
Friday February 16th at Our Lady of the Assumption
Friday February 23rd at St. Bernard’s
Friday March 2nd at Our Lady of the Assumption
Friday March 9th at St. Bernard’s
Friday March 16th at Our Lady of the Assumption
Friday March 23rd at St. Bernard’s
Feast days for the coming week:
Sunday – Mar.18 – St.Cyril of Jerusalem
Monday – Mar.19 – St.Joseph, Husband of Mary
Tuesday – Mar.20 – St.Salvator of Horta
Wednesday – Mar.21 – Bl. John of Parma
Thursday – Mar.22 – St.Nicholas Owen
Friday – Mar.23 – St.Turibius of Mogrovejo
Saturday – Mar.24 – Bl. Oscar Arnulfo Romero
HAC for Fr.Nathan
We have added a page with a selection of Prayer Cards for your enjoyment and use. These may be accessed from the main page menu, or from this link.
These cards are in Adobe PDF format, and will require a PDF viewer for viewing and printing.
images – courtesy and used with permission – www.freebibleimages.org – copyright LUMO Project
A new and everlasting covenant
When the prophet Jeremiah was sent to the exiles to offer them a message of hope and restoration, he spoke of a new covenant that would surpass the previous covenant which God had made. God intended to establish a new and everlasting covenant that would wipe away the sins of his people and open the way to God’s throne of mercy and grace (his undeserved favor and blessing). This new covenant would be sealed with the blood of the perfect sacrifice that Jesus would offer to the Father when he died upon the cross to atone for our sins. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry John the Baptist prophetically pointed to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, was sent from the Father in heaven to became a man for our sake so he could as man offer the one perfect sacrifice that would unite us with God and give us everlasting life.
Jesus’ hour of glory
Shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover, Jesus announced to his disciples that the “hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified” (John 12:23). The Son of Man is a prophetic title for the Messiah recorded in the prophecy of Daniel (see the Book of Daniel 7:13-14). In Jesus’ time the Jewish people were looking for a Messiah who would set them free from the oppressive rule of Rome. Jesus came to set people free from the worst oppression of all – the tyranny of endless slavery to sin, Satan, and death. Jesus came to bring us into a new covenant relationship with God that would not end with death but lead to eternal life.
Jesus announced to his followers that when “he would be lifted up from the earth, he would draw all people to himself” (John 12:32). What did Jesus mean by the expression of being “lifted up” and “drawing people to himself”? When a great leader won a complete and decisive conquest over his enemies and brought freedom and peace to his people, he was crowned and given a new title, as Victor, Savior, and Deliverer of the people. A conquering ruler was robed in royal splendor and raised up and enthroned on high in the sight of his people.
“Unless the grain of wheat dies…”
How can suffering and death bring life and freedom? Jesus used the illustration of the “grain of wheat” to show how God brings life from death and good fruit through patience and suffering. Seeds by themselves are worthless and lifeless. Only when the seed is destroyed by burying it in the ground, can it rise to new life and bear fruit.
What is the analogy which Jesus alludes to in the image of the grain of wheat that must first die in order to rise to new life and bear good fruit? Is this simply a veiled reference to his own impending death on the cross and to his resurrection? Or does Jesus have another kind of “death and rebirth” in mind for his disciples as well? Jesus, no doubt, had both meanings in mind. Jesus’ obedience and death on the cross obtain for us freedom and new life in the Holy Spirit. His cross frees us from the tyranny of sin and death and shows us the way of perfect love and readiness to lay down our lives in sacrificial service for the good of others.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Love what is in the image of God, by Caesarius of Arles (470-543 AD)
“Whatever you love is either the same as yourself, below you or above you. If what you love is beneath you, love it to comfort it, care for it and to use it but not to cling to it. For example, you love gold. Do not become attached to the gold, for how much better are you than gold? Gold, indeed, is a shining piece of earth, while you have been made in the image of God in order that you may be illumined by the Lord. Although gold is a creature of God, still God did not make it according to his own image, but you he did. Therefore, he put the gold beneath you. This kind of love should be despised. Those things are to be acquired for their usefulness, but we should not cling to them with the bond of love as if with glue. Do not make for yourself members over which, when they have begun to be cut away, you will grieve and be afflicted. What then? Rise from that love with which you love things that are lower than you, and begin to love your equals, that is, things that are what you are… The Lord himself has told us in the Gospel and clearly showed us in what order we may have true love and charity. For he spoke in this way, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul and with your whole strength. And your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Therefore, first love God and then yourself. After these, love your neighbor as yourself.” (excerpt from SERMONS 173, 4-5.25)
Text and reflections, courtesy and used with permission – dailyscripture.net
“Lord Jesus, let me be wheat sown in the earth, to be harvested for you. I want to follow wherever you lead me. Give me fresh hope and joy in serving you all the days of my life.”
HAC for Fr.Nathan
There will be a time of Eucharistic Adoration on the First Friday of every month. It will take place at Our Lady of the Assumption Church following the 9:00 am Mass and end with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 11:00 am. All are welcome to join us for a time of silent prayer and adoration before Our Eucharistic Lord.