Monday, 13 July 2020

The Sower - The Word of God

The Sower, Vincent Van Gogh

TRINITY  V   (OT 15A )             STM Toronto            July 12, 2020

We continue to meditate on Israel’s response to God’s Word. Why do some hear the word of the kingdom, yet fail to accept it as a call to conversion and faith in Jesus? 

We see in the Gospel today that the mysteries of God’s kingdom unfold to those who open their hearts. Our hearts are the rich soil in which the Word, like a seed,  can grow and bear fruit. 

We grow to understand that the grace of God joins with nature as the seed gives itself to the earth to fulfill God’s purpose. 

Despite attempts in the past two centuries to split the purpose or essence of the human person from our physical reality, the Church continues to affirm the nature of the human person as a single, unique, precious and infinitely loved  being -- not a being either disposable or plastic in the hands of the individual.

The first fruit of the Word, then, is the Spirit of love and adoption poured into our hearts in Baptism, making us children of God.  St. Paul reminds us in today’s Epistle (Romans 5:5; 8:15–16) that we are made a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), the first fruits of the new heaven and the new earth (see 2 Peter 3:13).

However, humans continually reject God’s Word and so creation has been enslaved to futility (Genesis 3:17–19; 5:29).  In our day this rejection and futility is expressed in the pride of those who reject the Word of God and its transforming power as well as those who reject their own God-given nature by insisting that humanity is plastic and so may be shaped by the human will whether that be in terms of origin or sexuality.  For example, gender dysphoria is increasingly allowed to re-shape society to the detriment of all.

God’s Word goes forth, we are told, in order to return bearing fruit, as we heard in today’s First Reading. God’s Word awaits our response. We show ourselves to be children of that Word when we allow the Word i.e. the Logos or divine plan to accomplish God’s will in our lives.  

Jesus warns that we must take care that the Devil (the Adversary of the Light and of the Word of God), careful that the many-faceted Satan does not steal the Word away or allow it to be choked by the worldly forces of pride and unbridled choice that deny the ultimate value of every person established by God not the will of the individual or collective.

In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ, the Word, gives Himself to us as bread, the fruit of grain and of human hands. This holy bread is given so that we, ourselves, may be made fertile, yielding fruits of holiness.

As we are nourished on the Bread of Heaven, we await the crowning of the year, the great harvest of the Lord’s Day (Mark 4:29; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 1:10)—when God's Word will achieve the end for which it was scattered.


Isaiah 55:10–11,   Psalm 65:10–14,   
Romans 8:18–23,   Matthew 13:1–23

Saturday, 11 July 2020

July 12 - Choral Music for Sung Mass at St. Thomas More, 263 Roncesvalles, Toronto



SUNG MASS AT 12:30
Sunday, July 12 

(Covid Precautions are in place.)

Missa de Angelis (in Greek)

Mass of the Quiet Hour - Oldroyd

Ego sum panis vivis - Palestrina


Fair in Face - Willan


Monday, 29 June 2020

Homily for Trinity IIIA - June 28 STM Toronto

  
Jesus said: 

"Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me." 

Discipleship is at the heart of the Christian Faith.  We cannot simply believe, we are called to follow, to act, to witness in light of our relationship with Jesus Christ. We’re told that even the most humble among us have a share in the mission that Christ has given to the Church.

There are only 12 Apostles (13 if we count St. Paul). These were the first disciples to follow Jesus.  We have no prophets like Elisha today nor do we have Apostles in the Church Militant.  But we are all called to discipleship (2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).

At Baptism our lives are joined forever to the cross of Christ, as Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. Baptized into His death, our discipleship means that we are to live for God in Christ Jesus.

We follow Jesus by taking up our own personal cross, as Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel. That doesn’t mean we will all be asked to suffer a martyr’s death but each of us is called to self-denial and to the offering of our lives in service of God’s plan.

The Gospel affirms that Jesus must be elevated to first place in our lives—above even our closest bonds of kinship and love. By Baptism, we’ve been made part of a new family—the kingdom of God, the Church. We proclaim that kingdom with our lives, encouraging our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters and all people, to live as “little ones” under God and the kingship of God’s Holy Incarnate One.

We do this by opening our hearts and homes to the service of the Lord, following the Shunnamite woman’s example in today’s First Reading. As Jesus tells us, we are to receive others—not only prophets but little children, the poor, the marginalized and the imprisoned—as we receive Christ Himself (Matthew 18:5; 25:31–46).

We hold fast to the promise—that if we have died with Christ, we shall also live with Him, that if we lose our lives for His sake, we will find our reward, and walk forever in God’s presence.


2 Kgs 4:8–11, 14–1   Ps 89:2–3, 16–19. Rom 6:3–4, 8–11  Mt 10:37–42

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

STM Patronal Sung Mass June 21, 2020 STM - Toronto

 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” 
Mat. 10: 39



St. Thomas More, is our parish patron saint, for whom we thank God today and whose prayers we ask as we face the challenges of faith and health in our own day as members of the Body of Christ.


Thomas More made a simple and clear choice for the culture of life based upon his unshakeable belief in the Church and her sacraments.  Christ is truly present in his sacraments, calling us to penitence, to conversion and to sanctification. The reality of the sacraments was the belief upon which St. Thomas More would lay down his life. 

When it came to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, St. Thomas maintained that what the Church did sacramentally was real and permanent. Just as Baptism makes us indelibly part of the Body of Christ, so Holy Matrimony unites a man and woman for life whether they be king and queen or commoners – the bond is real.  

As we know, St. Thomas More famously refused to take the oath denying that King Henry was sacramentally married to Katherine of Aragon.  In conscience, Thomas could not deny Christ and the sacramental reality of the Word of God, the true word which effects what it pronounces. 

The sacramental bond of water and the Spirit in Baptism grafts us into the Body of Christ; the real and lasting bond of Matrimony binds man and woman in Holy Matrimony. Holy Matrimony is not, then, some legal contract sworn before a magistrate by any two people but, rather, a bond exclusively between one man and one woman for life –  a bond that cannot be broken or abrogated nor established other than as ordained by the revelation of God.

Thomas would not swear against this sacramental bond and so he gave his mortal life in order to retain his immortal soul. What could be simpler? What could be more difficult?  

In our day, when people insist that truth is relative – you know the meme: “You have your truth and I have mine,”  St. Thomas stands as a beacon of light amidst the darkness of godless secularism. 

Today we come to give thanks in the Mass for one who, in fact, did everything to uphold the sanctity of Christ present in the sacraments and supremely in the Holy Eucharist. 

Today, as well, there is a real challenge to living the Christian faith.  The secular juggernaut, an alliance of atheist, materialist and narcissistic social attitudes is challenging the Church and her norms not to mention the threat to the fabric of society which is based upon Judaeo-Christian norms.  

The creed of relativism informs the culture of death denying the light of Christ even as mob rule threatens to take over ‘civil’ society.  Social engineering by those who serve the dictatorship of relativism puts constant pressure on those who proclaim the sacramentality of the Church through which we are in communion with Christ. 

Catholic faith and practice are under attack. This Marxist inspired campaign seeks to eradicate the once universal customs and morality of natural law as embedded in laws governing marriage and family. As well, the constant campaign to make the Mass little more than a communal meeting gathers power and influence while offering no sense of the transcendence of the Creator.

All these strands are parts of a devilish design to put humanity at the centre in an empty humanism which denies the transcendence of God and to deny the vital importance of the nuclear family based upon the moral order that has been at the heart of human flourishing for time immemorial.


St. Thomas More stood in his day for the faith once delivered to the saints. We pray for the grace to stand in our day for the same faith.  As we are strengthened by the sacraments may we also be encouraged by the prayers of St. Thomas More, his companion St. John Fisher, our Lady, the BVM and by the whole communion of saints with whom we are sacramentally united on the journey of faith, the road paved for us by the martyrs of Christ Jesus.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

STM Patronal Mass - Sunday, June 21 at 12:30

Welcome all to our first Sunday Mass since March, 2020.  

We have Covid-19 protocols in effect.  Please see the attached bulletin for details.

You may print and bring the bulletin with you since we are not allowed to pass our bulletins at this time.

You will find a PDF version of the bulletin here:

STM PATRONAL 2020

God bless and keep you all. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

PENTECOST NOVENA



As we prepare for Pentecost Sunday in the Catholic Parish of St. Thomas More Church, Toronto, we ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in these uncertain times.

In particular, we pray that our parish may be used by the Holy Spirit to assist many on the journey that we walk together with our Lord Jesus who is present to us by the grace of the Holy Spirit in the Holy Eucharist and the sacraments that we share as members of the Body of Christ.


In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

Each day, the Novena begins with this prayer:

O HOLY SPIRIT, our Lord and our God, we adore thee and humbly acknowledge here in thy sacred presence that we are nothing, and can do nothing, without thine operation within us. Come, great Paraclete, thou Father of the poor, thou Comforter of the blest, fulfill the promise of our Saviour, who would not leave us orphans. Enter our minds and hearts as thou didst descend on the day of Pentecost upon the Holy Mother of Jesus and upon his first disciples. Grant that we may have a part in those gifts which thou didst so graciously bestow upon them.

Take from our hearts all that is not pleasing to thee and make of them a worthy dwelling-place for Jesus. Illumine our minds, that we may see and understand the things that are for our eternal welfare. Inflame our hearts with the pure love of the Father, that, cleansed from attachments to all unworthy objects, our lives may be hidden with Jesus in God. Strengthen our wills, that they may be conformed to the will of our Creator and guided by thy holy inspirations. Aid us to practice the heavenly virtues of humility, poverty, and obedience which are taught to us in the earthly life of Jesus.

Descend upon us, O mighty Spirit, that, inspired and encouraged by thee, we may faithfully fulfill the duties of our various states in life, carry our particular crosses with patience and courage, and accomplish the Father's will for us more perfectly. Make us, day by day, more holy and give to us that heavenly peace which the world cannot give.


O Holy Spirit, thou Giver of every good and perfect gift, grant to us the special intentions of this novena of prayer. May the Father's will be done in us and through us; and mayest thou, O mighty Spirit of the living God, be praised and glorified for ever and ever. Amen.


Here is said or sung the Veni Creator Spiritus:

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,

and lighten with celestial fire,

thou the anointing Spirit art,

who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Thy blesséd unction from above, 

is comfort, life, and fire of love,

enable with perpetual light

the dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our soiled face

with the abundance of thy grace.

Keep far our foes, give peace at home;

where thou art Guide, no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,

and thee, of both, to be but One;

that through the ages all along,

this may be our endless song:

Praise to thine eternal merit,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.


OUR FATHER, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy Name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


HAIL MARY, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Here is said the Proper Prayer for the Day:


FIRST DAY

Come, O Holy Ghost, the Lord and Lifegiver; take up thy dwelling within our souls, and make of them thy sacred home. Make us live by grace as adopted children of God. Pervade all the energies of our souls, and create in us fountains of living water, springing up unto eternal life.



SECOND DAY

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to our souls the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, and power, and beauty. Teach us to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Show us the way by which we may be able to attain to them, and possess them, and hold them hereafter, our own forever.

THIRD DAY

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation, and may merit at last to see the eternal light in thy light; and in the light of glory to have the clear vision of thee and the Father and the Son.



FOURTH DAY

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide us in all our ways, that we may always do thy holy will. Incline our hearts to that which is good, turn them away from all that is evil, and direct us by the path of thy commandments to the goal of eternal life.


FIFTH DAY

Come, O Spirit of Fortitude, and give courage to our souls. Make our hearts strong in all trials and in all distress, pouring forth abundantly into them the gifts of strength, that we may be able to resist the attacks of the devil.



SIXTH DAY

Come, O Spirit of Knowledge, and make us to understand and despise the emptiness and nothingness of the world. Give us grace to use the world only for thy glory and the salvation of thy creatures. May we always be faithful in putting thy rewards before every earthly gift.

SEVENTH DAY


Come, O Spirit of Piety, possess our hearts, and incline them to a true faith in thee, to a holy love of thee, our God. Give us thy grace, that we may seek thee and find thee, our best and our truest joy.

EIGHTH DAY

Come, O Spirit of holy Fear, penetrate our inmost hearts, that we may set thee, our Lord and God, before our faces forever; and shun all things that can offend thee, so that we may be made worthy to appear before the pure eyes of thy divine Majesty in the heaven of heavens.




NINTH DAY

Come, O Holy Comforter, and grant us a desire for holy things. Produce in our souls the fruits of virtue, so that, being filled with all sweetness and joy in the pursuit of good, we may attain unto eternal blessedness.

The following prayer concludes the Novena each day:
O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth with thee in the unity of the same Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

From a letter to Diognetus -- for consideration in time of pandemic

Here are some excerpts from the patristic reading designated in the Liturgy of the Hours -- Office of Readings for today (May 13, 2020).  

The  Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (A.D. 130) points to Christians -- the Body of Christ, the Church, as the persecuted witness to truth in the world but not of the world.


Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. 


. . . . And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labour under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country . . . . They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.

Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. 

They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.


To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. 

. . . . the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members 

. . . . It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together.

The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function . . . .

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Asking the Prayers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in time of Pandemic

O clement, O loving, O sweet Mother Mary, 
We, your children of every nation, 
Turn to you in this pandemic. 
Our troubles are numerous; our fears are great. 
Grant that we might deposit them at your feet, 
Take refuge in your Immaculate Heart, 
And obtain peace, healing, rescue, 
And timely help in all our needs. 
You are our Mother.
Pray for us to your Son.
Amen.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

5eme Dimanche de Pâques / 5th Sunday of Easter 2020 - Dom Charles Gilman

Following is a homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter preached at the Abbey Church of Sainte-Marie des Deux-Montagnes, Quebec.  The homilist is our friend Dom Charles Gilman OSB  who is chaplain for the nuns of the abbey,  A former Anglican and a new Canadian, he is a great friend of STM and the Ordinariate.  He offers counsel and prayers for us in this time of pandemic.
Fr. Hodgins, Jane and Dom Charles at the Abbey entrance statue of Ste Anne and BVM

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Cardinal Newman was often involved in controversies both within and without the Catholic Church in his time. One such conflict arose because of his emphasis on the importance of “Consulting the laity in matters of doctrine” which came from his appreciation of the “Sensus fidelium”, which is defined in the Catechism as "the supernatural appreciation of faith on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.” When asked by his bishop “Who are the laity?” the saintly Cardinal simply replied, “the Church would look foolish without them.”

For the last three weeks we have been considering appearances of the Risen Christ. The Church itself and the sacraments are manifestations of the Risen Lord Jesus. «But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.» The entrance for us into this divine fellowship is our baptism and it is extended in the whole sacramental life of the Church including the ordained ministry.

The first reading today tells of the institution of the diaconate. All the orders of ordained ministry, symbolically, above all in the liturgy, reflect to the people of God some aspect of their baptismal vocation. Deacons remind us of our duty to proclaim our faith in word and deed, especially in self-giving service to others however it is possible for us to do this. 

Cluny was known for the glory of its liturgy, but not as well known for its almshouse, which served the poor and needy day and night. This was certainly a fruit of the life of the praise and prayer of that famous Abbey. From that heritage, the monks of Solesmes have an almshouse to serve the poor and other houses of our congregation maintain shelters for the homeless. Even now there are many near us who are suffering from isolation during the time of confinement. With permission, a phone call to one such person can be a means practising the diaconia of our Baptism.

The Holy Father has reminded us that Our Lady is more important in the plan of salvation than any Bishop or for that matter anyone in the ordained ministry of the Church. May She, who knew full sacramental grace from the first moment of her existence, through her total participation in the Risen life of her Divine Son, lead us by Her intercession through Him who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” into our complete participation with Her in the eternal love of God.

br. Charles Gilman, Chaplain

(FRANÇAIS)
Le cardinal Newman a souvent été impliqué dans des controverses à l'intérieur et à l'extérieur de l'Église catholique de son temps. L'un de ces conflits est né de son insistance sur l'importance de "consulter les laïcs en questions de doctrine", qui venait de son appréciation du "Sensus fidelium", qui est défini dans le Catéchisme comme «le sens surnaturel de la foi qui est celui du peuple tout entier, lorsque, ‘des évêques jusqu’au dernier des fidèles laïcs’, il apporte aux vérités concernant la foi et les mœurs un consentement universel.». Quand son évêque lui demandait "Qui sont les laïcs ?" le saint cardinal a simplement répondu : «L’Église aurait l'air ridicule sans eux.»

Ces trois dernières semaines, nous avons examiné des apparitions du Christ ressuscité. L'Église elle-même et les sacrements sont des manifestations du Seigneur ressuscité. « Mais vous, vous êtes une descendance choisie, un sacerdoce royal, une nation sainte, un peuple destiné au salut, pour que vous annonciez les merveilles de celui qui vous a appelés des ténèbres à son admirable lumière.” Pour nous, l'entrée dans cette communion divine est notre baptême et il est étendu dans toute la vie sacramentelle de l'Église, y compris le ministère ordonné.

La première lecture d'aujourd'hui parle de l'institution du diaconat. Tous les ordres du ministère ordonné symboliquement, surtout dans la liturgie, reflètent pour le peuple de Dieu un aspect de sa vocation baptismale. Les diacres nous rappellent notre devoir de proclamer notre foi en paroles et en actes, en particulier dans le service désintéressé aux autres, quelle que soit la possibilité que nous ayons de le faire. Cluny était connu pour la gloire de sa liturgie, mais pas autant pour son aumônerie, qui servait les pauvres et les nécessiteux jour et nuit. C'était certainement un fruit de la vie de louange et de prière de cette célèbre abbaye. De cet héritage, les moines de Solesmes, ont une aumônerie pour servir les pauvres et d'autres maisons de notre congrégation maintiennent des abris pour les sans-abri. Aujourd'hui encore, beaucoup de ceux qui nous entourent souffrent d'isolement pendant la période de confinement. Avec la permission, un appel téléphonique à l'une de ces personnes peut être un petit moyen de pratiquer la diaconia de notre Baptême.

Le Saint-Père nous a rappelé que la Sainte Vierge est plus importante dans le plan du salut que n'importe quel évêque ou, en fait, n'importe qui dans le ministère ordonné de l'Église. Qu'Elle, qui a connu la pleine grâce sacramentelle dès le premier moment de son existence, par sa participation totale à la vie ressuscitée de son Fils divin, nous conduise par Son intercession à travers Celui qui est "le chemin, la vérité et la Vie" à notre pleine participation avec Elle à l'amour éternel de Dieu.
fr. Charles Gilman Chaplain

Monday, 4 May 2020

Fourth Sunday of Easter – The Good Shepherd

The empty tomb affirms that God has made Jesus both Lord and Messiah, as St. Peter asserts in the readings this Sunday. 

He is the “Lord,” the divine Son who David foresaw at God’s right hand (Psalms 3; 110:1; 132:10–11). Jesus is the Messiah that God had promised to shepherd the scattered flock of the house of Israel (Ezekiel 34:11–14, 23; 37:24).


Jesus is the Good Shepherd who is sent to us, the people who are like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34; Numbers 27:16–17). By adoption we are incorporated as the children of Israel: Jesus’ brothers and sisters.  He also calls to all those who are far off—whomever the Lord wishes to hear His voice.

The call of the Good Shepherd, then, leads to the waters of Baptism, to the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and to the table with the overflowing cup of the Eucharist, as alluded to in the beloved Psalm 23, the Shepherd’s Psalm – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

On this 4thSunday of Easter, we hear Jesus’ voice calling us his own. He awakens in us the response of those who heard Peter’s preaching. “What are we to do?” they asked.

We have been baptized; but we go astray like sheep, as we hear in today’s Epistle. We always need to repent, to seek forgiveness of our sins, to separate ourselves further from corruption.

We are called to follow in the footsteps of the Shepherd of our souls. By His suffering He bore our sins in His body to free us from sin. But His suffering is also an example for us. From Him we should learn patience in our afflictions, to hand ourselves over to the will of God.

Jesus has gone ahead, through the dark valley of evil and death. His Cross has become the narrow gate through which we must pass to reach the empty tomb and the verdant pastures of abundant life.

Acts 2:14, 36–41
Psalm 23:1–6
1 Peter 2:20–25
John 10:1–10

Monday, 27 April 2020

Consecration of Canada to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary


On May 1, 2020, each bishop in Canada and the United States of America will consecrate their diocese individually to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to seek her protection for all the faithful, from the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. Priests, deacons, members of communities of consecrated life, families and individuals, are all encouraged to join their prayers in union with that of their bishop, in this consecration.

In the Archdiocese of Toronto, Cardinal Collins will be praying the Consecration to Mary on May 1 at the end of his 7:30 a.m. livestreamed Mass, before the final blessing. All are invited to join Cardinal Collins in praying the Consecration to Mary at the same time, as they view his livestream, available at: www.stmichaelscathedral.com/live
Alternatively, the prayer may be said at any other time of the day on May 1.

The statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on this matter can be found at: www.cccb.ca – the conference has indicated that the prayer will be posted in the coming days and we will also post this information on the Spiritual Resources tab on our website at: www.archtoronto.org/covid19

Monday, 20 April 2020

Divine Mercy Sunday



Our ancestors in the faith did what we still do—devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, meeting to pray and celebrating “the breaking of the bread.”

The Apostles saw the Lord as he stood in their midst and showed them his hands and sides. They heard Jesus’ blessing and received his commission—to extend the Father’s mercy to all peoples through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We walk by faith and not by sight; we believe and love what we have not seen (2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet the invisible realities are made present for us through the teaching and liturgy that the Apostles handed on and the early Church Fathers developed with guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The risen Lord in today’s Gospel is described in a way that evokes the Mass. Both appearances take place on a Sunday. The Lord comes to be with his disciples. They rejoice, listen to His Word, receive the gift of His forgiveness and peace. He offers his wounded body to them as they re-present the one final and complete Sacrifice worshipping Christ the author of our salvation. This is the Divine Mercy of God come to us in the life-giving Body and Blood of our Lord.

Thomas’ confession is a vow of faith in this new covenant sealed by the blood of the Lamb of God. As promised long before, in the blood of Jesus we know the Lord as our God and are known as the people of God (Hosea 2:20–25).

This confession is sung in the heavenly liturgy (Revelation 4:11). At every Mass we renew our covenant and receive the blessings Jesus promised for those who have not seen but have believed.

In the Mass, God’s mercy endures forever, as the Psalmist affirms. This is the day the Lord has made; the victory of Easter is again made present and it is wonderful in our eyes.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Cardinal Pell finally receives justice.

Thanks be to God. Cardinal Pell has finally received justice with his exoneration from the preposterous charges of abuse that had been cooked up by a very evil cabal of the Australian press and SJW activists.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Palm Sunday, A.D. 2020 (in time of pandemic)

In the Church’s liturgical year we approach the peak of salvation history. All that has been anticipated and promised is fulfilled through the Passion of the Christ.  

In a stark metaphor, the world today is reaching a peak in the infection models that are depicted everywhere in the media. These grim predictions come even as, collectively, we go through a valley of human dread – "the valley of the shadow of death" as the world confronts the Coronavirus (COVED-19), an evil and unseen menace which threatens millions.  

The Passion of Christ comes to pass in fulfillment of what the prophets had foretold as Jesus, himself, tells us in the Gospel according to Matthew (26:56).  

The work of our redemption is accomplished; the new covenant is written in the blood of Jesus’ whose broken body hangs upon the cross at the place called the Skull, an all too vivid image of human frailty and mortality.

During his Passion, Jesus is “counted among the wicked,” as Isaiah had foretold (Isaiah 53:12). He is revealed definitively as the Suffering Servant. The prophet announced the long-awaited Messiah whose words of obedience and faith ring out in today’s reading from Isaiah: "I was not rebellious, I turned not backward, I gave my back to those who struck me."

The taunts and torments we hear in these readings punctuate the Gospel as Jesus is beaten and mocked (Matt 27:31).  His hands and feet are pierced, even as enemies gamble for his clothes (Matthew 27:35). His enemies dare Jesus to prove his divinity by saving himself from suffering (Matthew 27:39–44).

Jesus remains faithful to the will of God. He does not turn back in his suffering for us and so today is with us in our fear and suffering. Jesus gives himself freely in submission to his torturers, confident as he expresses confidence in the words of the Prophet: “The Lord God is my help. . . . I shall not be put to shame.”

Having fallen into sin and death as children of Adam’s disobedience, we are set free for holiness and life by Christ’s perfect obedience to the will of God even as he faces the starkest of human suffering. (Romans 5:12–14, 17–19)

God greatly exalts Jesus as the conqueror of sin and death and so those baptized into his suffering and death are given the gift of salvation, resurrection and communion with God and his saints.

Following the example of Jesus in humble obedience in the trials and crosses of our lives, we know that we will never be forsaken. We know, as the centurion acclaimed: "truly [Jesus] is the Son of God." (Matthew 27:54)


Isaiah 50:4–7
Psalm 22:8–9, 17–20, 23–24
Philippians 2:6–11
Matthew 26:14–27:66