Catholic Education Week – Day 4

Today we offer some Family Activity ideas for you to consider to help you Nurture Hope:

  • Plant some seeds in peat pots and put them near a window. Document their growth on a chart.
  • Have a family garden planning party. Draw out the plot of the garden and order seeds or buy them at the grocery store. Research when seeds need to be planted in preparation for spring.
  • Take part in a bird count or animal count. Go to Observation Nation (inaturalist.ca)
  • Learn about saints who taught us about the environment. St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Benedict of Nursia and St. Hildegard of Bingen are examples.
  • Make a birdfeeder out of a milk carton or a plastic pop bottle, hang it outside on a tree and see which bird species come to the feeder.
  • Go for a Nature Walk as a family and pray together to thank God for all the beauty you see.
  • Look at the calendar and note the first day of spring. How many days is it until spring comes?
  • Do some research as a family on the night sky. Choose a moment when it is clear to see if you can identify some constellations.
  • Write letters to family members that you haven’t been able to see for a while.
  • Create a fancy message of hope in chalk on your driveway or sidewalk for passersby to read or create a poster to put in a window.
  • Write a postcard or note of thanks for frontline healthcare workers and drop this in the mailbox for a local hospital.
  • Bake cookies and deliver them to your neighbourhood grocery store for workers to share.
  • Make cards or draw pictures for seniors in your community.
  • Music makes us happy. Create a playlist of happy music, play this in your backyard or if you are able, send it to a family member whom you miss.
  • Make a video or a recording, singing a favourite hymn. Send this to your parish priest. He needs support at this time.
  • Look in your bible or go online to make a list of psalms that give hope.
  • Write an acrostic poem about Hope…H is for happiness, O is for ongoing, P is for…etc.
  • Write words of hope on index cards or paper and hang them from a tree in your yard for others to read.
  • Go for a walk past your local parish. Stop in front of your church and say a prayer for your faith community.
  • Look through a newspaper for stories of hope and talk about the stories.
  • Put messages of hope on social media.

Catholic Education Week – Day 3

On this third day of Catholic Education Week we invite you to celebrate Mass with His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto. You can click the link below to watch the livestreamed Mass.

Video of the Mass will continue to be available at that link after the livestream has ended, just click on the video for Wednesday May 5.

You can also access the Daily Prayer Service for today by clicking here.

Please enjoy this song, Nurturing Hope written by Nancy Bodsworth for this year’s Catholic Education Week.

Mary, Our Mother

As we enter the month of May, or the month of Mary, and we prepare for Mother’s Day this coming weekend, we turn to our spiritual mother, Mary. The Blessed Virgin Mary was not so different from our mothers, she rejoiced with the baby Jesus, she suffered with him as he grew and ultimately as he gave himself for us all. Today we invite you to contemplate Mary with the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Click on the button below to read their article on Mary, the Mother of God and Our Mother.

Living With Christ has a free offer for this month of May, you can sign up to receive emails daily containing texts and prayers about the Virgin Mary. Click here to sign up.

We also invite you to pray the Rosary (Joyful Mysteries) with Bishop Barron’s video below.

Catholic Education Week – Day 1

Welcome to Catholic Education Week 2021! Each day this week we will feature different resources, prayers, Masses & liturgies celebrating Catholic Education. Here’s a preview of what is to come.

Marillac Place Baby Bottle Campaign

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. St. Francis of Assisi Parish is proud to once again participate in the Baby Bottle Campaign, in support of Marillac Place. Marillac Place relies heavily on the donations from our community to support mother-led families in need of assistance. Due to ongoing social distancing restrictions, we will not be delivering baby bottles this year. Please provide your support through our virtual campaign by donating online or sending a cheque directly to Marillac Place.

When you donate online, you have the option to
send an e-card to someone special on Mother’s Day.
Visit www.marillacplace.ca/donate/

COVID Reflection #4 – Fr. Paul

Fr. Paul Voisin, CR, our former pastor and now Superior General of the Congregation of the Resurrection, living and working in Rome, has been participating in a COVID reflection group online. Fr. Paul is now sharing four reflections that he wrote for this group, each based on a quote from Pope Francis. Every Thursday on our parish website, from April 8 – 29, we will feature one of these reflections. We hope they may help all of us who find the pandemic increasingly challenging to see how these times of darkness can lead to conversion and light.

Today’s reflection is based on the following quote:

“Together with the vaccines, fraternity and hope are, in truth,
the medicine we need in the world today”

Pope Francis

Prayers for Crisis in Haiti

Some may have heard about the increasing poverty, unrest, violence and kidnappings in Haiti over the past year. COVID and the repercussions it has had on the global economy has damaged the already weak Haitian economy, and in the face of this increasing poverty people are turning to violence and kidnapping as a source of income. There is also increasing unrest with the government.

On April 11th five priests, two nuns and three relatives of one of the priests were kidnapped and held for ransom. As of April 23rd one lay person and three clergy have been released, but the other six are still being held captive.

Bishop Crosby has asked us to pray for the people of Haiti, and in particular those who have been kidnapped. Please keep them all in your prayers.

You can read more about the crisis in Haiti on the Vatican News website by clicking the button below.