Joseph, An Accepting Father & Novena to St. Joseph Day 1

Today we begin a special Novena to St. Joseph which will consist of a short reflection, prayer and action for each day from now until the Feast of St. Joseph on July 1st. Visit this website each morning for the next nine days for a link to the day’s Novena prayers. On July 1st we will Entrust ourselves to St. Joseph with a special set of prayers. You can celebrate this Entrustment in your own homes using the prayers that will be on our website that day, or you can join us for morning Mass at 9am on July 1st. For today, click on the button below to begin your Novena to St. Joseph.

Here is this week’s guided reflection on Pope Francis’ apostolic letter Patris Corde, With a Father’s Heart. You can use this series on your own for person reflection, or you can use it with your family or friends. It works very well for short zoom gatherings online!

Joseph, An Accepting Father

Opening Prayer

St. Joseph,
although the conception of Jesus was a mystery to you,
your acceptance of Mary upheld her dignity
and ensured her protection as she bore her son, Jesus.
By your acceptance of God’s will, you showed us that we, too,
must work so that all women and children experience justice.
Intercede for us, St. Joseph, that we may act justly for the common good.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. 
Amen

Video Reflection

In this video clip, Mr. Corey Jolly, Lay Evangelist, Diocese of Montreal, reflects on St. Joseph as an accepting father.  He considers questions such as:
– What does St. Joseph’s choice to accept and protect Mary tell us about his character?
– How does the spiritual path that St. Joseph traces help us to accept imperfect situations courageously?
– How does St. Joseph trust that all things work together for good?

For further reflection

Take some time to consider these questions. If you are reflecting on your own you may wish to journal. If you are using this reflection with a group, perhaps give time for personal reflection as well as optional sharing.

– Many of us know that God has a plan for us, but are we willing, like St. Joseph, to accept whatever God has in store for us? How is this true in your own life?
– What can St. Joseph teach us this year about ensuring justice for women and children?
– How is St. Joseph a model of holy acceptance for you?  What does holy acceptance mean in your life?

Closing Prayer

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

Prayer: © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Watch this website next Tuesday for
Joseph, A Creatively Courageous Father

National Indigenous Peoples Day

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and a day which has been celebrated by Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years. In Canada we celebrate not only the solstice today, but also the legacy and traditions of the Indigenous Peoples. Unfortunately with the continuing concerns of COVID-19 there are not as many local events we can go to this year. However, there are many ways you can still celebrate today in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. This year the day is all the more important given the recent discovery in Kamloops which has re-awoken us to the realities of our shared history and re-ignited our desire to live and learn together better.

In addition to the marketplace advertised above, The Healing of the Seven Generations has many more events and initiatives you can check out on their website and facebook page.

The Federal Government of Canada has also created a webpage for this day which includes many education resources, as well as an activity booklet for celebrating with your children. You can visit their website and download the booklet using the links below.

Finally, we invite you to check out APTN’s Indigenous Peoples Day Live performance, featuring many of Turtle Island’s established and emerging Indigenous artists in a new and creative way. The event is broadcast on APTN today from 2:30 – 6pm, or visit their website to stream it for free until June 22.

Hope in the Midst of Hatred

We have all been bombarded these last weeks with so many examples of hatred in our world, hatred that not only harms, but kills. It can feel like hatred is winning, but it does not have to. Remember, we at St. Francis of Assisi Parish are people of the Resurrection and of hope. What can we do? We can each live lives filled with love, in every person we encounter in our daily lives we can see Jesus and we can treat them with the respect and love they deserve. The Inshallah Community Choir recorded an anthem called We Resist. We invite you to listen to their song below, we hope it will inspire us all to pray for peace and live lives of love.

A note from Bishop Crosby, OMI:

THE TRAGIC ACT OF HATRED which occurred in London this week has heightened our awareness of the presence of Islamophobia in our communities. An increase in Anti-Semitic attacks across the country is also troubling. The Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement calling for an end to religious violence in Canada, most especially Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism. See the statement here.

Guelph Virtual Walking Pilgrimage

July 31 – August 7, 2021

The Walking Pilgrimage
Is About: nourishing your spirituality & enjoying the great outdoors.

Those who walk the Guelph-to-Midland pilgrimage find it to be a unique and grace-filled experience. This year, like last summer, we are not able to walk the pilgrimage as we have for the last 18 years but instead will join for a Virtual Walking Pilgrimage. As a pilgrim, you decide where and how much you want to walk, and you are welcome to participate as much or as little as you can in the day’s activities. You will receive daily emails including links to:

  1. Morning Liturgy at 7 a.m.
  2. Morning reflection to set the tone for your day.
  3. Some suggestions for activities for each day.
  4. Pictures, reflections, music from past years.
  5. Sacred Circles on Zoom at 7pm for sharing the experiences of your pilgrimage that day.

Join us, as we cast off routine for eight days and acquiesce to a community of higher purpose. Participate for 1 day, a weekend or the full 8 days!

To register or for more information click the button below.
Registration fee $75

Interfaith Community Breakfast video

If you were unable to participate in the 46th Annual Interfaith Community Breakfast in May you are in luck, because the event was recorded and is now available for you to watch!

This year’s theme was Stories for a New Day: Hope in a Time of COVID.

So make yourself a cup of tea or mug of coffee and enjoy some moments of enthusiastic hope shared by people from all different faiths in Waterloo Region.

Joseph, An Obedient Father

Here is this week’s guided reflection on Pope Francis’ apostolic letter Patris Corde, With a Father’s Heart. You can use this series on your own for person reflection, or you can use it with your family or friends. It works very well for short zoom gatherings online!

Joseph, An Obedient Father

Opening Prayer

Dear St. Joseph,
by your obedience to the will of the Father,
you have shown us how we must respond when called. 
You taught Jesus to be obedient to the Father
which gave him the freedom to sacrifice His life for us.
Guide us in our decision making
that we may faithfully respond to the will of God the Father.
In Jesus’ name, we pray!
Amen

Video Reflection

In this video clip, The Most Rev. Bryan BAYDA, C.Ss.R., Eparchial Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon, reflects on St. Joseph as an obedient father.  He considers questions such as:
– How did St. Joseph show his openness to the will of God?
– How is St. Joseph a model of obedience?
– How is St. Joseph, by his fatherhood of Jesus, a minister of salvation?

For further reflection

Take some time to consider these questions. If you are reflecting on your own you may wish to journal. If you are using this reflection with a group, perhaps give time for personal reflection as well as optional sharing.

– When we think about St. Joseph’s four dreams and how he responded to them, what do we learn about St. Joseph’s faith in God and his character?
– Bishop Bayda speaks of stages that we go through to come to obedience to God. What are those stages?  Do they resonate with your own experience of how you arrive at obedience to God’s will?
– How did Jesus learn obedience?

Closing Prayer

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

Prayer: © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Watch this website next Tuesday for
Joseph, An Accepting Father

Land Back Camp

Many may have seen the news stories recently about the Land Back Camp which set up last year in Victoria Park, and which this year has just set up in Laurel Creek. But do you know very much about how this group formed, their mission and who is living in the Land Back Camp this summer? You can check out their website and their facebook page, but here is also an excellent article written by insideWaterloo: