Christmas Letter from Father Murray

Dear Friends,

Our Diocese is running a campaign this Christmas entitled, COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! We at St. Francis hope and pray that all families who belong or wish to belong to St. Francis will join us for one of our Christmas masses and in an ongoing way in the future. We hope that COVID will no longer frighten us and keep us away. We continue to respect people’s choices to mask or not. Your sense of safety, security, health and well being continues to be our highest concern!

Would you be one of our St. Francis AMBASSADORS? All you’d need to do is be willing to visit, make a phone call or send an e-mail to parishioners who have not been here for a long time. Extend an invitation to them to COME HOME during one of our Christmas Masses; to see our newly beautifully painted church and the incredible brightness of the lighting. Don’t you think it is time for our entire family to once again gather around the Table of the Lord and BE

As we continue to rebuild our community moving out of the COVID pandemic, we are emerging as the dynamic parish that St. Francis has always been known to be. We are extremely proud of our Parish family for its concern for Indigenous Issues, as well as the many volunteers and committees that give their time to foster our parish community. Some of these amazing ministries include the: Laudato Si Committee (focussing on the environment), education and exercise groups (for health and well-being), the compassionate committee that supports the luncheons after funerals, the Over Eaters Anonymous (spiritual program that is held in our parish hall), our finance committee, Children’s Liturgy program, the Catechesis of the Good Shepard Program, our parishioners who bring Communion to the sick and infirm, the superb job of our OHOS committee, and the recently created senior games’ afternoon. We are also extremely grateful for our numerous volunteers who help with the ministries involved in celebrating Mass. These include: our lectors and Eucharistic ministers and both our adult and youth altar servers (and those youth still in training to become altar servers). We continue to be grateful for our many hospitality ministers’, who always offer a warm and heartfelt greeting to everyone who enters our church, and we are so deeply blessed by our magnificent choir, its leader and organist, and those who serve as cantors for Sunday liturgies, funerals and other special liturgies. Much gratitude to our knitting group who knit shawls for families celebrating Baptism or people who experience pain or grief, as well as our generous parish team.

Our early Christmas gift this year was to celebrate mass here at St. Francis with hundreds of children from St. Paul’s School, for the first time in three years. What a wonderful and incredible moment this was for all of us. How deeply this grace filled event blesses our Parish.

As a family of faith we pray, sing, hope, long for peace, think, ponder, laugh and cry. We grieve, we mourn, we sin, we repent, we trust and doubt, worry and fear, forgive, begin again, acknowledge our gifts, graces and blessings as well as our faults and failures; we stand in Hope in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. St. Irenaeus tells us that the GLORY OF GOD IS WOMEN AND MEN FULLY ALIVE IN JESUS CHRIST! Jesus is our Risen Savior, our Lord, our Messiah, our
Brother and our Friend.

May the Word of God continue to become flesh and dwell amongst our individual families and our Parish Family in a deeper way this Christmas. May your Christmas be evermore Christ filled. ST. FRANCIS AMBASSADORS, please let family, friends, neighbours and unseen parishioners know our mass times as outlined below and tell them how deeply they are welcome to be with us to celebrate CHRISTMAS AT HOME AT ST. FRANCIS 2022.

May Jesus touch your hearts in a deeper way this Christmas!

Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022 at 4:30 P.M. Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022 at 7 P.M.
Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022 at 9 A.M. Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022 at 11 A.M.

In Christ Risen

Fr. Murray McDermott C.R.
Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi Parish