A Pastoral Letter to Young People

The Most Rev. Raymond Poisson, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has issued a Pastoral Letter to Young People. The Letter is dated 12 October 2022 in honour of the anniversary of the death of Blessed Carlo Acutis, the first beatified millennial. Through this Pastoral Letter the Bishops hope to inspire young Catholics to live their faith in an extraordinary way, encouraging them to strive toward holiness, and assuring them of the steadfast support and accompaniment of their Bishops along their individual journeys of faith.

This Pastoral Letter responds to the CCCB’s virtual conversations with over 200 young people from across Canada, between the ages 12 to 25, held in the fall of 2020. Click the button below to read the letter, and watch the video summarizing it!

National Day for Truth & Reconciliation 2022

Today is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Today we pray that we may continue to seek out the truth, and find ways to reconcile with each other, so that we may live in peace.

To learn more about Truth & Reconciliation Day click here.
Check out a local event you can attend with Anishnabeg Outreach, see the post below.

THE FOURTH INDIGENOUS LEGACY GATHERING is scheduled to be held at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, on September 29-30, 2022. Sacred Fire, Indigenous music and dance, drumming and storytelling, workshops, artists and performers, Indigenous food vendors and artisans, will make the experience compelling.  The program is sponsored by Toronto Council Fire. A multi-faith group which has been supporting the construction of the Spirit Garden will have a tent in which faith representatives including Catholic priests, will be available. The construction of the Spirit Garden has begun and should be completed by the Fall of 2024! Learn more here.

A Prayer for those that Never Came Home

Great and Heavenly Spirit,
God of compassion, healing and comfort,
We lift up in prayer the sacred lives of the children, some now known to us, all known to you, who died in residential schools.
We lift up in prayer the sacred lives of the children who went missing from these schools and whose fates are unknown to those who held them most dear.
We grieve the loss of so many thousands of these little ones, and we grieve especially their loss so far away from home.
We grieve the loss of youth with so much potential. These were children of this place, children of our land. The loss of their giftedness is our collective loss.
We lament how long their families have had to live with unanswered questions. Hear our prayers:
for those who were not informed of their children’s deaths at all, or on a timely basis; for those who were not told of where their daughters and sons had been buried;
for those who have long hoped that a child who went missing somehow survived and had a good life—even as they may have also feared the worst.
We lament our complicity in the loss of these children. As members of a church which ran residential schools, we seek your help as we look to redress the many ways in which our church failed these Indigenous children, their families, and their communities. We pray that your reconciling love will teach us how to create true bonds of community and understanding as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples today.
We lift up with gratitude the efforts of all those who are seeking to honour the lives of the children who died, as well as the children whose fates are unknown, through ongoing research and acts of remembrance.
We ask for your continued guidance of them as they work to uncover the stories of the lost. We understand how precious this information is, and how vital it is to the healing of so many families and communities.
Bless those who are preparing to honour the children with sacred ceremonies and those who work to protect burial sites, in keeping with the traditions of Indigenous peoples across this land.
We pray for the families of these children and for all who loved them. Envelop them in the warmth of your infinite care and give them peace.
Inspire all of us with energy, wisdom, and commitment to the loving pursuit of the truth which will heal all of us in our brokenness and lead to reconciliation with our neighbours across this land.
Amen.

Catechist Formation

St. Francis of Assisi Parish is very happy to be hosting Level 1 Part A Catechist Formation for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, beginning this fall for those who wish to help children deepen their relationship with God through this Montessori style of catechesis. The formation program consists of six retreat-like sessions, one per month, from October 2022 to April 2023. Part B will be offered the following pastoral year. There is a cost to the program but scholarships are available. Click the button below to learn more about the course and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, or you can contact the parish office at stfranciskitchener@hamiltondiocese.com or 519-745-7301.

Laudato Si’ Summer Series

This summer we are excited to offer a new article each week written by members of our Laudato Si’ Environmental Team and other parishioners, discussing environmental issues as well as what we can learn from the wisdom of the First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. Click a link below to read the articles as they come out!

World Youth Day 2023 – Lisbon

Young adult pilgrims (aged 18-35) are invited to attend the World Youth Day Celebration in Lisbon, Portugal 2023! To provide further details for interested delegates, an Information Evening is scheduled for Wednesday, July 6, 2022, from 7 to 9 pm at St. Andrew Parish, 47 Reynolds St, Oakville, ON, L6J 3J9 in the Parish Hall. This event is being held in person and virtually by zoom for those unable to make it to Oakville. Registration is required for either session by clicking here. The agenda for the evening will include itinerary details, costs, and a presentation by Tour Design the travel agent hosting the Hamilton Diocese event. You will also have an opportunity to meet with the WYD Lisbon 2023 Planning Team and Spiritual Advisors. We ask that if you or someone you know might be interested in attending WYD 2023, or the local celebrations, that you also complete a Declaration of Intent found on our Diocesan WYD Website: https://wyd.hamiltondiocese.com/ You can also read Bishop Crosby’s message about the pilgrimage by clicking here.