” … The Sacred Liturgy, “the source and summit of the Christian life,” is the very heart of our Catholic faith. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is an irreplaceable gift – a foretaste of Heaven itself. Being unable to gather together to worship on Sundays has been a great trial to disciples of Jesus and members of the Catholic community.
When the pandemic began, the Public Health Officer suspended all public Liturgies. Even when smaller Masses with a limited congregation were permitted, I continued the dispensation from the Sunday obligation. During the difficult months of the pandemic, our pastors, parishes, and the faithful adapted to this situation in order to ensure the health and well-being of parishioners. I offer my sincere gratitude for the efforts that were undertaken to implement and maintain the precautionary measures that kept our parishes and schools safe.
Many parishes live-streamed Masses over the Internet during the past year. While this means helped Catholics nourish their spiritual life when they could not be present for Mass, this practice cannot become the norm. The Son of God did not come to us virtually. He came to us – and continues to come to us – in the flesh. As Catholics, direct contact with the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord in offering the redeeming Sacrifice is irreplaceable.
As has always been the case, anyone with a “serious reason” or “grave cause” is excused from this obligation. In the case of the coronavirus pandemic, such reasons include: anyone who is sick, symptomatic, or has been recently exposed to the coronavirus; anyone with significant health risk factors that requires them to avoid public spaces anyone who cares for someone with significant risk factors; anyone who cannot attend Mass through no fault of their own because of frailty or old age. May the return to the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist deepen our devotion and reclaim Sunday as a day of worship, leisure, and time for family and friends.
Given at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on this Memorial of Saint Henry, the Thirteenth Day of July, in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Twenty-One. … “
When Pope Francis announced that July 25 would be celebrated as the Church’s first celebration of World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly, it was an ideal opportunity to reflect on the value of grandparents in our lives.
The Church-wide celebration of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly July 25 is being called “the first fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year” and “a gift to the whole Church that is destined to continue into the future.”
The executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League is calling for stronger public, political and law-enforcement action to protect the faithful in response to an early-summer conflagration of anti-Catholic arson, vandalism, threats and hate speech.
The more than 20 arson and vandalism attacks on churches across the country have been widely viewed as a response to the recent identification of long-lost gravesites at abandoned Indian Residential Schools.
“To their credit, it has been the Indigenous leaders who have made the strongest statements against acts of violence,” Christian Elia said in an interview with The B.C. Catholic. “There has been far less from other civil leaders and even law enforcement, quite frankly.
Dear First Nations governments and all Indigenous communities, families and citizens,
In light of the heartbreaking disclosure of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, I am writing to express my deep apology and profound condolences to the families and communities that have been devastated by this horrific news. Each time new evidence of a tragedy is revealed, or another victim comes forward, countless wounds are reopened, and I know that you experience renewed suffering.
I take this opportunity to reflect upon the apology I gave publicly before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2013, words to which I remain committed and accountable: “I wish to apologize sincerely and profoundly to the survivors and their families, as well as to all those subsequently affected, for the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of those Catholics who perpetrated mistreatment of any kind in these residential schools.” The Church was unquestionably wrong in implementing a government colonialist policy which resulted in devastation for children, families and communities.
If words of apology for such unspeakable deeds are to bring life and healing, they must be accompanied by tangible actions that foster the full disclosure of the truth. Truth comes before reconciliation. On behalf of the people of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, I commit to the following first steps in support of the Nations, families and communities impacted by the recent heartrending disclosure:
We will be fully transparent with our archives and records regarding all residential schools, and strongly urge all other Catholic and government organizations to do the same. Our records regarding the Kamloops Indian Residential School (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc) were provided to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and will remain available for review.
We will offer and support mental health support and counselling for family members and others whose loved ones may be buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
We will offer to assist with technological and professional support to help the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and other affected Nations in whatever way they choose to honour, retrieve and remember their deceased children.
We commit to supporting the same process and resources to all Nations in whose territories Catholic-run residential schools were forcibly located, and which fall within the historical boundaries of the Archdiocese of Vancouver.
We will renew our efforts to listen to Indigenous Peoples to hear from you how we can best walk with you along the path of justice.
We recognize that there is so much work remaining to be done, yet we hope that, if we persevere in these commitments with humility, we can restore the trust among us that will bring healing.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi
These are challenging times, specially for the Catholic Church in Canada. But we persevere because there are many brethren and churches who need our support, with nowhere to turn to for help. In accordance with the priorities of our Archbishop, we raise funds to:
Enrich Parish Life Help men and women answer to the call to vocations Ensure our pastors, brothers and sisters are well formed in their vocation Care for our retiring priests Form the minds, hearts and souls of children in our Catholic schools Provide shelter, food and emergency care for those who are vulnerable Strengthen marriages and families Advance lifelong faith formation Promote a culture of life Nourish souls
Help us by giving to Project Advance in the name of St. Stephen’s Parish in North Vancouver. We thank you for your generosity.
In his apostolic letter, Patris Corde, Pope Francis writes:
“Fathers are not born but made. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person.”
This Father’s Day, as we honour our own fathers and father figures, let us also remember those who have passed. On June 20, a special Father’s Day Mass will be celebrated at Gardens of Gethsemani in remembrance of deceased fathers and grandfathers.
Let us pray, through the intercession of St. Joseph, for all fathers; that, like him, they will care for those entrusted to them and raise them to walk the paths of life unaccompanied. Let us pray also for fathers who have passed away: that God’s mercy will be upon the deceased, and be a consolation to their bereaved family members.
On Thursday, July 1, Canada Day, join us in person or via live stream for the celebration of Mass and the Act of Entrustment to Saint Joseph. The Mass will be celebrated by the Very Reverend, Father Gary Franken, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, at Holy Rosary Cathedral at 12:10 pm. The Act of Entrustment will be preceded by a novena imploring Saint Joseph’s intercession for the welfare of the entire country, for the many needs of society, and to pray in particular for those who passed away due to COVID-19. The novena will begin on Tuesday, June 22 and end on Wednesday, June 30. Each day, you will receive a reflection, prayer, and call to action. Learn more and register at beholdvancouver.org.
This free presentation provides general information for preparing or updating your will and learning about the beauty of the funeral rite, and formulating pre-need arrangements. You’ll be pointed to complementary guides, tools and practical resources. The event is sponsored and presented by the Gardens of Gethsemani cemetery, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Thursday, June 24 at 11 a.m. Learn more and register at beholdvancouver.org/events.
PRE-REGISTRATION for Next Week’s Sunday Liturgy (June 27) is available outside the church prior to each Sunday Liturgy. **ONCE YOU HAVE PRE-REGISTERED YOU DO NOT NEED TO CONTACT THE PARISH OFFICE.** Should there be a conflict, Fr. Mark will call you after the weekend.
Archbishop Michael J. Miller on May 27, 2021 released guidelines on celebration of mass in the Archdiocese of Vancouver that will allow the reopening of the Church to Public Masses (in – person) with a maximum of 50 people for every Celebration.
Effective May 31, 2021, we will resume our regular Mass schedule:
Weekdays Mondays to Friday and holidays: 08:30 am.
Saturdays are at 09:00 am.
Sunday Liturgy: Saturday evenings is at 4:30 pm. Sundays are at: 8:30am, 10:30am, 12:30 pm, and 6:30 pm.
The same practices will be in place as prior to shutdown:
COVID 19 safe practices still apply: wearing of masks, social distancing, etc.
Everyone must pre-register for the Sunday Liturgies, and please advise the office if you are unable to attend.
Everyone must check in at the door amd they will proceed forward to be assigned a seat.
Doors will be closed and locked 5 minutes prior to each Mass to allow proper preparation.
The Archdiocese of Vancouver has received multiple reports from parishioners and priests who have fallen victim to a recent Internet email phishing scam. Imposters, posing as priests and using email addresses that are similar to those of our priests, have been emailing people asking for personal donations, gift cards, and other forms of financial assistance.
Never respond to emails requesting Google Play cards, iTunes cards, or any other form of personal financial assistance, even if it appears to be from a priest, deacon, religious, parish staff or bishop. If you have any doubt, please contact the sender by other means to verify any requests.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller and Rabbi Jonathan Infeld will meet for a fireside chat on Wednesday, May 12 at 7:30 pm. Archbishop Miller is the chief shepherd of Vancouver’s 445,000 Catholics and Rabbi Infeld is head of Congregation Beth Israel, British Columbia’s largest Conservative Jewish community.
Their meeting is an expression of the ongoing dialogue between Vancouver’s Catholics and Jews. Archbishop Miller and Rabbi Infeld will discuss matters of faith and how their communities have been a source of hope during the pandemic. The two will also chat about how the restrictions on religious gatherings have impacted their congregations.
The event will be live streamed. Everyone is welcome to join us for this extraordinary meeting of faiths and participate in Q&A. For more info, click HERE.
Catholics are invited to be vaccinated, both in keeping with the dictates of their conscience and in contributing to the common good by promoting the health and safety of others. All COVID-19 vaccines that are medically approved by the relevant health authorities may be licitly received by Catholics. Since there is currently no choice of vaccine being offered, Catholics in good conscience, may receive the vaccine that is available and offered to them. Read more at rcav.org/coronavirus