The First Sunday of Lent | February 21, 2021

May bountiful blessing, O Lord, we pray,
come down upon your people,
that hope may grow in tribulation,
virtue be strengthened in temptation,
and eternal redemption be assured.

- Roman Missal, p. 202 -

Week At A Glance
Sunday February 21, 2021

9:00 AM Eucharist
11:00 AM Eucharist (Livestream)
11:30 AM Sunday Children's Program (Virtual)
The First Sunday of Lent

Monday, February 22 2021

12:00 PM Midday Prayer (Virtual)
Chair of St. Peter (Feast)

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

9:30 AM Parent & Baby Group (Virtual)
7:00 PM Evening Prayer (Virtual)
7:30 PM Breaking Open the Lectionary (Virtual)
St. Polycarp (Memorial)

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

12:00 PM Midday Prayer (Virtual)
7:00 PM Eucharist

Thursday, February 25, 2021

1:00 PM Catholic Current (Virtual)
7:00 PM Evening Prayer (Virtual)

Friday, February 26, 2021

12:00 PM Midday Prayer (Virtual)
REGISTRATION FOR EUCHARIST: Masses are offered on Sundays at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM, and on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM in The Chapel at Windermere on the Mount (1486 Richmond Street). Note that Sunday 5:00 PM Mass is discontinued for the remainder of the academic year. If you are coming to Mass, it is essential that you register either online or by phone. If you learn at the last minute that you cannot come, please go online and cancel your reservation, so that space can become available for others who would like to attend.  For further information please contact Maija Wilson

(REGISTER FOR MASS HERE) or call the office for assistance. 

To cancel your reservation, open the web browser of the Eventbrite page (not the mobile app), go to your order, select "cancel order" (next to your order details), then choose "yes, cancel this order." If you want to cancel a single ticket in your order, contact our office.

We will continue to livestream Mass for the duration of the pandemic to our Facebook page and YouTube channel on Sundays at 11:00 am. You can find the current YouTube link on our website or under the "Week at a Glance" section of this bulletin.
OFFICE HOURS: In hopes of reducing the spread of COVID-19, the staff are mainly working remotely. Please know that the voice mail is checked regularly and that we will endeavour to return your phone call in a timely manner. Should you wish to contact a member of the team directly, emails are provided at the bottom of this newsletter.
Announcements
IN MEMORY: Please pray for the repose of the soul of Grace Koutsogiannopoulos, a recent graduate at King's. Grace is mourned by her mother Mary McGugan, her father Ted Koutsogiannopoulos, her sister April and her boyfriend Matthew Wareham, a student at King's. May Grace know the fullness of life in God’s presence and may those who mourn her death find hope in the promise of resurrection.

ON THE MOVE:  Over the holidays, Bishop Fabbro announced that Father Michael Bechard has been appointed Pastor of the new Family of Parishes comprising the communities of St. George and St. John the Divine. The appointment takes effect July 5, 2021. Please remember all those who will be affected by this move. Please continue to pray for all applicants for the position of Director of Campus Ministry of King's University College and for those engaged as members of the Search Committee.  

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: A number of newcomers have expressed the desire to meet with members of the parish for fellowship and for conversation. They desire both community and the opportunity to practise their conversational English. The latter will be necessary as they seek to make London their home. If you can be of assistance, please contact Deacon Victor Salazar at vsalazar@dol.ca or by calling the office at 519-963-1477.

HERE FOR YOU: We know that these continue to be very challenging times with the pandemic. Know that the Campus Ministry Team is working hard to continue to serve your needs. Need support or someone to talk to? Contact us by email at campusministry@kings.uwo.ca or call 519-963-1477 and a member of our team will be happy to connect with you. 
Lenten Events & Resources
Journey with the Saint John's Bible
Looking for a way to deepen your prayer life this Lent? Join us for “Journey with The Saint John’s Bible,” a free online series by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. You'll explore the Church’s tradition of reading Scripture and depicting it in art, explore several spectacular illuminations from The Saint John’s Bible—a hand-written, hand-illuminated Bible crafted in the 21st-century, and take a deep dive into the Scripture passages those illuminations depict. You'll also learn how to pray with Scripture and art through guided experiences of lectio and visio divina and have the opportunity to grow in faith with others. For more information or to sign up, contact Annette. All sessions will be virtual.
LITTLE BLUE BOOKS: We are not able to distribute the “Little Blue Book” for Lent this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. If you would like to order the book yourself, it is available in print or as an e-book at https://littlebooks.org
Lenten Online Retreat
The season of Lent gives us a heaven-sent opportunity to reflect prayerfully on the unprecedented events of the last 12 months. We have been challenged, individually and collectively, in ways no one could have imagined. Successive lockdowns have confronted us with the question of whether we want to go back to how things were, or to ‘grow back better’.

Pray-As-Your Go – in partnership with the global online prayer phenomenon, Sacred Space – offers a Lenten online retreat. ‘Growing Back Better’ encourages us to reflect on what kind of people we truly desire to become and what kind of world we hope to pass on to future generations. There is a new session for each of the seven weeks of Lent. For this, and other excellent online Lenten resources, visit:  www.newpilgrimpath.ie.
Lenten Resources for Families

Please visit our Children and Family Programs webpage for resources, crafts and activities under the bulletins each week and calendar.

More Lenten resources are available on the Diocese of London's website. Please consider sharing your experience with the community by adding #DOLLent2021 to your posts.
Events and Programming
Breaking Open the Lectionary
For students interested in reflecting on Sunday Scripture and what it means for you. Join us Tuesdays from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm for Breaking Open the Word. Contact Annette Donovan Panchaud in Campus Ministry for more information or to get involved.
The Student Development & Peace Group
The Student Development and Peace Group gathers online this year to explore issues of justice from a Catholic perspective. We support the work of Development & Peace - Caritas Canada in their Share Lent campaign – Share Lent, Share Love, and engage in community awareness activities including a virtual high school workshop. This provides an opportunity for formation, connection and community rooted in social justice. We meet virtually Monday evenings at 8 pm. Contact Annette Donovan Panchaud to become involved.
Catholic Current
This weekly series provides an interactive opportunity to learn the tenets of the Catholic faith from a variety of experts in their field. The format is a half-hour lecture followed by a question and answer period. This takes place every Thursday from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET virtually. Click here to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with details about how to join the webinar.

We welcome Michael MacLean, Campus Minister, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan, who will speak about prayer on Thursday, February 25.
Veritas Series for Faith and Culture
King’s endeavours to foster learning and dialogue by gathering scholars, artists, and activists who support and challenge us in living lives of faith and justice. The coming year’s theme is on “telling our stories.” All lectures this year will be offered online through Zoom webinar. For more information or to register for each webinar, go to https://kings.uwo.ca/veritas.

Our next speaker is Ann Garrido, D.Min. whose lecture is entitled, "Allowing God to Fill in the Blanks: Praying with the Women of the New Testament." This will take place on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm. To register for this lecture click here.
Children & Family Opportunities

SUNDAY CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: Children ages 4 to 6 are invited to take part in catechetical activities, virtually on Sundays at 11:30 am via Zoom. Activities include prayer, singing, and a variety of crafts related to the Sunday Gospel reading. Contact Maija Wilson to register and for more information.
 
YOUTH GROUP is gathering online during the academic year on a monthly basis. Each of these opportunities focuses on bringing our young people together to love and serve the Lord. There are always great opportunities for high school volunteers. Contact Maija Wilson to register and for more information. 

Click here to view the Children and Family Programs webpage which includes our family opportunity calendar, weekly youth bulletin and volunteer registration form.
PARENTS & BABIES GROUP: We come together online to create community for parents and their babies. We share struggles and triumphs. We read stories, do special activities around the liturgical seasons of the church, and learn from a variety of early year specialists. Contact Maija Wilson to register and for more information.
Pastoral Counselling

PASTORAL COUNSELLING is available for persons of all faith traditions or spiritual orientations, no matter where you are on your journey. Sessions generally last between 50 to 60 minutes in length and the frequency is determined on an individual basis. Current sessions are taking place virtually. To make an appointment, please contact Jim Panchaud or by contacting The Office of Campus Ministry at 519-963-1477.
Financial Support Needed
For many of us, the restrictions brought about by the pandemic have been little more than a distraction or an inconvenience, but for the poor and marginalized in our city, their needs have only increased. Many charitable organizations have had to close their doors and others are not able to meet the needs of their clients. The same is true for those that are new to our country. Those things that they need to access for survival are beyond their reach. Our parish has an obligation to respond. At this time, we are desperately in need of your financial contributions. 

Click here to set up your donation. If you require assistance, please contact Lisa Caeiro. Your donations can be directed towards either "REFUGEE" (those coming from elsewhere) or "SOCIAL ACTION" (those from the area). 

Soon, we will need people who will help tutor, mentor and offer hospitality to the stranger among us. Any inquires or concerns can be addressed to Father Michael Bechard. We continue to pray and trust that God will grant the increase.

Homily for the First Sunday of Lent
Every year, on the first Sunday of Lent, the gospel relates the temptations of Jesus in the desert wilderness, where he lives without food or shelter. 

We have three accounts in the gospels of Jesus’ temptation. The one in the Gospel of Mark, which we have just read, is the shortest—only four verses. But its brevity does not reduce its meaning.

The first Sunday of Lent invites us to take a similar journey into our hearts. Just as Jesus is driven into the desert, to the place of solitude, where He is alone, we also can hear the silence! These are the times in life when we are brought back face to face with ourselves, forced to be alone and look inside.   

A very important detail about this gospel is that Jesus did not choose to go to the desert. Mark says that immediately after his baptism, the Spirit drove him out into the desert. Being in the wilderness was not a part of Jesus’ plan, but nevertheless he found himself there in barrenness and isolation. This detail invites us to ask whether we can locate deserts in our own lives.  

Jesus too needed time to look deep into Himself. He was about to begin His ministry – His proclamation in service of the Kingdom. He was called to examine the motivations that hide in the heart of His humanity. The time He spent in the desert was a period of clarification and purification. There were many expectations about the Messiah at that time. Even Jesus had to ask Himself what expectations He was responding to: those of men or those of his Father? 

Jesus is alone and temptation reveals itself as a battle within Him. Mark describes the outcome of this battle through the symbolically serene coexistence of Jesus with the beasts that dwell in every interior desert: Jesus was among the wild beasts, and “angels ministered to him.” 
The deserts of our life are populated by wild beasts, they are real and live within us. Some of them could be pride, envy, selfishness, disordered passions, the desire to have, the desire to control, the desire for comfort above all else. If we do not honestly acknowledge which beasts are within us, we run the risk that they end up taking control of our lives and rendering us unable to pass the tests. These are the times when one is forced to make choices that are conducive occasions to make faith more solid and unwavering.

We must not forget that It was the Spirit who, after coming down on Jesus like a dove (Mk 1:10), led him into the wilderness. If “to tempt” is tantamount to “incite to evil,” the Spirit does not do that. In the Lord’s Prayer, in fact, we ask God “lead us not into temptation.” Yet, in the scriptures, we read that God puts to the test people acceptable to him, not the wicked (Sir 2:5). 

Temptations are not bad in themselves, but it is what we do with them that can help us turn to God or away from God. Do we see temptations as ways to turn to God rather than rely on our own resources?

Do we see the temptations that Jesus experienced being related to the temptations that we face at this time of pandemic?

Like Jesus we did not choose to enter into these wilderness times of social isolation.

How do we handle the moments of solitude when life drives us to look within ourselves?

Are we able to recognize both the beasts and the angels in our deserts?

The beasts in our desert are real, so are the angels. If there is evil in our life, there is also blessing. 

In our driest deserts there are moments of grace. And often that grace is more clearly seen when it comes to us in the desert. Financial concerns often provide us an opportunity to recognize more deeply the importance of family. Hardships give us the opportunity to express love and sacrifice to another in deeper ways. Rejection provides us the opportunity of appreciating more deeply the people who stand with us. Dependence upon others in sickness, helps us realize how deeply we are loved.

Those of us who want to grow, improve, purify, and strengthen commitment to God cannot be spared from these tests. Not even Jesus was spared, and this brings him close to us, placing him on our side because He too “was tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sinning” (Heb 4:15).

During this time of Lent, we have many opportunities to truly enter into the wilderness of social isolation with Jesus.

Let us appreciate these moments of solitude as we look within ourselves to recognize the proclamation of the Kingdom of God with its good news and its call to repentance.
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Our Team
Reverend Michael Bechard
Pastor/Chaplain

Lisa Caeiro
Administrative Assistant

Annette Donovan Panchaud
Liturgical/Outreach

Janet Loo
Music/Taizé
Jim Panchaud
Deacon/Pastoral Counsellor

Victor Salazar
Deacon

Maija Wilson
Sacramental/Youth

Sunil D'Costa
Carlos Diaz
Seminary Students

Mohammad Alakrad
Mary Cooke
Work Study Students
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