St. Leonard Catholic Parish
Manotick, Ont
Monthly E-Newsletter for May 2017
 
Welcome to the Easter Season!

Thank you for subscribing to the St. Leonard's monthly E-Newsletter. Spring and Easter are seasons of great joy, especially for us Canadians after a long winter! The Easter Season began with Easter Sunday and runs for 50 days until Pentecost Sunday. Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar, for "if Christ is not risen, our faith is in vain." The Resurrection of Christ culminates in His Ascension into Heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, which inaugurates the mission of the Church to spread the Good News of salvation to all the world. Let's use this time to grow in our discipleship.

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Pastor's Message
Easter and The Benefits of Being a Catholic

Throughout Lent I talked about the benefits of being a Catholic right here and right now;
Peace: Jesus quenches the thirst of the woman at the well with living water and offers peace to all of those who are consumed with the search for happiness.
Love: Jesus heals a blind man and offers him an intimate loving relationship, not the rules and regulations of the Pharisees.
Hope: Jesus brings a dead man back to life and offers hope to all of us that may be in despair.
 
All of this culminates with the great gift that we receive at Easter; the Joy of Salvation.
Jesus rises from the dead and we are given the promise of eternal life! Christ is risen! Alleluia!
 
Think of the opposites of these words: war, hate, hopelessness, anger. Those are the ingredients for a person or an entire society falling apart. What kind of world do we want to live in right here and right now? Do we dream of a life after this one? Our Catholic faith offers us powerful benefits for this life and offers us the ultimate benefit in the next life; eternity with God in heaven. As Matthew Kelly said in the "Best Lent Ever" devotional "God created us for lasting happiness in a changing world and eternal happiness with him in heaven."
A Parishioner's Easter Testimonial 
 
This month I would like to share a real life Lenten journey that one of our parishioners shared with me and gave me permission to share with you.
 
The year 2016 had been a relatively good year for his business and his faith. He had been enjoying the financial benefit of hard work and that was now paying off in several significant contracts. His spiritual life was stable. Mass every Sunday. Up before sunrise every day, he would read the gospel and daily reflections. Many mornings he would pray the rosary in addition to his readings, often spending an hour or more in his spiritual practice before breakfast and heading to the office. Life was good.
 
But something was missing. Studying about his faith, praying, attending Mass, doing all the right things he still felt he was on the outside looking in as he would hear others speak of a loving personal relationship with Christ. He certainly believed in the power of the Holy Spirit and when facing challenges at work or in life would pray for strength, confidence, guidance and was convinced that the Lord was at work in his life as he experienced the Lord's response to his calls.
 
Busy fulfilling his business commitments to his clients throughout 2016 while maintaining his pace of study, reading, prayer and Sunday Mass doing what he thought were all the "right" spiritual things his business levelled off. No new contracts were established and those existing contracts came to an end in January 2017. It was on the last day before Lent when all his cash reserves were depleted while still facing significant ongoing business and personal expenses.
 
Consumed with anxiety, fear, and doubt as to the future of his business and his ability to meet his immediate and pressing professional and personal financial commitments, he turned once again to the Lord. In sincere, heartfelt prayer on the afternoon before Lent, he had a conversation with God. Exclaiming his helplessness and despair to God and while asking for guidance and strength, he felt his anxiety and fear dissipate. He was immediately overcome with a strength and peace of mind in the conviction that the Holy Spirit was alive and at work in and for him.
 
Within just a few minutes of that prayer a surprise email arrived from a long past client requesting a time to discuss a new project within the next few days. Through the balance of that afternoon, encouraged and with renewed confidence he began to contact a number of potential new clients who had in the past been unresponsive. Within 48 hrs, he had confirmed several promising new appointments lending stronger hope for the future. By the 34th day of Lent, with the Holy Spirit present, he had completed 17 new business meetings each with the potential to turn around his financial situation. 
 
Each morning through Lent he continued his pre sunrise practice of reading but with a change. Progressing beyond reading as he had done over the past, he finds himself drawn more toward a conversation. Thanking the Lord for His love and speaking and sharing with Him about the upcoming activities for the day and asking for His guidance and the continued presence of the Holy Spirit in all his thoughts, feelings and actions, brings him a lifted spirit, a peace filled and positive attitude. Each morning through lent he concludes his personal dawn spiritual practice by journaling his prayer and conversation with Jesus and he is now ready more than ever to take on the challenges of the day in partnership with the Holy Spirit.
 
He enters the Easter season with renewed hope and peace allowing him to be ever present with everyone he encounters. Having surrendered his ego to the will of the Lord, he feels no pressure. Knowing that he has handed control over to God, asking The Lord to direct his talents to fulfill God's purpose for him, not his own, he realizes that only goodness will prevail. 

May the peace, love, hope and joy of the Risen Christ be with you and your family all year long!  God bless, Father Titus
The Easter Vigil

We had been preparing for Easter throughout the forty days of Lent, and it all culminated in the Easter Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter on Saturday night. The Easter Vigil is the most important Mass of the liturgical year. We celebrated the Resurrection of the Lord and for the first first time since the beginning of Lent we proclaimed together "Alleluia"!  It is also the Mass where adults receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion. This year Derek Conrad (pictured to the left of Father Titus) received the sacrament of Confirmation and was welcomed into the Catholic Church. Nicholas Clatney and Alisha Aitkens (pictured to the right of Father Titus) received the sacrament of Baptism as well as Confirmation and were also welcomed into our Parish.    
Easter Mural Created at St. Leonard's School

Over Lent the children next door at St. Leonard's school were busy creating a wonderful mural that features a beautiful painting of St. Leonard Church in the center of a cross. Well done boys and girls!

Growing your Faith 
Alpha Program Wraps up in April
 
Many thanks to all who participated in the 12 weeks of the Alpha Program (see picture below). The program wrapped up on April 19th with a final session on the importance of getting involved in your local Church and a celebratory wine and cheese reception. Thanks to all of those who helped run the program and to all those that attended. A special thanks to Judy Wood for her excellent leadership of the overall program. If you missed the last session, watch the video "What About the Church" by clicking here

 
FORMED Resources for May: The Gift of Femininity  
Twenty-first century women are bombarded with conflicting messages about what it means to be a woman. They are supposedly empowered to be individuals but also expected to conform to the prevalent attitudes about sex and femininity. They're told to be free sexually, but no one mentions the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of that so-called freedom.

God has a better and far more consistent plan for femininity. He calls all women to be a gift to others by loving the people that He places in their lives and entering into meaningful friendships with others who will support them on the way. Women are called especially to draw strength from Our Lady, the model disciple and exemplar of holy femininity.

Program
Video
Audio

If you are new to FORMED, to get ongoing FREE ACCESS to all programs and downloadable PDF guides, movies and e-books please
visit the St. Leonard website for detailed sign-up instructions.   
Pope Francis Speaks at TED Talks "Future of You" Conference

In case you missed it...here's Pope Francis's TED Talk!
Beautiful message on why the only future worth building includes everyone and a call for greater compassion and tenderness.
Update on Giving

At the weekend masses Feb 25-26, 2017 Father Titus, as part of the 2017 Parish Plan, asked that parishioners increase their weekly offerings by 20% to allow the Parish to undertake new activities and opportunities such as youth ministry, facility upgrades, and church expansion. Since that weekend overall giving has increased by 13%. See below for week over week comparisons between 2016 and 2017. We thank you for responding to Father's request for an increase in giving and greater consistency in how we give. If you have not yet responded please consider doing so to support the attainment of our stewardship goal for this year. If you are not already doing so, became a registered envelope user and if you are already a registered envelope user, please consider becoming a Pre-Authorized Payment giver. For more information click here.

What's on in April  
May 3    7:00 p.m. Pastoral Council Meeting
May 6    4:30 p.m.  Mass and First Communion
              6:00 p.m.  Trivia Night
May 7    9:00 a.m.  Mass and First Communion
             11:00 a.m.  Mass and First Communion
May 10  7:00 p.m.   Knights of Columbus meeting
May 13  10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Confirmation Retreat
May 16   6:30 p.m.   Reconciliation for Confirmation Candidates
May 20  10:00 a.m.  Reconciliation for Confirmation Candidates
               4:30 p.m.  Mass and First Communion
May 21   9:00 a.m.  Mass and First Communion
              11:00 a.m.  Mass and First Communion
  May 24  7:00 p.m.  CWL Meeting
  May 31  7:00 p.m.  Healing Mass 

 

After the 9 am and 11 am Sunday masses in May coffee will be served in the Parish Hall. Click on the Parish Calendar for a full listing of upcoming meetings and events.
 
Come and Join the Fun on May 6th!

Trivia & Chilli Night Returns to St. Leonard's Sat. May 6. Deadline is fast approaching to sign up for trivia night. Make up teams of up to 6 people. Cost is $20.00 per person. Door prizes will be awarded. Fundraiser is in support of Multi Faith Housing initiatives. Please contact Michel Doucet (613-692-6128) doucet1126@gmail.com as soon as possible to register your team
Revised Menus

Last month we published a link to the recipes for the tasty soup that was served at our Lenten Soup Supper. Unfortunately two of the recipes published were incorrect. We apologize for the mistake and bring the correct recipes as follows:

Spicy Thai Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
This recipe makes 8 cups (2 L) or 4 servings
  Ingredients: 
1 Tbsp coconut oil 
2 cups diced sweet onion 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger 
2 Tbsp red curry paste 
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (more actually), or chicken broth 
1/4 cup almond or peanut butter (if using peanut, use peanuts only kind) 
3 cups diced peeled carrots 
3 cups diced peeled sweet potatoes 
1/2 tsp sea salt, 
or to taste 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, but I always use it) freshly ground pepper Toppings: minced fresh cilantro, lime wedges 

1. Prepare all the ingredients before starting to cook 
2. In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. 
3. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and saute for 5-6 minutes, until the onion is translucent. 
4. Stir in the curry paste. 
5. In a small bowl, whisk together some of the broth with the almond butter until smooth. Add the mixture to the pot, along with the remaining broth, carrots, sweet potatoes, salt and cayenne. Stir until combined. 
6. Bring the soup to a low boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are fork tender. 
7. Ladle the soup carefully into a blender in batches. With the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, blend on low and slowly increase the speed until the soup is completely smooth. It will be quite thick! 
8. Return the soup to the pot, season with salt and pepper and reheat. At this point, I always add quite a bit more stock as the thickness of this soup is more like porridge than soup. 
9. top with minced cilantro and a squeeze of lime. 
This soup will keep in the fridge for up to a week, and freezes well fro 1-2 months. Enjoy!

  Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

Prep Time 15 mins, Cook Time 4 hours, Total Time 4 hours 15 mins,  Serves: 4-6
Rich n' creamy easy slow cooker broccoli cheese soup.
INGREDIENTS 
* 4 tablespoons butter 
* 5 tablespoons flour 
* 3 cups milk (I like fat free half & half, use your favorite. The higher the fat content - such as heavy cream - the creamier and richer your soup will be) 
* 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian) 
* ½ onion, diced 
* 3-4 cups chopped broccoli florets (just the bushy tops - discard the stems or use them for another recipe) 
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
* 2 ounces cream cheese 
* 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (yellow) 
* 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1-4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste) 
* optional: extra cheese for topping 
Order Ingredients 
INSTRUCTIONS 
1. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. When melted, stir in the flour until mixture clumps up. Very gradually whisk in the milk until all milk has been added and a thick white sauce forms. 
2. Add chopped onions, broccoli, garlic, Italian seasoning, and cream cheese to your slow cooker. Add the sauce from the pan, and the chicken broth. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 4-6 hours. 
3. Uncover soup and add the sharp cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts into the soup. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. 
Serve warm and top with additional shredded cheese if desired. Enjoy!
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