St. Leonard Catholic Parish
M anotick, Ont

"Celebrating 50 Years as a Catholic Community "
E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 22nd
With no public Masses or Services being held until April 5th, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we felt it was important to share a special version the E-Newsletter today.
Pastor's Message

Prayer and the Hope of the Resurrection

In the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic, many in our community are gripped with fear; fear for their health, fear for the health of their loved ones, fear for their jobs and fear for their finances. Government officials continue to offer common sense steps to contain, reduce, and prevent new infections of the coronavirus. Economists offer new monetary and fiscal programs to protect our jobs and our finances. But what should be our spiritual response to this pandemic? How can our hope in Christ remain firm as we walk through this dark valley? Perhaps the answer lies in the 4th step of our Five Steps to Discipleship: Prayer.

We are reminded during this precious Lenten season to pray for one another, to abstain from meat on Fridays, (if your healthy enough to do so that is) and give praise to God daily. Even in these difficult times with COVID-19 we can still participate in these small sacrifices. As I was praying my breviary the other morning, the mid-afternoon antiphon struck me, it reads, “Armed with God’s justice and power, let us prove ourselves through patient endurance.” Our patient endurance is truly what we need during this time. Replace panic with prayer. Replace anxiety with worship. The Resurrection teaches us that we win in the end. Through God’s power, mercy and love, we should never worry about what could happen to us, but what is happening to us, through His transforming grace. We must be vigilant of course, but we cannot and should not forget the fact that we are still in Lent and God’s grace abounds ever more during these trying times. 

When Jesus was asked “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1) he responded by giving his disciples the Our Father. He wants our prayer to be intimacy with his Father. That is the purpose of prayer. We call God "Father" when we pray. The same intimacy that Jesus has with his Abba he invites us to share. Now we have seen during Lent that Jesus places prayer between two other key practices of a disciple; generosity and self sacrifice. As Dr. Tim Gray from the Augustine Institute says, “If you want intimacy with God, you have to learn to frame your prayer with generosity to others and the ability to sacrifice your self.” If you do that your prayer will be blessed and fruitful. You will find yourself resting in the love of God and by his grace you will be strengthened in these difficult times. 

If there ever was time for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth, this is it. We
are being presented with the biggest open door imaginable to show our love and care for the most vulnerable. So, take the time to call someone who is alone today. Offer your support in anyway that you can; through your presence, through your prayers or maybe just offering to pick something up for them. Remember that God wants to use us to help others. 

May your prayers, generosity and self-sacrifice bring you closer to the Risen Christ this Easter.
God bless you folks, Father Gerard.

P.S. If anyone is in need of specific prayers from me, outside of the ones I offer up every day for our parishioners and those suffering from this dreadful virus, in my private prayers and celebration of the mass, please do not hesitate to email me anytime, pastorstleonard@gmail.com and for anything else you can think of, let me know and perhaps our leadership team as well as myself can help.
Discipleship
LENT and EASTER HAPPENINGS at St. Leonard
Weekday and Sunday Masses
Since no public Masses and Services will be held until at least April 5, 2020 we encourage you to participate in the following:


Prior to April 5th we will provide an update on our Easter Services.

1st Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1B, 6-7, 10-13A
2nd Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14
Gospel: John 9:1-41
The Prayer Process
Matthew Kelly walks through a simple 7 step Prayer Process.
How Are We to Respond?
For Families: Help Your Kids Get to Know Jesus 
 
Dynamic Catholic has made their entire BLESSED series available online for free! Each of the 84 episodes will engage your children’s sense of wonder and take them on an unforgettable adventure into the story of Jesus and the life-giving truths of his Church. Click here to watch.
 

Stewardship
Online Giving's Timely Arrival

Now, more then ever, we would encourage you to use one of our two new Online Giving capabilities. They are convenient, safe and easy to use and will provide us with the financial resources to meet our ongoing financial commitments until such time that our Masses resume. For Online Giving just visit our website and click on "Give Now". For Mobile App Giving download the Tithe.ly app from your smartphone’s app store (Android or iOS) and give through your phone utilizing your credit card. For more information "Click Here".
Parishioner Feedback: We Love Your Input!
Dear Parishioners we are very interested in your feedback. If have any comments and/or suggestions as it relates to any of our Parish activities, including the E-Newsletter, please  click here. If you would like a direct response to your suggestion, please include your email address.
St. Leonard Parish
office@stleonardsparish.ca
www.stleonardsparish.ca