Message from the Parish Priest


THE JOURNEY OF THE THREE WISE MEN

As we have just started the new year of our journey of life and faith, let us reflect on the pilgrimage of the three wise men who “came to pay homage to the King” with the guidance and inspiration of the star. Personally, their journey can give us spiritual insights and can teach us some lessons of life.

It is so wonderful that the three are called “wise” men for indeed they have attained the gift of Wisdom. Pope Francis describes this grace of the Holy Spirit as “the ability to see the events of the world with the eyes of Christ; to feel with the passion of Jesus; and to talk with the tongue of our Lord Jesus Christ”. It is also blessed to note that with that wisdom, though they were kings, they humbled themselves to “pay homage to the true King.”

In their journey from the East, we can just imagine the many difficulties they have experienced along the way. And yet as the poem states, “unto the valley of death” forward the three courageous men. We can also imagine the temptations they had to face upon reaching the palace of King Herod; the comfort of the place, the food, and the power that surrounds the kingdom. They could have stayed at least a little bit longer, and yet again they continued their pilgrimage. With their wisdom, they knew that “it is only in dying that they can attain life everlasting.”

And so by the guidance of the star, the three wise men reached their destination. Humbly kneeling before the Child Jesus, they offered Him gold, frankincense and myrrh. (The meaning of the three gifts can be reflected upon sometime.) But what happened after is very spiritually significant to us as we continue our own journey of faith. They did not return to Herod who was a symbol of worldly power, selfish ambition and greed. They took another route. Indeed, by not looking back, they teach us the lesson that once we find Jesus in our lives we have to leave but learn from our past. We have to tread on the path of life and salvation. We have to rearrange our priorities of values. As the three wise men offered gold, frankincense and myrrh, we have sincerely ask ourselves what do we have to offer to God from now on. God, the author and owner of life and all that we have, has given us time, talents and treasure. Therefore, we have to constantly pray for a real conversion of heart, “from a heart of stone into a heart of flesh” – a METANOIA of HEART!

Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:35 pm


CHRISTMAS PRAYER

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A MEANINGFUL, PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

During this Christmas, I wish to pray with you the following blessings:

• May we all live in peace based always in Justice and Love

• May families find quality time to pray together and dine together

• May we use our rights and privileges according to God’s will

• May we be good stewards of God’s gifts to us

• May we become friends with one another for Christ considers us His friends

• May we use our tongue to proclaim God’s Kingdom and speak the truth that can set us free

• May we always thank God for the gift of migration• May we be united in Love and in Service

• May we continue to hand over the Legacy of Faith and Legacy of Love of God to our younger generations

As one family of God, let us thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon the parish such as:

• Families with their children and youth come to church together, believing that “the family that prays together, stays together”

• The fulfillment of the mission that God has entrusted to us, the Building of His new Church in our midst

• The generosity of the faithful sharing their Time, Talent and their Treasure to the parish and the community

I always believe that your generosity will merit you more blessings from our generous God. Rest assured that your names are listed in the Book of Heaven.

May God bless our families with prosperity, constant growth in love, peace and harmony leading to maturity of faith now and forever.

Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:31 pm


"NOTHING IS WILLED UNLESS KNOWN"

WORDS OF GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION – With this “The Passage” issue, the Parish Newsletter celebrates its 10th year anniversary as a Faith education tool of St. Peter’s Christian community. In the name of the Parish faithful, we would like to express our prayerful and heartfelt appreciation to the team that is responsible in publishing the newsletter every month. We express our “thank you “ to Luz Gatdula Sanchez, the editor, to Andrea Reyes, the lay-out artist and to Robert Mayuga, the design artist. We also extend our gratitude to all the monthly contributors such as Rev. Fr. Chris Dubois, Mike Cordova, the Religious Organizations as well as the advertisers. The sharing of your time, talents and treasure (3 T’s) has helped tremendously in the evangelization apostolate of our parish. It is priceless!

“Nothing is willed unless known!” – We believe that knowledge precedes true loving and the combination of knowledge and love leads to deeper commitment and loyalty. God knows us inside out and He “loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son” to give us back the fullness of life. This principle is true to all kinds of relationships; between husbands and wives, parents and children, between siblings, neighbors, parishioners, etc. We, therefore, say that the more we know, the more we love, and the more we know and love, the more we commit and become faithful.

The Passage is one instrument of the parish that invites the faithful to come to know God more, to know who we really are, where we come from and where we must go after our journey of life here on earth. Someone in charge of a Parish Newsletter has said, “For me, communication is at the heart of what the parish (and the Church) is about. We have good news to share: we have a faith worth imbibing — and we are being offered God’s encouraging Word to take to heart and understand. Communication must involve written as well as oral media, so the newsletter is as fundamental to what the Church is about as the bread and wine used at the altar — and we do not expect these to attract an individual payment or to justify their existence financially.” The Passage is one exercise of our prophetic gift and moral responsibility: to know, to proclaim, to teach, and to witness.

To our brothers and sisters that compose “The Passage” ministry – congratulations! God blesses you and your loved ones abundantly now and forever!

Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:26 pm


THE GIFT OF WISDOM

Holy Scriptures encourage us to pray for the gift of Wisdom, one of the seven blessings of the Holy Spirit. It is said that Wisdom makes us see with the eyes of God, feel with the emotions of Jesus and talk with the words of Christ. This is the grace that each and every one of us must pray for and this is the same blessing that we all must ask God to grant to all leaders of any given institution such as the Church, the family and nations including Canada and the Philippines.

For the past two issues we reflected on the two baptismal blessings and responsibilities that of being a priest and a prophet. This time we ponder on being a king by virtue of baptism. What does it take to be a king in the name of Jesus? What are the moral implications and challenges of a leader?

When Pilate asked Jesus if He were a king, He did deny it but Christ courageously proclaimed that His kingship is not of this world otherwise His hosts of angels would protect Him. Moreover, when Pilate proudly told Jesus that he had the power to release or condemn Him to death, Christ Jesus reminded the earthly leader that he would not have such power if the Heavenly Father had not given it to him. In addition, the Lord Jesus clearly stated that though He is a king, He did not come to be served but to serve. This He manifested by washing the feet of His apostles at the Last Supper when He instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Mass.

From that encounter between Pilate and Jesus, we are reminded of some basic truths about the true nature of kingship. Jesus teaches us that sovereignty is a gift from God and just like any other Divine blessing it has its moral responsibilities. People called to become leaders must use their gift to serve God by serving God’s people. They must use their God-given time, talents and treasures to build up the Kingdom of God in their midst, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

By virtue of baptism, we are gifted with the same grace of kingship. We must use this blessing to serve God by serving one another. We must allow Jesus, the King of kings, to rule our hearts and minds. Let Christ be the King of every family. Again, together let us pray for the gift of Wisdom that can make us see with the eyes of God, feel with the compassion and generosity of Jesus, and talk using the words of Christ.

Posted: February 21, 2017, 5:24 pm


PRAY HARD AND WHATEVER WE DO, WE OFFER AS SACRIFICE TO GOD!

“Pray a great deal. Make everything you do a sacrifice that you offer to God.” This was the Angel’s admonition to the children of Fatima when Lucia asked him, “How are we to make sacrifices.”

In last month’s issue, we reflected on the prophetic role of a baptized person. This time we share about the priestly character of the baptized which is both a Divine gift and a moral responsibility. The Second Vatican Council teaches us: “Incorporated into the Church through baptism, the faithful are consecrated by the baptismal character to the exercise of the worship of the Christian religion”, (Lumen Gentium II). “The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated into a . . . holy priesthood in order that by means of every work befitting Christian people, they may offer spiritual sacrifices and proclaim the power of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (Lumen Gentium 10)

Furthermore, Vatican Council II proclaims, “Incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation . . . they are consecrated into a royal priesthood and a holy people in order that they may offer spiritual sacrifices through everything they do and may witness to Christ throughout the world.” (Decree on the Laity, 3)

The reception of these two sacraments, therefore, gives to each of the faithful a share in the priesthood of Christ in the sense that it not only gives them the capacity to participate actively in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, but gives a sacrificial value to “everything they do” in union with Jesus Christ, the Eternal High Priest. Henceforth, the advice of the Angel to the children of Fatima makes great significance, “Pray and offer sacrifices to God.”

And this is who we are; baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We have participated in the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a Divine Gift to us and yet at the same moral responsibility. We are challenged “to become holy just as our Heavenly Father is holy.” By Holiness we mean the attainment of our ultimate destiny in life – to be with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is for this reason that during our Journey of Faith, our Pilgrimage of Life, we must develop a closer and loving relationship with God manifested in our relationship with our neighbors. For this we need to strengthen our life of prayer and sustain our faith with the Bread of Life, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Just like the children of Fatima, we too must heed the admonition of the Angel: “Pray hard and whatever we do, we offer as sacrifices to God!”

Posted: September 21, 2016, 3:32 pm


QUANTUM STRIDE OF FAITH


Posted: August 15, 2016, 6:30 pm


VIVA ST. PETER!


Posted: August 15, 2016, 6:28 pm


PARENTS ARE THE FIRST AND MOST EFFECTIVE CATECHISTS


And Jesus spoke to the eleven disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.” (Mt 28:18-20) Let us focus on the moral imperative to teach in as much as couple of months from now the Catechism apostolate of our parish shall commence and also because this is one of the foci of the discipleship theme of the ongoing Synodal process of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. The theme is “DISCIPLESHIP – ESTABLISHED, ANOINTED AND SENT IN CHRIST”, and connected to this theme are the Christian offices of being priest, prophet and king which are participations of the priestly, prophetic and kingly offices of Jesus.

To emphasize the great importance of this commandment to teach, the rite of Baptism precisely starts the celebration with the instruction to the parents, “You have asked to have your children baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us by loving God and our neighbor.”

Our Church in general is blessed with parents who are faithful to their prophetic role as parents. They really exert efforts to have their children enrolled to catechism classes, and they fight for it especially if they are late in registering due to one reason or another. For the truth is, in St. Peter’s if someone is late to enroll, he or she might miss the catechism year since classes are immediately filled up due to the number of children. In fact, as of now there are already 900 kids enrolled and there are still “old” students who have not shown up yet. So in the spirit of compassion and service Catechism team has decided to extend another two days this coming August for late registrations.

And yet, the truth remains that the parents are the first and the most effective catechists to their children. They are not only the first teachers of Divine teachings but are the primary witnesses of the Gospel in the family. For instance, the catechists can teach the children about the beauty and the necessity of the Holy Mass and yet if parents do not find time to actively participate in the Eucharistic celebrations, Catechism lessons cannot influence the kids. Indeed, a true busy person is person who has time for everything and the number one in that everything must be God. “For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his life”, says the Lord. Furthermore, Jesus teaches us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and the rest shall be given unto you.”

Thank you our beloved parents for your faithfulness to your prophetic role. It is our communitarian challenge to continue to hand on the legacy of faith and the legacy of love of God and the love of the family to the next generations of our families. May God bless you and your families with constant growth in love, peace, harmony and happiness leading to the maturity of our faith now and forever.

Posted: August 3, 2016, 6:25 pm


LECHON TEACHES US . . .

Ecclesiastes 3 teaches us that “there is a given time for everything and a time for every happening under heaven: a time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for harvesting… A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing… Finally I considered the task God gave to the children of people. He made everything fitting in time but He also set eternity in their hearts although people are not able to embrace the work of God from the beginning to the end.” This is also true to our parish of St. Peter. There is a time to pray, there is a time to serve. There is a time to socialize, there a time to celebrate.

The public ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ confirmed this reality. Jesus prayed alone and with the faithful in the Temple. He taught and served by the miracles he performed. He feasted with people and he affirmed the festivities by His presence. In fact, He blessed some of those occasions by doing miracles like at the Wedding in Cana, the multiplication of the bread and fish. He made those occasions abundant in food and drink so He could teach them lessons of faith.

It is in this line of spirit that we try to celebrate festivities in our Christian community. The seeming abundance of food during our celebrations is really nothing compared to the blessings that our people have received from God. Other individuals have discovered the beauty of Divine Economics that teaches that the more they share the more blessings they shall receive. The greatest gift they attain is the inner joy they have in their generosity among other graces.

I chuckled, though I must admit that I also feel sad that some few individuals make comments about others’ generosity like offering “lechons” during our thanksgiving festivities. They say that instead of lechon they will rather use the money to help fund the Building of a New Church. This is well and good. But then again there is time for everything.

I remember that time when Jesus was in the house of Martha and Mary after Christ raised Lazarus from the dead. There was a Thanksgiving dinner. Mary anointed the feet of Jesus using an expensive perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. Judas, the betrayer, commented too that they could have sold the oil for 300 silver coins and give it to the poor. Of course, Judas had no concern for the poor. What Mary did was a display of devoted and affectionate humility to the One she loved deeply and sincerely. And Jesus commended her for her actions.

The truth of the matter is that those who have offered the “lechons” are already BANC pledgers. It is their joy to offer in that way so they can with the whole community celebrate not more about their own blessings but above all the blessings that God has showered upon the parish particularly about the development of the BANC mission. (Lechons in some regions of the world including the Philippines are prepared throughout the year for special occasions, during festivals and holidays.) Don’t they have the right to be generous in many different ways? If you are a BANC sharer also then it is well and good. God will definitely bless you too. Let us just all be generous in words, thoughts and deeds.

I write this just to remind us of basic Christian attitude. Let us all be positive in our outlook in life. Pope Francis once reflected that before we make criticism against anybody let us first look at the mirror to see our own self. In this year of mercy let us all be merciful first to ourselves and then to others all in the name of our love of God. Indeed, there is time for everything!

Posted: June 29, 2016, 2:49 pm


BIBLICAL MANAGEMENT OF FINANCES

 We have been reflecting on some truths about Christian Stewardship which we believe is a way of life, and thus affects all aspects of our human existence. We contemplated for instance on “mercy begets mercy”, “the more you share the more blessings you shall receive”, “God is the Creator and Owner of life we are just stewards of His creation”, and some others. Definitely, many of us know or at least have heard about these Divine realities but the problem though lies in the application of these principles in our daily life and relationship with people.

This time we cogitate on Biblical management of finances. Some people call this “wise use of money” and not only limited on wise spending, for indeed, the consistent message of the Bible on managing money is to be wise. The Bible, for instance has teachings on borrowing or usury that can be found in Proverbs 6:1-5; 20:16; 22:7,26-27. (“The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender.”) Holy Scripture also teaches about laziness and the financial ruin that inevitably results as found in Proverbs 6:6-11.

On the other hand, the Sacred Book warns us repeatedly against the accumulation of wealth and encourages us to seek spiritual riches instead. Proverb 28:20 states, “A faithful man will be richly blessed but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” This is a caution for those who have obsession with gaining money for such a man will never have enough wealth to satisfy himself and will constantly grasping more and more. (Ecclesiastes 5:10) In other words, as Timothy 6:6-11 puts it let us not fall into the trap of desiring wealth.

I strongly believe that this principle can also be applied to the way we use money in our parish of St. Peter. Yes, rather than just heaping more riches for the maintenance of the Church for this is no longer the model of today’s Church, the parish must give back to the faithful in the form of services and spiritually enhancing activities without counting the cost. After all the money spent in God’s name to serve the people is the same money that the people have offered. Let us remember what the Bible says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

Furthermore, 1Timothy 5:8 teaches us that it is our moral responsibility to provide for our own household reminding us, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Definitely, this also very true in the family of God to which we belong. I strongly believe this is the true meaning of being wise in the management of all our God-given gifts of time, talents and treasure.

To summarize what we saying let me quote this answer to the question on: what does the Bible say about managing money? The answer can be summarized with a single word—wisdom. We are to be wise with our money. We are to save money, but not hoard it. We are to spend money, but with discretion and control. We are to give back to the Lord, joyfully and sacrificially. We are to use our money to help others, but with discernment and the guidance of God’s Spirit. It is not wrong to be rich, but it is wrong to love money. The Bible’s consistent message on managing money is to be wise.

Posted: May 18, 2016, 2:41 pm


EASTER GREETINGS


Posted: March 30, 2016, 6:49 pm


"COME, LET US ENTER THE HOLY DOOR"


    One of the challenges during this Jubilee Year of Mercy is for us to enter into the Holy Door. Normally, the beginning of the Jubilee Year is always solemnly marked by the opening of this Holy Door by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. However, for this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis encourages a Door of Mercy in every diocese so that everyone throughout the world may be able to celebrate the Jubilee, a year of thanksgiving, praise, adoration and supplications and blessings for those who enter into the Holy door.
    It is said that the tradition of the Holy Door dates back to the 15th century started by Pope Martin in 1423. This “Door” has the symbolic functions of the door in our daily life such as; (1) it marks the separation between inside and outside, between sin and the order of grace (Mi 7:18-19), (2) it permits entry to a new place, in showing mercy and not condemnation (Mt 9:13), (3) it provides protection as well as salvation (Jn 10:7).
    Our Lord Jesus Christ courageously declares, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.” (Jn 10:9) Now, Jesus invites us to enter into the “Door”. With this invitation we are reminded that there is only one way that opens wide the entrance to God’s Kingdom and that is through our Lord Jesus Christ. Psalm 117 states, “This is the Lord’s own gate: where you may enter.”
    Indeed, entering into the Holy Door is a challenge for it involves making of a decision that implies the freedom to choose and at the same time the courage to abandon something, i.e. to leave something behind (Mt 13:44-46). Passing through this Door means professing that Jesus Christ is Lord. By strengthening our faith in Him we embrace the new life Christ has given us.
    Furthermore, entering into the Holy Door usually implies a journey, a pilgrimage to some distant places. Not many people though can make such pilgrimage for various reasons and that is why Pope Francis has suggested consecrating Holy Doors in every diocese so that faithful can be blessed during this Year of Mercy.
    And for those who do not have the luxury to go on pilgrimages, the suggestion is to make their own house doors holy by driving out all negative elements inside the home and by strengthening Christ’s presence in the lives of all family members. Open the doors of their hearts and minds and let God and let live.
Come let us enter the Holy Door of the Lord!  

Posted: March 7, 2016, 3:43 pm


"SHINE SO JESUS CAN BE KNOWN AND LOVED"


I have come across with these statements of truth, and I have reflected on them: “Spiritual maturity is not measured by how high you jump in praise but how straight you walk in obedience”, and “Do not shine so others can see you, shine so that through you others can see God.” These are very powerful proclamations that remind us of basic attitudes (BE – ATTITUDES), that we must have so we can truly become worthy disciples of Jesus and by so doing we can be blessed even more abundantly. We are talking here of the virtues of obedience, humility and the joy of being proclaimers of the Gospel.
Obedience to the Will of God is just one side of the coin of faith, the other being listening to the Word of God. Yet it is very necessary. The blessed Virgin Mary though not fully comprehending the message of the angel that she would become the mother of the Savior, could only say, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according thy Word.” Furthermore, our Lord Jesus, foreseeing the kind of suffering and death He would experience, in the Garden of Gethsemane earnestly prayed, “Father, if it is possible take this cup of suffering away from me.” And yet at he end all he could say was, “Your Will be done.” Very important the virtue of obedience is, it is a great challenge to the followers of Jesus. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ has included this in the model prayer He has taught us, the Lord’s Prayer.
Humility, on the other hand, is one virtue that all of us must possess. It is necessary for our salvation. Humility comes from the Latin word, “humus” meaning earth. We were made out earth or we can say we were created out of nothing and yet from dust we came to be who we are. However, though we step on it, though earth is at the bottom of the ocean, it is very important in our life. We have fallen due to excessive pride yet we are redeemed through the humility of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We are sent to proclaim the Good News of salvation. Our attitude should be that of being obedient and humble evangelizers since we are bringing the love, compassion, and generosity of our God. We should be joyful proclaimers and witnesses. God commands us, “Go into the world. Proclaim the Good News. Make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to observe what I have commanded you. And be not afraid for I will be with you till the end of time!”






Posted: February 8, 2016, 9:37 pm


The Story of Ten Apples - September 2015


 
            We are borrowing this story from one of the Christian Stewardship tales. There’s an old tale that in the beginning God really gave ten apples to the first couple. God said, “These first three apples I’m giving to you are for your housing needs so you can be shelter from the weather and that you can be protected from negative elements. And they said, “Thank you.” And God said again, “I have three more apples which I gladly give you for your clothing, for your food and for your nourishment and I think for once in a while fine meals.” And the couple said, “Thank you God.” And God continued, “And I add three more apples for your education, for your transportation and for your recreation. These I give you because I love you.” Once again they said, “Thank you very much.” Then for the last time God said, “I have one more apple. This is the juiciest of them all and therefore very precious one. This is very succulent. I am giving you this tenth apple so that you will have something to give me in return for these gifts.” And the man and woman looked at it and because it was the apple to their eyes they ate it and just gave God the core, the left-over.”
           
            Indeed God is so generous that when He created Adam and Eve He did not leave them in a void. He provided them with all the necessary things for their human existence. And this is the truth: all that we are and all that we have come from God. And if we human beings know how to manifest our “Utang na Loob” (spirit of gratitude) and even excessively, to fellow human beings, then there is no reason that we cannot put into action our gratitude to our Creator. Through the living witness of those who have been blessed by God very abundantly because of their belief in the principle, “the more you give in the name of the Lord, the more blessings you shall receive from our Divine Benefactor”, we must use this principle of Divine Economics in our lives. 
 
            In the Old Testament people offered to God the tenth of their produce and offered animal offerings in the Temple to thank God, to pray for more blessings and for the atonement of sins. When Jesus Christ came and offered Himself as a ransom for many, the Old Testament form of sacrifice has been perfected. We are now, “by the Charity of Christ”, to offer all of our strength, mind, heart, spirit, and life solely to God, not for God’s sake but for our sakes, for our salvation. God does not become richer or poorer whether or not we offer something to God.
 
            Furthermore, today what is important is not what we offer or how much we offer but how much love we put into our offering. In other words, everything that we present at the altar of God must be always in accordance to the dictates of our conscience. Of course our offering must always be guided by the Divine truth that the more we share the more blessings we shall receive from God for we can never outdone God’s generosity. Most importantly, whatever we offer is a manifestation of our love of God!








Posted: September 24, 2015, 2:17 pm


REFLECTIONS AND THANK YOUS - JUNE 2015

There have been quite a number of events that have happened in the past days both in preparation for the Parish Fiesta celebration and in connection to the mission of building God’s church in our midst that for this Passage issue I would just like to share our words of appreciation and recognition to all our faithful who have been sharing Time, Talents, and Treasures for God’s greater glory in the service of His people. I would like also to offer some commentaries to some of these activities. As it is said, “Evidence of great faith is not getting what you want and still being able to say: ‘Thank you Lord’”. 
In the name of the Christian community of St. Peter’s Parish, I would like to express our prayerful gratitude to all those who have participated in the Golf Tournament that was initiated as a fund-raiser for the BANC (Building A New Church) last June 6, 2015 at Meadows Golf Course. We sincerely thank all the sponsors for both monetary and in-kind contributions. Our deepest gratitude to Mr. Darin Hoffman from Mosaic, Pete Sangalang, and Pepe Maranan for initiating and making the event happen. Thank you to the Meadows Golf Course management and staff and to Charlee’s Restaurant and Lounge for their Lunch donation. Indeed, the games were not finished due to heavy rain but the positive attitude of the participants was commendable. God bless you all! 

Last June 20, 2015, there was dinner meeting with His Grace, Archbishop Richard Gagnon, D.D. and the different Religious Organizations and Movements at our St. Peter’s Parish Hall. After some welcoming, roll call, song entertainment and dinner, the main agendum started. It started with a power-point presentation of an outline of the Decree of the Lay Apostolate from the Second Vatican Council. Then, Archbishop Gagnon, D.D. shared his personal experience in Vancouver when as a priest, the bishop commissioned him to build a new parish in a less Catholic populated community. At the start, it seemed it was an impossible mission but by God’s grace and collaboration of some Catholic families, the dream was materialized. His main message of course was for unity and collaboration for all Religious Organizations and Movements working in the parishes and in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. Christian Solidarity is very necessary if we want to be faithful to the Archdiocesan Centennial Anniversary theme: “Proclaiming Christ Always!” Thank you for all those who actively participated with open minds and hearts. And thank you Your Grace. 
We express our heartfelt appreciation to our SPPYA (St. Peter’s Parish Youth Apostolate) for organizing for the first time basketball and volleyball tournaments. We pray that activities like these including spiritual retreats and youth summits will bring graceful things to our young people in all aspects of their human existence. Thank you very much! 
And thank you for all those who are actively involved in all the other activities like the Welcoming of our New Immigrants. This is part of the fulfillment of our Parish Vision Mission Statement and that is to become a welcoming community. We have undertaken the challenge to become: “We are our brethren’s keepers!” Thank you too to all who have helped honor our “fathers” through the dinner and dance that is being organized. 
All of these activities including the “Novena Masses” and above all the Procession, the Adult Confirmation and Thanksgiving Mass that we have celebrated have been fulfilled because of the full cooperation and coordination of the PPC (Parish Pastoral Council) and of the generosity and sacrifices of the chairpersons and members of the WESTOY (Worship, Education, Service, Temporalities, Organizing and Youth) Apostolates. In the name of the whole believing community, we thank you. Thank you to our Basic Christian Communities and Religious Organizations and Movements for sponsoring our nine-days Novena Masses. Thank you for those who have do-nated food and lechon to be shared during the fiesta. 
I personally pray that your generosity shall merit you and your loved ones more blessings from our generous God through the intercession of our Patron Saint, St. Peter! God bless our Parish now and forever. Viva San Pedro! 

-Rev. Msgr. Enrique Samson Jr. 


Posted: June 30, 2015, 7:54 pm


JUBILEE - A TRUMPET BLAST


Our Archdiocese of Winnipeg celebrates this year in great jubilation her centennial anniversary since her foundation last December 4, 1915. Though the festivities will still end on December, the observance was highlighted by the Thanksgiving Mass last May 4, 2015 at MTS building with the participation of an estimated 15,000 believers and visiting bishops, clergy and the religious and some government officials. The main presider and Gospel sharer was His Grace Richard Gagnon, D.D., Archbishop of the Archdiocese. It is necessary, though, to have a glimpse of the Biblical meaning of a Jubilee Year so we can have a better appreciation of the whole celebration. Definitely, Jubilee Year is a year of grace. It is both a Divine gift and a Christian challenge. According to Jack Wellman, “The word “jubilee” in the Old Testament is from the Hebrew word “yobel” or yovel” meaning “a ram’s horn, trumpet” or “coronet.” If someone announced the Jubilee, they would be actually blowing a trumpet and all of the congregation of Israel would be able to hear it. The Year of Jubilee was special to Israel as found in Leviticus 25:8-12.” And from here we can see the meaning or symbolism of the Jubilee Year for us Christians today. The Jubilee then came every fifty years. When the trumpet sounded on the fiftieth year, and specifically on the Day of Atonement, liberty would be proclaimed “throughout the land to all its inhabitants” and then all of the property that had been taken by others for unpaid debts would have to be returned to the original families (clans). On that year there would be no reaping or planting or gathering of the crops for it was to be “holy to” the nation Israel and everyone could “eat the produce of the field.” What a celebration that must have been! Everyone that had been indebted was then released from that debt and able to start over again by having their lands returned to them. Interestingly the official beginning of the Jubilee Year started on the Day of Atonement, which is symbolic of the atoning of sin for the nation of Israel, fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary. This too represented a release from a debt…the debt that we owed from our sins that we could never have paid in a million lifetimes. In the Jubilee Year all of the slaves and prisoners were set free and all of the land that had been taken by others due to unpayable debts was released back to the original owners. Once again, symbolically, we were slaves of sin (Rom 6:17) and held captive by them due to our inability to pay for them so in a similar fashion, God commanded that “In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property” (Lev 25:13) and the prisoners and slaves could be set free. Generally speaking, then, Jubilee Year means freedom; liberation from material or financial debts and forgiveness of sins as a nation and as an individual. Whether or not lands were literally returned before we can never be sure but definitely it is unthinkable to happen in our society. But it challenges the wealthy and powerful nations and individuals to do acts of generosity, equality and justice to everyone. However, as far as the atonement of our sins is concerned, yes, indeed, the Lamb of God has taken away the sins of the world. This year, therefore, for us and for the whole Archdiocese of Winnipeg is a time that we can offer to God our adoration, praise and gratitude for God’s generosity and compassion. We can include in our prayers the gift of migration to Canada. And of course, the best manifestation of our gratitude is to continue to be generous to everyone including our Church, our parish of St. Peter. At this time we are also challenged to let God always be the number agendum as each family plans for the future of their sons and daughters. Let us all be one in fulfilling the theme of our Centennial celebrations: “PROCLAIMING CHRIST ALWAYS!”

Posted: May 29, 2015, 3:02 pm


END THE WORLD HUNGER THROUGH PRAYER AND ACTION



ccording to recent statistics one child dies every 10 seconds everyday from hunger. There are 870 million people in the world who do not have enough food to eat. In response to this horrible reality, Pope Francis challenges the world to “end world hunger through prayer and action”. For the Holy Father the poor is the flesh of Jesus. Of course we know that the Papal challenge is in accordance with Christ’s proclamation, “whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it unto me.” 

Pope Francis urges us by the charity of Christ to imitate the act of love of Jesus, becoming poor so we can all share the richness of God’s generosity. The pope says, “Christ’s poverty is His way of loving us, His way of being our neighbor just as the Good Samaritan was a neighbor to the man left half dead by the side of the road…What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of His love. Christ’s poverty that enriches us is His taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us.” 

Of course we know that the Papal challenge is not only something physical and material. It goes deeper than feeding physical hunger for we cannot truly help anyone in need if there is no spiritual conversion. In fact the Holy Father says, “It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we also could say that there is only one real kind of poverty and that is – not living as children of God and not living as brothers and sisters.” And he says that he distrusts a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt. 

We are still in the Season of Lent, a time when we are encouraged to do the three pillars of Christian spirituality; prayer, fasting and almsgiving. All are interconnected and are meant for the conversion of the heart and mind, and so we can be moved to acts of justice, love and peace. 

And reflecting further on these pillars I am personally reminded of the statement of truth by Mark Batterson, “when God blesses you abundantly, don’t raise your standard of living, but rather raise your standard of giving.” This proclamation definitely reminds us of God’s generosity for all of us by sending us His only begotten Son. It reminds us of the poverty of Jesus by becoming like us except in sin. It tells us of the magnanimity of the Church as she contains the richness of God’s love particularly the Holy Sacraments that Jesus Himself has instituted. For indeed, by raising our standard of giving in the name of our love of God, by being more generous, we can be blessed even more abundantly by our generous God. For the more we give, the more God will bless us in many wonderful ways. 

 

- Rev. Msgr. Enrique Samson Jr. 





Posted: April 6, 2015, 12:24 am


SACRIFICIAL GIVING



or this issue let us reflect on Sacrificial Giving in line with the teachings of Christian Stewardship. 

We believe that Stewardship is a way of life embracing all areas of life. It is a central theme of the Bible, which tells us that we are accountable to God for all the gifts of Time, Talents and Treasures that God entrusts to us for our lifetime. On the other hand, Sacrificial Giving is a spiritually motivated way for us to carry out the stewardship of our God-given blessings. 
Normally speaking, stewardship always refers to us human beings as caretakers of God’s creation, not for the sake of God but for our sakes. For, indeed, “God does not make Him richer or poorer whether or not we offer gifts.” However, on the aspect of caretaking and responsibility, we can safely say that God is the best model of stewardship. For God did not only create us and left us alone in a void but He takes care of us all the days of our lives in countless ways. The air we breathe, the talents that we use in our jobs, the beautiful cars we drive in, our human and spiritual families (the church), and many others are all manifestations of God’s care and responsibility for us. 
Furthermore, on Sacrificial giving, God still is the best giver, not for His sake but for our sakes. In the greatness of His love for us He sent His only begotten Son to become like us except in sin to give us back the fullness of life. And Jesus continues to break Himself in the Holy Mass so that they who partake of His Body and drink of His Blood shall have life everlasting. 
From these Divine truths and realities of life, we are challenged to actively respond to God’s love and generosity. We must not only take care of our God-given gifts of time, talents, and treasure but also use them to attain our eternal destiny in heaven. We are challenged to be generous people as God is always compassionate to us. 
And this is the truth: “we can never outdone God’s goodness and generosity” and henceforth the more we are generous in God’s name, the more He will bless in many ways. 
- Rev. Msgr Enrique Samson Jr. 


Posted: April 6, 2015, 12:14 am


THE CALL TO NEW EVANGELIZATION



W hat is this “New Evangelization”? Is there something “new” to proclaim? What are its moral Christian challenges? The truth of the matter is that by virtue of our baptism, we are called “to go and proclaim the Good News, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and to teach them all that Jesus Christ has taught us”. 
The term “New Evangelization” was popularized by Pope Paul VI in his Encyclical, “Evangelization in the Modern World” to respond to the new challenges of the present times. St. John Paul II has strongly advocated this proclaiming, “the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty to proclaim Christ to all peoples.” Furthermore, the Pope says, “It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize.” 
It is necessary, however, that we use the modern means of communication in order to be more effective in our proclamation of God’s Kingdom. When Pope John Paul II uses the expression “New Evangelization”, he does not mean new message for there is only one message – Salvation through Jesus Christ. He states that evangelization should not be limited to individual unbelievers but also addressed to non-practicing Catholic Christians and to the entire cultures, those that need re-evangelizing and those who do not yet believe in Christ. New Evangelization, therefore, means “new in ardor, methods and expression.” We can also add new leaders if not new ways of leading the faithful. Evangelization must be adapted to the people of our day. 

This is the missionary challenge that our Parish of St. Peter would like to continue to take. “The Charity of Christ” urges us to become living witnesses and proclaimers of God’s Kingdom. In fact, from this missionary mandate we derive the Parish mantra for this year: “I’VE GOT A FRIEND – I AM MY BRETHREN’S KEEPER!” 


Posted: April 6, 2015, 12:10 am


EASTER MESSAGE

With Rev. Fr. Nepz, I would like to share our prayerful and sincerest greetings to all our beloved faithful: HAPPY EASTER! MAY THE JOY OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS TOUCH AND INFLUENCE OUR LIVES NOW AND FOREVER! During the Season of Lent and Holy Week, while we maintained to proclaim the Gospel of Repentance, we also encouraged as a result of “Metanoia” of Hearts our faithful to invite friends back to the Church and if not back to God. This is consistent to our Parish objective for this year dubbed as: “I’ve Got A Friend – I Am My Brethren’s Keeper!” It is for this reason that I would like to share with you a study of Warren Mueller about some excuses of some brethren of ours why they do not or seldom do they go to Church. Let us, however, that it is always fascinating to see thousands of faithful coming to celebrate the Holy Mass particularly during Christmas day and Easter Sunday. But for the rest of the year thousands also could not be seen anymore. And yet we are still Thankful to God for faith is still present on their lives. So here is Muller’s Study: Warren Mueller examines many of the excuses why people don't go to church, and answers each with biblical and practical reasons in favor of going to church. Why Go To Church? Every Sunday many people go to church while others are sleeping or engaged in other weekend activities. Since our weekends are limited, should we spend part of it in church? Let's look at some of the popular reasons for not going first. Excuse: Church is boring. "It is repetitious, predictable and a meaningless ritual. I would rather sleep in. I work hard all week and I deserve it!" Answer: Church is repetitious but so is life. The days of our lives are structured around cycles of work, eating, family and recreation times. Any of these activities can become boring if we don't strive to find something interesting or enjoyable about them. Sunday mornings at church are a time to make new friends and renew old ones; to learn about the Bible and share problems as well as to thank God for another week of life. The objective in going to church is to seek to build our relationship with God and others. Many people go to church to fulfill an obligation through some ritual and so are reduced to actions without meaning. Church worship is all about an encounter with God and others that changes who we are. Not going to church on a Sunday morning because you deserve a sleep-in does not explain why you miss church on Saturday or Sunday night. The problem is much deeper than the time of the day - it is a matter of selfishness.

Posted: May 9, 2014, 2:54 pm


JESUS PERFECTS THE LAW

Wonderful statements of facts about our faith, truths that are contained in the two formulae we use on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the 40 days and 40 nights Season of Lent. On that day we were marked with the sign of the Cross on our foreheads using the blessed ashes saying either of these two statements: “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return”, or “Repent, and Believe in the Gospel.” Indeed, we came from God and to God we must return but how to reach that life’s destiny depends on how we live during our journey of faith. And for the many times that we have fallen into sin, we say to God with all humility, “have mercy on me, God, a sinner.” We are challenged to repent and to believe in the Gospel. Believing implies the act of listening and obeying i.e. to listen to the voice of God in the many ways that He speaks to us and to obey His Will. However, while during Lent we are encouraged to do the three pillars of spirituality namely: (more intense)prayer, fasting and almsgiving; we are challenged to be more sensitive to the signs of the times wherein we can encounter God in the fullness of His love and generosity. What is henceforth more important during Lent is not our sinfulness but the love of God for us and in the greatness of His love He sent us His only Begotten Son. Our acts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are, therefore, our grateful responses to God’s compassion and magnanimity. Therefore, as we continue our journey of faith during this season of Lent, let us always remember that we are not alone. Jesus is with us as our guide, our inspiration, and our protector. He is our Good Shepherd who leads us to green pastures. And He wills that “no one should be lost”. However, on our part, we have to follow Him in faith, hope and love. We have to listen and obey so that at the end of our pilgrimage here on earth we can resurrect with Him in the Kingdom of life and love, the Kingdom of Heaven!

Posted: March 28, 2014, 11:47 am


IMPORTANT AND URGENT APPEAL

We are happy and excited to inform everyone that we are now waiting for the first draft of the Schematic Design of our new St. Peter’s church. For the meantime, we are once again humbly appealing for your financial support. Two things: first – for those who have pledged but have not yet actually started donating please do so now. Second, for those who have not yet offered their pledges, please, we need your support. The archdiocese is just waiting for you to pledge in order to give us the signal to go ahead with the actual construction. Lastly, please know that the BANC committee members will make another intensive fund raising campaign, the moment the Schematic Design shall be finished. Thank you very much! God bless us all! – from the Parish Priest.

Posted: March 20, 2014, 2:50 pm


JESUS PERFECTS THE LAW

The theme for our February 2014 issue is about love for obvious reason. We know, however, that today there is so much misconception and secularization of this virtue that it is necessary that we be reminded of the true meaning of love. The Lord Jesus describes love by saying, “No greater love has anyone than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” Jesus proved with His own death on the cross so that through His death and resurrection we can have life forever.

Henceforth, when we say that Jesus perfects the law, we mean that He is the fulfillment of the promise of a Redeemer for all of creation. He is the one of whom the prophets of old have been talking about. He is the perfection of the Law of Moses. He is the fulfillment of the Law of Love. For instance, Jesus says in the Scriptures, while before you were told not to kill; now, I tell you do not be angry with anybody; and while before you were told not to commit adultery, now I tell you anyone who looks at a woman lustfully commits already adultery. Furthermore, in the Old Testament, people used the “an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth” kind of justice, but Our Lord challenges us to love even our enemies.

What Christ really wants to teach is that we follow the true spirit of The Law and that the spirit is found in a generous and responsible love of God manifested in our love for one another. For Jesus it is far more important to always consider the mercy and generosity of God than to put more emphasis on the Commandments. Truly, for those who truly intend to live as children of God become more perfect than those who are preoccupied only with the fulfillment of external duties.

For instance, what is the spirit of the Law when we hire a traffic man in our parish? Definitely, it is not only about safety concerns but above all about sharing our positive Christian attitude with others i.e. we care for the welfare of people because they are our brothers and sisters and thus we are our brethren’s keepers. Indeed, the way we drive on the streets, the way we park, the way we react to some irresponsible drivers can reveal our Christian personality.  

What is the spirit of the law in our attempt to strengthen the different ministries of our parish? It is to instill into all our volunteer ministers that their ministry is a gift from God and that it is a means to one’s sanctification. It is meant to remind us that our faithfulness to our individual ministry is doing justice to God, to the people and to ourselves. It is not therefore a matter of how many ministries you do nor a matter of how many parishes you serve but it is a matter of faithfulness you have for your service and loyalty and love to your parish. Be charitable and just to the people in other parishes by giving them a chance to mature in their faith by granting them a space to serve God in their own parishes.

Our Lord Jesus has therefore revealed to us the secret of perfect joy and satisfaction in the way we love by commanding us, “Love one another as I have loved you. If you do this my joy maybe in you and your joy be complete.” For everything that we do; at home, at Church, at work always discern and know the true spirit of the law! 

Posted: February 19, 2014, 12:29 pm


MSGR’S MESSAGE: SALT OF THE EARTH, LIGHT OF THE WORLD

Part of the Canticle of Zechariah pro-claims, “In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” This is a statement of fact about much of our faith.

Indeed God loves us so much that in the fullness of time He has fulfilled His promise of sending us His only begotten Son to give us back our real dignity as sons and daughters of God. Jesus has become for us the Salt that gives meaning into our life and He has become our Light that leads us out from the shadow of death. His mission is to bring all of God’s creation into His Kingdom of life and love.

By virtue of baptism, we too have become “the light of the world, the salt of the earth”. We carry upon ourselves the moral obligation to continue the mission that Jesus has entrusted to us, not that what Christ has done was incomplete but that the acceptance of this gift of salvation by people differs. “The Charity of Christ” urges us to become God’s instruments in bringing brothers and sisters whom we think have strayed away from God. No, we are not making ourselves judges of others but we are our brethren’s keepers.

It is for this reason that for this year the Parish battle cry is: “I’ve Got A Friend – I Am My brethren’s Keeper.” The underlying Christian principle of this is the fact that we are all God’s children and hence we are all brothers and sisters. And again, by virtue of baptism we must take care of each other in love and respect. We must indeed be the light of the world, the salt of the earth.

Finally, let me take this opportunity, to thank all of you, beloved parishioners, our dear ministerial volunteers and our Parish Pastoral Council members for your generosity in helping make our parish a welcoming community. Rest assured of my prayers that God blesses you with a happy, prosperous and meaningful new year! Praise be to God!

Posted: February 19, 2014, 10:15 am


ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH" (Mt 16:18)

Who is the true “Rock”? What kind of “rock” Peter is? What is the relevance of the “The Rock” in our human existence and in our journey of faith?

            When the image of rock is used in the Bible, it suggests a stronghold from which one can resist attack by enemies. The Old Testament uses the title to describe God and His attributes. Yahweh is the Rock of Israel, the righteous and faithful rock. In the New Testament, Paul refers to a rock from which water flowed forth quenching the thirst of the Israelites. For Paul the rock is Jesus Christ. As Yahweh was the Rock of His people so Christ is the true Rock that accompanies His people in the journey. He is the true source of living water.

            When Jesus tells Simon that he is the rock on which Jesus will build His Church, the image given is one of security, stability, and strength. Jesus is like a wise man that builds his house on rock so that no amount of buffeting by the wind can destroy it. However, Simon becomes the rock through grace, by the fact that he is given a revelation of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Peter’s being rock therefore depends on this confession. Peter can only be a rock if he depends on Jesus, the true Rock. (365 Days With The Lord)

            One lesson of faith we can apply in our lives is that when we proclaim by our life witness that Jesus is Lord we can also become “rock” to the people we are with and to the society in which we reside. When parents become role models of faith in their homes they can become the “rock” for their children. When the parish faithfully God’s people with love and compassion, it can become the “rock” to the Christian community, much more that our parish bears the name of St. Peter.

            Furthermore, since God has commissioned us, being a community of believers, to build His Church under the patronage of St. Peter, we humbly re-echo our appeal to all our faithful to rally behind us in this mission. We aptly dub this prayer as “On This Rock” Fund Campaign for truly the new St. Peter’s Church will be the solid witness and manifestation of the peoples faith and will serve as an inspiration for our children who are the future church. We need everyone’s financial support now so we can be given the green light to fulfill our God-given mission – to build the new Church of St. Peter’s Parish. God hear our prayer! St. Peter, intercede for us!  

REMINDERS - ENCOURAGEMENT - APPEALS

            Here are some issues that we would like to humble remind our beloved faithful:

A.     For Worship

a.     To solemnly bow before partaking of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ

b.     To come at least 10 minutes before the start of the Holy Mass and stay until the final blessing at the end of the celebration

c.      We encourage parishioners gifted by God with the talent of singing to please join the choir

B.     For Education

a.     While we prayerfully thank all who have already offered themselves to become catechists, we still invite others to become sharers of faith

b.     We encourage everyone to prayerfully read the Holy Bible. But first it is a blessing that every home should have a Catholic Bible with some notes about the verses. Or join our parish-based Bible study.

C.     For Temporalities

a.     About the BANC – Few weeks from this moment, the Request For Proposal (RFP) for the services of an architect will be finished. The next step will be to hire the Architect already. For the meantime, I wish to reiterate our humble appeal to all our beloved parishioners and even including non-parishioners but with generous understanding hearts to offer their pledges now. We still need around $1.5 million to complete our 60% share of the total cost of the first phase of the construction.

b.     For the SGG (Sharing God’s Gifts) – Please be generous. Let us help financially our Archdiocese of Winnipeg to which our Parish belongs by offering to God your generosity.

c.      However, kindly remember that BANC and SGG offerings are extra manifestations of our gratitude to God. We still need your continued support for the daily operations of our parish.

D.    For the rest of the Committees like Service and Organizing – we continue to invite you to be a part of these avenues to serve God using our God-given abilities.

Thank you very much. Let us always be grateful and generous to God not because He becomes richer or poorer if we give or not, but because we can never outdone God’s compassion and love. God constantly loves and blesses generous sharers.

Posted: October 11, 2013, 5:17 pm

WE ARE PROPHETS

WE ARE PROPHETS

As we begin the Children’s Catechism ministry for the year 2013-2014, once again we are reminded of our prophetic role as baptized Catholics.  We are aware that when we were baptized, more specifically, when we were anointed by the Chrism of salvation during baptism, we participated in the Priestly, Prophetic and Kingly offices of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To be a priest is to be holy just as the Heavenly Father is holy, and holiness means the attainment of our ultimate destiny in life and that is to be with God in the Kingdom of life and love at the end of time. To be a king is to use all God-given time talents and treasure to serve God and

Hid

Kingdom

in the service of one another. And to be a prophet is to know, to proclaim, to witness and even to protect our faith.

So what is the prophetic role of the Catholic Church in the American Society today? This is part of the reflection of Rev. Fr. J. Bryan Hehir. Though this is directly addressed to the

USA

Church

but I believe this is also true to

Canada

as well.

On April 1, 2002, in the inaugural lecture of the

Boisi

Center

’s series on “The Prophetic Voices of the American Churches,” the Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, President of Catholic Charities USA and an advisory board member of the

Boisi

Center

, offered his perspective on what the prophetic role means for Catholicism in the

United States

today.

In the Catholic Church, said Hehir, the prophetic vision comprises two distinct yet complementary styles,what he called the “pedagogical” and the “prophetic.” The “pedagogical” style corresponds to a perspective that sees the Church as having a universal calling and a responsibility for the whole society. As a tolerant yet firm teacher, this Church accepts the reality of social pluralism and seeks to effect change by collaborating with the institutions of society in a long, incremental process.

The “prophetic” style, on the other hand, is about witness and conversion. The Church in this mode addresses social issues with great clarity and urgency, demanding action and situating itself as a community in contrast to the established institutions of society.

The bottom line is that all of us baptized Catholics must be pro-active in our prophetic role. We must know our faith more and more, we must proclaim it courageously and we need to witness it especially with this kind of society we live in. God bless us all.

 

Posted: November 2, 2013, 6:08 pm

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GOLF FOR BANC 2017 - YEAR 3
  • Father, let them be one just as you and I are one.

    John 17:21

  • For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Jer 29:11

  • And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

    Rom 8:28

  • I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

    Phil 4:13

  • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    Gen 1:1