Spiritual Resources During this time of Church Closures due to COVID 19 Provincial Emergency

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My Dear Brothers and Sisters, the Parishioners of St. Peter’s Parish:

During this Provincial State of Emergency, when our province has been shutdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic, I have been discerning the best way to serve you and provide you with spiritual support in this crisis.

Many parishes have begun to livestream their Masses and I have wondered whether this would be a possible way of serving you.

In considering this option, I have looked at what some other parishes are doing. It seems to me, that if I cannot provide you with a good quality production, it is better not to do so. I also believe that our own Archbishop, Cardinal Collins, is providing the best spiritual resources that all of us can access.

Each morning at 7:30 a.m., Cardinal Collins is livestreaming the celebration of Mass, the Rosary and the Angelus for the day. He will also be celebrating all of the Easter liturgies, which we all love so much, live from the Cathedral. Joining him at these Easter celebrations will be all the priests who live with him and serve at the Cathedral. You can access these events live, or watch them at your own convenience, by visiting the Archdiocesan website at: www.archtoronto.org.

There are many other spiritual resources that you can find on television or on line. The Canadian Catholic network, Salt and Light, has Mass and many other devotions each day.  Vision Television also has many Catholic and Christian broadcasts. Some may also wish to access the American Catholic television station EWTN—the Eternal Word Television Network. All of these provided excellent Catholic resources to feed us at this time when we are unable to visit our parish church and celebrate the Eucharist with our faith community.

Each morning, I am celebrating Mass at 7:30 a.m. privately in our Church for the intentions of the parishioners. If you have any need that you would like me to remember at Mass, you may call and leave a message at the parish office: 416-534-4219. I am still living and working at the parish. If you wish to speak with me, please call. Although the parish offices are closed, if I do not answer when you call, I will call you back as soon as possible.

Please, also, if your situation allows it, remember the financial needs of your parish during this difficult and challenging time. Contributions can be mailed to the parish.

During this time, let us pray for all those who have contracted the coronavirus and their loved ones, that they may have a speedy recovery and know God’s presence in their suffering. Let us also keep in our prayers all those health care professionals who care for them.

Let us all keep before us the central reality of our faith in these uncertain times—Jesus is our Savior.

Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me if you wish. Be assured of my prayers for you and your families and I ask you to keep me in your prayers.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Rev. Michael McGourty
Pastor

P.S. I would like to leave you with Pope’s Francis prayer to Mary for the people of Rome during the CONVID 19 pandemic. In his version, the prayer was offered for the Roman people. Where he had said “Roman people,” I have changed the prayer to read “all people.” I hope the Holy Father will forgive me this change to his prayer.

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of [All] People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

All Churches and Parish Offices in the Archdiocese of Toronto Closed

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As a result of the current health situation, all churches and parish offices are closed until further notice. The church will no longer be open for any celebrations of Mass or for private prayer. This is to respect the public closures that have been ordered by the public health authorities to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. Please see Cardinal Collins letter on this matter.

Fr. Michael will continue to offer Mass privately each day for the intentions of the parishioners.

In the event of an emergency, please call the office and leave a message. Messages are being checked frequently everyday. However, as there is no office staff at this time, calls may not be answered immediately.

During this time, let us pray for all those who have the Coronavirus, the health care workers who assist them and all who are adversely effected by this health crisis. God willing, this situation will soon be behind us and we will soon be back to normal.

Please, also, if your situation allows it, remember the financial needs of your parish during this difficult and challenging time.

No More Publicly Celebrated Masses or Parish Events in the Archdiocese of Toronto during the Provincial State of Emergency

Today, the premier declared that the province of Ontario is in a state of emergency until March 31.

For this reason, Cardinal Collins has asked that there be no publicly celebrated Masses during this time and that all church events be cancelled.

For this reason, we will no longer have any publicly celebrated Masses or Stations of the Cross until further notice.

I will celebrate Mass privately every day for the intentions of the parish

The church will remain open for prayer Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., on Saturdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It is hoped we can maintain this practice for as long as permitted. As the situation is constantly changing, this could well change from day to day.

The parish offices will remain open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If these hours cannot be maintained by the parish staff, if God willing, my own health allows it, I will staff the parish offices. The office will not be open evenings during the state of emergency.

I am attaching a copy of Cardinal Collins’ letter from today.

During this time, let us pray for all those who have contracted the coronavirus and their loved ones, that they may have a speedy recovery and know God’s presence in their suffering. Let us also keep in our prayers all those health care professionals who care for them.

Let us all keep before us the central reality of our faith in these uncertain times—Jesus is our Savior.

Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me if you wish. Be assured of my prayers for you and your families and I ask you to keep me in your prayers. God willing, this state of emergency and situation will soon be behind us.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Michael

New Euthanasia Legislation Introduced in Canada

It’s Time To Act – Contact your MP Today!
Legislation to expand euthanasia in our country has been introduced. If passed, those eligible for euthanasia would include those without a terminal illness, including Canadians with disabilities. Doctors may also be forced to “sign off” on euthanasia for the patients they have been treating for years. Dementia patients who signed a “directive” 10 years ago may now have someone else determine when they will die. Every life has value – visit www.helptheliving.ca to send a letter (prepared for you) to your Member of Parliament. The process takes less than 5 minutes. More information can also be found at: www.archtoronto.org/euthanasia. We continue to pray and advocate for the vulnerable among us.

Please Remember Your Parish During the Coronavirus Uncertainties

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My Dear Brothers/Sisters in Christ:

Over the past few weeks, many of you have spoken to me about your concerns about coronavirus. This is indeed something that has caused all of us some anxiety due to the uncertainty about the situation.

Throughout the many uncertainties of the past century—World War I, the Great Depression and the Second World War—the parish of St. Peter’s has served the men and women of our community and been with them throughout the uncertainties of the times. The parish will also be here to serve you and your families throughout whatever the future might hold. Continue reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preventative Measures in Place

The Archdiocese of Toronto continues to work with health officials to monitor the local situation regarding active cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, Cardinal Collins has asked all parishes to implement the following measures:

  • At the Sign of Peace, refrain from shaking hands – a simple bow, nod or “Peace be with you” to your neighbour is appropriate.
  • For parishes offering communion under both species, forgo the distribution of the Precious Blood from the chalice for the congregation at this time.
  • Parishes should ensure that those distributing communion wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after the distribution of communion.
    Please also continue to practice healthy hygiene – wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer regularly, remain home if you are sick, sneeze/cough into your sleeve and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Let us continue to care for ourselves and one another as we pray for all those impacted worldwide by COVID-19.

Pope Francis’s Prayer to Mary During Coronavirus Pandemic

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

No Sunday Masses in the Archdiocese of Toronto this Weekend—March 14th and 15th

The Chief Medical Officer for the Province of Ontario has asked that there be no gatherings of greater then 250 person as a result of the present situation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). For this reason, Cardinal Collins has asked that there be no public Masses celebrated this weekend in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Weekday Masses will still be celebrated Monday to Friday at 8:00 am at St. Peter’s Parish as usual.

Fr. Michael will celebrate the Mass intentions for this weekend in privately celebrated Masses.

St. Peter’s Church will be open on Saturday afternoon from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm for Eucharistic Adoration. The Church will also be open from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday Morning for Eucharistic Adoration.

All are welcome to visit the Church for prayer on Sunday morning.

Please see the Cardinal’s letter by following this link.

At this time, let us pray for all those who are sick and all those who care for the weak and vulnerable in our society.

Parish Lenten Retreat Cancelled

Father Eric Andrews, csp, the president of the Paulists Fathers in New York has asked all Paulists priests to cancel their travels and planned missions for the time being. For that reason, Father Frank Desiderio will not be here to give our parish’s Lenten retreat this year. The retreat that had been scheduled for this Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th , 2020 is now cancelled. For those interested, copies of his book, Can you Let Go of a Grudge? Learn to Forgive and Get on With Your Life can be purchased at the parish office.