Funeral – Jackie Vince

Dear Sacred Heart Parishioners,

I regret to inform you that Jackie Vince, a parishioner of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, passed away Monday, July 11th. Our deepest condolences to Andrew, Loretta, Tristan and Ethan Vince, and all her family and friends. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, July 16th at 10:30am at St. John the Baptist Church, Guelph.

Her obituary and funeral arrangement can be found here.

Please remember Jackie and the Vince family in your prayers.

God bless,
Father Mark Morley

Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena

Starts Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

During this past Advent I preached about the Spiritual Works of Mercy and this past Lent I preached about the Corporal Works of Mercy. At the beginning of the Easter Season, I invited parishioners to form what I called a Mercy Ministry. I’m very please to announce that an organization is forming, provisionally called the Parish Outreach Ministry Committee, with Dr. Jane Hosdil as Chairperson, Linda Rainville as Assistant to the Chairperson, and Adriana Ciaschi as Secretary. Various coordinators will oversee existing ministries, reestablish old ministries, and promote new ministries. Please contact me if you are interested in joining anyone of the following outreach ministries: Welcoming, Hospitality, Visiting, Food Bank, and Michael House. At their first meeting, the committee members decided to invite all parishioners to pray for this new initiative by doing the Sacred Heart of Jesus Novena, which begins on Wednesday, June 15th. A novena involves saying a prayer or a series of prayers for the nine days prior to a feast with a particular intention. For the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which we celebrate this year on Friday, June 24th, there are a number of different options.

I invite you to pray the following prayer each of the nine days with an intention for our Parish Outreach Ministry members as well as growth in new members, and make the optional Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the feast itself: https://sacredheartrockwood.ca/download/novena2022.pdf

Pastor’s Letter – Residential Schools and Reconciliation

Dear Parishioners and Students,

Like all of you, I was greatly saddened by the disturbing news about the discovery of an unmarked cemetery for Indigenous children on the grounds of the former residential school in Kamloops run by Catholic priests. It’s heart-wrenching to ponder how these children tragically died separated from their families and their communities. Our hearts go out to all those who mourn the loss of these children and suffer from the pain of intergenerational trauma. We pray for the repose of the souls of the children who died and for mercy upon the souls of those who were responsible for their deaths. We also pray that this discovery won’t set back the decades of work for healing and reconciliation, but will rather move all of us to do more for Indigenous communities. Click here to go to the CCCB Web site that provides some of the apologies given by members of the Catholic Church going back to 1991.

Although Pope Francis hasn’t yet come to Canada to apologize for the residential schools as requested in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report in 2015, Pope Benedict did express his sorrow when a delegation visited him at the Vatican in 2009 as described in this article.

And here is an article by Fr. Raymond J. de Souza that clears up some of the confusion and anger.

You may be wondering, if we have been working for healing and reconciliation among Indigenous peoples for decades, why are you not aware of it? The answer is simple: this work is not happening within social media; it is happening on the ground within communities where people are encountering each other’s hearts in person. Moreover, much of the work of reconciliation is not happening between Indigenous peoples and the Catholic Church; it is happening among Indigenous people who are themselves Catholic. They are are being accompanied by their bishops and priests. For example, there is the Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle, a coalition of Indigenous people, bishops, clergy, lay movements and institutes of consecrated life, engaged in renewing and fostering relationships between the Catholic Church and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. It was established to assist Catholics as we engage the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its Calls to Action. Click here to go to their Web site.

And here is a video on YouTube about an Indigenous woman and the support she has received from her bishop regarding the preservation of her language:

For better or for worse, they don’t really have a social media presence. This video was the only one I was able to find on the Web. Yet there is information available about the work that is being done on the ground, if you are willing to look for it. I invite you to read a statement by Cardinal Collins found here at the Archdiocese of Toronto Web site, where you will also find a very informative FAQs.

Today, as we celebrate Corpus Christi, let us be the Body of Christ, the Church, with hearts that listen with compassion to the suffering of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Let us continue to pray this week the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, asking God for an end to the pandemic, for the building of the new church, and for reconciliation. With profound humility, let us move forward together as we build up the Kingdom of God here on Earth.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Fr. Mark Morley