Pastor's Blog

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Solemn Intercessions

During the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday, we pray the Solemn Intercessions.  For this year (2020) a new Intercession is added.  The intercession is as follows:


For the afflicted in time of pandemic

Let us pray also for all those who suffer the consequences of the current pandemic, that God the Father may grant health to the sick, strength to those who care for them, comfort to families and salvation to all the victims who have died.

Pray in silence.  Then the Priest says:

Almighty ever-living God,

only support of our human weakness,

look with compassion upon the sorrowful compassion of your children

who suffer because of this pandemic;

relieve the pain of the sick,

give strength to those who care for them,

welcome into your peace those who have died

and, throughout this time of tribulation,

grant that we may all find comfort in your merciful love.

Through Christ our Lord.


R/  Amen.

While designed for the Good Friday Liturgy, I think the intercession and prayer could be adapted for use by an individual or family members who are in self-isolation, self-quarantine or are living some other restricted life.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

3 April 2020







I am glad!  Why am I glad?  I am glad because I have been able to read some special pages.  So what are these special pages?  I am reading the homework completed by the young people preparing for First Communion and Confirmation.  I can tell that the young people pay close attention to the Church building and to Mass.  They saw things I never noticed or never thought about.  I am impressed that so many thought about the meaning of the homily.  I like the drawings made by the candidates. I am glad that so many people want to learn about the Sacraments.  I am glad that so many want to celebrate the Sacraments. 

I am glad because of the reasons listed above.  I will be gladder when the special times come.  What special times?  I will be gladder when the time comes to celebrate First Communion.  I will be gladder when the time comes to celebrate Confirmation.  I will be gladder when we will be able to gather together for the Sunday Mass.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

1 April 2020


Don’t drink the Holy Water.  Holy water may be blessed, however it is not suitable for drinking.  It is not sterile water.

If you are able to do so, use the hand sanitizer stations near the front doors and the north doors of the Church.  While washing one’s hands with soap and water is always best it is not always practical.  When going to hospitals or care facilities use the hand sanitizer the institutions provide. 

If you are sick, do not come to Church.  It is not a sin to miss Mass if you are ill.

If you are sick or are not feeling well, do not visit people in hospitals and care facilities. People who are ill often have compromised immune systems.  Sometimes visitors are required to wear mask, gowns and/or gloves.  Please follow the instruction of the health care providers.

As to the reception of Holy Communion, the (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) directs that the proper posture is standing, although it does make allowance for those who wish to receive kneeling to do so. While standing before the minister of Communion, the recipient first makes a bow of the head before reception to reverence the Blessed Sacrament. Reception of the Host may be either in the hand or on the tongue. When receiving on the hand, one hand is to be placed over the other, so that the Host may be placed by the minister in the hand. It is inappropriate for the recipient to take the sacred Host from the minister. The Host is to be consumed immediately upon receiving it. When receiving on the tongue, the recipient's hands are to be reverently joined.  (This paragraph is from Archbishop’s Smith’s 2011 letter.)

Persons receiving in the hand and who have physical difficulties (e.g. Arthritis, stroke, serious hand injury, etc.) may receive the Host in a variation of the above instructions as long as they receive in a respectful manner.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

18 February 2020



Are you a Catholic who lives in the boundaries of Good Shepherd Parish and wants to be married in a Catholic Church in another country?   As with marriages at Good Shepherd Parish there are two aspects of marriage.  There are the Civil and Church aspects.  The Civil laws of the country in which the marriage takes place must be followed.  The Church laws in the Archdiocese of Edmonton and the (Arch) Diocese in which the marriage takes place must also be followed. 

Sometimes people wishing to marry in a Catholic Church in another country tell me that they need something like a “permission for freedom to marry.”  They need more than a permission.  The couple is to meet with me on several occasions.  Forms will be completed.  A new Baptismal Certificate for the Catholic person(s) is required.  A marriage preparation course is required.  If one person lives here and the other lives in the country where the marriage is to take place, some paperwork will be competed here and some in the parish in the other country. The Archdiocese of Edmonton asks for a one year minimum of notice as the process takes time.  If your wedding is less than one year away, call me and we will try to assist you.  The above information does not cover all circumstances.  Please call me as soon as possible.

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

4 February 2020





The sacrament of anointing is the proper sacrament for those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age.  Through this sacrament the Church supports the sick in their struggle against illness and continues Christ’s work of healing.  This sacrament should not be delayed until the last minutes of a sick person’s life.  A return to physical health may follow the reception of this sacrament if it will be beneficial to the sick person’s salvation.


Who may be anointed?   

            +Those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age.

            +A sick person who recovers after being anointed and then falls ill or if

                       during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious.

+A sick person may be anointed before surgery whenever a serious illness

            is the reason for the surgery.

+Elderly people may be anointed if they have become notably weakened

            even though no serious illness is present.

              +Sick children may be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be strengthened by this sacrament.

+Sick people who, although they have lost consciousness or the use

                        of reason, would, as Christian believers, probably have asked for it if they

         were in control of their faculties.

+Those who have died are not anointed.  The prayers of the dead are prayed.


Not all Catholic hospitals have priests on staff.  Priests are on call to cover the hospitals without a resident priest.  The Misericordia Hospital does not have a resident priest.  If you are going to the hospital for scheduled serious surgery you may be anointed before you go to the hospital.   Call the parish office and ask to speak to Fr. Leo.


Each year the World Day of the Sick is celebrated on February 11.  The Anointing of the Sick will be celebrated at Good Shepherd Parish during the 9:00 AM on Tuesday, February 11.  The Anointing of the Sick will take place at Glastonbury Mews, Chartwell-Hawthorne and Touchmark during their regularly scheduled Masses in February 2020.   


Fr. Leo Hofmann

1 January 2020

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God



Is it a full Mass?

Is it a short Mass?

Is it a reconciliation Mass?


Is it a Mass with Communion?


Sometimes I am asked these questions.  I am not quite sure how to answer the person.  If I have the time I like to try to find out exactly what the questioner wants to know.

Asking if a Liturgy is a ‘full Mass”, a “short Mass”, or a “reconciliation Mass” may be the result of a person not having the vocabulary to ask the question in another way. 


Mass is a word used to describe the Eucharistic Liturgy.  In addition to readings from Scripture, there is a Eucharistic Prayer in which God is thanked.  The bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.  Communion—the Body and Blood of Christ—is distributed.  This is a very basic definition of Mass.  (There is more to Mass than what I have described.)


Sometimes Liturgies are celebrated which are not Mass.  There are readings from scripture.  There are other prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer.  Communion is not distributed*.  This type of Liturgy is a ‘Liturgy of the Word.’


There is no such thing as a ‘full’ Mass, a ‘short’ Mass or a ‘reconciliation’ Mass.  At Mass, Communion is distributed.  The number of readings varies depending on the Feast being celebrated.  Every Mass has some element of reconciliation. 


*The liturgy of Good Friday is not a Mass, however Communion is distributed.  This Communion was consecrated at the Holy Thursday Mass.


Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

Gaudete Sunday

15 December 2019



The Blessed Sacrament Chapel, which is near the front entrances of Good Shepherd Church, houses the Tabernacle.  The Tabernacle is in a Catholic Church for three reasons: 

            1). Communion for the dying,

            2). Communion for those who are sick and are unable to attend Sunday Mass, and

            3). Private prayer and adoration of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

During Mass the focus is on the Altar, the Ambo, or the Presider’s Chair.  At times during Baptism the focus is on the Baptismal Font.

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is open for silent private prayer and adoration before and after Mass.

The Chapel is not an overflow seating area nor is it an area for visiting.  The Chapel is not for child care nor is it a play area. 

Thank you for making the Blessed Sacrament Chapel a place of peace and silent prayer.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

26 November 2019




So when is the Communion chant/hymn/song to begin?  No matter what we call the sung music during Communion it begins ‘while the priest is receiving the Sacrament (GIRM #86).’  The Roman Missal is more specific.  “While the priest is receiving the Body of Christ, the Communion chant begins (RM #136).” 

So why does the ‘Chant’ begin when the priest is receiving the Consecrated Bread and Wine?

The singing during Communion is not simply background music. 

The purpose of the Communion chant is “to express the spiritual union of the communicants by the means of their unity of voices, to show gladness of heart, and to bring out more clearly the ‘communitarian’ character of the procession to receive the Eucharist.  The singing is prolonged for a long as the sacrament is being administered to the faithful

(GIRM # 86).”

What about the music ministers?  When do they receive Communion?  Archbishop Richard Smith’s 2011 document on Specific Directives for the Archdiocese of Edmonton states, “music ministers will receive Holy Communion after all others have received (Number 86).”


Note:  GIRM is an acronym for The General Instruction on the Roman Missal.

             RM is an acronym for The Roman Missal.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

7 November 2019





When a person is baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, there is be a minimum of one Godparent and a maximum of two Godparents.  Church law, also known as Canon Law, uses the word 'sponsor'.

Whether there is one sponsor or two sponsors, a sponsor is to have the qualities outlined in the October 24, 2019 Blog entitled, "GODPARENTS".

If there is one sponsor, the sponsor may be male or female.  If there are two sponsors, one must be male and one must be female (Canon Law #783).

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

October 31, 2019




If I had a child I would want the very best for my child.  Some things might be limited because of finances, illness or other conditions.  Such is life.

There is one thing that is non-negotiable.  Faith would be non-negotiable.  I would want my child to be the best Catholic.  It is true that my child will make decisions about the practice of the Catholic faith when reaching the age of adulthood.  To help my child make the best decisions possible I would want to give my child the best foundation possible.

One aspect of the foundation is the godparents.  I would want the best possible godparents for my child.  The godparents would need to be good examples of what it means to be Catholic. 

I would ask only those who are fully initiated members of the Catholic Church.  This means they have been baptized and have received Eucharist and Confirmation in the Catholic Church.

They would attend Mass on Sundays and on Christmas and New Year’s.

If married, the godparents would be married in the Catholic Church.  If single, a godparent would not be in a common-law or “living together” situation. 

Because being a godparent is an adult commitment, the godparents would be sixteen years of age or older.  While not required, I would want the godparents to show their own baptismal commitment by sharing their time, talent and treasure with a Catholic parish community.

So why are there many necessary qualities to be godparents?  If a child is to grow up to be the best possible Roman Catholic, the child must have examples of practicing Catholics.  While there are many good persons only Catholics can model and pass on the Catholic religion.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

24 October 2019


Each time we participate in the Mass, we pray for change.

In the Eucharistic Prayer, we pray that the bread and wine change into the Body and Blood of Christ. Eucharistic Prayer II, for example, says, 

“Make holy, therefore, these gifts we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall, so that they may become for us the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

We ask God to send the Holy Spirit upon the bread and wine. A word that describes this invocation of the Holy Spirit is "Epiclesis." 

We believe that in the Eucharistic Prayer the bread and wine are changed. In the Eucharistic Prayer, we also pray for another change. We pray that we change. This takes place in the memorial-offering (Anamnesis and Oblation).

We ask the Holy Spirit to come on all those who share in Communion. We ask the Holy Spirit to bring us into unity. This is a second Epiclesis.

Eucharistic Prayer II states this in the following way: 

“Humbly we pray that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.”

 Change the bread and wine! Change us too!

 - Fr. Leo Hofman, October 21, 2019