Pastor's Blog

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME

Year A

5 July 2020

 

            “I will bless your name forever, my king and my God.”

As I reflected on the psalm during my homily preparation, a familiar tune came to mind.  (Musical notes sung.)  After many years of hearing and singing the psalm refrain for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time, that tune is stuck in my brain.  I wonder how many others here experienced a similar thing.  O how I wish we could sing the refrain together!  After all, when we sing we pray twice.  Because of this dreadful virus, singing as a group is very risky activity.  Today whether we silently sing in our minds and hearts or say the words out loud together, we are making a statement of loyalty to our God.

            This loyalty is not only about this life; our loyalty extends into eternal life.  “We will bless your name forever.”  In eternal life we will be able to join in song with the choirs of angels and all those who have gone before us.  In heaven sorrow and death will be no more.  Pain and tears will be no more.  In eternal life, Covid-19 will be no more!

            For the promise of eternal life, we indeed praise God.  We also praise God because God’s qualities.  God is merciful and gracious.  God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  During these challenging days of 2020, there is something else for us to remember each and every day.  “The Lord is good to all and his compassion is over all that he has made.”

            God’s being good to all and God’s compassion over all, are important for us to believe and to remember particularly as we face this present health crisis.  God’s being good to all and God’s having compassion over all is particularly important as the ugly sin of racism continues to fester in our world, our country, our province, in our cities, in our homes, workplaces, our schools and even in our places of worship.

            We might ask why God doesn’t come charging in like a dread warrior and wipe out all evils such as Covid-19 and racism.  God could do that, however God does not often intervene in such dramatic ways.  Today we have an example of that quiet work of God in the reading from Zechariah.  “Lo, your king comes to you . . . humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  This understated entrance by the king is a reminder that righteousness shall be victorious.  Evil will come to an end.  Peace will be among nations.  God’s dominion will be from sea to sea and in the Canadian context from sea to sea to sea.  This will not be accomplished by the usual power struggles that exist in our world today.

            So how do we respond to this God-king and Jesus Christ king of the universe?  What are we called to do when we are tired and fed up with the Covidian struggles?  What about when we experience racism or other hateful treatment by the majority?  If we treat others who are in the minority or those who are different from ourselves in bad ways what are we called to do?  What are we invited to do as baptized persons?  What are we called to do as people who supposedly have been changed at this Mass by the same Holy Spirit who changes the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ?

            Today’s gospel says what we are to do.  “Come to me,” says Jesus.  “Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens.”  “Come to me and I will give you rest.”  In our weariness of dealing with Covid-19, we come to Jesus.  While he probably won’t zap us to remove the threats caused by this virus, he invites us, in faith, to figure out how to deal with this crisis and to do the best we are able.  After all, isn’t that the kind of thing Jesus did during his life when he encountered others?  He tried to make their lives better sometimes in very small ways and on a few occasions in really big ways.  How would Jesus have us respond given our modern understanding of infection prevention and control?    

            “Come to me” and do what a true follower of mine must do.  Let go of the prejudices that divide and harm and hurt.  It must be such a burden to carry around all that hate.  Let go of the racist attitudes and actions that have been passed down from generation to generation.  “Come to me,” says Jesus, and you will find rest for your souls.  “Learn from me,” says Jesus.  Adapt the teachings of Jesus to these modern times.  Work for justice and equality.  Work to make all people’s lives less burdensome.  When we truly care for and love our fellow human beings we demonstrate that the Lord is good to all and God’s compassion is over all.  When we do as God in Christ would have us do, we truly bless God’s name forever, our king and our God.   

 

Fr. Leo

 

 

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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ: 

            When?  Our lives are filled with the question of ‘when.’  When will Santa come?  When will I lose my baby teeth?  When will the root canal be done?  When are you going to grow up?  When will you settle down?  When are you going to get married?  When is the baby due?  When will we have more than a few days without rain?  The list is lengthy.  Now, because of Covid-19, many are asking, “When will this be over?”  When will things get back to normal whatever normal was?  When will we be able to go to school, university, or college once again?  When will I be able to get my job back?  When can we stop wearing masks?  The list of Covid-19 questions is long and never ending.  I too ask some Covidian questions.  When may we celebrate the Sunday Eucharist as it is supposed to be celebrated?  When may I go to my Mom’s seniors lodge and greet her with a hug and a kiss on the cheek?  When will I get to hold my first great great nephew?

            In the midst of our many questions about ‘when’, we are once again reminded to focus on God.  How about God’s compassion?  God cherishes us.  God soothes us.  God has a gentle attitude of mind.  In other words, God is like a loving parent.  It is as if God says to us, “There, there, you’ll be alright.”

            While there are times when we might not think God to be a God of compassion, it is exactly in those (and these) difficult times that we need to remember.  While we might remember parts of scripture where God is seen as being like a dread warrior without any compassion for the evil doers, we are invited to remember the times when God is compassionate.  In the story of the hospitable couple in the reading from Kings we are reminded to be open to God in the stranger.  We are reminded to receive signs of fruitfulness and life in our own dwelling places.  Who knows what will happen? 

            We have other examples of God’ compassion in what some call the ‘Christ event’.  The incarnation of Jesus in the womb of his mother was brought about by the Virgin Mary welcoming the Holy Spirit into her home.  The Word becoming flesh among us (on the first Christmas) is a singular historical event.  The Lord continues to live and to be active in the midst of our lives.  The Lord continues to transform bread and wine into living Bread and Wine to feed us on our trek through this life to eternal life.  This same Lord present among us makes us children of the light through Baptism.

            We are constantly in the presence of God’s merciful and fruitful love.  The challenge for many of us, especially during difficult times, is to accept that presence and to be filled with gratitude and zeal.  If we accept all of that, there is something more.   We cannot keep this to ourselves.  As adopted children of God through Baptism we are to live in better ways our relationships with others—all others.  This dismissal at the end of Mass tells us this:  “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord,” or “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”  To that dismissal the assembly responds, “Thanks be to God.”  “Thanks be to God” for the commission to go out there and to try to make a difference through living the good news of Jesus Christ.

               So how do we live the call of God and reach other to others particularly during these ‘Covidian’ times?  See how we do that here.  While for safety reasons many aspects of our gathering here have changed, we still are able to show hospitality and welcome.  While we ministers and volunteers may be masked all the time or for a great amount of time, we can show welcome through our words, our tone of voice and the ‘smile’ wrinkles around our eyes when our smiles cannot be seen.  When we think about it, during these times each person or family group coming here for Eucharist is greeted.  That is one gift of these strange times. 

            As a parish and a gathered assembly at each Mass, we are blessed by the people of God who have entered this sacred place.  The process during these Covid-19 times from pre-registration for Mass to the sacrifices of time and talent of the volunteer ministers to attendance in safer numbers with a 2 metre physical distancing to the wearing of masks is a sign of our caring—God’s caring—for God’s people.  All those who cannot be here because of age, medical condition, job, situation in life or the need to protect vulnerable loved ones is also a sign of blessing.  Whether we are here or at home in these days, we are and can be signs of Christ’s light to others. 

            Yes, many of us ask ‘when’ questions these days.  When will we know all the answers?  Some we will never know in this life.  We will have to wait until we all get to heaven.  Then will we find out all the answers?  Possibly.  On the other hand we might no longer care.  Why is that?  There is an old spiritual song that might tell us why.  “When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be.  When we all see Jesus we’ll sing and shout the victory.”     

 

Fr. Leo

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

28 June 2020  

 

CALL ME MAYBE

I wish Carly Rae Jepsen would have spoken with me before she wrote the song, “Call me maybe.”  The song has a great beat and interesting lyrics.  All types of people have done lip sync versions of the song.  So why do I wish the composer had called me first?  I would have asked her to write a song with the title, ‘CALL ME NOW!’ 

While it happens occasionally over the years, it has happened a lot more during these last months or as I say, during these ‘Covidian’ times.  What is it?  Quite a few people have started preparations (paperwork) for weddings and have not told us at Good Shepherd that the wedding has been cancelled or postponed.  If you have arranged for your wedding at Good Shepherd or have begun paperwork here for your wedding to take place at another Catholic Church and you have decided to cancel or postpone your wedding, CALL ME NOW.  There is no ‘maybe’ about it.  If you have decided on a new date, CALL ME NOW to see if the new date is available.  If you hope to be married at Good Shepherd in the future and have not yet had an appointment with me, note that the Archdiocese of Edmonton asks for at least one year’s notice.    CALL ME NOW!   Here's my number:  780 487 7765.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

23 June 2020

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COMPLAINING AGAIN!

A young man decided to enter a monastery. He joined one particularly strict order. The Abbot (head monk) told him, as he began his training, that they were sworn to TOTAL silence. The monks could not speak one word at all. However, every ten years, they would be permitted to speak two words.  .After 10 years of total silence, the Abbot indicated it was now time for the monk to speak his two words. The monk said, “Bed hard!” And then he resumed his silent study and work.  .Another 10 years passed and the Abbot again indicated it was time for him to speak his two words. The monk said, “Food bad!” And then he resumed his silent study and work.  Another 10 years passed and the Abbot again indicated it was time for the monk to speak his two words. The monk said, “I quit!”  The Abbot shook his head and said, “I knew this was coming. You’ve done nothing but complain for the past 30 years!”

I must admit that this old joke has been told with many variations.  Somehow it came to mind as I thought about these ‘Covidian’ times.  I am reminded that instead of complaining about everyone and everything, why not try to find three (3) good things that happen to me each day.  How about today?  There are robins singing, hares sitting quietly and not eating my tulips and no rain at this moment.  Thank you God for the little things.

 

Fr. Leo

16 June 2020

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FARMERS DAY

When I was younger the second Friday in June was a holiday from school.  It was more than a holiday from school.  The second Friday in June was Farmer’s Day.  Many rural communities had a parade, softball or baseball games, games of chance, home-made food and all sorts of things to celebrate the importance of farmers.  While many communities no longer observe the second Friday in June as a holiday there are remnants of this important day in some of our rural communities.

Although my Mom and Dad did not farm, farming is very much part of my heritage.  Mom’s parents, brothers and sister all lived on farms.  (I have worked on their farms doing all sorts of jobs in chicken coops, pig barns, cow barns and in the field.)  We grew up knowing how important farmers were to our family’s life and to everyone’s lives.  On this day, in particular, I give thanks for my farmer relatives who often supplied Mom, Dad and us ten kids with wonderful potatoes, strawberries, raspberries, pork and beef.  (In summer, Grandpa always kept us in fresh rhubarb which is a food I personally am not sure I can call 'wonderful'.)

To be a good farmer requires many talents and ingenuity.  To be a farmer requires a great deal of patience and hope that next year will be better.  So whether today is a holiday or not, we give thanks for farmers, ranchers and all who raise food to feed the world.

Saints Isidore and Maria—Patrons of farmers, farm workers, field hands, and ranchers, and rural communities--pray for them.

Saints Isidore and Maria—pray for us.

Happy Farmer’s Day everyone!

Fr. Leo

12 June 2020

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PAGES AND PAGES!!

Pages and pages!  That is how I describe the amount of information received from the Archdiocese regarding the 23 May 2020 GUIDELINES FOR THE REINTRODUCTION OF THE PUBLIC CELEBRATION OF HOLY MASS.  There are almost 21 full pages.  Add to that Alberta Health Services more than seven pages on GUIDANCE FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP (23 May 2020) and we have about 28 pages of rules, regulations and requirements.  More pages have since arrived.  There are the Occupational Health and Safety—Hazard Assessment Analysis pages (2) and the Alberta GUIDANCE FOR WEARING OF NON-MEDICAL FACE MASKS FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC pages (2).  More pages are sure to arrive. All of this is to help people to be able to attend in safer ways a public celebration of the Mass.  Not everyone is able to come to Mass whenever.  There is a maximum of Fifty (50) people and that includes me.  Please check the website for information.  One thing is for sure:  there will be more and more pages.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

4 June 2020

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THE SMILING POPE

In 1978 we had the ‘Smiling Pope’.  He died after only 33 days after being elected Pope.  Cardinal Albino Luciani chose to be called ‘John Paul’ after this two predecessors:  John XXIII and Paul VI.

Recently Pope Francis approved a foundation promoting the example and works of Pope John Paul.  I must admit that I do not know a great deal about Pope John Paul I.  I own a copy of a book written by him before he was elected Pope and Bishop of Rome.  The title of the book is Illustrisimi:  Letters from Pope John Paul I. Translated by William Weaver. Little, Brown and Company, 1978).

Pope John Paul I said some very profound things in his 'letters' to various people.  Over the next weeks I will give some examples.  For now I will tell a story John Paul I wrote in a ‘letter’ to St. Therese de Lesieux.  The story is about how “public and social charity can also be ordinary (page 151).”

“There is a story about an Irishman who, having died suddenly, approached the divine tribunal and was considerably worried:  the balance sheet of his life looked fairly poor to him.  There was a line waiting in front of him, so he watched and listened.  After having consulted the great ledger, Christ said to the first in line:  “I see that I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.  Good for you!  Step into Paradise!  To the second:  “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.”  To the third:  “I was in prison and you visited me.”  And so on.  As each one was sent to Paradise, the Irishman made an examination of his conscience and found cause to fear:  he had never given anything to eat or to drink, he had never visited the sick or the imprisoned.  His turn came, and he was trembling as he look at Christ examining the ledger.  But now Christ raises His eyes and said to him:  There’s not much written here.  However, you also did something:  I was sad, dejected, humiliated:  you came, you told me some jokes, made me laugh, and restored my courage.  Paradise!”

Pope John Paul I goes on to say, “This is a joke, I agree, but it underlines the fact that no form or charity should be neglected or underestimated (page 152).”

Fr. Leo

18 May 2020

 

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THE ‘MARY’ MONTH OF MAY

(From the) Litany of Loreto

Holy Mary

Holy Mother of God

Mirror of Justice

Throne of Wisdom

Tower of Ivory

Ark of the Covenant

Gate of Heaven

Morning star

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Regina Caeli  (Queen of Heaven)

Twelfth century hymn

Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia.

For Christ, your Son and Son of God,

has risen as he said, alleluia.

Pray to God for us, alleluia.

Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

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Third Century Prayer

We turn to you for protection,

holy Mother of God.

Listen to our prayers

and help us in our needs.

Save us from every danger,

glorious and blessed Virgin.

 

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THE HAPPY LIFE

In 2009, while on sabbatical at the University of Berkeley, I audited a class entitled, “The Happy Life.”  The class covered what different philosophers said about a happy life.

One philosopher in particular caught my eye.  Boethius of Dacia said, “And because the highest possible good for man is happiness, it follows that human happiness consists of knowing the true, doing the good and taking delight in both.”  Every once in a while I remember the underlined part and try to apply it in my life—COVID-19 or no COVID-19.

Fr. Leo

13 May 2020

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OPERA!

Opera!  What images came into your mind as you read the word ‘opera’? I must admit that sometimes I think of the Bugs Bunny cartoons set to classical music with alternate words.  There are some of us who know all or some of the lyrics of the 'Rabbit of Seville' or 'What’s Opera Doc?' There is the aria with Bugs as Leopold conducting an opera singer and an orchestra.  If you are not familiar with these ‘operas’ they are available on YouTube.

Anyway, I digress from my point of this blog entry.  While listening to some of my CDs, I came across one by a group called Pink Martini.  A song from the opera La forza del destino is on the CD.  The music is by Giuseppe Verdi and the lyrics are by Francesco Maria Piave.  The song is La Vierge Degli Angeli.   The version by Pink Martini is available on YouTube as are many other versions.

So why this song you might be wondering?  With May being a month when many people honour Mary in a special way, the words of the following translation of the song might bring hope and comfort in this very challenging time of our lives.

May the virgin of the angels

Surround me with her mantle 

And may the holy angel of God

Watch over and protect me

 

May the virgin of the angels

Protect me, protect me

The angel of God

Protect me

The Angel of God

Protect me

And protect me.

 

While the song uses the word ‘me’, it could also say ‘us’.  ‘Watch over and protect us . . .’

 

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

 

30 April 2020

 

 

 

 

 

THE COW IN THE PARKING LOT

As many of you have heard, I have a great many books.  As I unpacked them I found books I forgot I had.  One of the books is, The Cow in the Parking Lot:  A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger (Workman Publishing Company, 2010).  The authors are Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston.  The book comes at anger and life from a Buddhist perspective however, many of the ideas about anger can be used by any person.

So why is the book named after a cow in a parking lot?  Here’s why.

            You are at the grand opening of a new shopping mall on the edge of the town.  You’ve been driving around looking for a parking space for ten minutes.  At last, right in front of you a car pulls out of a spot.  You hit your turn signal and wait as the car backs out.  Suddenly, from the other direction, comes a Jeep that pulls into the space.  Not only that, but when you honk, the driver gets out, smirks, and gives you the finger.  Are you angry?

            Now change the scene ever so slightly.  Instead of a brash Jeep driver, a cow walks into the space from the other direction and settles down in the middle of it.  When you honk, she looks up and moos but doesn’t budge.  Are you angry?

 

With everyone living in such close quarters these days, this book might be helpful.  Even if a person decides not to buy the book, this contemporary Zen parable helps us look at anger from a different perspective.  Yes, there is righteous anger, however most anger is not.  So the next time someone turns into a parking space we might want, we might think of the cow in the parking lot.  The cow in the parking lot might help us while driving on the Anthony Henday, while waiting for the bathroom, while dealing with people who refuse to social distance and other similar realities of this ‘COVIDIAN’ life.

Fr. Leo

 

HAPPINESS

With so many families spending so much, much more time together in their homes than they usually do, I am reminded of this story by Anthony De Mello, SJ.

The story has the title ‘Happiness’.*

 

“I am in desperate need of help—or I’ll go crazy.  We’re living in a single room—my wife, my children and my in-laws.  So our nerves are on edge, we yell and scream at one another.  The room is a hell.”

 

“Do you promise to do whatever I tell you?” said the Master gravely.

 

“I swear I shall do anything.”

 

“Very well.  How many animals do you have?”

 

“A cow, a goat and six chickens.”

 

“Take them all into the room with you.  Then come back after a week.”

 

The man was appalled.  But he had promised to obey!  So he took the animals in.  A week later he came back, a pitiable figure, moaning.  “I’m a nervous wreck.  The dirt!  The stench!  The noise!  We’re all on the verge of madness!”

 

Go back,” said the Master, “and put the animals out.”

 

The man ran all the way home.  And came back the following day, his eyes sparkling with joy.  “How sweet life is!  The animals are out.  The home is a Paradise—so quiet and clean and roomy.”

 

*From Anthony de Mello’s book One Minute Wisdom published by Double Day in 1985. 

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GOOD FRIDAY

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!

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

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

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

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SO YOU WANT TO BE MARRIED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY?

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

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SACRAMENT OF THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK

 

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

 

WHAT KIND OF MASS?

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

 

BLESSED SACRAMENT CHAPEL

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

 

 

WHEN TO BEGIN

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

 

 

 

MINIMUM:  ONE.  MAXIMUM TWO.

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

 

 

GODPARENTS

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