Pastor's Blog

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Each year there are three official gatherings of the priests of the Archdiocese of Edmonton.  Two of these gatherings are Assemblies and one gathering is a Retreat.  There is quite a bit of difference between an Assembly and a Retreat.

In May, the priests and the Archbishop gather out of town for the Annual Assembly of Priests.  The topics are varied and frequently there is a speaker on a specific topic or issue.  Morning prayer is prayed in common and there is a daily Mass.  Why is the Assembly of Priests held outside of Edmonton?  If it were in Edmonton or close to it many priests would be focusing on their parishes rather than being active participants at the Assembly.  Of course, in case of emergency, the Parish Office staff is able to contact the Pastor of the Parish.

In September, the priests gather for an Annual Spiritual Retreat.  The Retreat is a time for prayer and spiritual renewal.  This retreat is a preached retreat led by a priest or bishop who is known to have an ability to preach retreats.  The retreat is held away from Edmonton so the participants can focus on prayer and attentive listening rather than on the daily goings on in their parishes.

In November, the priests and deacons gather for the Mid-term Assembly.  Unlike the Annual Assembly of Priests, the Mid-term Assembly is held at a facility in Edmonton.  As with the Annual Assembly, there is daily Mass and other prayer.  Sometimes an outside speaker leads the participants and at other times staff of the Archdiocese leads the sessions.  In addition to the various sessions, the priests celebrating 25, 40, 50, 60 and more years of priesthood are honoured. 

 I hope that this article helps people better understand the three annual gatherings.  In addition to the required Annual Spiritual Retreat, priests are encouraged to make a private retreat.  The assemblies and the retreat are not holidays or vacations.

Speaking of vacation; I will write about that at another time.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

23 May 2024

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PASTORAL CARE

            As with any parish these days pastoral care extends beyond the Church building.   At several care facilities within the parish boundaries Mass is celebrated on a regular basis.  The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is also celebrated on a regular basis. 

            I preside at Mass at the various facilities on the first, second and third Thursdays of each month (except July).  The only times I am unable to have Mass is when I am called to a meeting by the Archdiocese, when for liturgical reasons the Mass may not be celebrated and on those rare times when I am away due to holidays.  When I am on-call at the Misericordia, and if the first Wednesday of the month is during my week long on-call term, I preside at a Mass at a Catholic Care facility near the Misericordia.  (Sometimes the three priests who are on call have to trade shifts or days within the shift so I may end up with a second Mass at that Catholic Care facility in the same month.)

            If someone at one of the care facilities covered by Good Shepherd is seriously ill and needs to be anointed, who calls the parish?  Presuming the sick person cannot call, a family member who has authority calls the parish.  If the sick person has stated on the person’s file that in case of a serous illness or sudden decline in the person’s health a Catholic priest is to be called and a member of the family cannot be contacted, then the person in charge of pastoral care at the institution may call the parish.  (Multiple calls by a variety of staff are not helpful.)

            The ‘Sacrament of the Sick’, the “Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick” or the “Anointing of the Sick” are acceptable terms to describe this Sacrament which uses the special oil blessed by Archbishop Smith.  (The “Last Rites” is an outmoded and incorrect term for this Sacrament.)         

            I hope that this article, plus others that have been published in the Parish Bulletin and on my Blog on the parish website will help provide a clearer understanding of this Sacrament and its role in patient care in various institutions.

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

Easter Season

11 April 2024


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ST. JOSEPH

FIRST PATRON OF CANADA

This year (2024) is the 4th centenary of the dedication (what is now Canada) to St. Joseph.  According to historical records the consecration took place in 1624.  While the exact date is not known, the consecration would have taken place between July 16 and August 15, 1624.

It was in 1834 that Pope Gregory XVI officially made St. Joseph the first patron of Canada.  In 1870 Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph to be the patron and protector of the universal Church.

I received the above information in a letter written by the Rector of St. Joseph’s Oratory on Mount Royal in Montreal.  There are a number of events being held at the Oratory during this 400th anniversary year.

I first visited the Oratory during my studies in Montreal, I was so taken by the building, the story of Brother Andre and the healings that have taken place there, that I visited The Oratory on several other occasions during that year (1987-88).  Each time I visit Montreal I make a pilgrimage to St. Joseph’s Oratory on Mount Royal. 

If you are going to Montreal on business or pleasure, think about going to the Oratory.

St. Joseph, Protector of the Universal Church and Patron of Canada, pray for us.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

10 April 2024

Christ is Risen!  Indeed, He is Risen!

 

CANCELLED

 

          Starting last September, I began a monthly scripture class.  With the exception of January, each month about 25 or so people gathered to study scripture.  The sessions varied a great deal.  One session examined the Prophet Isaiah.  One session covered the Passion according to Mark and the Passion according to John.  In the session on the Passion, we discussed that the word ‘prophecy’ is a noun and the word ‘prophesy’ is a verb.  Saying one instead of the other changes the meaning of the text.

I had hoped that more people would have attended these sessions so they could come to a better understanding of what they are hearing at Mass.  I had hoped that more lectors would have come so they would have a better understanding of the Word they are proclaiming.

I am cancelling the remaining sessions (16 April, 21 May and 18 June) so I may focus on other projects.  I will be offering an occasional session in the fall of 2024 and in the spring of 2025.  I hope that these new sessions on a variety of topics will better meet the needs of parishioners.

         

          Fr. Leo Hofmann, B.Ed., M.Div., M.A.

          Pastor

          Second Sunday of Easter

          7 April 2023


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THE SACRED PASCHAL TRIDUUM

The Sacred Paschal Triduum is over for another year.   Triduum, which means three days, began with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and concluded on Easter Sunday evening (with Evening Prayer).

If you count the actual days of the Triduum you will come up with four days:  Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  How can we call this a Triduum?  Simply stated, the greatest feasts of the Church—Solemnities--begin the evening before the actual day.  We hear at the Easter Vigil for example, “There was evening and there was morning.”  For the three days we count in the following way:  The evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Good Friday is one day.  The evening of Good Friday to the evening of Holy Saturday is one day.  The evening of Holy Saturday to the evening of Easter Sunday is one day.  There is a total of three days—the Triduum.

I am grateful to the parish staff and the many ministers of the parish whose commitment made possible the celebration of the Triduum at Good Shepherd.  In addition, without the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and the Ushers who ministered in the Parish Hall on Easter Sunday, we could not have accommodated the 200 persons who were in the Hall.  (We also had 200 chairs set up in the Hall for Good Friday, however there was no overflow from the assembly upstairs.) At each of the Masses on Easter Sunday, there were 650 people seated up stairs in the Church.

Many of those attending often have no idea what goes into each celebration so on their behalf I offer a hearty thanks. 

So, do I have a favourite part of the Triduum?  The Washing of the Feet is my favourite part of Holy Thursday.  (Thank you to the twelve who consented to having their feet washed.)  The Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday is a highlight for me.  Watching each person venerate, seeing parents taking their children to the Cross and seeing a younger person assisting an older person are all moving experiences.  At the Easter Vigil, watching the Light of Christ being spread throughout the Assembly and then seeing all those flames during the singing of the Exsultet (the Easter Proclamation) is awe-inspiring.  (When we have initiations at the Vigil; that is also a high point for me.)  I just ‘love’ the rite of sprinkling on Easter Sunday (and at any time).  The water helps cool me down!

 

Yours in the Crucified and Risen Lord,

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

6 April 2024 

Friday of the Octave of Easter


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SERVICE?

Thanks for the service.  What time is the service?  Nice service. 

To what kind of service is the speaker referring?  A car being serviced at a repair shop?  The carry out service of a grocery store?  Is it a company which services oil wells?

  I was once at a gas bar filling up my own car with gas.  The message on the gas pump wanted me to rate the company’s service. I wanted to rate

myself as excellent and give myself a tip for my high-quality service.

So where is this going?  Sometimes people refer to the Liturgies of the Church as services.  Some Christian Communities do refer to worship as Services, however Catholics do not use the word ‘Service’ to describe the Liturgies of the Church.

On the Sundays of the Year (and that includes 4:00 PM on Saturday) the celebration is referred to as the Eucharistic Liturgy, the Eucharist or the Mass.  It is never referred to as a ‘Service’. 

The celebration of Matrimony, also known as Christian Marriage, is never referred to as a service.  The marriage may be celebrated within Mass or without Mass.  If people want a simple term for the programme, ‘Marriage Liturgy’ or ‘Wedding Liturgy’ could be used. 

Quite often the rites surrounding death are referred to as services.  Again, while some Christian communities use the word to describe funerals, the Roman Catholic Church uses a variety of names.  If people gather for a prayer ‘service’ the evening before the Funeral, the celebration is referred to as the Vigil for the Deceased.  The Funeral is usually within Mass and is called a Funeral Mass.  Sometime the Funeral Mass is called the Mass of Christian Burial but never the Mass of the Resurrection.  (The Mass of the Resurrection refers to Easter Sunday.)  For good reason the Funeral Liturgy may be celebrated outside of Mass.  In trying to name this type of Funeral it could be called the Funeral Liturgy or Liturgy of the Word.  The gathering at the Cemetery for the burial, inurnment or entombment is called the Rite of Committal.

So, what about Good Friday?  It is a day when Mass is not celebrated.  There is however, a liturgy.  The Good Friday Liturgy is called The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord.  Communion is distributed from what was consecrated on Holy Thursday at the (Evening) Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  A simple way of referring to the celebration on Good Friday is the Good Friday Liturgy.

So, the next time any of us are tempted to use the word ‘service’ to describe a Liturgy of the Church, we might think about why we are calling it a ‘service’.  If unsure about the correct name, it is good to use the word, “Liturgy”. 

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

25 March 2024


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LOVE OF NEIGHBOUR

In the homilies for the last two Sundays, I have referred to the Commandments.  Along with the references to the 10 Commandments, I referred also to the words of Jesus regarding what is sometimes called the Great Commandment. 

When asked about which commandment is the first of all, Jesus answered, “The first is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).”  The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:31).”

So, who is our neighbour?  Is it the person who lives in the same condominium complex, in the next house, or in the apartment above, below or beside us?  Is the neighbour someone we speak to all the time or is the neighbour the person with whom we never speak?  We could think of many examples of people who are our neighbours.  

What about the people who live in the area around Good Shepherd Parish?  They too are our neighbours.   If the second Commandment says, “You shall love your neighbour,” then how do we show them our love?

One way is to observe the laws regarding parking.  In case some of you may have forgotten the laws and thus what it means to be a good parker-neighbour, I have included the list from the Alberta Driver’s Guide (Spring 2023) of PLACES NOT TO PARK.

-On a sidewalk or boulevard

-On a crosswalk or on any part of a crosswalk

-Within an intersection

-Within one and half metres (five feet) of access to a garage, private roadway or driveway

-Alongside or opposite any street construction or obstruction when stopping or parking would obstruct traffic

-On a bridge or underpass or the approaches to a bridge or underpass

-Where a traffic control device prohibits stopping or parking

-Within five metres (16 feet) of a stop sign or yield sign

-Within five metres of a fire hydrant.  When the hydrant is not located at the curb, do not park within five metres of the point on the curb nearest the hydrant.

-Beside other vehicles where you may be double-parked

-Closer than five metres of the edge of the intersecting roadway, except where there is an indication that parking is permitted, such as with a parking meter

-At or near the site of a fire, explosion, motor vehicle crash, or other incident, where parking would obstruct traffic or emergency response personnel and equipment.

While all of the above are important, not parking within one and a half metres (five feet) of access to a garage, private roadway or driveway, is especially relevant.  Blocking a person’s rightful access to their property or blocking their leaving from their property is illegal.  It could be a form of theft, and theft is a sin.

Please be a good neighbour.  Please observe the rules about the places not to park.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

12 March 2024


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IF

(Not by Rudyard Kipling)

If you drive your vehicle to Church and you enter the Church parking lot driveway marked with two (2) blue and white EXIT ONLY signs and an arrow pointing north then for safety’s sake you need to stop using this driveway to enter the parking lot.  (This procedure was put in place long before I arrived in July 2019.)

If you get frustrated, is it a sin?  NO!

If you have read the following statement then you have been reading the Criminal Code of Canada (176 (2)): “Every one who wilfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship . . . is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction (176 (2).”

If you are at Mass and are tempted to applaud at the end of Mass, think about why you want to applaud.  Is it because of the music?  Remember that the Mass is not a concert.  While applause is helpful at some functions, it is better to seek out the various ministers after Mass and thank them directly rather than use a generic, anonymous and impersonal method such as applause.  You could tell the ministers directly what moved you as they carried out their ministry.

If you want an object to be blessed, remember: “Blessed and consecrated objects are symbols; they express and stimulate faith, hope and love and do not possess magical power (p. 108, The Liturgical Year, Adolf Adam, 1979).”

Rev. Leo F. Hofmann

Pastor

28 February 2024 


GET SOMETHING FOR FREE!

            Step right up and get your free ashes!  At the three liturgies celebrated on Wednesday February 14, hundreds of people stepped right up to receive free ashes.  Free should be in quotation marks because there is a cost.  Just as there is rarely a ‘free’ lunch, there is a cost to receiving ashes.  The cost is not necessarily a monetary cost although for some people money might play a role as in almsgiving. 

            What is the ‘cost’ of the ‘free’ ashes?  We hear the ‘cost’ as the ashes are placed on our heads: “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  The prayers used on that day also state the ‘cost’:  Christian service, (battling) against spiritual evils, self-restraint, works of penance and charity, and (turning) away from harmful pleasures.  By receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday those who have ashes sprinkled on their heads are agreeing to try to pay the ‘cost’.

            Lent, in our branch of the Catholic Church, starts on Ash Wednesday.  On this day, as part of the celebration of the beginning of Lent, ashes made from the palms that had been distributed on from previous Passion (Palm) Sundays are placed on our heads.  In some other branches of the Catholic Church ashes are not used.  They also begin Lent on the Monday before Ash Wednesday.

            Should ashes be placed on children?  What is the first word used when the ashes are placed on a person’s head?  The word is ‘repent’.  What is the meaning of ‘repent’?  For most people, ‘repent’ means to turn away from sin.  Since we believe that children under the age of reason (age7) are not truly capable of sin and therefore do not celebrate the Sacrament of Penance, then their receiving of the sign of repentance for sins (ashes) can be called into question. 

            At Good Shepherd I have continued the practice begun at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when we were instructed to sprinkle the ashes on the head of the persons coming forward.  The sprinkling of ashes on the head is nothing new to the Church.  When I was in the Seminary in Montreal in 1988, the ashes were sprinkled on our heads.  The recent Ash Wednesday Papal Mass in Rome showed people receiving ashes by having them sprinkled on their heads.

            This Ash Wednesday one elderly person said to me that she had never seen ashes distributed by sprinkling on the head. The person always thought that the ash cross of the forehead was a ‘badge of honour’.  I wonder how Jesus might respond to such a statement.  The Gospel for Ash Wednesday says, “Beware of practicing your piety before people in order to be seen by them (Matthew 6:1).”

            I heard a complaint that a person now had to wash her hair because of the ashes.  Someone wanted to take ashes to a grandparent who could not come.  At the Mass this past Saturday night someone asked about receiving ashes.  I know that some people might not have been able to attend an Ash Wednesday Liturgy however if we start distributing ashes whenever, the beginning of Lent will soon lose its significance.  (A person can begin the observance of Lent without receiving ashes.)

            So, another ASH WEDNESDAY, the day we distribute ashes, has passed.  May we “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” So, what are the costs?  We repent, we believe and we practice.  Without us trying to do those things, then it doesn’t make much sense to receive ashes.  Free?  Not really!

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

21 February 2024



HOUSE BLESSINGS

            Have you moved into a new residence?  Would you like to have your new home blessed?  While some Catholics are unfamiliar with house blessings; for others a house blessing is an important and even essential thing to have done to a new residence.

            I am more than willing to come to bless your new home however I require that the person making the request be registered at Good Shepherd Parish.  Why do I insist that the person be registered?  On more than a few occasions I have been asked to bless a home and when I got to the home, I found out that the occupants do not attend Good Shepherd if they attend Church at all.  The blessing was not really about an active faith; it appeared to be an excuse to have a big party.  While a big gathering along with a house blessing may be a good thing; it is the blessing which is most important.

            If a relative of yours want his/her home to be blessed, the relative must make the request.

            What is the procedure to have a house blessed?  Call Fr. Leo at the parish office.  If I am not available when you call, please leave a message along with your phone number.  I will return the call as soon as I am able so we can set a mutually agreeable date and time.  If you have any questions regarding house blessings, please contact me at the parish office.  You may also email me.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

31 October 2023

All Hallows Eve

 


VEHICLE BLESSINGS

Vehicle Blessings?  Yes, that is what you read.  Some people have the custom of having a new car or truck blessed.  If you are a parishioner of Good Shepherd Parish and would like your vehicle blessed, you may call the parish and ask to speak to me.  If I am not available you may leave a message on my voicemail.  I will call you back and we will set up a mutually agreeable date and time to have your car blessed.  In other words, blessings are by appointment.

The person who owns the vehicle is the one who calls to have the vehicle blessed.  If a person is old enough to own a vehicle the person is old enough to call me.  If the owner is not able to call during the day due to work, etc., the owner can call when the owner is available and can leave a message on my voice mail.

One of the lines of the vehicle blessing states: “Let them not abuse, harm or destroy your creation, or use this vehicle to disturb or hurt other people.”  This is something to think about when asking for a vehicle blessing.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

20 September 2023

Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Tae-Gon Priest, Paul Chong Ha-Sang, and Companions, Martyrs

 

Parish Pastoral Assistant - Good Shepherd

We have an opportunity for a full time Pastoral Assistant at Good Shepherd Parish located in Edmonton. This position has a variable schedule that includes some evenings and weekends.
The responsibilities include support for the Pastor of a comprehensive pastoral program for the parish. The successful candidate will collaborate with the Pastor, other parish staff, parish pastoral council and liturgy committees in the overall pastoral care of the parish.
Focus areas include Worship, Sacramental Preparation, Faith Formation, Pastoral Care and School Liaison in accordance with Archdiocesan policies and procedures. Included in this role are responsibilities to assist the Pastor in providing professional operational and administrative support for the parish.

Qualifications:

  • Certificate in Catholic Studies or equivalent
  • Bachelor degree in Theology or Masters in Divinity is preferred.
  • Training in specific programs such as RCIA, pastoral care, sacramental preparation and other specialties.
  • Training in specific programs such as sacramental preparation, pastoral care and other specialties
  • Conflict management, problem solving training
  • Effective public speaker
  • Knowledge of community resources is preferred
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Knowledge with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Active Catholic faith life and abides by the teachings of Catholicism in his/her personal life
  • Requires some weekend and evening work for events and meetings
If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a resume quoting the job title “Pastoral Assistant” in the subject line to leo.hofmann@caedm.ca.
We thank all those who apply; however, only those invited for an interview will be contacted.
 
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On 9 May 2023, the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a message to the Catholic Faithful.  The message is about Permitting Persons Living with Mental Illness to Access Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide.  The text may be found on the website for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.  I ask that you read this important message.

Message to the Faithful

Letter to the Government of Canada

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor
25 May 2023

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PROCLAIMERS AND HEARERS

            The proclamation of the Scriptures at the Liturgy is a very important ministry.  The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy published on 4 December 1963 states:  “(Christ) is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church.”  By proclaiming the Scriptures, the Lectors are helping to make possible one aspect of the presence of Christ in the Liturgy.  By listening attentively, the Assembly is open to Christ speaking to them.

            In order to proclaim in the best possible way, Lectors read through the assigned scriptures ahead of time, check on any challenging pronunciations, and practice proclaiming by reading out loud at home before the time of their assigned Masses.  The members of the Assembly are encouraged to read through the scriptures before they arrive at the Liturgy.  By doing this the members of the Assembly are able to listen fully, actively and consciously to the proclamation of the Scriptures at the Mass.

            There are a variety of challenges for those who are proclaiming the Scriptures in the Liturgy and for the members of the Assembly who are listening to the proclamations.  The major one is those who arrive late for Liturgy.  The Liturgy begins with the Opening Song (and concludes with the final ‘Thanks be to God,’ voiced by the Assembly).  Arriving after the beginning of the Liturgy (and leaving before the end of the Liturgy), is problematic.  Latecomers interfere with the proclamation of the Scriptures.  Instead of focusing on what is being proclaimed the members of the Assembly who have already gathered find themselves having to deal with latecomers.  Whether the latecomers realize it or not, they are showing disrespect for the proclaimers, the Scriptures including the presence of Christ and the rest of the Assembly.

             Those arriving after the beginning of the opening song will stand in the foyer/narthex until there is an appropriate pause in the Liturgy.

1.      There will be a pause between the Collect (Opening Prayer) and the First Reading during which the ushers will seat the latecomers. After the latecomers are seated the First Reading begins.

2.      There will be a pause between the Second Reading and the Gospel Acclamation.  During this pause the ushers will seat latecomers.  After the latecomers are seated the presider will stand and the Gospel Acclamation begins.

3.      Any remaining latecomers are seated after the Prayer of the Faithful.

The above information has been presented orally and in print on several dates and occasions.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

11 May 2023

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A CATHOLIC PRAYER

     Recently I was at a most interesting event.  One of things at the event was the invitation for everyone to pray together a particular prayer.  I looked at the prayer and discovered it was not a prayer.  I did not join in.

The following is from the Website of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton:

We can pray alone or with others; we worship together as parish communities at Mass and pray as families. There are many types of prayer and many different styles of worship, but all centre on living and experiencing our relationship with the living God.

Everyone is called to live a “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.”
 – Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2558

Our family of faith is one that recognizes the importance of prayer in all that we do. Prayer is the common bond that we share as a family, regardless of our language, age or geographic location. From the child praying before bed to the prayer group at the parish, our family of faith continues to pray for those in our community and those around the world.

Four basic elements

·         Blessing and Adoration (praising God)

·         Prayer of Petition (asking for what we need, including forgiveness)

·         Prayer of Intercession (asking for what others need)

·         Prayer of Thanksgiving (for what God has given and done)

 

The Office of Divine Worship of the Archdiocese has produced a document on Composing Catholic Prayers.  It may be found on the website of the Archdiocese under Liturgy Resources in the Liturgy section.

 

The Archdiocese gives several examples of prayer.  Here is an example of the Stewardship Prayer for the Archdiocese:

Stewardship Prayer

Almighty God I give thanks for all that I have and all that I am.
Most of all I give thanks for the great gift of your Son, Jesus.

I pray that I may be a good steward – that I will follow faithfully, serve joyfully,
give generously, live responsibly and possess sensibly.

In gratitude for the abundant gifts you have so graciously given to me;
I return to you the first fruits of these gifts, through acts of service and by
generously sharing all that you have entrusted to me.

Heavenly Father, by your Holy Spirit –
Give me knowledge and understanding, help me to be a gift to others in your name.
I make this prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Quite a number of years ago I was taught a short formula to remember when developing or evaluating a prayer:  You, Who, Do, Through. 

Christ is risen!  Indeed, He is Risen!  Alleluia!

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

9 May 2023

 


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WHERE ARE WE?  WHO ARE WE?

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

When I arrived at Good Shepherd Parish in July 2019, I planned on spending the first year observing the life of the parish and in particular the Sunday Liturgies.  Then long came Covid-19 in March 2020.  Things changed dramatically.  The obligation to participate in the Sunday Mass was dispensed by the Archbishop.  (The dispensation no longer applies except in very serious circumstances.) We have been through periods of restrictions:  no Masses, Masses with only small numbers in attendance, Masses with larger numbers and now Masses with the only restriction being the number who can be seated in the pews (benches).  We also had periods of having to register to attend Mass.

Since safety is one of my primary concerns no longer is a group of people allowed to stand during Mass in the foyer/narthex.  The only exception to this is parents or caregivers who take their children to the foyer/narthex to quiet down before bringing them back join the rest of the assembly.  (Of course, the foyer/narthex is not a play area.)  Because we value the safety of our children, parents/caregivers are reminded to escort their children to the washrooms. 

Whenever individuals or a community experience a crisis such as Covid-19 and the other issues which occur as a result, there is no such thing as ‘going back to normal.’  Taking the ‘going back to normal’ approach ignores the multi-level changes that have taken place in individuals and in the community.

As a way of recognizing the changes, we are examining the parish and most importantly the Liturgy to see how we can proceed in the future.  At recent meetings of the ministries, the following was stated:

1)  Songs will not be put on the screens until all the music ministries are coordinated.  There are issues around copyright of the songs.  (If music is put on the screens without proper authorization, it is a form of theft and we are liable to pay damages to the owners of the copyright and the composers.)

2)  Until we have a sufficient number of adult ministers (Adult Servers, Ushers, Lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, etc.) we will not be re-introducing the Altar Server ministry.  Younger servers depend upon the example provided by all adult ministers in order to do their ministry well and with maturity.

3)  Those who arrive late are asked to stand in the foyer/narthex until an appropriate time in the Liturgy.  The ushers will then show those who arrive late where to sit.  This will be done after the Opening Prayer, after the Second Reading, and after the Prayer of the Faithful.  Those who arrive late show disrespect for rest of the Body of Christ (the Assembly) and interfere with the proclamation of the readings.  (Christ himself is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the Church.  (Intentionally missing any part of the Mass without a very good reason shows a lack of understanding of the meaning of Sunday.)

4)  We had hoped to re-introduce the passing of the collection baskets very soon.  We do not have enough ushers. There needs to be twice as many ushers as are presently signed up.  Ushers will need to be scheduled so that everyone knows if we have enough.  Ushers, as with any other adult ministry, need to take Called to Protect and fulfill any other parish and Archdiocesan requirements for ministry.  This includes training for all ushers.

5)  While Covid-19 has resulted in much frustration, anger, depression and so forth, aggression of any kind towards staff or volunteers will not be tolerated.  Not only is such behaviour un-Christian, it may be illegal according to the laws of our province and country.

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

23 March 2023


 

HE'S HERE!

He's here!  Who's here?  Christ is here!  Where's here?  In the Liturgy.  Christ is present in the Liturgy in a number of ways.  The ways may be found in point no. 7 in the 'Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy' (Sacrosanctum Concilium).  Starting in September 2023 I will be offering monthly sessions on the Scriptures.  I hope these sessions may help all of us to better understand and appreciate that Christ "is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church."

While the details have yet to be finalized, I am publishing the dates ahead of time so that interested parishioners may enter them in their calendars (paper or electronic) well in advance.  All parishioners who are 16 years old and above are welcome to attend.  I think that Lectors would also benefit from attendance at the sessions.  Knowing the background and the meanings of the texts being proclaimed to the assembly might help in even better proclamations.

The sessions will be held in the worship space from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM on the following Tuesdays:

+ 2023

- 19 September

- 17 October

- 21 November

- 19 December

+ 2024

- 20 February

- 19 March

- 16 April

- 21 May

- 18 June.  (There is no session in January.)

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

17 March 2023.

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WHAT—NO MASS?

By the time this is read by some parishioners and perhaps others who check my BLOG, Ash Wednesday will be over for another year.  With the celebration of Ash Wednesday, Lent has begun.  Lent has two major purposes:  It recalls or prepares for Baptism, and emphasizes a spirit of penance.  Through forty days of closer attention to God’s Word and of more fervent prayer, believers are prepared to celebrate the Paschal Mystery (Ordo, 2022-23. p. 154).”


At Good Shepherd Parish, we began the observance of Lent at 9:00 AM by celebrating the Eucharist and by blessing and distributing ashes which are made by burning palm branches. At 12:00 Noon we celebrated the Liturgy of the Word and blessed and distributed ashes.  At 7:00 PM we celebrated the Liturgy of the Word and blessed and distributed ashes.


After the blessing of the ashes, each person who wanted to have ashes placed on the person’s head came forward.  As the ashes were sprinkled on the head of the person, the following word were said to the person: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”  Before the arrival of Covid-19, many people were unfamiliar with the custom of having ashes sprinkled on the head.  (I had experienced this in 1988 when I attended seminary in Montreal.)  While the sprinkling of ashes on the head (without contact by the minister) was new to many, it is an ancient biblically-based practice which is common in some European countries.  While some parishes and schools may have reverted to the pre-Covid practices of marking the forehead with a cross of ashes, I made the decision to continue the non-touch sprinkling of ashes.  For those who felt that they were deprived of being able to show on their foreheads that they were ‘marked’, a reflection from the Ash Wednesday Gospel is a good idea: “Beware of practicing your piety before people in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from you Father in heaven (Matthew 6:1).”


At Good Shepherd Parish why was there one celebration of Mass and two celebrations of a Liturgy of the Word?  While many people have become used to Mass as the only type of celebration, a Liturgy of the Word with the blessing and distribution of ashes is a valid way to celebrate Ash Wednesday (Ordo, 2022-23 p. 158; Roman Missal, p.195).  A celebration of the Mass requires more ministers than does a Liturgy of the Word.  At Good Shepherd Parish, there were no ushers at the morning and noon celebrations.  There was no adult server at noon nor was there any music at noon.  The Liturgy of the Word at 12 noon enabled people on their lunch break to mark Ash Wednesday and yet return to their jobs on time.  A celebration of the Liturgy of the Word with the distribution of ashes is an act of solidarity with parishes in our Archdiocese and around the world who rarely have a priest to preside on Solemnities (Sundays, Christmas and Mary, the Holy Mother of God) let alone on a day when attendance at Mass is not required.  Every Liturgical celebration at the Church has readings from the scriptures.  A celebration of the Liturgy of the Word may help facilitate “closer attention to God’s Word (Ordo, 2022-23. p, 154.)”  Ash Wednesday has many aspects.  As I stated in my homily, “If we come here only to get ashes, then we have missed the point.”

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

23 February 2023


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GOOD SHEPHERD PARISH

For Weddings booked after 1 January 2023


Congratulations on your decision to get married!  The Catholic Church rejoices in your decision to marry and enter into the beautiful vocation of marriage – the beginning of a great adventure together, and family life. As you prepare for this life changing moment, the Catholic Church desires to be part of your journey by helping you grow in your love for each other, and in your relationship with Christ. Each person is called to prepare as well as possible to live out their faith in marriage and daily life.

Steps to Getting Married

Here’s an outline of the steps you will take in preparing for your marriage:

1.  Contact Good Shepherd Parish Office at least one year prior to the anticipated date of the wedding.

This is the first step in order to be married in the Catholic Church. 

a)   If Good Shepherd is the parish closest to either of the Catholic parties, whether you celebrate Mass there or not, and regardless of whether the wedding will take place at the parish, Fr. Leo Hofmann, who is presently the pastor of Good Shepherd is responsible for the completion of all necessary documentation.

b)   If neither the bride or the groom is from Good Shepherd Parish and for a good reason the couple wishes to marry at Good Shepherd Parish, the couple must go to their nearest parish to complete the documentation.  The couple must also contact Good Shepherd to set up a meeting with Fr. Hofmann regarding the possible date for the wedding.

c)   If the couple wants to marry in another parish, Fr. Hofmann will forward the documentation to the other parish.  The couple will have to arrange with the other parish the details of the wedding.  (Please note:  Fr. Hofmann rarely goes to other parishes to preside at weddings.)

To avoid possible complications, no wedding dates should be booked until after the completion of the first meeting with Fr. Hofmann. This is to ensure that you have a full understanding of all of the requirements necessary for celebrating your wedding in the Catholic Church, and to prevent you from losing non-refundable costs if the wedding date needs to be postponed. This initial visit will determine if both of you are free to marry in the Church and allow Fr. Hofmann to guide the couple through the marriage preparation process.

This initial meeting is designed to explain the requirements needed to be married in the Catholic Church; begin the necessary dialogue to learn about your personal histories (e.g., possible prior marriages); and create an opportunity for you to reflect more seriously on the meaning of marriage in the Church.

The formal preparation for marriage is to begin at least twelve months prior to the anticipated date of the wedding.

2. Participate in a Catholic marriage preparation course

You are required to attend a Catholic marriage preparation course. It is strongly recommended that the marriage course be taken at least 4-6 months before the wedding date. This will avoid the hectic time before your wedding and allow you to have a more fulfilling and pleasant experience. After the completion of the program, you will receive a certificate of completion which needs to be submitted to Fr. Hofmann.  Because of a variety of deadlines, Fr. Hofmann will need the marriage preparation course certificate at least two months before the date of the wedding so there will be sufficient time to prepare the necessary papers and for any dispensations or permissions to be granted.  This is especially important for weddings that will take place outside the Archdiocese of Edmonton.

At the present time Good Shepherd Parish does not offer a marriage preparation course.  Fr. Hofmann will supply the couple with a list of parishes which offer a marriage preparation course.  Engage Encounter is another approved preparation program in the Archdiocese of Edmonton.  For couples unable to take an in-person course, there is an on-line option.    

3.  Follow-up meetings with the Pastor

The second meeting is to take place after the completion of an approved Catholic marriage preparation course and is conducted by Fr. Hofmann. Its purpose is to give you, the couple, the opportunity to reaffirm your decision for marriage and in particular for marriage in the Church. Each party will meet individually with Fr. Hofmann and be interviewed separately.

The third meeting is to help you prepare for the liturgical celebration of your marriage.  If you are celebrating your wedding at another Catholic parish, you will meet with the pastor (or designate) of that parish.

4. Time of the wedding

Weddings at Good Shepherd may be celebrated on Saturday at 10:00 AM, 12 Noon or 2:00 PM. 

Weddings may be celebrated on Fridays or on some other days of the week.  At Good Shepherd Parish weddings are not celebrated on Sunday.

Weddings may not be celebrated in Holy Week or on any day of the Easter Triduum.

At Good Shepherd weddings are strongly discouraged during Advent and Lent.  If a wedding is celebrated during Advent or Lent, the wedding ceremony should reflect the special nature of this liturgical season and avoid too much pomp and display.


Please note the following:
  • Catholics are obliged by Church law to be married in front of a Catholic Priest and two witnesses.
  • A Catholic may marry a baptized non-Catholic in the Catholic Church.
  • A Catholic may marry a non-baptized person in the Catholic Church.
  • If either the bride or the groom has been married before in any type of religious ceremony or a civil ceremony, there needs to be an investigation to determine if the person is free to marry in the Catholic Church.  A date cannot be set until the investigation has taken place by the Inter-Diocesan Tribunal of Edmonton. Fr. Hofmann will assist with this process. 

The information on Pages 1-4 are adapted from the website of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, from Church Canon Law and from previous guidelines of Good Shepherd Parish. 


Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

Good Shepherd Catholic Parish

1 February 2023



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THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH


Have you ever heard of the precepts of the Church?  While we do not often hear about them in these modern times, they still exist.  What are the precepts of the Church?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states the following:  “The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life.The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbour (CCC  2041).”

Precept # 1: You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.”  This requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian Community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord. (CCC 2042).”

Precept #2: You shall confess your sins once a year.  This precept applies to mortal/serious sins. (CCC 2042)

Precept #3: You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter Season.  “This guarantees a minimum reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and centre of the Christian Liturgy (CCC 2042).”

Precept #4: You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.  “This completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honour the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary and the Saints (CCC 2043).”  In Canada in addition to all Sundays, Christmas Day (Eve) and New Years Day (Eve) are holy days of obligation.

Precept #5: You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.  “(This) ensures the times of ascesis and penance prepare us for the liturgical feast; they help us acquire master over our instincts and freedom of heart (CCC 2043).”  (Ascesis means self-discipline.)  “The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to (the person’s) abilities.)

Those are the precepts of the Church.  As stated above they are a minimum.  The question is, “Is the minimum practice of the faith enough?”  If we do not even reach the minimum, Lent is a good time to convert to better ways of living the faith.  As the second reading for Ash Wednesday says, “See now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)!”


Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

16 February 2023


()()()()()()


GLUTEN INTOLERANT?


Are you unable to receive the Consecrated Bread (the Host) because you are gluten intolerant?  Do you have Celiac Disease?  If you are not able to receive the Body of Christ because of gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease, we may be able to help you.

Before I state how we may be able to help you I will define some terms.  Altar bread refers to the bread before the Consecration at the Mass.  Once the Consecration has taken place the bread is called the Host. A pyx is a small gold container used for the Host.

At Good Shepherd we have a supply of low-gluten altar breads.  The altar breads are not gluten free.  They have 20 parts per million of gluten.  These are kept in a different cupboard than the regular altar breads.  We also have a supply of pyxes that are only used for low-gluten altar breads/Hosts. By using these specially marked pyxes we avoid possible cross contamination or mix ups with regular altar breads/Hosts.

If you need to receive a low-gluten Host at Communion I hope the following instructions help.

1)  Arrive early (at least 10 minutes before Mass) and speak to Rosemary Lee or Fr. Leo.

2)  Tell us that because your medical condition you need to receive a low-gluten Host at Communion. 

3)  Rosemary or I will go to the working sacristy.  A low-gluten altar bread is placed into a pyx.  The pyx is placed on the credence table (under the large crucifix).

4)  During the preparation of the Altar the pyx is placed on the altar.

5)  At Communion, the pyx is placed on a plate on the table beside the place where Fr. Leo distributes Communion.

6)  You walk in the Communion Procession with everyone else who is receiving.

7)  When you are near Fr. Leo, go to the table with the pyxes on a plate.  Take a pyx marked ‘Low-Gluten’.  You open the pyx and consume the Host.  You may leave the empty pyx on the table.  (If you have your own pyx, you follow the above steps.  After receiving Communion, you take your pyx with you for use the next time you come to Church.)

It is important to let us know, as outlined above, if you wish to receive a low-gluten Host.  The only low-gluten Hosts available at Communion are those when requests have been made before Mass.  (We began this way of doing things when Covid-19 began.  We hope that one day we might make parts of the procedure simpler.)


Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

13 December 2022

Memorial of St. Lucy

 

???????????????????????

 

DO YOU WANT TO BECOME INVISIBLE?

If you want to become invisible, stand by Fr. Leo.  I sometimes greet before Mass.  I think that welcoming people to the Church building is a good thing to do.  Greeting before Mass is one form of hospitality.  Sometimes I stand next to another person who is also greeting.  So what happens on more than a few occasions?  The greeter beside me is ignored.  In a sense, the other greeter has become invisible. 

Here is an example.  I might say, “Hello” or “Good afternoon.”  The person who is arriving says, “Good afternoon, Father”, “Good Morning, Father” or something equivalent. The person arriving says nothing to the person beside me.  I am acknowledged and the other person standing next to me is not.  The person beside me appears to be invisible.

So if you are arriving and you see me greeting and standing beside someone else who is also greeting, please free to greet both of us.  It is the Christian thing to do.


Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

4 December 2022

Second Sunday of Advent 

 


#$@*@@!!!$#####

ADVENT-CHRISTMAS SEASON

2022-23

Sacrament of Penance

(Also known as Reconciliation or Confession)

December 2022

  • 3 December  (Saturday) 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
  • 10 December (Saturday) 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
  • 14 December (Wednesday) 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 15 December (Thursday) 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 16 December (Friday) 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 17 December (Saturday) 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM 
  • 21 December (Wednesday) 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • 24 December (Saturday) No Sacrament of Penance
  • 31 December (Saturday) 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

January 2023

  • 7 January (Saturday) 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

PLEASE NOTE: THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE WILL NOT BE CELEBRATED ON 14 JANUARY OR 21 JANUARY.

Please do not wait until the last minute to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance otherwise you may be disappointed.

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

23 November 2022

 

!###@***%%&^+


SCRIPTURE SERIES 2023-24


It is my hope to offer a Scripture Series starting in the Fall of 2023 and concluding in the Spring of 2024.  So why am I telling you about this so far in advance?  I tell you this so that you might be able to plan in advance and mark your calendars.  Granted that many paper calendars for 2024 have not been printed, many people have some form of electronic calendars.  The dates for the Scripture Series 2023-24 have already been booked with the Parish Office.  The sessions will be held on the following TUESDAYS from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM in the Church.

  • 19 September 2023
  • 17 October 2023
  • 21 November 2023
  • 19 December 2023
  • 20 February 2024
  • 19 March 2024
  • 16 April 2024
  • 21 May 2024
  • 18 June 2024
  • There is no session in January 2024.

As the dates draw nearer, I will confirm the times and dates as well as the topics being covered at each session.  Parishioners 16 and over are welcome to attend.


Fr. Leo Hofmann, B.Ed., M.Div., M.A.

21 November 2022

 

XxXxXxXxXx

 

CHRISTMAS SEASON

2022-23

Mass Times and Readings

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:

24 December

  4:00 PM

  6:00 PM

  8:00 PM

10:00 PM

12 Midnight

25 December

10:00 AM

12 Noon

The readings for the Masses of December 24 and 25 are from the

Mass During the Night and are found in the Lectionary:  Sundays and Solemnities (no. 14, p. 55).  

The readings are also found in the Sunday Missal 2022-23 Living with Christ (Mass During the Night, p. 103)

Christmas (Eve or Day) is a Holy Day of Obligation.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day:

31 December

 5:00 PM

1 January

10:00 AM

12 Noon

The readings for the Masses of 31 December and 1 January are from

Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God and are found in the Lectionary:  Sundays and Solemnities (no. 18, p. 83).  

The readings are also found in the Sunday Missal 2022-23 Living with Christ (Mary the Holy Mother of God, p. 121).

New Year’s (Eve or Day) is a Holy Day of Obligation.

 

The Epiphany of the Lord:

7 January

 4:00 PM

8 January

10:00 AM

12 Noon

The readings for the Masses of Epiphany are found in the Lectionary:  Sundays and Solemnities (no. 20, p. 91).  The readings are also found in Sunday Missal 2022-23 Living with Christ (Epiphany of the Lord, p. 127).

 

As with all Sundays, Epiphany is a Holy Day of Obligation.

 

This Christmas Season is a bit different than most. Because there is no Sunday between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the Feast of the Holy Family is on Friday December 30 2022. In addition, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is not celebrated on a Sunday. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is on Monday 9 January 2023.  The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the end of the Christmas Season and the beginning of Ordinary Time.  This Christmas Season, Good Shepherd Parish will not be marking the Feast of the Holy Family or the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in a special way.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

15 November 2022 

(Entered on Blog on 18 November 2022)

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LAST (MINUTE) RITES

In the old days, when someone was dying, the priest would be called.  He would administer the Sacrament known as Extreme Unction (Last Anointing).  Sometimes called the Last Rites, it was celebrated at the last minute—or close to it.  Sometimes the person would recover, however the person usually died shortly after the Sacrament was administered.  (Sometimes I think that the person died [of fright] because that is what a visit from the priest meant for many sick people and their families.)

How things have changed!  While the priest is rightly called when someone is close to dying, the Church encourages people not to wait until the last minute.  In fact, the Church states:  The priest should ensure that the abuse of delaying the celebration of the sacrament does not occur, and that the celebration takes place while the sick person is capable of active participation.  The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should be celebrated only when a Christian’s health if seriously impaired by sickness or old age.

There is more to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick than I have written in the entry.  Just don’t make it the last (minute) rites.

 

4 November 2022 (From Blog entry of 22 April 2022)

 

SACRAMENT OF THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick 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 struggles against illness and continues Christ’s work of healing. This Sacrament should not be delayed until the last minutes of a 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 come 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. 

 

4 November 2022 (From Blog entry of 1 January 2020)

 

THE (REAL) LAST RITES

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is popularly called the “Last Rites”.  While the last sacrament many receive is the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church envisions that the person receives Communion before the person dies. 

The Communion a person receives as death is close is known as Viaticum—food for the journey.  The rite for the celebration of Viaticum says the following: “The celebration of the eucharist as viaticum, food for the passage through death to eternal life, is the sacrament proper to the dying Christian.  It is the completion and crown of the Christian life on this earth, signifying that the Christian follows the Lord to eternal glory and the banquet of the heavenly kingdom.  The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should be celebrated at the beginning of a serious illness.  Viaticum, celebrated when death is close, will then be better understood as the last sacrament for Christian life.”

There are a number of other details of the celebrating Viaticum, however the above makes three points:  don’t delay celebrating the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick until the last minute, the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is not called the Last Rites and if possible, the dying person should receive Communion—Viaticum.  While some dying persons who very close to death may not be able to receive food or drink, most of the time, if delays had not taken place, the person could have received the hope, comfort and food for the journey envisioned by the Church. 

 

4 November 2022

Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

 

+ + +

CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30th 

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In today’s gospel, we met Zaccheus who is shunned by all around him. Despite his great financial wealth, he is spiritually bankrupt. However, Zaccheus yearns for the truth of Christ. So, he climbs a tree so that he can be a witness to that truth. When Jesus sees Zaccheus he looks at him with the eyes of God’s eternal love. Jesus sees beyond all of the social judgements and Zaccheus experiences being seen in a way he has never been seen before. This encounter transforms him. Such is the work of Catholic Social Services in our own Archdiocese. It heals and transforms. When vulnerable people come to Catholic Social Services they are people at the margins of our society. They may be women and children facing domestic abuse, refugees leaving a war-torn homeland, people with developmental disabilities who require around-the-clock supports, seniors living in isolation, a pregnant girl with nowhere to turn for support, or a high-risk teenager with no place to call home. Whatever their circumstances, each year more than 20,000 vulnerable Albertans encounter God’s love through the 1900 staff and 400 volunteers at Catholic Social Services who faithfully serve a noble mission. Part of the agency’s success is fuelled by the generosity of our Catholic community who volunteer time or make much-needed financial donations. Last year, I designated the final Sunday in October as the inaugural Catholic Social Services Sunday. On this, our second annual Catholic Social Services Sunday, I offer my most sincere gratitude for this very special local agency. I pray that each of you will hold a distinct place in your hearts for all the vulnerable people in our community served by the fine people at Catholic Social Services. 

Sincerely in Christ, 

Richard W. Smith Archbishop of Edmonton

 


 

 

COME AND LEARN

There has been a correction of the dates for the 2022-23 Come and Learn.  See the blog of 6 October 2022.  Sorry about that.

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

*^##***

DON’T DELAY!  MAKE YOUR BOOKINGS NOW!

Does your parish organization need to book an event in the Parish Hall or in one of the Meeting Rooms?  All too often there are expectations that the Hall or a Meeting Room is available almost at the last minute.  Bookings are sometimes available on short notice however some parish facilities are booked (many) months in advance. 

If you are the person who is responsible for making the booking, then do not delay!  Make your booking now!  If you do not get the date (and time) you want and if you haven’t contacted the parish office well in advance of the event, then don’t blame the Pastor, the Pastoral Associate, the Secretary or the Custodian.  It is not their fault that the request came too late and the facilities desired are not available.  After all, to blame someone else for your failure might be the breaking of the Eighth Commandment:  Thou shall not bear false witness.  And that’s a SIN! 


Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

9 October 2022

 

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COME AND LEARN

2022-23

Come and Learn is a four-part series on Scripture lead by me.  The first part was held on Wednesday 28 September.  The first part was a general session on the Scriptures and the next three parts are on the readings for various seasons of the Church year.  For the three remaining parts I will be using the New Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) of the Bible.  This is the version that is used for the readings at Mass in Canada.  You are welcome to bring your Bible with you.  It does not need to be the NRSV. 

The dates for the next three sessions and the material covered are as follows:

Tuesday November 15

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Lent

Tuesday February 7

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Advent and Christmas

Tuesday March 21

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Triduum and Easter Season

The sessions will be held in the worship space of the Church.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

6 October 2022

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

RESTRICTED ADULT!

Restricted Adult—what is Restricted Adult?  The Baptismal Preparation Course that’s what.  So why is the Baptism Course for Parents and Godparents for adults only?  The reason why we ask that only adults attend the Baptism Preparation Course is so that all who are attending can focus on what is being taught rather than on caring for a Child.

Let’s say that the Parents or Godparents bring a Child who begins to fuss or cry loudly.  The Parents or Godparents rightly change their focus from the course to child care.  One parent or Godparent usually has to leave the Church Hall to take care of the Child.  That person then misses part of the Course.  As parents/Godparents are asked to attend only one class missing part of the class is problematic.

This is equally true with toddlers running around the Hall.  Again, the focus of the Parents or Godparents of the child changes from the material in the Course to the child running around.  This also distracts the other parents and godparents who are present as well as the teacher and any volunteers who assist with the Course.  (So is arriving late for the course.)

What is the solution?  Parents/Godparents should take the Baptism Preparation Course and complete as many of the forms as is possible before the birth of the child.  This will allow a Baptism Preparation Course with less distractions for everyone present.  The Baptism Preparation Course then becomes part of preparing for the birth of a child rather than one of the things to ‘fit in’ during the hectic time after the birth of the child.

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

21 September 2022

Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist         

 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND THEY’RE OFF!

"And they’re off!”  I’ve heard the announcer say that at a horse race.  I’ve never heard it actually exclaimed at the beginning of the Entrance at Mass. So why should the Entrance Procession never seem as a horse race or a charge into battle?

The ‘purpose of the Entrance Song (Chant) is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical time or festivity and so accompany the procession of the Priest and the ministers.’  

The procession is therefore to be at a dignified pace which is neither too fast nor too slow. 

In the Entrance Procession I usually carry a hymn book so I may also join in the singing of the Entrance Song.  For anyone carrying a hymn book and singing, the pace must enable reading of the words and melody of the song.  This applies also to those in the Procession who are trying to read the Entrance Song off the screens (when the screens are used).

The Entrance Procession at Good Shepherd at this point in time usually includes the following:

Cross-bearer (Adult Server)

(Followed by a space of five to six feet.)

Reader with the Book of the Gospels.  Other reader walks to the right of the Reader with the Book of the Gospels.

(Followed by a space of five to six feet.)

Priest.

When the procession reaches the area in front of the altar steps the following happens:

  • The Cross-bearer move to the right and stands on the main floor in front of the processional cross stand.
  • The Reader carrying the Book of the Gospel stands on the main floor in front of the centre of the Altar.
  • The other reader moves to the far right of the Cross Bearer.
  • The Priest stands to the left of the Reader with the Book of the Gospels.
  • All make a profound bow except the Cross-Bearer and the Reader with the Book of the Gospel who make a bow of the head.  Those in the procession then move (at the same time) in the following way:  The Cross-Bearer puts the Cross on the stand and then moves to the Adult Server’s chair.   The Book of the Gospels is placed on the Altar and the Reader moves to the Reader’s place in the assembly.  The other Reader moves to the Reader’s place in the Assembly.  The Priests venerates the Altar and moves to his Chair.

In case you are wondering, we will at some point be having the children altar servers.  Until then, we need to have enough adult ministers at every Mass:  readers, adult servers, ushers and ministers of Holy Communion.

Complicated?  Not really.  This simplifies the Entrance Procession and makes sure that each minister knows where the other ministers are going.  That way everyone will be on rather than off (to the races).

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

13 September 2022

Memorial of St. John Chrysostom

 

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I PROMISE

“I promise,” are words from the consent in the marriage Liturgy in the Catholic Church. What does the couple promise?  The couple promises to be faithful in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, (and) to love and honour each other all the days of their lives.

As part of the preparation for this life-long commitment, couples take a Marriage Preparation Course.  This Preparation Course may be taken in a number of ways:  on-line or at a parish.

The Marriage Preparation ministry is one of the most important ministries in the Church.  Those involved in the ministry are living the commitment of Christian Marriage and are examples of living out the promises they made on their wedding day.

Over the last 29 plus years, the Marriage Preparation Team at Good Shepherd has faithfully prepared couples for Christian Marriage.  The present Team has discerned that, after these many years of helping couples prepare for the life-long commitment of marriage, it is time to retire from their ministry.

On behalf of the many couples to whom they have ministered and the entire parish, I would like to thank the Marriage Preparation Team for your many years of service and your example to those preparing for Christian Marriage.

As the Rite of Christian Marriage states:

May the Lord send you help from heaven and protect you.

May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill everyone of your prayers.

Again, thank you.

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

29 August 2022

 

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JUST THE FACTS

Custodians are at the Church in the evenings and on weekends only when functions are being held

The Last Rites cannot be given when someone has died.  It is wrong to wait until the ‘last minute’ to call the priest for the Sacrament of the Sick.

The CWL (Catholic Women’s League) does not do funeral lunches.  It is the Bereavement Committee that takes care of funeral lunch hospitality.  The Bereavement Committee is undergoing renewal as the result of Covid restrictions over the last two plus years.  At the present time, no parish organizations are doing funeral lunches at Good Shepherd Parish. 

Say Amen.  At Communion the minister says, “The Body of Christ”.  The person receiving responds, “Amen”.

Don’t grab.  Receive the Host in the palm of your hand.  Pick up the Host with your other hand and consume.

New Pastor.  We have a new pastor at Good Shepherd Parish.  He started here in July 2019.  His name is Fr. Leo Hofmann.

Fr. Marc was transferred to St. Charles Parish in 2019.  Fr. John was transferred in 2013.  Good Shepherd has never had a pastor named Fr. Paul. 

Last week calls came for Fr. Marc, Fr. John and Fr. Paul.  If you have trouble remembering names as do I, simply ask to speak to the Pastor.  On the other hand, if you don’t know who the pastor is, perhaps a more regular attendance at Mass might be helpful.  Check the Bulletin or the Parish Website for up-to-date information.

 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

22 August 2022

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

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IT GETS COMPLICATED 

Thank you to everyone who shares of their financial resources to support the work and ministry of Good Shepherd Parish.  Your generosity helps in so many ways. 

If you donate using our envelope system, you will receive a receipt which can be used to help reduce your income taxes.  (The receipt is issued at the end of February of the following year.)

So where does it get complicated?  It gets complicated when an envelope holder at Good Shepherd Parish attends Mass at another parish and puts a Good Shepherd envelope in the collection at the other parish.  So why is it complicated?  Parishes cannot use funds that are in another parish’s envelope. 

What happens to the Good Shepherd envelope and the enclosed funds?  Let’s say that the name of the other parish is St. Simeon.  The collection counters at St. Simeon put the Good Shepherd envelope to the side.  A staff person at St. Simeon takes the Good Shepherd envelope and mails it to Good Shepherd Parish.  There are the financial costs to St. Simeon Church:  the cost of the time of the staff person and the cost of postage and stationery.  While the costs do not seem like much, sometimes every penny counts and especially if St. Simeon is a parish with few financial resources.

If you are visiting another parish and wish to make a donation to that parish, that is a good thing.  Please do not use a Good Shepherd envelope.  If you wish your donation to go to Good Shepherd, please wait until you are next at Good Shepherd or mail it to Good Shepherd directly.  You also may drop off your Good Shepherd envelope at Good Shepherd Parish during regular office hours.

Again, thank you for donating to Good Shepherd Parish.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

10 August 2022

Feast of St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

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SIGN OF PEACE

Early in the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the Sign of Peace in the assembly was restored to the Liturgy.  The Deacon (or the Priest if there is no Deacon) says, “Let us offer each other the Sign of Peace.”  A Sign of Peace is given according to local custom.  For most people the Sign of Peace is a handshake.  Others give a hug or some other gesture.

Early in the pandemic a number of precautions were required.  One precaution was the removal of the giving of the Sign of Peace. 

While the Sign of Peace between members of the Assembly has restored in some parishes, I have not yet restored the Sign of Peace.  I have been taking a more conservative approach to this laudable custom.  While I say, “The peace of the Lord be with you always,” I have not invited the members of the Assembly to offer each other a Sign of Peace.

This will change.  Effective Sunday 31 July 2022 (including Saturday 30 July) I will say, “Let us offer each other the Sign of Peace.”  Members of the Assembly will then offer each other the Sign of Peace.  The Sign to be given is a reverent bow of the head.  If you attend with your own family members or people you know very well, a handshake or hug might be appropriate.  Some people are not yet comfortable with touch and especially touch with people they do not know or do not know very well.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

20 July 2022

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A SUMMER JOB AND A LIFE LONG PROJECT

In the summers of 1985-88, I was fortunate to work as a chaplain at Penhold Cadet Camp.  There were four Chaplains:  two Protestant and two Catholic. 

So, what did we Chaplains do?  We ran classes called Character Guidance.  We made sure there were ministers for the Sunday Liturgies.  We counselled Cadets who faced a variety of issues.  At times we counselled the Staff Cadets and the Officers.  On very rare occasions a member of the regular forces would need assistance.  Other issues would come up and we Chaplains would deal with these other issues as best as possible.

One of the areas we Catholic Chaplains covered in Character Guidance was the Bible.  We did not go into the whole Bible in great depth because each year we were supplied with paper copies of one of the Evangelists.  While some Cadets knew a great deal bout the Bible, others knew very little.

We would teach the Cadets how to look up a passage and to proclaim it out loud if the Cadet felt comfortable doing so.  Every once in a while, after the cadets had looked up several passages, we would give a reference to a passage that does not exist in scripture.  It was intriguing to see their reactions.  If the Cadets all reacted in puzzlement the lesson was judged a success.

So how does Character Guidance in the mid to late 1980’s have anything do with us in 2022?  While most of the parish has a good understanding of scripture and know how to look up various passages in scripture, I have observed that as many as 20-30 percent do not know how to look up a passage, do not know about the Table of Contents in a Bible or are not sure which of the Books are in the Old Testament and which are in the New Testament. 

Bible literacy is an essential part of being Catholic and it is also a necessary part of participating fully, actively, consciously and fruitfully in the Liturgy.  Another reason for becoming more familiar with Scripture is that Archbishop Smith has asked that all meetings begin with Scripture.

In order help Parishioners to learn more about Scripture, how to use a Table of Contents in a Bible, how to look up passages in the Bible, and the value of Concordances and Commentaries, I will be offering a session on Wednesday 28 September 2022 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  As formation and renewal is a life long project, any parishioner who is 16 and older is invited to take part. 

A second session, which will cover the readings of the Advent-Christmas Cycle, will be held on Tuesday 15 November 2022 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  As Advent 2022 is the beginning of Year A (Matthew) this session will be particularly helpful for the Lectors/Readers at the Liturgies at Good Shepherd.  There is no pre-requisite for this session.  Any parishioner who is 16 and over is invited to take part.

I will publish more information as the time draws nearer.  Meanwhile, circle the dates on your calendars, enter them in your electronic calendars or do whatever will work to remember 28 September and 15 November.

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

8 July 2022

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SOMEBODY

Somebody ought to do something about that!”  What people who say that line and similar lines often mean is, “You had better do something about that!”  Seldom do the persons who complain and make the demand that “somebody ought to do something about that,” make an offer to assist.  It is easier to make somebody else responsible. 

What does a person do if there is a task that ‘needs’ to be done?  The person ought to ask if the person may help.  For most ministries in the Parish, persons 18 and over are required register, to have an interview, to complete “Called to Protect’, and to be trained among other things.  Sometimes none of those things are required.  All that is needed is a willingness to assist in some way if possible.  Perhaps 2 Thessalonians 3:11 comes into play.  “For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work.”

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

28 June 2022.  Memorial of St. Irenaeus

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IN CASE YOU WANTED TO KNOW

An excerpt from the Criminal Code of Canada

Obstructing or violence to or arrest of officiating clergyman

  •  (1) Every person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who

    • (a) by threats or force, unlawfully obstructs or prevents or endeavours to obstruct or prevent an officiant from celebrating a religious or spiritual service or performing any other function in connection with their calling, or

    • (b) knowing that an officiant is about to perform, is on their way to perform or is returning from the perform­ance of any of the duties or functions mentioned in paragraph (a)

      • (i) assaults or offers any violence to them, or

      • (ii) arrests them on a civil process, or under the pretence of executing a civil process.

  • Marginal note: Disturbing religious worship or certain meetings

    (2) Every one who wilfully disturbs or interrupts an assemblage of persons met for religious worship or for a moral, social or benevolent purpose is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Marginal note: Idem

    (3) Every one who, at or near a meeting referred to in subsection (2), wilfully does anything that disturbs the order or solemnity of the meeting is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 176
  • 2018, c. 29, s. 13.1
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 59

  • ​(I don't know why all of the crosses appeared on the above excerpt and below.)


  • ​Fr. Leo Hofmann
  • Pastor
  • The Solemnity of  the Most Holy Trinity
  • 12 June 2022

 

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IF I HAD A SON

“If I had a son, would I want him to be a priest?”  At least on one occasion that is how I began the Sunday homily.  I don’t remember the readings of the day or if it was on one of the Sundays known as Vocations Sunday.  Perhaps the readings were about being called by God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.    

To those who have a son, would you want your son to be a priest?  If your answer is no, why wouldn’t you want your son to be a priest?  Is it because you want grandchildren?  Is it because you wouldn’t want your son to work long hours and with relatively low pay?  Is it because you have observed how priests are sometimes treated by other members of the Church and you wouldn’t want your son treated in the same way?  Perhaps you wouldn’t want your son to be a priest because of the abuse scandals.  Perhaps there are some reading this who disagree with the Church teaching as to who may be ordained.  As parents of several sons once told me (about 30 years ago), “We don’t want any of our sons to become a priest because we don’t see very many happy priests.”  These are just some of the reasons for parents not wanting a son to be a priest.

The reality is that priesthood is a call from God through the community.  We cannot force anyone to study and then to be ordained just as we cannot force anyone to any other vocation such as marriage.  There are some priests who discern that they need to leave the active ministry.  To these priests we owe our thanks and our compassion. 

While we are very grateful for the priests who come from other countries to proclaim the gospel and minister in many ways in our Archdiocese, perhaps we need to examine why Good Shepherd Parish has not, as far as I know, produced a vocation to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Edmonton or to a religious community.  This parish was established on August 16, 1978 and Good Shepherd Church was consecrated in 1987.  Will there be a day when there are no priests available to serve on a full-time basis at Good Shepherd?  I am not aware of such a plan.  I am not making some type of forecast, however it is something to think about.

So, about the homily when I asked, “If I had a son, would I want him to be a Priest?”  I didn’t answer the question.  After all, I have no sons (or daughters).  So, you what about you who do have sons?

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

Good Shepherd Parish

1 June 2022, Memorial of St. Justin the Martyr


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DISPENSATION FROM MASS ATTENDANCE LIFTED!

Effective Saturday, 4 June 2022, the Vigil of Pentecost, attendance at the Sunday Mas will once again become obligatory for all Catholics.

As always has been the case, anyone with a "serious" reason or "grave cause" is excused from this obligation.  Some reasons include:

-anyone who is sick, symptomatic or recently exposed to the coronavirus;

-anyone with serious health risk factors that require them to avoid public spaces;

-anyone who cares for someone who is sick;

-anyone who cannot attend Mass, through no fault of their own, because of frailty or old age.

The above information is from the Decree issued by Archbishop Richard Smith on Sunday, May 8, 2022.

Fr. Leo Hofmann, Pastor

11 May 2022

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LAST (MINUTE) RITES

In the old days, when someone was dying, the priest would be called.  He would administer the Sacrament known as Extreme Unction (Last Anointing).  Sometimes called the Last Rites, it was celebrated at the last minute—or close to it.  Sometimes the person might recover, however the person usually died shortly after the Sacrament was administered.  (Sometimes I think that the person died [of fright] because that is what a visit from the priest meant for many sick people and their families.) 

How things have changed!  While the priest is rightly called when someone is close to dying, the Church encourages people not to wait until the last minute.  In fact, the Church states:  The priest should ensure that the abuse of delaying the celebration of the sacrament does not occur, and that the celebration takes place while the sick person is capable of active participation.  The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick should be celebrated only when a Christian’s health if seriously impaired by sickness or old age. 

There is more to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick than I have written in the entry.  Just don’t make it the last minute rites. 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

22 April 2022

Friday of the Octave of Easter

(Earth Day)

 

 


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NOTIONS—AND MAYBE MORE

Part 2

(For an explanation of the word ‘NOTIONS’ check out the Blog on 5 April 2022.)

1.      “I know you are busy, but ______________________.”  I dread such an introduction in a voicemail, a phone conversation or an in-in-person conversation.  What I hear is something like, “I know you are busy and I want to make you busier.” It is much better to ask in a more direct manner.  “Would you be able to do such and such?”  Besides that, I am always busy.  Isn’t everybody? 

2.     During this pandemic, the Bishops of Alberta gave a dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.  This means that during this pandemic it is not a sin to miss Mass on Sundays, as well as on Christmas and Mary, the Mother of God (January 1).  I still meet people who think it is a sin to miss Mass during the pandemic.  It is not a sin to miss as long as the dispensation remains in place. 

3.      Regarding 2. Above:  Of course, I meet people who didn’t think it is was a sin to miss Mass before the pandemic. 

4.     Please don’t come to confession and then tell the priest you haven’t sinned.  The only people we believe who did not sin were Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

Thursday of the Lord’s Supper

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NOTIONS—AND MAYBE MORE

Some of the best radio or tv programs are spoofs of more serious productions.  A spoof of the rather weighty program Ideas was on the Royal Canadian Air Farce.  If my memory serves me well the spoof was called Notions:  Things Too Insignificant for Ideas.

Here are some notions that might not rate a whole blog entry however they might be helpful to some people at some time. 

1.      The approved translation of the Bible we use for Liturgies is the New Revised Standard Version.  Other versions are not to be used except for Masses with Children.

2.      The Words of Remembrance (commonly know as a Eulogy) are to be brief (5 minutes long).  Fr. Leo says 5-7 minutes are OK.  Longer than that is way too long!   It is a bit like the episode of All in the Family when Edith and Archie Bunker went to Edith’s high school reunion.  One of the attendees says, “So Edith, what have you been doing with yourself these last 30 years?”  Edith replies, “Right after graduation I went on a week’s vacation to my cousins.”  Edith goes on and on and on telling every detail of her life. That is not what Words of Remembrance or a Eulogy are supposed to do.  Those who are listening should be left with a sense of ‘I would like to know more’ instead of ‘when will this be over?’ 

3.      The word ‘eulogy refers to speech or writing that offers high praise.  At a funeral we gather to offer high praise to God not to the person who has died. 

4.      Did you ever notice how many times the person giving the Words of Remembrance says, “I”?  If the person says, “I” more than a couple of times, the Words are probably more about the speaker than the dead person. 

5.      Some might be surprised to learn that I do not sit around waiting for emails to arrive.  Nor am I always able to answer them right away.

6.      The same goes for phone messages. 

7.      Sometimes people walk into the office area and without being invited go down the hall to my office.  Imagine doing that at a physician’s or lawyer’s office. 

Fr. Leo Hofmann

Pastor

5 April 2022


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REFERENCE LETTER

(Also known as a Pastoral Reference)

(This is an updated version of the Blog published on 18 November 2021.) 

At various times of the year, I receive requests for (Pastoral) Reference Letters by those applying for teaching or administrative positions in Catholic Schools.  I meet in person with each individual making such a request.  I ask a variety of questions.  Depending upon the results of the meeting I may or may not write a Reference Letter.

I have expectations of the individuals requesting Reference Letters: 

1.      The individual regularly attends Mass on Sundays and other Holy Days of Obligation (Christmas and Mary, Mother of God).

2.     The individual is a registered member of Good Shepherd Parish.  This means that the person is on the parish list.  If the applicant does not know if he or she is registered, the person can call the parish office and ask.  (If the applicant is living in the home of his/her parents, the applicant needs to be registered using his/her own name.)

3.     The individual is presently involved in a parish ministry.  While I am well aware of the workload of post-secondary students, some ministries do not require a great deal of time. 

4.     The individual is a fully-initiated Catholic.  The means that the person has been baptised, confirmed and has received Communion in the Catholic Church. 

So why do I have the above expectations?  I am asked to write in the reference that the individual is a practicing Catholic.  If a person does not attend Mass on a regular basis, is not a registered member of the Parish, is not involved in a parish ministry and is not a fully-initiated Catholic, how can I give a positive Reference?  An individual planning a career in Catholic Schools needs to start working on his/her faith life long before the end of the person’s studies. In other words, waiting until a (Pastoral) Reference Letter is needed is too late for this school year and most likely for the upcoming school year. 

Fr. Leo F. Hofmann, B.Ed., M.Div., M.A.

Pastor

3 April 2022

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WHAT HAPPENED?

I will tell you what happened.  I accidentally wiped out almost all of my blog entries.  So what will happen now?  While I won't necessarily be starting all over, I will try to upload some entries from copies that have been made.  Some of the out of date Covid-19 entries will not make it back to these pages.  Of course, I will write some new ones.  Somehow it is appropriate this has happened in Lent.  

Fr. Leo Hofmann,

31 March 2022

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