St. Leonard Catholic Church
Manotick, Ont
Monthly E-Newsletter for December 2016
Thank you for subscribing to the St. Leonard's monthly E-Newsletter. This Advent season discover the true meaning of the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, and prepare yourself to encounter our Saviour this Christmas.

If you know someone who might benefit from this E-Newsletter, please forward it to them. 

7 Steps to Discipleship

is a disciple of Christ? Someone who accepts, lives and shares the message of Jesus Christ.
Why be a disciple? To gain greater peace and joy here on earth and eternal life with God in heaven.

Pastor's Message
Christmas: Encountering Jesus, the Son of God and our Saviour
Recently a number of people have asked me to describe how one moves from one step to the next in the spiritual journey of discipleship. Let me be clear by saying that the seven steps in discipleship that we have been discussing over the last couple of months are not a law. It is not inevitable that one will pass through all seven stages in neat succession, nor that one will pass through all the stages, nor that one will not regress or waffle between them, nor that one will not amazingly leapfrog from trust to spiritual openness to living a fully Christ centered life via some dramatic intuition or gift of the Holy Spirit. But what can be said is that for most people, change, and in particular spiritual change and conversion is a process and not an event.
As an example, we often talk about Advent as time for preparing to encounter the baby Jesus at Christmas. But can we truly encounter Jesus, the Son of God and our Saviour, if we have not yet discovered the core Gospel Message? That message that tells us that, as a people, we became separated from God and that, in His great love, the Lord sent His only son into our world to die on the cross for the forgiveness or our sins so that we can be reunited with Him in the resurrection if we choose to accept His invitation. Discovering the central role that the incarnation of Jesus plays in our Christian faith is essential to taking the next step of encountering the very real presence of Jesus at Christmas.

Pope Francis describes Christmas as a joyful time of hope that arises from a Divine encounter. "God has always sought out his people, led them, looked after them and promised always to be close to them." According to the Pope, Christmas "speaks of tenderness and hope." Hope, because, as Pope Francis underscored, "God always opens doors, he never closes them. He is the father who opens doors for us." With Christmas a new door opens and God says, "don't be afraid of tenderness and I am a Father who caresses you."

I want to challenge and encourage everyone to choose a practice during Advent to discover or rediscover the central role Jesus in our life. If one already has an established routine then perhaps reawaken it with something new. Some examples; committing  daily 15 minute bible reading, reading an Advent booklet with readings and meditations already prepared for the day, subscribing to daily readings and having them delivered to the inbox each morning (ie., US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Daily Hope), family Jesse tree with readings or Advent wreath prayers, reading any book on , reading sections of the Catechism (a wealth of wisdom and treasure) or any other spiritual practice that would touch and open your hearts during this time of discovery and preparation. Focusing on the fact that to know Christ and his message is to spend time with him and discovering his love for us. 
This Advent take the time to renew your understanding and rediscover the Good News of the Risen Lord and fully prepare yourself for a joyful encounter with Jesus. May the tenderness and hope of the baby Jesus be with you and your family throughout this Christmas season! God bless, Father Titus
Daily Devotional for Advent

We prepare for everything we consider important in life, and that includes Christmas. We shop for gifts, bake cookies, decorate our trees, and visit family and friends until we're ready to drop. Best Advent Ever is a free email program that will help you prepare for Christmas in a different way. You'll receive short inspirational videos, practical tips, or free Christmas music that will help you slow down during the busy Christmas season to focus on what's really important in life.
Don't miss the opportunity to make this your best Advent (and Christmas) ever. Sign up today! It's simple, and the only cost is your commitment to live better each day during Advent. Are you ready? Click Here
Parish Vision and Plan: Background Research
Over the last few years a great deal of research and hands-on experience has gone into how a Catholic Parish can grow and prosper in North America in these challenging times. This work has concluded definitively that the best way forward is to be very intentional in supporting the growth of disciples in the local Parish. This means challenging parishioners to have a real conversion of heart while at the same time reaching out to the de-churched (fallen away Catholics) and the un-churched in the most welcoming way possible. At its core, this is what our new Parish Vision and Plan is all about and it will be our guiding principle moving forward.

If you are interested in learning more about how we arrived at our new Parish Plan we would encourage you to read the following books or watch a video overview on the book:
Rebuilt, Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran        Video
Divine Renovation, Fr. James Mallon                   Video 
Intentional Disciples, Sherry Waddell                     Video     
Growing your Faith 
Alpha: An Opportunity for Discovery Begins February 8, 2017 
The dates for our next Alpha program at St. Leonard's are Wednesday evenings from Feb 8th through April 12th, 2017. This 12 week program that has been attended by over 26 million people world wide is recognized as one of the best ways to Discover the meaning of life and the core gospel message of the Risen Lord. Check out a testimonial video and take a big step in your journey of discipleship by signing up for this program today. Besides, it is a great way to meet other people on the journey to a Christ centered life and it can be a lot of fun. For further information and to register for the course please visit the St. Leonard's website

FORMED: Resources for Christmas  
Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (which means, God with us)" [Matthew 1:23]. Why did He do it? Why did God become one of us? St. Athanasius gives a startling answer to that question: "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." In other words, the transforming effect of God's grace made available to us through Jesus Christ literally makes us more divine, more like God. Understanding this expands our understanding of salvation. Jesus became one of us to save us from something, our sin, but also to save us for something, participating in divine life! What a gift!
       The Book                                    The Movie                                    Audio
     Mary: God's Yes to Man         The Story of the Nativity           Prepare the Way of the King  

If you are new to FORMED, to get ongoing FREE ACCESS to all programs and downloadable PDF guides, movies and e-books please
visit the St. Leonard website for detailed sign-up instructions.   
Haitian Night

St. Leonard's hosted a fundraiser on Nov 19th to support the efforts of Development and Peace in Haiti.  With teamwork, our parish was able to raise  $2,732.25. Our parish really stepped up to make this event a success. Many thanks to the many people for taking part in this special national appeal. We look forward to better news from Haiti as we continue to follow developments in that country.  
Diocesan Youth Ministry: On the first Sunday afternoon of every month, a youth event is hosted at the Diocesan Centre, 1247 Kilborn Place open to teens from every parish. It runs from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. and all ages are welcome. The Diocese has just launched a new Family & Youth Ministry Website. Check it out at
News from the Vatican

Pope Francis is allowing all priests to absolve women of the "grave sin" of abortion, extending indefinitely special permission he had granted for the duration of the just-ended Holy Year of Mercy. 
Pope Francis wrote in the Apostolic Letter made public by the Vatican on Nov 21st that "there is no sin that God's mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled" with God. But he also wrote: "I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life." For the full text of the Apostolic Letter  click here.
Serving Others Helps Disciples Grow!

Last weekend we were asked to consider signing up for one volunteer service this year. Thirty seven new volunteers came forward. We are ever so grateful to your commitment to grow as disciples through service. Great for you and great for the community!

Ushers for the Sunday @9:00 and 11:00 am Mass
-Help parishioners and visitors to a seat and take up the collection, contact

Altar Servers for the Sunday @11:00 am Mass
- training is available, contact Daniel Giguere
What's on in December    
Dec. 3  Penny Sale and Victoria Tea
Dec. 6  First Reconciliation- St. Jerome students at 7 pm 
Dec. 7  Pastoral Council Meeting at 7 p.m.
Dec. 13 First Reconciliation for St. Leonard students at 7 pm
Dec. 14  Knights of Columbus Meeting at 7 p.m.
Dec. 15 and Dec. 16  Amor Dei- packing and delivering Christmas Hampers
Dec. 18 Christmas Pageant at 9 am and 11 am Masses
Dec. 20 Advent Reconciliation Service 7 pm 

Save the Date: Our Lenten Supper this year scheduled for Saturday, Mar 4th, 2017,  will feature the Most Reverend Christian Riesbeck, Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa, speaking on the theme of "From Maintenance to Mission." 

After the 9 am and 11 am Sunday masses in December coffee will be served in the Parish Hall. Click on the Parish Calendar for a full listing of upcoming meetings and events.
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