St. Leonard Catholic Parish
M anotick, Ont

"Celebrating 50 Years as a Catholic Community "
E-Newsletter for Sunday, April 19th
Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday. Divine Mercy Sunday focuses on the gift of mercy and love given through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. As Pope John Paul II stated, “Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified" and as Matthew Kelly stated in his reflection this week "Giving and receiving mercy is central to living the life God calls us to." Be sure to watch Father
Gerard's video reflection for this Sunday.
Pastor's Message
Easter and the Resurrection: Our Finest Hour

Today we are beginning the second week of the Easter season. As a Church we continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection right through to Pentecost Sunday which is celebrated this year on May 31 st. Easter tends to be a wonderful time of year as Winter yields to Spring and we experience the freshness of the season – the smell of cut grass, the sound of kids playing outside, the sight of flowers blooming and coming forth from the ground.

This Easter feels a bit different. We are living a very uncertain time. In the shadow of
Covid-19 we do not know exactly how we are supposed to act. Interestingly, in that way it is very much like the experience of the first Easter season. The Apostles and early followers of Jesus did not wake up on Easter morning filled with confidence and hope for the future. Instead they were filled with fear and doubt and uncertainty. Their world had been rocked by Jesus’ death on the cross. Their hopes and dreams for the future were sealed with Jesus in the tomb. So they were very unsettled and disquieted much as we are today. They didn’t know what the future held.

But that mood changed through the course of that first Easter season. As they discovered the empty tomb and interacted with the risen Jesus, their mood and their perspective on life changed completely. As they came to faith in the risen Jesus, they renewed their sense of hope and confidence in the future.

Faith and hope go together. The deeper our faith in Jesus’ resurrection, the more hope we will have for the future. Faith is the foundation of hope. We all need hope right now and the firm foundation for that is our faith in Jesus’ resurrection.

Over the next few weeks we are looking at passages from Scripture that can strengthen our faith and give us hope and confidence in the future. Today we are looking at a passage from the Gospel of John. It is chapter 20 – the same chapter we read last week.
On that evening of the first day of the week, where the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “ Peace be with you.”    John 20:19

Last week we read about John and his experience on Easter morning. Later that same night, John and the other disciples or followers of Jesus were locked in a room. Much like us, they felt constrained. They had to stay inside. They couldn’t go outside because they feared the Jewish authorities who had had Jesus arrested and killed. Everyone knew they were Jesus’ followers so they feared they would be next.

Jesus offers peace and then he shows them his hands and his side. He shows them the wounds he suffered on the cross. And when he showed them his wounds, the disciples rejoiced. They realized Jesus was not a ghost or a figment of their imagination. He was real. Throughout the resurrection testimonies, Jesus does very ordinary things - like eating and walking and talking - to show that he really did rise from the dead. Another piece of evidence for the resurrection is that groups of people saw Jesus.

But later we read that Thomas is not there to witness Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples as a group. So the other disciples go to Thomas and excitedly tell him the great news that they have seen Jesus. Not only was their evidence that Jesus was risen because the tomb was empty, now they have all actually seen Him! And how does Thomas respond to this news? He doesn’t believe them. Even though it isn’t just one person but a group of people that tell him. Part of that doubt was his personality. Thomas was naturally a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience. He refuses to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross. Only then does he believe.

So what do we do with this? First, I want to encourage you to lean into any doubts about God - explore the evidence and seek to overcome doubts you may have about God. If you have questions or uncertainties about the resurrection, explore them. If you would like a list of books or resources to help you, send me an email.

Second, where have you had your hopes dashed during these recent weeks? How have they impacted your faith and trust in God? Name them and be honest about them. If they feel particularly deep, take 15 minutes this week to journal about them.

In conclusion, there is a scene from the movie Apollo 13 that I recall. Remember it was the movie with Tom Hanks and was about a second mission to go to the moon. When it becomes apparent that the mission has to be aborted and the lives of the astronauts are in danger, someone calls the whole mission a disaster. Then Ed Harris, who played the head of mission control. speaks up and says, “No sir, I believe this will be our finest hour.”

Finest hours often come in the wake of sufferings and defeats. This is why you can continue to put your faith and hope in God no matter the setbacks, defeats and losses of this time. Your wounds and hurts will be redeemed at your resurrection.

When we believe in Jesus’ resurrection and when we believe that we are connected to Him, we are able to see our sufferings and setbacks in a larger reality. We are able to see that they will be redeemed. Out of the ashes we can, and will, rise.

God Bless you all folks, your always in my prayers.
Fr. Gerard Plant
What Can We Do to Help?

Is there someone you know that might feel isolated?
Please consider reaching out with a simple call or e-mail. It is a great way to stay united as a parish.

Any requests for prayers or any other help that myself or the parish can provide can be sent to me at pastorstleonard@gmail.com.
Stay well and Stay Connected!
Archbishop's Easter Message
For the past few weeks ago, the whole world has been in awe of the arrival of the coronavirus in our midst. Each day and all day, we hear of and see the suffering as COVID-19 wreaks havoc in our country and the world. We are holding our breath and hoping that all will be well; indeed the message for the Province of Quebec facing these challenges is: “Ça va bien aller”—“It’s going to be all right.” Recently, many people have remarked to me their conviction that after this lockdown nothing in our world will be the same. And that includes our experience of church and our life of faith.   MORE....
Worship
What is Divine Mercy Sunday and Why is it Important?
Weekday and Sunday Masses Online

You are encouraged to join online for Masses during this period of social distancing.

On Sundays we would recommend the Mass from Notre Dame Basilca in Ottawa with Archbishop Prendergast or the Mass from Bishop Barron's Chapel in Santa Clara, California with Bishop Robert Barron. The Mass with Archbishop Prendergast is available any time on Sunday and the Mass with Bishop Barron starts at 8:15 am and is available in recorded format for the rest of the day.

Locally, Father Lukose from Holy Cross Parish has an excellent Sunday Mass available online on their website anytime on Sunday.

Mass with Bishop Barron is also available on weekdays.

For a full listing of Mass on TV or the Internet click here .

1st Reading: ACTS 2:42-47
2nd Reading: 1 PT 1:3-9
Gospel: JN 20:19-31
Stewardship
Online Giving

If you would like to make an online offering please just click the button below. Alternatively you can download the tithe.ly mobile app and locate St. Leonard Parish to give through your mobile phone.

If you are a regular envelope giver, you can always mail your envelope (s) to the Parish Office:
St. Leonard Roman Catholic Parish
5332 Long Island Road
Manotick, Ontario
K4M 1E8

Large or small, your generous financial donations go a long way to alleviate the fears of many. Thank you for supporting St Leonard in this time of great need!
Faith Formation
St. Catherine of Siena - The Mystic

St. Catherine of Siena exemplifies the power of a life lived in relationship with Jesus and provides an example of faith that changes the culture. Watch this one hour video brought to you by Bishop Barron's Word on Fire Institute.
For Children
Wholesome Fun for Families During the Easter Season

Recommendations from the Sisters of Life !
The Church recognizes that Easter is the highest Solemnity of the entire liturgical year, and responds by celebrating not just one day, but eight! The Easter Octave is a perfect time for some family fun at home. Here are some ideas of things to do with the kids:    
Media Worth Sharing
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
How to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet | Sarah Damm at Blessed is She
Our mission has not changed | Sr. Mary Claire at Blessed is She
St. Augustine's journey to Easter | C.C. Pecknold at First Things
My first year of priesthood: scandals, viruses, and the Holy Spirit | Fr. David Stavarz at the Word on Fire Blog
We hope in the Cross because it cannot, does not change | Fr. Patrick Briscoe OP at Aleteia
Parishioner Feedback: We Love Your Input!
Dear Parishioners we are very interested in your feedback. If have any comments and/or suggestions as it relates to any of our Parish activities, including the E-Newsletter, please  click here. If you would like a direct response to your suggestion, please include your email address.
St. Leonard Parish
office@stleonardsparish.ca
www.stleonardsparish.ca