St. Leonard Catholic Parish
M anotick, Ont

"Celebrating 50 Years as a Catholic Community "
E-Newsletter for Sunday, April 5th
On Palm Sunday, we commemorate the occasion when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and the crowd shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” and laid palm branches at his feet. In the midst of this covid-19 pandemic we encourage you and your family to find new ways this Holy Week to journey with Jesus through his passion, his death and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Pastor's Message

The Passion of Jesus and the Reaction of the People

This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday and hear the Passion of Christ. How our world has changed since we last celebrated Holy Week and Easter Sunday! I would never have imagined that we would be in the midst of a global pandemic and that our Church would be closed. We are experiencing the fear of getting sick, the anxiety of loneliness and the uncertainty of not knowing what lies ahead for us. We are certainly in the midst of a life-changing event.

In a similar way, in the first reading we hear that the followers of Jesus were on the brink of events that would change their lives, and that of the world, forever. As he proceeded into Jerusalem, Jesus was hailed as “the Son of David, who comes in the name of the Lord”. (Matt 21:9) But by the time we arrive at the passion narrative, there is great hostility in it and all of it directed toward Jesus. We read and we come to understand that it wasn’t just one person, one group of people or one nation who caused all this to unfold, even though some would love to lay blame. There were many chances and many opportunities for this all to have turned out differently, but because of the actions of many, it did not. In this set of events, that took place so long ago, there is the hostility of the chief priests, the Roman soldiers, those who passed by and those who jeered as Jesus first carried and then hung on the cross. Alongside the hostility of those who rejected Jesus, there’s the failure of those who had been closest to him. Of his disciples, all but John deserted him and fled. Judas betrayed him and Peter denied him publicly.

Yet, there were a few people who responded to Jesus in that dark hour faithfully and nobly. There was the anonymous woman who in an extravagant gesture of love and respect anointed the head of Jesus. Then there was the Roman centurion, who looked on as Jesus died and exclaimed, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ There was Mother Mary and of course John, present at Jesus’ last dying breath. There was Joseph of Arimathea, who took the bold step of going to see Pilate to ensure Jesus had a dignified burial. Finally, there was the women disciples who looked on from a distance, noted where Jesus was buried and went away to prepare spices to anoint his body at the earliest opportunity. All these people, both men and women saw Jesus with eyes of faith and love.

The passion of Christ invites us to identify with those who saw Jesus with the eyes of faith and love and who recognized the light of God in the darkness of Jesus’ passion and death. When we look upon the passion and death of Jesus with such eyes, we see a divine love that is stronger than sin, a divine light that shines in all our darkness’s, a divine power that brings new life out of all our deaths, a divine poverty that enriches us at the deepest level of our being. We have read the events of Jesus’ last journey told in the space of ten minutes. This Holy Week, the church invites us to travel that journey at a much slower pace, day by day as it were. We are invited to enter into that journey with the eyes of the anointing woman, the centurion, Joseph of Arimathea and the group of faithful women. We look beneath the surface of what is happening, we listen deeply to all that is taking place, so as to recognize the good Shepherd who on him lay the punishment that brings us healing, and through his wounds we are made whole, who laid down his life for us all, so that we might have life and have it to the full.

During this difficult time, I encourage all to read the scriptural passages for every one of the coming days. Read them, ponder them, create an atmosphere at home where you can have a small “Lectio Divina” and through mediation place yourself into the scene trying to identify yourself with one of the persons in it. Or if you are a family of two or more, sit at the table or comfortable on the sofa, read the Gospel of the day together taking turns out loud, two or more times and see what part of the passage strikes you, read it again and see what word strikes you and finally perhaps read it one more time and talk about what part of the passage calls you to conversion. These are little things we can do during this Palm Sunday and the coming Holy Week. Every day can be a special day by reading the scriptures for those days and trying to understand why the Catholic Church uses them and how they connect to you on your journey of faith. Of course, we can continue our Rosary, Station of the Cross, especially this coming Good Friday, and watch the celebration of the mass and praying our Act of Spiritual Communion by St Alphonsus de Liguori. There are so many things we can add to our daily lives as Christians, we just need to summon the strength and courage to do them.

God Bless you all folks, your always in my prayers.
Fr. Gerard Plant

P.S. Any requests for prayers or any other help that myself or the parish can provide can be sent to me at
Letter from The Archbishop
Watch Pope Francis' Holy Week message.
Holy Week and Easter

The Archdiocese has announced that "Due to the current pandemic, the liturgical celebrations of the paschal mysteries of Holy Week, the Triduum, and Easter will be celebrated without the physical participation of the faithful."

Devotions and scripture readings - may assist the faithful during these the sacred days including: Holy Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Act of Contrition, scripture readings for the various liturgies are available by clicking here.

Blessed Palms will not be available today. We plan to distribute them at a later date. A Palm Sunday Liturgy guide is available here for families to pray at home this Palm Sunday.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Please note that, by order of the Archdiocese, there will not be Confessions during Holy Week. The only ordinary way of attaining forgiveness for sins is participating in individual and integral confession and absolution. Nonetheless, if a person is unable to meet with a priest for the Sacrament during this pandemic, it will suffice for the moment to pray an Act of Contrition as best one can intending it truthfully, and to commit to participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible when conditions allow.

Weekday and Sunday Masses

You are encouraged to join online for Holy Week Masses and Services during this period of social distancing.

On Sundays we would recommend either the Mass from Notre Dame Basilca with Archbishop Prendergast at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa or the Mass from Bishop Barron's Chapel 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.

Mass with Bishop Barron is also available on weekdays.

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

1st Reading: Matt 21:1-11
2nd Reading: Phil 2:6-11
Gospel: Matt 26:14—27:66 or 27:11-54
Online Giving

A sincere thanks to all of you who have continued to be generous with your financial support even while our Church building has been closed. A special thanks to our pre-authorized debit givers and our online givers. Our new system which was introduced just before we felt the impact of the pandemic has thus far generated $4,000 in revenue from 24 different donors.

If you would like to make an online offering please just click the "Give Now" button below. Alternatively you can download the mobile app and locate St. Leonard Parish to give through your mobile phone.
Stations of the Cross
Bishop Barron has recorded and released his reflections on the Stations of the Cross, an ancient Christian devotion that draws us into the spiritual space of Jesus’ suffering and death. These beautiful and powerful video reflections are the perfect resource for this upcoming Holy Week. Reflect on the Stations of the Cross here.
This Too Will Pass
“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life, reflects on getting through this time of trial. "One day the coronavirus crisis will be a part of our history. Soon enough we will marvel at all that God did in the midst of this trouble as we look at it from the other side." Check out the full reflection.
Faith Formation
If you are not already a FORMED user, the Parish has a paid subscription to FORMED. To sign-up:
1.  Go to
2.  Select St. Leonard Parish
3.  Register with your name and email address
4.  Check that email account for a link to begin using FORMED
Media Worth Sharing:
Coronavirus and the realities of homeschooling | Robert Mixa at the Word on Fire Blog
Meaningful ways to celebrate Holy Week at home | Sarah Damm at Blessed is She
Why we can't confess over Zoom | Fr. Dominic Langevin, OP at First Things
How to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet | Sarah Damm at Blessed is She
The example of saints in times of trial | Will Wright at Catholic Link
Finding peace in troubled times| Christopher West
Praying at the foot of the cross | Fr. Mark Toups at Ascension Presents
Thoughts for the day:

- If you ever feel listless hanging out at home, remember that Nelson Mandela lived in a tiny and crude prison cell for 27 years and came out positive and optimistic!

-"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."  Albert Schweitzer

-"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. "       Leo Buscaglia
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