St. Leonard Catholic Parish
M anotick, Ont

"Celebrating 50 Years as a Catholic Community "
E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 29th
With our Church building closed until further notice we have decided to move to a weekly schedule for the E-Newsletter. Let's continue to pray for all that are impacted by this deadly pandemic and ask God that it end soon.
Pastor's Message

Lazarus, the Resurrection and the Love of Jesus

This Sunday we hear the familiar story of the resurrection of Lazarus. Why are we reading the story of the raising of Lazarus today? What is its significance for us in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic and the last Sunday of Lent?

Some of the answers I came across while preparing this message were:
• It gives us hope in the face of death
• It reminds us of our baptisms and our own journey from death to life
• It tells us that death is not the end
• It proves that Jesus is the Messiah and that by faith in Him we have
eternal life
• It shows that Jesus has power over death

All of these things may be true, but I would suggest to you that none of them are the reason for the narrative of the raising of Lazarus in John’s Gospel. The reason that John includes it in his gospel and the reason why we listen to it on the last Sunday in Lent is to prepare us for what is about to happen during Holy Week and to help us to understand why Jesus, though his love, offers up his life for us. By raising Lazarus from the dead Jesus angers the Pharisees and sets in motion the chain of events that leads to his death on the cross on Good Friday. For it is only by the great sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that our sins are forgiven and we are brought back into right relationship with God. Without the "Cross", there would be no "Resurrection" and no "Salvation"!

But there is something else in today's Gospel reading that I think we should all take to heart in the midst of these troubled times. The Gospel stated twice that Jesus wept. He weeps over Jerusalem and he weeps at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. The Jews remark: "See how he loved him!" (John 11:36) To weep is both fully human and fully divine. He loved and that is why he could weep. Think about how much he loves us today in the midst of this great suffering. Jesus is not insensitive to our worry and our grief. He is not indifferent to our struggle and not immune to our pain. Death is not a condition that God desires for us. Rather, God wants us to have life. Christ brings Lazarus back to life, he desires the same for all of us.

I encourage you to remind yourself of Isaiah 43:2 during this time: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you." Know that God is with you today.

In conclusion, I'll leave you with a question that Bishop Robert Barron asked the other day when asked how should a Catholic respond to the coronavirus pandemic: "What is the opportunity to love that has been opened up to me by this moment?"

God bless you folks, Father Gerard.

P.S. Any requests for prayers or any other help that myself or the parish can provide can be sent to me at pastorstleonard@gmail.com
Pope’s Special Urbi et Orbi Blessing: "God Turns Everything to our Good"
Pope Francis delivered an extraordinary blessing “To the City and to the World” on Friday to pray for an end to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. In his meditation, the Pope reflected on Jesus’ words to His disciples: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” For the full text of his address click here.
Thoughts from The Archbishop

Thoughts from Archbishop Prendergast SJ in the Time of COVID-19: Available online and updated daily here.
 
Worship
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." St. Leonard Church will remain closed to the public during Holy Week. For more details read here the full Decree on Holy Week sent out by the Archdiocese on March 26, 2020.

Weekday and Sunday Masses

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

On Sundays we would recommend either the Mass from Notre Dame Basilca with Most Rev. Guy Desrochers 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: Ezekiel 37:12-14
2nd Reading: Hebrews 10:4-10
Gospel: John 11:1-45
Discipleship
Flourishing Congregation Survey Results Are In!
The results of our Flourishing Congregations Survey are now in. Our sincere thanks to the 219 Parishioners that took the time to complete the survey. As you can see from the chart below (where 5 is strongly agree) there are some characteristics of a flourishing parish that we scored well on and some areas where we could improve. For example, most respondents strongly agreed that we were hospitable to those that we encountered while on the other hand many felt that we were not practicing evangelization to the full extent possible. Please click here to view the full report. Pastoral Council will be analyzing the detailed findings contained in the report and adjusting our Parish plan as required. Stay tuned for more information.
Stewardship
Update from Finance Council

A sincere thanks to all of you who have been so generous with your financial support of our St. Leonard Parish community. It is only through your support that we have been able to maintain our Church facilities and programs and make investments in new areas such as youth programs. 

COVID-19’s economic impact is negatively effecting our parish donations. Finance Council, under the direction of Father Gerard, has taken steps to ensure our parish community’s short-term fiscal viability: 
•       Cutting expenses and adjusting our 2020 budget accordingly
•       Maintaining a commitment to our existing staff
•       Anticipating the finance council’s mid-April financial update to keep you abreast of our current situation

If you are able to financially contribute, we encourage you to make an online donation. Please just click here to make a donation today or download the Tithe.ly mobile app and locate St. Leonard Parish to give through your mobile phone.

Alternatively, if you are a regular envelope giver, you can 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
If you are not already a FORMED user, the Parish has a paid subscription to FORMED. To sign-up:
1.  Go to   http://formed.org/signup
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
For Families: Get to Know the Saints
 
Heroes of the Faith. The stories of real-life Saints & Christian Heroes all come to life in an award-winning animated film series. Featuring authentic role models today's child can truly believe in. Available on FORMED.

 
Media Worth Sharing

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