St. Leonard Catholic Parish
M anotick, Ont

"Celebrating 50 Years as a Catholic Community "
E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 24th
This weekend marks the 7th Sunday of Easter and the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord. Please watch Father Gerard's video message here.
Pastor's Message
The Ascension and the Great Commission in a Time of Pandemic

Today we celebrate the great feast of the Ascension of Jesus to heaven. We hear in the first reading from the book of Acts, “When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.” (Acts 1:9) Jesus has not abandoned us. In fact, he has promised to be with us always even unto the end of time. He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us so that we, His disciples, may be where He is. At times, life on earth can be a valley of tears but in heaven there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering and no more death. We are reminded today that we are pilgrims in this world and that our real intended home is in heaven with Jesus.

The Gospel reading contains the last words of Jesus in the Gospel of Mathew. When someone is dying or leaving us, his or her last words are especially important. Jesus left the disciples with these last words of instructions. “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19) This “Great Commission” that was given to the apostles is the same mission that has been handed down to us. We are called to pass on the good news that Jesus Christ, true God, and true man, by his death and resurrection has brought all of mankind the promise of salvation. Today, we use the term “evangelizing” when refer to “passing on the good news” and over the last decade all of our Popes have called us to a New Evangelization where “the mission of evangelization is a continuation of the work desired by the Lord Jesus, is necessary for the Church: it cannot be overlooked; it is an expression of her very nature.” Pope Benedict XVI

But in this time of pandemic and social isolation, who and how can we evangelize? Well I guess if you are like me, the people that we are in the closest relationship with or proximity to right now is our family members. So, the who is our family. What about the how? At the recent New Evangelization Summit the question of how to most effectively evangelize our family members was put to an esteemed panel of Church leaders and their overwhelming response was that the best results were seen in a consistent witness of Jesus at work in our lives. We were reminded that our family relationships can be mixed and complex and that everything we say and do may have a bigger impact. As Sherry Waddell said, “In a family setting, a whisper can be heard as a shout”. Our family members will believe because they see repeatedly, not perfection, but an honest and transparent pursuit of holiness. Yes, there can be timely proclamation of the good news, but mostly family members are moved by the witness of a believer’s life, especially in times of trial and suffering.

In earlier Pastor’s Messages I have utilized the anagram “STEPS” to describe the path to discipleship. The final “S” in STEPS stands for “sharing your faith”. Jesus told the disciples to go and make disciples. He sent them out into the world to lead people who are unconnected to God into a relationship with him. When we share our faith and invite people into a relationship with Christ, we are bringing them one step closer to sharing that place he has prepared for all his disciples. I was recently reminded that the 12th and final step of the extraordinarily successful Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program is to go out and “carry the message of AA to other addicts”. It is no different for us. We have not completed the “STEPS” to discipleship until we have shared the hope of our faith with others.

God bless you folks. Father Gerard
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 Basilica in Ottawa (see Virtual Church below) 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 1:1-11
2nd Reading: EPH 1:17-23
Gospel: MT 28:16-20
Prayer of the Week
Dear God, may I view our world as one filled with possibility instead of despair. May I see the good around me. Instead of wishing that things would change, empower me to do what I can to make them better. May I move humanity forward in my own way, one person at a time. Amen.
Thank You for Supporting St. Leonard's!
Youth Ministry
Attention Youth
You are Invited to a Virtual Youth Alpha Night
on Saturday, June 6th, 7 to 8 pm ...ish
For the link to join - see next week’s E-Bulletin or E-Newsletter
BYO Snacks
Faith Formation
For Children: Lukas Storyteller

While in one of his adventures in the Sea of Galilee, Lukas met Jesus and was so impressed and gratified that now together with his old friend Noah, a turtle survivor of Noah’s Ark, gather and tell the greatest stories of all times of Jesus and all the Saints that Lukas met through the ages… Discover how these stories full of music and fun changed the lives of the youngest of the reef: Ana, Paul, Agnes and Peter.
Bishop Barron on Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters
The Search: Episode 3 Available Free this week
The Search is an innovative video series that tackles the key questions of every human heart. In seven beautifully filmed episodes, Chris Stefanick and experts from multiple fields of science, medicine, psychology, art, and religion examine our place in the larger story of life. Every week Formed will be unlocking a new episode for your preview. The third video is only available for free this week. Stream the third episode today!
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