St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Parish Blog.

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Posted by on in Spirituality

It is so easy to take what we have for granted. But when we really stop and think of how special something is, we will realize how blessed we are. Even though we should try to be thankful often, this time of year really draws our attention to it. Family is our most important blessing. They are our lives and our loves and they are part of our very being! Sometimes we take them for granted and don't appreciate how much they really mean to us.

Another blessing is the beautiful summer we had and the wonderful weather continues. I think we appreciate it even more since the previous two summers were not as nice.

Wherever you are reading this, take a look at your surroundings (even if you are in a small room). If you really looked you could probably come up with many things or reminders of people and memories you are thankful for. Take the computer you are sitting at as you read this. Because of that technology, we have access to long arms of knowledge and communication literally at our fingertips. Think of those inspirational or educational emails we get from our friends. They really make us stop and think of how lucky we are. One of the emails that comes to mind is the one about a typical person complaining about various health issues that can go wrong with us, until we see someone who doesn’t have use of those body parts at all. For example, we complain about how tired our legs are after having to walk for a long time until we see someone who has no legs. Someone was telling me the other day that she was thankful for the pain of an unexplained illness she went through a few years ago. Now that she is better, she gives thanks for her health every day.

Sometimes, when something not so great happens, I wonder: “What did I do to deserve this?” I still do this because of course I would like everything to go smoothly and the way I want it to go. I also think that someone is working against me and that I have the worst luck. But how many times have you heard that hardships build strong character? We usually don’t see this until the hardship is long gone.

But probably because of the ‘hardships’, when something good happens to me sometimes I am in awe and I still ask, “What did I do to deserve this?” Other times I just expect things to go right. Apparently, there is no pleasing me!

Whoever came up with the everyday ‘to do list’ that tells us to think of 10 things to be thankful for everyday, really opened my eyes to how much I really have  and have been given. I used to think of all the negative things going on in my life but, even though I will always be a work in progress, I see more of the positive these days.

What do you have to be thankful for?

Have a Blessed and Thankful Thanksgiving!

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Posted by on in Life Issues

So we just had our 3rd child in August, and once again, life has taken on a whole new level of “Busy-ness”.  Again I am overwhelmed by the experience of bringing a new life into this world.

I had a lot of help - Curtis likes to joke about how useless he feels in the delivery room, wishing he could help more, wishing he could take the pain away.  I tell him, “Just wait, your time for helping will come once we get home with this one!”  We are blessed and humbled when we think of God allowing us to have these children, and that He trusts us with them!  The miracle of being pregnant is still amazing to me, especially after we struggled with infertility for several years before deciding to adopt, then started the adoption process, sent in all of our paperwork, and a week later found out that I was pregnant!  Alexandra was our first miracle, for more reasons than just thinking we couldn't have kids.  2 years later Lucas was our second miracle, and now Elliot brings that number up to 3.  After having a miscarriage after Lucas, it is even more striking to me how much of a miracle each of our children are.

I think we all have a responsibility and calling to bring life into this world.  This will obviously happen in very different ways, depending on our circumstances.  We had a glimpse of infertility, and the pain of realizing that we might never be able to have children was very difficult to bear.  We know many couples who can't have children and the struggle that they've been through in trying to deal with that reality.  We've seen some of them bring an amazing love and life into the world by adopting, and we've seen them find ways of being life-giving to the people around them.  There is a calling in all of our lives, every day, to bear life to those around us and to be life giving.  I often think of Mary, and how she literally brought Christ's life into the world, and how we need to look for opportunities to bring Christ's life into our world.

How can we do this?  Well I'm sure there are many theologians who have amazing writings about how we bring Christ into this world. I am not a theologian, which is obvious in so many ways. :)

I do, however, think that there are practical ways that we can each bring life into the world, so I would challenge each of you to think back on your day and try to come up with an example of how you brought forth life today.  When I think about my day, I see the mundane tasks of laundry, errands, diaper changes, feedings, brushing hair, brushing teeth, diaper changes, feedings, making lunches, packing snacks, diaper changes, feedings, dishes, sweeping... hmmm, don't see too much life there (nothing worth writing home about anyhow...).  But if I challenge myself to look deeper, and if I challenge myself to try a little harder to see the opportunities that God places before me, then I see life in my day.  I see how Lucas smiled and gave me a big hug after I changed his diaper.  I remember hearing “I wuff you mommy” when I put his sandals on to go out the door.  I remember that I did pause to kiss Alex on the forehead before she got on the school bus this morning, and how much it meant to Lucas to go stand outside with us to help Alex get on the bus.  These are small things.  But as Mother Teresa of Calcutta said “We can not do great things. We can only do little things with great love.”

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I would further this and say that the little things that we do can have the power to change our hearts, and to help us bring life to others.

“Lord, help us each to bring forth life, wherever you have called us to be today.  May we bear you in our hearts and love the people around us today, as you would have them be loved.  Make us open to hearing your call to bring your life into this world, especially when we feel dry and deserted.  Help us to see the ways that you bring life to our days - in the people around us, in our work, in our play, in our conversations.  We need your life in us Lord.  Amen.”

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A steward is one who manages another’s property. God is inviting us to take care of His home… and especially His people. Will we accept the invitation?

When my children were young, I thought that taking them to church on Sunday and saying our daily prayers was enough for our spiritual well-being. But after a few years of keeping a low profile, I still felt like a visitor in church. The only connection I had with the church was going to Sunday Masses. Something was missing. I needed to get involved with my children. When they were old enough to attend, I began assisting with children’s liturgy and when they went through sacramental preparation, I went with them. It was like I was learning to grow in my faith along with the kids. Soon they began altar serving so my husband and I decided that we could also serve, as welcomers. Years before, when we first were welcomed into the parish, I was so appreciative of the way we were treated like long lost friends, that I thought maybe we could try to pass on some of that enthusiasm to others and make them feel welcome, too. After a few years we got braver and had another ‘spiritual growth spurt.’ Becoming a Eucharistic Minister was a little intimidating because you are up in the sanctuary and in front of everyone. But I thought if our kids can altar serve in front of everyone, why can't we try?


As many others have done, I had the privilege of taking the Lay Formation program to learn more about the Catholic faith. What an enlightening experience after taking “going to Church on Sundays” for granted for so many years. It’s like my eyes were opened and I could see a deeper layer of our faith. I highly recommend the course to everyone.


Now that our kids are on their own, I am still having growth spurts. Who knows where my spiritual journey will take me? It is always a personal learning and growing experience. We start out with baby steps into the unknown but as we grow we become more confident in what we have to offer. Little do we realize that we get so much more in return.


In our parish, I see so many young families and people of all ages and heritages getting involved, that I am in awe of them and their sense of stewardship. Without being aware of it, they set generous but humble examples of stewardship (taking care of God’s home and family) by helping with social justice activities and fundraising, helping with youth events like VBS and youth groups, helping to serve at Liturgies and functions, taking communion to the sick, and offering to help when anyone is in need (including our staff), to name just a few things. Basically, we pitch in and work together to make God’s home a community — a family home. (For examples of stewardship over the years, reread Pat Clarke’s blog: The St. Philip Neri Training Camp.)


We are all invited to take baby steps and get involved. Try one new thing this year. You will grow spiritually from it and as I said earlier, the benefits outweigh the sacrifices.

Through stewardship, we are JOYFULLY BUILDING UP THE CHURCH!  

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After it was announced that I would be moving to Holy Family, people said to me, “so I hear you’re moving on…”

To which I would reply, “After nearly 13 years, the staff and parish council finally got together and organized a mutiny!”

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Posted by on in Life Issues

Sometimes I find it hard to tell what I really need.

For example, a pregnant woman (who shall not be named) went to the store on Monday to get one thing.

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Posted by on in Spirituality

Easter is full of contrast.  The joyful exultation of praise on Palm Sunday next to the shouts of “Crucify Him” from the same mouths.  A kiss as a sign of betrayal.

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Posted by on in Life Issues

So, the other day I did something.

I'm sort of proud of it, sort of embarrassed by it, sort of humoured by it.

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I'm Julie Anne Hilton, and I'm honoured to have been asked to contribute to the St. Philip Neri Parish blog on our parish's website.  My response when Pat asked was “I hope I have something interesting to say...”.

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Posted by on in Life Issues

I can still hear Christy Lane's voice singing sweetly on my parent's old RCA record player. I can still smell my mother's cooking drifting from the kitchen into the living room, and with the aromas, her voice singing along with Christy, "One day at a time sweet Jesus that's all I'm asking from you.

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Mass and Liturgy Schedule

Office Hours:

Monday thru Friday:  9:00 am – 12 noon & 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Office is closed for lunch from 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm) 

Phone: (306) 343-0325

Fax: (306) 343-0900


Regular Mass Times:

Saturday - 5:00 pm

Sunday - 9:30 am & 11:30 am

Summer Mass Times:

Saturday - 5:00 pm

Sunday - 10:00 am

Weekday Masses: Tuesday thru Friday - 8:30 am

(Rosary ½ before weekday Masses)


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