To the parishioners of St. Philip Neri Parish, sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints –

“Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”.

Every Cross has a Blessing (… the experience of an old, wise Oblate priest)

(Some years ago), with the news that our mother had just died, our dad expressed his anger and disappointment with God; God messed up his “plan for the closing part of life”. He was supposed to die first, because our mother could/would handle widowhood much better than he would. However, being true to his character, our dad took a deep breath and said, “Maybe God wants me to learn something in this life yet … I better find out what that could be.”

Several months later, I was visiting our father. I asked him whether he discovered what God still had in store for him. We were sitting in the dining room at “The Lodge” – the retirement home where he was living. Waving his hand across the room he exclaimed, “Do you see all these people? They represent many languages, cultures, family values and attitudes. God has been teaching me how to accept people, just as they are!” I answered WOW! Dad, that’s amazing! … So how are you doing? He chuckled and said, “Some days are better than others.”

Such is life! Nothing comes easy or perfect, and yet, in and through it all – good will come from it all. Every cross has a blessing! Whatever cross(es) you may be carrying now: a relentless inability to forgive a past hurt, a bad habit (domineering impatience, pride, persistent jealousies) or an overwhelming addiction (pornography, drugs, alcohol, gambling) – give it to the Lord in the Eucharist!

At the Last Supper Jesus said, “This is my Body, take and eat … and you will have life (a taste of Resurrection).” On the shore, Jesus said to the apostles – just after they had caught a huge net-full of fish – come and eat.” It was Jesus’ assurance that YES, he was alive. The same person, (their friend), who had been crucified, had indeed been raised from the dead by the Father.

The Eucharist is our “blessing” to every cross that we may have to carry. It’s our strength and empowerment to live today to the fullest … to live with blessings. Any strength or encouragement we may need to carry a heavy cross will come in and through the graces of the Eucharist – even the courage and risk to confront painful past experiences. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the “blessing and healing” from crosses inflicted by pain and hurts, experiences when we too have been “nailed to the cross”.

Let us pray:  How far you (I) go in life depends on you (me):

Being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged,

sympathetic with the striving, tolerant of the weak … and the strong.

Because someday in life you (I) will become all of these.

Lord, help me to live, today, as a “Resurrection Person”.

Praise be Jesus Christ … and Mary Immaculate

St. Philip Neri … pray for us

St. Eugene de Mazenod … pray for us

St. Kateri Tekakwitha … pray for us

God is good … all the time.

Fr. Mike Dechant OMI

Something from the Parish:

Reminder: COOKIE Saturday/Sunday this weekend, April 15-16 – bring a plate of cookies, but more importantly, take the opportunity to meet and greet our fellow parishioners. It’s our way to live our motto“Joyfully building up the Church … the Parish Family of St. Philip Neri.

To the women of St. Philip Neri Parish: To REGISTER for the Women’s Retreat: Friday-Saturday, May 5 – 6 Through scripture, music, ritual and reflection, the Retreat Team (Debbie Doornbos, Joanne Friedt and Mary Keiftenbeld) invites you to reflect on how each “Season of Life” can be enriching, challenging and an opportunity to draw closer to God.

Please Note:  There is a $100 registration fee, however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Each Friday, during the Stations of the Cross, the money collected during our time together for soup and buns was designated to cover extra costs for the Team. Pay what you are able; the Parish will supplement the remainder of the costs.

THANK YOU to all of you – for the spirit and energy and blessings you brought to the St. Philip Neri Parish Family during this past Easter celebrations. We continue to extend a warm welcome to Taylor Annala, Christina Fowlie-Neufeld, Dayton Patzer and Noah Munro, who have chosen St. Philip Neri Parish as their faith-family!