Letter from Our Pastors - May 10, 2020

To all our beloved Parishioners of St. Philip Neri Parish

Peace be with you and your family … as the blessings and graces of Resurrection continues to unfold in your lives.

From: Fr. Mike Dechant – Fr. Ken Forster – Fr. Bill Stang

In the words of St. Philip Neri: “It is well at times to imagine that many insults and injuries are being heaped upon us, that misfortunes have befallen us, and then strive to train our heart to bear and forgive these things patiently, in imitation of our Saviour.  This is the way to acquire a strong spirit.”

For the past months we have been confronted by some serious challenges, stricken by “a virus”.  We hear people asking: “What will this “new normal” look like? How will we manage?  How long do have to put up with this terrible inconvenience?  In response: I leave you with a little parable of encouragement: DON’T DESPAIR

Whenever Jesus was asked a ‘difficult question’ – example: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18), Peter’s question to Jesus: “How often should I forgive?” (Mt.18:21), “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) – Jesus seldom answered the question directly, but instead, responded with a story.

Sister Judy was a young nun living in a convent in the heart of the city slums.  One day she received a letter from her parents, containing a $100 bill.  As she read the letter of love and support from her family, she noticed a young man outside her window.  He was dressed in shabby clothes, his hair a mess, looking lost and destitute.  She quickly wrote a note with two bold words: DON’T DESPAIR!  She wrapped the $100 bill in her note, crumbled it together and tossed it out the window to the young man.  The stranger picked up the note, and with a puzzled expression, smiled back at her and disappeared down the street.

Several days later, Sister Judy was asked to meet a young man in the convent meeting room – he was insistent to see her.  When she met him at the door, he handed her a wad of $100 bills.  She asked: “What’s this all about?”  He replied: “It’s $8000 you have coming to you!”  How? From where?  He smiled and said: “DON’T DESPAIR” won his race and was paid out 80-1. 

Yes! God is good! And sometimes in unusual and strange ways, and from the most unexpected sources.  What a coincidence, some would say!!! … actually, “a coincidence” is just when God wants to remain anonymous!

An additional reflection on this story:  please note that it was without hesitation that Sister Judy gave “all she had” in response to what she surmised to be the needs of this young man; she held nothing back for herself.

The young man gave, in return, “all he had”, keeping nothing for himself.  It’s also in our generosity and trust that God can and will bless us … do to others as you would have them do to you.

As we struggle to manage our family affairs and economics and social responsibilities during this COVID-19 pandemic, may we respond with generosity and trust.  So… having said this: If there is anything that you need from the SPN Parish Team, please do not hesitate to ask and we will respond as best we can.

Some pastoral reflections and affirmation … and information:   

  • If you have a birthday, anniversary or any special prayer intention, please phone the office and make your request; any day is open … Fr Bill and I would be most pleased to pray for whatever you need. (Don’t worry about having “to pay” --- any $$$ is on us.)
  • THANK YOU for your generous response to the collection of food and other items for Friendship Inn and the Food Bank. NOTE: the front door of the Parish will continue to be open (Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4 pm)
  •  Also, a big THANK YOU for your on-going financial support of the Parish.  Even though the Parish is still closed to liturgies and large gatherings, Parish Life continues to unfold.
    NOTE: for more information concerning SPN Parish activities and requests, you can now go to our NEW parish website – www.stphilipneriparish.ca – for more details on various topics.
  •  Re: the SPN PICTORIAL DIRECTORY: with the availability of the Parish facilities and the photographer, the Photo Volunteer Team would like to set up a renewed photo session for June 1-2-3. If you are comfortable in getting your family photo for the directory, we would like to take advantage of this down-time in the parish.  There will be a clear and strict format in the movement of traffic, arranging your photo shoot and then deciding your preferences of pictures – to maintain the protocol of social distancing and visiting … to be safe and yet efficient.  If you are interested in getting your family photos taken on those dates, please call Marisa Kot at 306-381-5886 to make your appointment, and any further instructions.
  • This Sunday, May 10th is MOTHER’S DAY.  We wish to extend a blessed and joyous greeting to all our mothers.  THANK YOU for giving us life and love and care.  We also wish to extend a special greeting of love and affection to all pregnant mothers.  You carry in you a precious gift of God – regardless of any and all circumstances surrounding your life.  Know that you are loved and cherished by us. So … HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOM, all Grandmothers and God-mothers.  We love you and hold you in prayer.

With all our love,

Fr. Mike – Fr. Ken – Fr. Bill