Christmas Message from the Pastor
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christmas is a time of light. Light serves many purposes. We use light in our daily lives to see our way around in the dark, to guide our vehicles, to brighten an area. During the Christmas season we decorate our homes inside and out with lights, sometimes of many different colours.
The everyday use of light is one thing, but light also serves a much more important purpose. The light of God helps us to see God and recognize who we are; our strength and our weaknesses. This same light helps us see ourselves in relation to God and to others. Light serves to help us recognize God’s presence in our lives. when Jesus healed the blind man, think of what it must have been like to have the face of Jesus, Himself, the first sight! It is recognizing God in other that allows us to see their needs as well, so that we can serve them. Just as Jesus came to serve rather than be served, we are all called to works of charity to assist our brothers and sisters in need.
Through 2013, we have experienced this light shining in our parish, in the growth in number of parishioners; those who recognize the presence of God and come to worship the Lord. It also has compelled us to help restore the beauty of our church, the House of the Lord. The first phase of the restoration to our church could never have been realized if it were not for generous, continuous support of our parishioners. It is with eager anticipation that we can look forward to the beginning of phase two of the restoration! Our programs, the RCIA Process, the First Holy Communion and Reconciliation Program, the Confirmation Program, all have witnessed this wonderful renewal. Our parish has also grown in charity; our church generously supported Sharelife and many other Archdiocese programs, as well as those in need where disasters occurred over this year, and parishioners generously contributed to those in need through the St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Star Program.God is shining in out hearts so that we can see the needs of the people.
The Archdiocese of Toronto Pastoral Plan outlines five core directions, which are ‘compass directions’ to strengthening our church and our community. we are invited to use our talents, our gifts, to serve God in the hope of realizing these core directions. As Cardinal Collins wrote:
“The Gospel encourages us to be faithful stewards of all that has been entrusted to us, and so we should ask ourselves how we are currently sharing our time, talent and treasure, in order to serve others and to give thanks to God. In the parable of the talents, each servant is called to give an account of his stewardship; each of us is responsible for fruitfully using the gifts we have received from God. A pastoral plan should help us to do that better, both individually and as archdiocesan community.”
I thank you for your generous support in 2013. I pray that the coming year 2014 will continue to inspire and move all of us to see the lilght of God, to recognize the needs in others and in our church, and light our path to work wonders!
May the blessings and love of the infant Jesus surround you at Christmas and the coming year.
-Fr. Joseph Tap Tran, Pastor