15th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY



Scam alert - Priest request for gift card - courtesy Archdiocese of Toronto website

An email scam targeting parishioners in Catholic churches across Canada is now active in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
The scam, previously reported by several other dioceses, has now appeared in our own diocese with reports of at least one parishioner who lost $300 to a fraudster pretending to be the pastor of a parish. Several other dioceses had reported an email scam in which Catholics have received requests, purportedly from their parish priests, for iTunes gift cards. A false email from a priest is sent asking for the electronic gift cards to be sent to another address so that they may be given to someone in need.
Please exercise caution when checking email messages. Think before you click or open attachments, and always verify suspect messages by phoning the sender on a known phone number (not the phone number in the suspect message).

THE NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST


Birthdays are a special time to remember and give thanks for the blessings that have come our way. Are you grateful for the ways that God has worked in your life, even from your birth? In many churches of the East and West the birth of John the Baptist is remembered on this day. The friends of Zechariah and Elizabeth marveled at the wonderful way in which God blessed them with a child. This child was destined by God for an important mission. The last verses in the last book of the Old Testament, taken from the prophet Malachi, speak of the Lord’s messenger, the prophet Elijah who will return to "turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers" (Malachi 4:6). We see the beginning of the fulfillment of this word when the Angel Gabriel announced to Zechariah the marvelous birth and mission of John the Baptist (Luke 1:17). When this newly born child was about to be named, as customary on the eighth day, his relatives quibbled over what name to give him. This child, however has been named from above! And Elizabeth is firm in her faith and determined to see that God be glorified through this child. The name John means "the Lord is gracious". In the birth of John and in the birth of Jesus the Messiah we see the grace of God breaking forth into a world broken by sin and without hope. John’s miraculous birth shows the mercy and favor of God in preparing his people for the coming of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist's life was fueled by one burning passion - to point others to Jesus Christ and to the coming of God's kingdom. Scripture tells us that John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb (Luke 1:15, 41) by Christ himself, whom Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, John leapt in the womb of Elizabeth as they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41). The fire of the Spirit dwelt in John and made him the forerunner of the coming Messiah. John was led by the Spirit into the wilderness prior to his ministry where he was tested and grew in the word of God. John's clothing was reminiscent of the prophet Elijah (see Kings 1:8). John broke the prophetic silence of the previous centuries when he began to speak the word of God to the people of Israel. His message was similar to the message of the Old Testament prophets who chided the people of God for their unfaithfulness and who tried to awaken true repentance in them. Among a people unconcerned with the things of God, it was his work to awaken their interest, unsettle them from their complacency, and arouse in them enough good will to recognize and receive Christ when he came.

What is the significance of John the Baptist and his message for our lives? When God acts to save us he graciously fills us with his Holy Spirit and makes our faith come "alive" to his promises. Each and every day the Lord is ready to renew us in faith, hope, and love. Like John the Baptist, the Lord invites each of us to make our life a free-will offering to God. God wants to fill us with his glory all the days of our lives, from birth through death. Renew the offering of your life to God and give him thanks for his mercy and favor towards you.
(Servants of the word)

Totus Tuus - The camp will run from July 15th – July 20. Please register soon as spots are going fast.

Bake Sale – Thank-you to all the bakers and helpers from last weeks’ bake sale. We realized $755.80 from the event. Thank-you!

Graduation – St. Dominic Graduation is on Monday June 25th at 10:30 am. Queen of Heaven Graduation is on Wednesday at 10:00.
NOTE: Monday Morning Mass as usual at 8:00
No 9:15 am Mass on Wednesday Morning.

This is the last bulletin until September. I wish you all a great summer with some rest and relaxation. Thank-you to all our students, teachers, vice-principals and principals for all your efforts in Catholic Education. Congrats to all our graduates. I look forward to seeing you all again in September. Have a safe summer!

Fr. Phil

11th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME



What can mustard seeds teach us about the kingdom of God? The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God's kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God's word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. Just as a seed has no power to change itself until it is planted in the ground, so we cannot change our lives to be like God until God gives us the power of his Holy Spirit.

The Lord of the Universe is ever ready to transform us by the power of his Spirit. Are you ready to let God change you by his life-giving Word and Spirit? The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to the Lord Jesus and allow his word to take root in us, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Paul the Apostle says, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us" (2 Corinthians 4:7). Do you believe in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit?

Peter Chrysologous (400-450 AD), an early church father, explained how the " tree of the cross" spread its branches throughout the world and grew into a worldwide community of faith offering its fruit to the whole world:

It is up to us to sow this mustard seed in our minds and let it grow within us into a great tree of understanding reaching up to heaven and elevating all our faculties; then it will spread out branches of knowledge, the pungent savor of its fruit will make our mouths burn, its fiery kernel will kindle a blaze within us inflaming our hearts, and the taste of it will dispel our unenlightened repugnance. Yes, it is true: a mustard seed is indeed an image of the kingdom of God. Christ is the kingdom of heaven. Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the virgin’s womb, he grew up into the tree of the cross whose branches stretch across the world. Crushed in the mortar of the passion, its fruit has produced seasoning enough for the flavoring and preservation of every living creature with which it comes in contact. As long as a mustard seed remains intact, its properties lie dormant; but when it is crushed they are exceedingly evident. So it was with Christ; he chose to have his body crushed, because he would not have his power concealed….

Christ became all things in order to restore all of us in himself. The man Christ received the mustard seed which represents the kingdom of God; as man he received it, though as God he had always possessed it. He sowed it in his garden, that is in his bride, the Church. The Church is a garden extending over the whole world, tilled by the plough of the gospel, fenced in by stakes of doctrine and discipline, cleared of every harmful weed by the labor of the apostles, fragrant and lovely with perennial flowers: virgins’ lilies and martyrs’ roses set amid the pleasant verdure of all who bear witness to Christ and the tender plants of all who have faith in him. Such then is the mustard seed which Christ sowed in his garden. When he promised a kingdom to the patriarchs, the seed took root in them; with the prophets it sprang up; with the apostles it grew tall; in the Church it became a great tree putting forth innumerable branches laden with gifts. And now you too must take the wings of the psalmist’s dove, gleaming gold in the rays of divine sunlight, and fly to rest for ever among those sturdy, fruitful branches. No snares are set to trap you there; fly off, then, with confidence and dwell securely in its shelter. (SERMON 98)
(Servants of the Word)

Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers in the parish.
Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary, to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers as they care for their families.
Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do, protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation, through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.

Totus Tuus – Running from July 15th – 20th..  Please register soon as spaces are going fast.

Congratulations to our new members for the parish council: Jack Pecina, Talya Skinner, Paul Horbatiuk, Ben Ukonga, Erica Miceli and Elizabeth Hyginus. I look forward to working with you all.

Fr. Phil