As of Saturday at 12:00 noon our Parish Church, Our Lady of Peace here in Meadow Lake is CLOSED. After consulting the leaders of the parish, it was unanimously decided that given the guidance of the Saskatchewan Health Authority it would be prudent for us to close the Church. When this pandemic is over we want to be able to welcome ALL OUR PEOPLE to the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist. In the meantime we encourage all of you to develop and nourish your faith in the safety of your home.
Some things you need to know
1. For now, if you want to contact me I will be in the Parish Office from 10:00 - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. I will no longer be taking Monday off. I will not be in the Parish Office on Saturday and Sunday. If you need me you can catch me by phoning (306) 236-5122. If you cannot catch me there, feel free to text or call me on the parish cell phone (306) 304-7271. If I do not answer either phone then please leave a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can. You may also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Many people wonder what I do with my days. In addition to my work of meeting and talking with people, responding to emails, phone calls, planning parish life, clerical work, writing homilies, preparing content for our Facebook page (new) and our website (new) and caring for the ordinary things of life (preparing meals, cleaning, exercise, maintaining my personal accounts, personal hobbies, etc) I spend time in prayer. During this time of the COVID-19 virus restrictions, I will continue to nourish my life of prayer. For those of you who do not know how I pray, here is the Liturgical Prayer and the personal devotions that I engage in. When I joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1974, I began this prayer regime and it has continued to this day. When I was ordained a Transitional Deacon in 1982, I made a commitment to the Church to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Night Prayer). All Permanent Deacons and Priests make a similar commitment to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist. We then develop our own personal and private devotional life.
In the morning before I go to the Parish Office I pray the Liturgy of the Hours or the Prayer of the Church as it is sometimes called. This consists of the Office of Readings (20 minutes) which includes: a Hymn, three psalms, a long Scripture reading and a reading from one of the Saints, one of the early Church Fathers, or the Vatican II Documents and a Closing Prayer and Morning Prayer (15 minutes) which includes a Hymn, three psalms, a short scripture reading, a response, the Canticle of Zechariah and intercessions for the People of God, the Our Father and a Closing Prayer. This is followed by the Angelus. Following this prayer I take an hour for Silent Prayer - this involves reflecting on a passage of sacred scripture and inviting God to help me explore how the Divine Presence is manifest in the world and in the events of my life at this time. I also unite myself with Oblates around the world in different places and ministries (active and retired). I also ask God to help me and my brother priests serve the People of God at this time.
At some point during the day I also celebrate the Eucharist (35 minutes) for the intention of the people listed in this website.
At some point in the day I also pray a Rosary (15 minutes). In the evening, I once again pray the Liturgy of the Hours - this time I pray what is referred to as Evening Prayer (15 minutes) which includes a hymn - three psalms, a short scripture reading, the Canticle of Mary, intercessions for the People of God, the Our Father and a Closing Prayer. I also try to spend some time doing an Examination of Conscience (10 minutes) - How have I allowed the Spirit of God to guide me and interact with me during the course of the day? Just before going to bed I pray the Liturgy of the Hours one more time - Night Prayer (10-12 minutes) which includes a hymn, a psalm, a short reading, the Canticle of Simeon and a Closing Prayer followed by a prayer to our Blessed Mother. Night Prayer is the last prayer of the day. On nights when I cannot sleep, as sometimes happens, :-) I often engage in another rosary!
During the course of the day I may spend various moments in private prayer - thinking of people or events that are in need of God's blessing or I may take some time to simply give thanks and praise to God. For example, I silently give thanks for an act of kindness that someone has done or for the opportunity given to me to bless someone.
I want you to know that each week during this COVID-19 pandemic, I will light a candle for the people of our three faith communities. I will alternate asking Our Lady of Peace, Our Lady of the Smile and St. Jude for their intercession on our behalf. I will also use daily the Oblate Prayer, which asks St. Eugene de Mazenod and all the Oblate saints to intercede for us.
It is my hope that my prayer life enriches and blesses your life and inspires you to make a commitment to connect daily - in your own way - with the God who has fashioned us in the very image of God. This same God who created us, has given us the Holy Spirit to help us love and forgive, as Jesus loves and forgives.
Peace be with you!
This is my first blog and I am writing it Sunday afternoon, March 22nd. It is an explanation as to what has happened in the Meadow Lake Cluster since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the directions we have been getting from our Bishop and from the Saskatchewan Health Authorities.
On March 6th we received an email from our Bishop. Here is the link:
This letter urged us to take precautions!
On March 17th our bishop sent us a second letter giving us further direction:
While we were trying to figure out how to implement that in our Cluster of parishes, on March 18th our bishop, Bishop Albert Thevenot M. Afr sent another letter to us informing us that we were to cancel all our masses and restrict our activities according to the guidance offered by Saskatchewan Health.
On March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph, our parish leadership, Pastoral Council, Finance Council and other parish leaders gathered for a meeting to figure out how we could respond.
At that time we committed to developing a website, a Facebook page and a phone tree so as to communicate essential information to our parishioners.
The phone call informed people that:
- all our weekday and Sunday liturgies were cancelled and that they could share in the mass through the Diocesan Facebook page and Diocesan website.
- we would have the Church in Meadow Lake open from 10:00 am till 12 noon everyday except Monday.
- Fr. Doug would try to be available at that time if possible.
- Fr. Doug would be in Green Lake on Wednesdays from 11:00 am till 2:00 pm.
- the Parish Office would be open from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm from Monday to Friday.
- we would be creating a Facebook page and a website - Meadow Lake Catholic Church
- to seek good information from the Canada Health website and the Saskatchewan Health website and the Diocesan webpage and Facebook page.
- it would be good if we could pray for each other and practice safe social distancing.
- people could phone the parish office at 306 236 5122 if they had any questions or needs.
Our Leadership group also agreed that we would meet again and assess our response to the parish situation. We also committed to nurture the 40 Cans for Lent program so as to help the Door of Hope in their care for people. We discussed our own Financial needs and noted that it would be good if people could (given that some of our parishioners are going to be laid off) continue to offer their Sunday contributions. We agreed to receive contributions (food and Sunday envelopes) at the parish office.
We realized that it will be hard to keep our Church clean. We emphasized the importance of people exercising caution in their visits to the Church. In addition to using 'hand sanitizer', practicing social distancing and touching as few surfaces as possible we realized that there is little we can do to make sure that people are safe when they come to the Church. As a group we appreciated the opportunity to gather.
We are still trying to figure out how I might serve the needs of the people at Waterhen Lake. What is needed and when is a good time to provide it.
Hi! My name is Fr. Doug Jeffrey, OMI and I am the pastor of the Meadow Lake Cluster. I serve the faith communities of Our Lady of the Smile, Waterhen, St. Jude's, Green Lake and Our Lady of Peace, Meadow Lake. I arrived in the cluster on August 15th, 2019. You can see more information about me on the home page!