I am sure that you have heard that our bishop, Bishop Thevenot, M. Afr., of the Prince Albert Diocese, has given us permission to re-open our Church Buildings and to resume the celebration of our sacramental life with certain cautions and guidelines. If you would like to see his letter (May 22, 2020) and his accompanying resources, you can visit our parish website www.meadowlakecatholicchurch.com or the diocesan website www.padiocese.ca or you can contact our Parish Office for copies.
At the present time, any gatherings are to be limited to 10 people or less AND there are strict rules governing the sanitizing of the spaces we use. In addition, maintaining appropriate social distance (two meters), wearing a mask and frequent hand washing are now strongly encouraged as effective safeguards when we venture out of our homes.
Having said that there are no guarantees that we will not catch/spread the virus. It is being reported that the virus can continue to ‘live’ for as long as three days on some surfaces. Health professionals/infectious disease scientists now believe, because of recent studies, that the virus is spread through droplets of water from coughing and sneezing. More recent studies indicate that it is also air borne and can survive in the air expelled by a contagious infected person when they speak, sing, or shout. This means that when we are in an enclosed space, we can take the virus into our lungs when we breathe. Every time we enter public spaces, we are putting ourselves at risk.
Our Bishop strongly urges us to respect the guidelines set down for us by the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Of interest to the Church, to our Bishop and to me as your pastor, is ensuring the safety of those among us who are most vulnerable. After consulting with people from the three parishes, there is a strong consensus to maintain our present practice (Closed Buildings). There is a sense that our presence on Facebook, our parish website, the emails, letters, and phone calls are assisting us in deepening our faith in the Risen Lord.
While it is the preference of everyone (me included), to gather in person, the common good of all must be considered. Given our care for our people, we will hold off opening our buildings until conditions are more favorable for the health and well-being of all. In that light, we will continue to do as we have been doing until further notice. I will monitor our situation on a weekly basis.
At the present time, with the help of others I am developing plans for our safety and well-being when we do open our Church buildings and can gather as a community once again.
I extend to you my thanks for what you have been doing to maintain the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters. I thank you for your participation in our online events and I thank you for the many ways in which you are ‘church’ in your daily lives. We are “Church-Body of Christ” not because we visit a building – we are “Church-Body of Christ” because of our relationships with God, with our earth and with our brothers and sisters.
Let us continue to be Good News in our actions, our words, our texts, our emails, our tweets, our Facebook posts, our Zoom meetings, and our thoughts. Bearing in mind the wisdom of St. Paul, in all things let us love one another as Christ has loved us and let us not say or do anything to diminish the well-being or the reputation of another.
May 19, 2020
It has been some time since I have been in touch with you. You are not forgotten. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me if there is anything that I can do for you. As you know we are not celebrating any sacraments here in our Church buildings until we have permission to do so from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and our Bishop. If you must enter any of our buildings, please be careful and please be meticulous about sanitizing all that you touch.
During this time, our Parishes continue to have expenses. If you can continue your weekly donations that would be great. Feel free to sign up for automatic withdrawal (Our Lady of Peace Parish), drop off your donation at the Parish Office or mail your donation to the Parish Office here in Meadow Lake [504-3rd Ave East, Meadow Lake, SK S9X 1H5]. If you cannot contribute at this time because of your own financial situation, please do not be troubled by that. You are a valued member of our Church and you will be remembered and prayed for just like everyone else!
Right now, I am Live-streaming mass on Facebook using my phone. It is our intention to purchase equipment so that we can properly livestream events now and so that we can continue to do so after this pandemic is over. We are gathering information on what we need and what would serve us well going forward. I will be in touch to let you know what that will cost us.
I have also developed a plan to build a small outdoor grotto here in Meadow Lake, for a statue of our Blessed Mother, given that our parish is dedicated to Our Lady of Peace. I am hoping to build this rather quickly so that people can stop and visit. It will be outside of course, and people will be invited to social distance and to be cautious. It is my belief that an outdoor grotto could be a source of encouragement for us and a reminder that our God is with us. In a word, it would be a source of hope. Again, stay tuned for further plans.
Pentecost Sunday is coming up and we would like to celebrate it virtually. In addition to the mass which will be live-streamed at 10:00 am Sunday, May 31st, we invite you to color this flame'dove which represents the Holy Spirit. We invite you, if you are comfortable, to display your flame in your window or on your door as a sign of the presence of the Spirit in your life. St. Paul reminds each of us that we are "temples of the Holy Spirit," (1 Corinthians 6:19)
To further celebrate Pentecost Sunday and the presence of the Holy Spirit we are organizing a virtual Pentecost Potluck. Each person/household is invited to do four things:
For those who are gifted technologically, I encourage you to post the picture of your dish on our Facebook page on Pentecost Sunday evening. As I eat, I will ‘comment’ and ‘like’ your picture. We will be eating together virtually! If you (like me), are a bit challenged regarding Facebook, here is how you can do that:
Log on to your Facebook account on your home computer or mobile device. Go to the Catholic Church Meadow Lake Facebook page. If you are on your home computer click on ‘create post.’ From there a box will pop up allowing you to insert whatever you have decided to share. You may also copy and paste what you want to share. In the box, you will also see an icon for ‘photo/video’. Clicking on that icon will allow you to upload your meal pictures.
If you are on your mobile device, go to the Catholic Church Meadow Lake Facebook page. Near the top it has a line of options. Choose ‘posts’. A box will pop up saying “Write something on page”. Clicking on that, will take you to a screen allowing you to share your recipe/activity or photo.
Thanks to each of you for your efforts at social distancing, hand washing, encouraging one another, helping those in need and for your faith, your hope and your joy! Have a wonderful celebration of Pentecost and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!
Doug Jeffrey OMI
(Our Lady of Peace Parish, Meadow Lake; St. Jude’s Parish, Green Lake; Our Lady of the Smile Parish, Waterhen Lake)
Welcome to this Blog page...if you click on the link below it will download the file and you can see the text and join us in praying the Novena. Thanks for your prayer!
May 21 is the Feast of St. Eugene de Mazenod. St. Eugene was born in Aix-en-Provence, France and he founded the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a group of priests and brothers who dedicate themselves to announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who are poor and marginalized or have not yet heard the gospel. Many Oblates have worked in Canada and in Western Canada in particular. The diocese of Prince Albert was founded by the Oblates and Oblates served in this diocese for many years. Some have done outstanding work and some have done harm. Aware of our sinful and grace-filled history we continue to live and work in the service of Christ and the Church. On the one hand we repent and seek forgiveness for our sins and failings and on the other we appreciate and celebrate what God has done with us and through us. In all things we remind the people that the Crucified and Risen Lord loves them with a love that is all embracing and unconditional. This love enables us to get up when we fall down and it enables us to forgive others when they stumble and fall! Today there are a small number of Oblates (Priests and Lay Associates) living and working in the diocese.
If you have concerns about the work of an Oblate Brother or Priest or Associate, you can make contact with the Oblates though OMI Lacombe Canada. Our website has all the information you need to register your concerns.
It is customary on the feast of St. Eugene de Mazenod on May 21, to begin 9 days of prayer – a novena, asking God to bless the Church and us with vocations – men willing to join us as brothers and priests and women to serve in religious communities. We also ask God to bless us with Lay Associates, men and women moved by the charism of St. Eugene and willing to share in our community and mission of proclaiming the Good News to all people.
If you would like to take part in the Novena prayer you can do so by tuning into Facebook at www.facebook.com/stpatrickshamilton beginning May 21 through May 29 at 11:00 am (EDT – 9:00 am here in Saskatchewan) or the OMI Lacombe Canada Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/missionaryoblates Given that we have mass at that time I will not be able to take part in the live event but will take part after the mass.
Mothers’ Day Blessing
(Adapted from Edward Hayes
Prayers for a Domestic Church)
God of love, you who make us Holy by your sacred Presence,
Listen to this prayer brought to you by your holy people.
Bend down your ear to this request and
Bless the mothers who are gathered virtually this day.
Bless them with strength and courage,
With faith and with hope,
With peace and with the melody of your love,
With eternal life and a place at your eternal dinner table.
Bless them today, in this lifetime with good things:
With health, joy, friendship, laughter,
And with pride in their children and grand children.
Surround them with friends.
May they who have given life and nurtured life so generously,
Be carried one day to your divine embrace to rejoice with family and friends.
May this blessing and all your graces we pray,
Descend upon the mothers of our families
In the name of the Father,
And of the Son,
And of the Holy Spirit.
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!