Urbi et Orbi
- April 6, 2021
Every Easter the Pope shares a special message and blessing “Urbi et Orbi” for the city of Rome and for the world.
This year, Pope Francis highlighted how on Easter Sunday we celebrate the event that gives us the hope that does not disappoint: “Jesus who was crucified has risen”.
- March 28, 2021
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has developed a weekly series of videos called "Journey through Lent." This Sunday's features the Most Rev Gerard Bergie, Bishop of St. Catharines as he reflects on Palm Sunday.
Making Lent Extraordinary
- March 18, 2021
Many Catholics think of their Lenten sacrifice as a chance to break a bad habit or begin a new good habit. Breaking your dependency on coffee, your social media addiction, your attachment to sweets. These things might be outcomes of our Lenten sacrifice. But, they shouldn’t be the goal. If your main goal is being cured of your habit of binge-watching television, then you’re missing the point. Lent is much more than New Year's resolutions 2.0.
At its root, Lent is about being more like Jesus. Our sacrifices should reflect this. A good approach is to start by asking the question, “how do I want to be holier – more like Jesus – by Easter?” Your answer might be, “I want to be a person who spends more time in prayer.” Or, “I want to be less attached to material things.” Looking at our spiritual goal can help us to determine what the best sacrifice is for us.
Any sacrifice we make is a good one – that is, if it's not too easy or too hard. It should also be something we do on a regular basis. Giving up sushi if you rarely eat (or can't stand the stuff) it is a terrible choice. Any good sacrifice is helpful to us. It is a way of doing penance for our sins. It teaches us self-denial. It unites us more closely to Jesus, Who sacrificed His life for us on the cross.
To make this Lent an extraordinary one, choose a sacrifice that helps you reach your goal. Want to be a person who prays more? Give up something that takes up a lot of your time (e.g. watching television) and fill that time with prayer. Want to be more self-giving? Give up your daily coffee and donate the money you would have spent to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Your sacrifice won't only be a good one; it will also be a step towards your goal of becoming the person God wants you to be.
- James Carnegie, Elementary Chaplaincy Leader
A Lenten Message from the Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee
- February 23, 2021
The Niagara Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (NCPIC) has developed the following Lenten reflection video with the support of Fr. Paul MacNeil, Vicar of Education for the Diocese of St. Catharines and Pastor of Our Lady of the Scapular Church in Niagara Falls. Thank you to all of our parents for your continued support of Niagara Catholic!
The Season of Lent - February 17, 2021
There is a website called “Six Items or Less” that asks the question “Could you live your everyday life in just six pieces of clothing?” People around the world volunteered to wear only six items of clothing for a month, at work and at home. People wrote about their six choices, how they used them, and how other people reacted to them wearing the same clothes all month.
The astonishing part of the experiment: Virtually no one noticed. People wrote that no one realized they were wearing only six items of clothing over and over again. Wives and husbands both wrote that not even the spouses noticed it. It makes me wonder about the image we try to project to the world and to those around us—and how little it really means.
Today we enter into the season of Lent, a time when we are drawn and challenged to search our hearts and to try to deepen our relationship with God. As we think of this experiment, a worthy question might be “do I put off coming before God until I can fix myself up?” I’ll really get into my relationship with God when work isn’t so busy, or when life is less hectic or my kids are more settled. Or maybe when I am holier. As soon as I stop being so impatient with other people.
The message for all time and especially for Lent is that God is waiting for us and loving us just as we are. God is incredibly joyful when we finally put aside the six things that we think are important and just open our hearts.
Loving and merciful God,
touch our hearts as we move into this season of Lent.
Urge us away from the checklist of giving up things,
and more toward the desire to draw closer to you.
Send your Holy Spirit to give us the courage to step away
from our excuses and accept your constant offer of relationship.
- Krista Wood, Board Chaplaincy Leader
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