Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Wink And A Smile -

A few of the photos we took during our wonderful vacation in Japan in March 2010

Lyrics for background music

A WINK AND A SMILE by Harry Connick, Jr.

I remember the days
of just keeping time
of hanging around in sleepy towns, forever
Back roads empty for miles

well you cant have a dream
and cut it to fit
but when I saw you, I knew
we go together, like a wink and a smile

Leave your old jallopy
by the railroad track
we'll get a hip, double dip, tip toppy, 2 seat pontiac

So you can rev her up
don't go slow
It's only green lights and alright
let's go together with a wink and a smile


Give me a wink and a smile


We go together like a wink and a smile

Now my heart is music
such a simple song
singing again, the notes never end
this is where I belong

Just the sound of your voice
the light in your eyes
Your so far away from yesterday
Together, with a wink and a smile

We go together, like a wink and a smile.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Father Richard Siok's homily 7:00 pm Mass Saint Patrick Basilica, September 21, 2010

This is one of the best homilies I have ever heard so I transcribed it from the audio file which you can find at the forty days for life website or at this link on my website. 

Click  HERE  to listen to Father Richard's Homily
"Below is the text of the homily which I transcribed from the audio file (see link above)"

There are readings liturgies where we can chose from which are very targeted to the pro-life cause. Today, however, is the Feast of Saint Matthew, the Evangelist, the Apostle, and on the important Feasts we don’t fool around eh: we have to take the mass for that day, so I was scratching my head and worried needlessly that, what could I say? How can I tie in the readings? Until I read the readings properly and there is of course a beautiful tie-in!

Today’s gospel describes the call of St. Matthew to become an apostle of Jesus Christ, improbable choice from a human perspective. He is a man who made money his idol. He didn’t care what his people said about him. He was ostracized: he didn’t care. Money! So the Pharisees had a problem when Jesus called him. And not only did Jesus call him, Jesus, my goodness ate with Matthew and other people of the same ilk! Now remember, I remind you again, that back then, having a meal with somebody, a formal meal, was not something informal like we have in our culture; let’s do lunch sometime. Here it’s just an acquaintance : let’s do lunch and we think nothing of it. Back then having a meal with somebody, a formal meal was a big deal! It said we now share an identity together and the idea of betraying somebody who you shared a meal with was unthinkable, hence the crime of Judas. The Jews saw even a deeper aspect to it than we see from that perspective.

Matthew, of course, as I mentioned: the Pharisees looked at Jesus and then said to His disciples, “What’s wrong with your master? Doesn’t He realize who this man is? He is eating with him, sharing an identity with him! He must have flipped! Talk to the man! “ Using modern language that’s what they were saying. Now as a tax collector, it wasn’t only that Matthew was a collaborator of the Romans, there was another aspect to Matthew which the Pharisees found a problem with and it’s this: He was a tax collector in Galilee a territory of Herod Antipas, and as a tax collector in Galilee, he had a lot of business dealings: close business dealings with the Gentiles. Now the Pharisees, in their mindset, they strove, they were always striving to insulate the Jews from the pagans, from the Gentiles, from the Goyim. There was too much rapport with the Goyim that got us into trouble in the past, and falling away from God’s commandments, so they said “Because your Master ( in effect they were saying ) is dealing with a man who had a lot of dealings with the Goyim, the Gentiles, Matthew is very impure therefore, and your master, by eating with him, is also becoming very impure liturgically. I’m not sure that was the accusation they were making about Christ, that He had become impure liturgically, by eating with Matthew, because dealing with the Gentiles was a source of liturgical impurities.

Now, notice Christ’s response to the Pharisees when he sees the brouhaha they are trying to create amongst his disciples. He quotes from the book of the prophet Isaiah, the sixth chapter: interesting quote “ I desire mercy and not sacrifice” For us we read that and say “What does that mean really? Now the Pharisees had many faults but they also had some qualities and one of their qualities was that they knew the old testament scriptures inside out. They immediately identified the quote, where it came from, and they immediately understood its context. Now to understand what Christ was saying to the Pharisees and hence what He’s trying to teach us, and what Matthew is trying to give us of God’s revelation through his quoting of Christ, we have to understand what this part of the book of Hosea was all about. Jesus gave one little quote eh? Now, Hosea the prophet, he ministered to and wrote to the Jews in the northern kingdom of Israel. That’s very important to know.

I’ll explain why shortly, because as you recall there was King David, King Solomon, it was all unite, all 12 tribes were united under Kings David and Solomon. After Solomon, now the tribes of the north, the ten tribes of the North very reluctantly had accepted King David. As a matter of fact , they only accepted David as their king after a civil war which lasted for quite a number of years. They groaned under Solomon. When Soloman died they said “to heck with it, we want nothing to do with the line of kings coming from David: nothing to do with them, the Davidic line, and so they actually separated: they became a separate country. . Anyways, what Jesus is saying quoting Hosea is this: Because God in the book of Hosea wrapped their knuckles for separating because God was saying “the Davidic line is My line” and Christ in quoting Hosea was saying to the Pharisees “ You guys are rejecting me. Like the people of the north rejected the Davidic dynasty, you’re rejecting me and I am the ultimate fulfillment of all those promised to King David.” That’s one message he was giving them.

But there’s another message as well. When the Jews were in the desert, and this is where it becomes very relevant to us, here with the 40 days for Life. When the Jews were in the desert when the EXODUS under Moses, God’s intent was that they become the elder brother to all the peoples, the pagan peoples, they had come into contact with. Through their example and through their teaching they were to bring healing from the contamination of idolatry. By their example and their teachings they were to bring all the nations of the world to Yahweh: away from their idolatry and to Yahweh. What happened? In the Kingdom of the North, I won’t talk about the south, in the kingdom of the north the opposite happened when they broke away from Jerusalem and all that, what happened was that they came under the influence of the pagans and instead of them transforming the pagans, they became paganized. Yes they had their rival temple to Jerusalem, in a place called Bethel, where they adored Yahweh. But they also had on their high places, on their mountains, all these little temples and sanctuaries to the pagan gods where they would also offer sacrifices to the pagan gods including , by the way, human sacrifices: infants…….. And hence, God’s words to them through Hosea, through the people of the North “ Your sacrifices, especially those to the pagan gods, you keep, start with mercy. Start bringing Me, MY Word, My Presence, to the pagan peoples. First purify yourselves. And that’s what the meaning was “ I desire mercy and not sacrifices” And when the Pharisees heard this in the context of Jesus calling Matthew and the others, what were they thinking? What was the message they got? Christ was telling them the following. He was telling them “ Look, we have those people like Matthew who have fallen into idolatry. Matthew’s idolatry was…. money.

First of all, before we can reach out to the pagans like God wanted us to do originally in the desert, let’s first purify ourselves. I’m reaching out to MY own people and look they’re saying yes. I’m calling them: they’re saying yes. They’re changing their lives. They’re changing their lives. That’s what God wanted through Hosea. That’s what he wants us to do, and you Pharisees are fighting God’s plan. You don’t want God’s mercy to flow to those who have fallen away. And of course, that message applies to us. We know that as Christians eh, we are called to be followers of Christ. We have to follow his example. Christ didn’t shirk away from identifying evil, making himself vulnerable to evil, and confronting evil. He did it with the Pharisees, for example where they were off mark, although they were very prestigious, powerful people, the priests of His time. High Priests or not, when they deserved criticism, He criticized them. He identified where they got off the mark: the authorities in the temple. Christ identified evil and confronted it. The people were possessed. Christ didn’t shirk away from them. He confronted the evil and made himself even vulnerable to it as we will read at His passion. They only arrested Christ because he gave them permission. That’s clear in John’s Gospel. Christ had to give them permission to be arrested.

And so, it’s the same for us as followers of Christ. He’s our model. And one of the great evils of our time, I’m preaching to the choir, if not the greatest evil of our time, is abortion. Human sacrifice , really when you think of it, to an idol; the idol of human Freedom or libertinism perhaps is a better word and as an absolute, and like Christ as His followers, we are called to identify an evil for what it is, to bear witness to it, and also to do it in such a way, that God’s mercy will be offered to our society through our witness. And also, God’s mercy will be offered perhaps to the young women going for an abortion, as they see the witness , maybe some of them even haven’t thought about it. And some who have had abortions will think it over, and those who support abortion, perhaps seeing the witness, will think, and God’s Grace, if they are open to it, will start to work in them.

Now I’ll give you something perhaps very, ah………… When we are dealing with the abortion issue, we are generally dealing with people who aren’t Christians. They may be baptized, but in their souls they’re not Christians eh? We’re dealing with people who are secularized and they will say well, it’s a human right. It’s a free society. It’s a human right: the right to choose. And it’s good to be able to confront them on that level. It’s no use quoting the bible to them, they don’t believe. So to get them thinking, confront them with something which will surprise them. Make them think on a human level. In the whole aspect of human rights, first of all the Church wrote the book of human rights. It’s not for society, it’s for the Church. If it wasn’t for the Church there would be no concept of human rights out there.

In effect, it’s in the thirteenth century, eh, the thirteenth century that Thomas Aquinas in some of his writings , the idea , the reality of human rights, inalienable human rights coming from God, cause we’re human, simply because we’re human , we get them from God, that started to perculate in his writings. He never worked on it as a specific separate item, but it was there, it started to come up.

And then in the sixteenth century a Jesuit by the name of Suarez, he focused on human rights, and building on what Thomas Aquinas was developing, he expounded on it, and he wrote, if you wish, the book on human rights in his writings. And what Suarez wrote, and an English professor Hobbs took up in the seventeenth century. And Hobbs writings on human rights was then taken up by the drafters of the American Declaration of Independence eh? And you remember they said we were all created by God and all that? And we have basically three inalienable human rights given to us from God: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or property. Americans say Pursuit of Happiness, English say Pursuit of property . These three rights, inalienable rights are not co-equal. They are Hierarchical. And when you think about it for a minute, you immediately see why. If you don’t have a right to life, then what’s the use of having the right for liberty and the right for property or happiness? If anybody can kill you at any time, the other rights become moot eh? So the right to life is fundamental. Without the right to liberty and life, then the right for property and the pursuit of happiness becomes moot. And if you’re not free, don’t have a right to eh freedom, how can you pursue your happiness or property? So, you see there is a hierarchy eh in them. Now in the nineteenth century…… you talk about Supreme Courts. In the nineteenth century, the American Supreme Court in a decision called the “Dredd Scott Decision” said the following “The property rights of Whites, of White landowners trump the liberty rights of Blacks.” That was a Supreme Court Decision. That was supposed to have settled the issue. People of conscience could not and would not accept that decision. They were considered initially “rabble rousers”, even in the North. They fought it. Eventually, after the Civil War it was overturned. You see, because again, liberty comes before property rights in the hierarchy eh?

Today we’re facing the abortion debate. What we’re saying is ( and I know there are many sad cases, but we’re not getting into that we’re talking here philosophically ) I know that many women have very difficult decisions to make, very difficult circumstances and all that, but that caveat not withstanding, ultimately the pro choice argument is that the liberty rights of the woman ( sometimes she is pushed into it, forced into it, cajoled onto it) but that right trumps the life right of the unborn baby.


So, Just as the nineteenth century decision of the Supreme Court made no sense, so the twentieth Century Supreme Court Decision also cannot hold up. And just as today we look upon those who fought the culture of their time, the nineteenth century in the United States, as being heroes, because then that spread through the world. It brought slavery down throughout the world. So I suggest to you, that barring the Second Coming of Jesus in the near future, down the road, people will recognize abortion for the evil it is and those who fought it will be recognized with pride and as being heroes.

We don’t remember those who fought for slavery eh, by the press and all that in the United States, in the nineteenth Century. We remember those who fought it.

Same with this. This is the issue which comes down to the fundamental dignity and reality of human beings. The right to life is not something which is negotiable. It’s something which comes to us from God Himself with no intermediaries

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast's Pastoral Letter, September 26, 2010

Theme of the Pastoral Year 2010-2011

Called to Holiness—the Saints among Us

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On October 17, the Holy Cross religious Brother André (Alfred Bessette) will be proclaimed a saint by Pope Benedict XVI, the first native-born Canadian male to reach sainthood.

Brother André will be “our saint,” as many Canadians have heard of healings through his approach to God through St. Joseph or been helped by bringing petitions to him. Such healings were not only physical, however, for many received comfort from the simple words of encouragement of this humble servant of the Lord.

My grandmother, a widow with ten children, spoke of the consolation her meeting with Brother André had given her. I have heard others speak of the impact of Brother André in the lives of those dear to them.

With others from our Archdiocese, I will attend the canonization ceremony in Rome and the Mass of Thanksgiving at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on October 30. We will hold our own evening Mass of Thanksgiving in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica on the Feast Day of Brother André, January 6, 2011. Plan now to attend.

Four hundred years ago next month, on October 3, 1610, St. Gabriel Lalemant was born. Eighty years ago, on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in June 1930, he was among the eight saints canonized as the Canadian Martyrs. They were “our saints” too, having played a key role in the evangelization of the Native Peoples.

Thinking about these “saints among us” leads me to share with you a few thoughts on the call to holiness, the theme for our 2010-2011 Pastoral Year. Since the call to be holy calls us to be saints, they offer important clues on how to give ourselves over to God’s will in our lives.


In the 21st century we may hear more about celebrities such as movie stars, athletes and even some religious leaders. Veneration of the saints is something different. We recognize in them something unique and extraordinary, a dimension different from worldly heroes and idols.

God makes us feel His presence in the saints; in them He speaks to us and shows us how to continue the mission of His Son. And the Church’s devotion to the saints reminds us to follow their example, to follow their whole-hearted response to the grace of their calling.

The Second Vatican Council explained that the Church recognizes people as saints because they have been perfectly transformed into the image of Christ.

The transparent holiness of the saints is hard to define but easy to recognize. When we look at them, we catch a glimpse of God. We sense the same qualities, attitudes and behaviour that God first made manifest in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man.

People of faith admire saints for reminding them of God's promises and presence. Those without faith, or with a seldom-used faith, sometimes feel uneasy when the saints remind them how they ought to be living their lives.

An important aspect of our call to be holy is facing our own weaknesses and sins and, following a long church tradition, making reparation for them and for those of other members of the Church.

Because I have been asked by the Holy See to lead an apostolic visitation to the Archdiocese of Tuam as part of the Church in Ireland’s healing from the terrible scandal of clerical abuse, I am going to devote the First Friday of each month from October 2010 to June 2011 as a special day of prayer and fasting. I invite you all to join me in this penitential exercise, in whatever form of prayer and penance you choose.

I will be praying not only for the Church in Ireland but at home as well, praying for healing in solidarity with all victims of abuse, and asking God to give perpetrators of abuse the grace to repent and to accept the course of justice along with His mercy.

Let us support one another in prayer that each of us may heed God’s call to answer—each in his or her unique way—the universal call to holiness.

God bless you all.

Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

Archbishop of Ottawa

September 26, 2010

Feast Day of the Canadian Martyrs

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forty Days for Life Ottawa, Fall 2010 Campaign

40 Days for Life Inaugural Mass 7:00 pm Tuesday September 21

The 40 Days for Life inaugural Mass took  place on Tuesday evening September 21st at 7:00 pm at Saint Patrick’s Basilica (220 Kent St. Ottawa). It is paramount that we start off the campaign on the right spiritual footing. Our struggle against abortion is, after all, mainly a spiritual battle. Father Richard Siok gave an excellent homily on the right to Life as being the most important and basic human right. Without the right to life all other rights are moot. The Mass was followed by a candlelight procession of about 200 people from the Basilica to abortion site at 65 Bank Street on Bank Street for a rally.

Vigil Signup

As of today, 12 days of the campaign’s 40 Days of the prayer vigil across from the abortuary have been reserved. Parishes have taken ten days; Couples for Christ and a Council of the Knights of Columbus have taken one day each.  We remain very hopeful that other parishes, and parish groups such as other Knights of Columbus Councils, Catholic Womens’ Leagues, prayer groups, etc will get involved in this life-changing/ culture-transforming initiative. As a member of the legion of Mary in Ottawa, I hope and pray that we partcipate as well.

The calendar also reveals that we have many vacancies between September 22nd and September 27th inclusively, just prior to our first parish commitment. We are encouraging everyone to consider registering for one of these vacant shifts early in the campaign .  It is important that we start the campaign with a strong presence.

Key dates:

September 21st: Kick-off Mass St. Patrick's Basilica at 7:00 pm followed by a candle-light procession to the Abortion facility at 65 Bank Street (Ground Zero).

October 14th: Mid Point Rally at Ground Zero
starting at 7:00 pm.

October 31st: Closing Rally - Celebrate another successful 40 Days for Life Campaign…. starts 07:00 pm at Ground Zero - more details to follow.


Online info:

International Website:

More info see your Parish Rep, or Campaign Life Coalition: 613-729-0379

or Email: Stan Siok  English Parish Coordinator, 40 Days for Life

For information on Past Campaigns go to this link on my website

Friday, September 10, 2010

Monthly Pro Life Masses

Monthly Pro Life Masses to be held

to pray for the opening of a Pro-Life Centre in Ottawa,

In obedience to Pope John Paul ll’s writing in Evangelium Vitae, para 88, in which he stated that “Centres for Natural methods of regulating fertility should be promoted as a valuable help to responsible parenthood”, a series of Masses to pray for the opening of a Pro-Life Centre in Ottawa, and for an end to Abortion,will begin on Saturday, September 18th, 2010. for more information click here