Sep 30, 2008

Scarborough Welcomes A New Pastor, St. Mike's Clears the Clouds & Healing Essentials...

A few notes from what was a very busy weekend in the Archdiocese of Toronto and beyond...

I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful liturgical celebration for the installation of Fr. Edwin Gonsalves as Pastor of St. Barnabas parish in Scarborough this past Sunday. There are certain moments that lift us all as Catholics and this past weekend was one. The tremendous spirit in the church, packed to the rafters and the enthusiastic response and participation of the congregation, wonderful music and an atmosphere of communal prayer. That's what parish is all about.

In Fr. Edwin, the parish is inheriting a gifted priest who will be pastoral and present to the community for years to come, all with a smile on his face and a great sense of humour. It was great to see Fr. Edwin's family in the front row, led by his 93 year old dad. Bishop Grecco paid tribute to the tremendous role that families play in the vocation journey.

I've had the chance to work closely with Fr. Edwin the past few years and it's clear that he loves his priesthood and is excited about the opportunity to serve as pastor once again following a successful stint as Director at the Office of Catholic Youth.

As Bishop Grecco poignantly stated, "You people need Fr. Edwin and Fr. Edwin needs you!"

The responsorial psalm from Sunday..."To you O Lord, I lift my soul, to you I lift my soul." Indeed we were all lifted at this grace filled celebration. God bless the fine parish community at St. Barnabas and its new shepherd. Prayers to all those priests taking on new responsibilities this fall across the Archdiocese.

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For those who had a chance to experience the 160th anniversary celebrations at St. Michael's Cathedral this past weekend, it was a wonderful gathering. The clouds cleared and the heavy rain stayed away for the outdoor festivities. You can get a flavour of the celebrations by visiting our photo gallery or listening to Archbishop Collins' homily from Saturday's 5 p.m. mass.

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Congratulations to the Catholic Health Association of Ontario on a successful conference last week that featured a number of excellent speakers covering a variety of topics. The final presentation of the conference, "Affirming an Ethic of Care", came from American Dr. Larry Churchill who has recently completed a study that asked physicians what they feel are the essential elements to their "healing ministry". His interviews with surgeons revealed some common themes, narrowed down to the following:

The 8 Essential Skills of Healing (as reported by doctors)
  1. Do the little things (that are BIG)
  2. Take Time
  3. Be present & listen
  4. Find something to like, to love
  5. Walk the Wounded Path
  6. Practice Fidelity
  7. Be Confident
  8. Live out Humility

While it's a good recipe for doctors to follow, we can all take these skills to heart in our mission as "healers" in this world of ours...

Photos: Archdiocese of Toronto, Bill Wittman

1 comment:

Bill Wittman said...

Neil:
Happy to hear the good news of Fr Edwin's appointment. Pleased to see the use of our photos on the St Michael's 160 Anniversary story. If you have a moment - check my Blog: bitsofevidence.blogspot.com

Bill Wittman