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Baptism of the Lord (A

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St. Monica’s Parish
BAPTISM OF THE LORD

January 11/12, 2014

At his Baptism in the Jordan, Jesus joyfully embraced his mission as the Beloved Son: to proclaim Good News. As we begin a New Year, as we formulate our own “resolutions”, let us turn to Pope Francis for inspiration as we tighten up our commitments, forge into new territory, and pray for lives filled with joy in 2014. Over the next few weeks, inspired by an article by Mike Hayes (www.bustedhalo.com) we will ponder some “resolutions” drawn from the Pope’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: ‘The Joy of the Gospel’: #1: Be Joyful! At the heart of the life and message of Pope Francis is this simple invitation to joy. But we know that it is not always easy to be joyful: when we are in physical pain, when someone hurts our feelings, when we experience disappointment. Pope Francis reminds us: “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. (…) There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter. I realize that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty. Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved. I understand the grief of people who have to endure great suffering, yet slowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress.” This is a faith statement. We are joyful because we know and feel in our bones God’s redemptive power. Evil’s grasp is strengthened by believing that there is no hope, no joy, no redemption in any given situation. We need to practice a joyful faith which truly believes that God can redeem suffering and pain as well as our own pettiness. #2: Share Your Joy! Joy cannot be hoarded for its own sake, but needs to be shared. This is not a superficial “Don’t worry, be happy!” attitude. True joy is transformative: it changes us and calls us to make changes in our lives and the lives of others. Joy is contagious: it has the power to spread like wildfire, from individuals to entire communities. What would happen to our Church if parishes were experienced as joy-filled, joy-sharing, missionary communities? Fr. Guylain reminded us last September that most parishes spend over 75% of their time and resources maintaining current programs and practices, and less than 25% reaching out to those beyond the parish structure. If we did the reverse, we would be following Pope Francis’ invitation to “go out to the periphery” to share our joy with others: “An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. Evangelizers thus take on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep are willing to hear their voice. An evangelizing community is also supportive, standing by people at every step of the way, no matter how difficult or lengthy this may prove to be.” To be continued next week!! PARISH PILGRIMAGE: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE This year, our parish project for evangelization invites us to a life-giving encounter with Jesus in the Word of God. At the birth of our Church, the Apostle Paul became an outstanding witness to Christ, spreading the Good News about Jesus through his preaching, his letters, and his missionary journeys. From October 15-25, 2014, Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, Pastor of St. Monica’s Parish, will be leading a pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey, following in the footsteps of St. Paul. This pilgrimage will include a 3-night cruise through the Greek Islands. If you want to learn more about this unique opportunity, please join us for a special travel presentation to be held at St. Monica’s Parish Hall (6405 Terrebonne) on Thursday, January 30th at 7:00 p.m. For more information, or to register for the presentation, please contact Stephen Pickford from Aladdin Travel Agency at (514) 489-5723 or by e-mail at Aladdin@aladdincorp.com.

Saturday, Jan. 11 Ferial 4:00 James & Elizabeth Flynn Sharon & Giulio Sunday, Jan. 12 Baptism of the Lord 8:30 In Loving Memory: Mike Kilbertus, Alba & Luigi Paliotti, Emma & Colombo Salvati, Deceased members of the Cullen family, Anna & Lorenzo Forlini, and Luigi, Antonio & Sanda Onesi 11:00 Concetta di Lonardo Betty & Ding Reyes Monday, Jan. 13 Weekday 8:00 Iolanda & Francesco The Servello Children Servello Tuesday, Jan. 14 Weekday 8:00 Domenico & Antonio Julia Angelini Palucci Wednesday, Jan. 15 Weekday 8:00 Vincenza Mariani The Piccolino Family 8:00 8:00 4:00 8:30 Thursday, Jan. 16 Alexander Cybulski Friday, Jan. 17 Biaggio Spensieri Saturday, Jan. 18 Giuseppe Buono Sunday, Jan. 19 Ida Camaiani Weekday Claudia & George St. Anthony Cristina & Giovanni Masella Our Lady’s Saturday Franca D’Addio & Family 2nd Sunday Ordinary Time Vivian Teodori

Adult Faith Enrichment January events Adult Faith Education
God Wants Me To Be Joyful? … Really? - What does it mean to be joy-filled? What do the Scriptures teach us about how to find true joy in our lives – even when times are tough? Pastor Nita Kotiuga will explore with us some key biblical passages on joy which can be directly applied to our own lives on Wednesday, January 22, 2014, from 7:15-9:00 p.m. in the parish hall. Please register by January 17.

Bible Study
Experiencing the Living Word Through the Gospel of John, with Pastor Brent Walker. Join us on Wednesday evenings, January 29, February 5, 12, 19 & 26, and March 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the parish hall for a unique opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Scriptures. Pastor Walker will lead us in a 6-week Bible Study of the Gospel of John, where we will take a closer look at specific scripture passages and how they invite us to experience the presence of Christ. Introduction to the Bible Study at all weekend masses of Jan. 25 and 26. Please register by January 27.

11:00 In Loving Memory: Elena Casale Zilli, Luigi & Rosa Mammone, Natalina Donati Ceccucci, Francesco & Angela Supino Your Generosity…
Thank you for your on-going support of our parish… December 22 total $2,603.00; December 25 total $8,454.50; December 29 total $4,204.25; January 5 total $3,256.00; Maintenance total $1,161.00; and Christmas Appeal total $20,965.00

FOOD AND TOY DRIVE – THANK YOU
The Food Pantry would like to thank all those who participated in this year’s food and toy drive. Through your generosity, we were able to provide Christmas baskets for many individuals and families.

Please refer to our brochure, website and the posters at the Church entrances for additional information. If registration is required, kindly use the appropriate sigh-up sheets at the main church entrance or contact Anna at the office. 2014 SUNDAY DONATION BOXES
Those who have been using the Sunday Donation Box Envelopes and have not yet picked up their new 2014 box, are invited to do so as soon as possible. The boxes are situated at the main entrance of the Church. Boxes are in numerical order and there is an alphabetical list you can consult. New users are asked to fill in a request form and submit to the office.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL COMMITTEE
St. Vincent de Paul Committee wants to thank all those parishioners who helped to make this year’s Christmas basket distribution a success. Your food contributions and financial assistance helped us provide baskets, on your behalf, to over 110 individuals and families. God bless you for your generosity. Deacon Dennis