ST. GEORGE OUR PATRON
This weekend we celebrate the feast of our patron—St. George, who with complete trust in Christ placed his faith above everything else, even his own life!! As the patron of our parish, he beckons us to do the same—to always place Jesus above everything else. There is certainly a price to pay for this dedication and faithfulness but the rewards are indeed heavenly. We are called to be saints of today willing to serve, sacrifice and surrender our lives for the Good News—for peace, joy, love and freedom. Our faith fuels us to be courageous and faith filled disciples offering light in places of darkness.
THE PARISH-CENTRE OF FAITH
This is why the parish is at the heart of our Catholic faith. This is why we not only need to attend the parish but it is the place that empowers us to “spring into action”. St. George Parish is our home where we encounter Christ in powerful and transforming ways.
First and foremost, Christ continues to teach, serve, inspire, heal and comfort us through the sacraments. These are the visible and tangible signs of His presence in our lives. We come to Mass to be fed and nourished at the Eucharist, comforted and healed through the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick. We come to holy hours or spend time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to simply rest before Him and to be filled with grace.
What happens when we celebrate and experience the sacraments? Our hearts are transformed and healed. We see the Risen Christ alive and we are filled up with His love—so we can see with renewed hope and be ready to offer that joy, love, peace and strength that only Jesus can supply. With our hearts filled up we cannot keep this simply for ourselves but so filled with Good News that we have to share it. We have to put our faith into action!!!
THE PARISH INSPIRES MINISTRY
We do not only attend church to be fed, nourished, healed and comforted for our own benefit. We encounter Christ in so many powerful ways through the parish. Yet the parish is so much more than that. The parish offers us ways in which we can actively serve and share like Jesus did when he washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. The parish offers opportunities to deepen our spiritual experiences with real and tangible ministries of service which call us beyond ourselves.
MINISTRY IN THE PARISH
There are countless ministries within the parish that help us fully experience our faith. This includes liturgy (lectors, ushers, choirs commentators, Eucharistic Ministers, Mass Directors, sacristans and so much more), youth ministry (family movie nights, Faith In Action Teams, The Well, Kids Summer Camp, Youth Altar Servers) and other ministries like the Bereavement Team, Liturgy Committee, Emmaus Road and so many others. All of these ministries help us by serving and encountering one another as we are journeying together. Through our service we help brighten the light of faith in this world!!
The parish also commissions us to reach out beyond the walls of our wonderful parish building. Outreach to those who are on the fringes helps us encounter Jesus in the most powerful of ways. The Gospel message of hope, love, peace and joy are most needed for those who are the most vulnerable, weak, poor and alone.
We reach out to those in need through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Women’s League, Knights of Columbus, Parish Video Team, our ministry to those in our nursing homes, housebound, Byron Cares, support to St. Joseph’s Hospitality Centre, Christmas Hamper program, bereavement support and so much more. Each of these outreach ministries blesses those served and those offering ministry in the most powerful of ways. The parish is the spark that not only ignites the flame of discipleship but sustains and fuels the fire of loving service and sacrifice.
The heart of our faith life is the parish but the heart of the parish is the people. As we celebrate this weekend I want to thank all the parishioners for their love, service and dedication. Your ministry, outreach and faithfulness helps transform the world and bring Jesus Christ to all who need to see Him. I am honoured and humbled to serve the Lord with all of you!!!