Thank you Volunteers
Over the last couple of weeks, some young people approached me on ‘getting involved’ in Church life. They offered their time and talent to do ‘something’ for our community and for God’s service. Thank you. It is heartwarming to have people reach out to find ‘something’ they would enjoy doing and serving. Increasingly as we leave the pandemic and as parish life flourishes ever more, people are doing something. Before, during and after our weekend masses, someone is doing something. Working from home for the good of our parishioners and society, someone is doing something. From 710 Roanoke to the wider city to the world, ‘something’ makes an impact on people’s lives. From serving at mass to your kitchen table to homeless shelters to supporting peace in Ukraine to Development and Peace… someone is doing something. Praying at home for the needs of our parish and our world, someone is doing something. What ‘something’ do you do, even if you think it is small, for service of God and others?
‘Something’ is not for your glory or honour, it is for the Lords. It is out of the goodness of your heart that you generously share your limited time and valuable talent. For this we thank all our volunteers. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Like the Wedding of Cana and the multiplication of the Loaves and the Fish – Jesus takes ‘something small’ and transforms it into a lot, into abundance. When we look at our dynamic parish and all that is happening and the hearts that are being blessed and transformed, it doesn’t take long for someone to realize that Jesus takes our ‘something’ and makes it a lot! Thank you, thank you to all our volunteers and all you do and the ways you serve and minister to one another! You are greatly appreciated!
Fr. Kevin and all of Blessed Sacrament Parish Community.
Looking for volunteer opportunities? Check out the website under the heading "Volunteer Opportunities."
Prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
From the Roman Missal
God, Who, in your ineffable providence,
willed that your servant Benedict XVI
should be numbered among the high priests,
grant, we beseech Thee, that he,
who on earth held the place of your only-begotten Son,
may be joined forevermore to the fellowship of your holy
Through the same Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.
You will receive a gift at Christmas mass this year!
This book titled "The Wisdom of the Saints" will help you to step into a new and ever-deepening friendship with the saints so that you may know, love, and serve God like never before. Become friends with some of the greatest men and women who ever lived.
At this busy time of year, give yourself a break and spend a few minutes with our December newsletter.
Choose your Star
We journey in Advent towards the Star of Bethlehem, which leads us to the light of the world, Jesus Christ.
At all this weekend's masses you are invited to take one star home. It has a magnet so place it on your fridge or at another suitable place.
On each star is a theme of each week in Advent: Hope Peace Joy & Love.
May your star guide and inspire your thoughts and hearts. May you be given and graced with what you pray for. May you be guided toward Jesus, the Christ child.
A blessed and bright Advent journey to you.
Concert/Sing-a-long Christmas with our l'Arche Community & the Grace Family Singers & co.
“Songs of Christmas” Returns
Feast of Christ the King
This weekend we celebrate the end of the football season with the Grey Cup, Go Bombers, oh and also the end of the liturgical season culminating with the great celebration of Christ the King! This year we have followed the writings of the Gospel of Luke and next week will begin anew with writings and teachings of the Gospel of Matthew.
The Feast of CTK presents a unique peek on the crucifixion. Found only in Luke is the dialogue between the criminals and Jesus on the cross. The criminal said “Jesus, remember when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Jesus did not ask what the criminal did or why, he simply accepted the man’s faith in him and rewarded him with a forever relationship in Paradise. Jesus is also looking to us for our faith in him. No questions asked. Paradise assured.
As we honour Christ our King this weekend, we look to him on the cross, crowned and crucified as he looks down on us with eyes of love. The celebration of CTK recalls the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Thingdom of earth. That Christ the King does not amass armies and territories and great wealth. Christ the King just asks us to listen and look to him and for his sake respond to the needs of one another. Christ doesn’t force us, but he simply invites us to his mercy, to love... and relies on nothing other than to look to him with faith and a response of the human heart.
A Walk to Discover the Symbolism in Blessed Sacrament Church by fellow parishioners Carol Engstrom and Jim McCoy
Etienne Gaboury, renowned Winnipeg architect designed Blessed Sacrament in the early 1960's containing countless symbols. If you notice the exterior outline of the Church, you will see that the building itself seems to be reaching up to the heavens. Just as we strive to be closer to God, the Church, our place of worship, also seems to be straining to reach God.
Although most parishioners use the parking lot entrance to Blessed Sacrament, the main entrance on Roanoke Street was intended to be used most of the time. Come to mass a little early some Sunday and walk in through the main entrance and you will find yourself at the end of a long, tunnel-like room. The darkness and length of the room has a prison-like feel to it. As you go forward, look up. You will notice a grid of steel bars, where we will restore the red stained glass in the sky light. The early Christians were prisoners and martyrs and met in underground cemeteries for worship out of fear of the authorities. This window is meant to emphasize the feeling of being in a prison cell. Whenever we are out of relationship with God, we are walking in darkness and we are in a prison, but one of our own making. Using this entrance reminds us that we are entering into the Community where we can renew our relationship with God.
From this standpoint under the red hue, if you look up and ahead, you see the bright blue window of Baptism which displays symbols of water, oil, Eucharist and life. Through Baptism, we enter into relationship with God with the Blessed Sacrament Community and Church around the world. The baptismal area is set lower than the main area of the Church, symbolising that we are lowered into the death of Christ so as to rise and share his resurrection. The Holy Oils are found in the font area.
From the baptistery, gaze down the main aisle and you will see the tabernacle and the altar and ambo (lectern) stand out. Look up at the roof; you will hardly notice the roofline. Designed at the University of Manitoba, this parabolic shape is supported only by exterior walls; there are no pillars to obstruct our views as worship takes place. What makes a Church a Church? God and God’s people. Nothing should stand in the way of dialogue with the Lord and our fellow parishioners. The fan shape of the pews fosters the feeling of being surrounded by the love of our Church family.
The whole Church is designed to be modest and uncluttered. It symbolises that we need only to focus on our relationship with and the love of God to lead fulfilling lives. All of the frills and extras that we surround ourselves with are not necessary. There are no rich carpets and valuable paintings and expensive statues, because the architect Etienne Gaboury believed, as do we, that a pure and simple faith and belief in God is all that we need.
There is a large stained glass window in the Tabernacle area. It represents the Prairie wheat with our dark local soil as well as the Canadian Shield country of Manitoba. The wheat is not only representative of the staff of our lives, but it can also be seen as the broken bread at mass. As the wheat grows each year, and feeds us and sustains our physical bodies, so the Eucharist feeds our inner spirit and helps us sustain our loving relationship with God. The small red window behind the Tabernacle reminds us of the traditional red lamp that burns in the sanctuary and always indicates the presence of Christ. The light coming from the roof at the highest point in the building evokes a sense of the resurrection.
The Stations of the Cross are built into the walls and they seem to be climbing upwards and their placement indicates a journey. It is a journey of Jesus' faith in God. The colours in the stations are symbolic in themselves. Symbolizing holiness and his death, Jesus slowly becomes whiter as he journeys towards the cross. At the very top of the Stations, Jesus is shown in glory, resurrected. Red is the sign of blood and martyrdom while Gold is the sign of our hope. In all of the Stations but one, we see only one arm on the images of Jesus, indicating that He is in the process of becoming whole, but in the Resurrection Station, Jesus is shown with two arms as his mission has been fulfilled!
Look around our Church the next time you come to mass. The roughness of the walls indicates our own roughness-God is still working on us and through us! Etienne Gaboury designed the Church as a building that would be a simple, yet a loving and accommodating worshipping space, where we are, like the building itself, always striving to reach up to the heavens.