May 22nd Parish Life
Find out what's been going on in the Parish
In this issue
Answering your Questions
First Holy Communion
Answering your Questions
What is the Church teaching on same-sex marriage, women’s role in the Church, purgatory, in-vitro fertilization and assisted suicide? In the recent synod consultation, some parishioners requested that the priests offer clearer explanations of church teachings. It was a good reminder and so a simple plan has been prepared….
Periodically, at the end of Sunday Mass, the priests will offer a brief explanation of a particular church teaching, based on questions submitted by the faithful. The first session will be on one weekend in June.
Submit your questions below!
Testimonies are a powerful tool for evangelization. Over the next few months, we want to inspire you with people's stories about how they came to know Jesus!
Here's a testimony from Laura Wilson
I was raised a cradle Catholic in Powell River on the Sunshine Coast. I went to Mass on Sundays, participated in my parish's catechism program, received the sacraments, avoided meat on Fridays and observed the significant Church feast days. When I moved to UBC, I started going to St. Mark’s College for Masses and joined their Newman’s Club- but I will be honest with you, the Newman Club was basically a social club. Worked out for me though, that's where I met my husband, Mark! I remember thinking that I was making the choice to go to Mass and to continue my faith – I was making this personal decision. I went on a retreat during my university days and there was a talk where we were all called to have a personal relationship with Jesus. This was a foreign concept (I grew up memorizing prayers and the Baltimore catechism) but a seed was planted….
Mark and I have four children and when our children were young, I started sharing the faith with them with stories, crafts, and activities. I remember making candles with them to celebrate the feast of Saint Lucy or we would make muffins to give to somebody. Basically, trying to teach “faith in action” with my kids.
About 6-7 years ago, I went to the first Catholic Women’s Conference, hosted by the archdiocese, held at a camp in Cultus Lake. The theme was the Ultimate Love Story which had me intrigued. As for me, when I thought of a love story, I thought of my relationship with my husband. The speakers that weekend opened up and shared some very personal stories and all in attendance were asked to consider partaking in the ultimate love story – a personal relationship with Christ. Now I need to say that I knew that God loved me, we hear this message repeatedly; however, it was at this retreat that I really heard this message on a personal level - that God loved me and would have sent His Son to die for me, Laura Wilson. Why this retreat - I'm not sure, but I'm thinking that the Holy Spirit was at work here - I needed to be at this retreat to hear this message at this season of my life. I came back from that weekend really on fire and I wanted this feeling to keep going. You know what it is like – you go away for a few days, feel energized and uplifted, only to go back to “normalcy” when you return home. So that's when I started the Friday morning women's faith study group using Lisa Brinnkmeyer’s first book which focused on the seven priorities in your life. The book talked about putting Christ first, then our husband, children, and then after that other responsibilities such as work, etc. I wouldn’t say that I immediately felt transformed after doing this study but again a seed was being planted.
I kept attending the annual Catholic Women’s Conferences and several years ago I was asked to participate in the Alpha program at All Saints. I was quite happy to be asked and said yes. We were fortunate that we were able to go out to Deroche to the Retreat Centre for our weekend away and let’s just say that I truly felt the Holy Spirit working within me and others in the group that weekend. The Alpha sessions were all excellent, but the retreat really pulled things together for me. After that weekend, I was asked to consider assisting with the RCIA program. Now understand that I am quite introverted, so I was quite taken aback with this ask – I don’t like public speaking and yet it got me thinking that perhaps others saw something in me that I didn’t see. I said, yes, I would help out with RCIA and you know what, I really enjoyed it. I tried to make the lessons I prepared engaging and personable. But in all honesty, it was the Holy Spirit at work – I shake my head in awe when I think of what God can do in us when we let Him.
So over the past few years, I have become much more active in the parish – assisting with Alpha and CCO studies, being a member of the parish leadership team and president of the CWL council here at All Saints. The faith studies, though, have been instrumental in guiding me to grow in my personal relationship with Christ. My heart has been softened and relationships have been repaired and restored, one of which is with my sister. The two of us had a lot of baggage and didn’t really have any type of relationship until a few years ago when I sent her a birthday card. I think my sister was a bit shocked that I acknowledged her birthday and called to thank me for the card. And conversation just went from there. It hasn’t always been easy, but my sister and I are both committed to have an honest and open relationship and know that there will be bumps along the way. A gift with the pandemic is all the virtual opportunities that have been available to us. Although my sister lives in Edmonton, she agreed to participate in Alpha and Discovery with my group, so we have grown together in faith as well. And this all started from a Hallmark card just a few years ago so sometimes the smallest things can have huge impacts.
Gradually, I can see that I’m a much calmer person (which means my family is calmer too) since putting Christ at the center of my life. I’m more joyful, positive, and happier. That’s not to say that everything runs smoothly in my life, no of course not, but it’s how I react now that is so different – turning to Him in prayer for guidance and support.
By being part of faith studies, I hear other people share their experiences and I will often think about their words after the session – Jesus speaking to me through my friends. I have witnessed challenges within my family and struggled to see the purpose of them at the time but more and more, I see the gifts that have risen from these challenges and therefore I have become much more open to trusting in God’s plan. Please consider participating in our faith formation programs if you haven’t already done so.
Life still throws curve balls, that's a given, but I have seen and witnessed Christ showing me His love. My marriage is stronger, family members have been healed and I know and believe that I am a treasured daughter of God.
First Holy Communion
All Saints’ First Holy Communion is coming up! We ask that you keep the children in your prayers as they receive Jesus for the first time!