Parish & Community Events

AMORIS LAETITIA FAMILY YEAR (March 19, 2021 to June 26, 2022)
Here are 12 ways to walk with families following Amoris Laetitia:

(1) Strengthen pastoral programs for marriage preparation (remote, proximate, immediate) as well as accompaniment of new spouses in the first years of their marriage: married couples, together with pastors, become companions on the journey for engaged couples and those new to married life.

(2) Foster the pastoral ministry of accompaniment of spouses by means of formation encounters and times dedicated to prayer and spiritual development -- to gain awareness of the gift and grace of the nuptial sacrament.

(3) Organize meetings for parents on child education and current challenges -- to try to understand "where children are in their journey."

(4) Promote meetings for reflection and discussion on the beauty and challenges of family life -- to recognize the value of the family on a societal level.

(5) Enhance the accompaniment of couples in crisis, to form them into an attitude of resilience, helping them to see challenges as an opportunity to become stronger and grow in love.

(6) Involve married couples into diocesan and parish structures to set up family ministry and rethink the formation of pastoral workers, seminarians, and priests.

(7) Promote a missionary vocation in families by creating times for formation in evangelization and missionary initiatives (e.g., on the occasion of children's reception of the sacraments, during marriage preparation, anniversaries or important liturgical moments).

(8) Develop programs of pastoral care of the elderly, and promote initiatives that build bridges across the different stages of life, while also making the elderly into active agents within the pastoral care of the community.

(9) Incorporate youth ministry into initiatives, which reflect upon and discuss issues such as family, marriage, chastity, openness to life, the use of social media, poverty, and respect for creation -- we must succeed in sparking young people's enthusiasm, in enhancing their ability to commit themselves fully to great ideals and face the challenges that such ideals entail.

(10) Encourage preparation for the World Meeting of Fami- lies (Rome, 2022) with catechesis and training itineraries.

(11) Launch initiatives of accompaniment and discernment of wounded famililes, to help them discover and carry out their mission within their family and in the community.

(12) Organize meetings in parishes and communities involving groups for an in-depth study of Amoris Laetitia, in order to raise awareness of concrete pastoral opportunities.

Church Protocol Reminders

Parishioners are reminded that, as they leave Mass, physical distancing has to be adhered to. It appears that what has been working well for the initial seating and the moving forward for Communion is falling apart when it comes to leaving the church: even though the ushers are there to escort everyone out, “bunching up” tends to occur as people feel the need to walk faster. The message has to be reinforced: pace yourselves accordingly, please, and be mindful of the directions given by the ushers! Physical distancing has to be respected not only on the way into church and in the Communion line, but when leaving the building, too (and around the doors, once outside).

ST. THOMAS MORE CHURCH FIRST COMMUNION DATES RESCHEDULED Due to the current stay at home order for the province of Ontario that is in effect until May 6, we will be moving three of, the now, four First Communion Mass dates to accommodate this directive. We ask for your understanding, under the circumstances, and hope all families are able to transition to the new dates.

Dates for First Communion Masses will be moving as follows:

Families registered for Sunday, April 18 will be moved to Sunday,  May 30 at 2:00 p.m.

Families registered for Sunday, April 25 will be moved to Sunday, June 6 at 2:00 p.m.

Families registered for Sunday, May 2 will be moved to Saturday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m.

Families registered for Sunday, May 16 will STAY on Sunday, May 16 at 2:00 p.m.

Faith Matters - Humanity's pride the source of sin - Bishop Gerard Bergie - March 30, 2021

A fundamental principal of the Christian moral life is that we are made in God’s image and likeness. That Divine imprint has given us an immortal soul, profound dignity, and a free will to creatively pursue what is good, true, and beautiful in this world. We also know that, due to original sin, this powerful attraction to the good is diminished by an impulse toward evil. Baptism cleanses us from this sin, but not from its effects. We remain vulnerable to sin and temptation.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, “Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become ‘like gods,’ knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus ‘love of oneself even to contempt of God.’ In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation (CCC. 1850).” This quote tells us that the root of all sin is pride.

Pride distorts human freedom because it convinces us that we are free to choose as we wish without God. True freedom is found, not in simply making choices according to our own will, but in making decisions that are in harmony with God’s plan. Cooperating with God brings us the greatest happiness and peace.

Next week we enter a most sacred time as Christians focus on the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Holy Week begins with the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It ends with the celebration of his Resurrection on Easter. In between, on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, we contemplate the suffering and death of Jesus.

Jesus freely chose to suffer and die for us in order that we may be saved. The scriptures tell us that this decision was not easy for Jesus, and it brought him great anguish. Nowhere is this more evident, than in his prayer to his father in the Garden of Gethsemane.

“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want’” (Matthew 26:36-39).

Jesus loved life, and this passage reminds us that he did not want to suffer and die. He accepted his father’s will out of obedience, “yet not what I want but what you want”. His love for his father, and each one of us, was even greater than his love of life.

Personal choice should be greatly valued because we need to be free to make our own decisions. This, however, should not be the only measure for making a good decision. As Christians, we also need to consider God’s plan for us. This is especially true regarding some of the great moral issues facing our society today. It is not simply about personal choice.

One of the foundational principles of the spiritual life is to follow the will of God. True freedom is experienced not only in making a choice. It is ultimately found in faithfully doing what God wants rather than what we want.

This is not easy; however, it can be done with great love. Jesus shows us the way.

New Ways to donate to St. Thomas More Catholic Church - click here

Preauthorized Donations-- a “win-win” situation for all!  New ways to donate to St. Thomas More Church.

During this time of absence from church, expenses go on just the same.

Would you like to continue to donate your Sunday and special offerings to St. Thomas More? It is easy to set up by using monthly Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) donations.

Contact the church office for a form. Internet e-transfers from your personal bank are also being accepted. Please use stthomasmorenf@gmail. com as the email address that the bank requests. You can also search for St. Thomas More on canadahelps.org and donate there. "Thank you" for your help!. Call the office to start now 905.356.7533

Parish Office - closed during the lockdown

A drop-off slot has been installed in the church office to the right of the door.

Please use this slot when dropping off offertory envelopes or other important documents. Thank you very much.

Participation in the Mass

The wearing of masks notwithstanding, everyone who is in attendance at Sunday and weekday Mass is
very much urged to participate by way of sharing the responses to the prayers and certain music

(e.g., responsorial psalm and acclamations). It has become apparent that the level of responses has dropped off to some degree over the past several months. Let's not view the mask as an inhibitor to full involvement.

Receiving Holy Communion

Please note a change. Once the priest says "the Body of Christ" and you respond "Amen" through your mask, and when the consecrated host is placed in your hands, then you step aside into the "boxed area" marked on the floor, lower your mask, and consume the host. During this time, under the guidance of local medical health officials, the faithful are asked to received Communion in the hand only, by placing one on top of the other, so as to allow for the host to be placed in one's hand without contact.

On another note, a parish priest is entitled to seek verification of mask exemptions. The dislike of wearing masks, age or other conditions are insufficient reasons -- those without proper exemptions will be told to wear a mask. Please remember to use the hand sanitizer available when you enter the church.  Also, it will be mandatory that our parishes maintain a list of all persons attending church including contact information (a phone number).

Diocesan Separated & Divorced Healing Ministry Support Group - Mt. Carmel Spiritual Centre April 12 - Finding Reconciliation - presenter Fr. John Vickers

During lockdown the meetings will be held on Zoom.  Registration is required for Zoom meetings by calling 905.356.4113 or 905.684.0154 or emailing separatedanddivorced@saintcd.com

Please note that until further notice, there will be protocols in place for in person meetings specific to the health guidelines due to the COVID19 pandemic. Participants will be required to bring and wear a mask at the meetings, practice social distancing and sanitize hands. If you forget your mask, a limited supply will be on hand for use.

Meetings are the second and fourth Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, 7020 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls.  For 2021 schedule click here

Baptism Preparation - cancelled during lockdown

Parents inquiring about infant baptism need to contact the parish office 905.356.7533 or email stthomasmoreparish@cogeco.net to set-up an appointment.  Following this they will be asked to attend a baptism prepartion class that is held on the third Thursday of each month.  It is then that a date can be set for baptism.

Sacrament of Baptism - Protocols at Baptisms during COVID-19 - click here

The monthly Baptism preparation session will be held in the hall (physical distancing will apply there). Masks are to be worn (bring your own, as well as a pen), and we ask that the infants and other small children not accompany the parents. Because of the 15% capacity rule, only two Baptisms can be scheduled, Sundays at the usual 12:30 p.m. Only immediate family should attend. Sanitizing procedures will be in place. Parents inquiring about infant baptism need to contact the parish office 905.356.7533 or email stthomasmoreparish@cogeco.net to set-up an appointment.

Church Flower Beds

For the past couple of years, we have benefitted enormously from the excellent care given to the flower beds around the church by parishioner Alan LeBourveau -- he even earned us recognition by way of a Trillium award. Our gratitude is owing to this man for all his efforts on our behalf. He really has kept our church grounds looking attractive to parishioner and passer-by alike. Due to a few health issues he was experiencing, Alan indicated that 2020 would be his last year doing the gardening. And so, we are "on the lookout" for anyone who is willing to contin- ue with his fine work this spring and summer. If you (or a pair of you) is interested in helping out, now is the time to contact us!

Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! - Wednesdays - closed during lockdown

click here for information - TapTix only

Bingos are on Wednesdays at 9:45 p.m. Open with a minimum of 10 patrons.

Delta Drive-In Bingo is an event you won't want to miss.  Coming soon!

Delta Monte Carlo Bingo Hall 4735 Drummond Rd.
Your support is greatly appreciated!

Power of Forgiveness - Mt. Carmel Spiritual Centre - April 16 - 18 - Presenter - Anna Racine

Understanding forgiveness is the first key to being able to forgive.  For additional information - click here

Catholic Engaged Encounter - April, May and June

Catholic Engaged Encounter via Zoom

The Eastern Canada District of Catholic Engaged Encounter has united to provide a coordinated and safe response to the need for marriage preparation for couples getting married in the Catholic Church. Catholic Engaged Encounter weekends are being held virtually by “Zoom” on the following weekends: April 17 and 18, 2021. The cost is $150.00 per couple. The link for district registration is:  

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc64uNMUTvhXyVkXy3uFoDUSibcg57hzs6hGg5WlMmGpWO16A/viewform

This preparation course starts on Friday evening, running until late Sunday afternoon. Sessions are available in May and June, as follows: Friday, May 14 (7:00-9:30 pm), Saturday, May 15 (8:30 am - 6:30 pm), Sunday, May 16 (8:30 am - 4:30 pm); Friday, June 11 (7:00-9:30 pm), Saturday, June 12 (8:30 am - 6:30 pm), Sunday, June 13 (8:30 am - 4:30 pm) Contact us at ceeecanada@gmail.com for more information and to register.

Hospital Calls

Given the restricted access to our local hospitals and the protocols in place, if a relative or friend is in hospital and needs pastoral care, it is recommended that you phone the parish office to inform the priests. As the patient lists are not kept up-to-date, they have no way of knowing who is in hospital unless they are notified of it.

 

Hunger Can't Wait

The Soup Kitchen in Niagara Falls needs your support! This holiday season, we are asking community members to please consider donating financially to help us continue to provide warm and nutritious meals to those in need in Niagara. Grocery store gift cards and food donations are welcomed and greatly appreciated! Donations can be made through CanadaHelps or e-transfer to nfcotreasurer2@gmail.com. If your donation is in honour of a special person, or for more information, contact Nancy Tester at nancytester.nfco@gmail.com

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Niagara East Council 

Vincent's Loves Volunteers - Do you have 2 - 4 hours per week that you could spare? Vincent's Thrift Store at 5970 Lundy's Lane in Niagara Falls would love to hear from you. The store is part of the St.Vincent de Paul Society, serving the needy members of our community. It is a wonderful opportunity to be the hands of Christ in our world. We have a variety of "jobs" to do, and wonderful people to work with. Activities may include: sorting donations, stocking and organizing shelves, serving customers and cleaning. People with special interests like jewelry, books, vintage clothing and art might also enjoy working with us. We could also use a person with a truck who is willing to pick up or drop off items from time to time. Volunteer opportunities are open to persons of all ages, including students who require community service hours. We can arrange your hours to suit your schedule. Please give the store a call if you are interested and ask to speak with our manager Andrea: 289.296.3807.

Contemplative Prayer Group

Are you interested in learning to pray in silence? This prayer group follows the teachings of St. John of the Cross and Fr. Thomas Keating. Meetings are held the first and third Wednesday of each month via Zoom.

For information contact bcoleman@bell.net or 905.646.1995.

Spiritual Book Club

Join a unique book club for discussion of inspirational books chosen to deepen your faith. Meetings are held via Zoom the last Wednesday of the month.

For information contact bcoleman@bell.net or 905.646.1995.

Links of Interest

 

Poet Amanda Gorman is a light to us all, parishioner says - (The Catholic Register)

Long before she burst into the public spotlight delivering her inauguration poem, Amanda Gorman got a standing ovation from fellow parishioners of St. Brigid Church in Los Angeles for reciting a poem she wrote about the parish.click here

Abuse awareness program puts Kids in the Know (The Catholic Register) - click here

Youngest Member Sees Future in CWL (The Catholic Register) - click here

Bill C-7, From MAiD to MAD: Medical Assistance in Dying becomes Medically Administered Death. You no longer need to be dying for your physician to end your life. Read Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia submission here https://collectifmedecins.org/en/bill-c-7-from-maid-to-mad-medical-assistance-in-dying-becomes-medically-administered-death/

Pope Francis new encyclical stresses brotherhood and dignity for all

VATICAN CITY -- Professing faith in God as the creator of all human beings, or even simply recognizing that all people possess an inherent dignity, has concrete consequences for how people should treat one another and make decisions in politics, economics and social life, Pope Francis wrote. - click here

Father Peter Rowe - 40th Ordination Anniversary CONGRATULATIONS - click here for video

Solon Ryes Presents his Grand Finale - The Masters - Amazing! click here to listen

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament - Holy Hour

Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction

Diocesan Separated & Divorced - Healing Ministry Group -  click here

 

Retrouvaille - Do You Need to "Rediscover" Your Marriage? -  click here

Check us out at:  www.Retrouvaille.org or call 905.664.5212 or 905.662.2018

Mount Carmel Retreats click here

Workshops, Retreats and Spiritual Direction

Presenter Anna Racine - click here