Easter Message 2021


The scriptures tell us on this day of the Resurrection of Jesus: “(The women) went to the tomb…and found the stone rolled away…and they did not find the body of Jesus.  They saw two men in dazzling clothes and the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?  Jesus is not here – He is risen!’” (Luke 24).  Our faith tells us that Jesus is alive and well in our world.  We have to have the ability to recognize Jesus when he comes into our lives day by day.  God blesses us with the gift of Jesus in our lives – He is a gift we can never take for granted. This is a truly wonderful day to ponder on the blessings we have received.  The gifts of our families and those who love us.  The gifts of our health and laughter.  The gifts of our faith and traditions.  These are all things that we often take for granted and today is a day to thank Jesus for the gift of life itself.

This beautiful day is the collective effort of many people working together in our parish.  I want to thank all who have made these celebrations over the past few days meaningful ones despite the pandemic protocols and reduced numbers of parishioners being able to celebrate together.  I want to thank Father Pierre Caouette LC and Deacon Leonard Gallant for assisting me this past week.  I want to thank our parish staff, Janis Asdrubolini, Alma Paje and Massimo Corrado, who often work behind the scenes and give much more than is expected of them.  I want to thank the lectors and Eucharistic ministers.  I want to thank the volunteers who help greet and screen everyone coming into the church and to those who help sanitize after the Masses. They do this without payment and they are faithful to this duty – just to keep us safe and ensure that our churches are kept open during these uncertain pandemic times. We are especially grateful to them since without them, we would not be able to offer any Masses without these protocols being implemented. I want to thank the cantors and musicians for all they do to enhance our liturgies not just for Easter but for every weekend of the year.  I am looking forward to the day when we will be able to have our choirs return to further enhance our liturgies. I want to thank the virtual children’s liturgy team – they are doing a fantastic job in allowing our children to learn more about their faith during these times. Just go to the parish website and click on the link. I want to thank all who give of their time, talent and treasure to make this parish one that reflects the love and glory of God.

As a pastor, I am humbled and extremely proud of our parish.  You are a friendly, caring and Christ-centred community that I am very honoured to be associated with.  The fine work that you do as a parish community through the efforts of the Catholic Women’s League, Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, Saint Vincent de Paul Society and the many other groups of our parish, fully exemplifies the call of Jesus to “go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News.” (Mark 16:15).  I pray that Saint Benedict Parish continues to make its mark in our society.

I also want to thank the building committee of Saint Benedict Parish. Our members are Paul Crawford (chair), Tom Ditoro, Christine Folia, Dion Green, John Leyon, Jennifer Santos, Marcie Theoret, Clarence Walters, Peter Wright and myself. While we still have some aspects to finish in the new church, our new home is a wonderful testimony to our Christian-Catholic faith and allows us to worship God each and every day. The blessing and dedication of the new church will be in July. More details will be given later in the spring.

Finally, it is my wish that the blessings of the risen Lord be with you and your families on this special day!  May God Bless You!

Have a great weekend!

Father Jim Petrie