Feast of the Presentation of the Lord


By Leanna Cappiello

It has only been one month since I began as your Social & Community Coordinator, and I must say, I’ve grown attached to you all already!

Your immediate response to our new initiatives has been doing wonders for this new energy at the Parish. Individually, and as a collective, you are the reason for this change. My role is merely to invite and facilitate.

For those who haven’t met me yet: I hold my B.A.[H] in Drama in Education & Community, and my B.Ed. at the Intermediate-Senior level. This means that I am both a Theatre Practitioner and a Teacher. My most notable internships vary from clowning at Fools for Health, to international politics the Holy See Mission to the United Nations. I spent most of my summers at the Shakespeare School in Stratford. I am a freelance writer, and my work has been published through CBC’s Generation Why, Salt+Light Media, Examiner.com, The Catholic Register, and Busted Halo. In addition to working with you at St Basil’s, I am currently pursuing my MTS at Regis College.

I’d love to offer a short update on how things have been going so far:

Reaching out to our Newlyweds and Engaged couples has been a great joy. The potlucks this month have been both delightful and delicious.

Couples: keep an eye out for some of our adventurous dining experiences in the future.

Our first gathering as young adults went exceptionally well. So much in fact, that we have decided to make it a weekly gathering: each Sunday following the 4:30pm mass.

Young adults: stay tuned to mailing list and on Facebook for upcoming events, gatherings, and locations.

Beginning in February, we will be starting a new initiative called “Threads of Prayer”, where we will gather each week to knit or crochet small gifts for the homebound and sick. These sessions will be held on a weekday in the late afternoon. Knitting lessons will be offered!

Elders: more information to come…

In today’s Gospel, we heard Jesus’ words, “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.” This mission He hands to us is not simply a call to ponder about change, but to act on change. You have already started. My position here is a direct result of your desire to be a more welcoming, generous, dynamic community – and this is only the beginning.

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


By Maria di Paolo

Deep darkness will make way for a great light, gloom and anguish for a glorious way by the sea, writes the prophet Isaiah. Matthew’s Gospel quotes this same text just before Jesus calls his first disciples, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John, saying, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.”  The four leave their work and families and join with Jesus in his mission as he teaches and proclaims the Good News.  A simple reading of these two short excerpts side by side may lead us to think, “Well that’s it! We have the answer and it is Jesus.  He is the light and we don’t really need to do much more work!”  But we know that things aren’t that simple.  We know that Peter and the disciples often don’t get things right.

And in the second reading, only a couple of decades after the Jesus’ death and resurrection, St. Paul is writing to a small Christian community in Corinth that is riven by quarrels amongst its members, asking them: “Has Christ been divided?”  Who, he asks the Corinthians, do you belong to?  That community, and others like it, learned from him and from each other and grew and flourished and prepared the way for all the generations that followed.

Like Peter and the disciples, and like the community in Corinth, we often don’t “get it.”  We often don’t quite see the light, but we build on what we learn from our parents and families, from our friends and teachers and neighbours and from our own life experience and then we do see the light, and then we pass that insight on to someone else.  For the Church, and for ourselves, the journey from darkness into light is ongoing and never ceases.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time


By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB

I have always appreciated the character of John the Baptist, who we hear about in this week’s Gospel.  He is a bold, prophetic, almost larger-than-life personality, and somehow manages to cut straight to the heart of things with simplicity and humility.

He has this profound sense that he is part of something bigger than himself.  The Baptist clearly understands that he is great, not just because of his own actions, but because of what, and who, he represents.

Last week you received a letter from me concerning what has occurred in this parish since I was appointed your Pastor.  I have received a lot of gratitude, which is wonderful; and indeed, I have worked hard, so I do welcome the appreciation.  However, I am also mindful of what my father drilled into me, “to whom much has been given, much is expected.”  In his mind, service and sacrifice are the dues we pay for the privilege of living

Like John, I am a reflection of someone else (actually many someones. . .) This is true of each of us.  We each have people who have come before us, and it is quite humbling for me, especially when I think of the great Pastors that have come before me.

But real humility is not lowering our head and pointing to another in attempt to throw credit or attention away from ourselves.  I think it is more like what we find in John the Baptist:  a bold voice that says I am here, but recognize that I am part of something much bigger.  As the adage goes, “Real humility is not thinking of yourself less; rather, less about yourself.”

So let us answer the call to serve and be willing to sacrifice; but let us do it like John:  with our heads held high, confident that it is never just about us, but about being a part of something (and someone) greater.