Dear parishioners,

We are so excited to re-open the Church very soon, and we can't wait to see you.

Our Parish team is working hard to get you all of the information about re-opening at Our Lady of Lourdes, including what social distancing measures will be in place, so that we can protect everyone's health and safety.

For now, this is just a brief note to say "stay tuned" for further information, and share some brief "headlines" for now:

Also, we will be conducting a drive for new volunteers so that we can better accommodate the additional social distancing measures for Sunday Masses (e.g. welcomers/ushers) - more details to come.

Thank you and God bless!

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Team

Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” Until preparing for this Sunday, I always understood these words in a straightforward manner. They were like three chapter headings in the manual of Christian discipleship. If I did the things implied in “the way” and “the truth” then I would be rewarded with “the life.” I thought Christ’s words were addressed to my hands and head. Just in the past few days, however, I have come to understand his teaching as aiming not for our hands and heads, but for our hearts.

When the Lord speaks of “the way” it is easy for us to think he is targeting our behaviour. As such, his “way” is to become our path, that is, we are to act as he acted. We can reduce the Christian life to a life of imitation. It is like the popular slogan of many years ago – “What would Jesus do?” With this understanding, the Christian life feels similar to a costume, that is, “the way” is external and different from ourselves. I need to learn the actions in order to fit in. When he speaks of “the truth” again, it is easy for us to think it’s all about what we believe. If one believes correctly then one can belong to the Christian flock. But believing the Christian faith to be true and acting accordingly is not merely a conviction of our minds and will, of our heads and hands. It also involves a conviction of our hearts. And that “the way, the truth and the life” is a plea to our hearts is given with the full meaning of “the life.”

The Lord is offering with “the life,” a more basic and vital human need. He is telling us this most beautiful desire of God the Father. “The life” that the Lord gives is a life of communion with the Father. We are being asked to let the Father have what he desires. To let our Father have us forever. Or as Christ said to the disciples, “I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” We are offered through the Lord the free gift to be loved eternally; to be judged mercifully and compassionately always; and, to be “dandled” with joy on the Father’s knee. In “the way” and “the truth” Jesus gives us access to the Father and reveals him to us. As he says in response to St. Philip, “[w]hoever has seen me has seen the Father.” It is extraordinary to realize that the desire of God and enacted by his initiative is to be in eternal communion with us. Jesus Christ is indeed “the way, the truth and the life.” His is not primarily a teaching, it is rather an offer. God is offering God’s very self out of love and thoroughly in love with you. How blessed we are.

God Bless and take care,

Fr. John

Fr. John is hosting a virtual Daily Mass and Rosary - starting at 12:10pm, Monday through Saturday.

How do I join?

We are using an online video-conferencing platform called Zoom. You can connect in two ways:
1) Using your computer/smartphone/tablet, or
2) By telephone (voice only).

Options on how to connect​

1) By computer, tablet, or smartphone:
Option A: Click this link from your browser/email app and follow the instructions: https://zoom.us/j/144871650
Option B: Download the Zoom app (www.zoom.us) and, when prompted, enter the nine-digit meeting ID 144 871 650
2) By telephone
Step 1: Dial +1 647 374 4685 or +1 647 558 0588
Step 2: Enter the nine-digit meeting ID 144 871 650
(If you are calling from outside Toronto, or neither of the above numbers work, please visit https://zoom.us/u/abMKnBpnDO to find your local number)

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]. Fr. John looks forward to seeing you on the call!

March 24, 2020

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish,

In order to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and so as to comply with the Government of Ontario’s new regulations requiring that all non-essential workplaces be closed, we are sorry to inform you that the church and parish office must remain closed until further notice.

This is a deeply painful, but necessary, decision for our faith community.

However, we are still here for you during this difficult time. You can still leave a voicemail at the parish office: 416-924-6257. Or you can email us at: [email protected] We will return your message as soon as possible. Visit www.archtoronto.org/covid19 for updated information from the Archdiocese of Toronto and for links to view the Daily Mass online. You may also visit our Parish website at www.lourdes.to. If it is an emergency, you may also call or text me (Fr John) at 416-417-1513.

Please continue to pray for those sick and those caring for them. Be assured of our daily prayers for you.

God Bless and Take Care,

Fr John

Fr John Sullivan, SJ
Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish

-The Cardinal's Office has said that all Masses are to be cancelled indefinitely. As such, both our Sunday and daily Masses are cancelled indefinitely.
-The Church remains open for private prayer during regular hours (approx. 7am to 8pm daily)
-NEW Lourdes TV: Starting Sunday March 20, 2020, we will be uploading an online Sunday Mass, presided by Fr John in the Church. The online mass will stream each Sunday at 11:30am. The link will be available at www.lourdes.to/tv. For those who are unable to watch at that time, the Mass will be available for viewing afterwards - a link will be posted on the same page. We also plan to record and upload other events, such as the Way of the Cross.
-NEW Daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will begin Monday, March 23rd from 1pm to 7pm daily. We need people to sign up to spend some time with the Lord. Please email [email protected] or call the Parish Office at 416-924-6257.
-Saturday Confessions at 11am-12pm and 4pm-5pm will no longer take place in the Confessional. Instead, confessions will be available at the Rectory (41 Earl St).
-All events in the Church and Parish Halls are cancelled.
-The Parish Office remains open during regular hours (9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday).
-NEW Online Prayer Page: we will be sharing resources on prayer during the COVID-19 crisis to www.lourdes.to/prayer. Visit it today to view the Pope's spiritual communion prayer that can be said from home.
Outreach Response
-We are forming a Connect & Care team that will be reaching out to those who are isolated or home-bound due to the COVID-19 crisis, to provide a daily phone call or assistance picking up and dropping off groceries or other essentials. If you would like to volunteer, please email [email protected]
-The Lourdes Food Bank, located at the southeast corner of the 275 Bleecker St apartment building, is closed indefinitely, out of care and concern for our clients, volunteers, and staff. We are in conversation with other service providers in the community as to how the Church can assist those most in need during this extraordinary time while still protecting everyone's health.
Communications Response
-We are doing our best to keep everyone up to date during this extraordinary time. Visit the website. Share this email with your friends and encourage them to join Flocknote, the Parish's email and text messaging system. If you haven't already, please consider following or liking Our Lady of Lourdes on Facebook and Instagram.

To the members of the Our Lady of Lourdes community,

It's with heavy hearts that we announce that we've heard from the Cardinal's office that as of March 18 there will be no more Masses indefinitely, due to the COVID-19 situation.

The Church will remain open for private prayer during regular hours, as will the Parish Office.

Our Food Bank, located at 275 Bleecker St, will be closed indefinitely, out of concern for the health and well-being of staff and volunteers.

Please keep all those affected by the crisis in your prayers, as well as health care workers, and stay tuned for more information about how our Parish is responding to the crisis.

Here is a link to the Cardinal's message: https://www.archtoronto.org/media-centre/news-archive/chancery-news/cardinals-message-on-covid19--march-17-2020

God bless & take care,

Fr John
March 13, 2020

To the members of the Our Lady of Lourdes community,

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation that is unfolding, Cardinal Collins has issued a letter to the faithful this (March 13) afternoon, which can be viewed here.

What this means for Our Lady of Lourdes is:

—Due to the Chief Medical Officer of the Province of Ontario asking that all public gatherings greater than 250 people be cancelled at this time, there will be no Sunday Mass this Sunday, March 15 (including the Saturday 5:15pm vigil on March 14th).
—The Cardinal has granted the faithful dispensation from their Sunday obligation.
—Our Lady of Lourdes Church will remain open for private prayer during normal hours, including on Sunday.
—Weekday masses will continue (Mon-Fri 8am, 12:10pm, 5:15pm; Sat 8am and 12:10pm) as will confessions (Saturday at 11am and 4pm).
—The Parish Office will remain open at this time at the usual hours (Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm).

The Cardinal will revisit the Sunday schedule for March 21-22 weekend, and we will let you know next week as soon as we hear.

The following parish events are canceled:
—Lenten Penance Service on March 18th
—Seniors Day Program on March 20th
—The Parish Way of the Cross on March 20th
—Lenten Parish Mission on March 23, 24, and 25th

All groups and activities are canceled this week, including:
—Kids @ Mass
—Sacramental Preparation
—RCIA
—Alpha
—Baptism instruction class
—Prayer Groups
—Outside groups using the parish halls

The Way of the Cross this Friday, March 13 evening (7pm) and the infant baptism in the Church at 10am will still go ahead as planned.

Please see the letter from Cardinal Collins for further information.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time.

God bless & take care,

Fr John

Out of care for our parishioners and members of the community, we regret to inform you that we have postponed the Volunteer Tax Clinic on March 14th.

Should you still be interested in attending a re-scheduled Clinic, please contact the office in 2 weeks (416-924-6257 or [email protected]) and we will update you as to whether we have been able to reschedule and, if so, for when.

We are grateful for your patience and prayers as we seek to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the best way possible.

We will also continue to keep you updated as and when other events in the Parish are postponed or cancelled. We are expecting to receive an additional memo from the Archdiocese today which may contain further guidance.

Thank you and God bless,

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Office
416-924-6257 [email protected]

On March 10th, the Archdiocese of Toronto issued another memo to update parishes on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, accessible online at: https://www.archtoronto.org/media-centre/news-archive/chancery-news/coronavirus-update--march-10-2020

The Archdiocese of Toronto continues to work with health officials to monitor the local situation regarding active cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, Cardinal Collins has asked all parishes to refrain from shaking hands at the Sign of Peace – a simple bow, nod or “peace be with you” to your neighbour is appropriate.

Our Lady of Lourdes will also continue to ensure that those distributing communion wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after the distribution of communion.

We also encourage everyone to continue to practice healthy hygiene – wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer regularly, remain home if you are sick, sneeze/cough into your sleeve and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For those who are unable to attend Mass, Daily TV Mass broadcasts a Mass every day on both TV and YouTube (www.dailytvmass.com).

In addition to the Archdiocese’s guidance, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish wishes to encourage you to prayerfully consider receiving communion in the hand instead of on the tongue during this time.

Regarding event cancellations/postponements, please note the following thus far (as of March 13th):
-The Volunteer Tax Clinic (Saturday, March 14th) is postponed. See separate post for details.
-The monthly Seniors Day Program is canceled for March and April (March 20th and April 17th).

Please continue to pray for all those impacted by the coronavirus. We will continue to keep you updated.

Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

On Tuesday, March 3rd, the Archdiocese of Toronto issued a memo to all parishes regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

As of the time of this post, the Archdiocese is neither requiring nor recommending any liturgical changes, based on the guidance of City of Toronto Public Health, with whom they are working closely with the goal of acting responsibly based on credible information from reliable sources.

Parishioners are encouraged to practice healthy hygiene, such as frequent hand-washing, avoiding touching eyes/nose/mouth, and sneezing/coughing into your sleeve. We also recommend staying home if you are sick; illness is a valid reason for missing Mass. More information is available from the provincial website (Ontario.ca/COVID-19) and the Archdiocese at https://www.archtoronto.org/media-centre/news-archive/chancery-news/update-on-coronavirus

However, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish wishes to encourage all parishioners to prayerfully consider, for the common good during this time:

-Receiving communion in the hand instead of on the tongue; and
-Exchanging the sign of peace during Mass without physical contact.

Also, as a precautionary measure we will be leaving empty the holy water fonts at the entrances of the church.

Please continue to pray for all those impacted by the coronavirus. We will continue to keep you updated.

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