Author Archives: admin

More work to do

Over the past few days, we’ve welcomed students from three schools in the city.  They came to celebrate Mass with the people who gather here to pray every day.  They came to give thanks for blessings received and enjoyed.  Each morning, the students arrived: a steady stream of little bodies, each one carrying its own story of wonder and celebration.

As they entered the church, each student was handed a small card.  On one side of the card was a picture of the Holy Father, Pope Francis; on the other side were the words of a prayer for the health and continued guidance of the Holy Spirit for the Pope.  This picture, and many like it, have been circulated throughout the world ever since Pope Francis began his ministry as the Bishop of Rome.  There is even a picture of him in every one of the schools from which these children had come.

Imagine my surprise when I overheard one and then another little voice ask: Who is this?

I suppose we have some more work to do.

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Catholic Cemeteries – St. Mary’s & Holy Cross

All families and cemetery visitors are reminded that all loose or damaged articles are to be removed from grave sites prior to the winter season. This includes any stones, figurines, statues, or other such mementos that are not part of the permanent grave memorial. Any articles remaining after October 15th, including floral tributes, that will interfere with the safe operation of the cemetery during the winter months will be removed by cemetery staff and may be irretrievable. If you have any questions please contact the Cemetery Office: 705-495-8986 or

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The History of a Diocese in Northern Ontario

The complete history of our diocese, The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, is now available. The completion of this book coincides with the  commitment of many small Christian communities in our parishes with the faith journey of ARISE Together in Christ. This spiritual journey is an opportunity for all of us to better understand our faith so that we can pass it on to the future generation with a deeper conviction as we continue to build the Church of tomorrow. May the reading of this book be a source of inspiration to accomplish this together.

Books cost $35.00 each (cash or cheque) and will be available for purchase beginning the weekend of October 18-19, 2014 after all Masses in the Parish Hall.

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Beautiful Holy Land Wood Art Display & Sale

The main income for the Christian community of Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus, comes from the sale of hand crafted olive wood religious items to the pilgrims who visit the area. These past few years have been extremely hard for the community as a result of declining tourism due to political unrest. Some Christians have responded by fleeing the Holy Land, and the absence of a living Christian community is very dangerous for holy sites such as The Church of The Nativity.

Jean from Holy Land Wood Art, HLWA Inc. will be at St. Peter’s Parish Hall after all Masses on October 4th & 5th with some of their beautiful art for sale in an effort to strengthen the Christian presence in the Holy Land. Please consider buying these items to contribute to the income for local Christians and Catholics to support their families and their presence in the Holy Land.

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Thanksgiving Food Collection

Every Thanksgiving we make a special appeal to our parishioners to help replenish our Parish Food Cupboard. With winter fast approaching more hard times will be upon many families. We invite you to participate in this parish project by bringing a donation of non-perishable food items to one of our Thanksgiving weekend Masses or to the Parish Office at your convenience.

Canned Foods: soups, vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, stews (beef, chicken, Irish, etc.), canned meat (salmon, tuna, Spam, Klik, etc.), fruits (peaches, pears, cocktails, etc.)

Other Foods: peanut butter, jam, rice, instant potatoes, macaroni & cheese, soup mix, cereals (hot & cold), jello, drinking boxes, powdered milk, spaghetti & pasta, beans, kidney beans, etc.


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Life Chain

We, the parishioners of St. Peter’s, are invited to attend Life Chain together with fellow Christians from more than 25 North Bay and area churches on Sunday, October 5th from 2PM – 3PM. Come and spend one hour in a peaceful, prayerful stand on behalf of the unborn and to show visible support for the sanctity of life.

Our location on Lakeshore Drive is the north section of the block  between Shannon St. and Brock St.

For more  information, call Nancy at 705-472-6099.


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Just one word

During this past week, I was invited to attend an Open House at one of the schools that is associated with this parish.  When I arrived (just a few moments before the scheduled beginning of all the festivities) there were so many other cars present that I had to search for what seemed an eternity to find a place to leave my car.  Finally, I ended up parking around the block (something I’d never had to do on previous visits), and walk quickly toward the main entrance of the school.  Because of crowd control, the teachers had locked all the other doors which might normally be accessible at other times of the day.  By the time I managed to find my way to the gymnasium, there was almost nowhere to sit and it seemed as though all the students were present … and this time they had brought their parents along with them.

I wasn’t surprised to see the teachers.  I wasn’t surprised to see the principal … I wasn’t even surprised when she invited me to join her at the podium so that we could begin the formal part of the evening.  No, the surprise that was waiting for me didn’t happen until most of the students had left the gym and made their way to their respective classrooms, parents in tow.  Since this time was primarily meant for parents to meet the teachers and to get an overview of the way things run from day to day in their children’s classrooms, I chose to stay in the gym, waiting for the eventual return of the masses.  While I waited, I had a moment to chat with some of the other adults who were there: support staff, members of the Parent Advisory Council … and one other family.

I was standing near a table where various articles of clothing (which were being referred to as spirit wear) were on display.  Parents were approaching along with their children in order to verify the sizes of sweatpants, long-sleeved tee shirts and hooded jackets (otherwise referred to as hoodies).  The idea was that they would subsequently be able to order the articles they desired (presumably in the correct sizes).  One mother approached the table accompanied by her son.  She was asking questions about the sizes, but it was evident that English was not her first language.  She looked curiously at the indications of sizes marked on the inside tags of the clothing: XL, M, S … there were no Ls for some reason.  As I continued to listen from a distance, trying to assist her with her quest, I noticed that she would speak to her son (who I presumed from his size to be one of the students) in a language which sounded like Spanish (although they were speaking so quickly that at times it was difficult for me to be sure.  A little while later, a man arrived and conversed with both of them in the same language.  They spoke to each other in this language, but were careful to speak to me and to others around them in English.  Finally, as they turned to go, I ventured a greeting: Mucho gusto! (Nice to meet you!)

They all stopped and looked at me in disbelief.  The father spoke first: Espanol? I told him that I speak fluently in a few languages, and that I’m hoping to learn more Spanish.  We chatted for a while longer, and eventually parted with a promise that their child will help me to learn more Spanish if I help him to practice his English (and maybe even his French).

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Some thoughts on ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge

During the month of August 2014, a competition known as the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral.  I had heard about this challenge but didn’t begin thinking seriously about it until my four-year-old-niece issued a challenge for me to pour ice-cold water over my head.

A few hours after the challenge had been issued, I came across an online post entitled Catholics and the Ice Bucket Challenge which points out that there may be some moral questions about how funds donated to the ALS Association are allocated.  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder which is characterized by muscle spasticity, and rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle wasting which ultimately results in loss of speech, ability to swallow and to breathe.

The research into possible causes of this disease focuses on genetics and recent scientific discoveries have made it possible to consider stem cells as a possible source for the eventual cure of this disease. Stem cells are the precursors of all cells in the human body, possessing the ability to replicate themselves and to repair and replace other tissues.  Since stem cells are undifferentiated, they can be manipulated in a laboratory to turn them into a number of different types of cells or tissues.  Stem cells can be found in adults, in fetuses and in blastocysts – the precursors to embryos.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church lauds the value of such research:  One must hold as licit, procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing, the improvement of the condition of health or its individual survival (CCC, 2275) but the Catechism also goes on to say: It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material.

The origins of pouring cold water onto someone’s head as a fundraiser for charity are unknown and have been attributed to various sources.  In mid-2013, there is evidence of a Cold Water challenge but it wasn’t until mid-May 2014 that the idea of soaking participants with cold water and donating to charity were associated, but in its earliest evolution, there were many different charities involved.  Some Catholics who have chosen to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge choose to make donations to charities other than ALS, out of a concern that their donations might be used for research which involves practices judged to be immoral by the Church’s teaching authority.

Aware of this objection, the ALS Association offers various options for donations, thereby allowing the donors to determine how their gifts should be used, including the funding of ALS research or to assist ALS patients and their families who face the challenges of living with the disease.

By: Father Tony

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