Pastor's Page

    Fr Scott Michael John Whittemore was born in Victoria and raised in Saanich, BC. He is the youngest of three children born to Marie (nee Schleppe) and the late Robert (Bob) Whittemore.

 Scott sought out and obtained employment during his first year as a teenager, picking strawberries and logan berries on the Saanich Peninsula. Numerous jobs followed, including park maintenance with BC Parks, work with children at a summer day camp and Easter Seal Camps, labour at the tar sands, planting trees, driving taxi, and a variety of other labour and human ministry positions.

 As a young adult, Scott attended the University of Victoria for 5 years, first in Sciences and eventually he completed a Bachelor's degree in rural Social Work. For the next nine years he worked in the Central Coast, residing at Bella Coola, and later at the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii, as a Probation Officer/Parole Officer/Family Court Counsellor before pursuing his vocation to the priesthood.

 Scott's calling to the priesthood took him to the Benedictine Abbey in Mission, where he completed a Bachelor's in Philosophy at Christ the King Seminary. He was sent to the Pontifical Institute of St Augustine's Seminary, Toronto, for their 5 year formation program leading up to a Bachelor's in Theology (from Rome) and a Master's in Divinity. He was ordained to the priesthood on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in 2005, at Immaculate Conception Church, Kelowna.

 Since then, Fr Scott's appointments have included Nakusp and missions; Courtenay and the missions at Hornby Island, Gold River and Tahsis; Ucluelet with Tofino, Ahousaht and various other Nuu-cha-nulth missions on the West Coast; Port McNeill, together with Port Hardy, Port Alice, Alert Bay, Woss and a couple other missions on the north end of Vancouver Island. His most recent appointment has been to Salt Spring Island with outreach to the southern Gulf Island missions, including on Mayne and Pender Islands.

 Fr Scott's extracurricular interests have included playing lacrosse, hiking, fishing, photography, scuba diving, world travel, wilderness backpacking, rock climbing, cross-country and back country skiing, ocean kayaking, and swimming.


Letter from Father Scott

Friday, March 20, 2020.

Dear Parishioners,

        The Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you!!

        I hope that most of you have already gotten a version of this email from me, with the accompanying memo from Bishop Gary. He sent it out on Wednesday. I asked a number of people that day, to help with the distribution of it.

        Since then, Daniela and i have completed an extensive email list for most of our parishioners, as well as a phone list for those without email. God bless her for so much help! We will try to maintain some kind of contact during this time of social distancing and isolation.   

        The memo from Bishop Gary, asked that we suspend all Masses, immediately. We have done that. I am sorry. It is a radical step, but a cautious and temporary one. In some ways, it could feel like the Church is abandoning our people in time of need, but we will discover ways to connect and lessen the distance.

        I have and will continue to offer Mass, privately, in Our Lady of Grace Church. I will offer Mass from Tuesdays to Saturdays, beginning at 9 am, and on Sundays at 10 am. In his most recent memo to the priests, Bishop Gary made it clear that we are not to be allowing others to be present. But you can be present, if you want, in spiritual communion with me during that time, maybe even from the comfort of your La-Z-Boys (and Girls).

        It is also possible to connect with Mass on the internet, and on TV. Daniela will send out a memo as to where Mass can be found on the televisionSalt and Light can be found on most televisions. EWTN usually requires a special subscription, but it is minimal and worth it. Each of these stations have Mass televised. 

On-line Masses can be found at:

 https://dailytvmass.com/     

www.ewtn.com/tv/watch-live  

and https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/ (Bishop Barron)

        The parish website - http://www.ourladyofgrace-saltspring.ca/ - will be used for some announcements or postings, but we realize it reaches a small number of people, so it will not be the sole means of communication. A new page has been added for our Covit-19 updates. There is a good letter on it from our Canadian bishops. We also hope to add a page for resources that will help to promote our life of prayer and connection with the Church.

        We need to pray for one another, for the health and protection of our families and flocks; for caregivers, health and medical personnel; for those front line people who keep the groceries and gasoline flowing; for the world of people beyond our own little (but important) worlds; and for a miraculous end to the spread of Covit-19. 

PLEASE PRAY!!!! That is something we Christians can be contributing!

        As we have heard many times: Wash your hands often, and for 20 seconds! That is the time it takes to pray one Our Father. I have been offering up that prayer, at each hand wash, for the end of the spread of this virus. Perhaps you can get into that habit too.

        During this season of Lent, the Sacrament of Confession has a special place. I will be united with other clergy, in other places, offering "drive through" Confession. The payment is your sin, and the take away is God's mercy and forgiveness. Sounds like a better deal than an A&W drive through, though i really like their burgers. I'll either be in my silver pickup or seated in the parking lot of OLG Church. An orange cone will designate the boundary of safe distancing; if you run it over, you are too close.The hours will be 4-5 pm, Saturdays. Additional arrangements might be made in the future, especially for those without vehicle use. If a carload of penitents arrive, each person will need to take the penitent's seat, while the others are walking the parking lot (praying?). Take advantage of this, while the weather is good.

        Give somebody a call and pray the rosary with them, if that is a form of prayer they do. I do this with my mother, at least weekly, now. That time of prayer spent with her, is more substantial and meaningful than the conversations we usually have. There are a growing number of initiatives for praying the rosary with others, distantly. Here is an on-line one, live each day, at 1pm: https://www.facebook.com/AscensionPress/  

        As people become more isolated, please take time to make regular telephone calls to those who are especially isolated and vulnerable to this virus. Chat, see if they need any help or support, offer words of hope and encouragement, try some humour, pray together, rejoice in all the goodness we share, give thanks for the Life of Jesus and the gift of faith...

        Entrusting each of you, and our flocks and families, into the care of Our Lady, as we pray:

Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.

Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.

For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.


God bless you, 

in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Fr scott

Christmas 2016 Note of Thanksgiving

First of all, I give thanks to God for the birth of His Son into our lives,
and that we can re-enter and celebrate each year that awesome event of our salvation history.

Second, I would like to thank all of those who helped to decorate the churches for Christmas; we'll continue to enjoy the beauty until the last day of the Christmas season, January 9,
the Baptism of Jesus.

Third, thank you to each and every person who added to my Christmas experience of the
Love of God,
with your presence and presents, your greetings and cards, your joy and thoughtfulness . . .

Fourth, extra special thanks goes to
Ian Marcotte and his young son, Issac.
who plowed and sanded our parking lot, greatly reducing the risk of falls and injuries.

God bless them and all of you!
I hope and pray that your Year 2017 will have a lot of Jesus in it,
and that it will be a year full of grace from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the

Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Grace.

Fr Scott

 


Christmas 2015 Notes from the Pastor's Desk

It was a joy and a highlight for me to spend my Christmas Eve, and part of Christmas Day, celebrating Masses with so many people. There were many new-to-me people in attendance: spouses who are not normally present; adult children returning to their parent's home; grandchildren being with their grandparents; and the annual presence of Christmas Catholics. Marianne Hobbs charmed and delighted us with the production of the children's procession. Georgina Marcotte and John Reid added to the Christmas mood and spirit with their musical leadership in carols, hymns and sung Mass parts. Michael Doyle was the main person responsible for decorating OLG, including the unique and beautiful blend of Christmas tree lights. Lynne Cooper purchased the many Poinsettias, but one. (There is a small, Christmas-wrapped box at the back of OLG church; its for donations, to help her with the cost of the flowers.) Emily and Duncan Hepburn were the significant two in dressing up St Paul's with evergreens and candle-light.

            Thank you to each of you, and to many others, who added to the beauty and mystery, the joy and the awe of our Christmas celebrations!!!! Also, i would like to thank the parish for the extremely generous gift of Christmas cash; i will enjoy extending, redistributing and multiplying your generosity. Already, i was able to purchase a cheap airline ticket for a woman in crisis, who is hoping to get a new start in life, in another town.

            God bless each of you and your life in 2016!! May the life of Jesus, grow ever more present in you, so that the world may come to know Him better!

                                                                                                            In Christ,

                                                                                                            Fr Scott Whittemore