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.

Pastor's Note

August 21, 2021

Turn your ear, O Lord, and answer me; save the servant who trusts in you, my God. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I cry to you all the day long. 

(Psalm 85.1-3, Entrance Antiphon for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time.) 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Dear People of the Eucharist, 

It has been a full month since my last note to you. Two weeks of that time were good, yet deeply tiring holidays. Part of the holidays was spent back over at Brooks Peninsula, on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. I had just over a week of paddling and camping there, much of it in the rain. Yes, that is not a typo. I did say "rain". 🙄 🙂 I went to Kelowna for the later part, when the smoke was exceptionally thick there for a couple of days. Began to clean out my mother's condominium. 

I am sorry to say that Josée Crossland passed on during this last Monday. A Funeral Mass will be held for her on Saturday, August 28, 10 am, at OLG Church. Please pray for Robert (Bob) and the rest of their family during this time of great sorrow for them. And, eternal rest grant unto Josée, O Lord.

Registration for Mass is not required. Masks are mandatory. There is some singing and no guarantees of safe distancing, though it is encouraged. It has been wonderful to be welcoming visitors again. 

The Sacrament of Confession is back out in the parking lot, on Saturdays, 4 - 4:45 pm. Drive in, or walk up to the ole silver pickup.

I would like to bring to your attention a movie that i recently watched on FORMED. It is called Forgiven. The story is well written, connecting the life of the writer of the Amazing Grace hymn, with a family that is attempting to escape slavery in Virginia, by way of the Underground Railroad to Canada. It is well produced and acted, and only 1 1/2 hours long. You will need to be registered for FORMED to access it at: Forgiven. The last bulletin has directions for registration, if you haven't registered already.

Also, i want to encourage you to mark Thursday, August 26, 7-8 pm, on your calendar. Why? That is when André will be having another Zoom presentation on our faith. This time it will be on God's invisible creatures, like angels. Please refer to the next bulletin for more information and for a link to this parish Zoom event.  

Go forth in the world, even if it is not far from home, bringing the Peace and Love of Jesus with you, and to those you encounter.

In Him, 

Fr scott

"All peoples, clap your hands. Cry to God with shouts of joy!"

(Psalm 46.2, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time.)

  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all!  

Dear Children of God, and mine,

Attached are two AGM reports for our parish. Endless thanks be to Joyce and Elizabeth! They both do so much, often hidden work for the parish. Much of it is the kind of work that is not known, nor acknowledged. Yet, it is the kind of "nitty gritty" work of the parish that needs to be done, and is mostly taken for granted, lacking any affirmation or encouragement that some attention to them might bring. God bless them!!!!! 

I also want to acknowledge Janine, who has taken so much initiative during this past year, to provide the Zoom method and materials for our on-gong catechism. The children are getting very close to completion, and eventually Confirmation. This will occur in one large group, some small groups, and/or individually. We have yet to work that out along with future covid considerations - and the anticipated reduction of them. 

Lucille has also been invaluable, in her regular, on-going monitoring and care of St Paul's Church. What a source of ease it has been for me, knowing how much responsibility she takes for our little heritage church. If you are ever driving past it, please stop by and do a quick check of the building, and even the cemetery. Thank you. 

Yes, Confession continues in the parking lot, every Saturday, 3:30 to 4:15 pm. See you there! 😀🤔

Go forth into this summer, glorifying our Lord with your lives!!

Living through, with and in Jesus the Christ, 

Fr scott

June 12, 2021

Pastor Letter

O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my Saviour!

(Psalm 26.7,9, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time.)

The Lord be with you!!!

Dear Parishioners and a Few Others, 

Having a lot of people present at Mass last weekend, was such a joy-filled experience. Believe it or not, i am so used to daily Mass in a sort of vacuum, that the first Mass response on Saturday evening, with a multitude of voices, actually startled me, a tiny bit. After 6 months of private Masses, i had forgotten about the presence of other voices, responding and participating, especially with exuberance and joy. I look forward to the day that the masks also disappear, to see the fullness of your faces. But, for now, we continue our cautionary measures, with much gratitude for what we have.

Both the Saturday and Sunday Masses are pretty well full, with a couple of exceptions now for Saturday. I encourage each of you to at least register, if you haven't already, and get on the waiting list. That way it will help to plan for the possibility of an additional Mass. Even if churches were allowed to increase our number of participants from 50, that would not allow OLG Church to accomodate more people - at least for as long as the "safe distancing" distance is 2 meters (6 feet).

I have heard that the parish bulletin is ending up in 1 or 2 people's junk/spam folder. If you have not been getting the bulletin, please check there; otherwise, give the parish office a call. 

Our parish rosary will continue each Sunday at 9 am via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 821 3715 8847 

The Sacrament of Confession continues to be made available each Saturday, 3:30 to 4:15 pm, in the parking lot. Just drive up to my pickup, or some other variation of that.

The Archdiocese of Vancouver is offering Faith in the Home - Living out the Domestic Church, on Wednesday, June 16, 8 to 9:30 pm. It is an on-line event, with free registration through:

God bless each and everyone of you, and go forth helping to build up the kingdom of heaven!

Peace and Love in the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 

Fr scott

May 29, 2021

Pastor Letter

Blest be God the Father, and the Only Begotten Son of God, and also the Holy Spirit, for he has shown us his merciful love.

(Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity) 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all! 

Dear People of the Holy Trinity, 

Looks like we are very near to re-opening our churches for Mass, which will include the many covid practices we had in place up until last November, just before public Mass was suspended. Unless you hear otherwise, we will be having public Masses, beginning with next Saturday, June 5, at 5 pm, and on the Sunday, at 10 am. We will be using the same registration lists that were in place prior to the shut down. If you can't remember which Mass you were registered for, or are hoping to get yourself added onto the registration list, or want to make some kind of change, please contact Daniela at the parish office, via phone or email. Only those who are registered and confirmed by Daniela will be admitted at the church door. The Sunday registration list is currently full, but we might be able to get creative with it, if you get onto the waiting list. For the Masses on Sunday, pews in the church addition/annex will be reserved for our young families. 

[On the Covid-19 updates webpage of our website] are Bishop Gary's updated pages of general and liturgical directives for us. Masks are still mandatory and only humming is allowed with the music. Holy Communion is to be received on the hand only, and "Parishioners must wear face coverings until they reach the Plexiglas screen. After receiving the host, they must replace their face coverings before stepping away from the screen." I'll leave the rest of the directives for your reading pleasure.

Also [we got a memo] from the diocesan office [...] warning all of us about financial scams. Currently, there is one circulating with Bishop Gray's name attached to it. For your information, he is not asking for 25 e-Bay vouchers valued at $100 each to distribute to his "diligent staff." Maybe for his diligent priests???🤔😉

I would like to acknowledge William Rithaler's graduation from grade 12, which was a week ago. He did most of his schooling at Queen of Angels Catholic School, in Duncan, and the last two years at Brookes Westshore private school in Langford. It was a challenging school and a challenging year, but one that has undoubtedly helped prepare him for university. Congratulations to William, and God bless his steps into the next great chapter of his life. May he always go with Jesus the Christ.

I am forwarding a few words from Lance in regards to our parish: I am very grateful for the outpouring of support and am praying for our faith community.

Confession continues in the parking lot on Saturdays, 3:30 to 4:15 pm.

May 1, 2021

Pastor Letter

O sing a new song to the Lord, for he has worked wonders; in the sight of the nations he has shown his deliverance, alleluia.

(Psalm 97.1-2, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the Fifth Sunday of Easter.) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Dear Parishioners and a few other Beloveds of Christ, 

Pope Francis is asking Catholics throughout the world to pray the rosary each day, during the month of May, for the end of this deadly pandemic. Thirty of the world's Marian shrines will be involved, as the setting for these daily prayers, and Vatican News will broadcast it at 9 am, PDT. Please unite yourself with this global effort. For more information and a link to connect with the live broadcast: 

I understand that Joy's surgery went well and that she is recovering really well. As she continues to heal from her major surgery, please continue your prayers for her and for all of the Blondahl family. 

Joselyn's and Will's newborn son has been named Sonny. About 1 week ago, a very small number of parishioners had been invited to participate in a Meal Train for the Skrivan family. As Joselyn recovers from the birth of Sonny and they all adjust to his awesome presence and needs, I would like to extend that meal effort to all of our parishioners.  Please show your support and love to this young family of our parish by signing up to provide them with a meal through: 

The Archdiocese of Vancouver is offering an online, Ignatius retreat at the end of this month. Registration is free, but the number accepted is limited. For more information:

Fr. Scott

April 17, 2021

Pastor Letter

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth; O sing to the glory of his name. O render him glorious praise, alleluia.

(Psalm 65.1-2, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 3rd Sunday of Easter.)  

Dear People of Christian faith and Easter joy, The Lord be with you!! 

With great joy, i get to announce that Joselyn gave birth to a boy, last Sunday at about 5 pm. Congratulations to her and Will, Leo and Patrick! They are happily enjoying the awe of his new born presence. Also speaking of joy, but the girl, Joy Blondahl. She will be going in for open heart surgery on Thursday, April 22. Please surround her and her family with your prayers. 

Sorry that there continues to be difficulties for people trying to get onto our parish zoom rosary, Sundays, 9 am. I have completely deleted the old Zoom link and have established a new one. I will get Daniela to take a copy of it from this pastor's letter, for the next and following bulletins. No password will be necessary. 

Bishop Gary has distributed a letter from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the deadly expansion of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.

From across the border, Archbishop José Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave a very good keynote address to Catholic social advocates. In it, he gives a Catholic response to racism, social justice and activism, the culture of a "throwaway world", extreme individualism, politics . . .. You can find a copy of his relatively short, yet substantial speech here: 

From the FORMED website, there is a really delightful and well produced series of short shows for children (but i have enjoyed them too. They bring me joy.). They are called The Wonderful World of Benjamin Cello, who is something like a Catholic version of Mr Dressup. Following is a link to one of the shows, though you might need to be signed up with our parish subscription to access it. (If so, go to and enter the name of our parish.)

Benjamin Cello is something you can share with the grandchildren. They too can sign up with our parish subscription. 

Ever since Easter, the First Reading, for both Sunday and weekday Masses, is from The Book of the Acts of the Apostles. Following is a short video, with sketchings, that summarizes the first part of Acts: 

Like the Apostles, go forth, glorifying the Lord with your lives!!

Peace and joy in the Risen Christ, 

Fr scott

April 3, 2021
Holy Communion for the Easter Sunday Mass will be distributed from 11 to 11:30 am. 
Easter Sunday Rosary, 9 am:
Meeting ID: 814 4489 1749
There still have been problems for people trying to join the rosary. I am not sure why that is. Try using the above link, rather than the one in the past bulletin. For Divine Mercy Sunday, following the rosary we will pray the Divine Mercy chaplet. For those who are not familiar with it, the prayers are very simple. If the link in the next bulletin does not work for you, use the one that is above.

This Easter Sunday falls on the 1 year anniversary of the stillbirth of Robin Aliya Skrivan. Her mother is currently pregnant and close to term. On Monday, the whole family will be going to Victoria in preparation for the birth, due later in April. Please keep Will and Joselyn, their pre-born baby, and their boys Leo and Patrick in your prayers. We are hoping for an easy birth, a healthy baby, and a really happy family!! God bless them all!

Easter Sunday is also the anniversary of Pasquali showing up at my place in Port McNeill, 6 years ago, 
and staying! ☺

A reminder and renewed invitation to join Dr André Coriveau and I via Zoom, this Thursday, April 8, from 7- 8 pm, for our new parish faith formation forum, Why Must Catholics Believe That? It will consist of a presentation, followed by some Q&A. This week the topic will focus on what matters the most to us (or should): the need for salvation.
Meeting ID: 854 0406 8214

God bless you with much Easter joy and gratitude, Love and Life, awe and Peace through the victory of Jesus' Love over sin, and Life over death!!
Yours in the Risen Christ, 
Fr scott
An Easter Hallelujah (In case you have not already received it.)

Pastor Letter
March 20, 2021
Give me justice, O God, and plead my cause against a nation that is faithless. From the deceitful and cunning rescue me, for you, O God, are my strength. 
(Psalm 42.1-2, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the Fifth Sunday in Lent)

Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!!

The First Reading is from the Book of Jeremiah. Following is another short Bible Project video, with the on-going sketching included, summarizing this large book of the prophet Jeremiah:
The Easter Triduum is less than two weeks away. It has been very difficult to plan and prepare for it this year, as we have not known what we have to work with. Are we going to be open, and with what restrictions and protocol, or are we going to be closed? We still do not know, so we have had to begin working out more than one plan. This is going to be the schedule:
  • Holy Thursday, 4 pm
  • Good Friday, 3 pm (and possibly an 11 am Service too)
  • Easter Vigil, 8:30 pm
  • Easter Sunday, 10 am (and possibly a 1 pm Mass too)
Please register through the parish office, as if we will be open for the liturgies, though it is looking less likely. As before, you can register by telephone or email, and your registration must be confirmed. You will know if the Holy Week liturgies will be going ahead for the public - just check the news. We will not be arranging to have them outside, if that is the only option, especially at this point of planning. Because of covid restrictions, the liturgies will not be as they normally have been. Certain parts will be omitted, such as the Washing of Feet and Eucharistic adoration on Holy Thursday, individual veneration of the cross on Good Friday, and the sacred fire and multiple Readers on the Easter Vigil.

I have had some difficulties, the past two weeks, connecting up with most everybody else on our Zoom parish rosary. I believe I have figured out the problem. The link in the bulletin is a different one from the recurring one I have been trying to use. We will rectify that in the next bulletin. For this Sunday, please try this link: 
Meeting ID: 814 4489 1749 
Passcode: 727028

I pray that we are seeing the back end of this pandemic!! God bless those who have suffered so much because of it, and those who have been on the front lines of prevention, protection, and care of those inflicted.  

Go forth in the Peace of Jesus, 
Glorifying the Lord with your lives!!
Fr Scott

Pastor Letter
March 6, 2021
When I prove my holiness among you, I will gather you from all the foreign lands; and I will pour clean water upon you and cleanse you from all your impurities, and I will give you a new spirit, says the Lord. 
(Ezekiel 36.23-26, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the Third Sunday in Lent.)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all!
Signs of Spring are multiplying, and they carry with them a taste of heaven and the promise of the resurrection of human life. For a while, though, we have our Lenten journey, encouraging our repentance from self centeredness, to Christ centeredness. Jesus the Christ teaches us, and makes available the grace, to move beyond our limited selves and to also live for others. That is the nature of Love. The Mass Readings for this Sunday take us on a journey from the Old Testament Law to the New Testament Cross of Love.

The First Reading takes us to Moses and to God's gift of the Ten Commandment. Below are links to two 6 minute videos, which have something on the Book of Exodus and the Ten Commandments. Both videos are animated in different ways, and are very good. The first is for adults, and the second for children (and adults?🙂).

Last week's bulletin includes access to:
  1. FORMED registration
  2. Parish Zoom rosary and Stations of the Cross
  3. Parish mission using the video series, Forgiven. This coming week will be session 3, Embraced in Mercy: The Rite Explained.
The children in catechism, who are preparing for Confirmation and Holy Communion, have each chosen and researched a saint. During our recent monthly Zoom gatherings, they each made a presentation on their chosen saint.

Rita D is out of the hospital and back home. Loretta is inviting and encouraging telephone calls to her mother, between 11:30 am to 5 pm, and even safe distancing visits, though those should be pre-arranged with Loretta. Please remember telephone calls to other isolated people too.

God bless each and every one of you. Go forward in your daily living, glorifying our Lord with your lives!

Peace and Love in Jesus, 
Fr Scott

Pastor Letter
November 28, 2020
To you, I lift up my soul, O my God. In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame. Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in you be put to shame.
(Psalm 24.1-3, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 1st Sunday in Advent)
Dear Parish Family, 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! 
This greeting is the same words that we read and hear from St Paul, in the Second Reading for this Sunday's Mass. We begin this first Mass in the season of Advent, blessing the Advent wreath and lighting a candle on it. (Photos of wreath and church in Advent colours are attached.) I am sorry that you cannot be present, especially for the beginning of a new liturgical year, and the start of our liturgical and spiritual preparations for Christmas. It is my hope and prayer, along with many of yours, that our church will be open for Christmas.
There is a recent letter from Bishop Gary on the new covid restrictions and directives for our churches in the diocese. That should be getting onto our parish website very soon, if you have not already seen it.

If you have not received an Advent booklet and want one, please contact the parish office to arrange that with Daniela. With our new liturgical year, we also have new Sunday Missals. For any of our current lectors who would like a copy at home, that can also be arranged through the parish office, or at the sani-station when we reopen. If anybody wants some large, already-been-used Advent candles, 3 purple and 1 pink, for making a wreath, we have a set of them from a prior year. There is still lots of life in them. Again, arrangements can be made through the parish office. 

The Sacrament of Confession continues on in the parking lot of OLG Church, on Saturdays, 3:30 to 4:15 pm. Advent is an especially important time of the year for that.
I have attached a homily for this First Sunday of Advent. If you don't have access to the Mass Readings, here's a link to them:
The Catholic Bishops of Canada have produced "a new online weekly video series created to help the Canadian Catholic faithful to prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus," titled Journey through Advent. You can access and read more about it through the following link:    

Our Parish Council has put together a Christmas Mass schedule, including for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. That schedule will be in the next bulletin. Providing that we can reopen for Christmas, prior registration through the parish office will be required for attendance to one of those Masses. We are still looking for a Christmas tree. Can somebody help with that?

Thank you to the few who responded to my request for some refining of the various tv channels I previously sent out, where virtual Mass can be found. Shaw subscribers now have a more comprehensive and accurate list below. I would also like to hear from somebody who has Telus.

Mass on the TV:
Salt and Light Television, 160 (Shaw):   5 am, 8 am, 9 am (at St Peter's, Rome), noon, and 7:30 pm.
Joy, 7 (Shaw): 7:30 am.  
EWTN, 130 (Shaw): 5 am, 8:30 am, 4 pm (at St Peter's, Rome)
Vision, 120 (Shaw): 5 am and 9 am 

There is also Mass on the radio, as i have been kindly informed, and share with you:
If you have Francophone parishioners - there is a Mass on the CBC Radio-Canada at 10:00 am coming from l´Oratoire Saint-Joseph in Montréal every Sunday for the shut ins.  This has been a regular feature of Radio-Canada for more years than I can remember.  (It is a full hour Mass with a half dozen priests taking their rotating turns.  It used to be with a full choir & organist & large public attendance.  Due to covid-19 it is scaled back to the organist & one or two singers & a few nuns in attendance).  Well worth the listening.  

For those interested in joining a Zoom parish rosary this Sunday, Nov 29, 9 am:
Meeting ID: 885 2251 0285
Passcode: 511966

Leaving off on a rather sad note, Madeleine Cooper will be moving to Victoria. She says the move will be sometime near to the end of December. As many of you already know, she has been a long time parishioner here and has really invested herself into the parish. Among other contributions, she has been an altar server, extra-ordinary minister of Holy Communion, and gardener, planting and caring for many flowers and shrubs on our church property.

Go forth Madeleine, and each of you, glorifying the Lord with your lives!!

Peace and expectant joy in the birth of Jesus the Christ,
Fr scott

Pastoral Letter

November 13, 2020.

The Lord said: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction. You will call upon me, and I will answer you, and I will lead back your captives from every place. 

(Jeremiah 29.11,12,14, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Fall is definitely with us. It is such a beautiful and dynamic time of the year, though Spring is still my favourite. 

In only two weeks, we will be entering Advent, followed by Christmas. A Christmas Mass schedule should be out at the beginning of December. I am hoping that we can have another Christmas tree in OLG Church. However, our former supplier has no more trees. So, i am wondering if anyone would have a fitting tree on your property? Or perhaps in your neighbour's yard? 😉 We are looking for an evergreen that is 9-12 feet tall. Would want it sometime shortly before the weekend of December 19/20. No earlier, if possible, as it will be in the church until January 10, which is the last day of the Christmas season. Please contact me or the parish office, if you can help obtain one for the church. Thank you.

We recently lost a parishioner, and gained one. Marilyn Wasney has moved to Alberta with her family. God bless them and their new home. Diane Turner gave birth to a girl, whom they have named Veronica. Congratulations to her and Andrew, and to little Thomas! She will be baptised in Vancouver.

This Sunday, Nov 15, 9 am will be another parish Zoom rosary. This is a chance to pray together as parishioners, past and present, and especially for those unable to get to Mass. It is a way for us to connect as a parish - and for some to re-connect. If you are not familiar with praying the rosary, or aren't particularly keen on it, i encourage you to join us, just the same. It is simple, and you don't even need a rosary, or 10 fingers. Just your prayerful presence.

Meeting ID: 752 9856 8518
Passcode: nAeH40

This Sunday has been designated World Day of the Poor. Bishop Gary's blog speaks to it and to what some parishes in the Diocese are doing for the poor. His blog can be accessed below:

I want to thank all of the people, who have contributed bleach, wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves and masks during past months. We currently have a good supply of all of those items. Thank you!! Thanks also to the many parishioners who continue to financially support the parish, even those who are not able to be attending Mass. We recently had one large donation from a former parishioner. God bless her and each of you for your generosity and thoughtfulness!!

As we move further into the Fall and then into Winter, and as we become more isolated by various covid restrictions, we still need to find ways of connecting with each other. I know some parishioners are already getting depressed and feeling lonely. I would encourage you to continue or resume telephone contact with the various people I arranged for last March. I also have asked Daniela to start going through our parishioner list, contacting each person on it. So, sooner or later you should be getting a call from her, and hopefully one or more from me again. If you aren't getting any calls, please make some yourself, to connect, and to let us know.

The Gospel Reading for this Sunday is the parable of the talents. Each and every person has a unique mix of talents given to us. Happiness is found in using those talents for the good of others and for the glory of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Go forth in the Peace, Love, and Life of Christ, 

Fr scott

Pastoral Letter

October 4, 2020.

Within your will, O Lord, all things are established, and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all. 

(Esther 4.17, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

The Lord be with you!!

The Mass Readings for this Sunday can be accessed at:  Just the same, here's the Gospel Reading:

Matthew 21.33-43 

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.

“When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way.

“Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.

“Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?

“Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

On October 10, Carlos Acutis will be beatified. He died in 2006 and was only 15 years old. He was a computer genius, and his body has been found to be incorrupt, but those are not the reasons why he will be beatified. No, he is to be beatified because of the holiness of his life, which was centered on our Eucharistic Lord. 

Following is a link to much more information on Carlos, including a passionate interview with his mother. There is also a lengthy, computer generated animation, for adults and youth, that he was largely responsible for. It focuses on numerous topics related to the real and special presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, including the miracle at Lanciano.

Let us give praise, honour, worship and thanksgiving to God our Father, through Jesus Christ, His Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit!!

God bless you!

Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter

September 18, 2020.

I am the salvation of the people, says the Lord. 

Should they cry to me in any distress, I will hear them, and I will be their Lord for ever. 

(Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time) 

Dear Family of Christian Faith, 

These smokey conditions are lingering long and affecting many of us. I hope it can be a reminder to pray for those who have lost their homes and/or lives, because of the wild fires, and to pray for the many others throughout the world suffering from natural and human caused disasters. Let us pray for all of them and give God thanks for the abundance of goodness in our lives.

Many parishioners from of old would have known Elsa Drummond. Well, she passed onward early this morning. She was 101 years, plus another 6 months or so. There will be a Funeral Mass for her at OLG on Thursday, September 24, 10:30 am, followed by a burial at St Paul's Cemetery. I understand she was one of Christ's faithful servants and an active member of our parish life. Please consider attending the funeral. There will be a small number of family present. As usual during these covid times, you will need to pre-register through the parish office.

Please join my condolences and prayers for Diane Turner and her family. Her father, Mike Shackleford, died quite suddenly and unexpectedly a day or two ago. He was living in South Africa, together with the rest of his family. It will not be possible for Diane to get there. This morning's Mass was offered up for him and his family. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. May he rest in peace!

The life of another one of Christ's faithful servants is currently winding down, quite quickly. That would be Andrea's mother, Patricia Kathleen Davidson. She is in her 90's, lives in the lower mainland, and continues to fight the good fight of following Jesus the Christ, to the end. Please pray for her and her family. This is both a critical and sacred time in the life of Pat, as she prepares to pass onward, from life in this world and into eternal life with our beloved Jesus, we pray.

Finally, among these notes of loss, is one other. Our almost life-time parish collection counter and Finance Committee member, Susan Eide, has moved to Victoria, together with her husband. Along with many others on SSI, we will dearly miss her presence and her generous contributions to the life of our parish. Much of what she did for us was rather hidden, and therefore done out of pure love and kindness for our parish. God bless her and Lyle with their new home life.

The number of people registered for Saturday evening Mass has just grown by three, including a new parishioner named Carlos. Our Sunday Mass remains slightly overbooked, with a short waiting list. If any person who is currently registered for Sunday, would be able to attend the Saturday evening Mass instead, that would be very much appreciated. If so, please contact the parish office. 

The refrain for this Sunday's psalm is: "The Lord is near to all who call on him". Yes, He is always near to us, awaiting our invitation to enter into our daily life. In perfect love and humility, our all powerful God does not impose Himself. Instead He awaits us to take the hand of Jesus, who leads us to our Father.

God bless each and everyone of you. Please continue your prayers, and many of them. There is so much to be praying for.

Go forth in the world, or on this small island, or wherever you are, bringing the Peace, Light, and Love of Jesus the Christ with you, for others!!

In Christ,

Fr scott

An update:

Patricia Davidson has passed on from our human life in this world. Tomorrow evening's Mass will be offered up for the repose of her soul, and for Andrea and her grieving family. Eternal rest grant unto Patricia, O Lord!

Short video:

Below is a link to a 8+ minute video from Fr Mike Schmitz. It is a very good one, i found, on making decisions, doing the will of God, and discerning signs . . .

Fr s

Pastoral Letter

August 7, 2020.

Dear Parishioners, 

I am back from holidays - a week with my mother and a week on the west coast, paddling in Barkley Sound, in the Deer Group of islands. Thank you for your prayers. I am temporarily exhausted with catching up. Please pray now, that i get a homily done tonight. 

There has been much news about hand sanitizers that are not approved for use. We have checked out ours and they are approved, including the ones that have been donated. Thank you for those donations, and thanks for the anonymous donations of wipes, which were just in time and will be for our future use too.

Please continue your prayers for our ailing and more isolated parishioners, including Ruth and Rita D, who had a fall and was hospitalized for a time.

This year we did not have our AGM. Just the same, Joyce has put together a written report for us. Thank you, Joyce! It is a reminder that we are a parish family, which is life-giving, both spiritually and socially, for both parishioners and the many we reach out to. In the words of St Paul, it is the love of Christ that urges us on.

God bless each of you!!

Pax Christi, 

Fr scott

Pastoral Letter

July 10, 2020.

"As for me, in justice I shall behold your face; I shall be filled with the vision of your glory"

(Psalm 16.15, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time) 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

I would like to share with you a message from the bishop of Nelson Diocese, where my mother lives. It was in her bulletin a week or so ago. Each diocese has had a different response to our covid precautions, according to the directives of each bishop. At the same time, Bishop Gregory very much speaks to something of our common reality and experience in the re-opening of our churches. (I shortened the part about singing, as we have none.)

"Greetings in the Lord! 

It has now been approximately 1 month since re-opening our parishes. It seems most things are going very well.

A big thank you to our pastors, staff and volunteers who have helped to set up our churches for Mass and prayer. I know that everyone is grateful to be able to come to church once again. Another big thank you to all who are respecting the restrictions we need to follow to keep everyone safe. 

I remind everyone that we need to keep vigilant, even if it seems we’re managing the virus well. This keeps everyone from harm, clergy and lay faithful alike, and protects those most vulnerable from infection by the virus. We need to be cognizant that many people are caring for sick or elderly family, and we are acting with the utmost charity, when we keep others before ourselves. 

Please be aware that we are all being scrutinized for what we do and don’t do now that our churches have reopened. This is why it is important to follow our guidelines for re-opening. 

There are 2 concerns that have been brought to my attention recently, which i must address, since they pose the greatest risk to our clergy and lay faithful. They are:

1.   Singing during Mass [. . .]

2.   Communion on the hand: this is to be the only method of distribution and reception of Holy Communion. The danger of contamination from the virus is too great to take this risk. 

I know the above restrictions will be more difficult for some people than others, but we have to look to the common good over and above our personal desires or even rights. The very lives of our vulnerable and at risk brothers and sisters are at stake. Surely, we can put them before ourselves. Again, these measures are temporary and are not meant to be permanent. 

Please continue to pray for an end to the pandemic and for quick development of a vaccine. 

God bless all of you and keep you well! 

Gregory J Bittman 

Bishop of Nelson"

This week we revisited our protocol on the attendance of visitors at our regular weekend Masses. It was reaffirmed that attendance is to be restricted to parishioners only, both full and part timers. I am sorry, especially during this time of year when family members are visiting.

Thank you to those who brought some sani wipes. We will happily receive any more that come our way, and will reimburse your costs, if it is accompanied with a receipt. They can be left at the parish office, or at the sani-station when you come to Mass.

Linda Petrinov's funeral (Saturday, 11 am) still has space for about 10 more people. We are prepared to receive and register people at the door, on a "first come first served basis". Doors will be opened to the public 15 minutes before the funeral. Masks will be offered, but not mandatory.

There will be a parish rosary via Zoom this Tuesday, 8:30 am:

Meeting ID: 757 5244 2846
Password: 9VD8va

God bless each of you!!

Sincerely in Jesus the Christ, 

Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter

June 27, 2020.

All peoples, clap your hands. Cry to God with shouts of joy!

(Psalm 46.2, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

The Lord be with you!!!

Just a short note here. I did get out for a 4 day paddle. It was a really good one, including a couple of spectacular wildlife sightings, some treasured solitude, a few shots of adrenaline getting through Porlier Pass, and a lot of exercise. Thanks be to God for all of that and more!!! 

Linda Petrinov is in the hospital in Duncan, dying. She is unconscious. Tony is walking to the hospital 4 times a day to be with her. Please keep them in your prayers.

Noella and Michael Fraser recently became grandparents, again. That would make Larry and Ethel great grandparents, again. Congratulations!!

Congratulations, also, to our high school grads, especially to Samantha Shoore and Jada Myers. God bless you and your future. May your lives be a pursuit of God's calling of you! 

Registration for the Sunday Mass is completely full, with a short waiting list. Lots more room at the Saturday evening Mass. It is an especially good Mass to attend if you are looking for extra safe distancing. 

Here's a link to Bishop Barron's homily for this Sunday:  i have yet to do mine.

We are transitioning into an altered way of coming together and celebrating Mass, which is likely to be with us for a while. We will get more used to it, and better at it. What i am appreciating so much is the presence of many of you. For the many people unable to be present, for whatever reasons, God bless you and keep you safe!! I am hoping to see you again, some time!

Pax Christi, 

Fr scott

PS  We are getting low on sani wipes. I have been unsuccessful finding some more locally. If anyone can get their hands on some for the parish, would appreciate that. You could leave them with the person at our church sani-station, or at the parish office, along with a receipt for reimbursement. Thank you!!

PSS  We received a donation of masks for the parish. If anyone wants to take one or two, just ask the person at our church sani station.

Pastoral Letter

June 20, 2020.

"The Lord is the strength of his people, a saving refuge for the one he has anointed. 

Save your people, Lord, and bless your heritage, and govern them for ever."

(Psalm 27.8-9, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time) 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!!

This weekend will be our third one, with the offering of Mass once more at OLG Church. The protocol team continues to have a weekly Skype meeting, to refine what we are doing. Sometimes that means tightening up our protocol, and other times, it means loosening it up. We had music this past Sunday, with no singing - only humming allowed. With lots of practice, we might be able to do a CD under the label of Our Lady of Grace Happy Hummers, or something catchier. 

This week the protocol team discussed the possibility of kneeling. That took us in a variety of directions, including an examination of what would be involved in sanitizing the kneelers. What seemed quite simple, at first, wasn't, and we concluded that standing will continue to take the place of kneeling. I am sorry to those who have a special regard, and rightly so, for kneeling, as a sign of reverence, humility, adoration, worship. . . to God. We are certainly open to further discussion, to see if we can make it possible, without kneeling directly on the floor nor damaging the carpet or kneeler coverings with disinfectant. 

Also, with further input from Bishop Gary, we decided that for now, Mass attendance will be reserved for parishioners only. That would include those who are part-timers, with their primary residence elsewhere in BC. They too must pre-register. We also have a new parishioner signed up for the Saturday Mass. Please welcome her, if you have a chance.

Our Sunday Mass has full registration, but there are some possible openings. If you have not already registered and want to, and cannot attend the Saturday, 5 pm Mass, please put your name on a waiting list for Sunday. I am considering the possibility of an additional Sunday Mass, like at 8 am. That will be given more serious consideration, if the Saturday Mass fills up significantly more, and there is a substantial number of people on the Sunday waiting list.

Rita D got to Mass last Sunday. She was beaming with joy!!! And so were we. 

Father's Day is tomorrow. God bless each and every man, for the giving of your lives, for others. Our fatherhood is expressed in the begetting of life, parenting, grand-parenting, god-parenting, and other expressions of fathering. We tend to be protective, and teach in word, and example.

Next week, i might be getting out for 3-4 days of kayaking, locally, over to Dionisio Park on Galiano and perhaps to Blackberry Point on Valdez. There is a large tide exchange, so currents will be strong. Weather looks like it will be very good. Daniela will take care of ole Pasquali.

In the Gospel Reading for this Sunday, Jesus says, "Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body." How do those words currently relate to the threat of the covid virus? Yes, it can kill the body, or at least inflict it with illness. Fear not!!! The greater fear should be what kills the soul, which is something we very much have control over. Each and every person is called into a saving relationship with Jesus. How are you responding to that invitation? Even under the threat of death, illness or injury, the health of our soul is determined by the choices we freely make. As Victor Frankl discovered in concentration/extermination camps, such as Auschwitz, and wrote about in "Man's Search for Meaning", even when our lives have been stripped of most everything, we still have the freedom to make the most fundamental and important decisions of our lives.

Your telephone calls are still very important to those suffering from physical and social isolation. Loneliness was a contributing factor to the recent loss of one of our parishioners. God rest his soul in peace!!!

Our lives are much more interconnected in the spiritual dimension, let alone in our physical world, than we might think. Let us not live in isolation, as if our little world is all that matters. Jesus showed that our lives are intended to be poured out for others!

Pax Christi, 

Father Scott

Pastoral Letter

June 12, 2020.

"He fed them with the finest wheat and satisfied them with honey from the rock."

(Entrance Antiphon for Corpus Christi Sunday, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ)

The Lord be with you!!

Last weekend was really wonderful, being surrounded again by physically present people, giving praise, worship, and thanksgiving to God, in spiritual communion with countless others. It was such a joy to have gathered again, around the Eucharistic altar, even if there have been many changes since we were last together. Now, attending Mass is something like the pre-boarding of an airline jet, in the lining up for all of the safety/security measures. It seems to have gone quite smoothly, though, for a first weekend. Your patience and flexibility is very much appreciated. Please remember that all of these new measures are intended to promote the protection of others, especially in consideration that we do have a large number of vulnerable people, whose health is compromised or they are beyond the age of 65, or both.

For everybody's consideration, i would like to repeat some basic instructions:

1.   Safe distance at least 6 feet. That includes in the pews, which means sitting at opposite ends.

2.   Please do not take an aisle seat, when the window seat has yet to be filled.

3.   Please, please, please let go of your historical place of seating. That can lead to a reduced number of people that we can get into the church, with safe distancing.

4.   You must pre-register for Mass. That needs to happen during office hours, and your registration must be confirmed before you show up.

5.   Sunday Masses are pretty well full. Any remaining spots are being reserved for those not able to attend an evening Mass, and for our young families.

6.   Reserve the handicap parking spaces, and the two back rows of pews (in the main body of the church), for those with mobility issues.

7.   If you have not already read the protocol, it is again attached. Please be familiar with it prior to coming to Mass. One modification to the protocol: after Holy Communion, people are welcome to return to their seat; dismissal will happen after the final blessing.

I will be resuming Confession in the parking lot, with different hours, though. Every Saturday, starting immediately, i will be sitting in my pickup from 3:30 to 4:15 pm. Please come during that time, if at all possible. If not, phone me to make other arrangements.

Bishop Gary Gordon has taken over the pastoral care of Pender Island, and relieved me of the need to be commuting there. That happened extremely quickly, and he has already had a Mass for them. I have been pastor there for 5 years, and have enjoyed a very good relationship with many of the people. I am sorry to be departing the people, but i am not sorry to be leaving behind the commute. I have had almost every mission in this diocese, including Ahousaht, Tahsis, Zeballos, Port Alice, Hornby Island, Ocluje, and many more. Going to other Gulf Islands, from Salt Spring Island, has been way more onerous than travel to any of those other missions. I will very much miss some of the Pender folk, and they have appreciated some connection with the SSI folk, such as on our past inter-Gulf Island pilgrimages.

This Sunday we focus on the great gift from Jesus the Christ: the eternal gift of his Body and Blood, poured out for us on the cross, and remaining with us in the Eucharist. Come let us adore Him!!

Peace in Jesus the Christ,

Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter

June 5, 2020

Blessed be God the Father, and the Only Begotten Son of God, and also the Holy Spirit, for he has shown us his merciful love.

(Entrance Antiphon for this Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you!!

Good news!! Our Lady of Grace Church will be open for Mass this weekend, for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and St. Teresa's Chapel will be open for a Liturgy of the Word Service the following weekend, on Corpus Christi Sunday. I want to thank those who helped so much with their various contributions toward the establishment of safety protocol, the special preparations of the physical spaces, and the provision of protective equipment and materials, like hand sanitizers and disposable gloves. This has been a multi-team effort, and not an easy task, involving a multitude of considerations, points of view, discussions, and decisions. The goal has been to gather again as a People of Faith, taking new measures to protect one another from the potential transmission of a covid infection. 

This is a good time, during this low risk time of infection, to put into practice new habits intended to protect each and everyone of us from some future covid infection. As we go on, we will refine some of our practices, to maximize the protection of each and every person, so that we can come together without the threat of passing on some serious infection. Your cooperation, patience and input in that direction is appreciated.  

In the COVID-19 Updates page, you will find a copy of the protocol that has been articulated. Please ensure that every adult intending to be present, has read the protocol, or had it read to them. That is essential. It will make the re-opening experience go more smoothly for everybody. Thank you!! 

Since every person intending to attend Mass, will need to enter the church through the main door, it is really important to reserve those handicap parking spaces for people with mobility issues. If any person is planning to accompany somebody who needs mobility assistance, please consider coming to your first Mass on your own, to become familiar with all of the changes. We would like to leave the back two rows of seating, in the main part of the church, for those with mobility issues. In the annex, we would like to leave the back row or two for some of our young families, though they are in no way being restricted to those pews. Please do not sit at the aisle end of a pew, IF there is nobody seated on the other end of the pew - ie. against the wall. That is problematic. People will need to enter the church with some detachment from their historic places of seating.  

Many people will choose to not yet attend, so as to maximize their safety and protection from any potential infection. We will start small and carefully. Please do not forget the people who are still living very much of an isolated life, needing a telephone call or two, and prayer. There will be no Zoom rosary during this transitional time, though perhaps something later on, at a different time than recently established.

Our life in the Trinity is mostly a mystery. Thanks to God the Father's plan, Jesus "put a face on God" when he took on human nature and a human body. It was through the incarnation of Jesus, that we learned so much more about ourselves, our calling, and our God, including the trintarian nature of God: three Persons, yet one God. Through Jesus, heaven was opened up for humanity, and the Church was established to help us get there. The Holy Spirit was sent to animate the Church, as a human soul gives life to the body. 

Soon, the scattered family of St Teresa's Chapel and Our Lady of Grace Parish will begin to gather together, as a people of faith and worship, hope and praise, courage and thanksgiving, light and love. Will see some of you very soon!!

Go forth, safe distancing, 

in the Life and Love of Jesus!

In the Holy Trinity,

Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter
May 30, 2020.

The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit of God dwelling within us, alleluia.

(Romans 5.5; cf 8.11, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday.) 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with each of you!

This Pentecost Sunday brings an end to our Easter Season, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, after he had ascended into heaven, to guide and teach us in his ways. The Holy Spirit would become the animating Spirit of the Church, making Jesus present to us, and within us. The gifts of the Holy Spirit would help Christians witness to Jesus, with courage and perseverance, conviction and passion, wisdom and truth, light and peace, love and joy. Come Holy Spirit, en-kindle in us the fire of your love.

So our churches are opening up. Just a small crack, at this time, but enough to let the Light of Christ shine out to us. Two small groups are helping me establish protocol, applying the many directives Bishop Gary made known last week. It is an interesting, challenging, and tiring process. The group from Our Lady of Grace Church have started off with a different emphasis than the group from St Teresa's Chapel. Next week we meet again by way of video-conferencing, to rework and refine the protocol. The aim is to maximize the safety of each person intending to be present at one of the liturgies.

There will be two Masses at OLG Church: Saturday, 5 pm and Sunday, 10 am, but no other Masses. If there were other Masses, such as a weekday Mass or two, you would still be allowed to attend only 1 Mass each week. If interested in attending one of the 2 scheduled Masses, you must register ahead of time. Please phone (250-537-2150) or email the parish office ( to register. We might be ready to open for the weekend of June 6 & 7. We'll let you know next week, but you can still begin registering for a Mass time, and your registration must be confirmed by the parish office. That means registrations must take place before Friday, noon, at which time the parish office is closed for the weekend. If you normally attend the Sunday, 9 am Mass, please consider shifting to the one on Saturday, 5 pm.

We will have another Zoom rosary this Sunday, at 9:30 am. Same link and password as the last few weeks: 4Uv3SQ

Looking forward to the beginnings of the gathering together of our parish family, and to seeing your faces.

In the words of Jesus: "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so i send you" (to be missionary disciples).

God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!

Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter
May 23, 2020.

Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens? 

This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia. 

(Acts 1.11, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.)

 Dear Christian Family, 

This weekend we celebrate the ascension of Jesus into heaven. The greatness of this event, is that Jesus brought our humanity into heaven for the first time. Through Him, with Him, and in Him, our humanity has been elevated above the dignity of angels, and is seated next to God the Father. That is the glory of the ascension. It is our glory before God! 

Attached (on the covid-19 page) are three documents recently sent out by the diocesan office. Sounds like quite a number of people have already received them. One is a pastoral letter from Bishop Gary on re-opening our churches. The next two documents have many directives for doing that. Next week, i will be forming a small group of people on both Salt Spring and Pender to discuss the implementation of these directives. It is even more complex than it looks. We will need some time to put it all together, to maximize the protection of all who will be involved in our divine liturgy. Pentecost Sunday will not necessarily be our opening day. You will be informed, though, when we are ready.

In the meantime, we will continue to have our Zoom rosary on Sunday, at 9:30 am. Same link and password as the last two weeks: kFBM0FaZm1INXAzV2dnSStPaWVQQT09Password: 4Uv3SQ Give me a call or email, if you want to join, but are unsure of how to do that. Just don't wait until Sunday morning. 😐

On the OLG website, check out the sung blessing over Canada, done by an assortment of Christian denominations from across Canada. You'll find it on the homepage: And on the Covid-19 page is an encouraging Ascension Sunday message from Cardinal Bo. "This day, he said, is the celebration of victory of light over darkness, life over death, hope over despair, good over evil, God over Satan."

I am hoping to see some of your beautiful faces, soonish!☺

The Lord be with you!

Go in peace!

Trusting in the resurrected and ascended Lord,

Jesus the Christ, 

Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter
May 16, 2020.

Proclaim a joyful sound and let it be heard; proclaim to the ends of the earth: 

The Lord has freed his people, alleluia. 

(Isaiah 48.20, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 6th Sunday of Easter)

Dear Past and Present Parishioners, 

There is talk of re-opening the churches for Mass. Alleluia!! Each bishop will have his own variation of what that will look like. It sounds like the Mass will be very different, though, from what we are accustomed to, and may include: no singing (perhaps we can hum instead); no Sunday Missals or missalettes; no Servers or Sacristan; no procession of the gifts or the passing of the collection basket; no lingering in the church; Holy Communion to be distributed in the hand, beneath a plexi-glass barrier; sanitization protocol; and of course physical distancing, which will limit the number of people present . . .. When ready, Bishop Gary will be releasing the details. Then, it will take some time to properly prepare the churches and people. These are precautionary measures to minimize the risks of spreading a covid infection. It is not yet time for us to be moving into the norm that we were so used to, and desire. I am sorry! I know the changes will be difficult to "get our heads around", including for me.

Our parish AGM was scheduled for May 3. That did not happen, obviously, and we will be forgoing it completely this year. Because we are not a registered society, but a charity, it is not mandatory, though laudable to have these AGM's.

Thank you to those who showed up this week to help with the grounds at OLG Church: weeding, planting, and raking up fir cones. The yard is looking really good. Please come by to see it, if you can, including the garden in front of the church. That project has been a lot of work, but it has gone well and is near completion. I will attach a couple photos of it. There have been some generous donations toward the cost of the plants and soil. Thank you.

During this past week, not much has been added to our parish website, except a selection of videos, podcasts and articles from Ascension, including a video "Forgive and Forget": Is it Really Possible? (

Please continue your prayers and your telephone outreach. Both of those activities are invaluable, and each person can do them. Those are important ways that we can extend the love of God to others. We will continue with our Zoom rosary this Sunday, same time (9:30) and place, and the same link and password as last week: 4Uv3SQ 

I continue to have daily Mass, except on Mondays. At those times, and at other times in the day, especially near to the end of it, i visit with you in prayer, and present you to God our Father, through Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. I also continue specific prayers, for specific people, with specific burdens, sufferings, hopes and needs, as we all journey in this blessed life to our ultimate goal of eternal life in heaven. God bless you, and . . .

The Lord be with you!

Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord!

Peace and Love in the Resurrected Christ, 

Fr Scott 

Pastoral Letter
May 9, 2020.
O sing a new song to the Lord, for he has worked wonders; 
in the sight of the nations he has shown his deliverance, alleluia.
(Psalm 97.1-2, Entrance Antiphon for Mass on the 5th Sunday of Easter)

Dear Parishioners,
We are at the 5th Sunday of Easter, already, and something close to 2 months has passed since there was public Mass. It really has gone quickly for me. How about for you? Most people seem to be weathering the covid isolation quite well, though not without some anxieties or deprivations, extra stresses and considerations; some are thriving with their more home-centered life; and a few are not doing well at all. The isolation they were already experiencing, pre-covid, has really intensified and has even disrupted their will to live. Please keep up your prayers and telephone outreach!!

A happy, blessed Mother's Day to all mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, godmothers, and to all women who exercise their motherhood in a variety of ways. God bless you for the giving of your lives, so that others may be nurtured, encouraged, cared for, and know the love of God through you.

Talking about the gift of self. Did you catch the news about 29 staff workers at a nursing home in Villanova, France? They locked themselves in the nursing home for 47 days, so as to continue to take care of the residents, while at the same time reduce the chances of them bringing a covid infection into the facility. Isn't that heroic and heart warming, to say the least? Lives would have been transformed by such tremendous acts of love.

About 600 people joined online with Bishop Gary on May 1, for Mass and the consecration of our country and diocese to the protection and care of Mary, Mother of the Church. As pastor, i added my consecration for all of you.

Still looking for some help with OLG grounds. Marlene and Arnica have been doing more around here, but i know there are more parishioners than just the two of them. Lucille has been cutting down broom bush at St Paul's, and Leon is cutting the hay there. Well, I am exaggerating. He is making sure the cemetery and church grounds don't look like a hay field, but cared for. Thanks Leon, and Lucille, and Marlene and Arnica.

We have so much to be grateful for: life and love, food and clean water, shelter and places to walk or garden in, family and friends, our mothers . . .. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me." We can be especially grateful for the gift of faith that keeps us believing and following Jesus the Christ. He also tell us,  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Thanks be to God for the gift of His Son and the gift of faith for us to believe, even if we might have unbelief too.

On this Sunday, when we give thanks for our mothers, let us also remember to give thanks to our spiritual mother, Mary. She is not only the Mother of God, but ours too. Jesus gave her to us, to be our mother, when he was hanging on the cross. He gave her to all "beloved" disciples of Jesus, our Risen Lord and Universal Saviour.

The Lord be with you!
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life!!

Yours in the Risen Christ,
Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter
April 25, 2020.

Cry out with joy to God, all the earth; O sing to the glory of his name. 
O render him glorious praise, alleluia.
(Psalm 65.1-2, the Entrance Antiphon for Mass on this 3rd Sunday of Easter.)

Dear Parishioners,
Since Easter, many of the Mass Readings have been testimonies and accounts of people actually seeing and meeting the Risen Lord. Mary Magdalene was the first. Often times, people did not initially recognize the risen Jesus. Mary thought he was the gardener. Do you remember that? Well, i thought, for a moment, that Jesus was here on the church property, along with one other person. But it turned out that the gardeners were actually Marlene and Arnica Langevin. They have brought a lot of beauty, which was hidden by all kinds of weeds, to the garden beds behind the church. (I hope the wheat didn't get pulled out with the weeds, or am i getting confused with some story Jesus told?)

So, life is going on here at OLG Church, though with a very diminished presence of people. Daily Mass continues for you, and for the whole world. (I had a few post-Easter days booked off to visit my mother. That will not be happening, now, though i MIGHT get out for a few days paddling. If so, i will still be offering up Mass, but not at the regular 9 am time.) We have had good attendance for our ventures into virtual parish life, with the Stations of the Cross, rosary, and Chaplet of Divine Mercy. We made our first attempt to have a Parish Council meeting by way of Zoom, thanks to Joyce. The Family Apostolate had a humble response to Julie-Ann's virtual gathering, also with Zoom. She had this wonderful idea of our parish families geo-caching stories about miracles. If you have not already heard of "geo-caching", i'm going to leave it with you to "Google" that, or ask around. Janine emailed to our young parish families, a reflection and an assortment of puzzles and other activities related to last Sunday's Mass Readings, so the children could have a Liturgy of the Word at home. Parishioners are continuing to send in, transfer and drop off financial donations for the parish - and food for the poor pastor. Emails and phone calls really quieted down this week. 

Your phone calls to other parishioners is especially life-giving to some, and are helping to be one of few parish connections in this time of so much physical isolation. Please keep the calls going, and remember theLord's Prayer when you are washing your hands, for an end to the spread of covid, for the protection of those on the front lines in various ways, and for the recovery of those who are inflicted with covid. Your prayers, in union with the victorious Lamb of God, are important!

Last week i wrote of the blessed palms waiting for your return. Attached is a photo of some of them. On the home page of our website, check out The Bells of Banff 
We continue to look for ways to promote our connection as a parish family, in spite of our physical distancing and isolation. We are all spiritually united in the Body of Christ, so that what you do in your home - the domestic church - in union with Jesus, can be efficacious and ultimately lead to the salvation of souls. Be heroic in your prayers and creative in your acts of charity.

Peace and joy in the Risen Lord and Saviour, 
Jesus the Christ, 
Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter
April 18, 2020.
Christ is Risen!!! Alleluia!!
This is our Easter chant, our confession of faith, our hope, joy and meditation. Christ is risen from the dead, becoming a new creation, a new reality for humanity.

It was a rather odd experience this year, celebrating the Easter Triduum without your visible presence. Just the same, it still was and is a very beautiful set of liturgies to be a part of. I hope you were able to connect with them, in some way.

I did get tired of hearing my voice during the Easter Vigil. There were four Old Testament Readings, Epistle and Psalm Readings, and of course, a Gospel Reading. It is much better having a variety of voices and personalities for all those Readings. The church was decorated with Easter lilies, together with the most beautiful collection of daffodils i have ever seen. There must have been about 10 different kinds, grown to honour our resurrected Lord. I wish you could have seen them. There are a few photos attached, including one of the sanctuary during Good Friday - a stark contrast to the Easter decorum. 

Palms have been blessed and are awaiting to be taken to good homes. They will be available when we are on the other side of this pandemic and are allowed to resume our public liturgies. This year, there is a mixture: the usual variegated kind that are imported, some local ones donated, and some crosses that Daniela has made with the leaves.  

Directing your attention, again, to our parish website. On the Domestic Church page, there are 50 ways for families to celebrate the 50 days of Easter. On the COVID-19 page, there is Pope Francis' "Urbi et Orbi" Easter message and blessing. There is also the Easter Vigil homily of Archbishop Pizzaballa, at a Mass near to Jesus' tomb - the holy sepulcher.

Our Parish Council had set a date for our spring yard cleanup at Our Lady of Grace Church, lunch included. This will not be happening; however the weeds are still happening and there is a need to do some other Spring cleanup on the grounds. If interested, or willing for some other reason, please contact me, and i can give you some direction and open up the hall for access to the bathrooms. You will need your own tools, though a wheelbarrow or two should be available. The grounds are looking beautiful, just the same, with spring-time blooms. Out front of the church, that very visible flower bed is under going a transformation. I hope to have it re-landscaped, so that it adds beauty to our church and property, and reflects something beautiful and life-giving of our God and faith community.

I am hoping that we can get our Parish Council and Finance Committee meetings going again, albeit physically distant. CWL could be doing the same, and perhaps something with our catechism classes. We need to pursue alternative ways to continue to be a parish family. I also hope that you are finding the time and motivation to reach out to other parishioners via the telephone. Drive in Confession continues each Saturday, 4-5 pm.

Praying for each of you, and especially for those whom i know have some serious trials or inflictions. May God console you, heal and restore you, and perfect each of you in the image and likeness of his Son, Our Risen Lord and Saviour. God bless you all!!!!  

Pax in Jesus, the Risen Christ,
Fr Scott 

Pastoral Letter
April 10, 2020.

Dear Parishioners,
We are on our way into the Holy Triduum. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week, and yesterday we had Holy Thursday. I have included a couple of photos of the church sanctuary from those days. Today the altar is stripped. 

On Sunday, i found some local palms on the back steps of the church. The ones ordered had yet to arrive. Yesterday, some lilies were delivered. Both of these appearances were unexpected, timely, and helpful in reflecting something of the special days we were celebrating, on those days, throughout the world, albeit, without the physical presence of the flock. Definitely missing you and your visible presence, but continuing on with the Masses, and today will be our Good Friday Service at 3. Tomorrow will be the Easter Vigil at 9 pm. On Sunday will be an Easter Mass at 10 am.

Our website has on-going additions to the two new web pages. On the COVID-19 page, there are two excellent messages from Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines and Bishop O'Toole of England, relating our faith to Covid-19. Also, there is a letter from numerous Christian leaders of BC. Included in the letter are many suggestions of living out our faith during this difficult time:

I am trying out an on-line, parish Stations of the Cross via Zoom, at 2:15. It might take some time and patience for us to adjust to it. Planning to do something similar with the rosary. Thanks to all the people who responded to my email on the rosary. Further responses are still welcome. 

Today we can be with Jesus, as He is with us through all that we experience. Today we can accompany Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying with Him, as He prays for us. Today, He looks to have been defeated by the power of sin and evil, as He takes it all on, for us. Today He dies for us and is buried in a tomb, truly dead. Let us enter into the tomb with Him, as He destroys the power of human death, so that we can journey with Him, to eternal life and resurrection of the body.

God bless you, 
as we pray and journey together
through, with, and in the Passion of Jesus the Christ, 
to the other side - the Light and glory of the Resurrection.
Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter
April 4, 2020.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ! 

That is the Mass greeting often responded to, poorly. Do you recall it? The other two greetings seem to work much better.

This Sunday is Palm/Passion Sunday. I'll be celebrating the Mass at 10 am, privately. For some odd reason, likely covid related, the palms have yet to arrive. Usually they get here somewhere around the Wednesday prior to. Whenever they do get here, i'll bless them and make them available to you, when we are on the other side of this covid crisis. OLG Church has the crosses and statues covered. (See attached photo.) They have been that way since last Sunday, the 5th Sunday in Lent.

I would like to encourage you to check out our parish website, if you haven't already: In particular, the two new pages. On the COVID-19 page, we have added a letter from religious leaders of Canada in response to the covid-19 pandemic. We have also added a simplified version of a decree by the Apostolic Penitentiary. The decree provides for covid-related plenary indulgences. On the Domestic Church Resources page, you can partake in a virtual retreat through Ascension Press (though much of it is over now), or join our bishop for on-line Mass and a Mission.

Through baptism, we share in the common priesthood. There are two significant roles to the priesthood. The first is to make sacrifice for the love and salvation of others. That can be exercised in numerous ways, both small and heroic, and sometimes it is the small sacrifices that are done heroically. The other role is bringing Jesus to people and people to Jesus. Intercessory prayer is one way we can do that. 

I am hearing that some people are really having a difficult time praying, even though we need it more than ever. This difficulty highlights how much we can be encouraged to pray when we are praying with others. I hope we can discover and apply new ways of doing that, during this time of physical distancing.

Through thick and thin, in season and out, we need to try to keep our eyes on Jesus. He reveals to us our true likeness and image, and leads the way to our Father. He is our Saviour, who knows our human sufferings and is present in them.

Missing your presence in the pews!!  

Peace in Jesus the Christ,
Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter
March 28, 2020.
The Peace of Jesus be with you! 

During this surreal time of threat and spread of covit-19, it is easy to get anxious, stressed, or fearful of the future. This can be expressed in anger, sadness, edginess and more. These are real human emotions to be acknowledged, named, and allowed to some extent.

At the same time, we need to remember Jesus, and trust in Him. He is the victorious Lamb once slain. Evil never had the last word in His life, nor does it have to in ours. God is stronger. With Jesus, we too share in the victory of good over evil, life over death.

Let us continually turn to God, first in praise and thanksgiving for the gift of His Son, for the gift of faith, and for the multitude of other gifts in our lives. Second, to share our fears and anxieties, and seek out guidance, strength, comfort, peace and protection. Third, to extend our prayers beyond ourselves, to our family and neighbours, to our friends and the local homeless, to the sick and vulnerable in other countries, to those on the front lines in medical and health care, to those still working in various essential services, to our government leaders . . .. This is a time we Christians need to be praying more, not less.

We are a people of faith, and these days we have been denied our gatherings together for Mass, the Easter Triduum, Eucharistic adoration, Liturgy of the Word, Stations of the Cross, a Penitential Service, the rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, prayers for healing, potlucks, our faith study, CWL, prayer shawl ministry, family apostolate, feeding the poor, Christian Services at Lady Minto and Heritage Place, after Mass coffee and fellowship, taking Holy Communion to the sick or isolated . . .. It is a lot that we do as a small faith community, which has now been temporarily suspended. There has been a lot of loss to what we do as a People of Christian faith.

It is my hope and prayer that we will use this time to build up the "domestic church". The Holy Family was the first domestic church, with Jesus at the center of their home life. During our current time of significant isolation, i pray we will nurture and foster a home life where Jesus becomes more central, more often. I pray that we may welcome and live the mystery of our salvation through Jesus, at home, more frequently and more deeply.

Our parish web site now has a page named "Domestic Church Resources" - - where you will find numerous resources to help foster the domestic church in your life - at your home. Check out the various Masses you can connect with. Do click onto the Form page and see the many ways you can feed your faith with Lenten reflections, Bible studies, faith studies, movies, documentaries, and more. Look over Scott Hahn's, The Quarantined Catholic Hub

I continue to offer up Mass 6 days a week, for each and everyone of you in general, for many of your specific needs that have been brought to my attention, and for all of the southern Gulf Island people. You can join me, in spiritual communion, during these private Masses at Our Lady of Grace Church. They are being held Tuesdays to Saturdays, at 9 am, and on Sundays at 10 am.

"Drive through Confession" worked well last Saturday, and will continue from 4-5 pm each Saturday. Lent is a penitential season, do come by.

Please remember to reach out by telephone, and often, to those who are now isolated at home, especially those living on their own. When you are washing your hands, pray the Lord's Prayer for the end of the spread of covit-19. 
In solidarity with one another, united to Jesus the Christ, we can do more than survive, we can thrive and be a sign and instrument of hope, faith and love in the weeks and perhaps months of physical isolation ahead of us. Let us not be socially distant anymore, in our physical distancing. Let us not be spiritually distant in our Christian faith, but more connected than ever with God, through Jesus. 

This is a time we Christians need to be praying so much more, not less.

i have been receiving more telephone calls and emails than usual. Thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness, support, feedback, suggestions, questions, and sharings. I might be cutting back on my responses, but that does not mean your contact is not appreciated. If any person never received my first pastor's letter (last week), and wants a copy, just let me know.

Be not afraid, we have a Saviour!
God bless and protect all of you and your families.
In Jesus the Christ, 
Fr Scott

Pastoral Letter

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:  

and (Bishop Barron)

        The parish website - - 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:  

        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