FRom Fr Neil's Desk

Blessing For Our Home

We resolve to allow this trust in God and in God’s blessing to allay fear, to dispel hopelessness, to curtail despair. Knowing that all we shall do and say and attempt and become in the year ahead will lie securely under God’s loving benediction.

Perhaps we can resolve as well to bless our own as we go forth from this blessed assembly and return to our homes, our workplaces and our daily lives. Perhaps we who are renewed in the blessings of God can try once again to be blessings for one another.

To that end and with the able inspiration afforded us by Fr Edward Hays, a current spiritual writer, we might pray the following words of blessing in our homes and over those we love as family and friends.

Lord our God, You whose home is in heaven and on earth and in that undiscovered beyond, come and bless this house which is our home.

Surround this shelter with your Holy Spirit.
Encompass all its sides with the power of your protection so that no evil or harm will come near.
May that divine blessing shield this home from destruction, storm, sickness and all that might bring evil to us who live within these walls.

The prayer proceeds to bless each room in the house. You want to prinkle holy water in each of the rooms being blessed so that all the home is sanctuary of God’s peace. It concludes with these words dedicating our homes to hospitality.

May our door always be open to those in need, the neighbour as well as the stranger.
May all who come to us find our door and our hearts open to them and their needs.
May god’s holy presence shine forth here and bless all who live here and all who come to our door.


Msgr Joe Shiels

With reports of sexual abuse in Ireland, the cover-up of abuse perpetrated by Cardinal McCarrick and the Grand Jury Report from Pennsylvania have left the Catholic world shaken, angry and deeply disheartened. Many talk of leaving the Church. And no doubt some have walked away.

Walking away from the Church is not what Catholics should do, says writer Katie Prejean McGrady. “So what do we do? We pray, more than we ever have, with more fervor, passion and hope than ever before….. We go to Mass, we sit in that pew, we sing, we sit, we stand, we kneel, we receive the Eucharist, and we go forth proclaiming the Gospel with our lives, knowing full well that without the Mass, we will not survive, and without us, the Church will not be able to be who she needs to be in the world…. When staring into the face of evil and grave sins, it would be far easier to simply walk away…… Jesus calmed the storm and he will calm this one too…… What do we do now…… We stay Catholic. We are not Catholic because of men in collars who do or do not do the right thing. We stay Catholic because we need one another now more than ever” [an excerpt from “Dear Fellow Catholics: The Church needs you now more than ever”].

Dear friends, let us not bail out. Let us stay and pray that the lies, the evil, the filth and the corruption will be rooted out, believing in our hearts that the Lord Jesus will calm this storm too. And let us never forget all the little ones who have been so greatly harmed by sexual predators and demand that they be treated rightly. Let us do everything to love and to protect children and all vulnerable people.

The monk Jacques Philippe writes, “Only the madness of charity can get to the bottom of evil….. Only an excess of love can save the world” [Jacques Philippe, The Eight Doors to the Kingdom, p. 114f]. St. John of the Cross said that “In the evening of life we shall be judged on love.”

Let us pray for all children who have been harmed and for those who caused it. Let us also pray for Pope Francis, for the Church, for ourselves, too. We face some very serious challenges. God help us!

Father Neil

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Roman Catholic Church, Mississauga, Ontario