Canadian Martyrs/Saint Thomas Aquinas
1725 Oxford Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 3Z7
Phone: (902) 423-3057 | Fax: (902) 484-6944
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Weekly Bulletin Looking for the events calendar?
9 April 2006
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In This Issue

Mass Intentions

Quote of the Week

A word from Fr. James

STACM Holy Week Schedule

Altar Society

The Marriage Course

Social Action

For the Youth

Collection Information

Diocesan Bulletin

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Mass Intentions

10 April Ethel Drysdale ? (7:30AM@CM)

11 April Robert Phillips ? (7:30AM@CM)

12 April Edith Beck ? (9AM@STA), Francis Flemming ? (7PM@CM)

Quote of the Week (from last week)

Jesus issues the same call to all, but to different tasks. Someone put it rather quaintly: "to some, Christ calls 'leave boat and bay, and white-haired Zebedee.' To some, the call is harder - 'stay and mend the nets for me.' "

A Word from Fr. James


The Liturgy committee has been discussing the manner of distribution of the Holy Eucharist and the issue of intinction (dipping the host into the chalice) has been raised. As Holy Thursday nears, this is an opportunity to remind parishioners of the Church's guidelines on this matter. There are three reasons why the Church discourages this practice. The first is symbolic, the second theological and the third hygienic. Jesus said "Take and drink" and, so, the fullest symbol of "doing this in memory" of him is to take the chalice and drink from it. Secondly, the Church does allow for intinction in certain settings, but the Eucharist is dipped in the Precious Blood by the priest/minister and placed on the tongue. The theological problem with the way this is often practiced in North America is that the Sacred Host is carried away and dipped by the person receiving the Eucharist. We receive the Eucharist and do not help ourselves. Thirdly, people often perform self-intinction for reasons of hygiene, but the problem with this is that they are putting their fingers into a vessel from which others will drink. This is also an opportunity to remind parishioners that when receiving the Eucharist in the hand, the host is to be consumed in front of the minister and not on the way back to the pew. This is increasingly becoming more of an issue and I think it is important for our regular parishioners to model the proper manner of receiving the Holy Eucharist.

[editor's note: I have added this question to the Questions section of our Eucharist page.]


Many of you have had an opportunity to read the Archbishop's "Pastoral Letter on Death, Dying and Funerals" and the accompanying "Guidelines on Funeral Practices." Following the publication of these guidelines it is appropriate to confirm that our parish will now follow these guidelines concerning the matter of Eulogies at funerals. The Archbishop's guidelines reminded us that there is no proper place for eulogies during the Mass of Christian Burial.

The guidelines pointed out that eulogies can have an appropriate place during the wake service or at the reception after the funeral. Families are also invited to print out a word from the family in the funeral program that is often used. As a pastor it is always very difficult to deal with this issue when faced with a grieving family, so it is best to address it in this "neutral" time. For the past year and a half I have attempted to follow these guidelines (that are not new), but have often experienced great pressure from families to make exceptions. The problem is that every family who wants a eulogy believe themselves to be the exception. Sometimes the eulogies are appropriate and well done, but sometimes they are not. The problem is that there is no way to distinguish ahead of time the appropriateness of the words or delivery. The council of priests discussed this issue at great length several months ago and there was a strong consensus that this practice is raising ever greater pastoral difficulties. As our culture becomes more secular we often deal with family members who are not active members of the Church and have no real sense of the meaning of the liturgy or of the Christian understanding of death. Sometimes, eulogies can be an attempt to create meaningful ritual, but they do not belong in the funeral liturgy. The funeral liturgy is, first of all, a celebration of the family of faith and not just of the biological family. In addition, the focus of the funeral liturgy is not to celebrate the life of the deceased, but to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and what that means for the faithfully departed member of our Church family. Eulogies can often take on a life of their own and impose themselves upon the liturgy as being the most significant part of the gathering.

I realize that this position will not be welcomed by some parishioners, but I hope that you will understand the difficulties involved in this issue and be mindful of it in the event of planning a funeral or grieving the loss of a loved one. Our funeral liturgy is truly beautiful and there is ample opportunity to honour the memory of a deceased loved one as we follow the liturgical guidelines and the ancient practice of the Christian Church.

[editor's note: I have added a section on Funeral Liturgy to Questions section of our Eucharist page.]

STACM Holy Week Schedule (online schedule)

The holiest days of the year are almost upon us and we are invited to enter into them in the spirit of a retreat. Holy week is the culmination of the whole Lenten Season and the Sacred Triduum is the culmination of Holy Week.

Holy Thursday

The Triduum will begin on Holy Thursday night with a celebration of Mass of the Lord's Supper beginning at 7 pm at Canadian Martyrs. This liturgy will include the washing of feet and will conclude with a Eucharistic procession to the hall and a time of adoration and prayer until midnight. Parishioners are invited to return at some point for a time of "watching" with the Lord as we remember his time in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Good Friday

There will be a children's Way of the Cross at STA parish hall at 11 am on Good Friday. This event was originally scheduled to take place at CM but we need to use the large screen and stage at STA as the Way of the Cross will be done in silhouette. There will be a Solemn Liturgy at 3 pm at both locations and a Way of the Cross at 7 pm at STA followed by The Passion of the Christ at 7:45 pm in the Parish Hall. Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence (no meat or alcohol and one main meal during the day). This is truly a Holy day and not just a holiday from school and work. Let us make it Holy by setting it apart for the Lord.

Holy Saturday

The Easter Vigil is the greatest liturgical celebration of the year. This year we will be blessed to baptise two young catechumens and bring four people into full communion with the Catholic Church. The Vigil will be held at STA at 8pm and will begin outside with the blessing of the Easter Fire the procession of Light and the Easter Proclamation of the Exultet. We will have all the readings (it is a vigil after all) and then the Liturgy of Baptism and Eucharist. There will be a celebration in the parish hall after the vigil Mass.

This is our first Triduum as the newly constituted parish of St. Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs. I invite St. Thomas Aquinas Parishioners to embrace the Holy Thursday Mass at CM as their celebration, and likewise, that Canadian Martyrs parishioners embrace the Easter Vigil at STA as their Easter Vigil.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

It is customary for Catholics to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation before the celebration of Easter (this used to be referred to as "The Easter Duty"). The Sacrament will be available throughout this coming week at the following times: Wednesday 7:30-8:30 pm at CM, Thursday 3-4 pm at STA, Good Friday from 4-5 pm at both locations and Holy Saturday 2-4 pm at Canadian Martyrs. I hope that parishioners will avail themselves of these opportunities to prepare for the Easter Mysteries.

Altar Servers

There will be practices for Altar Servers for the liturgies of the Triduum as follows: 4pm on Holy Thursday (CM), 10 am on Good Friday and 11 am on Holy Saturday (STA). Holy Saturday will also include pizza at the glebe with myself, Fr. Mark and Cristina. David Salah, the coordinator of the altar servers will be in touch with families about the Holy Week schedule. All alter servers from STACM are invited to robe and take part in the Holy Thursday Mass. All of the STA robes will be brought to CM before the liturgy.

There is also an abbreviated schedule of Holy Week events available here.

Altar Society

We want to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work done by the members of our Altar Society. These dedicated volunteers of our parish take the time to polish all the brass in the Churches, the Sacred vessels, clean the Altars and Sanctuary, the Sacristy, wash out the holy water containers around the Church and keep all the linens washed, ironed and looking beautiful. Thank you all for your dedication and hard work.

The Marriage Course [info]

On Thursday the 20th of April the parish will be beginning another session of "The Marriage Course" It will be held at Canadian Martyrs. This is a seven-week course designed to strengthen marriages. The course involves a relaxed catered meal with each couple at their own candle-lit table with music in the back ground, followed by a talk on video and discussion questions for just the couple. Please call Maria McDonald at 422-0564 for more information.

NOTE: If you are interested in this course please register before April 12. If there are not enough couples registered we will have to reschedule this until the fall.

Social Action

Each Sunday there is a dinner for the homeless and underfed at St. Andrew's Church on the corner of Robie Street and Coburg Road as Hope Cottage is closed on the weekend. Each week a different service organization prepares the meal On Sunday April 23rd, the Social Action Committee of STACM is preparing that meal. We are looking for volunteers to cook casseroles and/or help with the serving and clean up. There will be sign up sheets at the back of the church this weekend. If you have any questions please contact Joyce Giacomantonio at 423-3289.

For the Youth

THE EDGE Halifax! [info]

This week, The EDGE will be at 7PM on Tuesday. For more information check out the new web site. If you are interested in joining the EDGE discussion forum, connect to and post a blurb. Tell your friends! You can also ask Q-Box questions and see answers to past questions.

LIFETEEN Halifax! [info]

The LIFE TEEN Mass is every Sunday at 6:50pm at St. Teresa's, and is open to all. All are invited to the Mass and teens from grades 9-12 are invited to the Life Night. Check out the web-site with pictures of The EDGE and LIFE TEEN events as well as a forum!

World Youth Day Cornerstone [info]

SATURDAY APRIL 8th, 2006 - St. Stephen's Church (6032 Normandy Drive)

This day will include Mass followed by a youth gathering. The archdiocese has invited For the One and members of different diocesan youth communities to lead praise and worship. There will also be a witness, talk, the sacrament of Reconciliation and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. There will also be FREE PIZZA after Mass! This day is also a day of preparation for all of the Steubenville pilgrims, come and meet your fellow pilgrims!

Spring Into Spring II Concert


We have five young people who are attending the Steubenville conference this summer. They need your help. Please pray for them. If you can support these pilgrims with funds that would be much appreciated. Please come out to our Fundraiser Event held at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish on Sunday April 30th. The Swing into Spring Concert is with The Tuesday Night Show Band, from 2:30 to 4:30pm.

The Gospel According to the Simpson's

"The Gospel according to the Simpsons" is led by Brad MacKinnon (Lifeteen Youth Co-ordinator). This is a youth bible study on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8:30pm at St. Agnes Church in the Father Frecker Room (Use the Main Entrance of the Church). All are welcome.

Questions about Youth Events? Contact Cristina at 401-3760 or by

Please pray for these programs and the teens in our Community.

Collection Information

Saint Thomas Aquinas 2 April Collection
Sunday Envelopes $ 3 267
Pre-Authorized Collection $ 3 204
Loose Offerings $ 323.50
Total: $ 6 794.50
Average Operational Expenses $ 5500
Surplus: $ 1294.50
Canadian Martyrs 1/2 April Collection
Sunday Envelopes $ 2 449
Loose Offerings $ 278
Total: $ 2 727
Average Operational Expenses $ 4 800
Deficit: $ -2 073
Thank you for your offering!

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