~~Dear Friends in Christ,
I hope you all have a great summer and welcome back to the Church as we start our new school year in Sept. 7/2015. My name is Father Joseph Pham and together with Fr. Mani Zacharias, we are both new to the parish. The Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto has sent us here to serve this St. Anthony of Padua Parish. We are both every happy to be here and we are here to live among you and to serve you. So please pray for us so that we can be the faithful priests in order we can serve you faithful.
As we begin the month of Sept. things are going to get busy here at the parish and I am sure it will be busy at your home as well. Our parish community at St. Anthony of Padua, we believe that the Lord is always present here with us. Jesus gathers us together as a family every Sunday we that we can be fed by the Words and Eucharist. Indeed the Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." We are gathering here to be nourished the Words of God and the Eucharist we can be sent out into the world be a living presence of Jesus to our brothers and sisters. We really encourage your family to attend Mass on Sundays. Besides coming to Mass on Sunday, I also encourage your family to spend a few minutes daily to pray together. When a family prays together, they will stay together. We invited the Lord to come into our family and share with us our joy and sorrow. The parents are called to be the example of faith for your children. Indeed the parents are the first teacher of faith to your children. The children can look up at the parents as examples of faith for them.
I also ask you to join into the parish ministry. Here at St. Anthony of Padua we have so many different ministries you can join in: Choir, Lector, Eucharist minister, Altar Server, Pastoral Care Team, Hospitality Committee, Ushers, teacher volunteers..... It is important to share your gifts and blessings with the parish community and together we can turn our parish into a place of love where all people are welcome.
This year, thanks to many volunteer teachers, we will have a tutoring program at our parish every Saturday after the 9:00 a.m. Mass. You can bring your children from grades 2-12 if they need help in Math, English or Science. Also every Saturday we also have a music class offered for free. We hope to train some of our young people so that later on, they can play music for the church. I also need more volunteer teachers, and if you can help us one hour a week on Saturdays, the children in our community will really appreciate it.
Starting in October, we will have Mass confession and Mass every Tuesday with the Devotion to St. Anthony of Padua our parish Patron Saint. I would like to ask you to come and we give praise and thanksgiving to God and ask St. Anthony of Padua to intercession for us.
We need to come together as a family so that we can help to build up our parish together. Together we can make a difference with the help of God. I ask you to please to keep me and Fr. Mani in your prayers. And May God bless you and your family always.
Fr. Joseph Pham