Let Us All Do A New Thing With One Heart And One Soul


Fifth Sunday Of Lent – Year C

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: April 7, 2019

“I am about to do a new thing.”  The Prophet Isaiah in our first reading says, “Do not remember the former things, the things of old.  I am about to do a new thing.  Do you not perceive it?”

This weekend is the Kick off for the Diocese of Hamilton One Heart, One Soul Campaign.  Our parish is one of the pilot parishes beginning the Campaign.  This is a great blessing for us since the Diocese is providing all of the resources and administration.  75% of all funds raised by our parish comes to us.  The other 25% will go to special ministry needs in the Diocese, such as university campus ministry, prison ministry, hospital ministry and so on.  For our parish, the funds will go directly towards our building project.

One Heart, One Soul refers to the vision of the early Church in the Acts of the Apostles, where all disciples worked together in unity, sharing all for the sake of the mission.

              “I am about to do a new thing.”

Today our parish is about to do a new thing.  We are part of an exciting mission, bringing together two communities and forming a new parish, St. Catherine of Siena.  We will have the mission of building a new church and facilities that will become a centre of the Catholic community embracing a large portion of south Hamilton mountain.  We will be planting the seeds that will produce much life years into the future.

But, this will require all of us to work together, to pray together, to serve together, and to share together.  The final designs and city approvals for our new church are happening right now.  We hope to begin the building in the next several months.

Therefore, this One Heart, One Soul Campaign of the Diocese of Hamilton comes at a perfect time for our parish.

“I am about to do a new thing.”

I came as Pastor to the newly formed St. Catherine of Siena Parish just over a year and a half ago.  It was challenging at first, but I have to say that I feel very blessed here.  You parishioners have impressed me with your faith, your spirit of prayer, your commitment to your parish.  Thank you for your support, your prayers, your encouragement during my time here.

The new parish we are to form requires all of us to work together as one.  A Catholic parish is called to be the Body of Christ.  To bring the healing, mercy, teaching and Good News of Jesus Christ to a particular area.  That is our mission.

In our Gospel today, the crowd drag a woman caught in adultery to Jesus.  They pointed out that the law allows for her to be stoned to death.  Imagine the fear, the humiliation of this woman.  Jesus calmly gives his famous response.  “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

In the end, Jesus sets her free, with a call to holiness.  Our Catholic parish should be a place not where people experience judgement, condemnation, humiliation, but rather, a place where we experience healing, being set free, and sent out with a new call to holiness.

“I am about to do a new thing.”

As the One Heart One Soul Campaign begins this weekend in our parish, we need to remember what type of parish we are called to become.  A new church and facilities will only be meaningful if we are a parish community that reflects Jesus.

Now, I want to give you some information about this Campaign.

First of all, I am pleased to announce that even before the Campaign has officially started, our parish has already had a great start.  As Pastor I was the first person to make a gift to the Campaign from our parish.  Because I feel that I could not ask anything from you if I first of all did not commit to this myself.  Also, because I have come to see what a wonderful mission we are involved with in the future plans of this parish.

Since that time though we have received one large donation that put us over $100,000.  Also, a number of the volunteers working on the Campaign for our parish have already made their pledges.  So, even before beginning, our parish is on its way to a very successful Campaign.

In the coming week, all registered families will receive a campaign packet in the mail.  In the packet you will receive the following:

Case Statement:  this explains the goals of the Campaign for our parish.

Request letter:  This letter will request a specific amount to pledge to the campaign.  The amount that is requested is simply a request.  Do not feel hurt if it seems too high or too low.  You are to reflect on this and pledge what you consider possible.  The request is an invitation, not an expectation.  Whatever gift you make will be received with gratitude.

A group of volunteers have been asked to reach out to some parish families to invite your participation in the Campaign.  They are your fellow parishioners, please receive their calls warmly.  It is not an easy thing to do to reach out for such a campaign.  The volunteers do not know what amount you have been asked to consider.  They will not know what you pledge, unless you tell them.

Unfortunately we do not have enough volunteers to reach out to every household, so most of you will receive a pledge card with a stamped, return envelope in your packet.  Please return these in the mail as soon as you are able.

If you do not receive an appeal packet in the mail, please let us know at the parish office so we can get one to you.  If you are not registered in the parish, now is a good time to be registered.

If you have any questions about pledging or the campaign, feel free to speak to me, Fr. Ross or the secretaries in our office.

I certainly encourage everyone to participate in this campaign, even if it is praying for the success of our effort.  Every day I pray for this parish and for you parishioners.  Hopefully each of you will also offer a prayer each day for the parish.

In the entrance of the church there is a banner with the logo for the One Heart, One Soul Campaign.  Once you have made your pledge, sign that banner to indicate your support.  There is no necessary amount to sign the banner.

I encourage you to go to the One Heart, One Soul Campaign web site.  You can find it by going to our parish web site.  In particular, I encourage you to watch the video that is very inspiring.

“I am about to do a new thing.”

Our support of this Campaign will be a sign of our desire to join in the new thing that God is doing right here in our community, in our parish.  We are to join in this new thing with one heart and one soul.

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