Category Archives: From the Pastor

Email Sent to All Parishioners – November 28th

Dear Parishioners,

I hope that this finds all of you well.

We understand that these times are difficult for all of us and I wish to remind you that I hold all of you in my prayers, especially at our daily Masses each day. Some of you have come to Church frequently in these past months, while some of you have found it necessary to take the precaution of staying home and keeping safe. I thank all of you for thinking of your neighbour and caring for each other.

SK Health has imposed stricter guidelines for public gatherings in recent weeks because of the dramatic increase in covid-19 cases in the Province. As a result, Blessed Sacrament Parish must implement these norms for attendance at our daily and Sunday Masses. 
 
Effective immediately:
  • A maximum of 30 persons may attend each Mass.
  • Face mask must be worn at all times (from the time one enters the Church until one has exited the Church.
  • Those attending must sign in upon entering the Church.
 
Pre-registration:
  • Pre-registration is required for Saturday or Sunday Mass beginning with the weekend of December 5 & 6.
  • No pre-registration is necessary at this time for the weekday Mass at 12:05 PM.
  • You may pre-register for Saturday or Sunday Mass by contacting the Parish Office during office hours (Tuesday to Friday, 1-4 PM).
 
Note: for this weekend, Nov 28 & 29, we did not have the time to set up pre-registration, so only the first 30 persons arriving may attend this weekend.
 
As the pandemic becomes more and more serious here in Regina, I assure you that we are taking all of the necessary precautions. When even stricter health guidelines are imposed, be assured that we will follow them closely here at all times.
 
Disinfecting and Sanitizing the Church

  • We have been very diligent in preparing and maintaining our parish church in this pandemic. Each day before Mass, Simon, our caretaker, thoroughly disinfects the entire area for the congregation in the church. This process involves spraying the pews from a pump spray and then wiping down the pew surface. Additionally, many of you have been using sprayers to wet surfaces and cloths to wipe the surfaces down.
  • Recently, we obtained better disinfecting equipment and started using a process which will disinfect/sanitize the church more effectively.We now have a handheld battery operated electrostatic ULV sprayer which will disperse a disinfectant which covers the surfaces and kills those airborne viruses. This sprayer not only is for disinfection of the surfaces, but also for purifying the air. We have also moved to a disinfectant which will be less damaging to hard surfaces (e.g. pews).

Advent and Christmas
During these seasons:

• We will schedule some opportunities for those who wish to receive the Sacrament of the Sick – Anointing of the Sick. On Tuesdays, December 8th and 22nd, anointing of the sick will be available after the 12:05 PM Mass. Pre-registration will be required for these Masses and the anointing.
• Communal Penance Services will be scheduled at 5:10 PM on Tuesday, December 15th and 22nd. Pre-registration will be required for these services.
Since the situation of the pandemic at Christmas time is still uncertain, we will announce a schedule later in December. But we will try to accommodate all parishioners who wish to attend in person.
 
Live/Recorded Streaming of Mass
We are working diligently to provide a daily streaming of Mass from Blessed Sacrament. We hopefully will be streaming on a variety of platforms. For now, watch our YouTube channel or go to our parish website for the link to the streaming when available. Coming Soon!
 

Finally, I urge you to check in on our Blessed Sacrament website throughout this period for updates and also to obtain the weekly Parish Bulletin.

Thank you for your support for our Church and for being part of our Blessed Sacrament family.

May the Lord be with you always and His gracious peace remain in your hearts,

Fr. Jim

————————– 
Blessed Sacrament Parish
2049 Scarth Street
Regina SK S4P 2H5

Cell: +1 306.351.3064
Email: pastor.bsacrament@sasktel.net

Welcome Back to BLESSED SACRAMENT PARISH

 We are excited to be able to open our doors to our Parish Community.

Please read the following before returning to the church.

Dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass remains in place as granted by Archbishop Donald Bolen in his letter dated March 18, 2020.

Self-Assessment All those attending Mass do so at their own risk. It is important for individuals and families to take responsibility for protecting themselves and others.

The following must stay home for the sake of the wider community:

  • People with COVID-19 or who live with someone with COVID-19.
  • People who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • The sick and those with symptoms of illness, especially upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms. Individuals with fever, cough, headache, aches & pains, sore throat, chills, runny nose, loss of sense of taste/smell, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, should remain at home. 
  • Those who have recently travelled outside of Canada.

The following are encouraged to stay home for the sake of the wider community:

  • People who live with someone with upper respiratory or flu-like symptoms.
  • People, especially the elderly, with underlying or compromised medical conditions.
  • Family members who live with elderly people or those who are at risk.
  • Those having travelled to a location with a high number of known, active, cases of COVID-19.

At the entrance of the church (enter by north entrance only) you will be asked:

  • to place/write your name on a list of attendees;
  • if you completed the self-assessment above;
  • if you have a mask for communion (masks will be available for those without one);
  • and not to linger after Mass or in groups.

Upon entering the church you must: v use the hand sanitizer provided at the entrance and in other locations in the church; 

  • not touch your face;
  • sit in designated areas in the church (those of the same household may sit together);
  • maintain the 2m physical distancing, from others not from your household, at all times; and
  • a mask is required for communion which is given in the hand by the priest.

Other notes:

  • Washrooms will be available for emergency use only.
  • Please bring and wear your own mask and bring wipes to wipe down your seating area.
  • Collection baskets will be placed at the entrance/back of the church.

Your cooperation will allow us to celebrate safely.

Our sincere appreciation to everyone in advance.

This document may be viewed and downloaded here – download here.

Mass at Blessed Sacrament • 30 Persons Participating beginning June 8th

We are now allowed to celebrate the Eucharist with up to 30 parishioners in attendance beginning on June 8th. And so, with that number, we return to our regular schedule of Mass:

  • Saturday, 5:10 PM
  • Sunday, 10:00 AM
  • Monday to Friday, 12:05 PM

Because we need to sanitize and disinfect the worship area before each Mass, the Church will open at 20 minutes before the scheduled time of Mass.

Also, it is important that you register ahead of time with the parish office (by telephone, email message or a note left at the office). This is because there is still a limit on the number of persons who can attend and also because we are required to have the names of those attending (this would be for contact-tracing if it would become necessary for health purposes.

We would like to emphasize that the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass is still in effect.

We must also adjust the time when the church is open for visitation. Beginning June 8th, the Church remains open for private prayer, Sunday through Friday, immediately after the scheduled Mass until  3:00 PM.

Once again, thank you to all of you for your patience, courage, and charity. Your prayers and donations are much appreciated.

Fr. Jim

Obituary: The Rev. Msgr. Michael John Hogan

Beloved by many, Msgr. Hogan passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at the age of 100 years. He was predeceased by his parents, William and Louise (nee Madigan); sisters and brothers-in-law, Louise (Anthony) Stembridge, Mary (Connie) Fogarty, Kathleen (Michael) Flanagan, Eva (Michael) Casey, and brother in infancy, Patrick. Msgr. Hogan is survived by his nieces and nephews in Ireland and Canada. He was born on October 19, 1919 in Limerick, Ireland, the second in his family.
He completed his studies at Mungret College, Limerick. While at school, he had met Archbishop Monahan of Regina, SK, who had been visiting Ireland. Msgr. Hogan (or Fr. Mike, to those who knew him well) loved to tell how the Archbishop warned him that Saskatchewan could be difficult; sometimes, he cautioned, a priest might get his car stuck in the winter snow or the muddy country roads while driving to serve parishioners. Fr. Mike would joke that all he heard the Archbishop say was the word “car,” and he was hooked. Young priests in Ireland at the time were issued a bicycle—never a car. He arrived in Regina in August 1939, just at the outbreak of WWII. His passenger ship had been in a convoy that included the Athenia, directly behind. He witnessed as it became a casualty of war, with the loss of 1103 lives. A man of deep faith, he marvelled at the fragility and value of life, and he carried that respect with him in all his relationships.
Fr. Hogan’s life as a priest touched people in many communities, where he was a thoughtful and dedicated leader. He studied at the Regina Cleri Seminary and was ordained on June 13, 1943 at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina, SK. He first served as a curate at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Regina, from 1943‒1947. His first assignment as pastor (1948–1959) took him to Kenaston, SK, where he built St. Andrews Church. From 1959–1968 he established Holy Cross Parish in Regina. He continued his ministry to serve faithfully at St. John the Baptist, Estevan, SK (1968–1971). He returned to Regina in 1971, and remained there until his passing. In Regina, he served at Christ the King, (1971–1980), St. Cecilia (1980–1989), and St. Martin de Porres (1989–1993). After his retirement as parish priest, he provided Sunday ministry at Regina Pioneer Village and the Pasqua Hospital.
Fr. Hogan was Vicar General from February 1975 until November 1993. In April 1994, after the death of Archbishop Charles Halpin, the College of Consultors elected Msgr. Hogan to be Diocesan Administrator. He held that position until July 1995, with the installation of the Most Reverend Peter Mallon as Archbishop.
Over the course of 77 years of priesthood, his accomplishments only hint at the depth of our Fr. Mike. Thousands were touched by his devotion and humanity. He was also a key member of our family in Canada. Many years ago, his cousin, Marie Nolan, came from Ireland to visit him in Kenaston, SK. She stayed in Saskatchewan, and met Walter Luchenski. They married, and began a family that loved him deeply and knew him well. He was our cousin, confidante, and dear friend. Since childhood, I (Tekla Luchenski) called him my Buddy-in-law, and we were close forever. We moved around as a family, so we would keep in touch with letters. I was always the designated letter reader in our family, since I was the only person who could read his writing. He married Walter and Marie, and was an important spiritual and personal support for them. In time, he buried them. He baptized and married us, their four children. When we started families, he baptized our children too. In between sacraments, he was always an anchor in our family. No celebration was complete without him. We spent many summers growing up visiting him at his rectory, wherever he was. He taught us chess, with his “special” rules. We had animated discussions about our faith, and he would always respond thoughtfully, and candidly, challenging us in return. We teased him with childish pranks, and laughed at his antics. We shared him with a community we couldn’t fathom, but he was always our Fr. Mike.
Nephew Gerard Stembridge (Dublin, Ireland), sent words of condolence to his Canadian family that captured Msgr. Hogan’s character. He wrote, “It was truly a remarkable life and Fr. Michael, as we called him in Ireland, was a significant advertisement for the virtues of a life full of riches but lived in moderation. I remember his visits to Ireland and how impressed I always was with the considerable range of his intelligence and yet how lightly he wore it. His interests and knowledge were wide and he knew how to talk to anyone, anywhere. He had a keen wit which he balanced with a gentle manner. He ate with delight, but only just enough. He enjoyed a drink but only on occasion. Even when he walked… [it was] easy and relaxed; he strolled, never anxious or hurried, and yet he was always on time. He enjoyed visiting friends and relatives but never outstayed his welcome. I particularly enjoyed how he would announce his departure politely and then leave immediately—so unlike the Irish style of saying goodbye, but lingering, of almost leaving, then lingering again, ‘and just one more thing…’. I have no doubt that at some point yesterday he said to himself, ‘It is time to leave,’ and he went.”
Ireland was always in Msgr. Hogan’s heart, and he returned regularly to visit his family. When the covid-19 crisis is over, he will find his final resting place in Limerick, together with his parents. Still, Saskatchewan was also his home. He said, “Regina is a marvelous place to live. Within 15 minutes, you can be almost anywhere. You have all the amenities you need for a big city and the people are just delightful. What more can you ask for?”
His was a life to be cherished, remembered, celebrated, and emulated.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to the Daughters of Mary Mother of the Church, who cared for Msgr. Hogan at Martha House and then at Trinity Manor. Sr. Jessica was especially kind to him, and to his family. May God continue to bless them in their work, and to bless us with them. Donations in Msgr. Hogan’s memory may be made to the Education of Priests Fund, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, 445 Broad Street North, Regina, SK S4R 2X8.

“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
(William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)
Due to the covid-19 restrictions, a Private Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. Relatives and friends may reach out to the Hogan family by visiting Msgr. Hogan’s Tribute Page at www.speersfuneralchapel.com to let them know that you are thinking of them during this difficult time. To view the livestream of the service, please click on the link at the top of Rev. Msgr. Michael Hogan’s Tribute Page.

Easter Messages from Archbishop Bolen

On this Holy Saturday, we prepare to celebrate the event in history which most gives us hope and fills us with courage in times of trial, the Resurrection of Jesus.

Below, please find a link to my Easter message for this year. https://youtu.be/xMSEKCRhMzI

I am also forwarding my Holy Thursday/Good Friday message, though some of you will have seen it already. https://youtu.be/F9GQAJeopDU

Much joy to you all as you celebrate the Resurrection, amidst circumstances less than ideal.

In Communion of Spirit,

Bishop Don

Letter from Pastor for Easter

Dear Parishioners,

Most of us will be celebrating Easter quite differently this year than we have in the past. We will be having meals but separated from those family and close friends with whom we have normally celebrated in these days. Many of you will be isolated at home alone, as I will be. Or you may be ill and need the isolation to recuperate and refresh your spirits. Some of you will be going to work on Easter, providing essential services for us. All of us are anxious and worried about what will come. 

In the midst of these lonely and dark moments, I hope that you will read the Gospel proclaimed at the Easter Vigil. Matthew’s gospel speaks of Mary Magdalen and the other Mary coming to the tomb. And there was a great earthquake shattering those early hours of Easter morn. Not unlike the “earthquake” of the corona virus shaking our lives now. In the Gospel, angels appear, break into the fear of that moment and say: “Do not be afraid!” Matthew goes on to say that the women went quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, to share the good news of angels who announced that Jesus was raised from the dead. As they returned to the apostles, there was an encounter with the Lord, who greeted them. They approached approached him, embraced his feet, and did him homage. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid’.”

The women, though shaken, allowed joy to overtake them in that dark and fearful time following the death of Jesus. I pray that we too will allow joy to overtake us in our own struggles in this time of the pandemic. The risen Lord speaks those words, “do not be afraid,” to us too. Most certainly, we have challenges now, and ahead of us. Yet, also allow the voice of the Lord to be heard in your hearts.  Be like the women at the tomb: “They then went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed…” Our fears are real but so too is our hope which we have through our faith in the Lord Jesus. 

Be at peace, for he is risen, risen indeed.

Fr Jim Hentges,
adminstrator

 

Wednesday daily Mass of Holy Week available on Zoom app

For Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Holy Week at 4 pm Fr. Jim and the staff at Blessed Sacrament are celebrating the Mass virtually . You are invited to join Fr. Jim for daily Mass by joining a as participant in Zoom app conference call at 4:00 pm today. You can join  by clicking the link below, or copy and pasting it into your web browser, and it should open on your computer or smartphone. Depending on what kind of browser you’re using (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, etc) it may advise you to download the program or the app.
 
Topic: Wednesday Daily Mass of Holy Week
Time: Apr 8, 2020 04:00 PM Saskatchewan
 
Join Zoom Meeting
 
If it prompts you to enter a Meeting ID and password, the following information is here:
 
Meeting ID: 681 687 253
Password: 046337
 
God Bless, and please email office.bsacrament@sasktel.net if you have any further questions.

For Parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Parish from Fr. Jim

Dear Parishioners,

This is a difficult time. Being cut off from family and friends and also being separated from our Eucharistic community here at Blessed Sacrament puts an added emotional and spiritual burden upon all of us. I remain in solidarity with you and pray for all of you frequently throughout my own daily prayer and liturgy. To help you remain in contact with the parish, I am sending out this regular email message to you.

Palms

Given that we will not be able to receive palms in the normal way at Palm Sunday Masses, you may receive blessed palms on Sunday, and if there are palms remaining they will be placed in the church entry way during the week until exhausted. 

For safety concerns, we will have this procedure:

  1. Palms may be received on Sunday between 10:30 am and 3:00 pm by the north side entrance to the Church.
  2. The blessed palms will be placed and spaced individually apart on a table immediately outside the door.
  3. Please approach the table/area and take only the FIRST palm you touch.
  4. Keep social distancing at all times (at least 2 meters apart) approaching and leaving from the area.

While the church will be open, no more than 10 individuals may enter and every individual would need to follow the health procedures posted at the door.

Concerns have been raised that palms (or any object) could carry the virus if touched by someone who has the virus (while studies are not yet precise, it’s understood that the virus wouldn’t remain alive on an object for more than 3 days). In any case, the palms have been in storage for two weeks and in preparing them and placing them on the tables for distribution, volunteers will only use disposable gloves when handling palms as little as possible.

But please know that there is no obligation to pick up or bring home a palm. A long tradition in the Church has been to use branches that are native to the region on this day. For example, in Rome, olive branches are most often used in churches on this day. So, if you are watching the streaming Mass on Sunday at 9 am with the Archbishop, maybe go out in your yard, get branches and join in this celebration of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem. This is especially important for any young children who might be watching.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

The sacrament of Reconciliation is  generally available between 12 noon and 1:00 PM for individual penitents each day (except Sunday) in a special reconciliation room at Blessed Sacrament Church. This allows the penitent to have at least 2 meters distant from the priest. Father sanitizes the room with spray and wipes before and after each penitent. You are able to kneel or sit behind a screen for added protection.

If you are not able to avail yourself of the sacrament at this time (e.g. it is recommended that the elderly and the vulnerable stay at home), Pope Francis addressed this issue in his homily on March 20, 2020:

“But many people today would tell me, ‘Father, where can I find a priest, a confessor, because I can’t leave the house? And I want to make peace with the Lord, I want him to embrace me, I want the Father’s embrace.’” The Holy Father  said his response would be, “Do what the Catechism (of the Catholic Church) says. It is very clear: If you cannot find a priest to confess to, speak directly with God, your father, and tell him the truth. Say, ‘Lord, I did this, this, this. Forgive me,’ and ask for pardon with all your heart.” Make an act of contrition, the Holy Father said, and promise God, “‘I will go to confession afterward, but forgive me now.’ And immediately you will return to a state of grace with God.”

Church open for Visits

At the present time, our Church of the Blessed Sacrament is open each day from 10:30 AM until 3:00 PM for private prayer. Health precautions are posted at the inside entrance of the church and of course there is a limit on the number of persons allowed inside (no more than 10). This could change.

Community Care

The Archdiocese is organizing a comprehensive “Good Samaritan” care program to coordinate outreach efforts to those who may lack the necessary social supports to effectively meet their spiritual and material needs at this time. If you are interested in volunteering for this important initiative, please contact outreach@archregina.sk.ca.

Donations

This may be a difficult time for you financially as it is for our parish. If you are able, we invite you to continue your support of Blessed Sacrament by sending in your donation envelope, or dropping it off at the Church (on Palm Sunday or any day) or by visiting our website where there is a link to other ways of giving your support to your parish including by electronic transfers or credit cards.

Prayer in time of Pandemic

Thi is the opening prayer from the special Mass approved recently by the Vatican for celebration in time of pandemic. Please join in praying this prayer at home during these difficult times.

Almighty and eternal God, our refuge in every danger
to whom we turn in our distress
in faith we pray look with compassion on the afflicted,
grant eternal rest to the dead,
comfort to mourners,
healing to the sick,
peace to the dying,
strength to healthcare workers, 
wisdom to our leaders and the courage to reach out to all in love,
so that together we may give glory to your holy name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you 
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, 
for ever and ever. 
Amen

Regular Updates on the Website

We will post regular, often a number of times each day, information important to you as a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament.

blessedsacramentregina.ca. This message is being sent out by email but I realize that our list is limited and that not everyone has email. So, we also hope to sent out by (snail) mail, some regular updates to parishioners.

You remain in my prayer as I hope that I remain in yours.

Fr. Jim

If you wish to make changes to this list, please reply to this email message with your corrections or additions. Send those to email: blessed.sacrament@sasktel.net

Shelter Me • a prayer-song during the pandemic

A good friend, Fr. Michael Joncas, has composed a prayer-song for this moment of the COVID-19 pandemic. He used the shepherding psalm, PS 23, with a first verse looking to past intimacy with God, a third verse anticipating a restoration of that intimacy, and a central verse acknowledging that we are “walking in the valley of the shadow of death”. I found it comforting as well as beautiful. I hope you do too.

On YouTube:
https://youtu.be/1EbCgi_7gQs

 

Collection for the Holy Land 2020

From the Congregation for the Eastern Churches (Vatican):

The current COVID-19 pandemic concerns many countries and in many of them preventive measures preclude the normal community celebration of Holy Week. The Christian communities in the Holy Land, also exposed to the risk of contagion and living in contexts already full of serious sufferings, benefit every year from the generosity of the faith fully from all over the world. This solidarity enables them to continue their evangelical presence, in addition to maintaining schools and social structures that assist all citizens with healthcare, education and peaceful coexistence, attending above all to the weakest and poorest.

For this reason, Pope Francis has approved the proposal that the Collection for the Holy Land, for the year 2020, take place on Sunday, September 13th, near the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The celebration that commemorates the discovery of the Relics of the Cross by Saint Helen also marks a new beginning of public worship in Jerusalem, with the construction of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. May it be a sign of hope and salvation after the Passion to which many peoples are now associated, as well as solidarity with those who continue to live the Gospel of Jesus on the Land where “it all began”.

Giving–How to Donate to Blessed Sacrament

Giving–How to Donate to Blessed Sacrament

On the right side of our website, the following information is available for helping you support your parish! 

During this difficult time, your parish needs you! Even though public health directives do not allow communities to gather for Masses, parishes still need funds to survive. Here are some ways to continue to support your parish through this crisis.
  • Pre-authorized Direct Debit: click HERE to complete and submit form.

               *Note: In message field please include parish nametownyour address and phone number so we can send you a tax receipt.

  • Off-Line: mail your cheque to Archdiocese of Regina, 445 Broad St. N., Regina, SK  S4R 2X8, ATTN: Parish Donation
  • By Phone: contact Financial Officer Deacon Barry Wood at 306-519-8997.
  • Credit Card Donations via CanadaHelps: Click HERE   CanadaHelps Logo

             *Note: In the message box, please indicate your parish name and town.

Processing of payments made possible through the Archbishop’s Appeal

Private Prayer in Church during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Questions & Answers

Can I go to Blessed Sacrament Church to pray privately?

  • At the current time and under certain conditions, yes. This may change at any time depending on local public health information and directives.

Personal conditions: You can go to church to pray if you:

  1. have not traveled out of country or out of Saskatchewan in the last 2 weeks;
  2. are not elderly, do not have underlying medical conditions, and are not a healthcare worker; and
  3. have no signs of illness, either yourself or in your household.

*Important Note: It takes time for symptoms to appear after COVID-19 exposure. Also, some of those who are infected show no symptoms at all. It is safest to assume you are infected, and to work to avoid transmitting the illness to others.

Church conditions: You can go to church to pray if:

  1. Blessed Sacrament Church is open from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM daily (7 days).
  2. you use hand sanitizer upon entry and ensure that your area of the pew is sanitized before and after prayer;
  3. you avoid touching surfaces with your hands or passing items from person to person; and
  4. you leave at least 2 metres of space between you and others.

What if personal or church conditions do not allow you to pray in church?

  • You are not alone. Our entire faith community is sharing this suffering. Our Lord, who dwells in our hearts, is always with us.
  • While we wait for our beloved churches to welcome us back once this trying time is over, we can meditate on the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:6:
  • But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.