Thoughts from the Archbishop

Dear Parishioners and Fathers,

Archbishop Gerard Pettipas’ letter to our priests and parishioners in regards to exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccines

LETTER: Archbishop Pettipas reflects on saying ‘I Love You’


Liturgical Notes for the Month of October
by Archbishop Gerard Pettipas, C.Ss.R 

1 St. Therese of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) was born to Louis and Zélie Martin.  Therese felt the call to religious life at the tender age of 15, but that was considered too young.  In 1997, Louis took two of his daughters, Therese and Céline on a pilgrimage to Rome, where Therese asked Pope Leo XIII if he would grant her to enter Carmel earlier than age 15.  Her 4 living sisters all ended joining the Lisieux Carmel as well, where they all remained for the rest of their ives.  Therese became a very popular saint, not only in France bur around the world.  Because of her strong interest in missionary priests, she was made “patroness of the missions”, Even though she had ever herself gone to a missionary country.  She died aged only 24.  Her parents, Louise and Zélie, were the first couple to be canonized as a couple in 2015.

2 Guardian Angels.  In the Old Testament we hear of angels sent by God to watch over and guide the people on their way.  This belief has persisted into the Church’s teaching of God’s messengers who do God’s bidding.   According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “On this road man is threatened by many dangers both from within and without, and therefore as guardians are appointed for men who have to pass by an unsafe road, so an angel is assigned to each man as long as he is a wayfarer.” By means of an angel, God is said to introduce images and suggestions leading a person to do what is right.[

4 St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).  Francis di Bernardone, born in Assisi to a wealthy silk merchant, was a man of his age – he styled himself a valiant soldier and was wounded in a battle between Italian city-states.  He sought to know and follow Jesus closely in his life.  Having heard in prayer Jesus tell him to “rebuild My church”, Francis took this literally to mean a largely destroyed chapel at the edge of town.  In his embrace of holy poverty, he renounced his family’s wealth an lived in stark simplicity.  His many followers were known as “Friars Minor”; with St. Clare, he founded the women’s community of Poor Clares.  His simplicity of life drew him to a respect for the natural environment and animals.  His Canticle of the Sun is a hymn to God’s creation, which he addresses as his brothers and sisters.  In 1219, during the Fifth Crusade, Francis and some companions traveled to Egypt in hopes of converting the Sultan al-Kamil to Christianity.  He didn’t succeed in this, but the Sultan was impressed by his sincerity.  St. Francis suffered the stigmata (the wounds of Christ); he is also noted for having popularized the building of nativity scenes as a Christmas devotion.  Francis died in 1226 and was canonized in 1228.

7 Our Lady of the Rosary, otherwise known as Our Lady of Victory, commemorates the decisive October 7th 1571 victory of the combined Christian fleet against the Ottoman empire’s navy at the Battle of Lepanto.  The Ottoman fleet was more powerful than the Christian forces, so there was fear that a defeat in this battle could lead to further advances of the Ottoman empire into Europe.  Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the rosary for the Blessed Virgin’s intervention; the weaker Christian fleets’ victory was evidence of Mary’s powerful intercession.

15 St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) was a Spanish mystic and reformer, and theologian of the contemplative life and metal prayer.  Having entered the Carmelite monastery in her town, she went on to become a reformer of the Order, which brought her into conflict with her superiors and other nuns.  A younger Carmelite friar, St. John of the Cross, became her associate in the contemplative life and in the reform of the Carmelites.  Their renewed Order became known as the Discalced Carmelites (i.e. barefooted).  Teresa was canonized in 1622, forty years after her death.  Pope Paul VI declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1970, in recognition of her teachings on prayer.  She was the first female to receive this distinction. 

16 St. Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771) was born in Varennes, Quebec.  She married a bootlegger, François d’Youville, with whom they had six children in the eight years before François died.  In 1737, Marguerite and three other women formed an association to provide homes for the poor of Montreal.  As their company grew to become a religious community of Sisters, they called themselves the Sisters of Charity of Montreal.  They were more familiarly became known as “les Soeurs Grises” a term that suggests they were drunk (in reference to Marguerite’s former husband).  Marguerite was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1990, the first Canadian-born saint in the Catholic Church.

18 St. Luke is one of the four evangelists, having written both the Gospel according to St. Luke, as well as Acts of the Apostles.  Church tradition identifies him as a Gentile (non-Jewish) physician and a companion of St. Paul.  Some passages in Acts of the Apostles that focus on St. Paul’s activities are referred to by scholars as “we” passages, because the text is written in the first-person plural.  Luke is also identified as an artist, having “written” icons of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the child Jesus.  His gospel and Matthew’s are the only two that contain accounts of the birth of Jesus; Luke’s gospel also has many references to the Blessed Mother (Luke thus “paints a picture of Mary” in his gospel account).  It is held that he was martyred by being hung from an olive tree.

28 Sts. Simon and Jude.
  St. Jude, also called Thaddeus, was a brother of St. James the Lesser, a nephew of St. Joseph, and therefore a cousin of Jesus Christ.  He wrote a short letter found in the New Testament, a warning to the early Christians to beware of certain imposters in their midst.  St. Jude is known as the patron saint of hopeless cases.  He is said to have been clubbed to death in Armenia, and then beheaded. 

Less is known of St. Simon, also called “the Zealot”.  He is said to have preached in Egypt, and then joined Jude in Persia.  St. Simon is said to have been martyred by being sawn in half; he is often depicted with a broad saw.  Sts. Simon and Jude are mentioned together in the Roman Canon. 

Archbishop Pettipas

Gerard Pettipas, C.Ss.R.

Birth: 1950-09-06      Priesthood: 1977-05-07      Episcopate: 2007-01-25

Conversations with Bertha: Apostolic Succession
Eastern Catholics

Video Messages

Archbishop Pettipas’ Message on the Demolition of St. Mary’s School

Archbishop Pettipas’ Homily for the Mass for Life –         13 May 2020

Past Pastoral Letters 

LETTER: Letter from Archbishop Pettipas on Mass protocols after the lifting of restrictions on July 1st. 

LETTER: Archbishop Girard Pettipas offers his thoughts on the recent tragic discovery at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School. 

April 1, 2021 Letter from the Archbishop (English) (français)

March 1, 2021 Letter from the Archbishop (English) (français)

Archived Letters, Addresses and Other Documents

Pastoral letter from the Bishops of Alberta and NWT in response to reports on sexual abuse in the Church.

Letters on Topical Issues

Archbishop Pettipas in social media: