St. Norbert's Roman Catholic Church - Info Sheet Print Close

All are Welcome
 
Pastor: Fr. Gigi Philip
Administrative Assistant: Cynthia Livera

Sunday Masses
Saturday5:00 PMEnglish,
Couples for Christ Choir
Sunday9:00 AMItalian
Italian Choir
10:30 AMEnglish,
Children's Liturgy
Organist/Soloist
12:00 PMEnglish,
Children's Liturgy
St. Norbert Singing Angels Choir
Weekday Masses
Tuesday7:00 PMItalian,
Devotion to Padre Pio
Wednesday7:00 PMEnglish,
Devotion to Our Lady of
Perpetual Help
Thursday8:30 AMEnglish,
Devotion to St. Norbert
Friday8:30 AMItalian
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament till 9:15 AM
Elementary Schools
St. Norbert - 60 Maniza Rd. 416-393-5309
St. Robert  - 70 Bainbridge Avenue 416-393-5297
Secondary Schools
Madonna   - 20 Dubray Avenue 416-393-5506

 
Wheel Chair Accessible

Office Hours
Monday - Friday    8:30 AM - 4:30 PM;
(Lunch break 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM)
Contact
100 Regent Road
North York, Ontario M3K 1H3
Phone: 416-636-0213
Fax: 416-636-9431
office@stnorbertschurch.org
www.stnorbertschurch.org
Confession
Saturdays 4:15 - 4:45 PM and upon request
Sacrament of Baptism
Please contact the office as soon as possible
Sacrament of Matrimony
Please contact the office way in advance
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Please contact the office
Sacrament of the Sick
Please contact the office
Blessings (home, vehicle, workplace)
Please contact the office
Visiting the sick and elderly at home
Please contact the office

Thinking about the priesthood or religious life? Hearing Jesus' call "Come and follow me"? Not sure?

Visit Vocations Toronto at www.vocationstoronto.ca, a resourceful site in answering these questions.

Knights of Columbus
Meetings 3rd Thursday of the month
Please contact the office
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Please contact the office
Youth Group
Please contact the office
Quick Info Sheet Follow Us on Facebook Visit us on Twitter St. Norbert's on YouTube Online Offering
 

Reflections
for Sunday, June 30, 2019

Throughout our lives, we often have a thought that a time will come when we will finally be free, free of the authority that keeps us from doing what we want to do. When we were little, we viewed each stage of school as a step to greater freedom. For example, we thought that once we got to high school, we would be free to do all the things that Middle School wouldn't let us do. But then we found out that high school demanded so much work that our freedom was limited. We thought that when we got our driver's license, we would be free to come and go as we want. Then we were introduced to the concept of paying for gas, insurance, a car; and, yikes, we had to get a job. So much for that freedom. Similar things happened when we got to college, when we started our lives independent of our parents. Those who married took on a deep responsibility towards their spouses, a responsibility that limited their actions in favor of caring for another. Selfless love. And then children came, and real responsibility hit. You married may have thought that life would begin after the kids moved out and the dog died, but it didn't. You still had to work hard. Those who retired may have thought that they would finally be free to do whatever they wanted, but they aren't. They have responsibilities to others. They are increasingly limited by their own health or the health of their spouse. There is always some force, something over us that limits our freedom.

We are wrong if we define freedom as the ability to do whatever we want without having to bend to any sort of authority. All societies demand authority, whether that is the society of the family, where the good of the marriage determines the actions of the spouses, where the parents guide, or civil society where respect for others and their property determines what we can and cannot do, or the society of God, where our reverence for the Lord motivates our actions.

The Christian defines freedom in a different way. For the Christian, freedom is the ability to be the unique person that God created each of us to be. We all know this and experience this. We are at our happiest when we are at our best. Yes, we have responsibilities, and, yes, we have authority over us, but this does not limit our freedom. Our freedom comes from being our best selves.

Francesca Battistelli, one of my favorite contemporary Christian songwriters, wrote a wonderful song expressing this: She goes back to her youth and realized that she may have thought that she had the world figured out, but needed God to understand it. She comes to the conclusion:

Sometimes I believe that I can do anything
Yet other times I think
I've got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me
That I've got all You seek,

Perfection is my enemy
And on my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me and You're free to be You. ©CCLI License #2368115

And that is where freedom leads us. When we are free to be our true selves as God created us, then we allow His reflection to be viewed by the world.

The freedom to be God's reflection to the world is what gave Maximilian Kolbe freedom as he sat in the starvation cell of Auschwitz. You know his story, but you may not realize that he was a respected spiritual writer, a leader of the Marian movement as well as a Franciscan missionary founding monasteries in Japan and India. He returned to his native Poland where he helped shelter thousands of Jews. The Nazi's caught up to him and sent him to the concentration camp. When a prisoner escaped, ten others were chosen to die. One man, Francizek Gajowniczeek cried “My wife, my children.” Fr. Kolbe said, “Take me instead.” No greater love. He was imprisoned, he suffered, and yet he was free. The world saw Christ on the Cross in a unique way through St. Maximillian Kolbe.

There are so may others, be they canonized saints, or members of your own families, and many of you who are continually at your best because you are always giving to others. If at any time in our lives others can see Christ in us, even if it is only a glimpse, then we are free, free to be who God meant us to be.

We cannot let our freedom be destroyed by licentiousness. This is what St. Paul is speaking about in the second reading. We cannot allow anything to keep us from being our best. When we confuse freedom with licentiousness, we bind ourselves to our sins. For example, a wild bachelor may think he is free to use girls as he sees fit. But he renders himself incapable of forming a relationship with a woman as a person who can lead him to God and whom he could lead to God in the sacrament of marriage. Many young girls make the same terrible mistake, living loose and then being incapable of making a lasting commitment. How many people are chained by their sins! They embraced a sinful life to spite others, to exercise in what they thought would be freedom. Instead, they ended up incapable of being themselves.

Jesus Christ sets us free. We need to treasure this freedom. We need to treasure our lives in Him. But this takes courage. This takes determination. We cannot just say we are Christian. We have to be determined to live the Christian life. Think of Elisha in today's first reading. He was so determined to heed God's call and follow Elijah that he slaughtered his twelve head of oxen and burned their yokes. There would be no turning back. We can have that determination. We can conquer anything that is holding us back from being our best selves. Like Jesus in today's Gospel, we can set our faces like flint towards Jerusalem to do whatever the Father's will is for us. We can be our best selves. We men can be Men of God. You ladies can be Women of God.

We seek the grace, the wisdom and the courage to be whom God calls us to be.

We seek freedom.

 
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 1 Kings 19.16b, 19-21
Second Reading: Galatians 5.1, 13-18
Gospel: Luke 9.51-62

This material is used with permission of its author, Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino, Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL. Visit his website

   

Reflections are available for the following Sundays:

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007

St. Norbert's Church - Toronto