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Just a short note to say that the Lenten Resources page is back up! Please let me know if you have any other resources that might help others in their Lenten journey. Praying that you and your family have a blessed Lent.


In between refereeing whispered arguments about who gets to sit beside me, or arranging coats that invariably slip from the pew to the floor, I try my very best to catch as much of what is said during the Mass. Sometimes we’re lucky and I get entire sentences — paragraphs even. Today was particularly tricky. But in a rare moment of peace, the phrase all the angels and saints laser-beamed into my mind and stuck there.

… all the angels and saints…

Hello, all the angels and saints, I’ll be needing your help in the next twenty minutes or so… actually, forget minutes. Let’s say years.

… that You should enter under my roof…

Under my roof… Literally and spiritually, Lord, it’s a big mess in there. A big mess.

… my soul shall be healed.


In the silence(ish) after having received Jesus, the heads around us were bowed in prayer. I pointed this out to my wiggly three-year old and hoped, with another deep sigh, that my soul was indeed in the process of being healed.

Jesus, please be with my wiggly, loud and messy family. Please help me to know what you would like me to do today.

Father Zimmer lead a prayer for the souls of the faithful departed and I remembered my husband’s grandparents and a handful of friends who had died recently.

As we were bundling up, hunting for mitts and tuques under the kneeler, my eldest daughter smiled and whispered, “Thank you for letting me buy a Missal.” She had been collecting coins from her Daddy’s pockets (with his permission) for a while since she heard they were going on sale. Very generously, she let her sister look through it for most of the Mass.

Three out of five of us remembered to make the Sign of the Cross at the end of Mass. One out of five of us remembered to genuflect to the Tabernacle without being told. Two or three out of five of us remembered to return the kind greetings of our smiling fellow parishoners. All of us made it safely to the van without running into oncoming traffic. Are these good stats? Bad stats? I never know.

After we were all strapped in, I said, “Guardian angels?” and almost everyone enthusiastically responded, “Pray for us!”

… all the angels and saints… Please pray for my wiggly family.

Did you know that Confessions are available at St. Clement Parish after the 9am Saturday Mass? This was the kind of day that would have greeted you while walking out of the church afterwards:

Photo posted today by Diana Zlamalik (Oakville, Ontario) on The Weather Network

Kind of like a big hug from God. If I was the singing in public type, I would’ve broken out in a dramatic rendition of I Can See Clearly Now while walking down our hill towards the parking lot, hands outstretched in joy. Fortunately for all the passersby, I am more of the singing quietly under my breath type.

I Can See Clearly Now
by Johnny Nash

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Look all around, there’s nothin’ but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothin’ but blue skies

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

If that ain’t a I Just Went To Confession song, I don’t know what is.

On Monday mornings, our kids and I have been trying out something new: daily Mass. At 8 o’clock in the morning, instead of heading out the corner to wait for the school bus, we pile into the van and drive to St. Clement for the 8:15 Mass. By the time the Mass ends, we have just enough time to drive to school for 9am to drop-off the school-agers. Because it’s shorter, my kids call it a “little Mass.”

Super nice people
The regulars at daily Mass are very sweet. This is particularly good since I travel with a bunch of kids who may or may not be very quiet or behaved. We have our days. Everyone is very forgiving of our antics and help us herd in and out of the Communion line. Fellow parishoners have even helped me with wanderers, throwers of stuffed animals and droppers of hymnals.

A pew all to yourself
I love empty pews – more room for the diaper bag, the coats, the kids, me.

A good view
Because the sight lines are fantastic and the kids are more relaxed, I’m finding it’s a great time for them to see and experience and learn more about the Mass. It also provides extra practice time for things like sitting nicely and being quiet, genuflecting to Jesus the Tabernacle, bowing to the altar, and getting blessed during Communion.

Getting to go
When one of kids say “Mama, why do we have to something or another,” I automatically respond, “We don’t have to, we get to!” I know eh, what a mom thing to say. Well, this mom is getting to go to an extra little daily Mass once a week. It’s been surprisingly painless and possible. It’s been surprisingly pleasant. I think it might become a welcome part of starting the week.

From Father Zimmer in the bulletin:

March Break is upon us. School is out from Monday March 12th to Friday March 16th. Parents, we encourage you to bring the kids to Weekday Mass as a family Lenten observance. Early risers can try the 8:15 Mass on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Slug-a-beds can aim for the 7:00 p.m. Mass on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Try dropping in to the Adoration Chapel for a quick prayer with the family at any time of the day.

What is this?

Here a volunteer parishoner at St. Clement shares her personal experiences as her young family tries to keep the Catholic faith alive in their homes, living out the promises of their Baptism. Thank you for stopping in and be sure to share some of your stories as well!