This is the mystery of the Ascension of our Head.
Let us always remember: Jesus gave instructions, and then Jesus took his place. Amen.
   In the Scripture readings today the whole significance of Christ’s Ascension is summarized for us. The richness of this mystery is spelled out in two statements: Jesus gave instructions, and then Jesus took his place. In the providence of God – in the eternal design of the Father – the hour had come for Christ to go away. He would leave his Apostles behind, with his Mother Mary, but only after he had given them his instructions. The Apostles now had a mission to perform according to the instructions that Jesus left, and these instructions were in turn the faithful expression of the Father’s will. The instructions indicated, above all, that the Apostles were to wait for the Holy Spirit, who was the gift of the Father. From the beginning, it had to be crystal-clear that the source of the Apostles’ strength is the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in the way of truth; the Gospel is to spread through the power of God, and not by means of human wisdom or strength.
   The Apostles, moreover, were instructed to teach – to proclaim the Good News to the whole world. And they were to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Like Jesus, they were to speak explicitly about the Kingdom of God and about salvation. The Apostles were to give witness to Christ to the ends of the earth. The early Church clearly understood these instructions and the missionary era began. And everybody knew that this missionary era could not end until the same Jesus, who went up to heaven, would come back again.
   The words of Jesus became a treasure for the Church to guard, proclaim and to meditate on. And at the same time, the Holy Spirit implanted in the Church an apostolic charism, in order to keep this revelation intact. Through his words Jesus was to live on in his Church: I am with you always. And so the whole ecclesial community became conscious of the need for fidelity to the instructions of Jesus, to the deposit of faith. This solicitude was to pass from generation to generation – down to our own day.
   Jesus took his place. After having undergone the humiliation of his passion and death, Jesus took his place at the right-hand of God; he took his place with his eternal Father. But he also entered heaven as our Head. Whereupon, in the expression of Leo the Great, the glory of the Head became the hope of the body. For all eternity Christ takes his place as the firstborn among many brethren: our nature is with God in Christ. And as man, the Lord Jesus lives for ever to intercede for us with Father. At the same time, from his throne of glory, Jesus sends out to the whole Church a message of hope and a call to holiness. Because of Christ’s merits, because of his intercession with the Father, we are able to attain justice and holiness of life, in him. The Church may indeed experience difficulties, the Gospel may suffer setbacks, but because Jesus is at the right-hand of the Father the Church will never know defeat. Christ’s victory is ours. The power of the glorified Christ, the beloved Son of the eternal Father, is superabundant, to sustain each of us and all of us in the fidelity of our dedication to God’s Kingdom and in the generosity of our celibacy.
  The efficacy of Christ’s Ascension touches all us in the concrete reality of our daily lives. Because of this mystery it is the vocation of the whole Church to wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

                   Excerpts from HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II    24 May 1979 

Save the Date

Totus Tuus Summer Camp for children and youth is returning to St. Joseph Parish the week of July 7 – 11.  Join us for this exciting week and share in the Good News of our Lord through catechetical instruction, Mass, confession, songs, games and more! The groupings will be:

Grades 1-6 on July 7-11 (Mon. to Fri.) 9 am – 2:30 pm
Cost is $50 per child   (+ $15 for optional T-Shirt)
Grades 7-12 on July 7-11 (Sun. to Thurs.) 7 pm – 9 pm
Cost is $45/person for evening program
To register, or for more information, visit or contact the Parish Office. Additional information regarding this program is available at Anyone wishing to volunteer, please contact our Youth Minister/Pastoral Assistant, Ana Da Costa via email:

Once again this year, we will have
Bible Camp July 14– 18 for children ages 4-12.
The camp will take place daily from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Snacks and all materials for the camp will be provided. For further details, to register or to volunteer, please contact our Youth Minister/Pastoral Assistant, Ana DaCosta by e-mail at To register, or if you require more information, please visit or contact the Parish Office.


Working wonders in our community…
Men who have responded to God’s call to dedicate their lives to His service come from all walks of life. Those who enter the priesthood come from different ages and backgrounds, economic situations, skill sets, and ethnic ommunities. At ShareLife-funded agencies such as Serra House, Redemptoris Mater, and St. Augustine’s Seminary,
they undergo extensive theological education and practical field training. Through ShareLife, you are helping sustain the vocations for priesthood and inspire discernment for God’s call. Last year ShareLife helped support over 70 priests and seminarians in their formation studies.

       —Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
Today is ShareLife Sunday
Please give generously. You can work wonders!


Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and his pierced side. They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalized by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother (cf. Is 58:7), because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles. These were two men of courage, filled with the parrhesia of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy.
They were priests, bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother.

   In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy (1 Pet 1:3,8). The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of
God, meriting our eternal gratitude.

   This hope and this joy were palpable in the earliest community of believers, in Jerusalem, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 2:42-47), as we heard in the second reading. It was a community which lived the heart of the Gospel, love and mercy,
in simplicity and fraternity.

   This is also the image of the Church which the Second Vatican Council set before us. John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that it is the saints who give direction and growth to the Church. In convening the Council, John XXIII showed an exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader, led by the Spirit. This was his great service to the Church; he was the
pope of openness to the Spirit.

   In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family. He himself once said that he wanted to be remembered as the pope of the family. I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. It is surely a journey which, from his place in heaven,
he guides and sustains.

   May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.

~ From the Homily of Pope Francis (Mass of Canonization 27 April 2014)