March 31, 2020

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

As you know I came to St. Mark’s Parish December 2, 2019 as the new Administrator. Since then I have learnt from some of the priests who have served this parish in the past and the people of this parish that we have undergone both good and bad times. Many of you have been here since the birth of this parish and have contributed your time and energy for the wellbeing of this parish community. All the priests and ministries have done their best to take care of the parish and one another spiritually. I am happy to know that you all have played a great role in paying off the mortgage. It is my pleasure to serve you all being the present Administrator. I am also aware that it has its own challenges. But I am confident that with your daily prayers and support, I will be able to lead this parish community under the patronage of St. Mark and constant guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are going through an unprecedented situation because of the spread of COVID-19. As per the recent directives, all the masses are cancelled indefinitely. Indeed, we miss each other as St. Mark’s parish community. Keeping in mind all the precautionary measures, you are most welcome to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament personally anytime from 8:30am-12:00pm and 1:00-3:00pm on weekdays and from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Sundays. I am available for Confessions any time during the office hours on weekdays only. It would be nice if you come by appointment. Please don’t miss this opportunity to make a good confession as you prepare yourself for the Holy Week and Easter Celebrations this time at home. As per the Diocesan Guidelines I will be celebrating the Holy Week Liturgy alone: April 5 Palm Sunday 7:30am, April 9 Holy Thursday 7:30pm, April 10 Good Friday 3:00pm, Easter Vigil 8:30 pm and Easter Sunday 7:30am. No faithful is permitted to join with me for these celebrations. You may join me from your homes spiritually during these times or join our Bishop during his celebrations in the times given in the Diocesan website.

When you are at home I encourage you to pray the Our Father daily together as a family and consciously praying for the intentions of those affected by the pandemic and their caregivers, the deceased and their families and for all the health care workers. Spend your quiet times with the Lord who suffered, died and rose again for all of us. Pray the rosary, Stations of the Cross and other devotional prayers. The quality time that you spend these days with God and your families will be a great help to look at your life and the world with a renewed vision of mind and heart.

We long to gather again in our parish for the celebration of the sacraments and see and talk to each other. Let us keep our parish going as our houses are. I understand due to the challenging time we are in, your families are also facing financial constraints. Our diocese and parish too. You know the expenses of the parish are met through the Sunday Collections, a share you give from your family income. Today, you are not able to gather for the masses and so you are unable to give what you want to give. But do you know this? Some parishioners still do not stop giving. They are regular in giving whatever they can. How? It is through PAP = Pre-Authorized Payment. So, I humbly request you to use this simple yet effective tool of giving and you can keep your place of worship going. If you wish to continue giving whatever you can, please fill the attached form and forward it to our parish through mail (5552 Madigan Drive NE, Calgary, AB T2A 4P2), email (secretary@stmarkrcchurch.ca), fax (403-235-5887) or in person. If you choose to, you may also donate online through the Diocesan website. If you wish to give your donation envelopes, you may also drop them off at the church during your visits. Please have a look at the donation links below. And know well “God loves a cheerful giver”!

May God’s Merciful Love and Protection be upon us all.

Rev. Roshan D’Souza

Parish Administrator

St. Mark PAP Form - http://www.stmarkrcchurch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/St-Mark-PAP-Form.pdf

RC Diocese of Calgary Online Donation - https://www.catholicyyc.ca/donatetoparish.html (Please do not forget to write St. Mark Parish / Calgary, AB under Gift Preferences so your donation will be redirected to our parish)

RC Diocese of Calgary Websitewww.catholicyyc.ca