On the First Sunday of Advent, the Bishop announced his desire and intention to designate Our Lady of the Rockies Parish as a Marian Diocesan Shrine on the day of the consecration of the new church.
As we move forward towards the Shrine, I am reminded of the nature of our Christian life here on earth as being on a pilgrimage… from this earthly life to heaven as God beckons us, from immaturity to the maturity of faith, from death to life…
On Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the 11 am Mass, we will have Bishop William McGrattan celebrate our last Mass here in Sacred Heart Church. This, for sure, will bring about great sadness as we let go of our current church building. This will bring about feelings of being without a home as we will be celebrating Sunday Masses in the gym of Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy. This will bring feelings of uncertainty as we become truly vulnerable to elements over which we have no direct control. But are not these the common experiences of human life?
In fact, when we think of our ancestors, the Israelites, being pushed out of Egypt, they too grumbled when they found themselves living in the desert. They constantly reminisced about the past, as though it was better than their present state.
I suspect that we too will feel this when we move out of this church and experience the inconveniences, the unfamiliar spaces, the awkwardness, being around different people, and not having our special spot or favourite pew. However, just like the Israelites, we are called to see the big picture of God. We are not closing down as a parish. We are not shrinking. Instead, we are being called to a greater participation in the work of the New Evangelization!
Sometimes we may feel that tourism is hurting us as a parish, as many people come and go. We know the ups and downs, the slow seasons and the peak seasons, the half-filled church and the overly packed Masses.
Becoming a shrine parish, we have been given this special role in our diocese to celebrate tourism and not curse it. We are called to bring out the spiritual elements of that trek towards the Rockies, teaching others the path of pilgrimage. Ours is not just a pilgrimage towards the new church building, but also, ultimately, towards God in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Rockies will become the gateway to spiritually experiencing the special presence of God, on the way to the Rockies, and on the way back to our ordinary lives.
We pray the Shrine will become a humble beacon of Christ through His Church, a testament of the discipleship of Mary and of the faithfulness of God.
Just as the Rockies feel like the crowning glory of God in the magnificent beauty of His creation, we hope that through the dedication of the Shrine to Our Lady, we can honour her as the crowning glory of God in all of creation.
May we all be graced on this pilgrimage, as we leave this church towards the Shrine Church. May we not curse the way even when inconvenienced. Let us instead, find in our journey the blessings of God and the lessons of love that we are to learn. May we be the best of teachers to others on how to make a pilgrimage to God.
To those of you who are visitors, I urge you to join us on this pilgrimage to the Shrine Church. Join us at our Sunday Masses in the gym of Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy. Join us for weekday Masses at our temporary parish office. While we are without a church building, we never stop being Church.
Hopefully, when the Shrine Church is completed, we can truly offer you greater hospitality here in the Rockies.
God bless you.
Our Lady of the Rockies, pray for us!
Fr. Wilbert Chin Jon
Last Mass in the church
11 am Mass, Sunday, January 28, 2018
by the Most Reverend William T. McGrattan
No 5 pm Mass on this day.
NEW OFFICE LOCATION
Beginning Wednesday, January 3, 2018
108, 104 Kananaskis Way
(by the Jeep Chrysler Dealership, same building as the Canmore Registry Office)
NEW MAILING ADDRESS
2 Silvertip Trail
Canmore, AB T1W 2Z7
Weekend Masses beginning Saturday, February 3, 2018
Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy
3100A Stewart Creek Drive
7:00 pm Mass Saturdays
10:00 am Mass Sundays (NEW MASS TIME)
Beginning Wednesday, January 31, 2018
All weekday Masses will be celebrated at new parish office.
Unit 108, 104 Kananaskis Way
6:30 pm Tuesdays
12:15 pm Wednesdays & Thursdays
8:30 am Fridays
The Holy Rosary
6:15 pm Tuesdays
12:00 pm Wednesdays & Thursdays
8:15 am Fridays
Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Wednesdays, immediately following the 12:15 pm Mass,
until 1:00 pm
By appointment, please contact Fr. Wilbert directly by email email@example.com or by phone using the emergency line 403-675-5044.