Earth Hour: Give an Hour for Earth on 25 March

Earth Hour this year is on 25 March, at 8:30 pm your local time.

The world is  on course to breach by 2030 the 1.5°C global temperature increase limit set by the Paris Climate Agreement, and nature – the source of our very livelihoods and one of our biggest allies against the climate crisis – is also under severe threat,  facing alarming and unprecedented rates of loss globally.

The next 7 years are therefore crucial to all our futures – we have to stay under the 1.5°C climate threshold to avoid irreversible damage to our planet, and we need to reverse nature loss by 2030, ending the decade with more nature and biodiversity than we started, not less.  To make this happen, individuals, communities, businesses, and governments must all urgently step up their efforts to protect and restore our one home.

With this 2030 goal in mind, we too must step things up. Take your part:

Give an hour for Earth on 25 March by spending 60 minutes doing something – anything – positive for our planet

Great Works of Newfoundland Artist, Gerald Squires, to be sold at Auction

Gerald Squires, one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most distinguished artists, died October 3, 2015 at the age of 77 after battling cancer.

Since his earliest years Gerald had the mind, heart and soul of an artist. Although not “religious” he was a man moved by the Spirit and who lived with kindness, gentleness, generosity and love. His life and his art are testament to that.

At this date a large collection of Gerald’s art is on the auction block  His large acrylic paintings depicting the Last Supper, death and resurrection of Jesus were commissioned by the parish of Queen of the World in St. John’s, NL and fed the faith of thousands of faithful parishioners and visitors over the years.  Only in the past twenty years were complementary stained glass windows, also designed by Gerald,  installed  in the church.

Today that church has been sold to meet obligations of court ordered payment to victims of sexual abuse at the former Mount Cashel orphanage.  The sale of the church is part of the bankruptcy protection process established for the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation which was found vicariously liable for the abuse.  The paintings among other treasures that are being sold.

Listen to Gerald Squires in this interview where he gives an explanation of his work of art

Gerald Squires was also a sculptor applying his genius to clay, fired in a kiln, then in a pit and covered in sawdust to form a Raku style ceramic.  The Sisters of Mercy commissioned a panel of six units in raku depicting the history of St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s.

“Mercy” was depicted in six different languages to represent the people who live in or frequented the shores of this part of Canada.

In 2014 Gerald created another panel of six pieces to depict the images of giving and receiving for The Gathering Place, a social and health service centre for the most vulnerable population in St. John’s.

In a film produced by award-winning Director Kenneth Harvey, “I Heard the Birch tree Whisper in the Night”Gerald Squires speaks of his own immanent dying.

Speakers’ Forum 2023: “Keeping Hope Alive in Challenging times”

Hope is being able to see that there is a light despite all the darkness (Desmond Tutu)

We all face challenges- as individuals and as communities. We all experience hardship at one point or another. It’s part of being human.
How can we weather the storms and emerge into sunlight? How do we distinguish between Hope and optimism? What tools are available to us to assist us in becoming resilient?

Research has shown that people who are hopeful often cope more effectively with obstacles and challenges.

On Saturday, March 4 from 10:00 am to noon join Tony Bidgood, CSsR and Anne Walsh as, together, we explore what hope is, and ways that we can become practitioners of hope in daily life. To register, please contact Marilyn Stack at

The link for the March 4 session is

Ash Wednesday: Lent Begins on 22 February

“Lent comes providentially to awaken us, to shake us from our lethargy” (Pope Francis).

Pope Francis’ Lenten message to the world for 2023 was presented on Friday, February 17. The theme is Lenten Penance and the Synodal Journey. “We need to listen to Jesus he said, “through the Scriptures and through our brothers and sisters, especially in the faces and the stories of those who are in need…Lent is a time of grace to the extent that we listen to him as he speaks to us.”

The full text of the Pope’s  message can be read here

Mercy International Association is offering a prayer service for Ash Wednesday which includes a poem by Brenda Peddigrew rsm and  online spirituality reflection series during Lent. Details can be found here

“La Cuaresma viene providencialmente a despertarnos, a sacudirnos de nuestro letargo” (Papa Francisco).

El mensaje de Cuaresma del Papa Francisco al mundo para 2023 fue presentado el viernes 17 de febrero. El tema es La penitencia cuaresmal y el camino sinodal. “Tenemos que escuchar a Jesús”, dijo, “a través de las Escrituras y de nuestros hermanos y hermanas, especialmente en los rostros y las historias de los necesitados… La Cuaresma es un tiempo de gracia en la medida en que le escuchamos mientras nos habla”.

El texto completo del mensaje del Papa puede leerse aquí


Our Common Home: A Guide to Caring for Our Living Planet

“Our common home: A guide to caring for our living planet,” is the product of the collaboration between the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development  and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

It connects the science of climate change, biodiversity and sustainable resource use with the messages of Pope Francis’s Encyclical Laudato Si’

The booklet, available in five languages, launched on 14 February 2023, distils the science on urgent environmental issues and explains how individuals and communities can take action to build a more sustainable and socially just future..


“Nuestra casa común: Una guía para cuidar nuestro planeta vivo”, es fruto de la colaboración entre el Dicasterio para la Promoción del Desarrollo Humano Integral y el Instituto de Medio Ambiente de Estocolmo (SEI).

Conecta la ciencia del cambio climático, la biodiversidad y el uso sostenible de los recursos con los mensajes de la Encíclica Laudato Si’ del Papa Francisco.

El folleto, disponible en cinco idiomas, lanzado el 14 de febrero de 2023, destila la ciencia sobre cuestiones medioambientales urgentes y explica cómo los individuos y las comunidades pueden actuar para construir un futuro más sostenible y socialmente justo…


Pray for the People of Türkiye and Syria

Join us in prayer for the people of  Türkiye and Syria who have been devastated by the 7.7 magnitude earthquake on 6 February, now recognised as the sixth-most-deadly natural disaster this century.

The loss of life, the injuries, the destruction of buildings, the displacement of peoples and the critical needs of the citizens are extraordinary.

You can post your prayer in our online prayer space here.

You might like to pray these words;

“Be present, O Lord, our Good Shepherd, to bring comfort, relief, shelter and human kindness. Shield the people who suffer, console those who are bereaved, prosper the provision of relief, strengthen the work of emergency teams, and shine your light and hope in the midst of despair.” (Diocese of Europe)

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched two emergency appeals. Find out more here

March is Irish Heritage Month

Throughout the month of March, Canadians are encouraged to learn more about the rich history of Irish-Canadian communities, to remember and honour their legacy, and to celebrate their continued contributions to our country.

The story of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland is a story of valiant women, women of faith and vision, of courage and commitment, of hope and fidelity. It is a story pulsating with life and energy, a story to be remembered, celebrated and shared.

“Standing on Their Shoulders”, a book by Charlotte Fitzpatrick rsm tells the stories of 60 Sisters of Mercy who left Ireland  between 1842  and 1907 , all aged between sixteen and twenty years, to minister with the people of Newfoundland .

These portraits, most two or three pages in length tell in rich detail their compassion, courage, commitment and creativity.

Download the PDf of their stories here

World Day of the Sick, 11 February

February 11 is World Day of the Sick which coincides with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Recognising that “Illness is part of our human condition”, in his message for today Pope Francis “calls for prayer and closeness towards those who suffer.” He reminds us that “Sick people, in fact, are at the centre of God’s people, and the Church advances together with them as a sign of a humanity in which everyone is precious and no one should be discarded or left behind.”

Post your prayer in our sacred space for the ill whom you know and for all in need of prayers, support and compassion.

For Reflection

“These past years of the pandemic have increased our sense of gratitude for those who work each day in the fields of healthcare and research. Yet it is not enough to emerge from such an immense collective tragedy simply by honouring heroes. Covid-19 has strained the great networks of expertise and solidarity, and has exposed the structural limits of existing public welfare systems.  Gratitude, then, needs to be matched by actively seeking, in every country, strategies and resources in order to guarantee each person’s fundamental right to basic and decent healthcare.”
Pope Francis


El 11 de febrero es la Jornada Mundial del Enfermo que coincide con la conmemoración de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes.

Reconociendo que “La enfermedad forma parte de nuestra condición humana”, en su mensaje para hoy el Papa Francisco “llama a la oración y a la cercanía hacia los que sufren.” Nos recuerda que “Los enfermos, de hecho, están en el centro del pueblo de Dios, y la Iglesia avanza junto a ellos como signo de una humanidad en la que todos son preciosos y nadie debe ser descartado o dejado atrás.”

Deposita tu oración en nuestro espacio sagrado por los enfermos que conoces y por todos los que necesitan oraciones, apoyo y compasión.

Para la reflexión

“Los años de la pandemia han aumentado nuestro sentimiento de gratitud hacia quienes trabajan cada día por la salud y la investigación. Pero, de una tragedia colectiva tan grande, no basta salir honrando a unos héroes. El COVID-19 puso a dura prueba esta gran red de capacidades y de solidaridad, y mostró los límites estructurales de los actuales sistemas de bienestar. Por tanto, es necesario que la gratitud vaya acompañada de una búsqueda activa, en cada país, de estrategias y de recursos, para que a todos los seres humanos se les garantice el acceso a la asistencia y el derecho fundamental a la salud.”
Papa Francisco

World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking, 8 February

Pope Francis has launched an appeal to combat “the shameful scourge” of human trafficking, decrying that it “disfigures dignity.”

The Pope’s cry came in a video message for the ninth World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking, released Wednesday, 8 February, the feast of St Josephine Bakhita.

The English language text of the video address given in Italian is below

“I address you, young people, in a special way: I encourage you to care for dignity, yours and of every person you meet. I know it was you who chose this theme: ‘Journeying in dignity’. It is very important: it indicates a broad horizon for your commitment against human trafficking: human dignity. In this way, you can contribute to keeping hope alive, and I would also add joy, which I invite you to preserve in your hearts, along with the Word of God, because the true joy is Christ!

Human trafficking disfigures dignity. Exploitation and subjugation limit freedom and turn people into objects to use and discard. And the system of trafficking profits from the injustice and wickedness the oblige millions of people to live in conditions of vulnerability. Indeed, people impoverished by the economic crisis, wars, climate change and many forms of instability are easily recruited. Unfortunately. trafficking is growing to a worrying extent, affecting primarily migrants, women and children, young people like you, people full of dreams and the desire to live in dignity.

We live in a difficult time, but it is precisely in this reality that all of us, in particular young people, are required to join forces to build networks of good, to spread the light that comes from Christ and his Gospel. The light that will be symbolically handed over in these days to the young people who have come to Rome to represent the organizations that have for years collaborated for this Day of Prayer and Awareness against trafficking. With this gesture you are sent forth, as missionaries of human dignity, against human trafficking and every form of exploitation. This inaugurates a special year of involvement of young people, until the next Day in 2024. Guard this light and be a blessing for other young people. Never tire of seeking pathways for transforming our societies and preventing the shameful scourge that is human trafficking.”

El Papa Francisco ha lanzado un llamamiento para combatir “la vergonzosa lacra” de la trata de seres humanos, denunciando que “desfigura la dignidad”.

El grito del Papa llegó en un mensaje de vídeo para la novena Jornada Mundial de Oración y Reflexión contra la Trata de Seres Humanos, publicado el miércoles 8 de febrero, fiesta de Santa Josefina Bakhita.

A continuación figura el texto en español del discurso en vídeo pronunciado en italiano

Me dirijo a vosotros, jóvenes, de manera especial: Os animo a cuidar la dignidad, la vuestra y la de cada persona que encontréis. Sé que habéis sido vosotros los que habéis elegido este tema: ‘Viajar con dignidad’. Es muy importante: indica un horizonte amplio para vuestro compromiso contra la trata de seres humanos: la dignidad humana. De este modo, podéis contribuir a mantener viva la esperanza, y yo añadiría también la alegría, que os invito a conservar en vuestros corazones, junto con la Palabra de Dios, ¡porque la verdadera alegría es Cristo!

La trata de seres humanos desfigura la dignidad. La explotación y el sometimiento limitan la libertad y convierten a las personas en objetos de usar y tirar. Y el sistema de trata se beneficia de la injusticia y la maldad que obligan a millones de personas a vivir en condiciones de vulnerabilidad. De hecho, las personas empobrecidas por la crisis económica, las guerras, el cambio climático y muchas formas de inestabilidad son fácilmente reclutadas. Desgraciadamente. la trata está creciendo de forma preocupante, afectando sobre todo a migrantes, mujeres y niños, jóvenes como tú, personas llenas de sueños y deseos de vivir con dignidad.

Vivimos tiempos difíciles, pero es precisamente en esta realidad que todos nosotros, en particular los jóvenes, estamos llamados a unir nuestras fuerzas para construir redes de bien, para difundir la luz que viene de Cristo y de su Evangelio. Luz que será entregada simbólicamente en estos días a los jóvenes que han venido a Roma en representación de las organizaciones que desde hace años colaboran para esta Jornada de oración y sensibilización contra la trata. Con este gesto se os envía, como misioneros de la dignidad humana, contra la trata de seres humanos y toda forma de explotación. Se inaugura así un año especial de implicación de los jóvenes, hasta la próxima Jornada en 2024. Guardad esta luz y sed una bendición para otros jóvenes. No os canséis nunca de buscar caminos para transformar nuestras sociedades y prevenir esa lacra vergonzosa que es la trata de seres humanos.”




Pope Francis’ February Prayer Intention: “For Parishes”. Intención de oración del Papa Francisco para febrero: “Por las parroquias”

In his prayer intention for February 2023, Pope Francis proposes that “Parishes should be close-knit communities of faith, fraternity and welcome towards those most in need.”

Post your prayer intention for your parish here in our online chapel that it will be always “a centre of service and generosity, with its doors always open to those who are excluded”.

En su intención de oración para febrero de 2023, el Papa Francisco propone que “las parroquias sean comunidades unidas de fe, fraternidad y acogida hacia los más necesitados.”

Publica tu intención de oración por tu parroquia aquí, en nuestra capilla online, para que sea siempre “un centro de servicio y generosidad, con sus puertas siempre abiertas a los excluidos”.