Plans and schedule for Holy Week

Dear Friends,

Hoping in the abundance of mercy of the Lord with a grateful heart, in solidarity with the suffering brothers and sisters, I assure you my continued prayers and support.

It has been an ongoing struggle to be separated from our faith community. Even though we are physically separated from communal celebrations, we are united in Spirit. As well, through the technology of video and social media, we can celebrate the Triduum with our friends.

We will be livestreaming celebrations from St. Stephen’s Church on the Parish’s Facebook page as follows:

  • Maundy Thursday: April 9 at 2 pm
  • Good Friday: April 10 at 2 pm
  • Easter Vigil: April 11 at 5 pm
  • Easter Sunday: April 12 at 9 am  

I invite all of you to connect to the Parish Facebook page to take part in the celebrations from wherever you are.

On Good Friday, we will be placing the cross at the front doors of the churches in St Stephen and St Andrews. You are invited to drive by at your convenient time, sit in your car, look at the cross, say thanks to Jesus for his sacrifice, meditate upon the stations of the cross, and drive safely home.

On Easter Sunday after the 9 am mass, we will conduct a Eucharistic Blessing (or procession). The priest will carry the Body of Jesus in the monstrance and be driven along the streets in St Stephen beginning at 10 am. He will continue to St Andrews that afternoon from 2 pm onward. If you happen to see the car on your street, please come out to your driveway and receive a blessing while at the same time maintaining proper social distancing.

From Monday after Easter on the weekdays the church bell will ring in both churches at 7.30 pm to invite you to pray the rosary from your homes. On weekends at the regular mass times, church bells will ring as invitation to join in mass in Facebook.

Let us join our hearts in these devotional activities.

May God be with us, and may He bless and protect us.

Fr. Suresh Savariraj

Pastoral letter from Fr. Suresh

Dear Friends,

The impact of this kind of global crisis extends far beyond the sickness itself. When the rest of the world is afraid and loses hope, Christians can still bring the life and love of Jesus Christ to a sick and dying world by seeking out accurate information from medical organizations and only sharing facts and truthful information, not more hysteria or misinformation through social media or word of mouth; by looking to Him for peace, power, our answers, our protection, and our hope.  Faith can be an antidote to fear, and nothing strengthens a believer’s faith like the promises of God. Remember…do not fear, for I am with you. (Is 41:10)

We can pray for an end to the virus’ spread, for Government and church leaders, for the vulnerable, for the spirit of generosity, posture of trust, and spread of the gospel. Scripture teaches us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control (2 Tim 1:7). Pray for enduring faith during this season of heightened fear, anxiety, and confusion. Appropriate precautions should be taken, but Christians must continue to rely on God and trust His purposes and plans (Rom. 8:28).

As Pastor of St. Croix Parish, I invite you to encourage one another in the family to apply all preventive practices, engage in family prayers, and draw near to God. When visiting the church on weekends, write down your prayers / intentions on the bulletin board. When watching mass on television, seek for spiritual communion with Christ. Feel free to call 466-6018 for communion at home and for special prayers on phone. The church will be open on weekends at regular mass times for private prayers, and with proper preparations you can receive communion. I am praying for all of you in my private mass.

May God the Father protect you, the Son nourish you, and the Holy Spirit strengthen you. Amen.

Fr. Suresh Savariraj

20 pounds of lobster!

Joan Clark with Alan Daigle, along with two unfortunate lobsters who met their Maker before Christmas.

Congratulations to Joan Clark, winner of 20 pounds of lobster in a draw held December 18. All proceeds from this fundraiser will be applied to the Milltown Catholic Cemetery.

Thank you to all who generously participated!

Masses for Christmas

Please join us during this special Christmas season. There will be a new Christmas Eve mass at 7:00 pm at St. Andrew’s Church, and a Christmas Day mass at 9:00 am at St. Stephen’s Church, along with the other masses and events below.

  • Journey to Bethlehem on December 13 at 7 pm in St. Andrew’s
  • Advent retreat and reconciliation on December 17 from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm in St. Stephen
  • Christmas Eve Mass at 4 pm in St. Stephen
  • Christmas Eve Mass at 7:00 pm in St. Andrew’s
  • Christmas Day Mass at 9:00 am in St Stephen
  • Christmas Day Mass at 11 am in St. Andrew’s