Spiritans - TransCanada

Spiritans - TransCanada


What's New?

Happy & Blessed Easter

Easter prayer  from Catholic Relief Services

Easter prayer from Catholic Relief Services

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” - Luke 24:1-5

Holy Week 2024

As we enter into Holy Week, we are going to hear many Scripture readings centered on the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ and the meaning for us and for the world. As we go through the stories of Jesus, I suggest that we read them with two eyes, an eye to the past so as to appreciate what happened in Jerusalem two thousand years ago, and an eye to the present to see how we fit into these stories. Suppose I was there in Jerusalem during the first Holy Week, what role would I have played? If the arrest, trial, sentencing and execution of Jesus were going on today in my own city or neighbourhood what role would I play? On Palm Sunday which begins this sacred week, we hear the story of Jesus asking his disciples to go a neighboring village and bring him a donkey’s colt. If the owner of the animal asks them why they are hijacking a colt that did not belong to them, they were to answer that the Lord needs it. Now put yourself in the place of the owner and imagine how you would react? Remember that for the ordinary people in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, donkeys & colts were a privileged means of transport, comparable to a car today. How would we react if one evening we found some young guys trying to drive away in our car and when confronted, all they say is;, "The Lord needs it?" We would immediately call the police.

Just one example as we remember and retrace the last week of Jesus. Where are we as individuals, as a faith community, as a society?

Are we with some of the Scribes and the Pharisees, afraid of loss of power?Are we the Roman soldiers – just obeying orders? Are we like Pilate, disinterested and washing our hands of the mess? Are we like Peter, wanting to stay with Jesus but ultimately too afraid? Are we like John, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and the faithful women at the foot of the cross, witnessing, being broken-hearted, perhaps wanting to intervene but knowing not what to do? There are many characters in this Passion Week neither necessarily good nor bad, but human, - people like you and me. Where are we during Holy Week? Where am I during Holy Week?

For excellent resources on Holy Week, see the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). 



Lent 2024

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

”Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.“

‭‭Joel‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬-13

Oh, here we go again…Lent 2024

Why bother with Lent? Is it just 40 days of drudgery or can we make Lent 2024 different? Can it be a chance for “metanoia” - turning our lives around, turning back to God? Let us be open to possibilities this Lent to make it different. Let us be reconciled with someone from whom we are estranged. If, we can’t even be reconciled with another person in the orbit of our own little lives, what good is it talking about peace and reconciling on a global scale. They say charity starts at home. So too, reconciliation starts at home. Understanding Ash Wednesday and Lent may help us to have a more meaningful Lent this year in preparation for the joy of new life in the Spring and the new life we profess at Easter. 

Jesus retreated into the wilderness and fasted for forty days to prepare for his ministry. It was for Him a time of contemplation, reflection, and preparation. By observing Lent, most Christians join Jesus on His retreat.

Lent consists of the forty days before Easter. In the western Church, we skip over the Sundays when we count the days of Lent, because Sunday is always the joyful celebration of the Resurrection. Therefore, the first day of Lent in the western Church is always a Wednesday.

In Biblical times, ashes became a sign of remorse, repentance, and mourning. Today someone might wear a black armband to signify that they are in mourning; back then people put ashes on their foreheads. You can find biblical examples of this in 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1-3, Job 42:6, and Jeremiah 6:26. During Lent, ancient Christians mourned their sins and repented of them, so it was appropriate for them to show their sincerity by having ashes on their foreheads. The custom has persisted in the church as secular society has changed around us. Traditionally, the ashes for the Ash Wednesday service come from burning the palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration.

It is most appropriate on Ash Wednesday, when we begin a period of sober reflection, self-examination, and spiritual redirection. But it is not all about being gloomy, for in the Gospel we read today, Jesus tells us not to look gloomy, glum and dismal. Lent is a time for serious reflection and introspection but not for its own sake but for the sake of helping us all to change our lives for the better. 

Any piety, fasting, prayed that does not pay attention to the basic commandment to love our neighbors is no piety at all. The people to whom Jesus was speaking were fasting and praying to attract other people’s attention. They wanted the social status that came with being good, upstanding religious persons. They wanted points for being seen at the prayer breakfasts. God was listening to the cries of the hungry and the homeless in their midst. Jesus did not say “practicing piety is unimportant.” He said, “Do not do it for public gain.” So we have the ashes on our head, not to show others but as a reminder to ourselves of our need for God.

PRAYER, FASTING, ALMS GIVING are three crucial pillars of Lent. However, if they are done for show without justice and reconciliation, they tend to ring hollow.

If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:16-17)

Libermann Day - Feb. 2, 2024

The Spiritans around the world celebrate with thanksgiving the life of the venerable Fr. Francis Libermann, CSSp, (1802-1852) who is considered to be “The Second Founder of the Spiritans.” By merging his missionary Society of the Holy Heart of Mary with the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, he gave new life to the Spiritans and opened the way for a new wave of missionary evangelization.

Novena for Libermann Day (From Jan. 24 - Feb. 1, 2024)

Manresa Retreat Centre, Pickering, ON

Manresa Retreat Centre, Pickering, ON

TransCanada 2023 Advent Retreat & Dinner 

For the first time since COVID, the TransCanada Spiritan confreres & Lay Spiritans were able to be together for our Advent retreat held at the Jesuit Manresa Retreat Centre in Pickering, ON. Later in the evening, the confreres and Lay Spiritans gathered with some of our staff, friends, and supporters at our annual Advent appreciation dinner held at St. Joseph’s church in Highland Creek, ON.


The four Advent candles represent, Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. Our world today is sadly lacking in these, and seems to be getting worse every day. Christians may be seen as naïve in believing that there will be a time when our world is at peace. It is only through faith, that we can possibly hold out such an outlandish hope. Faith is believing when there is evidence to the contrary. Certitude is not faith. If certitude was the basis of our faith, looking around at our world, we would despair. Faith allows us to have hope. Only by having hope, can we work for peace without giving up in despair. Only by having hope, can we find joy in life even under difficult circumstances. Only by having hope, can we be people of love in the midst of an angry, divided, hate filled world. The life of Christ, for whom we wait this Advent, is a life built on the bedrock of faith, covered with the nurturing soil of hope and bearing the fruits of peace, joy and above all, love.

CAN THERE EVER BE PEACE IN OUR VIOLENT WORLD? Peace comes when we no longer demonize “the other”…

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.



         JANUARY 1, 2021          


9. There can be no peace without a culture of care

The culture of care thus calls for a common, supportive and inclusive commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity and good of all, a willingness to show care and compassion, to work for reconciliation and healing, and to advance mutual respect and acceptance. As such, it represents a privileged path to peace. “In many parts of the world, there is a need for paths of peace to heal open wounds. There is also a need for peacemakers, men and women prepared to work boldly and creatively to initiate processes of healing and renewed encounter”.

Pope Francis

Archbishop Francis Leo

On Friday July 28th, 2023, the Spiritans were blessed with a visit by Archbishop Francis Leo, fairly recently appointed as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The visit was warm and informal as we gathered for a social followed by dinner. During his time at the Laval House community where we gathered, he got to meet each of us personally and he spoke of the wonderful contributions the Spiritans have made to the Archdiocese over the years. He highlighted the importance of having both missionary and Religious life represented in the Archdiocese and the witness we give drawn from our mission experience. He expressed gratitude and hope for a growth of the Spiritans here and in Canada. We are very grateful to Archbishop Francis for taking time from what must be a hectic schedule to spend the evening with us. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the Archdiocese to bear witness to the Gospel. Our door is open and welcoming and we hope Archbishop Francis will visit us again and always feel at home. 

Spiritan confreres & Archbishop Francis at LAVAL HOUSE

Spiritan confreres & Archbishop Francis at LAVAL HOUSE

Photo by
Cookie settings
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience.
You can accept them all, or choose the kinds of cookies you are happy to allow.
Privacy settings
Choose which cookies you wish to allow while you browse this website. Please note that some cookies cannot be turned off, because without them the website would not function.
To prevent spam this site uses Google Recaptcha in its contact forms.

This site may also use cookies for ecommerce and payment systems which are essential for the website to function properly.
Google Services
This site uses cookies from Google to access data such as the pages you visit and your IP address. Google services on this website may include:

- Google Maps
Data Driven
This site may use cookies to record visitor behavior, monitor ad conversions, and create audiences, including from:

- Google Analytics
- Google Ads conversion tracking
- Facebook (Meta Pixel)