“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when He is revealed…
Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth…, love one another deeply from the heart.”
1 Peter 1:13,22
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves…
Set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring…”
-1 Peter 1:13
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
A Parish Home
St. Peter Catholic Church, 100 Argyle Steet, Regina, SK S4R 4C3 is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina.
Welcome, parishioners and visitors, Catholics and non-Catholics. This web site introduces our services and the thought behind them, offers useful prayers and contact info, describes some charitable opportunities here, and gives parish news.
The typefaces can be made bigger or smaller using the control above to the right. If you come across any religious terms you don’t know, a link to a dictionary of Catholic and Bible terms is available at the bottom of each page. If you seek sacraments, please see the icons in the menu (above) symbolizing baptism, reconciliation, confirmation, the Eucharist, holy orders, matrimony, and anointing.
Our church is wheelchair accessible. Although COVID restrictions prevent children’s liturgy at this time, we invite children to keep coming. All of us are called to be nourished at God’s table.
Children and youth: Our art classes for ages 8-18 are currently being done by Zoom video software, but will be in person in the church again when possible.
This website has been made to work with recent versions of all popular web browsers. Some functions might not work on some older browsers.
Except during COVID time (we have had to remove unwashable items that more than one person might touch), we put out “Celebrating Children at St. Peter Parish” / “Pew Art” cards in the pews. One side has tips for parents and reminders to others to be welcoming, starting with “Relax! God put the wiggle in children…” The other side is for parents and children optionally to draw or write on, ideally as an aid to help the children learn God’s love, come to understand the Mass, and focus on prayers. You are welcome to print these from home and bring them to use if you wish. Click here for the PDF file (3 double sided cards per sheet). Thank you, parents, for joining us with your children!
For calls about confession, anointing, dying, or death, please phone 306-807-0960 between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. For hospital chaplain numbers, please see our site’s section, “Preparing for Eternity.”
St. Peter Parish Bulletin and Other News
🌞 Information about our April 23-24 Drive Thru Pick Up Supper is included in the April bulletin. Our yearly financial report, for our Apr. 18 meeting, is also here. Burns-Hanley (13th Ave. and Rae St.) has sent an Easter letter for everyone; to read it, click here.
To see Pope Francis’ Easter Sunday message, click here. (See also the new Extraordinary Moment of Prayer message below.)
The Marian Centre asked us to pass on this this Apr. 6 update:
The Marian Centre continues to serve its noon meals as a carry out lunch and is grateful for all the donations of baked goods (muffins and cookies), which so many have been making for this purpose for over twelve months now. Thank You! Most days, we serve about 130 lunches. We are also grateful for other items for these lunches; lunch meat and cheese, juice boxes, snacks, granola bars, as well as fresh fruit. At present, we are only serving a limited number of clothing requests at the door, so have temporarily suspended clothing donations. We are also grateful for your prayers, and keep your special needs in ours during these ongoing days of Covid restricitions. Once again, Thank you!
😒 ☏ 😃
We hope and pray that you and yours stay well, safe from COVID-19 and from its painful social and economic side-effects.
If you need someone to talk to or pray with, or someone to pick up groceries, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 306-541-3086, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday.
For other emergency aid: Food support, 306-777-7000. Food, shelter, etc., 1-866-221-5200. Mobile crisis, 306-757-0127. See the City of Regina’s Community Partners website for bagged lunches info and more. For workers and businesses, useful information is at the Saskatchewan.ca website. If you’re not sure who else to call, please phone or text 211, or start a web chat at sk.211.ca (service available 24/7).
St. Peter Parish gladly and actively supports a number of local charities and our nearby Catholic Schools, but we cannot give out church money to people.
To Grow in Holiness
Weekend Masses: Come to a Saturday evening or Sunday morning Mass only at the time given to you by our attendance organizers. We temporarily aren’t advertising these times, in order to prevent walk-ins that would exceed the allowed number of people present. To request to attend, please email email@example.com, indicating which day and how many from your household, or leave this information in a voicemail at 306-545-4411. The request should be made early in the week, because the lists are usually finalized mid-week.
Regular Weekday Masses: Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m., and Wednesdays to Fridays at 9:00 a.m. One does not need to send a request to attend on a weekday unless it’s a special occasion. Note, there are no weekday Masses here Apr. 13-16.
We are taking every precaution to ensure that COVID-19 is not spread here. Regrettably, those with possible symptoms, such as fever or chills, loss of taste or smell; new cough, sickly feeling or aches and pains; and those who were in contact with someone with COVID-19 or outside the country within the last 14 days, may not come at this time.
To protect you and everyone else who comes, ushers are checking everyone for COVID-19 symptoms at the door. By prudent order of the Sask. Health Authority, social distancing and wearing protective masks are required.
What is the Mass? And why is it great and necessary? Good questions, certainly. Two short introductory videos can be found here and here. The topic is further explored in “Why Catholic? Why Church?” and in resources in the “Always Learning” section of our website.
Online Masses and other videos from our Archdiocese are available at their YouTube channel.
If you would like to read along, the readings, Psalm, and Gospel of the day are available for free at Universalis.
Donations to St. Peter Parish: At our parish we become holy through baptism, we are brought to repent of deadly sins and receive forgiveness, we are strengthened and delighted with spiritual food, we find the most beautiful ways to make great positive differences together in the world, and we are readied for eternal life. It is the Lord working through the Church, but it costs us significantly to do our part. Your financial contributions help make this possible. Donations can be made to us by cash or cheque (mailed or brought in), or by other means such as credit card, direct debit, or e-transfer.
- [I]t is now legal for patients to request physician-assisted suicide in Canada…Please write to Saskatchewan legislators using the letter [at the website] to encourage them to create legislation that ensures that doctors, nurses and pharmacists have their conscience rights protected.
- The Federal government has tabled new legislation for euthanasia in 2020. They plan to remove the “reasonably forseeable death” criteria. Disability activists are speaking out fiercely against this change because that criteria protects persons with disabilities from euthanasia. Click the link below to tell your MP that you want them to vote to protect the vulnerable.
Some Prayerful / Charitable / Social Groups at St. Peter Catholic Church
(See more in the Serving Together section.)
In the Regina Area
Regarding Vaccines for COVID-19 That are Used in Canada
On Dec. 21, 2020, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a very brief Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-Covid-19 Vaccines, which recommends using the vaccines and assures us that doing so does not in any way imply that abortion is ok. Our Archdiocese’s theologian Dr. Brett Salkeld has written well in defense of it; some main points of his Dec. 2020 article in Church Life Journal follow:
In season 3 of [the TV show series] The Good Place, the protagonists discover that no one has actually made it to the good place in roughly 500 years….The modern world, it seems, has become so morally complex that virtually every action is morally compromised.
While a medieval European peasant could eat a vegetable without any moral qualms, her modern counterpart doing the same seemingly benign act is caught in a moral web well beyond her own capacity to calculate or even imagine: Where did the seeds come from? Were the workers who planted, tended, and harvested the produce treated justly? What is the carbon footprint of transportation and refrigeration? Does the supermarket chain that sold it provide financial or moral support to unethical causes?…
Cooperation with Evil?
The brilliance of the TV show’s dilemma, however, is that we feel instinctively both that it is wrong to cooperate with evil and that it is profoundly unfair to be judged so harshly for matters over which one has so little control, or even knowledge. What is one to do?…
The trouble with saying it is never licit to cooperate with evil is that, when you scratch the surface, no one actually believes it. At least, not consistently. Every one of us cooperates with evil every single day. And very few of us lose sleep over it. [As in the case above, of having a vegetable to eat:] We cooperate with evil when we shop and when we vote, when we invest, when we watch movies, when we pay taxes, and when we post on social media. We might even cooperate with evil when we recycle!
Should we lose sleep over it? On occasion, yes. But mostly, no. Which is to say, some of these instances of cooperation with evil are not permissible, though the vast majority are. How can we tell the difference?…
Remote Material Cooperation with Evil
To begin: there is, according to Catholic teaching, only one category of cooperation with evil that is ever permissible. And even that one, known as “remote material cooperation with evil,” may only be justified by proportionate reasons. If this sounds highly technical, folk wisdom encapsulates the basic premise in the idea of “the lesser of two evils.”
Remote material cooperation with evil has two basic distinguishing features. First, it is material. This means that the cooperating agent does not intend the evil with which they are cooperating. I may vote for someone who will do some evil that I do not intend. Or, I may give someone money, by paying their wage or buying their product or giving alms, without intending the evil they will do with that money. That is material cooperation. But were I to vote for someone who will do some evil that I do support and intend, or give someone money with the intention of him spending it in evil ways, that would be formal cooperation, and that is never permissible.
Second, it is remote. Technically, this means that the cooperation does not lead directly to the perpetration of the evil. If it did, it would be proximate…
The Church’s Teaching Applied to the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines
Which brings us to the first two vaccines which have been shown to be safe and effective…the use of which is considered by the overwhelming majority of Catholic ethicists and bishops to be clearly and easily justifiable. How was this assessment made?…
While they are not quite “ethically irreproachable,” Catholics should actually be very grateful that the first vaccines out of the gate are much less problematic than they might have been.
But just how compromised are they? That is to say, just how remote is the remote cooperation with evil in question? Catholic ethicist and Legionary priest Matthew Schneider writes that:
In speaking of this remoteness, we need to look at the steps removed. First, the abortion or miscarriage [there is some debate as to whether the fetus from whose tissue the cell line in question was produced was, in fact, aborted] was not done for the cell line, but was happening anyways. Second, the cells were not created for this experiment but already existed. Third, this was a test of the vaccine not the production of the vaccine. Fourth, in one test done by each company, the test didn’t even use HEK293 [the cell line in question] directly but used mice descendant from a mouse edited with HEK293 to produce human rather than mouse lung-lining proteins. So, yet another step removed.
Note that the first two steps he mentions would also apply to vaccines that use these cell lines in production. It is steps three and four that distinguish the two.
All of this should help us understand why the CDF [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] can say that these vaccines “can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal cooperation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive” (§3)…
Dangers of Misunderstanding: “Abortion is not a big deal”
…[T]he Church continues to teach what it has always taught about abortion and that the approval of these vaccines is perfectly consistent with the Church’s tradition of ethical reflection on these questions…
…[T]alk of vaccines made out of body parts or of the presence of the DNA of aborted children (an impossibility with mRNA vaccines, which contain no DNA whatsoever) [italics added] paradoxically makes it sound like Church approval of these vaccines actually does ignore the seriousness of abortion…But we must be very cautious in how we communicate about the issue. What is most needed to mitigate the impression that the Church is neglecting its duty to speak on behalf of the unborn is not dishonest and inflammatory language, but, rather, clear, measured, and precise language [italics added]…
Dangers of Misunderstanding: Is a Vaccine Really Necessary?
It is worth noting that the vast majority of our moral calculation on this question is on the “how remote is the cooperation” side of the equation…But it is important to recognize that a moral calculation also needs to happen on the “proportionate reasons” side of the equation.
…[M]any people with questions about Church teaching on this matter are not convinced of the gravity of the pandemic…
First, many more people get very sick than die, and many of those who get sick face long-term complications that we are only beginning to understand. The impact of the virus is far beyond the death count…
Second, there is an epidemiological paradox in the fact that the low death rates for COVID are a big part of what makes the disease so deadly. Viruses with very high death rates generally burn out before they conquer the globe. It is precisely COVID’s low death rate among the young, healthy, and mobile that has led to its dramatic spread and therefore to its enormous death count. And the fact that it has managed to reach this count in the face of massive social mobilization to limit that spread tells us just how deadly this virus is.
Moreover, however low the death rate is for many of us, it is quite high for some of us. The easiest, and perhaps the only, way to really protect the most vulnerable is to drive the prevalence of the virus in the general population down dramatically. There is no way to do that without vaccines.
Informed by St. Peter’s Successors
An abridgement follows:
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities…filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void…[W]e feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.
It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he is in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).
Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.
The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.
In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” [Speaking on behalf of humanity in general:] Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you…“Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others…[N]o one reaches salvation by themselves…
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.
The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side. The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.
A common theme in Pope Francis’ teaching concerns a major historical development in our time, the plight of countless refugees. In his 2020 encyclical, On Fraternity and Social Friendship, he writes:
Every war leaves our world worse than it was before. War is a failure of politics and of humanity, a shameful capitulation, a stinging defeat before the forces of evil. Let us not remain mired in theoretical discussions, but touch the wounded flesh of the victims. Let us look once more at all those civilians whose killing was considered “collateral damage”. Let us ask the victims themselves. Let us think of the refugees and displaced, those who suffered the effects of atomic radiation or chemical attacks, the mothers who lost their children, and the boys and girls maimed or deprived of their childhood. Let us hear the true stories of these victims of violence, look at reality through their eyes, and listen with an open heart to the stories they tell.
On this topic, our parish has been asked to put out the word for a Syrian family that needs help. Another church in Regina has verified to us the validity of this fundraiser, which is being done through GoFundMe, which in turn guarantees that donations go to the right person(s).
“Nadem Rajab and his son were killed when their home was bombed in Syria. His wife, Souaad Mahli, and seven of their children survived and they are now refugees living a very difficult life in Lebanon. We are raising money to sponsor Souaad and her family to give them a new life in Canada. This family has suffered immeasurable loss. Bombs and gunfire have taken brothers, sisters, children and parents. While Souaad and her family have escaped the ravages of war in Syria, their situation in Lebanon is far from perfect. Syrian refugees are treated badly in Lebanon, and life is very hard. Many Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon are being burned…” For more information or to donate, please go to gofund.me/3751a25b.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when He is revealed…Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth…, love one another deeply from the heart…
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind…[R]ejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when His glory is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13,22, 3:8, 4:13
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind…[R]ejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when His glory is revealed.
1 Peter 3:8, 4:13
Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth…, love one another deeply from the heart…
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind…
[R]ejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when His glory is revealed.
1 Peter 1:22, 3:8, 4:13
We wish everyone continued health and a joyful Easter season.
May God bless you.