Bishop Michael's Notes
- Bishop of the Diocese of Ontario
This past January I sent a request for prayer on behalf of my colleague Bishop Dhiloraj Canagasabey of Columbo, Sri Lanka. The situation in his country was and continues to be tense regarding accusations against the Government of Sri Lanka that human rights and the Rule of Law are not being respected. Bishop Dhiloraj called for a “Day of Lament” throughout his diocese with one service being held in the Cathedral Church in Columbo this past February 4th. Bishop Dhiloraj sent a note of appreciation for the prayer support offered from our diocese which I forwarded along to you and I also want to once more extend my thanks for your prayers and support.
I have read this morning that the planned meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government in November has been scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka. Our government has registered its strong objection to the meeting in Sri Lanka due to the continued disregard of their government for the shared Commonwealth values of “freedom, democracy, human rights, the Rule of Law and good governance.” I am pleased that our government has taken this strong stance and I would again invite you to hold the people of Sri Lanka in your prayers. I would also encourage your prayers that should this conference be held in Sri Lanka, it will serve to focus world attention on the plight of the people in that country.
The news article I referenced can be found on the BBC Canada website which you can reach at www.bbc.com. I have yet to see it picked up by the Canadian media. I will include along with this request my letter to the diocese sent in January as a reminder of the issues identified by Bishop Dhiloraj as he continues to faithfully lead his people through this difficult period. Please accept my thanks for your prayers in support of my colleague who I had the privilege of meeting when I attending the Bishop’s training program in Canterbury in 2012.
Yours in the Service of Christ,
Tomorrow (April 30th) I will be leaving for Cape Town, South Africa in order to participate in the Fourth session of the “Consultation of Bishops in Dialogue” between representatives from the Church in Africa and the Church in North America. The meetings will run from May 3rd to 6th and the theme of this session will be reconciliation. We will be joined by Canon David Porter who is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation based out of Lambeth Palace. Please hold us all in your prayers as we travel and meet together over this week. I will be returning to Canada on May 8th and will be back in the office on the ninth.
Thank you for your continued prayers for the people of Sri Lanka and my colleague, Bishop Dhiloraj of Columbo. I have received messages of appreciation from both the Bishop and from Noeline Sanders who is the Church of England representative to the World Council of Churches in the area of Justice and Peace, a Sri Lankan ex-patriot and one who has close ties to Canada with family living in Toronto. She has sent me some further information regarding the situation in Sri Lanka and I pass it on to you as a means to focus your prayers.
Your support means a great deal to those within our Church who are committed to “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our Lord.” Standing up to injustice in that context is a courageous act involving no small risk. Knowing they do not stand alone is a source of great encouragement.
Blessings to you in this continuing season of new life in the Easter message.
From Bishop Dhiloraj Canagasabey of Columbo, Sri Lanka:
Dear Bishop Michael,
Many thanks for your email. Thank you for your love, concern and solidarity which I deeply appreciate. Please keep in touch.
From Noeline Sanders:
Dear Bishop Michael,
Thank you so much for your continuing support and prayers for the situation in Sri Lanka. It is indeed outrageous that the Commonwealth meeting is still planned to happen in SL. Canada is taking an important stance in honouring what the Commonwealth should uphold, but sadly doesn't seem to be. I am sure Bishop Dhilo and the people of SL experiencing injustices will be most encouraged to know that your diocese is standing beside them at this time.
I thought you may be interested in the following articles and resources that may be helpful.
1) Hope and reconciliation: Healing Sri Lanka's wounds of conflict
DESMOND TUTU & MARY ROBINSON Mar 11, 2013, 12.00AM IST
2) Commonwealth seemingly determined to remain irrelevant
3) A petition on Avaaz
4) A logo that can be used freely (attached) and more formats on http://blog.srilankacampaign.org/2013/04/a-logo-for-commonwealth-summit.html.
On a personal level, your actions are very much appreciated given my extra-special relationship with Canada.
Warm wishes, Noeline
Also of note is an interview with Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird which can be found at:
On 27 April, 2013, at 17:13, Michael Oulton wrote:
I have just sent you an article on BBC Canada regarding our government’s objection to the Commonwealth meeting set for Columbo. I will also send a note to Bishop Dhilo and am in the process of forwarding it to members of my diocese with a request for continued prayer. Any thoughts you might have on this would be appreciated. Hope this finds you well and blessings to you through this Easter season.
Bishop Michael Oulton
Blessing to you all as we approach the great celebration of Holy Week and Easter. I would like to share the following announcements and news articles with you.
Wardens and Treasurers Workshops
I would like to extend my thanks to Canon David Smith and the members of the Stewardship and Congregational Development Committee for their hard work in planning the three workshops which were held over the past three Saturdays in each of the regions of the Diocese. I would also like to thank the diocesan staff who participated in these days and to the wardens and treasurers who attended these events. I understand that representatives from twenty-four of our forty-four parishes availed themselves of this opportunity.
The Committee has also updated the Congregational Handbook which was passed out to those in attendance and I would like to encourage parish leaders to make sure you acquire the updated version. There is also a disk available which includes the handbook, Diocesan Canons, Festival of Thanksgiving and Screening in Faith protocol among other things. Canon Smith will be happy to see that you get the new version and he can be reached at his office 613-544-4774 extension 132.
The Bishop’s Dinner
You will shortly receive a letter with information regarding the Bishop’s Dinner which will be held at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Kingston on May 27th beginning at 7:00p.m. Refreshments will be available beginning at 6:30p.m. I am pleased that The Hon. Hugh Segal, who represents our region in the Senate of Canada has agreed to be our guest speaker. Senator Segal is a powerful advocate on behalf of the poor and marginalized in our society and also has spoken eloquently about the place of religion in the public sphere.
I am also pleased that Dr. Leigh Smith of St. George’s Cathedral and Rev. Valerie Kelly, Incumbent of the Parish of the Rideau have accepted my invitation to be the honourary chairpersons for this year’s dinner. Please stay tuned for further communication regarding the dinner.
Ordinations, May 26th, 5:00p.m.
Further to my earlier announcement regarding the upcoming ordinations in the Diocese wherein I announced that I intend to ordain to their respective offices the following persons, God willing, at the Cathedral Church of St. George on Trinity Sunday, May 26th, 2013 at 5:00p.m.
The Rev. Ada Rochford, currently serving as Assistant Curate in the Anglican Churches of Quinte West to be ordained to the priesthood.
The Rev. Bram Pearce, currently serving as Assistant Curate in the Parish of Bath to be ordained to the priesthood.
Mr. Giuseppe Gagliano, currently a postulant of the diocese completing his M.Div studies at Yale Divinity, to be ordained to the Diaconate,
I am pleased to announce that included in the list of those to be ordained will be:
Mrs. Kate Ann Follwell, currently a member of the Parish of Christ Church, Belleville to be ordained to the Vocational Diaconate.
Please hold Ada, Bram, Giuseppe and Kate Ann in your prayers as they continue through their discernment of calling and vocation. The clergy of the diocese are invited to robe and process with the liturgical colour being red. I am pleased that Bishop George Bruce has accepted the invitation to be the preacher.
Holy Week Services at St. George’s Cathedral for Clergy and Members of the Diocese
The annual Liturgy for the Renewal of Vows and the Blessing of Holy Oils will take place at St. George’s Cathedral on Tuesday, March 26th at noon. The clergy of the Diocese are invited to robe and process with the liturgical colour being red. Following the service you are invited to the Great Hall of the Cathedral to enjoy soup and hot cross buns. Canon Alan Lauder will be taking leadership as in past years for the formation of a clergy choir for the liturgy. The service is an opportunity for both the clergy and laity of the diocese to renew our commitment to the vocational or baptismal ministries we undertake in the Mission of Jesus Christ. I hope you will join us for this celebration of our ministry together.
The Cathedral is extending an invitation to the members of Frontenac Deanery and those throughout the Diocese whose parishes will not be planning a Liturgy on Holy Saturday to join with them for The Great Vigil of Easter which will begin at 8:00p.m.
This ancient Liturgy of the Church celebrates the great mystery of our faith expressed in the passing from death to life of our Lord Jesus. The liturgy includes the lighting of the new fire and blessing of the Paschal Candle, readings from Holy Scripture reciting the history of our salvation, renewal of baptismal vows, the dressing of the Sanctuary and the Celebration of the First Eucharist of Easter. I hope that you will be able to make a pilgrimage to our Cathedral Church for this meaningful celebration in preparation for Easter should you parish not be planning its own Great Vigil.
Election of Pope Francis, Installation of Archbishop Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury
I would ask that you uphold our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church in your prayers as they celebrate the election of Pope Francis. The following article was posted on the Anglican Communion News Service regarding the statement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Justin Welby and the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, Canon Kenneth Kearon. Please note in the article that Archbishop Welby makes reference to his own installation which will take place on Thursday March 21st. I understand that this service is being carried live in its entirety on the BBC should you have access to this through cable or satellite. Please hold our Anglican Communion and Archbishop Welby in prayer as he prepares for the challenges of this new ministry.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and Secretary General of the Anglican Communion have welcomed the appointment of the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Elected this evening, Pope Francis, as he will be known, is the first ever Pope from Latin America.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop Justin Welby, tonight offered his warmest welcome to the election of Cardinal Bergoglio as the successor to His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: “We wish Pope Francis every blessing in the enormous responsibilities that he has assumed on behalf of Roman Catholics around the world.
“His election is also of great significance to Christians everywhere, not least among Anglicans. We have long since recognised—and often reaffirmed—that our churches hold a special place for one another. I look forward to meeting Pope Francis, and to walking and working together to build on the consistent legacy of our predecessors. May the love of Christ unite us, and intensify our service in a genuine and fruitful ecumenism that can be a blessing for the Body of Christ throughout the world.
“Pope Francis is well known as a compassionate pastor of real stature who has served the poor in Latin America, and whose simplicity and holiness of life is remarkable. He is an evangelist, sharing the love of Christ which he himself knows. His choice of the name Francis suggests that he wants to call us all back to the transformation that St Francis knew and brought to the whole of Europe, fired by contemplation and closeness to God.
“As I begin tomorrow a prayer pilgrimage toward my own inauguration as Archbishop in Canterbury next Thursday, Pope Francis will be much in my own prayers, as he will be throughout the coming months and years.”
Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Canon Kenneth Kearon said, "Millions of Anglicans throughout the world will join me in praying for Pope Francis and his future ministry and leadership among our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church. The symbolism of electing a non-European emphasises the shift of the centre of world Christianity. We pray for him in the many challenges he and all who serve in positions of Christian leadership face today."
Pope Francis replaces Pope Benedict who made history last month by being the first Pope to retire in 598 years.
The Statement of The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada regarding the election of Pope Francis can be found at http://news.anglican.ca/news/stories/2571
Blessings to you all as you continue your Lenten observance and prepare for the Great Festival of Easter.
In Christ`s Service,