Present Mass Times

Weekday - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday –9 am.

We are currently limited to 10—in addition to the presider, reader, and sacristan — at our weekday Masses. Please register on-line, as before.

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Adoration Chapel

Please contact Jodi or Brady Grant (bradyandjodi@gmail.com or (902) 218-8282). You may request to have a candle burn in the Adoration Chapel. ($7 Mon – Sun). Please contact the Parish Office.

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Lectors needed!

If you would like to get involved in Ministry at our Parish, we are looking for Readers for Masses. If you are interested, please call Barb Wonnacott at 902-393-4557.

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Confirmation Candidates Outreach

St. Dunstan's Confirmation candidates have recently assisted the Burke's Welcome Shoppe, an outreach project of the Sisters of St. Martha. Their Shoppe helps those struggling to meet the basic necessities of life in the Charlottetown area. The Shoppe was in need of gently used warm clothing and our candidates showed great initiative and went through clothes and outerwear at home. Their generosity is impressive as over 650 items have been gathered so far. Our candidates have felt a sense of purpose by being the “hands of Christ” to the most vulnerable in our area. St. Dunstan’s Basilica Parish is very proud of our young Confirmandi who have made an immediate difference in the lives of many individuals and families experiencing hardship, especially during the uncertainties of COVID-19! All Public Health protocols were observed.

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Greeters

If you would like to help out with greeting and showing people to their seats at Mass, please contact jawhite5414@gmail.com, brhood12@hotmail.com or the Parish Office. Everyone is most welcome. Thanks to all who are currently involved. We will have a special need for Christmas. Anyone who would like to help out only for December 24 and 25 will be most appreciated!

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Missals

In response to COVID-19 precautions, missals will not be placed in the seats for the coming year. If you would like to order your own -- which would be taken with you and brought back home -- here are some options:

The St. Joseph Sunday Missal -- the one we have been ordering -- is available through Broughton's (www.bbroughton.com or 1-800-268-4449).

The Word Among Us (specify you want to order the “Complete Catholic Mass Readings for Canada” edition). The Word Among Us contains the readings and a commentary for each day. 7115 Guilford Dr. Suite 100, Frederick, MD, USA 21704-9804, wau.org or call 1-800-775-9673

Living with Christ: Novalis Periodical Dept., 1 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 800, Toronto, ON M4P 3A1, 1-800-387-7164, living@novalis.ca

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Upper Room PEI

A weekly gathering for young adults seeking a deeper relationship with Christ.

Hour of Adoration every Tuesday evening, 7:30 pm in Glastonbury Hall.

For more info, follow us on Facebook @Upper Room PEI.

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Parish Financial Support

If you have not been using envelopes, and would like to, please contact the Parish Office.

If you would like to sign up for automatic debit or arrange for E-transfer contributions, please contact the Parish Office.

Thank you for your financial support of the parish. It is appreciated and much needed.

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Parish Office Hours

Mondays: 9 am - 12 noon

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 9 am - 4 pm

Thursdays: 9 am - 12 noon.

The office is not open on Fridays.

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Fuel Collection

In the spring of 2019, we began to take up a weekly fuel collection. Parishioners and visitors responded very generously, to the point where we were on the way to collecting at least half of our yearly fuel costs. With COVID-19, our ability to receive the collection in the previous manner has been curtailed. Still, our fuel prices remain. The Property and Finance Committee has decided that, in order to give people an opportunity to contribute toward our fuel costs, beginning next week, we will provide envelopes monthly, attached to the bulletin, for your use. These may be placed in the collection basket as you enter or leave the church, or else left at the office. For your information, our average annual fuel consumption, over the past five years, amounts to 53,351.96 liters, at an average yearly cost of $40,221.09. In addition to other conservation measures that have been taken, the Committee is currently investigating the enhancement of the church’s insulation. It is realized that this is a time of financial challenge for many. We are sensitive to that reality. Your consideration is much appreciated.

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Mass Times

Weekdays - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday – 9 am.

Weekends: Saturday - 4 pm, Sunday – 9 am, 11 am & 5 pm.

Note: Due to the number of months we were without bulletin, there is now a surplus of bulletin covers. Until these are used, we will not be able to update the scheduling information shown on them. Please refer to the inside part of the bulletin for up-to-date information.

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Letter from Fr. Keith (September 23)

Dear Friends and Parishioners of St. Dunstan’s,

With the return of the bulletin last week, another step is taken toward the more familiar, left behind last March. COVID-19 has impacted us in lots of ways.  We've had to make adjustments in all aspects of our lives--including our liturgical worship. It's easy to get discouraged. Sometimes we need to sit with the distress and pour out our hearts to God.

Tuesday of last week, we celebrated the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. The first reading was from the letter to the Hebrews (5:7-9). Here is part of what was read: In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death.

Those prayers and supplications were sometimes on his own behalf--as when he asked in the garden of Gethsemane on the night before he died if he could be spared the cup of suffering (see Mt. 26:39, Mk. 14:35, Lk. 22:420) or on the cross when he cried out to his Father his feelings of abandonment (see Mt. 27: 46, Mk. 15:340).

Those prayers and pleas, though, went beyond himself. He interceded for those around him, in Jerusalem and Galilee, whose anguish touched his heart. He included, even, those who had arranged and accomplished his death (see Lk. 23:24).

More than that, his cries and tears were for those countless since Adam and Eve, whose lives were burdened with all manner of sickness and frustration and failure and chaos. He would visit them in his descent among the dead during that interval between his cross and resurrection with the gift of redemption.

And, in his love as Son of Mary and Son of God, he reached into the future, even to us, to let us know that in our own struggle--with COVID-19 and all other of our burdens--he is with us, interceding, and as one, who knows, first-hand, what it is to live upon this earth, he walks with us helping us carry the load, and ahead of us into the hope of glory.

That same reading from the letter to the Hebrews continued, [Jesus] learned obedience from what he suffered. The word "obedience" comes from the verb "to listen." Out of his own distress, out of the suffering he witnessed around him, out of his awareness of humanity's distress--before and after--his time on earth, Jesus learned to listen to the voice of his Father, reassuring him that he would neither be forgotten or left alone. That reassurance was shown to be sincere in his resurrection.

It's the same for us. In our own strife--pre, during, and after this pandemic--will we learn to listen--as individuals, as families and communities, as the human family--will we learn to listen for and to the voice of God? That voice speaks the same words to us as have been spoken time and again through the record of salvation history. "I have saved you in the past. I'm saving you now. And, be not afraid, I will remain faithful."

In last Tuesday's Mass for the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, the gospel was taken from John's account of the death of the Lord. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, "Woman behold your son." Then he said to the disciple, "Here is your mother." That touching scene is the beginning of that unique relationship between the mother of Jesus and his beloved disciple. It's the announcement of Mary's role as our mother. It's also, in all of that, the mandate we've all received from the Lord to live as caregivers to one another. As he was to remain with this mother and disciple in their relationship with each other, so does he remain with us in our blessed relationship, in him, with one another. It's part of the undying bond of love between and among us, which we profess when we say we believe in "the communion of saints.”

So … since mid-March, we and our world are living together in a different and unfamiliar way. We join the vast "cloud of witnesses" who have gone before us who have been challenged with making big adjustments. We prepare the way for those who will come after us, who will, in their own unique ways, be called upon to do the same. We, as will they, are not abandoned or alone. Through, with, and in Christ Jesus, in the company of one another, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, may we learn to listen for and to the voice of the Father, bestowing upon us courage, hope, generosity, as we walk together toward a future filled with hope.

Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave. The power of his resurrection is with and in us. Alleluia!!

With the return of the bulletin to keep everyone up to date, I’ll bring my letters to a close. The bulletin will be on line on our parish website each week. If I can be of direct assistance to anyone, please be in touch with me. frkeithstdunstans@gmail.com or 902-894-3486. I’d be happy to talk with you or to arrange a visit. Mass registration is available through the link on the website. If you would like someone to complete the registration for you, you may call 902-892-9387, 902-621-1988, or 902-367-7829.

Peace be with you,

Fr. Keith

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Letter from Fr. Keith (September 5)

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Dunstan’s,

“The good old days!”  We often look back on times gone by with fondness and nostalgia. Truth be recognized and told, every age in the history of the world, every era in our personal lives is a mixture of good and bad, of ups and downs, of things being done right and others, leaving ample room for improvement.

It’s the same when we look at Christian history. In this Sunday’s gospel (Mt. 15:18-20), Jesus spoke to his disciples, “If your brother or sister sins against you...” By the very fact he felt the need to say what he does, Jesus recognizes the need for his followers to have a blueprint for reconciling with each other.

There are hints of dissension in other gospel stories. Remember James and John asking Jesus for special status; then the other disciples getting more than annoyed with them—maybe because they were thinking so competitively; maybe, too, out of concern they might get ahead of them (see Mk. 10:35-41).

If your brother or sister sins against you ... In other words: any word or deed done intentionally to disregard us or to do us harm.

He lists steps designed to respond to the resulting rift. First, attempt to deal with the situation directly. It takes courage. At the same time, it’s essential. If that gets you nowhere, involve others, who have a sincere desire to be of aid. If that doesn’t help you may have to get some formal assistance: a go-between, an arbitrator.

Jesus then concludes with what we may be, at first, a bit surprised to hear from him. It might not work, all your best efforts, and after all to be said and done has been said and done, with great regret, we may need to step away. Some reconciliations will happen only in the life to come.

Where two or three are gathered, for all kinds of reasons, there is potential for discord. How does Jesus tell us to respond?

Do everything we can—everything for which we can be responsible—to be reconciled is his gist. Bend over backwards. Don’t get caught up in who’s right and who’s wrong or who must apologize to whom and on and on—all the diversions to which we might resort to ease the hurt and save face. It all hinges on the grace of God and the human desire to mend brokenness and start afresh. If it doesn’t work, leave it to the grace of God, and walk away, with sadness, but in peace.

Two points to bring our reflection on the gospel to a close.  First: the implied advice Jesus would give from all of this. Avoid sinning against another—any thought word or deed intended to do someone harm in any way. Don’t do it. Then, those steps in dealing with the fallout won’t be necessary.

Second: The one with whom we can’t make amends, let such a one be to you, says Jesus, as a Gentile and a tax collector. Careful we don’t misinterpret that as an excuse to bad-mouth and belittle. How did Jesus treat Gentile and tax collector? Well, he died for them.

Jesus knew he wasn’t establishing a flawless community. He saw in them, though, and in us, the potential to apply his example, his teaching to the ebb and flow of our lives. That, he knew, would be for our own true and lasting good, and would ripple out to nurture the seed of salvation in our world.

This week, our thoughts and prayers are especially focused on everyone involved in our educational system as a new school year begins. The threat of COVID-19 is a worry for all.

The diocese, in consultation with the Chief Public Health Office, has just released a protocol for catechetics this coming year in view of the pandemic. We will soon be meeting to make decisions for a bit-later-than-usual start to our 2020-2021 parish program.

Monday is Labour Day. We are reminded of the dignity of human work and of those called upon to perform it. Honest work is one of the important ways we participate in and extend the creative and transforming work of God. Labour Day calls us to gratitude for the countless tasks performed for our benefit by so many. The holiday reminds us, too, of those who struggle in unjust working conditions and of those who are unemployed. We share, also, in the gratitude of those whose work is their joy, and who are grateful for the contribution they are able to make to the common good by the jobs that occupy so much of their time.

I plan to be off Monday through Friday this week. Bishop Richard will preside at the weekday Masses.

Peace be with you and yours,

Fr. Keith

ST. DUNSTAN, PRAY FOR US!

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Letter from Fr. Keith (August 29)

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Dunstan’s,

God’s Word holds a special place in our hearts and lives. The Word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, says the letter to the Hebrews (4:12). From that we learn that when we go to the Bible or hear the Word of God read in church, there is something unique about the experience, setting it apart from our encounter any other kind of word. God’s Word isn’t simply a story about people and events in the distant past—as an historical novel would be. Yes, God’s Word recounts events and people from long ago and far away, but it’s always more. God’s Word tells the story of our own lives and the world in which we live. God’s Word reveals God to us, and it reveals us to ourselves. Let anyone who has ears to hear, listen! says Jesus (Mk. 4:23).

Another interesting observation about the Word comes to us from the Scriptures. So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter (Rev. 10: 9-10). In other words, our first encounter with God and his Word is often enchanting. As time goes on, however, things may seem different. The initial exuberance and enthusiasm may give way to hesitation and reluctance or more.

That is the experience of the prophet, Jeremiah, in this Sunday’s first reading. Though at first reluctant to accept the prophetic call (see Jer. 1:4-10), later he prays: Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts (15:16).   They were honey in his mouth.

Today, though, his experience is radically different. The Word has not only become part of him, he’s proclaimed it to people who refused to hear because it upset the applecart of their comfortable lives. Religious and civil leaders wanted rid of him. When we come upon him today (20:7-9), he’s just been beaten at the direction of one of the temple priests, and put on public display to be mocked and to serve as a warning to anyone else who might be thinking about following in his footsteps.

Jeremiah is caught on the horns of a dilemma. He wants out, to be free of the awesome responsibility he carries. At the same time, he’s bursting to speak the Word that fills his heart.

Enter Peter in the gospel (Mt. 16:21-27). Well acquainted with Jeremiah’s anguish, he knows Jesus, if he keeps going as he has been, will be headed down the same road. And not only Jesus, but his followers—himself included. He tries to discourage Jesus from his path, and receives a rebuke that must have set him back on his heels.  Jesus adds these bewildering words to Peter’s scolding, For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

What’s he saying? Lots, of course. We might summarize it this way. For everyone, discipleship and life, in general, can sometimes be overwhelming. While we may want to run and hide, that really won’t be helpful as an ongoing alternative. That’s what Jesus means by our wanting to save our life, but losing it in the long-run: opting to live in a bubble, immunized against reality, diminishing our experience of living. A far more life-giving, life-sharing, choice is to muster our courage, call on the support of others and the grace of God, and take the next step—even if hesitant and faltering. That’s finding our life, according to the Lord.

Today, the word of God speaks to our own moments when life is tough and we feel overwhelmed, wanting to bury our heard in the sand, to run away and hide. Who among us hasn’t had those times? No, encourages Jesus. He inspires us, “Get up, lick your wounds, and keep going.” That’s what he did after he shed tears of fear in Gethsemane’s garden and wondered if the cup could pass him by. Anguish didn’t have the final say. The hope of resurrection, fullness of life, did. So for Jeremiah. So for Peter. So for you and me.

Over the last few weeks, as you know, we celebrated First Communion and Confirmation, delayed from the spring because of COVID-19 restrictions. Please continue to pray for these children/young people and their families.

I’ve several times extended my gratitude and the gratitude of our parish community to the 30 + parishioners who have offered themselves in service to us since our Masses resumed. They’re continuing a true ministry of hospitality: welcoming, guiding people to seats, and being an overall hospitable, helpful presence. Oh, and we can’t forget their cleaning skills after each of the Masses! And, the icing on the cake: I get great company from them! They’d welcome new participants any time. Contact brhod12@hotmail.com; jawhite5414@gmail.com; or call the parish office 902-894-3486. Another option is to let one of the ministers know after Mass some day that you’d like to be involved. Thanks, too, to those who look after the registration lists and register people without access to a computer. I’ll give you the contact numbers again: 902-367-7829, 902-892-9387, 902-621-1988. Share those numbers, please, with anyone you know who’d like to have them. Great, too, if you offered to register someone who requires that service.

Continue, please, to pray for residents of long-term care. Mom is doing well. My sister from New Brunswick was recently home for a visit and spent a lot of time with her. This coming week, it was announced, visiting restrictions will be further eased.

Another group whose intentions we’re invited to remember: those required to self-isolate when they come here for school or for work, especially those far from home. It’s difficult, I’m sure, for some. We’re often buoyed up by the prayers of others—many of whom we’ll never meet. It’s all part of the gift of being among the communion of saints.

This week, we celebrated the memorials of a mother and her son: Saints Monica and Augustine. We invoke their intercession upon all of us.

Peace be with you,

Fr. Keith

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Letter from Fr. Keith (August 21)

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Dunstan’s,

The shorter days are telling us that summer is passing on toward fall. At last, the temperatures and the humidity took a dip this week. The start of a new school year is on the horizon. I recall a lot of mixed feelings about this time of year as I look back to what is now decades in the past. In 2020, adapting to COVID-19 is top of mind for parents, teachers, administrators, and no small number of students, no matter the level at which they find themselves in the system.

Relationships are a big part of every human endeavour. We’ve mentioned the start of school. Relationships: among friends and staffs, between teachers and students, between parents and their children’s schools. They’re an essential part of the whole enterprise of education.

The relationship between Jesus and his disciples is at the forefront of this Sunday’s gospel (Mt.16:13-20). The story ties into the theme of teaching and learning. Jesus asks the group of followers, who walked with him that long-ago day, who others say he is. He referred to himself as “the Son of Man.” They were quick to reply. They’d been paying attention to the comments they’d heard.

Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Those responses highlight the significance the crowds had attributed to him. All those mentioned were momentous figures in the culture and the faith-heritage of the people.

Jesus doesn’t stop there. “That’s fine,” he seems to say. “You’ve been attentive to what’s going on around you.” Then he quickly adds, But who do you say that I am? The opinions and assumptions and observations of others are significant, and are a necessary beginning, but what about you? It’s a bit like learning something in school. What others have discovered is always vital. But it’s a first step. Have many of us not had the experience of having to try to integrate what we’ve learned into our own persons if it is to become anything more than me with someone else’s information? It needs to become part of us. That’s true whether it’s Bible study or Canadian history or riding a bike or baking a pan of biscuits.

It’s also true about faith development, about our relationship with Jesus Christ, and with our brothers and sisters in him. Others have told us a lot about Jesus: our parents, our grandfathers, our friends, our catechism teachers, priests and sisters. We’ve read books that were part of courses we’ve taken. That’s the first question Jesus put to his friends that day. Who do people say that the Son of Man is?

Vital as is that first level of information, as foundational, he leads us further. But who do you say that I am? Have we thought much about how we’d answer that question? It’s like knowing about some well-known person—say, for example, (you fill in the blank), compared to actually knowing them, first-hand?

It’s to that kind of knowing that Jesus invited Peter and the others. It’s to that kind of knowing Jesus invites us. We respond a number of ways: thinking about him, reflecting upon what we’ve been taught, looking for his presence in our lives and in the world around us, mindfully celebrating the sacraments, reading the scriptures, praying and talking to him about our lives, embracing his life as the model for our own. The list of ways we get to know Jesus is long. Some we share in common. Others are unique to the particular person. Ultimately, we come to know Jesus because the Father, through the power of the Spirit, who teaches us all things (see Jn. 14:26), reveals him to us. Jesus affirms that to Simon Peter, after he recognizes him as the Christ, the Son of the living God: Blessed are you Simon, son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven (Mt. 16: 16, 17). Our thinking and praying and searching and reading and sacramental life and gospel living, while they are signs of his already- presence to us, are how we become prepared to meet him, to recognize him when that happens, and to grow in our familiarity with him within and around us.

Not an over-night occurrence—neither for Simon Peter nor for us—but a relationship that develops over the course of a life time—fueled by God’s grace and our openness to receive what is given. Along the way, lots of patience and honesty with ourselves is a daily call.

We continue to pray for the people of Lebanon, in the wake of the recent horrific explosion in Beirut. Donations may be put in a clearly marked envelope with your name and address, and left in the collection basket at Mass this weekend or next. You may also donate through the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, through their website www.devp.org Donations may also be mailed in the form of cheque or money order: Development and Peace, 1425 Rene-Levesque Blvd. West, 3rd Floor. Montreal, QC H3G 1T7. Please indicate Emergency Fund, Lebanon Crisis. For further info, see the diocesan website www.dioceseofcharlottetown.com

This Sunday at the 11 o’clock Mass, the bishop will celebrate Confirmation with our three candidates. Kindly pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them, their families, our parish community, and that the same Spirit may continue to renew the face of the earth.

I trust you, gardeners, are enjoying the fruit of your labours. Twice this week, I enjoyed roasted beets, onions, garlic, and carrots from my little patch. Lettuce and greens are still holding up. Delicious! Thanks be to God!

I’d be happy to be in contact with anyone who might like that. Please let me know.

Peace be with you,

Fr. Keith

ST. DUNSTAN, PRAY FOR US!

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