Views from the Pews

We miss each other in this pandemic. But just as the Israelites held on to their unique identity when they were in captivity in Babylon, so we hold on to our unique identity as the faithful parish community of Holy Spirit. Lent invites us to go deeper in understanding both our personal and communal identity. We begin a blog series called Views from the Pews, as we continue our journey through Lent and the pandemic. We hope it brings smiles of encouragement to all.

Jesse Lambert

When I think of Easter, I think of the word “Hope.”

 I have many hopes and Jesus dying for us gives me hope. I hope that the virus that is going around will be stopped by the power of God. 

 My concern is, that after this virus is gone,  will people still believe in God or not. 

 I hope that Easter will help people understand that when Jesus rose from the dead it gave us faith in God, and because of our faith, His love will help us to live in eternity with Him. 

Jason Cody

For me Easter is all about Joy.  We experience the joy of the Resurrection of Christ and His conquering of death and sin.  We experience the joy of the early church as they spread the message of Christ with passion and zeal.  On top of that, I also experience the joy of Easter in the resurrection of our natural world, as we come out of the cold doldrums of winter into the beauty of spring renewal.  I see the joy of Easter in kids, and some kids at heart, enjoying an Easter egg hunt on Easter morning.  I’m a person who really embraces the fullness of the liturgical year.  When we are in Lent – I am in Lent.  When we are in Easter, it is full on Easter.  It’s a time of joy and celebration!

 One concern I have for these times is unwillingness of many to enter into dialogue and listen to one another.  Our world, the public sphere, is so divided.  We don’t need to agree on everything, but we should be able to discuss and share our perspectives amiably.

Easter invites me to respond to this divisive reality in our world by deliberately entering into conversation with a spirit of joy, openness and humour.  We might not end our conversation in agreement but hopefully we will have learned something from and/or about each other and shared a smile and a laugh in the process.

Lexie Komarnicki

To me, Easter means Renewal. 

 During the spring season we see a renewal of so many things after the harsh winter months.  The trees are budding, the grass is turning green, farm animals are being born, and everything seems so full of life.  It’s at this time we celebrate Easter, which to me is a renewal of life.  Jesus rose from the dead so that we can experience life everlasting.  Our lives will not remain here, but because of Jesus’ resurrection, we can be joyful in knowing that we will be welcomed and renewed in eternal life, in the kingdom of heaven.   

 In a time of modern advancements, I feel we get carried away with technology and products, that take us away from our traditions and customs.  My Ukrainian heritage is rich in tradition so I know how important it is to learn from our past and bring those lessons into our future.  I also know that our traditions can be lost very easily if we don’t take the time to remember and practice them.  This is where Easter helps me connect with special traditions.  I immediately think of the Easter Vigil celebration.  I think of the light that comes from a single candle in the darkness, the smell of incense, but most importantly the renewal of our Baptismal promises.  This renewal reminds me of all that our Catholic faith has to offer us, not only here on earth but also for when we are called to our heavenly home. 

Rhea Johner

The word Joy is my Easter word.  Well, I feel like joy never leaves me even during Lent.  But at Easter, I feel joy in a bigger way.  Easter is the big deal in our faith. Jesus rose from the dead and lives with us still.  How lucky are we!  Joy is knowing our Lord.  I like the acronym for Joy:  Jesus first, others second, yourself third.  That’s what its all about, living that way is a joyful way to live. 

I am concerned that people, even us Christian Catholics, don’t really understand how much God loves us, how crazy in love with us He is! We are His beloved, His peculiar delights. Maybe we have heard “God is Love” so much that it means nothing to us anymore. (Or maybe we have never heard this.) But it’s true. It’s all true!  Especially during this difficult pandemic, we need to spend time with Him, seeing ourselves through His eyes. He is waiting for us, wanting to connect with us more than we will ever know. And as baptized Catholics, our number one priority is to know this LOVE and share this LOVE with others. Something is missing in this world if we don’t get this. Our contribution is unique, unrepeatable and essential. Don’t be afraid to love Christ and His Church. He will take nothing from you (except perhaps your loneliness) and give you everything! Trust Him. Talk to Him. Let Him love you. He delights in you!

Michael Lichtenwald

When I think of the meaning of Easter, I think of a song by The Newsboys called He Reigns

I recently got a new ukulele and I’ve been playing this song over
and over. Alleluia, alleluia, He Reigns. My kids can’t help dancing when I play and sing the song. It really makes you feel the power and energy of Easter. Sometimes it’s hard for me to put my faith into words, but music will do it for me.

A concern that I have about the time we are in is the impact of covid on those who are in refugee camps, or in war-torn places of the world, or in poverty in our own city. I feel like I am typically a pretty positive and reassuring person, but there were moments this past year when even I was feeling the strain and the toughness of being in covid. I have a lot of support to regain positivity and persevere, but what happens to so many people in the world whose reality
is really hard in the best of times, let alone in covid.

I think the song “He Reigns” is a reminder that Jesus is in us, and will see us all through. We hold on to hope because He Reigns.

Robert and Margaret Sanche

Easter means: Joy, Family, Faith, Hope, Renewal, Wonder – Okay, we can’t express it in just one word.  Easter helps us to know God’s love for us, even in difficult times like this year when the road seems long and hard.  

As we gather with our faith community to journey with Jesus through His passion and death – and then re-live the wonderful news of His resurrection and the promise of new life forever – it seems that Eastertime can best be summed up in the word JOY!

Brent Blazieko

To me, Easter means Light. It means Light in all aspects—coming out of the inner reflection and sacrifice of Lent. Jesus opens the doors of heaven to us. As the days are getting longer and brighter, things are starting to grow because they have the light they need, even the colours of Easter are lighter.  It is the most joyous part of the year.  In the Ukrainian tradition, Easter has the most uplifting music of any season. There is much to celebrate in what Jesus has done for us.  Jesus opens the doors of heaven to us.

The Light of Easter brings a new perspective into everything, from the day-to-day to the big picture, it is a moving forward into the promise of a new year. 

Everything is changed because of His Light

Myra Dunbar

Easter means salvation. Why is Good Friday “good”?  It’s hard to really comprehend the meaning of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but we truly believe that salvation is real, and it makes all the difference to our lives.  I think that when we think about the people we’ve lost and how much we desire to see them again, we get a glimmer of the reality of God’s love for us, how much he loves us and desires us to be with Him.

God gave all- for love of us. Then…the salvation of Good Friday and Easter Sunday makes it all a possibility.  We will see them again. We will be with God forever.  If we can just show God’s love, we will participate in Easter Sunday while we live.  

David Smith

Love.  

It may never be possible to fully grasp the depths of God’s love that led Him to join us on earth in human form through the incarnation during the Annunciation in Nazareth in response to Mary’s ‘Let it be with me according to Your word.’.  And then, the nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem.   Nor is it likely, that we’ll entirely understand the love that guided Jesus through His selfless healing and teaching ministry and finally to His suffering and death for us all on the cross at Calvary.  May we be able reflect in humility and gratitude on the Father’s love that paved the path for our salvation and feel excited about sharing the love we have received with others

During Easter, the Gospels make poignant note of Peter’s mess ups. Three times he denied our Lord during His Passion yet Peter was the one chosen by Jesus to lead our church into the future.  It gives me hope that when I and others around me fail, we are still worthy of the love of our God. 

Shannon Granger

Joy. 

Knowing that Jesus’s sacrifice is not the end, that God’s love is so great that he wants us with Him for eternity is nearly unfathomable until an encounter with Christ and we are given a glimpse of understanding of the magnitude of God’s love.  All of our cherished and delighted moments come from God.  Our joy is God’s joy.

Gosh the last year has been difficult in my work at St Angela Merici Residence but when a dear resident comes and sings ‘You are my sunshine’ to me because her dementia has freed her from the bonds of the anxiety she suffered earlier in life, I delight.  When a frail resident lights up from just a warm hello, I delight.  I cherish the moments when someone says ‘thank you for keeping us safe’ because it’s usually when I don’t see the joy and rather am consumed with frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed.  To work in a home where many long for life in the Lord, not because they suffer but because they are ready to live with the Father when they are born into eternal life.

Our family has been blessed with a bounty of joy-filled times in the last year.  There was joy to going back to school.  Birthdays, anniversaries and sacraments.  Having the youngest preparing for reconciliation and Eucharist has felt like a milestone.  We marvel in the opportunity to have the support of the community as we raise our children in the Church.

New perspective given this past year has been to recognize the joy, it’s there.

Jesse Lambert

When I think of Easter, I think of the word “Hope.”

 I have many hopes and Jesus dying for us gives me hope. I hope that the virus that is going around will be stopped by the power of God. 

 My concern is, that after this virus is gone,  will people still believe in God or not. 

 I hope that Easter will help people understand that when Jesus rose from the dead it gave us faith in God, and because of our faith, His love will help us to live in eternity with Him. 

Jason Cody

For me Easter is all about Joy.  We experience the joy of the Resurrection of Christ and His conquering of death and sin.  We experience the joy of the early church as they spread the message of Christ with passion and zeal.  On top of that, I also experience the joy of Easter in the resurrection of our natural world, as we come out of the cold doldrums of winter into the beauty of spring renewal.  I see the joy of Easter in kids, and some kids at heart, enjoying an Easter egg hunt on Easter morning.  I’m a person who really embraces the fullness of the liturgical year.  When we are in Lent – I am in Lent.  When we are in Easter, it is full on Easter.  It’s a time of joy and celebration!

 One concern I have for these times is unwillingness of many to enter into dialogue and listen to one another.  Our world, the public sphere, is so divided.  We don’t need to agree on everything, but we should be able to discuss and share our perspectives amiably.

Easter invites me to respond to this divisive reality in our world by deliberately entering into conversation with a spirit of joy, openness and humour.  We might not end our conversation in agreement but hopefully we will have learned something from and/or about each other and shared a smile and a laugh in the process.

Lexie Komarnicki

To me, Easter means Renewal. 

 During the spring season we see a renewal of so many things after the harsh winter months.  The trees are budding, the grass is turning green, farm animals are being born, and everything seems so full of life.  It’s at this time we celebrate Easter, which to me is a renewal of life.  Jesus rose from the dead so that we can experience life everlasting.  Our lives will not remain here, but because of Jesus’ resurrection, we can be joyful in knowing that we will be welcomed and renewed in eternal life, in the kingdom of heaven.   

 In a time of modern advancements, I feel we get carried away with technology and products, that take us away from our traditions and customs.  My Ukrainian heritage is rich in tradition so I know how important it is to learn from our past and bring those lessons into our future.  I also know that our traditions can be lost very easily if we don’t take the time to remember and practice them.  This is where Easter helps me connect with special traditions.  I immediately think of the Easter Vigil celebration.  I think of the light that comes from a single candle in the darkness, the smell of incense, but most importantly the renewal of our Baptismal promises.  This renewal reminds me of all that our Catholic faith has to offer us, not only here on earth but also for when we are called to our heavenly home. 

Rhea Johner

The word Joy is my Easter word.  Well, I feel like joy never leaves me even during Lent.  But at Easter, I feel joy in a bigger way.  Easter is the big deal in our faith. Jesus rose from the dead and lives with us still.  How lucky are we!  Joy is knowing our Lord.  I like the acronym for Joy:  Jesus first, others second, yourself third.  That’s what its all about, living that way is a joyful way to live. 

I am concerned that people, even us Christian Catholics, don’t really understand how much God loves us, how crazy in love with us He is! We are His beloved, His peculiar delights. Maybe we have heard “God is Love” so much that it means nothing to us anymore. (Or maybe we have never heard this.) But it’s true. It’s all true!  Especially during this difficult pandemic, we need to spend time with Him, seeing ourselves through His eyes. He is waiting for us, wanting to connect with us more than we will ever know. And as baptized Catholics, our number one priority is to know this LOVE and share this LOVE with others. Something is missing in this world if we don’t get this. Our contribution is unique, unrepeatable and essential. Don’t be afraid to love Christ and His Church. He will take nothing from you (except perhaps your loneliness) and give you everything! Trust Him. Talk to Him. Let Him love you. He delights in you!

Michael Lichtenwald

When I think of the meaning of Easter, I think of a song by The Newsboys called He Reigns

I recently got a new ukulele and I’ve been playing this song over
and over. Alleluia, alleluia, He Reigns. My kids can’t help dancing when I play and sing the song. It really makes you feel the power and energy of Easter. Sometimes it’s hard for me to put my faith into words, but music will do it for me.

A concern that I have about the time we are in is the impact of covid on those who are in refugee camps, or in war-torn places of the world, or in poverty in our own city. I feel like I am typically a pretty positive and reassuring person, but there were moments this past year when even I was feeling the strain and the toughness of being in covid. I have a lot of support to regain positivity and persevere, but what happens to so many people in the world whose reality
is really hard in the best of times, let alone in covid.

I think the song “He Reigns” is a reminder that Jesus is in us, and will see us all through. We hold on to hope because He Reigns.

Robert and Margaret Sanche

Easter means: Joy, Family, Faith, Hope, Renewal, Wonder – Okay, we can’t express it in just one word.  Easter helps us to know God’s love for us, even in difficult times like this year when the road seems long and hard.  

As we gather with our faith community to journey with Jesus through His passion and death – and then re-live the wonderful news of His resurrection and the promise of new life forever – it seems that Eastertime can best be summed up in the word JOY!

Brent Blazieko

To me, Easter means Light. It means Light in all aspects—coming out of the inner reflection and sacrifice of Lent. Jesus opens the doors of heaven to us. As the days are getting longer and brighter, things are starting to grow because they have the light they need, even the colours of Easter are lighter.  It is the most joyous part of the year.  In the Ukrainian tradition, Easter has the most uplifting music of any season. There is much to celebrate in what Jesus has done for us.  Jesus opens the doors of heaven to us.

The Light of Easter brings a new perspective into everything, from the day-to-day to the big picture, it is a moving forward into the promise of a new year. 

Everything is changed because of His Light

Myra Dunbar

Easter means salvation. Why is Good Friday “good”?  It’s hard to really comprehend the meaning of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but we truly believe that salvation is real, and it makes all the difference to our lives.  I think that when we think about the people we’ve lost and how much we desire to see them again, we get a glimmer of the reality of God’s love for us, how much he loves us and desires us to be with Him.

God gave all- for love of us. Then…the salvation of Good Friday and Easter Sunday makes it all a possibility.  We will see them again. We will be with God forever.  If we can just show God’s love, we will participate in Easter Sunday while we live.  

David Smith

Love.  

It may never be possible to fully grasp the depths of God’s love that led Him to join us on earth in human form through the incarnation during the Annunciation in Nazareth in response to Mary’s ‘Let it be with me according to Your word.’.  And then, the nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem.   Nor is it likely, that we’ll entirely understand the love that guided Jesus through His selfless healing and teaching ministry and finally to His suffering and death for us all on the cross at Calvary.  May we be able reflect in humility and gratitude on the Father’s love that paved the path for our salvation and feel excited about sharing the love we have received with others

During Easter, the Gospels make poignant note of Peter’s mess ups. Three times he denied our Lord during His Passion yet Peter was the one chosen by Jesus to lead our church into the future.  It gives me hope that when I and others around me fail, we are still worthy of the love of our God. 

Shannon Granger

Joy. 

Knowing that Jesus’s sacrifice is not the end, that God’s love is so great that he wants us with Him for eternity is nearly unfathomable until an encounter with Christ and we are given a glimpse of understanding of the magnitude of God’s love.  All of our cherished and delighted moments come from God.  Our joy is God’s joy.

Gosh the last year has been difficult in my work at St Angela Merici Residence but when a dear resident comes and sings ‘You are my sunshine’ to me because her dementia has freed her from the bonds of the anxiety she suffered earlier in life, I delight.  When a frail resident lights up from just a warm hello, I delight.  I cherish the moments when someone says ‘thank you for keeping us safe’ because it’s usually when I don’t see the joy and rather am consumed with frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed.  To work in a home where many long for life in the Lord, not because they suffer but because they are ready to live with the Father when they are born into eternal life.

Our family has been blessed with a bounty of joy-filled times in the last year.  There was joy to going back to school.  Birthdays, anniversaries and sacraments.  Having the youngest preparing for reconciliation and Eucharist has felt like a milestone.  We marvel in the opportunity to have the support of the community as we raise our children in the Church.

New perspective given this past year has been to recognize the joy, it’s there.

Recent Posts

Jesse Lambert

When I think of Easter, I think of the word “Hope.”  I have many hopes and Jesus dying for us gives me hope. I hope that the virus that is going around will be stopped by the power of God.   My concern is, that after this virus is gone,  will people still believe in...

Jason Cody

For me Easter is all about Joy.  We experience the joy of the Resurrection of Christ and His conquering of death and sin.  We experience the joy of the early church as they spread the message of Christ with passion and zeal.  On top of that, I also experience the joy...

Lexie Komarnicki

To me, Easter means Renewal.   During the spring season we see a renewal of so many things after the harsh winter months.  The trees are budding, the grass is turning green, farm animals are being born, and everything seems so full of life.  It’s at this time we...

Rhea Johner

The word Joy is my Easter word.  Well, I feel like joy never leaves me even during Lent.  But at Easter, I feel joy in a bigger way.  Easter is the big deal in our faith. Jesus rose from the dead and lives with us still.  How lucky are we!  Joy is knowing our Lord.  I...

Michael Lichtenwald

When I think of the meaning of Easter, I think of a song by The Newsboys called He Reigns.  I recently got a new ukulele and I’ve been playing this song overand over. Alleluia, alleluia, He Reigns. My kids can’t help dancing when I play and sing the song. It really...

Robert and Margaret Sanche

Easter means: Joy, Family, Faith, Hope, Renewal, Wonder – Okay, we can’t express it in just one word.  Easter helps us to know God’s love for us, even in difficult times like this year when the road seems long and hard.   As we gather with our faith community to...

Brent Blazieko

To me, Easter means Light. It means Light in all aspects—coming out of the inner reflection and sacrifice of Lent. Jesus opens the doors of heaven to us. As the days are getting longer and brighter, things are starting to grow because they have the light they need,...

Myra Dunbar

Easter means salvation. Why is Good Friday "good"?  It’s hard to really comprehend the meaning of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but we truly believe that salvation is real, and it makes all the difference to our lives.  I think that when we think about the people...

David Smith

Love.   It may never be possible to fully grasp the depths of God’s love that led Him to join us on earth in human form through the incarnation during the Annunciation in Nazareth in response to Mary’s ‘Let it be with me according to Your word.’.  And then, the...

Shannon Granger

Joy.  Knowing that Jesus’s sacrifice is not the end, that God’s love is so great that he wants us with Him for eternity is nearly unfathomable until an encounter with Christ and we are given a glimpse of understanding of the magnitude of God’s love.  All of our...