Message From Father Boyd – April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020  (Eastertide Thursday Wednesday)

Parish Update

In the ancient world if a person was brought before a court of law they were asked to give testimonium.  Testimonium is the Latin noun for evidence or proof.   When a person stood before a court to provide testimonium it was considered the truth.  It was a very serious matter.  If the testimonium was false one could forfeit their life.  The testimonium was a person’s word and honour.   The ancient world did not have the use of recorders, video, and camera, to corroborate a person’s testimonium.  A persons word was everything.  It was the evidence.  Of course the ancient world also knew, as we also know today, that human nature can be deceitful, tell lies, embellish a story, forget the facts, and so it used a number of sophisticated techniques to get to the truth, the Socratic method of question and answer, the use of reason, common sense, witnesses, that would help the court to determine the veracity of the testimonium.  If the testimonium was found to be false then this did not go well for the person testifying.  Even today, in a court of law in our part of the world, a person is not given the death penalty for lying, but they could go to jail for a number of years.  When the children of Fatima were brought before the authorities to give their  testimony about what they saw and heard when Our Lady appeared to them, they stood by their word.  Even under long interrogation and threat of death, the authorities were unable to find any deceit  or conspiracy in their testimonium.  To the day they died, the children stood by their word.

Testimonium is one of the most important ways truth is found.  In the Mass readings today we encounter the testimony of the many witnesses who describe all they saw and heard when they encountered Jesus.  All of them stand before a court to tell their story, their evidence.  They are very brave.  They know if the court does not believe them they will die.  And they are prepared to die for it.  In the gospel we encounter, John the Baptist, is also willing to give his testimony about Jesus.  He too is willing to die for the truth.  And last of all we encounter Jesus, brought before the court, to testify to what he has seen, and heard, from his Father in heaven.  He too is willing to die for his testimony.    Jesus, John the Baptist, and many of the disciples are willing to die for the truth.  Why was the court unwilling to accept the truth of their testimonium?   Because the court did not follow its own rules.  It did not follow the rules of the court, the rule of reason, the rule of common sense, the rule of witnesses, or the rule of the testimonium.  The court wanted its own verdict.  It did not want a verdict that might diminish its own power and prestige in this world.  Jesus was a threat to them.  It was a fixed court.   There is far more evidence against the court for what it did to Jesus than any evidence that can prove Jesus guilty to this day.  There are not many people in this world, as we often say, who will die for a lie.  Not many in this world are willing to lose their families, homes, property, livelihood, reputations, if they know the lie will cost them their lives.  Yet, the disciples are willing to die for the truth, John the Baptist is willing to die, Jesus is willing to die.  Strong evidence in itself that their testimonium is their word, their honour, and the truth.

Scripture Ref:  Acts 5. 27-33   John 3.31-36


Thank you to Holy Rosary Catholic  & St. Patrick’s  Catholic School’s principals, teachers, students, and families for encouraging your children to bring food for the poor to the grey bin outside the church doors.   For bringing a personally designed prayer rock in the prayer garden below the Blessed Sacrament window where our Lord looks out towards the world.  Thanks for praying for the sick and afflicted  before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Thanks to all who have who have signed up to help CARE FOR NEIGHBOURS TEAM.  Those who have been assigned to help a neighbour calling for help continue to please keep a check on them.

Mass today is offered for the repose of the soul of Guido Gatto.  Also for the intentions of Tom & Cecelia Nearing on the occasion of their 60th Wedding Anniversary.  Congratulations Tom & Cecelia!  Please remember prayers for the residents and care workers of Country  Village Nursing Home in Woodslee, Ontario, many of whom are stricken by the Covid-19 virus.  Continued prayers for the   innocent victims of the tragic shooting in Nova Scotia.  And for the safety of all police officers throughout the nation.

Pray the Rosary at 4 PM in your homes offering prayers for end of the pandemic, the sick and afflicted,  nurses, doctors, personal care workers serving in our hospitals and nursing homes.

Mail drop off at the Rectory mail box kitchen door.  Place prayer requests, Mass intentions,  messages, envelopes, letters.   The mail box is carefully monitored.  Again thank you for your offerings.  They are helping me pay for the lights and heat!

This week marks the first anniversary of our One Heart One Soul Campaign.  Thanks for your continued support to Parish and Diocese.  We will continue to prepare for  repairs the day we reopen!

Dry food items for food pantry can be placed in the grey bin outside office entrance doors.  Thanks for the donations.



Reminder this Third Sunday Easter 9 AM Mass will be live streamed.  Instructions are posted on the Parish Website  under the “MASSES” header on the home page of website.  A link to a recording of the previous Sunday Mass is also available in the same location.

The Diocese has informed me today all parishes and parish offices closures are now extended to May 12th, 2020.

Holy Rosary Catholic Women’s League will sew 100 protective gowns for medical staff for St. Joseph’s.   Any parishioner willing to help, or donate thread, can call President Cathy Whyte @ 519- 824-5115.

Can Catholics Evangelize at a Time Like This?  Free Virtual Catholic Summit April 25, 12PM – 3PM.  If interested contact


Courage everyone.  Pray.  With my blessing.

Fr. Vernon P. Boyd S.J.


Holy Rosary Parish, 175 Emma Street, Guelph, ON, N1E 1V6

519-822-4701 x  22