It’s happening! After many years of prayer, of hopes shattered and hopes reborn, of countless hours of work and research and conversations, Assumption Parish is returning to our traditional home! I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you who has helped make this day possible. I am grateful that we have had the beautiful church of Holy Name of Mary to serve as our parish home since November of 2014.
I am grateful for the parishioners of the former parishes of Holy Name of Mary, St. Patrick, and Blessed Sacrament—as well as the original Assumption parish community—who have all come together, along with many new arrivals, to create a beautiful, multi-cultural community that has become known throughout the diocese. I am grateful to Paul Mullins, who started this process moving, to Bishop Fabbro and many people of the Diocese of London, to the City of Windsor, and to all who have had a role in bringing us to this day. I am grateful for the staff at Assump-tion, who have worked diligently, and the many volunteers who are making this move possible.
Most of all, I am grateful for all of you who are part of the worshipping community of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, or who pray for us in any way. We are indeed blessed and, as Our Lady said, the Almighty has done great things for us!
I am also conscious of our origins, thus Our Lady of the Assumption Parish acknowledges that Assumption church sits on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy. The Huron, who were given refuge by the Three Fires Confederacy, shared this land with Assumption Parish in order to establish the first Catholic parish in Canada west of Montreal. The cover of this month’s Living with Christis from a stained glass win-dow at the Martyr’s Shrine in Midland, showing Joseph Chi-watenhwa, of the Huron-Wyandot nation and Jean de Brébeuf, S.J. It gives me chills to think that the event memorialized in this image could have taken place right here!
Our readings this weekend are so appropriate for today’s event. Just as Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon, and tells him that he returns as brother rather than a slave, I think God is sending us back with new life, and so much more than we were when we left the building in 2014. We have grown. We have all experienced cross and resurrection, and we are stronger and more united for it. The gospel reminds us of our need to see this project through to completion. Let us pray through Our Lady’s intercession that we complete all phases of our restoration and remain here for generations to come.