September 23, 2023
From the Pastor’s Desk
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, we are all aware of the increasing cost of living these days. Like so many families, our parish too is having difficulty meeting all of its’ basic expenses. Even with your generous support, the parish had a deficit of $8,103.75 in 2022 and we project it will be the same for this and future years. It is important to find ways to reduce expenses from our already lean operating budget going forward. One area of concern it that the cost of oil and electricity to heat the Honey Harbour church building has increased to $16,552.00 last year, with only a few parishioners attending Sunday and weekday Masses during the winter.
In the spring of this year Fr. Martin and the members of the finance council entered into discussions with Bishop Daniel Miehm regarding the parish’s finances and church attendance. As a result of those discussions, and after consulting with me, the Bishop has given permission to winterize and close the Honey Harbour Church, hall and chapel after Thanksgiving weekend 2023 until May 18, 2024. With the water and septic systems winterized we will be able to keep the temperature of the Honey Harbour church building much lower this year. We expect significant savings from this action and it will help us to decrease or eliminate our operating deficit and allow us more funds for our parish’s life and outreach. St. John the Baptist Church building thankfully is much cheaper to heat, can easily provide enough seating for all parishioners and guests during the winter and is located in a central and easily accessible location. From October 9, 2023 to May 18, 2024 all parish Masses and other liturgies will be held at St. John the Baptist Church in Port Severn. The Honey Harbour Church will reopen for Sunday 11 am Masses on May 19, 2024 - the long weekend in May. We recognize that not everyone has a car and we will do our very best to offer transportation from Honey Harbour to Port Severn for anyone who needs it. To provide ample opportunities for Mass attendance during the winter we will continue having the Saturday 5pm Mass and Sunday 9 am Mass as well as move our daily Masses to 12:10pm.
As we make this painful decision to help us live within our means we ask our patrons, Our Lady of Mercy and St. John the Baptist to pray for us, that we remain strong in faith, hope and charity, animated by the joy of the Gospel!
Parish Schedule (effective October 9, 2023)
Masses: Saturday 5pm & Sunday 9 am
Wednesday-Friday - 12:10pm
Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament with Benediction
Parish Confession Schedule
Fridays - 11:30 am - 12:00pm
Saturdays - 4pm - 4:30pm
New Heating System in Port Severn Church - Finally this project is completed. Thank you to all donors who helped procure a new heating system for Port Severn Church. Special mention to Wally Berko and Mark Vanlanghove who patiently and carefully tried to find right company and right equipment needed, and also for spending lots of time under cold weather assisting the company guys during the installations.
Our Lady of Mercy Church Building and the New Facade
Thanks to all who generously helped purchase this important Riding Lawn Mower for our parish.
Parish Parking Lot & Dock - We are most grateful and thankful to the Schaller Family who donated Funds to upgrade our Church Dock and Ramp. The Dock upgrade was completed a year ago and this spring, the new ramp was installed. Thanks to Peter Corbiere from Honey Harbour Barging and Mike Roughley from Georgian Bay Contracting for taking the time and effort to remove the dirt and grass from our parking Lot, replace it with gravel and perform a final grade on the lot. The Parking Lot upgrade is now completed and looks beautiful. Our Parking Lot customers will now be able to park their cars comfortably in this lot. We are continuing to work with the Township of Georgian Bay to remedy the entrance to the Parking Lot. We hope to have the entrance fixed before the end of this year. Finally, we wish to thank Nestor Baryliuk (parishioner) who diligently & patiently supervised all of these repairs & upgrading of car lot, boat dock and ramp.