125th Anniversary Mass
St. Andrew's Cathedral

July 9, 2017

~ Download this homily


"And in so many ways, you, the recipients of this Diocesan Medal, have been examples of this Jesus, who is humble and gentle of heart, with your many gifts and talents. Thank you."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon


During this 125th Anniversary of our Cathedral church, in one respect we celebrate a building, and a people who have demonstrated in many ways the gentle, humble Jesus. In other words, the welcoming, as the Gospel says: Come to me all you that labour and are overburdened. For 125 years, this building has been a place of refuge, solace, grace, prayer, and lots of love—and if you go to the basement, you get fed!

So that’s good. It’s living this life, this Christian life. And today, in a particular way, we honour many people who, chosen from their parishes, have demonstrated this humble, gentle presence of Christ in their communities.

Maybe the best image, or the words that could describe the recipients of our Diocesan Medal, in not only the Cathedral but throughout the Diocese and our parishes: you’re the ‘go-to people’! Pastors come and go, Councils come and go, finances go up and down, but over the years, you have been the go-to people with your particular graces, strengths, and gifts. It is so appropriate that we honour you.

The image that comes to mind, and I don’t know all of you really personally, but I know many of you quite well, is that you are the people of hope in our communities. You are the people of hope whom your community can trust. And so it is appropriate to single you out, because we need to see, and also to experience and to be close to, this gentle and humble Jesus, so that we can experience this tenderness of our God, in you. This is the call of the Christian life.

The image for me of this Gospel, which I think in many ways the recipients of our Diocesan Medal have epitomized, in and out of season, is that of the little kid, the two-year old, or the three-year old, standing on the edge of the pool. Mom and Dad are in the deep end. And they put their arms out, and they say to the child, “Jump!” And the little kid jumps every single time, right? We’ve all experienced it. I had a chance to do this with my little nephews when they were tiny. I would go in to the deep end of the pool. All I had to do was put my arms out, and they would make a flying leap … and they couldn’t swim!

Jesus says, “Come to me. Come to me.” And in so many ways, you, the recipients of this Diocesan Medal, have been examples of this Jesus, who is humble and gentle of heart, with your many gifts and talents. Your parish, your Priest, and your Bishop, have been able to jump off in to the deep end, knowing that there were competent, good, holy, loving arms to be caught by. Thank you.

I have no fear of drowning in any of our communities, because I know, for so many years, my dear brothers and sisters, you’ve had your arms out to catch us. To catch the Church, to catch God’s people, to catch the people of our Diocese, gentle and humble of heart.

Thank you.


Recipients of the 2017 Diocesan Medal for service to the local and/or Diocesan Church, the community, and the world, with Bishop Gary Gordon (L)


Bishop Gary Gordon, during his homily, told the story of kids jumping into their parents’ arms, poolside, and thanked the recipients of the Diocesan Medal for being present to ‘catch’ the Church, God’s people, and the people of our Diocese


Bishop Gary pins the Diocesan Medal on a recipient

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Jun 8, 2017

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