Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MGR LEONARD ROCHON MORT

 

C’est avec regret que nous vous faisons part du décès de Mgr Léonard Rochon, p.h. décédé le lundi 10 novembre 2014 à l’âge de 91 ans.

Né le 7 février 1923 à Calumet, Québec, il a été ordonné prêtre le 2 février 1949 à la basilique cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Ottawa.   

L'abbé Rochon a exercé son ministère dans plusieurs paroisses de l’archidiocèse d’Ottawa et fut curé aux paroisses Marie-Médiatrice à Vanier et Sainte-Geneviève à Ottawa. 

L'abbé Rochon fut professeur d’enseignement religieux à l’École secondaire d’Eastview et animateur de l’équipe «Porte Ouverte »; directeur de l’Office de catéchèse, et fondateur et directeur de l’École des catéchistes d’Ottawa. 

L'abbé Rochon fut également directeur de l’Office provincial de catéchèse. Il fut responsable de l’éducation chrétienne au sein de la Conférence des évêques du Canada et coordonnateur adjoint de la visite du Pape au Canada en 1984-1985. 

L'abbé Rochon fut nommé prélat d’honneur en 1996 par Sa Sainteté Jean-Paul II; Mgr Rochon a pris sa retraite en 1998.


La famille recevra les condoléances à l’église Sainte-Geneviève au 825, avenue Canterbury Ottawa  ON  où Mgr Rochon reposera en chapelle ardente à partir de 13 h le vendredi 14 novembre 2014. 


Les funérailles suivront à 14 h 30 et seront présidées par S.E. Mgr Terrence Prendergast, s.j.

Souvenons-nous de lui et de sa famille dans nos prières.

Requiescat in pace.

Monday, November 10, 2014

BROTHER TERENCE GAINER SERVED AS ADMINISTRATOR



Brother Terence Arnold Gainer, S.J., 87, died peacefully in the Lord on November 7, 2014 at Rouge Valley Ajax-Pickering Hospital. He had been in Religious Life for 65 years.

Brother Gainer was born in Arthur, Ontario, the son of Albert Gainer and Rosalie Fahey, on July 24, 1927. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Guelph on April 26, 1949. After first vows, he remained in Guelph as a tailor until 1955 when he moved to Montreal to work in the Loyola College bookstore. It was there that I met him in my first year of High School in the fall of 1957.

Terry was one of the first Jesuit Brothers to make the special brothers’ spiritual programme before final vows known as tertianship, which he did for three months in 1958 at El Paso, Texas. In 1959, he moved to Canadian Martyrs Residence at 2 Dale Avenue in Toronto to become Brother Socius (administrative assistant) to the Provincial.

Gonzaga High School in Newfoundland opened in 1962 and Brother Gainer was missioned there a year later as treasurer, and then minister of the community. He loved life on "The Rock" and remained there until 1974, when he became the assistant director and treasurer of Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ontario.

Brother Terry returned to the Provincial’s Office in 1977 when he was made assistant treasurer of the Province. But that same year he had had open heart by-pass surgery and the prognosis was not encouraging. That he lived for several more decades is nothing short of a miracle. He suffered from minor health challenges which caused him to withdraw into himself from time to time over his life. 

In 1990, lay personnel moved into the treasury and Brother Terry went as treasurer to Manresa House in Pickering. During this stay in Pickering, he served at Martyrs’ Shrine during the pilgrimage season; in the off-season he was assistant to the superior at La Storta Residence, Pickering. Once his assignment at the Shrine ceased, he returned to 2 Dale Avenue in 1998 and worked in the Jesuit Development Office.

Increasing health and medical problems prompted Brother Gainer's move to the Rene Goupil House, the Jesuit Infirmary at Pickering in late 2008. Of a balanced temperament, Brother Terry was always interested in group gatherings and never failed to visit with his numerous cousins, friends and brothers in the Lord. For a few years he went weekly by GO Train and subway to help the Jesuit Development Office. He loved Jesuit retreats and jubilees and was always on the lookout for news and tidbits on various people or apostolates. 


His love for life, no matter how tenuous it might have been at various stages of illness, was an inspiration, not only to Jesuits, but especially to the lay staff. Often he was taken out to lunches by them and they regularly came to La Storta residence in Pickering for the weekend social and dinner.

Brother Gainer’s wake will take place at St. Ignatius Chapel, Manresa Jesuit Retreat Centre, Pickering, ON, this evening, Monday, November 10, 2014 from 7 to 9 PM (the Prayer Vigil will be held at 8 o’clock).

The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated in St. Ignatius Chapel, at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, November 11; the burial will take place at 2:30 PM, at the Jesuit Cemetery, Guelph, ON.


Requiescat in pace.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Curran's St Luc Marks 175 Years

La fête de saint Luc, évangéliste – le 18 octobre 2014
Le 175e anniversaire de la paroisse Saint-Luc, Curran, ON

Saint Luc, évangéliste : un témoin de la Joie de l’Évangile…
[Textes : Isaïe 52, 7-10; Psaume 144(145); 2 Timothée 4, 9-17; Luc 10, 1-9]




Les anniversaires sont des moments importants dans la vie des paroisses, comme ils en sont dans la vie des individus, des familles, des peuples.

Ils permettent de regarder le passé et de l’apprécier à sa juste valeur. Ils invitent à considérer le présent en discernant ce qu’il recèle de beau et de bon. Ils impliquent aussi un regard vers l’avenir. Les anniversaires existent pour stimuler le goût de vivre, d’aller de l’avant.

Au cœur des anniversaires des paroisses, il y a toujours une messe, une eucharistie.  Le mot eucharistie signifie action de grâce. L’eucharistie que nous  célébrons a donc pour but de rendre grâce pour l’histoire de votre paroisse. Pour toute l’histoire : celle d’hier, celle d’aujourd’hui et même celle de demain qui est à construire.

« Le règne de Dieu est tout proche de vous. » Ces paroles de Jésus dans l’évangile d’aujourd’hui expriment notre reconnaissance pour tout ce que nous ont légué les fondateurs et tous ceux et celles qui ont poursuivi le travail durant toutes les années.


Il en faut de la générosité et du dévouement, il en faut du travail accompli dans l’ombre  et le plus souvent bénévolement, pour garder une paroisse vivante et rayonnante.  Merci, à tous les ouvriers d’autrefois et ceux d’aujourd’hui. Grâce à eux, grâce à vous, l’Évangile a été annoncé et il l’est encore. Les sacrements ont été célébrés et ils le sont encore. La pratique de la vie chrétienne  a été stimulée et elle l’est encore.

Il s’en passe des choses pendant cent soixante-quinze ans.

Il s’en est passé  des choses dans l’Église et dans la société.

Les deux ont beaucoup changé. Le passé des paroisses n’est jamais parfait. Leur présent non plus. Quant à leur avenir, nous ne savons pas ce qu’il sera. Mais nous rendons grâce pour tout, parce que tout repose entre les mains de Dieu parce que Dieu accompagne la marche des paroisses vers leur avenir comme il a autrefois accompagné la marche de son peuple vers la terre promise.

Frères et sœurs, dans sa bonté, le Seigneur vous a donné saint Luc comme patron. Permettez-moi de rappeler, en ce jour de sa fête, l’œuvre immense de celui qui est depuis 175 ans votre protecteur et modèle… 

En plus de son évangile, Luc est l’auteur du livre des Actes des Apôtres, livre qu’on  appelle parfois Les Actes du Saint Esprit. La somme de ses écrits constitue environ quarante pour cent du Nouveau Testament.

Tout un exploit !


L’évangile de Luc est unique à plusieurs égards. Il touche des thèmes et met en lumière des épisodes de la vie de Jésus que l’on ne retrouve pas dans les autres évangiles.

Cet évangéliste dont les écrits nous font voir la grandeur de la compassion et de la miséricorde de Dieu, nous présente le grand plan de Dieu à travers celui qu’il a envoyé rétablir les valeurs et l’espoir chez les humains, son Fils Jésus.

Dans ses écrits, Luc  souligne l’importance de la prière et de la foi, de l’action de l’Esprit Saint dans la vie de Jésus et de ses disciples. Il nous montre Jésus en prière lors des moments forts de sa vie. 

Luc nous dit qu’il ne peut y avoir de véritable conversion sans un changement dans notre comportement. Luc nous rappelle que Dieu a un amour préférentiel pour les pauvres, pour les affligés, pour les exclus, pour ceux et celles qui sont fragiles, malades, ou découragés; c’est d’abord pour eux que Dieu a envoyé son Fils sauver le monde. Luc nous parle aussi de la présence et de l’importante contribution des femmes parmi les disciples de Jésus.

Plus que tout autre évangéliste, Luc affirme le caractère universel du ministère de Jésus. Jésus est venu apporter son salut à tous les humains et non seulement à un peuple choisi.

Tout au long des Actes,  Luc parle de Jésus et du christianisme comme étant le chemin (9, 2). Suivre Jésus n’est donc pas quelque chose de statique; cela implique se mettre en marche, s’engager à le suivre, à le faire aimer, à le faire connaître.


Pour Luc, Jésus est le Messie, l’envoyé de Dieu, le Fils de Dieu qui fut enlevé au ciel pour retourner auprès de son Père (9, 51 et suivants) d’où il continue toujours, grâce à l’Esprit Saint, de guider son Église, jusqu’à son retour dans la gloire.

Dans l’exhortation apostolique La joie de l'Évangile, le pape François commence en disant : « l’Évangile remplit le cœur et toute la vie de ceux qui rencontrent Jésus » (no. 1)

«L'Église «en sortie», est la communauté des disciples missionnaires qui prennent l'initiative, qui s'impliquent, qui accompagnent, qui fructifient et qui fêtent. » (no 24) 

Nous avons une bonne nouvelle à annoncer au monde… 

Désirons-nous vraiment devenir toujours davantage des disciples-missionnaires au cœur du monde ?

Alors que nous célébrons le Dimanche missionnaire mondiale et le 175e de votre paroisse…

Rappelons-nous qu’Évangéliser c'est dire ce qui nous fait vivre…

Pour parler de l'évangélisation le Pape commence par rappeler ce qui devrait être une évidence pour chacun, mais qui, comme ça arrive souvent pour les évidences, risque parfois d'être complètement oublié : c'est tellement évident qu'on ne le voit plus, qu'on n'y pense plus…


L'évangélisation ce n'est pas la transmission d'un savoir, d'une théorie, d'un système, d'une morale, c'est le témoignage de notre foi en Jésus Sauveur, c'est-à-dire le témoignage de la relation de confiance que nous avons avec Jésus.

François le rappelle en citant Benoît XVI : "À l’origine du fait d’être chrétien il n’y a pas une décision éthique ou une grande idée, mais la rencontre avec un événement, avec une Personne, qui donne à la vie un nouvel horizon et par là son orientation décisive". (no.7)

C'est pourquoi, précise le pape François : "J’invite chaque chrétien, en quelque lieu et situation où il se trouve, à renouveler aujourd’hui-même sa rencontre personnelle avec Jésus Christ ou, au moins, à prendre la décision de se laisser rencontrer par lui, de le chercher chaque jour sans cesse. Il n’y a pas de motif pour lequel quelqu’un puisse penser que cette invitation n’est pas pour lui, parce que personne n’est exclu de la joie que nous apporte le Seigneur" (no.3)

Depuis son élection, le Saint-Père vient réveiller notre foi et notre amour du Seigneur, secouer nos tiédeurs et notre tranquillité, déranger nos pastorales peut-être un peu trop centrées sur l’entre-soi paroissial : « N’attendez pas seulement ceux qui frappent à la porte : pour être disciple, il faut sortir, partir comme Jésus le fit avec ses disciples !


Ne restez pas enfermés dans votre paroisse quand tant de personnes attendent l’Évangile : en partant de la périphérie, sortez pour chercher et rencontrer ceux qui ne fréquentent pas la paroisse ».

Sinon prévient-il « lorsque nous nous enfermons dans nos paroisses avec ceux qui pensent comme nous, l’Église est en grand danger, elle tombe malade » et nous tous avec !

Votre paroisse a cent soixante-quinze ans. Elle n’est plus ce qu’elle était. Elle n’a pas à redevenir à ce qu’elle a été. Regardez en avant. Allez de l’avant.

Continuez à travailler avec les paroisses de votre regroupement, de votre unité pastorale… c’est une source sûre pour l’avenir de l’Église dans votre région.


 Soyez chaque jour des chrétiens et des chrétiennes dignes de ce nom. Faites honneur à Dieu en vivant dans la joie et dans l’espérance. Dieu vous bénira. Il vous fera porter du fruit. Et n’oubliez pas : il compte sur chacun et chacune d’entre vous pour relever les défis du temps présent et construire l’Église qui vient.



Jésus ne nous demande pas de convaincre, de prouver… mais de témoigner avec joie de notre foi. Il nous invite à être des chrétiens audacieux, joyeux de croire, et qui donnent envie de le devenir.


Que nos visages révèlent à nos frères et sœurs la joie du Christ ressuscité! Et rappelons-nous que Jésus nous fait don d’une force intérieure, celle de l’Esprit Saint, qui nous permet de nous mettre toujours en marche pour la mission qu’il nous confie!


Photos: Suzanne Lalonde

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Messe dominicale: la Paroisse allemande de St. Albert, Ottawa

St. Albertuspfarrgemeinde—Ottawa, ON
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year “A”)
World Mission Sunday - October 19, 2014


                                           MISSIONARY DISCIPLES FOR TODAY
[Texts: Isaiah 45.1, 4-6 [Psalm 96 (95)]; 1 Thessalonians 1.1-5; Matthew 22.15-21]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

Your parish has been in the forefront of my thoughts this week. Members of the parish very kindly prepared and served an “Oktoberfest” luncheon at the Diocesan Centre for our Pastoral Day on Thursday. This weekend you have been holding your “Laienseminar” on the vision of Pope Francis for our Church guided by Msgr. Norbert Blome from the German Diocese of Ulm.  I thank him for his presence in our midst and I thank you and Fr. Schoenhammer, your pastor for your kindness and service in the Archdiocese.


During his second missionary journey, Paul had a vision of a Greek calling out in the night, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” (Acts 16.9)  It was a key moment in the spread of the gospel—from Asia to Europe. 

Paul, Silvanus and Timothy sailed from Troas to Macedonia and came to Thessalonica.  Readers interested in what happened there, and after Paul was expelled from the city, may read about it in Acts 17.1-18.11.

Paul's letters to the Thessalonians were efforts to keep in touch with the church he left in a hurry.  In them he recalled his teaching and comforted them.  Paul told them how all they experienced was part of God's plan and helped them deal with suffering. 

Above all, he helped them cope with the death of some of their friends—their “brothers and sisters in the Lord”. He offered them a vision of what would happen at the Lord Jesus' coming in glory.

Thessalonica was religiously diverse.  The Romans obliged their citizens to worship the empire and the emperor as divine; archaeologists have discovered there a temple to the goddess Roma and coins of Julius Caesar and Augustus inscribed with divine titles.

As in other Greek cities, Thessalonica had “mystery” religions espousing the cult of Dionysus and Serapis.  In such mystery religions, worshippers celebrated a ritual ceremony of the deity's dying and rising in order to share in divine life.  As in major cities of the empire, there were likely a few Jews in Thessalonica, too, though no synagogue has been found.

Paul shared with the Thessalonians the good news that God had raised Jesus from the dead.  Paul says they believed his message—taking it to be God's Word—and “turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1.9-10).


Their sincerity in becoming believers was palpable, so Paul made deep friendships with them.  Suddenly, though, persecution broke out and after a few weeks he had to leave them.  As they parted, Paul wondered how their faith would turn out. Would they go back to former ways? Or would they stick with their new convictions?

Paul worried and told his Thessalonian friends of his anxieties.  Meantime, he sent them a letter—the First Epistle to the Thessalonians—which scholars think is the first New Testament document put into writing, around the year 51. For a few weeks the second reading will be from this Pauline composition.

Paul was both a talented letter-writer and a brilliant teacher.  He knew the viewpoints of the “idea people” of his day. Some of these were known as Epicureans, Stoics and Cynics.  We know that the exponents of these “life-styles” wrote treatises in the form of letters.  Perhaps Paul wrote letters in imitation of them.

We do not know how these teachers went about their business, but it appears they held themselves up as models for their students, as we see Paul doing in First Thessalonians (2.1-12; 2.17-20; and 4.1-2).  These secular philosophers thought the best way of coping with life was to show little in the way of feelings.  Unlike them, Paul's approach was full of passionate expressions of fondness for his fellow believers.


Paul heard that the Thessalonians were grieving over the death of their friends, which gave them personal anguish.  Paul told them he had experienced similar pain when his relationship with them was cut off unexpectedly as he fled for his life (2.17-20). 

Christians believe in God and in Christ's resurrection.  Still, separation from a loved one, seeing a loved one suffer, losing someone to death—all are painful, disturbing experiences.  The question for disciples, then, is how faith, hope and love help one to approach these realities. 

These days, we cannot help but reflect on elements in society that seek to hasten death and mourning. This week, the Supreme Court heard proposals to allow and to prohibit euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The proposals for euthanasia and PAS oppose the Christian precepts on the gospel of life from conception to natural death.


Let us pray earnestly that the Supreme Court justices will choose wisely the path of affirming life. May their rulings encourage the Government of Canada to foster palliative care so that people will not fear pain and suffering in their last days. Canadians near the end of life should receive sound medical care and the consolation of family and friends at their side.

In a way, this kind of debate (and others such a law restricting abortion, objection to safe-injection drug sites, dealing with prostitution) raises the question of the relation of the spiritual and temporal realms, issues of church and state.

The gospel today shows us that we are not the first to deal with this relationship; it was there in the time of Jesus.

In an earlier passage in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus had expressed willingness to pay the Temple tax to avoid scandal (Matthew 17:4). Now we learn that he was not unwilling that the poll tax be paid to Caesar (“Give, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s...').  But Jesus went a step further when He added, “And to God the things that are God's”.

This claim, we should note, is all-inclusive, for God's image and likeness are found inscribed on all God's subjects.  Therefore, all of a believer's life should be rendered to God, while only a paltry coin is owed the civil ruler.


The role of religion or the Church in politics is always a contentious issue.  What is clear is that Christian citizens have a right to participate in the secular realm and its political processes.

Religious persons and the Church, then, are duty-bound to remind civic rulers of the dignity of the human person, who bears God's image and likeness.  This significant truth will have wide repercussions in spheres such as health care—from the moment of a person's conception to one's natural death—as well as in areas such as education, corrections, taxation and, indeed, all manner of social policy.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, says that all of us who have been baptized must be today “missionary-disciples”. A “disciple” is one who learns every day from Christ, through prayer, reading the Scriptures, serving the poor and in so many other ways. 

And we become a “missionary” by taking our faith into the public sphere and sharing the joy of the gospel—of having come to know Jesus Christ in an intimate and personal manner—and telling others about him and how he guides our families, our work, our social activities.



Here is a way of understanding our taking up the challenge of World Mission Sunday. We realize that the missionary lands have come to us in the many immigrants from so many different cultures; but also that our own Canada has become a missionary land. And the role of being a missionary disciple belongs not only to the clergy but to every one of the baptized. We in the Catholic Church need to learn how to do this, but first of all we must hear the challenge to take up the task.

Today in Rome a missionary pope of the last century, Giovanni Battista Montini (Pope Paul VI) was beatified. He has gone down in history as the pope who steered to its conclusion and implemented the Second Vatican Council.  He was the first pilgrim pope, the pope who gave away the triple crown with its symbol of temporal power, a man who was very much misunderstood during his lifetime.

Highly cultured, spiritually rich, humble and respectful of others whoever they might be, open to dialogue, he loved and served the Church and humanity and now may be viewed as a role model.

He wrote a number of encyclicals, including ones on social development, on devotion to Mary, on joy, and most famously, his last encyclical in 1968 Humanae Vitae, which upheld the Church’s ban on artificial contraceptives, which divided and continues to divide the Church.


In his earlier encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope Paul famously said that the modern world listens more readily to witnesses than to teachers, and it listens to teachers if they are also witnesses to the encounter they have had with Jesus and the joy and transformed life that such an encounter brings.

May we all grow in our capacity to be witnesses to the Good News and how it has touched us and so live out the challenge offered to us on World Missionary Sunday to become ever more credible missionary-disciples in the mold of St. Paul and his relationship with the church of Thessalonica and of Blessed Paul VI, a pope with a missionary’s heart. 

Photos: Heribert Riesbeck

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Homélie pour la Messe Rouge– Homily for the 2014 Red Mass

Société juridique Saint-Thomas-More
Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa, ON—October 16, 2014


Fostering the Common Good
[Texts: 1 Corinthians 12.12–26; Luke 22.24–30]
PROMOUVOIR LE BIEN COMMUN
[Textes: 1 Corinthiens 12,12–26; Luc 22,24–30]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Mes frères et sœurs dans le Seigneur :

Je tiens tout d’abord à vous féliciter d’avoir pris le temps de venir prier ensemble, ici, à la cathédrale d’Ottawa à l’occasion de la ‘Messe rouge’. Je suis très heureux de vous accueillir et de présider cette eucharistie.

Je sais que vous êtes des personnes dévouées qui prenez votre travail à cœur.

Que vous soyez avocat, juge, ou parlementaire, je sais que vous travaillez fort et que vous devez consacrer plusieurs heures au travail. Votre tâche n’est pas toujours facile.

Cette célébration porte le nom de ‘Messe rouge’ parce que le président porte des vêtements liturgiques rouges pour souligner la place tout à fait spéciale que tient l’Esprit Saint dans nos vies, dans la vie de l’Église et du monde.  Lors de notre baptême, nous avons reçu des dons de l’Esprit Saint. Ces dons ont grandis en nous. Aujourd’hui, nous demandons à l’Esprit Saint de faire grandir en nous, encore davantage, la vertu de la justice.

La première Messe rouge a été célébrée à la cathédrale de Paris au milieu du 13e siècle.


Because you have chosen to come here at the end of an active workday, I will make some heroic assumptions about you. You have a rich prayer and sacramental life. Your priorities are right: God first, family next, your career third, and your apostolate—how you volunteer your time in Christian service—fourth. You came here to worship God and to be challenged. I’ll try not to disappoint on the latter, so I’m going to give you an invitation.

To be in your profession, God has blessed you with the gift of persuasion: a logical mind and a mastery of compelling language. In Paul’s epistle, in the body, you might be the ear that hears, the hand that writes, or the mouth that speaks. Here is my suggestion for you, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Draw the people in your circle of influence, and indeed all of Canada, to the Kingdom of God. Use the three things that attract people to Christ. For some, like your children, use goodness. For others, like your peers, use truth. For the sensitive, use beauty. At the next Red Mass, let us to see the sanctuary of this cathedral even fuller with colleagues you have invited.

Also, I want you to read up on not just what the church teaches on moral issues, but why. You need to know why, seen through the lens of faith. The world may not be ready to grasp the reasoning in religious terms, but at least you will have the conviction of its sound reason. Then, using your gifts of language and logic, you will be able to advance wise legislation or decisions with words the world can understand…words that make sense in the natural, but that reflect the consequences of the spiritual.


De nos jours nous devons cultiver l’espérance. Le désespoir est l’affaire de Satan. À certains égards, le monde se porte plutôt bien et prend du mieux : pensons à notre  longévité, à la santé maternelle, à la qualité de la nourriture à laquelle nous avons accès, à notre bien-être financier etc.

Malgré cela, les gens ont peur de l’avenir. Dans plusieurs pays, même les chrétiens craignent de se marier et de mettre des enfants au monde. Satan cherche à éradiquer tout espoir. Nous oublions de faire confiance à la Providence. Nous oublions trop souvent que le mariage (1 Timothée 4, 3), les enfants (Psaume 37,26; Psaume 127, 3) et, oui, la vieillesse sont des bienfaits de Dieu (Proverbes 3, 2; 3, 16)

Les droits des uns ne doivent pas empiéter sur celui des autres. Satan voudrait nous faire croire qu’on peut se servir du corps de l’autre comme d’un jouet; que les bébés à naître peuvent être éradiqués du ventre de leur mère; que les enfants peuvent être manipulés à notre guise et que nous pouvons mettre fin à la vie à l’heure qui nous convient. 

Toutes ces choses sont signes de désespoir et nous amènent à un plus grand désespoir. Il s’agit d’une violence que la société se fait à elle-même, qui nuit à l’œuvre de Dieu et au salut du monde. Cela a plein de conséquences néfastes pour la santé publique, nuit à notre progrès économique et met en doute la qualité de nos lois.


This evening, I implore you to fight for and protect collective rights in addition to individual rights.

As we heard in the reading from chapter twelve of the first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul talks about the Church as the Body of Christ. Christ is the head and we are all members connected to Christ.

The Catholic Church and society are living organisms. Each member is essential. Furthermore, “if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy.”

As you know, marriage and family are the chief building blocks of this Body of Christ and of our civil society.

As we gather here today, there is another gathering in Rome, which ends on October 19th. It’s part one of two separate Synods of Bishops on the subject of the family that are attempting to take the pulse of challenges facing the family all around the world, as well as of specific issues in the “Catholic family” worldwide.

The family is at the centre of our Pastoral Year in the Archdiocese of Ottawa; its theme is: “We are God’s Family: Love is Our Call.” Our guiding scriptural text is Jesus’ remark that “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3.35)

For our part, we as Catholics in Canada need to take an honest look at how we uphold family rights. So many laws today, from abortion, to euthanasia, to marriage, to prostitution laws, are being challenged. Too often, the perceived rights of individuals are trumping the rights of the natural family or of Canadian society.


Cette année, nous célébrons cette Messe rouge le jour même de la fête de sainte Marie-Marguerite d’Youville, la première sainte à être née au Canada.

Marguerite est née à Varennes en 1721. À l’âge de douze ans elle dû quitter l’école pour aider à sa mère. Dès l’âge de trente ans,  elle avait perdu son mari, son père et quatre de ses six enfants. Malgré tout, elle continua toujours de rendre service aux autres.

Après avoir élevé ses enfants, Marguerite fit l’acquisition d’un petit hôpital qui s’en allait à l’abandon. Ce fut le début des Sœurs de la Charité de Montréal – les Sœurs Grises comme on les appelle familièrement.

Il est bon de rappeler ici… que les Sœurs Grises arrivent à Ottawa…en 1845. Imbues du charisme de Mère d’Youville, Mère Élisabeth Bruyère et ses consœurs entendent bien continuer l’œuvre des pauvres et le soin des plus défavorisés.  Un champ très vaste s’ouvre à leur zèle : enfants à instruire, malades à soigner, pauvres à visiter et à secourir. Encore aujourd’hui les Sœurs de la Charité d’Ottawa poursuivent cette œuvre de compassion chez nous !

En 1959, saint Jean XXIII béatifie Marguerite et la proclame «Mère à la charité universelle», et le 9 décembre 1990, saint Jean-Paul II canonise la Mère des pauvres.


Posons notre regard sur ce témoin de l’Évangile qu’est Marguerite d’Youville et demandons-lui d’intercéder pour nous alors que nous nous engageons dans une nouvelle année de service auprès de nos frères et sœurs.


Viens Esprit Saint renouveler la face de la terre ! Viens Esprit Saint renouveler nos cœurs!  Sainte Marguerite d’Youville et saint Thomas More – priez pour nous !


Photos: Paul Lauzon

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

50e Paroisse St Maurice de Nepean

Golden Jubilee of St. Maurice Parish—Ottawa, ON
                                     Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year “A”)


At the start of this Mass, I thank the Companions of the Cross who have served you for more than twenty years and I greet Bishop Riesbeck, who today celebrates the anniversary of his priestly ordination.

We gather today to give thanks to God for the fifty years of this parish community of St. Maurice. What a blessing this church and parish have been to the residents of this part of Nepean, of the Archdiocese of Ottawa! In recent years, in ways we cannot perceive, your perpetual adoration chapel has been a blessing to the community and the whole Church.

Over these many years, you have been served by nine pastors, whose years of service have varied between one and nine years; there have also been fifteen curates and a number of priests-in-residence or weekend associates. God has been with us throughout, bestowing graces through the sacraments, particularly the Holy Eucharist and his healing mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

In today’s second reading, St. Paul praised the Philippians for their care of him in his moments of need. They had helped him both financially and with their encouragement. The ups and downs of his life, Paul said, taught him to live with little and with plenty. This relationship between Paul and the Philippians points to the bond that unites priests and people: “In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry.”

What was the key to Paul’s equanimity and what can possibly be our own source of consolation? Paul said, “I can do all things through him [the Risen Christ] who strengthens me.” You see, it is the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, still marked with the prints of the nails in hands and feet—and the mark left by the spear in his side—who greets you as I did at the beginning of Mass with the greatest gift possible, “Peace be with you!”


                              “COME TO THE WEDDING BANQUET”
              [Texts: Isaiah 25.6–10 [Psalm 23]; Philippians 4.10–14, 19–20; Matthew 22.1–14]


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On this Thanksgiving weekend, the scriptural text from Isaiah speaks to us about feasting on “rich food” and with “well-aged wines.” This is a biblical parallel to our turkey with all the trimmings, pumpkin pie or other treats that will make up your Thanksgiving Dinner.

In the other biblical readings, the psalmist praises the Lord for anointing “my head with oil.” In the Gospel, Jesus recounts the parable of a wedding banquet given by a king “for his son.” God’s Word today also challenges us to be ready to attend the great feast, which God will give in the end times.

Ancient literature frequently used the image of a great banquet. The last book of the Bible describes the “wedding feast of the Lamb.” This feast denotes Christ’s victory over the enemies of God’s people (Revelation 19.1–21).

Similarly, the Apocalypse of Isaiah (chapters 24–27) declared that at the end of time, God would remove grief and mourning from people’s lives. Indeed, the Lord of hosts would “swallow up death forever.”

These days, we cannot help but reflect on elements in society that seek to hasten death and mourning. Soon, the Supreme Court will hear proposals to allow euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. These cases oppose the Christian precepts on the gospel of life from conception to natural death. Let us pray earnestly that the Supreme Court justices will choose wisely the path of affirming life. May their rulings encourage the Government of Canada to foster palliative care so that people will not fear pain and suffering in their last days. Canadians near the end of life should receive sound medical care and the consolation of family and friends at their side.

As Christians, we can stand on God’s biblical promises that a new life awaits us. We will be able to echo the Scriptures as they say, “let us be glad and rejoice in God’s salvation.” May God’s children joyfully partake in the “feast of rich food” prepared “for all peoples.”

Today’s gospel parable message is clearer when we understand that the social world in which Jesus lived was highly stratified. The elite did not mix or dine with their inferiors. It was common to invite people twice to a banquet. If the in-crowd announced they’d be there, everybody would want to go. If the in-crowd stayed away, so would everyone else, and they would make up trivial excuses.

In this story, those dissatisfied with the wedding banquet arrangements showed their disapproval. Worse, they shamed the king by murdering his slaves. It would be normal to expect the king to avenge his honour.

But this king’s wedding banquet reflected the “Kingdom of Heaven.” It went beyond the conventions of the day. The king decided to invite new guests to the wedding banquet—people decidedly different from the first ones he called: “those invited were not worthy ... go to the main streets and invite everyone you find.”

If the parable is seen as an allegory of salvation history, the first sets of slaves would be the prophets. The final invitation to the wedding banquet would be Jesus’ ministry. The last messengers would be his apostles.

Those summoned are “both bad and good.” This reflects the mystery of the church, which welcomes people others judge unworthy. For Jesus accepted “tax collectors and sinners”—those on the margins, the outcast. With Jesus’ proclamation, God’s messianic banquet becomes fully subscribed!

Now, a king who invited poor people to his banquet may have supplied them with wedding garments. So, the king, pleased that the banquet hall was full, went in to see the guests his slaves had enlisted.

Amid his joy, he was embarrassed by one individual who, strangely, had not donned a wedding garment. The king, calling this man “Friend,” asked how he could have acted in this way. The man remained speechless. Then the king called for his expulsion.

In early Christianity, a believer’s new identity—through conversion—was expressed by putting on a new set of clothing. Thus, the guest’s refusal to put on a wedding garment represents his rejection of Christ (Rom 13:14).

The mysterious saying “many are called, but few are chosen” reflects a problem of the Hebrew language created by its lack of comparative adjectives. Comparisons have to be expressed by “large” and “small” or “many” and “few.” So, we can understand the passage to mean the “chosen,” or saved, are “fewer” than those “called.”

The parable of the wedding feast is really all about our response to God’s call. It cautions us first about the dangers of indifference. When the Father invites us into a relationship with his Son, we can choose to follow him. Or, we can turn Him down and go back to our personal pursuits as though nothing has changed and no new demands have been placed on our lives.

The parable also warns us against indignation. Many people do not want to acknowledge that all sinners need salvation. To them, the Good News and its call for repentance threaten happiness and fulfilment. They would rather live in denial than receive God’s mercy and grace.

Finally, the parable warns us against incomplete conversion. The man without the wedding garment had neither ignored nor refused the invitation to the feast. But, his yes to the call of God was not carried through in his life. He wanted the good things of the Kingdom, but not enough to break with his sinful ways and live as a committed disciple.

The final verse captures the message of the parable in a short maxim. Many are invited, Jesus says, but few are chosen. The point is that all are called to the Kingdom, but not all will be found worthy to possess it.

Some will decline the invitation and so exclude themselves from its blessings. Others will accept it but will not follow through in putting its demands into practice.

Now, here is where the parable speaks about you! Those found acceptable are those committed to directing their lives by the gospel. You are to clothe yourself in the garments of true repentance and Christ-like righteousness. Indeed, you are to clothe yourself in Christ.

Clothing oneself in Christ through baptism and the gift of oneself is what links the saints whose relics will be placed in the altar: the virgin to whom Our Lord appeared to reveal his Sacred Heart—St. Margaret Mary Alacocque and the martyr saint, Maria Goretti, the champion of purity from the last century and the ancient martyrs Clare, Vincent and Severus.

We should know that, as it was for our patron St. Maurice, whose relic we will embed in the altar on this Golden Anniversary of the parish dedicated to his memory, attaching ourselves to Christ is costly. This is particularly true in this age, which is increasingly hostile to the gospel message.

The Roman Emperor commanded the Theban Legion and Maurice to sacrifice to the gods but, as Christian believers, they refused. Maurice sent him the message, “Emperor, we are your soldiers; we are ready to combat the enemies of the empire, but we are also Christians, and we owe fidelity to the true God. We are not rebels, but we prefer to die, innocent, rather than to live, guilty.”

Let us pray for the delight of knowing Christ, the joy of the gospel, and the courage to always be faithful to Christ and his saving message. Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary—the star of the new evangelization—may we become missionary-disciples. Amen.