Sunday, September 20, 2009

25 Years Ago John Paul II Bid Canada Adieu, in 1987 He Visited Fort Simpson - Shots of Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica's New Roof

Throughout his two-day visit the Holy Father went forward into the crowds who so anxiously sought his blessing. They mobbed him, some weeping, some straining for a better view. During the welcoming ceremony, the Pope moved into the clutch of eighty youngsters offering him roses, to hug them, at one point bending to wipe the tears of a young Japanese boy, a representative of his country's embassy.

At Canadian Forces Base Uplands on Thursday, September 20, John Paul II bid farewell to the Canadians who had received him so warmly. "Good-bye, God bless you", he said in the presence of Governor-General Jeanne Sauve and the newly-elected Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

He expressed his keen disappointment at being kept by bad weather from a rendez-vous with the Dene of Fort Simpson, NWT but promised he would do so when he could. "Excuse me," he said with a smile, "so I invited myself to the second time in Canada", a promise he filled three years to the day on September 20, 1987, stopping there at the end of a ten-day tour of the United States.

RECALLING JOHN PAUL II’S PASTORAL VISITS TO CANADA, SEPTEMBER 1984 & 1987

Excerpts from John Paul's Closing Messages:

To the Organizers of the Tour

Loué soit Jésus-Christ! En cette dernière étape de mon long périple pastoral au Canada, je rends grâce à Dieu pour tout ce qu’il m’a permis de voir et d’entendre, de l’est à l’ouest, dans des assemblées très diverses.

Nous voici en cette magnifique cité d’Ottawa, la capitale du pays. Elle a été choisie pour célébrer cet après-midi la messe pour la paix. Hier soir, j’ai rencontré les instances gouvernementales, parlementaires et diplomatiques dont le rôle est si important pour l’ensemble du peuple canadien et pour la communauté mondiale. J’ai salué les Autorités civiles de la région.

Dans quelques instants, je vais m’entretenir avec l’ensemble de mes Frères dans l’épiscopat qui ont la charge de l’Eglise catholique au Canada. Déjà, je tiens à remercier Monseigneur Joseph-Aurèle Plourde de son fervent accueil dans la cathédrale de son archidiocèse.

L’occasion m’est donnée ici d’exprimer ma gratitude chaleureuse à tous ceux qui, depuis des mois, ont participé à la préparation de ce voyage, puis à son déroulement. Souvent, je recevais à Rome des témoignages de cette préparation intense. Depuis douze jours, je suis témoin de leur travail....

I am particularly appreciative of the collaboration which was established for this undertaking between the Provincial and Federal Authorities and the various ecclesiastical groups. And through you I thank the thousands of people who have had a hand in all the services, at the various stops throughout the country, in a selfless and discreet manner, without always being able themselves to assist at the ceremonies, while they contributed to their success.

In addressing myself more especially to the faithful who have had responsible roles, I dare add that this fine work is not yet finished. It will be necessary to draw the maximum profit from this experience, to point out its value for the Canadian people, and permit them to meditate on it. I am sure that many of you are already part of those dedicated groups who have the habit of supporting similar services in your ecclesial communities. I congratulate you and I encourage you.

The Church needs structures for the fulfilment of her mission in so many spheres. She needs competent and generous people. Indeed, she needs an impetus, a spiritual inspiration which she finds in prayer, in her liturgical life, in her commitment to charity, and I do not doubt that you have met these spiritual requirements in your work of organization.

We are here in the cathedral, and I cannot visit such churches without reflecting on the sense of the sacred which they help to develop in order to facilitate an encounter with the living God, and without evoking the image of the Christian assemblies for which they exist. It is of capital importance that these signs of God arise in the hearts of our cities, and above all that our faithful diligently strive to visit these spiritual places for personal prayer or for the celebration of the sacraments. In this way they can set out again on the roads of this world with the light and the strength of the Lord! This morning, our prayer consists above all in rendering thanks to God and recommending to him your intentions, in union with the Virgin Mary.

To all of you, ladies and gentlemen, dear brothers and sisters, I repeat my deepest thanks. I offer my fervent prayers for all the responsibilities which you exercise in society and in the Church. I pray that God will bless you and your families.

* * * * * *



To His Brother Bishops of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Placing the preaching of the Gospel as the first task of the bishops, the Council specified that they are "heralds of the faith . . . they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people assigned to them, the faith which is destined to inform their thinking and direct their conduct; and under the light of the Holy Spirit they make the faith shine forth . . . With watchfulness they ward off whatever errors threaten their flock" (Ibid. 25).

All the ethical reflections and the questions which we can and must raise as pastors before the human, social and cultural problems of our times - about which I shall now speak - are subordinated to the proclamation of salvation in Jesus Christ.

In this sense, dear brothers, lead your Christian people to drink from the Living Water itself. It is necessary to speak to them from a theocentric and theological perspective. Only the word of God holds the key to our existence and enlightens our paths. This is why, in my homilies, I tried to place the faithful face to face with this Revelation from on high, to lead them to contemplate the glory of God, who wishes for man the fullness of life, but in a way which transcends man’s experiences and desires. The Redemption places us before the "Justice" of God, before the sin of man and the love of God which ransomed him. Man has need of his Redeemer to be fully man.

Humanism - which we want to promote in collaboration with our brothers and sisters of other religions and with non-believers of good will - depends, for us Christians, on God the Creator and Redeemer. Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum . . . Secularization, taken in the sense of wanting to realize in practical life a humanism without reference to God, would be a negation of the Christian faith. That is why we must proclaim the Good News of God in season and out of season, in all its power and originality; we must proclaim the whole faith which the Church expresses, beginning from the early kerygma.

And as I said to one of your groups during the ad limina visit (23 September 1983), it is necessary to encourage and call the faithful to conversion. If the world no longer dares to speak about God, it expects from the Church, and especially from the bishop, and from the priests, a word which witnesses to God with strength and conviction, in a persuasive and adapted language, without ever reducing the greatness of the message to the expectation of the listeners. I have noted that this was one of the concerns of your Theological Commission. Here, in actual fact, come together all the problems of the initiation to the faith, or of its deepening, for adults, youth and children, about which we spoke at the time of the ad limina visits.

As heralds of the faith, we are necessarily guides of consciences, like Moses who led his people to encounter the God of the Covenant and to receive the Commandments connected with the Covenant. The Council says it well: faith must direct one’s thought and one’s conduct.

I know the care which you have taken to help your contemporaries become sensitive to certain moral attitudes inspired by the Christian spirit. You have published a number of documents in this vein. The values of honesty, justice, the dignity of man and woman, work, aid, charity, social love and solidarity with the poor and the disinherited in the face of the new economic and cultural situations claim your attention in particular. At the same time, you seek to respond in faith to the new questions posed by the sciences, technology, and the sometimes disturbing developments of human biology. I understand and I approve this preoccupation. You wish to avoid a break between Christian teaching and life, between the Gospel and culture, between fait and justice. Indeed what kind of faith is it which would not seek to incarnate itself in daily conduct? And would it have credibility in a world which at times doubts the existence of God? The letters of Saint Paul, after explaining the Christian mystery, proceed to concrete exhortations which flow from it.

I am thinking here of two other Gospel demands. First, the dignity of family life. "Happy the pure in heart" (Matth. 5, 8). You observe the breakdown of the family and the crisis in marriage. How many children and parents suffer from broken homes, separations, divorces! You yourselves moreover have sought to improve the legislation on this point. You also see the many "free unions" which refuse or delay a total and exclusive commitment of the two partners in the Sacrament of Marriage. You know that abortion is very widespread. And many have recourse to contraceptive means instead of respecting, in self-control and a mutually agreed effort, the double finality of the conjugal act: love and openness to life. Among the causes of these evils, there is a generalized tendency to hedonism; there is a forgetting of God; there is without a doubt an ignorance of the theology of the body, of the magnificent plan of God for conjugal union, of the necessity of an asceticism in order to deepen a love which is truly worthy of man and woman, and to correspond to the life of the Spirit present in the couple. Sex education, the preparation of young people for marriage and support for family life should be top priorities here. Despite frequently passionate opinions to the contrary, it is expected that the Church would help to save human love and respect for life.

On the other hand, the consumer society, the seduction of artificial needs, the situation of over-abundant riches, and a general striving for profit render more difficult the important application of the Beatitude: "How happy are the poor in spirit" (Matth. 5, 3). How is it possible to educate, despite everything, to poverty and simplicity of life, in order to keep the heart free, open to the Kingdom of God and to one’s neighbour? Is it not necessary, among other things, to open people’s eyes to the immense regions of the world where many live in complete destitution?

In this domain, as in many others, we must unceasingly remember the appeal of Saint Paul: You who have been sanctified, who have become children of God, called to holiness and inhabited by the Spirit of God: "Do not model yourselves on the behaviour of the world around you" (Rom. 12, 2). Let us always remember the pastoral courage of Saint John Chrysostom, whom we honoured at Moncton.

Our people have to struggle to keep the faith and Christian morality partially because they have not discovered a sense of prayer, or because they no longer attempt to pray. I wish to speak of that prayer which seeks, in dialogue with God or preferably in listening to God, the contemplation of his love and conformity with his will. The graces of renewal and conversion will only be given to a Church that prays. Jesus begged his Apostles to watch and pray (Matth. 26, 41). With our priests, with our religious and many of the laity who have rediscovered prayer, in the joy of the Holy Spirit, let us be teachers of prayer.

Prayer is inseparable from the sacraments. In this regard the Council said the following about the role of bishops: "Through the sacraments, the regular and fruitful distribution of which they direct by their authority, they sanctify the faithful" (Lumen Gentium, 26). I will mention only two extremely important domains. First the Sunday Eucharistic assembly. How can a people which wishes to be Christian neglect it? The causes are many, but at any rate, we pastors must do all we can to restore a sense of the Lord’s Day and of the Eucharist, and to see that our liturgies are carefully prepared and characterized by the active participation of the faithful and the dignity of prayer.

You easily understand why I underline another main point of pastoral sacramental practice: that of the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation. The frequent reception of this sacrament bears witness to the fact that we believe in the Church as a communion of holiness, and in Christ’s action to build up this communion. The entire renewal of the Church depends on the personal conversion which is sealed in a personal encounter with Christ. To foster this is to contribute effectively to the whole renewal willed by the Second Vatican Council and promoted by the post-conciliar reforms; otherwise, the whole of our pastoral practice suffers a serious lack, and the effectiveness of all the activity of the Church is affected. Our communion with the universal Church requires that the discipline of the whole Church be respected just as it has been defined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has stressed its link with a divine precept (June 16, 1972). The last Synod, in which many of you participated, gave special emphasis to the absolute necessity of Penance: the spirit of penance, a sense of sin, and the request for pardon in the Sacrament of Penance with a personal accusation of one’s sins to a priest.

Vous êtes conscients qu’en peu dannées, cette pratique multiséculaire de l’Eglise a été négligée. Certes, on a fait de louables efforts pour mettre en lumière l’aspect communautaire de la pénitence, pour faire prendre conscience à l’ensemble des fidèles du besoin de conversion et les amener à célébrer ensemble la miséricorde de Dieu et la grâce de la réconciliation. Mais ce renouveau communautaire ne doit jamais faire délaisser la démarche personnelle du pénitent et l’absolution personnelle. C’est le droit de chaque pénitent, et on peut même dire que c’est le droit du Christ à l’égard de chaque homme qu’il a racheté, afin de pouvoir lui dire par son ministre “Tes péchés te sont remis” (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Redemptor Hominis, 20).

Chers Frères dans l’épiscopat, aidons les prêtres à accorder une priorité à ce ministère, après l’Eucharistie, mais avant beaucoup d’autres activités moins importantes. Aidons-les à se convaincre qu’ils collaborent ainsi merveilleusement à l’œuvre du Rédempteur, comme dispensateurs de sa grâce. Si cette conviction est assurée, le problème pratique pourra trouver des solutions, même avec des prêtres moins nombreux. Si jamais nos fidèles perdaient le sens du péché et de ce pardon personnel, s’ils ne trouvaient plus suffisamment de prêtres disponibles pour ce ministère essentiel, il manquerait une dimension capitale à l’authenticité de leur vie chrétienne. Et même l’approche de l’Eucharistie, qui semble restée fréquente, laisserait perplexe sur la conscience des exigences qu’entraîne pour les membres du Corps du Christ la communion avec celui qui en est la Tête: le “Christ qui invite au banquet eucharistique est toujours le Christ qui exhorte à la pénitence, qui répète: convertissez-nous” (Ibid.).

Je me suis permis d’insister longuement sur ce point, mais je sais que plusieurs d’entre vous, tout en gardant le bénéfice d’une préparation communautaire, avez déjà cherché au cours de cette année comment réagir à cette crise de la demande personnelle du pardon.

J’évoquais le ministère des prêtres. Je sais combien vous êtes proches d’eux, comme des pères, et comment vous les encouragez dans cette période difficile où certains sont un peu désemparés, parce que leurs fidèles sont moins nombreux à pratiquer, que leur rôle social leur semble moins défini, et parce qu’un nouveau style de la collaboration nécessaire avec les laïcs n’est pas toujours facile à trouver. Dans cette période de mutation culturelle et d’adaptation postconciliaire, vos prêtres, comme dans la plupart des pays, ont surtout besoin d’être fortifiés dans une théologie bien équilibrée, et dans des orientations pastorales très claires, en conformité avec le nouveau Droit canonique.

Tout naturellement, nous pensons à la relève. Et je rejoins là vos soucis. Le 23 septembre 1983, j’ai parlé longuement des vocations avec plusieurs d’entre vous. Un nouvel espoir apparaît dans les séminaires de plusieurs de vos diocèses, mais il faut résolument poursuivre dans cette voie de l’appel et d’une solide formation spirituelle et théologique; ce sont surtout les vocations à la vie religieuse qui se font rares. La pastorale des vocations exige une action auprès des jeunes, elle suppose toujours la prière explicite à cette intention. Oui, faisons beaucoup prier pour les vocations au sacerdoce et à la vie religieuse.

Nous sommes les rassembleurs de l’ensemble du peuple de Dieu. C’est la mission des évêques et, avec eux, des prêtres. Le Concile précise: “Chaque fois que la communauté de l’autel se réalise en dépendance du ministère sacré de l’évêque se manifeste le symbole de cette charité et de cette unité du Corps mystique sans laquelle le salut n’est pas possible” (Lumen Gentium, 26). Nous faisons converger vers le même Seigneur tous ces groupes de croyants ou d’apôtres chrétiens qui travaillent chacun dans leur milieu ou selon leur charisme. Et comme le Bon Pasteur, nous devons, autant que possible, faire en sorte que toutes les brebis suivent la marche, sans que certaines se sentent délaissées ou méprisées parce qu’elles ont plus de difficulté à comprendre le rythme des réformes. Nous sommes les gardiens de l’unité, les promoteurs de l’accueil fraternel, les éducateurs de la tolérance entre sensibilités diverses, les témoins de la miséricorde pour les frères plus sensibles au scandale, et parfois non sans raison (1 Cor. 8 12).

L’Eglise au Canada a fait un merveilleux effort pour aider les laïcs à prendre leurs pleines responsabilités de baptisés, de confirmés. Oui, ne craignons pas, évêques et prêtres, de leur faire confiance; il leur revient, avec certes une bonne formation, de porter au milieu du monde le témoignage qui, sans eux, manquerait à l’Eglise; ils sont même capables d’aider les prêtres à renouveler leur zèle sacerdotal. J’ai souvent parlé durant ce voyage des services qu’ils peuvent de plus en plus assumer, hommes et femmes, au sein des communautés chrétiennes, dans le respect bien sûr de ce qui relève exclusivement des ministères ordonnés, et surtout de l’apostolat qui leur revient en propre, dans le domaine familial, dans leur vie de travail, dans les initiatives sociales, dans les tâches d’éducation, dans les responsabilités des affaires publiques. C’est aux laïcs et à leurs associations qu’il revient de faire passer dans la vie de la société les principes de doctrine sociale que soulignent vos documents....

Les besoins spirituels de nos frères des autres Eglises doivent tenir une place primordiale dans notre charité universelle. “Le soin d’annoncer l’Evangile sur toute la terre revient au corps des pasteurs . . . ils doivent de toutes leurs forces contribuer à fournir aux missions, et les ouvriers de la moisson, et les secours spirituels et matériels” et spécialement se prêter, “dans la communion universelle de la charité, à fournir un secours fraternel aux autres Eglises, surtout les plus proches et les plus dépourvues” (Ibid.). Tout le monde sait que l’engagement missionnaire de tant de Canadiens, prêtres, religieux religieuses, laïcs, en Amérique Latine, en Afrique, en Asie, en plus du Grand Nord canadien, a été admirable. Ne laissons pas se tarir la source des vocations missionnaires! Ne laissons pas se flétrir la conviction de l’urgence de la mission universelle, même si elle prend d’autres formes de solidarité....

NEW ROOF ON NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL BASILICA

As the roofing project goes forward, it is clear to see that the great weather has helped the work progress quickly over the past eight weeks. Though these are not my photos, I am grateful for shots that help us see the new steel tiles being installed on the east side (the west side will be done as soon as favourable weather permits next spring/summer.

Looking north from the east side of the cathedral roof. Note Our Lady's statue that looks across Sussex to the Ottawa River; I am told the statue was once covered with gold, given by the wives of the "draveurs" who would see the statue glistening in the sunlight as they rode logs on the river.

Looking toward Parent Avenue, the back of the cathedral; here the cross is a prominent marker.

The new tile on the left, and on the right the old tile, which will be replaced next year when roofing work is completed.

Correction: Yesterday's blog report on Sainte Anne's Church spoke of the roof's collapse ("everything was going well until the roof fell in"), but a sharp-eyed insider says that it was the west transept that collapsed. Point well taken.

2 comments:

  1. Jean Ronald BaillardMarch 23, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    Christ Redeemer Church Tabernacle
    11, Lilavois 54-Plain Haiti
    Common Croix des Bouquets



    The Tabernacle Church of Christ the Redeemer Lilavois you hello and encourage you to work better with the work of the Lord, 1 Cor. 15, 58

    We are an evangelical church which is at No. 11 Lilavois 54-Plain City Croix des Bouquets.
    We currently have more than two hundred students and over one hundred who are faithful in very very poor following the earthquake that rocked our country, January 12, 2010.
    That is why we are writing to ask you to do a field visit to see action in this collaboration is only possible to remedy a situation.
    In addition, we have several projects to complete, but after your response, we would be able to analyze them.

    Projects
    - Construction of the Church
    - Construction of an orphanage
    - Construction of Health Center
    - Opening of a professional center
    - Education of Children
    - Creation of a Bible school

    May the Lord bless your ministry abundantly.

    For information: Write to us!

    Or call the numbers:
    John Ronald Baillard / Pastor and Founder: 781 219 8840
    Benicia Joseph / Assist. Pastor: 50937121270
    Jean Dieul Corriolan / Assist.Pasteur and the school principal: 50936029014

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jean Ronald BaillardMarch 23, 2010 at 2:30 AM

    email :papybayoo@ymail.com

    Christ Redeemer Church Tabernacle
    11, Lilavois 54-Plain Haiti
    Common Croix des Bouquets



    The Tabernacle Church of Christ the Redeemer Lilavois you hello and encourage you to work better with the work of the Lord, 1 Cor. 15, 58

    We are an evangelical church which is at No. 11 Lilavois 54-Plain City Croix des Bouquets.
    We currently have more than two hundred students and over one hundred who are faithful in very very poor following the earthquake that rocked our country, January 12, 2010.
    That is why we are writing to ask you to do a field visit to see action in this collaboration is only possible to remedy a situation.
    In addition, we have several projects to complete, but after your response, we would be able to analyze them.

    Projects
    - Construction of the Church
    - Construction of an orphanage
    - Construction of Health Center
    - Opening of a professional center
    - Education of Children
    - Creation of a Bible school

    May the Lord bless your ministry abundantly.

    For information: Write to us!

    Or call the numbers:
    John Ronald Baillard / Pastor and Founder: 781 219 8840
    Benicia Joseph / Assist. Pastor: 50937121270
    Jean Dieul Corriolan / Assist.Pasteur and the school principal: 50936029014

    ReplyDelete