Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jesuits in English Canada Congress - Celebrating Ignatius Loyola

Today, Jesuits around the world celebrate the Solemnity of the founder of the Society of Jesus.  I will be joining members of the Jesuits in English Canada Province at the Martyrs Shrine, Midland, for the feast day.

Relatives and friends will join with me and fellow jubilarians to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of our entry into the Order.  Photos of that will be available later in the week.

In the meantime, here are some photos from the Congress held for the past few days (I was absent for the funeral of Bishop Marchand but took part in several of the events, including Mass presided by our Father General Adolfo Nicolas on Thursday). 

In addition to the members of the Province, nine members of the Province of French Canada and Haiti were in attendance, as were numerous men and women who collaborate with Jesuits in ministries across Canada.  

A "donne" with my classmate, Fr. Frank Obrigewitsch

A "blackrobe" explains to Jesuits and their collaborators
the chapel of Saint Joseph at Sainte Marie

With my novice master, Fr. Leonard Fischer, still going strong in his 90's

Father General with some Canadian Jesuits

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“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”

--Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991), Jesuit Superior General (1965-1983)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mgr Donald Lapointe prend sa retraite

It was announced in Rome today, that the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation, for reasons of age (he will be 75 in September), of Bishop Donald A. Lapointe, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Saint Jerome.

Bishop Lapointe, ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Sherbrooke in 1964, has been serving in the diocese of Saint Jerome since 2002.

Best wishes for a blessed retirement!

Friday, July 29, 2011

RIP: Most Reverend Francis SPENCE, Emeritus Archbishop of Kingston

With deep sadness Kingston Archbishop Brendan O'Brien announced the death of one of his predecessors, the Most Rev. Francis John Spence, Archbishop Emeritus, on Wednesday, 27 July 2011:

Archbishop Spence was born in Perth, Ontario, on 3 June 1926. He was ordained a priest on 16 April 1950 and ordained a Bishop on 15 June 1967. Archbishop Spence served as Auxiliary Bishop to the Military Vicar from 1967-1982, Bishop of Charlottetown from 1970-1982, and Ordinary for the Military Vicariate of Canada from 1982-1989. He was installed as Archbishop of Kingston on 30 June 1982 and served until his retirement on 13 August 2002. Archbishop Spence was President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1995-1997.

As an Archdiocese, we thank God for the gift of Archbishop Emeritus Spence and his unfailing service and witness throughout the years of his priesthood and episcopal ministry.

Archbishop Spence will lie in state at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 279 Johnson Street, in Kingston (Ontario), on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., with a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 2011, at the Cathedral in Kingston, with a reception to follow.  Interment will take place on Thursday, August 4, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. at the family plot in Perth. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Priests’ Benefit Fund of the Archdiocese of Kingston would be appreciated.

Let us pray for the Spence family, and for the people of the Archdiocese of Kingston, in this time of grief.

* * * * * *

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sunday 18: Jesus Feeds the Crowds

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year "A") – July 31, 2011 - “EAT WHAT IS GOOD, DELIGHT YOURSELVES IN RICH FOOD” - [Texts: Isaiah 55:1-3 [Psalm 145]; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21]

In the Bible, the banquet is frequently used as an image to describe God's care for humanity.  This explains why, at key moments in history, divine-human relationships get sealed by means of a celebratory or sacrificial meal.

This was the case when Israel came forth from Egypt and at the covenant-making ceremony of Sinai.  Biblical sages spoke of coming to dine at the feast as a symbol for imbibing God's wisdom (“incline your ear, and come to me; listen so that you may live”).

In his ministry, Jesus celebrated friendship meals with outcasts and sinners as a sign that the Kingdom of God was breaking into the world in a new way.  Likewise, all four gospels depict Jesus feeding crowds in the wilderness with loaves and fish multiplied for thousands.  Mark and Matthew depict this wilderness feeding event as occurring twice.  Once it appears in a setting with Jewish overtones and, in the second instance, with hints of a Gentile context.

The gestures of Jesus in these feeding miracles (looking up to heaven, blessing, breaking, giving) suggest that these privileged moments were seen by the Church as anticipations of the sacrificial meal of the Eucharist that, later on, Jesus would leave as a memorial of the “new covenant” in His blood.

Lastly, both Old and New Testaments herald a coming eschatological banquet when, at the end of time and freed from anything that would diminish their joy, God's people would share a meal in total harmony and peace.

Isaiah's oracles of salvation, found in today's first reading, address the situation of the Israelites who were returning to Sion (Jerusalem) after the humiliation of their exile in Babylon.  Isaiah proclaimed that the only true “return”—one which included the opening of a door to Israel's gentile neighbours—was a return to God's ways instead of human ways.

God's way is that of salvation which is being offered as a free gift: “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price”.  It is an offer of the food that God alone gives (“eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food”).  This fare is the teaching of the Word of God that in the ministry of Jesus would foretell his gift of the food that is the Eucharist.

God's nourishing word calls for attentiveness and receptivity.  God's victuals, which are true instruction, demand discipline: “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me....”   Ultimately feeding on and clinging to God's instruction is what truly satisfies human hearts (“listen, so that you may live”).

Immediately before narrating the multiplication of the loaves for the thousands, Matthew had told of King Herod's banquet, which culminated in the beheading of John the Baptist (14.1-12).  It is an image of the worst sort of evil that humankind can muster.  Faced with the hostile power of the kingdom of this world, Jesus “withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself”.  Jesus does not respond to evil with violence but with a search for solitude, just as, later on, He will seek seclusion for an opportunity to pray (14.23).

The mini-drama of the miracle of the loaves has three parts.  It opens with a notice that Jesus had compassion for the crowd “and cured their sick”.  This so enthrals the people that they are reluctant to leave.  Though they are as yet uncommitted to Him, Jesus encouraged them to stay with him till evening.

Then comes Jesus' dialogue with his disciples.  He challenges them, “you give them something to eat”.  They do not appear sarcastic, as in Mark's account (6.37), but simply volunteer their lack of resources, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish”.  Finally, in the miracle, the extravagance of messianic times replaces the hunger of God's people (“all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full”).

As they feed on God's provisions, Christians come to understand Paul's teaching that nothing (“famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ... nor things present nor things to come”) can separate them “from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vox Clara Committee Meets in Rome (July 24-26)

Missing: Archbishop Michael Neary (Tuam) and Bishop John Hon Ton (Hong Kong)

I have just returned from Rome and the Vox Clara meeting; here is the press release and a few photos:

July 24-26, 2011

The Vox Clara Committee met from July 24-26 in Rome. This Committee of senior Bishops from Episcopal Conferences throughout the English-speaking world was formed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July 19, 2001 in order to provide advice to the Holy See concerning English-language liturgical books and to strengthen effective cooperation with the Conferences of Bishops in this regard.

The Vox Clara Committee is chaired by Cardinal George Pell (Sydney). The participants in the meeting were Bishop Thomas Olmsted, First Vice-Chairman (Phoenix), Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Second Vice-Chairman (Bombay), Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Secretary (Paterson), Cardinal Justin Rigali, Treasurer (Philadelphia, Emeritus), Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. (Chicago), Archbishop Alfred Hughes (New Orleans, Emeritus), Archbishop Michael Neary (Tuam), Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J. (Ottawa), Bishop John Tong Hon (Hong Kong), and Bishop David McGough (Birmingham, Auxiliary).

Also assisting the meeting were Monsignor James P. Moroney (Executive Secretary), Reverend Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B (expert), Reverend Dennis McManus (expert), Monsignor Gerard McKay (advisor), Reverend Joseph Briody (special assistant) and Reverend Gerard Byrne (special assistant). Abbot Cuthbert Johnson, O.S.B. (advisor) was unable to be present.

The representatives of the Holy See included the Delegate to the Vox Clara Committee, Reverend Anthony Ward, S.M., Undersecretary of the Congregation, accompanied by officials of the Congregation.

The Committee heard reports on the widespread distribution of the Study Text on the Roman Missal and approved plans for several future publications on behalf of the Congregation, most notably an interim edition of the Roman Pontifical, including new translations of several pontifical texts drawn from the Roman Missal. It is planned that the publication will also include the Rite for the Blessing of Oils and it should be available in the first months of 2012. The publication of a collection of commemorative essays on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam, under the title Toward an Authentic and Clear Voice, as well as several editions of the Missale Parvum, was also authorized.

The Committee spent the greatest amount of time on a review of the translation of the short and beautiful Latin text of the Ordo benedicendi oleum catechumenorum et infirmorum et conficiendi chrisma at the request of the Congregation. The Congregation undertook to produce this text because it was concerned to meet the needs of the Bishops of the English-speaking world for a translation of the Blessing of Oils in time for the Mass of Chrism in 2012. To cope with this unusual and pressing situation the Congregation commissioned a draft translation text, which was then developed in consultation with the Vox Clara Committee and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. As a result of these consultations, the translation was substantially modified.

Finally, the Committee adopted plans for the revision of the Ratio Translationis for the English language, and approved the scope of work in the continuing revision of the translations of the Latin liturgical books of the Roman Rite in accord with the principles of the instruction Liturgiam authenticam.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mgr Luc Cyr, Nouvel Archevêque de Sherbrooke - RIP: Mgr Paul Marchand, smm

Today, the Feast of Sainte Anne, Patron of the Province of Quebec, Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Mgr Andre Gaumond as Archbishop of Sherbrooke and named Mgr Luc Cyr, Bishop of Valleyfield (above) as his successor.

Ad multos annos, Excellence!

Mgr Gaumond

* * * * * *

Décès de Mgr Paul Marchand s.m.m.


Je regrette de vous informer que son Excellence Monseigneur Paul Marchand, S.M.M., évêque de Timmins, est décédé subitement le dimanche 24 juillet 2011.

Il est décédé au chalet montfortain à Gracefield, Qc vers midi. Il a concélébré avec tous les confrères en vacances le matin et comme il n'était pas présent au dîner un confrère l'a trouvé mort dans sa chambre.

* * *

Mgr Paul Marchand, S.S.M., est né le 17 avril 1937 à Lafontaine, Ontario, près de la Baie Georgienne.

Après ses études secondaires au collège des Pères Montfortains à Papineauville, Québec, il entre chez les Monfortains où il fait profession le 15 août 1956, après quoi il poursuit ses études philosophiques et théologiques au scolasticat Saint-Jean, à Vanier, Ontario.

Ordonné prêtre le 17 mars 1962, il poursuit des études en théologie pastorale (Université Saint-Paul et Université de Montréal) et en Écriture Sainte, en cours d'été (Université de Montréal).

Sa vie chez les Montfortains est surtout marquée par la prédication de retraites paroissiales. Il continue ce ministère comme directeur du Centre de renouveau chrétien à Drumondville (1967-1973 et 1979-1982). De 1973 à 1987, il est tour à tour directeur de la Maison d'Accueil et directeur du Sanctuaire Marie-Reine-des-Coeurs, à Montréal.

Il est ensuite curé de la paroisse Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes à Vanier de 1987 à 1990, avant d'être nommé supérieur provincial de la communauté des Montfortains au Canada (1990-1993). Il occupe cette fonction lorsque le pape Jean-Paul II le nomme évêque auxiliaire à Ottawa où il est ordonné le 20 août 1993 en la basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame.

Le 8 mars 1999, Mgr Marchand est nommé 6ieme évêque de Timmins. Il inaugure son ministère pastoral le 17 mai de la même année.

* * * 

Les funérailles auront lieu vendredi, le 29 juillet à midi dans la cathédrale St. Antoine de Padou à Timmins.


Monday, July 25, 2011

St. James the Apostle, The Parents of the BVM -

July 25: Feast of SAINT JAMES, APOSTLE

Almighty ever-living God, who consecrated the first fruits of your Apostles by the blood of Saint James, grant, we pray, that your Church may be strengthened by his confession of faith and constantly sustained by his patronage. Through our Lord.

* * *

Jacques de Zébédée ou Jacques le Majeur ou saint Jacques est l'un des douze apôtres de Jésus Christ. Il est nommé « Jacques, fils de Zébédée » dans le Nouveau Testament.

Fils de Marie Salomé et de Zébédée, saint Jacques est appelé le Majeur : cette épithète lui venant de sa qualité d'aîné, car il est le frère aîné de l'apôtre Jean, et tous deux sont surnommés Boanerges, c'est-à-dire « fils du tonnerre » (Marc 3,17). Cela permet aussi de le distinguer de l'autre apôtre « Jacques, fils d'Alphée ».

Saint Jacques est l'un des tout premiers disciples à suivre Jésus, et il est un de ses plus proches. Il participe, avec Pierre et Jean, à des événements importants : la Transfiguration, l'agonie de Jésus au Mont des Oliviers. Ce même groupe de trois apôtres est le seul à le suivre lorsqu'il va ressusciter la fille du chef de la synagogue. Enfin Jacques est cité parmi les témoins de la troisième apparition de Jésus après sa mort, sur les bords du lac de Tibériade (épisode de la pêche miraculeuse rapporté par saint Jean).

Jacques est le seul apôtre dont la mort est rapportée dans le Nouveau Testament : « Il (Hérode) fit périr par le glaive Jacques, frère de Jean. » (Actes, 12, 2)

* * * * * *

July 26: Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne,
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary


O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Through our Lord.

* * *
Saint Joachim est l'époux de Sainte Anne et le père de la Vierge Marie, dans la tradition catholique et orthodoxe. Il lui est donc attribué le titre d'ancêtre de Dieu.
Les Évangiles canoniques du Nouveau Testament ne nomment pas les parents de Marie, mais l'histoire de Joachim et d'Anne apparaît dans l'Évangile apocryphe de Jacques. Joachim est décrit comme un homme riche et pieux qui donne régulièrement aux pauvres et au temple. Cependant, sa femme étant stérile, le Grand Prêtre rejette Joachim et son sacrifice, l'infertilité de son épouse ayant été interprétée comme un signe de mécontentement divin. Joachim se retire par la suite au désert où il jeûne et fait pénitence pendant quarante jours. Des anges apparaissent à Joachim et Anne pour leur promettre un enfant. Joachim revient à Jérusalem, retrouve Anne qu'il « serre dans ses bras ».
Les récits concernant Joachim et Anne furent inclus dans la Légende dorée. Ils sont très représentés dans l'art chrétien même si le Concile de Trente a limité la représentation des Évangiles apocryphes.
En Occident, la fête de saint Joachim qui était auparavant célébrée le 16 août est généralement observée avec sainte Anne le 26 juillet. En Orient, elle est célébrée le 9 septembre.
Les portraits traditionnels de Joachim (vestibule, statuaire, etc.) le montrent tenant une pelle.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Un peu de temps avec la Communauté de l'Emmanuel - Sunday Collect

Cette semaine j’ai passé quelques belles journées avec la Communauté d’Emmanuel à Paray-le-Monial, lieu des apparitions du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus à la religieuse visitandine, sainte Marguerite-Marie Alocoque (22 juillet 1647—17 octobre 1690).

La Communauté de l'Emmanuel est une association publique internationale de fidèles de droit pontifical, fondée en  1976. La spiritualité proposée aux membres est focalisée sur l'adoration eucharistique, la compassion et l'évangélisation.

Depuis des années, on offre des programmes de resourcement familiale de cinq jours; la session à laquelle j’ai assisté avait des rencontres, périodes de louange et d’adoration, avec messe dans l’après midi.

Le jour de mon arrivée, j’ai présidé la messe à la chapelle du monastère de la Visitation (j’ai eu l’occasion aussi de partager une conférence avec les moniales); et célébrer deux messes dans la tente (une pour les infirmes, incluant l’onction des malades).

Même s’il faisait mauvais temps (orages, froid), j’ai expérimenté beaucoup de joie.  Le dernier jour, les représentants de l’Emmanuel au Canada, Marie-Noëlle et Laurent Albisetti, on donné une conférence sur la manière de croître dans la pratique de la foi.

Voici quelques autres photos :


* * * * * *


O God, protector of those who hope in you, without whom nothing has value, nothing is holy, bestow in abundance your mercy upon us and grant that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast even now to those that ever endure. Through our Lord.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer is a Time for Visiting


A few days before I left Ottawa for Europe, Angela and Michael MacKinnon of Calgary (he formerly of Halifax) dropped in for a visit with their two children, Eve (two years) and Anna (their new-born).

Besides time on the patio, we also visited the dining-room for some treats. Some pix:

* * * * * *


After meeeting friends in the Emmanuel Community at Paray-le-Monial (I will report on that in tomorrow's post), I visited overnight with Archbishop Luigi Ventura, now the Apostolic Nuncio to France.  It was good to get caught up on the past couple of years since he left Ottawa.

Following supper we went for a walk along the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower, which never fails to amaze.  There were hundreds lining up for a climb up one of the pods of the tower, but I had done the tourist thing years ago and the waits were more than an hour long to buy tickets and just as long for the elevator.

While Canada has been basking (sweltering) in a heat wave, it has been cool and rainy all week long in France (note the jackets). It's somewhat warmer in Rome.