Thursday, December 6, 2012

Most Reverend Murray Chatlain Named Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas - Celebrating with St. Francis Xavier CHS - OM: St. Nicholas


Today, it was announced in Rome that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI had appointed the Most Reverend Murray Chatlain, currently Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith, as Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas, naming him as well Apostolic Administrator of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.

Our best wishes and prayers accompany Archbishop-elect Chatlain in his new responsibilities.

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Aujourd’hui, à Rome on a annoncé que Sa Sainteté le Pape Benoît XVI a nommé Son Excellence Monseigneur Murray Chatlain, présentement évêque de Mackenzie-Fort Smith, archevêque de Keewatin-Le Pas, le nommant aussi comme Administrateur apostolique de Mackenzie-Fort Smith.

Félicitations, Excellence!
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ST. FRANCIS XAVIER CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
CELEBRATES FEAST DAY IN BOURGET


On Monday, I joined the students, faculty, and staff and of St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School as well as several school board officials (it is part of the Eastern Ontario Catholic District School Board) for a celebration of the school's patronal feast day at a Mass held in Sacre-Coeur Church in nearby Bourget.

After Mass, we all went to the Community Centre for a delicious turkey dinner with trimmings, courtesy of the Knights of Columbus. On my way home, I visited the school building for a brief time in the company of the school chaplain.

Some photos:









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SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA


We humbly implore your mercy, Lord: protect us in all dangers through the prayers of the Bishop Saint Nicholas, that the way of salvation may lie open before us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra, is undoubtedly one of the most popular saints honored in the Western world. In North America, his memory has survived in the unique personality of Saint Claus — the jolly, rotund, white-bearded gentleman who captivates children with promises of gifts on Christmas Eve. Considered primarily as the patron saint of children, Nicholas is also invoked by sailors, merchants, bakers, travelers and pawnbrokers, and with Saint Andrew is honoured as the co-patron of Russia.

In spite of his widespread fame, Saint Nicholas, from the historian's point of view, is hardly more than a name. He was born in the last years of the third century in Asia Minor. His uncle, the archbishop of Myra in Lycia, ordained him and appointed him abbot of a nearby monastery. At the death of the archbishop, Nicholas was chosen to fill the vacancy, and he served in this position until his death. About the time of the persecutions of Diocletian, he was imprisoned for preaching Christianity but was released during the reign of Emperor Constantine.

Popular legends have involved Saint Nicholas in a number of charming stories, one of which relates Nicholas' charity toward the poor. A man of Patara had lost his fortune, and finding himself unable to support his three maiden daughters, was planning to turn them into the streets as prostitutes. Nicholas heard of the man's intentions and secretly threw three bags of gold through a window into the home, thus providing dowries for the daughters. The three bags of gold mentioned in this story are said to be the origin of the three gold balls that form the emblem of pawnbrokers.

After Nicholas' death on December 6 in or around 345, his body was buried in the cathedral at Myra. It remained there until 1087, when seamen of Bari, an Italian coastal town, seized the relics of the saint and transferred them to their own city. Veneration for Nicholas had already spread throughout Europe as well as Asia, but this occurrence led to a renewal of devotion in the West. Countless miracles were attributed to the saint's intercession. His relics are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them.

The story of Saint Nicholas came to America in distorted fashion. The Dutch Protestants carried a popularized version of the saint's life to New Amsterdam, portraying Nicholas as nothing more than a Nordic magician and wonder-worker. Our present-day conception of Santa Claus has grown from this version. Catholics should think of Nicholas as a saint, a confessor of the faith and the bishop of Myra — not merely as a jolly man from the North Pole who brings happiness to small children. Many countries and locations honour St. Nicholas as patron: Greece, Russia, Sicily, Lorraine, and many cities in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Belgium. [Excerpted from Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year, Volume III © 1959, by The Catholic Press, Inc.]

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SAINT NICOLAS

Archevêque de Myre (+ 324)

Saint Nicolas de Patare, en Lycie, fut le fruit des prières de ses pieux parents. Il eut l'esprit ouvert aux choses divines dès sa plus petite enfance; à peine sut-il manger, qu'il sut jeûner, et l'on rapporte même que, le vendredi et le samedi, il ne prenait qu'une fois le sein de sa nourrice. Il avait un oncle évêque, qui, voyant avec admiration les vertus de Nicolas, l'ordonna prêtre dès qu'il eut l'âge requis et fit de lui cette prédiction: "Il sera la consolation des affligés, le sauveur des âmes en péril, le bon pasteur qui rassemble ses brebis égarées au bercail de Jésus-Christ."

Une de ses premières oeuvres fut de sauver l'honneur de trois filles exposées à la perte de leur vertu; il les dota toutes, l'une après l'autre, et il le fit si discrètement, que c'est à la fin seulement que le père, touché d'admiration, surprit la main du bienfaiteur.

Après un pèlerinage aux Lieux saints, Nicolas se retira à Myre, espérant échapper aux honneurs qu'il voulait éviter avec tant de soin, et à la mort de l'évêque de Myre, qui arriva peu de temps après, il fut élu pour lui succéder. Dès lors il s'appliqua à devenir le modèle de son troupeau. Il ne mangea plus qu'une fois le jour, et jamais de viande; il faisait toujours lire à sa table quelque livre de la Sainte Écriture; ses nuits se passaient en oraison, et la terre dure était sa couche pour le peu de repos qu'il prenait. Levé avant le jour, il réveillait ses clercs pour chanter des hymnes et des psaumes; aussitôt le soleil paru, il allait à l'église et employait le reste du jour à ses diverses fonctions pastorales.

Nicolas, sous la persécution de Dioclétien, fut jeté dans un cachot et mis à la torture; mais on n'osa pas le faire mourir, par peur de la vengeance de son peuple.

Peu de Saints ont opéré de plus nombreux et de plus éclatants miracles. Tantôt il apparaît à Constantin pendant la nuit, pour lui ordonner de mettre en liberté trois innocents qui doivent être exécutés le lendemain; tantôt il se montre, en pleine tempête, à des matelots en danger qui l'ont appelé à leur secours. Il est surtout légendaire entre mille, le miracle de la résurrection de trois enfants tués par un boucher et hachés menu, pour être mêlés à la viande de son commerce. On l'honore comme le patron des écoliers. [Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.]

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