Saturday, April 19, 2014

Homily at Chrism Mass 2014 - Homélie à la Messe chrismale

Je suis heureux de vous accueillir à la Messe chrismale, une des célébrations les plus solennelles et des plus signifiantes dans la vie de l’Église. Durant cette célébration, nous consacrerons les huiles qui nous aideront à révéler l’amour de Dieu au monde; les prêtres renouvelleront les promesses qu’ils ont faites lorsqu’ils ont été ordonnés prêtres; et nous célébrerons notre unité alors que nous sommes rassemblés en Église diocésaine.

Je tiens d’abords à saluer chacun et chacune de vous qui êtes venus des quatre coins de l’archidiocèse : prêtres, diacres, religieux et religieuses, personnes consacrées et fidèles laïques.

Je tiens également à saluer particulièrement Mgr Luigi Bonazzi, nonce apostolique au Canada, grâce à qui nous sommes bien en lien avec le pape François, de même qu’à Mgr Christian Riesbeck, qui a été récemment ordonné et nommé évêque auxiliaire à Ottawa, ainsi qu’à tous les prêtres jubilaires fêtant du 25e jusqu’au 65e anniversaire d’ordination et qui sont avec nous ce soir.

Comme je le disais précédemment, durant cette célébration, je bénirai les saintes huiles qui serviront partout dans l’archidiocèse durant l’année qui vient. Ces huiles seront remises aux représentants des diverses paroisses et des diverses communautés de foi avant la bénédiction finale de ce soir.

L’huile qui sera versée dans l’ampoule marquée OC (oleum catechumenorum) servira à l’onction des enfants et des catéchumènes avant le baptême.

L’huile qui sera versée dans l’ampoule marquée OI (oleum infirmorum) servira à l’onction des malades des personnes qui sont sérieusement malades – avant ou après leur entrée à l’hôpital-, de même que des personnes dont la santé est fragile, qu’elles résident à la maison, dans une résidence pour personnes âgées ou autres établissements semblables.

Le saint-chrême sera versé dans la troisième ampoule – celle marquée SC (sacrum chrisma). Cette huile est utilisée par les ministres ordonnés lors du baptême, dans la Confirmation, dans l’Ordination des prêtres et des évêques, de même que pour consécration des autels et des églises.

Rendons grâce à Dieu pour les nombreux bienfaits qu’il nous accorde à travers les sacrements de l’Église, qui sont autant de signes de son salut. En ce jour, alors que nous vivons le mystère pascal, reconnaissons nos fautes et demandons au Seigneur de nous accorder sa miséricorde et de nos donner sa paix.
* * * * *

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica—Ottawa: Mass of Chrism—Tuesday, April 15, 2014


      [Texts: Isaiah 61.1-3, 6, 8-9 [Psalm 89]; Revelation 1.5-8; Luke 4.16-21]


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

A few weeks ago, Bishop Riesbeck mentioned that he had left the chrism poured on his head at his episcopal ordination overnight and had noticed the sweet smell of the holy oil as he fell asleep. Sometimes after their Confirmation, children will remark that they have noticed the perfume in the chrism.

You see, to the olive oil that is the base of sacred chrism is added a spicy perfume, generally balsam, which graces the air with a sweet scent. This fragrance gets into one’s pores and, like the oil used to anoint Jesus before his death, it can fill a room or a house (John 12.3b).

Saint Paul in writing to the Corinthians says that we who have been anointed as Christians are called to be “the aroma of Christ” to the people around us: “We are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Corinthians 2.15-16a).

The metaphor of the Christian apostle as an “odor” or “fragrance” conveys the wafting of incense (which we use several times at Mass to reverence Christ, the altar; Christ God’s word; and Christ our sacrifice). Paul says that his way of giving himself in love for the sake of others—as we priests are called to do—reveals Jesus to those around him.

Paul associates the priestly life with an aroma or fragrance also in his letter to the Philippians where he says that the generous monetary offering the faithful made to his apostolic service was a sacrifice pleasing to God (Philippians 4.18). In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says that the Messiah Jesus was a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God because he gave himself in love for the sake of others (Ephesians 5.2).

With the metaphor of being a fragrance, Paul says that he participates in and embodies Jesus’ self-giving love.  In living this way, Paul makes Christ known.  Paul, and by extension all Christians, are like crushed, burning grains of incense: they make Jesus present in the world such that others can sense him and be attracted to him. This is the case because the risen Jesus is actually present within them.

Paul says the presence of the aroma of Christ in the world has two opposite effects. He says that among those perishing, Paul’s way of being an apostle wafts like an odor of death. Such people interpret the Christian way of life as folly and weakness; they fail to recognize the significance of the cross of Christ. On the other hand, among those being saved, Paul’s way of life wafts like the odor of life. That is, they grasp that the apostolic way of living shows forth the paradoxical life and power of Christ. Choosing to follow Jesus is the way to eternal life.

In the reading from the Book of Revelation, we are reminded that Jesus died for our sins out of love for us and to make us a church of holiness, a royal, priestly people, something we cannot achieve on our own.

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth ... loves us and washed us from our sins by his blood.

Though we are tainted by the residue of sin, we encounter the reconciling love of God made manifest in the sacramental life of our church. We clergy, religious and laity are called to maintain integrity of life in all that we are and in all that we do. In effect we are to show that we are on the way to living in holiness of life. Of ourselves none of us is up to this challenge, but with God’s grace great things are possible.

Since the bishop is the only minister in the diocese who may consecrate chrism, this Mass highlights his ministry and the union of all the faith communities with him. Though he cannot baptize and confirm all the candidates for these sacraments in all the parishes of the diocese, there is a sense in which the Apostle of the local church becomes symbolically present in the chrism which the priests and deacons use.

This Mass of Chrism recognizes the ministry of priests. In a few moments, I will invite the members of the presbyterate of Ottawa and priests from other dioceses who are here for a time, as well as the religious who collaborate with us to renew their commitment of service and to receive the prayers and support of the people.

For all of us long to know the joy that the people of Nazareth felt on the day when Jesus proclaimed the fulfillment among them of the prophecy of Isaiah. Recently, Pope Francis underlined this in his Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel.

Let us pray that every priest may know how to communicate the Lord's joy to those who come not only to be set free of their burdens but to discern how the Lord is calling the zealous and faithful Catholics of our Church of Ottawa to grow in the holiness proper to each one’s state of life.

Let us commend to the Lord our retired priests—especially the ill and infirm—that they may know spiritual consolation.

This evening we recall that, since our celebration of the Chrism Mass last year, the Lord has called to himself two priests who served the francophone sector of our diocese with distinction, Msgr. Paul Racine and the Marist priest, père Pierre Allard. We recall also the deaths in our diaconal families: Deacon Valmont Berubé of the French sector, and Deacons Kenneth Davies and Edward Webster of the English Sector.  May the Lord grant to these servants of his the fullness of eternal life.

On Sunday, the universal church observed the Twenty-ninth World Youth Day.  This year, the Archdiocese of Quebec is preparing the “Youth Summit/Montée Jeunesse”, dedicated to affirming youth, encouraging initiatives and sustaining youth-friendly parishes and to honouring our newly-canonized Saint Francois de Laval and Sainte Marie de l’Incarnation. We accompany the youth who will attend with our prayer and assure them that their gifts are important to the life of our diocesan church.

Please join with me in begging the Lord of the harvest for generous young men and women who will hear and answer the call to serve God's people as priests and religious.

In this period when the Church is preparing two synods of bishops to consider the challenges faced by married people and their families—especially those who have known separation, divorce, remarriage, blended families—we pray that our archdiocese may see a flourishing of men and women witnessing to their commitment to Christ in good marriages, and women and men living dedicated, faith-filled lives as single persons, becoming a blessing to the church and the world. 

May I close my remarks by commending to your prayers during the Easter season a petition to Our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of Priests? That by her intercession she may obtain from her Son, the Risen Lord Jesus, the grace that our weak and timid spirits may become strong and joyful ones, to the praise and glory of God.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bishop McGrattan succeeds Bishop DeAngelis in Peterborough Diocese


Today, His Holiness Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Nicola De Angelis, C.F.I.C., as Bishop of Peterborough, according to canon 401 §1; and has appointed the Most Reverend William Terrence McGrattan, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, as Bishop of Peterborough. The Holy Father has appointed the Most Reverend Nicola De Angelis, C.F.I.C., as Apostolic Administrator of Peterborough until the new Bishop takes canonical possession of the diocese.

Aujourd’hui, Sa Sainteté le pape François a accepté la démission de Son Excellence Monseigneur Nicola De Angelis, C.F.I.C., comme évêque de Peterborough, conformément au canon 401 §1; et a nommé Son Excellence Monseigneur William Terrence McGrattan, présentement évêque auxiliaire à Toronto, comme évêque de Peterborough. The saint Pere a nommé Son Excellence Monseigneur Nicola De Angelis, C.F.I.C., comme Administrateur apostolique de Peterborough, jusqu’à la prise de possession canonique du nouvel évêque.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Apostle of Brazil Canonized; The Passing of Bishop M. Pearse Lacey

Pope Francis Canonizes Blessed Jesuit Father José de Anchieta

“For me, St. Anchieta means the image of an apostolic and missionary church; a person of faith who went to the peripheries of the world and human existence that which Pope Francis asks of us today; and someone who relentlessly went out to sow the seeds of the Kingdom transcending all geographical boundaries.”— Jesuit José Célio dos Santos

On April 3, Pope Francis canonized Blessed Jesuit Father José de Anchieta, a patron of the country’s music and literature known as the “Apostle of Brazil”. Blessed Anchieta, along with Blessed Marie de l'Incarnation, known as the Mother of the Canadian Church, and Blessed Francois de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, were canonized by “equivalent canonization." All three saints were beatified together in 1980.

They were put on a fast track to sainthood after Pope Francis waived some of the usual procedures in response to requests from the Canadian and Brazilian bishops' conferences. President of the Brazilian bishops' conference, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, announced in December that their request for Anchieta's canonization had been accepted by Pope Francis, though a miracle attributed to his intercession had not been officially confirmed.

For "equivalent canonizations," the pope adds the name of the new saint to the universal calendar of saints, without verifying that a miracle was performed through his or her intercession and without holding a formal canonization ceremony. Pope Francis last used the process to canonize Jesuit Saint Peter Fabern December 2013.

According to Jesuit Father Marc Lindeijer, assistant postulator of sainthood causes for the Jesuits, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on April 24 for the new St. Anchieta. Bishops and pilgrims from Brazil and from Tenerife, Spain, where the saint was born, will join the pope for the celebration in the Jesuits’ Church of St. Ignatius in Rome.

The canonization process for Anchieta has been in the process for centuries, according to Jesuit José Célio dos Santos, a Brazilian scholastic studying at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. “People testified to his outstanding faith and remarked on his profound apostolic witness, but clashes between the Jesuits and European kingdoms led to the suspension of the process,” he said. “Now, Anchieta’s canonization will take place in the context of the bicentenary celebration of the restoration of the Society of Jesus. His canonization is not only a gift for the church in Brazil, but also for the Society of Jesus.”

“We have many reasons for being grateful to Pope Francis for placing José de Anchieta before the world as a new and outstanding example of sanctity,” said Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás. “For the Society of Jesus it is an occasion to renew with intensity the search for those horizons which he pursued and which are always new: sensitivity in the face of ethnic diversity and religious, cultural, and social pluralism; the untiring development of a fresh creative freedom and a responsible capacity for improvisation; the constant search for inculturated expressions of the Christian and evangelizing experience.”

Jesuit Father José de Anchieta was born on March 19, 1534, in the Canary Islands. An intensely religious individual, he became a Jesuit novice in 1551 and traveled to Brazil as a missionary with the third group of Jesuits sent to the New World in 1553. He and his colleague, Manuel da Nóbrega, founded a Jesuit college in Rio de Janeiro. Despite Anchieta‘s precarious health and the difficulty of his journeys, he traveled widely across Brazil for the next 10 years, consolidating the expanding missionary work of the Jesuits. In 1577, the fourth superior general of the Jesuits, Everard Mercurian, appointed Anchieta provincial superior of the Jesuits in Brazil.

Always an agent of reconciliation, Anchieta was also involved in dialogue with the Tamoyo tribe up to the point of being taken as a hostage and living among them as a prisoner for five months as the negotiations dragged on. He coped with the loneliness by composing a poem in honor of Mary, writing the Latin verses in wet sand on the seashore and then committing them to memory. He transcribed the whole poem on paper once he finally returned to São Vicente, all 4,172 lines.

Anchieta died in Brazil on June 9, 1597, at Reritiba, Espírito Santo, and was mourned by more than 3,000 native peoples who valued all he had done for them both spiritually and in the promotion of their human dignity.

José Célio dos Santos said he believes St. Anchieta’s canonization will help Brazilians rediscover their Catholic faith and reconnect the country to its early history. “Anchieta’s canonization would challenge us to re-examine our prominent image of him as the great co-founder of São Paulo, which has become one of the largest cities in the world. Surely his canonization will cause us to recognize him as an ambassador of the Christian faith in Brazil,” he said.

St. Anchieta is an exceptionally prominent Brazilian historical figure, according to dos Santos. “As one of those instrumental in the formation of Brazil, he appears in virtually all historical literatures used in schools all over Brazil, such that every Brazilian has some knowledge of Anchieta,” he said.

“I mostly admire him for his respect and sensitivity to the cultures of the native/indigenous peoples,” dos Santos said. “For me, St. Anchieta means the image of an apostolic and missionary church; a person of faith who went to the peripheries of the world and human existence that which Pope Francis asks of us today; and someone who relentlessly went out to sow the seeds of the Kingdom transcending all geographical boundaries.” [Sources: Catholic News Service, National Catholic Reporter, Sacred Space, Jesuit Curia, Missouri Province]

* * * * *

I will fly to Toronto for the funeral Monday morning, April 7 of Bishop M. Pearse Lacey at Blessed Trinity Church in Toronto's  Willowdale neighbourhood (where Regis College was located formerly [1961-76]).
Bishop Lacey had been the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto's Western Region where he had established an office on Flagship Drive, next to St. Patrick's Church in Mississauga and where he lived until his retirement in 1993.  As his successor there from 1995-1998, I enjoyed living in that simple dwelling.  Because of our mutual responsibility for this booming region, he and I often had conversations and I found him invariably supportive of my initial steps as a bishop in Toronto and whenever we met afterwards during my service in Nova Scotia and in Ottawa.
May the Lord grant him a merciful judgment and the reward of his selfless labours.  Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Death of a Permanent Deacon

Our prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Deacon Kenneth Davies who died in Ottawa onTuesday, March 25, 2014 at the age of 85.

Born on June 3, 1928 in Montreal, he was ordained a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of Ottawa on June 9, 1995. He was a member of the 3rd Order Franciscan.

Deacon Davies exercised his ministry in the parishes of St. Basil and St. George in Ottawa and was a member of the Pastoral Care Teams at the Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus and St. Patrick’s Home.

Visitation will be held at the Kelly Funeral Home, 2313 Carling Avenue on Sunday, March 30, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. and from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, March 31, 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima, 153 Woodroffe Avenue.

Please remember him and his family in your prayers.

Requiescat in pace.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

L'Annonciation du Seigneur / The Death of a Jesuit Priest Educator

Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Ottawa
Annonciation du Seigneur – le 25 mars 2014
[Textes : Isaïe 7, 10-14; Psaume 39 (40); Hébreux 10, 4-10; Luc 1,26-38]


En cette fête de l’Annonciation du Seigneur à la Vierge Marie nous prenons une pause du Carême. Alors même que nous nous préparons à célébrer le Mystère pascal, et que nous sommes toujours à poursuivre notre chemin qui mène à la conversion, aujourd’hui, nous prenons le temps de célébrer le mystère de la venue de Dieu dans notre monde, l’incarnation de Jésus, le Verbe fait chair dont nous célébrerons plus solennellement la naissance le jour de Noël, qui viendra dans neuf mois.

Malgré notre tendance à ne voir que le beau côté de la venue de Jésus dans l’histoire de l’humanité, nous sommes forcés de constater que le Seigneur n’est pas venu nous montrer comment nous pouvons échapper aux difficultés de la vie humaine mais plutôt comment nos souffrances – même la mort sur la Croix – peuvent servir au salut de tous. La souffrance et la Croix furent présentes dans la vie de Jésus dès sa conception et sa naissance. Joseph n’a-t-il pas souffert lorsqu’il apprit que Marie était enceinte de l’Esprit Saint, jusqu’à ce que l’Ange lui apprenne toute la vérité au sujet de la naissance de Jésus? Le chemin de la Croix n’était-il pas déjà entamé lorsque Joseph, Marie et l’Enfant Jésus se sont mis en route vers l’Égypte pour échapper à la colère du roi Hérode ?

Mais les événements qui entourèrent la venue de Jésus dans notre monde sont également annonciateurs de revirements et de grandes joies dont le cumul se retrouve certainement dans la grande joie du matin de Pâques. Rappelons-nous la joie que connurent Marie et Joseph lorsque l’Ange révéla à Joseph la vérité sur la conception de Jésus dans le sein de Marie; rappelons-nous la grande joie que connurent les Mages lorsque l’étoile qu’ils suivaient les conduisit à Jésus en qui ils reconnurent le Roi des juifs. Ils lui offrirent en présents de l’or, de l’encens et de la myrrhe. Et que dire de la joie que connue la Sainte Famille lorsqu’elle apprit qu’elle pouvait retourner en Israël après la mort d’Hérode et s’établir à Nazareth. Oui, la Sainte Famille connue toutes les tristesses et toutes les joies que peut comporter la vie humaine – le sommet se trouvant certainement dans la passion, la mort et la résurrection de Jésus.

Les premières lignes du passage de l’évangile de Luc que nous venons d’entendre, nous donnent l’impression de voir l’œil de Dieu survoler la Terre et s’arrêter sur le petit village de Nazareth en Galilée, puis enfin sur une jeune fille, une vierge, fiancée à un homme nommé Joseph dont on nous dit simplement qu’il était de la maison de David. Le rythme du texte nous fait comme entrevoir l’Ange qui se rend jusqu’à Marie.

Les paroles que Luc utilise pour décrire cette rencontre du divin et de l’humain par l’entremise de l’ange Gabriel nous rappelle un autre passage de l’Ancien Testament. En effet, les paroles que l’ange adressa à Marie : Je te salue, Comblée-de-grâce, le Seigneur est avec toi, nous rappellent celles que l’Ange du Seigneur adressa à Gédéon, le serviteur de Dieu, paroles qui nous sont rapportées dans le Livre des Juges (6, 12).

Marie – comme ce fut également le cas pour plusieurs autres personnes que Dieu a appelé à collaborer avec lui au salut du monde – se sentit d’abord confuse et craintive lorsque l’Ange s’adressa à elle. Elle fut toute bouleversée, et elle se demandait ce que pouvait signifier cette salutation.

Les parents peuvent avoir des sentiments semblables lorsque leur fils leurs annonce qu’il croit que Dieu l’appelle à devenir prêtre ou que leur fille leur annonce qu’elle ressent un appel de Dieu et qu’elle entend mettre sa vie entière au service de Dieu dans la vie consacrée. Les parents et les autres membres de la famille doivent alors prier le Seigneur de les rassurer en leur faisant voir qu’il s’agit bien de l’œuvre de l’Esprit Saint. Marie a été réconfortée par les paroles que l’Ange lui adressa ensuite: Sois sans crainte, Marie, car tu as trouvé grâce auprès de Dieu, et par les paroles qui lui révèlent le projet de Dieu.

Le projet de Dieu, tel que révélé à Marie, et à nous tous par la suite, grâce aux évangiles, fut d’accomplir les promesses faites à David d’une façon tout à fait inimaginable. Le fils de cette humble femme sera grand, il sera appelé Fils du Très-Haut; le Seigneur Dieu lui donnera le trône de David son père. Ainsi, la promesse faite à David se réalisera non pas au moyen d’un royaume terrestre ou d’une conquête particulière; non, il s’agit plutôt d’un règne d’ordre spirituel, et qui n’aura pas de fin.

La réaction de Marie est semblable à celle qu’eut Zacharie lorsque l’Ange du Seigneur lui annonça la naissance de Jean le Baptiste, en ce que tous deux répondirent d’abord par un questionnement, mais à la différence que si la réponse de Zacharie laissait poindre un certain doute sur le plan de Dieu, celle de Marie témoignait déjà de sa pleine confiance dans le Seigneur. Marie demanda tout simplement comment cela pourra se faire puisqu’elle n’avait pas eu de relations intimes avec aucun homme. L’Ange lui répondit : l’Esprit saint viendra sur toi, et la puissance du Très-Haut te prendra sous son ombre; c’est pourquoi celui qui va naître sera saint, et il sera appelé Fils de Dieu. Quelles merveilles l’Esprit Saint peut accomplir dans la vie des personnes qui l’accueillent!

En plus de lui annoncer la bonne nouvelle de la naissance de son Fils, l’ange Gabriel annonça également à Marie que sa cousine Élisabeth a conçu, elle aussi, un fils dans sa vieillesse, à l’âge où une femme devient stérile. Encore une preuve que rien n’est impossible à Dieu.

L’Évangile d’aujourd’hui vient confirmer ce qui avait été dit par le prophète Isaïe : Voici, la jeune fille est enceinte et va enfanter un fils qu’elle appellera Emmanuel, qui veut dire Dieu est avec nous. Réjouissons-nous aujourd’hui de cette Bonne nouvelle!

Que le Seigneur vous bénisse tous et toutes.

* * * * * * * *

Father James Kevin McKenna died peacefully on March 22nd 2014 at René Goupil House, Pickering, Ontario. He was in his 93rd year and in the Society of Jesus for 71 years. Kevin was born in Quebec City, on May 4, 1921, the son of Henry W. McKenna (Harry) and Mary Wickham (Polly).

Kevin attended high school at St. Patrick’s in Quebec City, and then three years at Loyola College, Montreal. He entered the Jesuits at Guelph on July 30, 1942 for his novitiate, and followed the usual juniorate and philosophy programs.

Regency—a pastoral assignment—took place at Saint Mary’s University High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he taught French, Latin and English and was the assistant prefect of discipline. He would serve in these ways in a number of schools in the years to come. He began the study of theology in Toronto in 1951 and was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1954.

Father McKenna did tertianship, his final year of Jesuit spiritual formation, in 1955 at Paray-le-Monial in France and then began his long apostolate of high school education after a year of studies in education at the University of Toronto. In 1962 Father McKenna went to St. John’s, Newfoundland to become prefect of discipline and studies at the newly-established Gonzaga High School. After nine years he went west to Winnipeg to become principal of St. Paul’s High School, and two years later to teach for a year at Brebeuf College School in Toronto. He returned to St. John’s, NL in 1974 to work in directorial posts of the Catholic Education Committee of Newfoundland.

Starting in 1986 Father did pastoral ministry at Memorial University, St. Patrick’s Home and in various parishes on the Avalon Peninsula: Ferryland, Cape Broyle and Outer Cove. He served in St. Patrick’s Parish for 13 years. Increasing difficulty in walking brought about a move to St. Patrick’s Home and then a final moved in January 2010 to the Jesuit Infirmary at Pickering, joining his two cousins, Emmett McKenna and John Wickham in the ministry of prayer (they both pre-deceased him).

Father Kevin was well-appreciated in education and church circles particularly in Newfoundland. Among his Jesuit companions he was respected for his intelligence and pastoral care.

There will be a wake service on Wednesday evening, March 26 in St. Ignatius Chapel of Manresa Retreat House, Pickering, where Father McKenna’s funeral will take place on Thursday, March 27 at 10:30AM. Burial in the Jesuit Cemetery, Guelph, will follow at 2:30PM that afternoon.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Homélie à l’ordination de Mgr Riesbeck / Homily at Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Christian

Solemnity of St. Joseph—Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica
Ottawa, Ontario -- Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Episcopal Ordination of Christian Riesbeck, CC
Titular Bishop of Tipasa in Numidia, Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa
[Texts: 2 Samuel 7.4-5a, 12-14a, 16; Psalm 89 (88).1-2,3-4, 26+28; Romans 4.13, 16-18, 22; Luke 2.41-51a]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ / Mes chers frères et sœurs dans le Seigneur: Pendant plusieurs siècles, le père adoptif de Jésus était peu mentionné. Il a commencé à prendre sa place dans la dévotion de l’Église surtout à l’époque de la fondation du Canada. Presque toutes les grandes figures religieuses de notre nation étaient très attachées à Joseph : les Jésuites, Marie de l’Incarnation et Marie Madeleine de la Peltrie.

La révérence des premiers arrivants pour l’Époux de Marie et le Père adoptif de Jésus n’est pas restée sans effets. Le Bienheureux Pie Neuf (IX) a proclamé saint Joseph patron de l’Église universelle à l’époque où saint Alfred Bessette – le Frère André – entrait dans la Congrégation de Sainte-Croix à Montréal. Ombre du Père des Cieux, il est un saint modeste et caché à qui sont dus respect et révérence.

Canada’s early colonists were part of a current of spirituality that had a great reverence for the Spouse of Mary and Jesus’ foster father, and later on this had its effects in the Church worldwide. Blessed Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph patron on the Universal Church around the time Brother Andre entered religious life in Montreal and began his project of honouring Joseph with an oratory that has become a spectacular basilica. Then, Saint Joseph was named principal patron of Canada and the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

The New Testament depicts Joseph as a resourceful individual, who earned his living as a tradesman, as a carpenter or stonemason; he was someone who worked shaping materials. He was a person who struggled as he sought to know God's will. And once he learned God's will, Joseph did it promptly and completely, even when this disturbed his own plans.

In Luke’s gospel, Joseph is shown as a parent who cared deeply about Jesus, both rejoicing in awe at the marvels attending his birth and sorrowing when Jesus was lost. St. Luke depicts the parents of Jesus as filled with joy, awe, puzzlement and amazement at all the events that accompanied the birth of Jesus. In the Passover of Jesus' twelfth year, Luke has Mary describe her sentiments and Joseph's as those of concern and sorrow, the very feelings we would expect of good parents. Joseph was not an unfeeling and distant guardian of Jesus, but one who could manifest the joys and sorrows of a parent struggling with a teenager.

This truth of seeking and following God’s will in family relationships speaks to our own day when we are called to provide for our children’s well-being ; in the ideal order, not two mothers or two fathers, but a mother and father who, in their complementarity can help the child or children to grow into holistic persons.

The role of the Bishop in the Church bears analogies with the role that Joseph played in the Holy Family, exercising spiritual paternity on those entrusted to his care, just as Joseph cared for Jesus and Mary.

So, dearly beloved, let us consider carefully the particular rank in the Church to which our brother Christian is about to be raised. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was sent by the Father to redeem the human race, himself sent twelve Apostles into the world. They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel and to sanctify and govern all the peoples gathered into one flock. Moreover, that this office might remain to the end of time, the Apostles chose helpers for themselves.

Through the laying on of hands, by which the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred, the apostles handed on to their successors the gift of the Holy Spirit, which they had received, from Christ. The tradition handed down from the beginning through the unbroken succession of Bishops is preserved from generation to generation, and the work of the Saviour continues and grows even to our own times.

C’est notre Seigneur Jésus Christ lui-même, Grand Prêtre pour l’éternité, qui est présent au milieu de vous dans l’évêque entouré de ses prêtres. C’est lui, en effet, qui dans le ministère de l’évêque, ne cesse d’annoncer l’Évangile et de dispenser aux croyants les sacrements de la foi. C’est lui Jésus qui, par la paternité spirituelle de l’évêque, ajoute à son corps de nouveaux membres. C’est lui qui, par la sagesse et la prudence de l’évêque, vous guide dans votre pèlerinage terrestre, jusqu’au bonheur éternel.

Accueillez donc avec joie et reconnaissance notre frère Christian, que nous, les évêques, recevons aujourd’hui dans le collège épiscopal par l’imposition des mains. Honorez-le comme le ministre du Christ et l’intendant des mystères de Dieu, celui qui a reçu mission de rendre témoignage à l’Évangile de vérité, de remplir le ministère de l’Esprit et de la justice et, surtout aujourd’hui selon sa devise, de communiquer la joie de l’Évangile.

Et vous Christian, notre frère très cher choisi par le Seigneur, pensez, comme le dit l’Épître aux Hébreux, que vous avez été pris d’entre les hommes et chargé d’intervenir en faveur des hommes dans leurs relations avec Dieu : l’épiscopat n’est pas un honneur, mais un devoir; il faut que l’évêque serve plutôt qu’il ne domine. En effet, selon le commandement de Jésus notre Maître, celui qui est le plus grand doit prendre la place du plus petit, et celui qui commande, la place de celui qui sert. Prêchez à temps et à contretemps, exhortez avec une grande patience et avec le souci d’instruire. Dans la prière et l’offrande du sacrifice eucharistique pour le peuple dont vous êtes chargé, employez-vous à demander la grâce de Dieu sous toutes ses formes, qui vient de la sainteté du Christ.

In the Church, be a faithful steward, moderator and guardian of the mysteries of Christ. As one chosen by the Father to rule over his family, be mindful always of the Good Shepherd, who knows his sheep and is known by them, and who did not hesitate to lay down his life for them.

With the charity of a father and brother, love all those whom God places in your care, especially the Priests and Deacons, who are our co-workers in the ministry of Christ, but also the poor and the weak, immigrants, and strangers. Exhort the faithful to work with you in your apostolic labour; do not refuse to listen willingly to them.

Never relax your concern for those not yet gathered to you into the one fold of Christ; they are also entrusted to you in the Lord. Never forget that you are joined to the College of Bishops in the Catholic Church made one by the bond of charity, and therefore you should have a constant concern for all the Churches and gladly come to the support of Churches in need.

And so, keep watch over the whole flock, in which the Holy Spirit appoints you to govern the Church of God: in the name of the Father whose image you represent in the Church; and in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, whose office of Teacher, Priest, and Shepherd you will discharge; and in the name of the Holy Spirit who gives life to the Church of Christ and by his power strengthens us in our weakness.

Raymond Dubois

Friday, March 14, 2014

Le Blason de Mgr Riesbeck/Bishop Christian's Heraldic Representation Visit to Nuncio/Visite au Nonce


Explanation of Bishop Riesbeck’s Coat of Arms

The arms are shown with the traditional heraldic attributes of a bishop: a green galero, or ecclesiastical hat, with six green tassels suspended from each side, and a gold processional cross. Bishop Riesbeck’s cross is in the form of a “cross-crosslet,” which symbolizes the spread of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth. It has also occasionally been referred to as a “German cross” and thus alludes to Bishop Riesbeck’s paternal German ancestry.

The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit, the principal agent of the Church’s evangelizing activity. The host in the dove’s beak points to the importance of the Eucharist as the center of the Church’s life. Saint John Paul II wrote about the close relationship of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist in his Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 2003, no. 17: “Through our communion in his body and blood, Christ also grants us his Spirit. Saint Ephrem writes: ‘He called the bread his living body and he filled it with himself and his Spirit… He who eats it with faith, eats Fire and Spirit… Take and eat this, all of you, and eat with it the Holy Spirit. For it is truly my body and whoever eats it will have eternal life.’ The Church implores this divine Gift, the source of every other gift, in the Eucharistic epiclesis.”

The roses represent the flowers given to St. Juan Diego in his tilma by Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and Star of the New Evangelization, and they also commemorate Bishop Riesbeck’s ministry to a predominantly Hispanic parish in Houston, Texas for nine years as pastor.

The lilies are a symbol of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the universal Church, of Canada and of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, and on whose feast day Bishop Riesbeck was ordained a bishop. Along with the blue colour, they also refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the province of Quebec, Bishop Riesbeck’s birthplace.

The cross at the bottom, symbol of Christ crucified, the Power and Wisdom of God - its red colour symbolizing the blood of Jesus - is taken from the emblem of the Society of the Companions of the Cross, Bishop Riesbeck, being the first member of the Society to be made a bishop.

The arching division line represents the Church’s presence throughout the world.

Motto: Evangelii Gaudium. This Latin phrase, meaning “The Joy of the Gospel,” is the title of the Apostolic Exhortation issued by Pope Francis shortly before Bishop Riesbeck was named to the episcopacy. Sharing the joy of the Gospel is the focal point of Bishop Riesbeck’s episcopal ministry.


Explications du blason de Mgr Riesbeck

Le blason comprend les symboles héraldiques officiels de la fonction épiscopale : un chapeau de sinople, ou chapeau ecclésiastique, vert d'où pendent six glands de chaque côté, posé sur une croix processionnelle de couleur or. La croix de Mgr Riesbeck est en cross-crosslet, ce qui signifie que l’Évangile doit être proclamé aux quatre coins de la terre. Cette croix qu’on appelle parfois ‘croix allemande’ rappelle les origines allemandes de Mgr Riesbeck, côté paternel.

La colombe représente l’Esprit Saint, l’agent principal de l’évangélisation. L’hostie que la colombe tient dans son bec souligne l’importance de l’Eucharistie et son rôle central dans la vie de l’Église. Saint Jean-Paul II a parlé de la relation étroite qui existe entre l’Esprit Saint et l’Eucharistie dans sa lettre encyclique Ecclesia de Eucharistia de 2003 : ‘‘À travers la communion à son corps et à son sang, le Christ nous communique aussi son Esprit. Saint Éphrem écrit: « Il appela le pain son corps vivant, il le remplit de lui-même et de son Esprit. [...] Et celui qui le mange avec foi mange le Feu et l'Esprit [...]. Prenez-en, mangez-en tous, et mangez avec lui l'Esprit Saint. C'est vraiment mon corps et celui qui le mange vivra éternellement ». Dans l'épiclèse eucharistique, l'Église demande ce Don divin, source de tout autre don.’’(no 17)

Les roses représentent les fleurs que la Vierge de Guadalupe, patronne des Amériques et Étoile de la nouvelle évangélisation a déposé dans le tilma de saint Juan Diego; elles nous rappellent également le ministère qu’a exercé pendant neuf ans Mgr Riesbeck en tant que pasteur dans une paroisse principalement hispanique à Houston au Texas.

Les lys représentent saint Joseph, le saint patron de l’Église universelle, du Canada et de l’archidiocèse d’Ottawa. C’est en la solennité de saint Joseph que Mgr Riesbeck a été ordonné évêque. Ces lys, de même que le bleu, représentent aussi la bienheureuse Vierge Marie et la province de Québec, la province natale de Mgr Riesbeck.

La croix du bas, symbole du Christ crucifié, puissance de Dieu et sagesse de Dieu - sa couleur rouge représentant le sang de Jésus - est semblable à l’insigne que portent les membres de la Société des Compagnons de la Croix. Mgr Riesbeck est le premier membre de cette société à avoir été ordonné évêque.

La ligne arquée représente l’Église présente à travers le monde.

La devise Evangelii Gaudium - qui signifie La joie de l’Évangile - est le titre de l’Exhortation apostolique que le pape François a promulgué peu de temps avant la nomination de Mgr Riesbeck à l’épiscopat. Le désir de partager la joie de l’Évangile est au centre du ministère épiscopal de Mgr Riesbeck.

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Visite au Nonce / Visit to Archbishop Bonazzi

Un chaleureux accueil était notre expérience—Mgr Riesbeck et moi—lors de notre visite à la Nonciature aujourd’hui. Après le repas de midi, nous avons rendu visite au saint Sacrement et dans la chapelle Mgr le Nonce a prié pour le ministère que nous allons partager ici dans l’archidiocèse d’Ottawa.  Priez pour nous, s’il vous plait.

It was a joy today to visit Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi at the Nunciature in company with Bishop-elect Christian Riesbeck, a few days before his episcopal ordination.  The collegial fraternity of the episcopacy we felt was most cordial..  Please pray for us.

Tous et toutes sont invite(é)s à l’ordination épiscopale à la cathédrale-basilique Notre Dame, mercredi, 19 mars à 19h30.
Une réception suivra dans la Galerie nationale des Beaux-arts (rue Sussex, en face de la cathédrale).

Everyone is invited to attend Bishop Riesbeck’s ordination on March 19 at 7:30 in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica; reception to follow in the National Arts Gallery across from the Cathedral.