Although I don't have a Blackberry, during the past week there were a good number of dates to enter into my Palm Pilot as I was appointed to the Insurance Management Board and the Commission of Priests of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACB0).
During the ACBO spring plenary, we re-elected our executive for a second two-year mandates (President: Archbishop Thomas Collins; Vice-President: Bishop Anthony Daniels; Executive Members: Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe and Archbishop Brendan O'Brien), discussed educational, financial and numerous other matters over three days.
On the first evening we attended the launch of the Nelson Education-Novalis Publishing produced book on World Religions: A Canadian Catholic Perspective designed for use in Grade 11 (info: Toronto: Novalis, 2011; ISBN 978-0-17-624245-9).
Mgr Paul-Andre Durocher of Alexandria-Cornwall, chair of the ACBO Education Commission that oversaw preparation of the text on World Religions
On Wednesday afternoon, we met with MPPs at Queen's Park to discuss with them Catholic education; Thursday was the regular session of OPECO, a gathering of bishops with French-speaking Catholic education leaders in the Province.
There were also extracurricular sessions during my time in Toronto:
#On Sunday evening and Monday morning, I stayed overnight at St. Augustine's Seminary and celebrated Mass with the Ottawa sems and met with the seminary rector.
#On Monday and Tuesday evenings, I visited overnight with Jesuit Provincial Father James (Jim) Webb in St. Jamestown and dined on Tuesday with the Jesuit community at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
#On Wednesday evening, I joined ex-patriate Jamaicans for a Memorial Mass for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Lawrence Burke, S.J. of Kingston in Jamaica at Regis College.
In the coming days, I will post photos of these events, as well as give an account of the Catholic Office of Life and the Family's (COLF) 9th Bioethics Seminar on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide at Ottawa's Crowne Plaza Hotel.
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Visitation of St. PATRICK'S Parish (Nepean)
Last Saturday and Sunday, Episcopal Vicar Father Joseph Muldoon and I journeyed to St. Patrick's Parish, Fallowfield, one of the Archdiocese's civilly-recognized heritage sites.
The parish community is quite lively, as was clear at all three of the Lord's Day Masses (5 o'clock on Saturday and 9 & 11 o'clock on Sunday).
On Saturday evening, we posed for pictures, then sat down at a delicious catered buffet supper in the Monsignor Paul Baxter Centre. Afterwards, representatives of the parish finance and pastoral councils and other representatives spoke about their achievements, the challenges they face and their hopes for the future.
Father Muldoon and I took lots of notes which will assist us as we work with St. Patrick's and other neighbouring parishes to chart the future of these dynamic faith communities.
On Sunday morning, besides presiding and preaching at the Eucharist and greeting people at the door before and after the Mass, we mixed with families and individuals at the delicious hot brunch served by the Knights of Columbus, who are quite active in the parish.
Father Joe, who has ties to the Parish, and I were guided on a tour of the grounds and the cemetery before he dropped me off at the airport for my trip to Toronto and the series of meetings mentioned above.
In April sometime after Easter, we will return for a school activity to complete the Visitation formalities.
The strikingly beautiful St. Joseph's altar (with the Cure of Ars added for this Year of the Priest)
Joy-filled parish staffers
Saturday afternoon's anticipated Lord's Day Mass
Meeting parish reps in the Msgr Paul Baxter Parish Centre
Parish representatives pose for a photo before Saturday evening exchange with the bishop
Knights of Columbus Honour Guard takes part in the closing procession
A family enjoys the brunch in front of the KofC recruiting table
Echanging greetings after Sunday Mass
Families enjoy the Knights of Columbus-sponsored brunch after the Sunday Masses
Father Joe poses before the tombstone marking the graves of his Monaghan great-aunts
Father Joe Muldoon and Father Steve Amesse in front of historic St. Patrick's, Fallowfield
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The WAY OF THE CROSS (First Station): "Ecce Homo": Jesus Is Condemned to Death
"Show mercy, Lord, to your praying Church, and kindly turn to those who incline their hearts to you: do not allow those you have redeemed by the Death of your Only-Begotten Son to be harmed by sins or weighed down by adversities. Through Christ our Lord."