Saturday, May 8, 2010

Youth Summit / Montee Jeunesse in two weeks - St. Leopold Mandic Croatian Parish

We are just two weeks away from the MONTEE JEUNESSE/YOUTH SUMMIT Weekend. The registration deadline has been extended another couple of days, until May 10.

I am encouraging all parishes to seek out young adults who you think might be interested in attending. Open to all young adults aged 17 – 35 who wish to deepen their faith and live it actively.

Highlights include prayer, workshops, music and a Eucharistic Procession to Parliament Hill! For more info: (613-728-5025, ext 229); (

Some events will be open to the wider public:

The Eucharistic Procession - Saturday, May 22: As part of the Youth Summit, there will be a Eucharistic Procession from St. Joseph's Cathedral in Gatineau (starting at 5:15 p.m.) heading across the Alexandra Bridge, then to Parliament Hill for a prayer service and then to Notre Dame Cathedral for Adoration and a talk by Caroline Gambale Dirkes. This is an event open to all!

Concert: On Sunday, May 23, the Youth Summit will be having a Christian Music Concert which is open to everyone (not just the participants in the Youth Summit). The Concert starts at 7:00pm at the Civic Centre and will feature Matt Maher, Chakidor and the Gatineau Gospel Choir. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased from: Archdiocese of Ottawa, Diocesan Center, 1247, Kilborn Place (Reception); Centre des Jeunes - 101 Parent Street (opposite Notre Dame Cathedral); Liturgica Inc., 1260, Old Innes Road, Unit 602; Salem Storehouse Inc., 1558 Merivale Road and 839 Shefford Road; St. Paul's University Bookstore, 249, Main Street; the
Archdiocese of Gatineau, Diocesan Center, 180, boulevard Mont-Bleu.

Please pray for the spiritual success of this youth gathering.

* * * * * *


Yesterday, Prime Minister Harper visited Croatia and, in Zagreb, ran into several fans of the Montreal Canadiens, who showed their colours by wearing the Habs uniform.

Tomorrow, I will go to 170 Hinchey Avenue, Ottawa for a visitation of the Croatian Parish of St. Leopold Mandic, who was a famous confessor in the line of St. Jean-Marie Vianney, St. Joseph Cafasso and St. Padre Pio of Pietralcina. Our saint's feast day is May 12, but we will be anticipating it on Sunday.

In the context of the Year of Priests, Pope Benedict XVI noted on December 2, 2009:

"I greet the newly-weds among us here. Today is the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, which called attention to the importance of the Sacrament of Penance in the life of the Church.

"On this important anniversary I would like to remember certain extraordinary "apostles of the confessional", unflagging stewards of divine mercy: St John Mary Vianney, St Joseph Cafasso, St Leopold Mandic, St Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. May their witness of faith and charity help you, dear young people, to steer clear of sin and to plan your future as a generous service to God and to your neighbour. May it help you, dear sick people, to experience in suffering the mercy of the Crucified Christ.

"And may it urge you, dear newlyweds, to create in your families an atmosphere of constant faith and mutual understanding. Lastly, may the example of these Saints, persevering and faithful ministers of divine forgiveness be for priests especially in this Year for Priests and for all Christians an invitation to trust always in the goodness of God, receiving and celebrating with trust the sacrament of Reconciliation."

The Story of St. Leopold (May 12, 1866-June 30, 1942)

Saint Leopold Mandic was a contrast between physical frailty and spiritual strength. Four foot five inches tall, and physically weak, his health became worse with age. He had a stammer, suffered abdominal pains, and was gradually deformed by chronic arthritis, making his frame stooped, his hands gnarled, and his life one of endless pain.

Spiritually, Leopold Mandic was a giant, full of Christian strength. His humility and faith in God enabled him to accept his poor physical condition, and realize God’s power - for without God he could do nothing.

Twelfth child born to Peter and Caroline Mandic. Physically malformed and delicate of health, Bogdan early showed signs of great spiritual strength and integrity. At age 16, Bogdan left Dalmatia for Italy where he became a student at the Capuchin Seraphic School at Udine, and an aspirant to the Capuchins. He applied himself to his studies, and entered the Capuchin Order as a novice on 20 April 1884 at Bassano del Grappa, taking the religious name Brother Leopold. After his Profession of Vows in May 1885, Leopold began clerical studies at Padua and Venice.

Ordained in Venice on 20 September 1890, he wanted to be a missionary in Eastern Europe, an area torn apart by religious strife, but he was denied by his superiors because of his frailty and general ill-health; he was stationed at various Friaries in the Venetian Province from 1890 to 1906, including his homeland of Dalmatia, where the Italian friars had a mission.

Posted to Padua, Italy in 1906 where, except for a year spent in a prison camp in World War I because he would not renounce his Croat nationality, he remained for the rest of his life.

In Padua, he became a Confessor and Spiritual Director for almost forty years. Father Leopold encouraged many, especially the hopeless in enslavement to sin. Though he did not go to the missions, his long service in the confessional proved it to be his own apostolate. For nearly forty years, twelve hours a day, he absolved and councelled thousands of penitents, always weak but always available.

"When I say Mass, my thoughts are all for who have consulted me. At the culmination of the Sacred Mysteries I fold them all in my heart and I know the prayers will be answered because what I ask for is nothing compared to what I offer". (St. Leopold Mandic).

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