Today's memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary recalls the feast of Our Lady of Victory, instituted by Pope St. Pius V to commemorate the triumph of the Holy League against the Turkish forces at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. It recalls that the recitation of the Rosary, centred on the mysteries of Jesus and Mary helps the Christian faithful to contemplate in prayer our salvation.
Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by his Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you.
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TRANSITIONS IN VANIER N0. 1:
CLOSING SAINT CHARLES BORROMEE CHURCH
The parishes in Vanier serving the francophone community have been engaged in a reflection process to determine how best in the future to serve a diminished number of Catholics.
Levels of religious practice and recent demographic changes, which have seen newer generations moving to francophone communities in Orleans, Rockland, as well as to the western parts of Ottawa around Kanata, Barrhaven and Riverside South where new French-speaking schools serve the children and grandchildren of families, who formerly resided in Vanier, make it clear that there are too many churches for the reduced number of practicing Catholics in Vanier.
A cluster of three parishes (Marie-Médiatrice, Sainte Anne and Saint Charles Borromée) began to study their needs about a year ago. Ste. Anne’s withdrew from the process when the west transept of their church collapsed and they expressed the wish to focus their energies in the needed repairs.
A committee joining Marie-Médiatrice and St. Charles Borromée recommended a feasibility study of establishing a single, smaller church on the St. Charles site, possibly incorporating aspects of the present church and perhaps in a partnership including other interested parties.
To carry this out proposal, the committee recommended the closure of St. Charles church, which took place on September 26 (photos of this Mass of Thanksgiving, which evoked mixed-emotions, follow) and the consolidation of the two parish families—with the Congolese community, which worshipped at St. Charles on Sunday afternoons—at Marie-Médiatrice. This will continue until the feasibility of constructing a new church on the St. Charles site is concluded.
If the decision is taken that a new church is possible on the St. Charles site on Beechwood Avenue, these communities will remain at Marie-Médiatrice until it is built, at which time Marie-Médiatrice will close. If a new church is not feasible, the recommendation is that both parishes be closed and the Catholics invited to choose one of the remaining churches in Vanier as their parish.
The new pastoral unit has been placed under the patronage of Blessed (soon-to-be Saint) Brother André. In remarks made at the close of the recent Mass, the hope was expressed that Brother André, who was able to marshal energies that led to the construction of the great St. Joseph’s Oratory might intercede with the Lord for the construction of a smaller church to serve the Catholics of Vanier.