Friday, March 4, 2011

CCO Ottawa's "Meet the Movement" Gala - Optional Memorial of St. Casimir

Last evening a large throng attended Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO)'s Spring Fund-raising Gala at Ottawa's Hellenic Centre.

Father Raymond de Souza was the M.C. for the evening, Michael Hall spoke on behalf of CCO's activities and needs, Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller, C.S.B. gave the keynote and two university students witnessed to the change in their lives of faith through contact with the Movement.

Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio, was a guest of honour.

Everyone enjoyed a good time, tasted a fine meal and went home edified. 

Some pix:

Archbishop Miller and his proud nieces

The Goskis and Dominican families

Messrs. Plante, father and son

Jeff and Renee Lockert, Abps Miller, Prendergast, Lopez Quintana

* * * * * *

Saint Casimir

St. Casimir, the son of the king of Poland and grandson of the emperor of Austria, was born in 1458. His father, also named Casimir, and his mother, Elizabeth, were the parents of thirteen children; ten girls and three boys. From childhood, Casimir enjoyed spending time with the Lord in prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, and in reflection upon the sufferings of Jesus. His inward practice of living in God’s presence showed itself outwardly in his pleasant and peaceful manner.

Casimir’s love for God found expression in his love for the poor. He used his royal influence for their welfare and attended to their needs through personal donations. He held a special place in his heart for Mary, the Mother of God. He often repeated the words of the hymn, “Daily, Daily Sing to Mary” as a form of prayer in her honor.

When he was only thirteen years old, Casimir’s father placed him at the head of an army, sending him to occupy the throne of Hungary by force. Beset by the desertions of many soldiers who were not receiving their pay and knowing of the large body of troops which the enemy had assembled, Casimir decided to bring the army home. Angered by his son’s decision, Casimir’s father refused to allow him to return to Cracow and exiled him to another city for several months.

Upon his return home, Casimir served as secretary of the treasury for the kingdom of Poland, conducted official correspondence for the king and took part in legal proceedings and deliberations in the Congress. When he was twenty-one, Casimir traveled to the town of Lithuania where, for two years, he fulfilled many administrative responsibilities for his father. From 1479-84, he served as viceroy of Poland during his father’s absence from the capitol.

Despite his royal environment and duties, Casimir maintained a simple way of life characterized by discipline and penance. Seeking to make God his first and only love, Casimir chose not to marry.

Weakened by a chronic lung condition, Casimir fell ill while on a journey during the winter of 1484. On March 4 at the castle of Grodno, he exchanged an earthly crown for a crown of glory as he surrendered himself into the hands of God and entered eternal life. Following reports of miracles at his tomb, Casimir was declared to be a saint in 1521. The Church celebrates his feast day (in Canada as an optional memorial) on March 4.

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