Friday, October 14, 2011

Mgr Luc Cyr Installed in Sherbrooke as Archbishop - St. Callistus - St. John Ogilvie


En présence d'une foule nombreuse, le nonce apostolique au Canada, Mgr Pedro Lopez Quintana a présidé la cérémonie d'inauguration du ministère épiscopal de Mgr Luc Cyr à Sherbrooke.

Dans son homélie, Mgr Luc Cyr s'est montré très humble devant l'accueil réservé dans sa nouvelle communauté de foi, l'archidiocèse de Sherbrooke. Il espère débuter rapidement une tournée des régions pastorales.

Entouré de sa famille, de ses confrères évêques avec qui il partage une même mission et un même engagement, des amis  et représentants des diocèses de Saint-Jérôme et Valleyfield, il a reconnu l'apport de toutes ces personnes à sa formation humaine, spirituelle et pastorale. 

Mgr Cyr s'inscrit dans l'histoire du diocèse avec le désir profond de communier à la vie des fidèles et de découvrir avec eux les appels de « l'Esprit Saint de notre temps ».

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On September 29, the Patronal Feast of the Diocese and the Cathedral, I joined the large throng from the parishes of Sherbrooke, some thirty bishops and family, friends and representatives of his former Diocese of Valleyfield for the inauguration of the ministry of Mgr Luc Cyr as the fifth archbishop of Sherbroole, succeeding Mgr Andre Gaumond.

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St. Callistus I, Pope and Martyr (217-222)

O God, who raised up Pope Saint Callistus the First to serve the Church and attend devoutly to Christ's faithful departed, strengthen us, we pray, by his witness to the faith, so that, rescued from the slavery of corruption, we may merit an incorruptible inheritance. Through our Lord.

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The Scottish Jesuit Martyr, St. John Ogilvie

Today in the liturgical calendar of the Society of Jesus is the feast day of the the Scottish Martyr St. John Ogilvie (born 1579, ordained 1610, died March 10, 1615), patron of the Ottawa Jesuit Community

This year the Ottawa community celebrates fifty years of presence in the Capital.  Ad multos annos, fratres!

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John Ogilvie's noble Scottish family was partly Catholic and partly Presbyterian. His father raised him as a Calvinist, sending him to the continent to be educated.

There John became interested in the popular debates going on between Catholic and Calvinist scholars. Confused by the arguments of Catholic scholars whom he sought out, he turned to Scripture.

Two texts particularly struck him: “God wills all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth,” and “Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you.”

Slowly, John came to see that the Catholic Church could embrace all kinds of people. Among these, he noted, were many martyrs. He decided to become Catholic and was received into the Church at Louvain, Belgium, in 1596 at the age of 17.

John continued his studies, first with the Benedictines, then as a student at the Jesuit College at Olmutz. He joined the Jesuits and for the next 10 years underwent their rigorous intellectual and spiritual training.

Ordained a priest in France in 1610, he met two Jesuits who had just returned from Scotland after suffering arrest and imprisonment. They saw little hope for any successful work there in view of the tightening of the penal laws. But a fire had been lit within John. For the next two and a half years he pleaded to be missioned there.

Sent by his superiors, he secretly entered Scotland posing as a horse trader or a soldier returning from the wars in Europe. Unable to do significant work among the relatively few Catholics in Scotland, John made his way back to Paris to consult his superiors.

Rebuked for having left his assignment in Scotland, he was sent back. He warmed to the task before him and had some success in making converts and in secretly serving Scottish Catholics. But he was soon betrayed, arrested and brought before the court. His trial dragged on until he had been without food for 26 hours. He was imprisoned and deprived of sleep.

For eight days and nights he was dragged around, prodded with sharp sticks, his hair pulled out. Still, he refused to reveal the names of Catholics or to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the king in spiritual affairs. He underwent a second and third trial but held firm.

At his final trial he assured his judges: “In all that concerns the king, I will be slavishly obedient; if any attack his temporal power, I will shed my last drop of blood for him. But in the things of spiritual jurisdiction which a king unjustly seizes I cannot and must not obey.”

Condemned to death as a traitor, he was faithful to the end, even when on the scaffold he was offered his freedom and a fine living if he would deny his faith. His courage in prison and in his martyrdom was reported throughout Scotland.

John Ogilvie was canonized in 1976, becoming the first Scottish saint since 1250.

Comment: John came of age when neither Catholics nor Protestants were willing to tolerate one another. Turning to Scripture, he found words that enlarged his vision. Although he became a Catholic and died for his faith, he understood the meaning of “small-c catholic,” the wide range of believers who embrace Christianity. Even now he undoubtedly rejoices in the ecumenical spirit fostered by the Second Vatican Council and joins us in our prayer for unity with all believers. (www.americancatholic/saintoftheday [March 10]).

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