Sunday, May 10, 2009

Life at 143; Closing CFCPG Sessions; Family Time

If you enter 143 St. Patrick Street in the Canada Post search for a postal code (as I did when I first arrived), the listing along with the code is: Archbishop's Palace! I think of it more as home with a set of rooms for entertaining when needed. We have a regular community of a half-dozen members with several who could be designated as "occasionals".

Until a further assignment, newly-ordained Fr. Jonathan Blake has the Archeveche (to give it its French handle) as his pied-a-terre until the end of July. It was good to see him back this morning--if
only briefly until the end of May-- and hear of the joys he experienced in laying hands on his classmates at the Toronto Archdiocesan ordinations yesterday, celebrating Mass at a rectory chapel in Maple before a round of golf; and presiding at the Eucharist in the St. Augustine's Seminary chapel.

Today he presided at the main Masses at Notre Dame (10:30 in French and at noon in English). This was to acknowledge the role the Cathedral community played in affirming his vocational discernment for the priesthood. He is off now to Sept-Iles, where he was born and to Moncton where he grew up for Masses of Thanksgiving with these parish families so integral to his faith formation.

En route to Sept-Iles he will celebrate at the Shrine of St. Anne-de-Beaupre where he did a summer internship and with Famille Miryam Bethleem in Baie-Comeau, whose members encouraged him on the path to ordination. What a range of supporters God places in our way in this journey through life (whatever our call)!

This evening as I came home from a walk after supper, there was an ambulance outside the main entrance to take Father Gerald Gahagan to the Ottawa General Hospital as a precautionary measure for observation. He had taken a tumble while setting his walker in motion and there was some bleeding from the back of his skull.

Father Gerry, having retired a couple of years ago from St. Theresa's Parish where he had been pastor for eighteen years, has spent much of his retirement caring for a number of physical infirmities, especially kidney dialysis which takes four hours three times weekly. Please keep him in your prayers.


The CFCPG medical conference wrapped up this morning with a business session at which it was decided that there would be another assembly next year in Montreal; a passionate talk by Dr. Maria Kraw, an endocrinologist from St. Michael's Hospital and a prof at U. Toronto, who gave an overview of the struggle with the church's teaching reiterated in Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae and of the benefits this prophetic document offers for good medicine, good morals, good marriages and family life; and the joyous Mass in the Lower (Archbishop's) Chapel of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Kudos to all who had a hand in this wonderful meeting which holds out much promise for Catholic who see their faith as a strength and stimulus for their healing profession.


The Prendergasts and Peebles who met yesterday went out after Mass for brunch at B-side, a new age food establishment, in the Somerset Village. The Moms (Mar and Renee) were presented with flowers from their children and a toast with Mimosas. The whole session concluded with a box of Obama Cookies (you know those oddly-named short breads in the shape of a Maple Leaf with Canada writ large in red and bought by the US President from Le Moulin de Province bakery in the Byward Market last February 19?)

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