Friday, May 22, 2009

Of Things Material and Spiritual...

This morning the auditors and investment portfolio managers came to meet with the Archdiocesan Finance Committee, which meets several times a year to act as good stewards of the financial resources put at the Church of Ottawa's disposal.

It's not the world that I am completely at ease with. Denis Desautels, parishioner at Paroisse St-Gabriel and devoted member of the AFC asked a couple of questions to "decode" what the investment experts were saying (it has been a difficult year in the markets with the financial meltdown). I was encouraged that a former Auditor-General of Canada was asking for such clarifications; it helped me feel that I was not totally out of it as I tried to fathom the intricacies of the market dynamics being presented to us.

The audit revealed that the Archdiocese showed a slight surplus, thanks in part to a generous bequest that came in late in the financial year. The generosity of so many in difficult times, to foster and further the Lord's work, is a great encouragement. St. Joseph who is the patron of the church, watching over its needs as he did for the Holy Family, is a strong intercessor for our Diocese.

Once a week in the chapel in my residence we offer a Mass in Thanksgiving for our benefactors--those who assist us spiritually with their prayers and materially with their sacrificial giving--living and deceased.

To God be the glory!

This evening St. Paul University's Ministry Centre and the Archdiocese's Adult Faith Formation Committee combined to host Father Ronald Rohlheiser, OMI, well-known spiritual writer. Often reprinted in recent years, his books and the date of first publication are:

Secularity and the Gospel: Being Missionary to our Children (2006); The Holy Longing (1999); Against an Infinite Horizon (1996); The Shattered Lantern (1994); Forgotten Among the Lilies (1990); Spirituality for a Restless Culture (1991); The Restless Heart(1988); The Loneliness Factor (1979).

Now President of Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, the Saskatchewan native has a charming style as he grapples with and presents to adults interested in developing their discipleship, just as he does in his weekly columns in the Catholic Register and other regional Catholic publications.

In setting the tone for his weekend of presentations to be continued tomorrow, the Oblate missionary scouting out the new frontiers of the 21st century, described the complexity of our culture using the the image of the "soils" found in Jesus' parable of the sower (rocky, thorn-choked, good, shallow). For these qualities also describe the various dimensions of our inner life, which can be superficial when the call from Christ is to grow deeper.

Tomorrow's theme "The Deeper Invitation to Move towards a More Mature, Adult Discipleship" will turn toward the nature of the seed and its significance for persons who want to see our Lord more clearly, love Him more dearly, follow Him more nearly (St. Richard of Chichester).

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