Thursday, November 26, 2009

Photo Round-Up of Recent Confirmation Celebrations

Last weekend was taken up with Confirmations in several parishes as will the next several weekends. Photos from several of these important sacramental "rites of initiation" are shown below.

This week, the Episcopal Visitation of parishes will resume with activities at Paroisse St-Victor, Alfred and Paroisse St-Thomas, Lefaive (including Confirmation ceremonies this evening at Paroisse St-Pierre Apotre, Hawkesbury and for the children of Alfred and Lefaive on Sunday.

The Demeanour of the Bishop during the Canonical Visitation

As in every exercise of his pastoral ministry, the Bishop should conduct himself with simplicity and kindness during a parish visit, giving an example of devotion, charity and poverty: all virtues which, together with prudence, should distinguish a Pastor of the Church.

The Bishop esteems the pastoral visit as quasi anima episcopalis regiminis, an extension of his spiritual presence among his people (686).

With Jesus the good Shepherd as his model, he should present himself to the faithful not “in lofty words or wisdom” (1 Cor 2:1), nor with an air of mere mechanical efficiency, but rather clothed in humility and goodness, always interested in the individual person and capable of listening and making himself understood.

In the course of the visit, the Bishop should take care not to burden the parish or the parishioners with unnecessary expenses (687). This does not prevent them, however, from organizing simple festivities as a natural consequence of their Christian joy and an expression of affection and esteem for their Pastor. (The Bishop's Pastoral Directory, #223)

Paroisse St-Joseph, Orléans, November 21

Guess who got a new tie for Confirmation?

Paroisse St-Gabriel, Gloucester, November 22

The photographer only got to the camera as the "photo op" was breaking up...

Paroisse St-Thérèse d'Avila, Marionville, November 22

Paroisse St-Jacques, Embrun, November 25

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YOUTHFUL SAINTS - JOHN BERCHMANS, JESUIT SCHOLASTIC (his feast day is observed today in Belgium and in Jesuit houses)

John Berchmans (1599-1621) personifies the ideal that ordinary deeds done extraordinarily well lead to great holiness. He died very young, only five years after entering the Jesuit novitiate, but his great desire to be a priest inspired him to live religious life fully.

Berchmans was born the eldest son of a shoemaker in 1599 at Diest, Belgium. At a very young age he wanted to be a priest, and when thirteen he became a servant in the household of one of the cathedral canons at Malines.

After his mother's death, his father and two brothers followed suit and entered religious life. In 1615 he entered the Jesuit college there, becoming a novice a year later. In 1618 he was sent to Rome for more study and was known for his diligence and piety, and his stress on perfection even in small things.

That year his father was ordained and died six months later. John was so poor and humble that he walked from Antwerp to Rome. He died at the age of 22 on August 13. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death; he was canonized in 1888 and is the patron saint of altar boys.

Although he longed to work in the mission fields of China, he did not live long enough to permit it. After completing his course work, he was asked to defend the "entire field of philosophy" in a public disputation in July, just after his exit examinations. The following month he was asked to represent the Roman College in a debate with the Greek College.

Although he distinguished himself in this disputation, he had studied so assiduously that he caught a cold in mid-summer, became very ill with with an undetermined illness accompanied by a fever, although some think it now to have been dysentery, and died a week later.

The brother infirmarian suggested that he should receive Communion the next day, even though it was not a Sunday (daily communion was not usual at that time and some feast days were designated as "Communion days"). The Jesuit community came in procession bringing Viaticum to the their dying brother.

He asked for his crucifix, rosary and rule book and received a steady stream of visitors, including Father General. He spent his final night in prayer and died on August 13 in the morning.He was buried in the church of Saint Ignatius at Rome, but his heart was later translated to the Jesuit church at Louvain.

So many miracles were attributed to him after his death at the age of 22, that his cultus soon spread to his native Belgium, where 24,000 copies of his portrait were published within a few years of his death. He was known for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady.

1 comment:

  1. It may have been possible that St John Berchmans SJ was canonized in 1888 at the same time as the Seven Holy Founders of Servite and thus he was well remembered by them. The cost then of the canonization was divided between the two orders although the joke was that some got seven canonized while the other paid half. St John Berchmans seems worth it from the look of his lovely picture