Friday, October 8, 2010

Transitions in Vanier II: Sheng Shen (Holy Spirit) Chinese Catholic Community - Irish Visitation

The Catholic Parishes of Vanier included, until it closed on the Solemnity of the Holy Family (December 28, 2009), the Church of Notre Dame de Lourdes de Cyrville.

The pastors who assumed the territory that formerly constituted the territory of that parish agreed that, as the church was unoccupied, the Chinese Catholic Community under the patronage of the Holy Spirit (Sheng Shen) might assume responsibility for the Church, its rectory (providing accommodation for student priests from abroad studying in Ottawa) and grounds.

Thus, the Chinese Catholic faithful, with friends and supporters present, inaugurated the Sunday liturgy and faith activities last Sunday.  As I had other commitments that day before leaving for Rome, I dropped in before Mass to greet those attending and to assure the faithful of my best wishes and prayers as they began this new stage of their journey of faith.

On Sunday, January 23, 2011, within the festive period marking the Lunar New Year, I will preside at a Lord's Day Eucharist with this vibrant community. Herewith some photos, featuring the dynamic Catholic leadership, along with their community´s spiritual guides, Deacon Peter Fan and Father Bosco Wong.


* * * * * *
After a flight from Toronto to Rome with Archbishop Collins and arrival at Domus Sanctae Marthae beside St. Peter's Basilica, it was good to see again Cardinal Marc Ouellet, p.s.s. in his new role as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

He presided at a concelebrated Mass of the Holy Spirit in the House Chapel that brought together in prayer the Irish archbishops and the Visitators. In his homily, His Eminence invited us to count on the special graces that the Lord is offering his Church in the Visitation, and which the Holy Father sincerely hopes will flow from this ecclesial event. It was a rich spiritual beginning to most cordial meeting.

The press release regarding the gathering follows.

Press release on the preparatory meetings for the
Apostolic Visitation in Ireland

On October 5, 2010, the Prefect and the Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops and representatives from the Holy See held a preparatory meeting in Rome with the Apostolic Visitators named by the Holy Father for the Apostolic Visitation to the four Metropolitan Archdioceses of Ireland: His Eminence Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor; His Eminence Seán P. O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap.; the Most Reverend Thomas C. Collins; the Most Reverend Terrence T. Prendergast, S.J.

Mindful of the tragic abuse of children that has taken place in Ireland, the participants discussed the particular aspects of this important Visitation. Pastoral in nature, the Visitation "is intended to assist the local Church on her path of renewal" (Pastoral Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland) and is a sign of the Holy Father’s desire, as the Successor of Peter, to offer his pastoral solicitude to the Church in Ireland. The Visitators will give particular attention to victims of abuse and their families, but will also meet with and listen to a variety of people, including ecclesiastical authorities, lay faithful and those involved with the crucial work of safeguarding of children.

The Cross of Cong was made in 1123 in Roscommon at the order of the High King of Ireland of the time, Turlough O'Conor. Oak covered in plates of gilt-bronze, it is highly decorated in interlacing animals and serpents, was used as a processional cross and is said to have contained a piece of the True Cross.

On October 6, 2010, as had been previously planned, His Eminence Cardinal Seán B. Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, and the Most Reverend Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam, celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit together with the Visitators and Superiors from the Congregation for Bishops and the Secretariat of State. The meeting that followed, marked by fraternal warmth and mutual collaboration, summarized the discussions from the previous day and focused on the organization of the Apostolic Visitation and the Archdioceses involved.

All participants are hopeful that this significant endeavor will be an instrument of purification and healing for the Church in Ireland and help to restore the trust and hope of the faithful there.


  1. Praying for you Excellency. I really hope this is the beginning of a local renewal, and genuine opportunity for repair to a hurting church.

    St. Jarlath, pray for us!

  2. Send the Irish over here to investigate the Canadian church