Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles - Visite pastorale, Paroisses Ste. Euphémie & St. Albert

“It is extraordinarily interesting that Roman pilgrimage began at an…early time. Pilgrims did not wait for the Peace of the Church [Constantine’s edict of toleration] before they visited the tombs of the Apostles. They went to Rome a century before there were any public churches and when the Church was confined to the tituli [private homes] and the catacombs. The two great pilgrimage sites were exactly as today—the tombs, or memorials, of St. Peter upon the Vatican Hill and the tomb of St. Paul off the Ostian Way” (H.V. Morton, This Is Rome).

Defend your Church, O Lord, by the protection of the holy Apostles, that as she received from them the beginnings of her knowledge of things divine, so through them she may receive, even to the end of the ages, an increase of heavenly grace.  Through our Lord.

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St. Peter’s is probably the most famous church in Christendom. Massive in scale and a veritable museum of art and architecture, it began on a much humbler scale. Vatican Hill was a simple cemetery where believers gathered at St. Peter’s tomb to pray. In 319 Constantine built on the site a basilica that stood for more than a thousand years until, despite numerous restorations, it threatened to collapse. In 1506 Pope Julius II ordered it razed and reconstructed, but the new basilica was not completed and dedicated for more than two centuries.

St. Paul’s Outside the Walls stands near the Abaazia delle Tre Fontane, where St. Paul is believed to have been beheaded. The largest church in Rome until St. Peter’s was rebuilt, the basilica also rises over the traditional site of its namesake’s grave. The most recent edifice was constructed after a fire in 1823. The first basilica was also Constantine’s doing.

Constantine’s building projects enticed the first of a centuries-long parade of pilgrims to Rome. From the time the basilicas were first built until the empire crumbled under “barbarian” invasions, the two churches, although miles apart, were linked by a roofed colonnade of marble columns.

Peter, the rough fisherman whom Jesus named the rock on which the Church is built, and the educated Paul, reformed persecutor of Christians, Roman citizen and missionary to the Gentiles, are the original odd couple. The major similarity in their faith-journeys is the journey’s end: Both, according to tradition, died a martyr’s death in Rome—Peter on a cross and Paul beneath the sword. Their combined gifts shaped the early Church and believers have prayed at their tombs from the earliest days (

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Visite Pastorale aux Paroisses Ste-Euphémie et St-Albert

De jeudi le 11 novembre a dimanche le 14, l’abbé Daniel Berniquez, vicaire épiscopal et moi sommes allés aux paroisses Sainte Euphémie de Casselman et St. Albert (St. Albert, ON).

Nous avons rencontré les élèves dans les écoles le Pavillon St. Paul, et l’École catholique secondaire de Casselman, visité les aines dans les deux villages et traité avec les conseils de pastorale et d’affaires temporels. Aussi, j’ai présidé les célébrations de Confirmation dans chaque paroisse.

L’Église Ste. Euphémie a été ferme au mois de mai alors que la structure du jubé et la sécurité de l’édifice ont été compromis; après six mois de messes dans une école, la communauté a recommencé l’usage de l’Église avec la messe dominicale le dimanche, 7 novembre.

Voici des photos de la grande joie dans les deux paroisses!

Saint Albert:

Sainte Euphémie:

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