Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Fr. Hezuk Shroff at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Almighty ever-living God, who while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times. Through our Lord.

* * * * * *


Portal of the world's salvation,
lo, a Virgin pure and mild,
humble-hearted, high in station,
form of beauty undefiled,
crown of earth's anticipation,
comes the Mother-maid with child.

Virgin sweet, with love o'erflowing,
to the hills in haste she fares;
on a kindred bestowing
blessing from the joy she bears;
waiting while with mystic showing
time the sacred birth prepares.

What fair joy o'ershone that dwelling,
called so great a guest to greet;
what her joy whose love compelling
found a rest for Mary's feet,
when, the bliss of time foretelling,
lo, the Voice and Word did meet!

God most high, the heaven's foundation,
ruler of eternity;
Jesus, who for man's salvation
came in flesh to make us free;
Spirit, moving all creation,
evermore be praise to thee!

Words: Latin, fifteenth century; trans. Laurence Housman, 1906

* * * * * *


The Litany of the Saints is prayed over the prostrate candidate (Photo: D Gyapong)


Yesterday, newly-ordained Father Hezuk Shroff moved into the Archbishop's Residence to prepare for two months of service at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica before his first full-time parish assignment begins on August 1.

This morning our household joined him in a Mass of Thanksgiving in the domestic chapel. No photos of that, but here are several of his ordination (kindness of Deborah Gyapong) and the first blessings, with newly-anointed priestly hands, given in the lower chapel of Notre Dame immediately following the ordination ceremony:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday in the 6th Week of Easter - Sainte Jeanne d'Arc - May Photo Wrap-Up

Monday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Grant, O merciful God, that we may experience at all times the fruit produced by the paschal observances. Through our Lord.

* * * * * *

Sainte Jeanne d'Arc - Saint Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc (c 1412-31) is one of the patron saints of France, having astonishingly succeeded as an illiterate teenager in turning the course of the Hundred Years War.

Joan was born into a peasant family at Domrémy, on the borders of Lorraine and Champagne, an area ravaged by the English in 1421 and 1424. She was only 13 when she began to hear voices – at first that of the Archangel Michael, and then those of St Catherine and St Margaret – telling her to rescue France.

If it seems strange that the Almighty should have favoured one Catholic country over another, the French, at least, have never experienced the least difficulty in believing it.

In 1429 Joan finally succeeded, against all the odds, in obtaining an audience with the Dauphin Charles. Still more extraordinarily, she was given permission to join the French army.

When she appeared in Orléans, under siege by the English, she immediately began to inspire the dispirited French troops with her bravery under fire. Within nine days of her arrival the town had been liberated, and Joan knelt down and prayed for the souls of her fallen enemies.

Further successes followed, and on July 17 1429 Joan stood by Charles VII when he was crowned at Rheims. The courtiers, however, were inclined to treat her with suspicion and hostility, especially when, that September, she was involved in an unsuccessful attempt to regain Paris. When, in the spring of 1430, she was captured by Burgundian troops after a skirmish near Compiègne, Charles VII showed no disposition to ransom her. The Burgundians then sold her to their English allies for the sizeable sum of 10,000 crowns.

Joan was held under appalling conditions at Rouen, though she suffered less from her physical privations than from being denied the sacraments. Her voices had now fallen silent.

Accused of witchcraft and heresy by Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais and a pawn of the English, Joan defended herself with great spirit and shrewdness.

Condemned to be burned, she briefly wavered before recanting her recantation and dying bravely at Rouen on May 30 1431. She was canonised in 1920.

That she is celebrated throughout France, from Notre-Dame de Paris to the humblest village, will occasion no surprise. Less predictable, though, was the decision of the Anglican authorities to install her statue in Winchester Cathedral in 1923.

When Joan was burned, Cardinal Beaufort, in charge of the arrangements and anxious to foil relic hunters, had ordered that her ashes be cast into the Seine. Beaufort lived on another 16 years in worldly glory, and when he died was given a magnificent tomb at Winchester.

Joan’s statue now stands nearby, with her gaze seemingly just avoiding the pompous sepulchre of her ancient adversary. Now that is a conquest indeed. (http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/)

* * *

Ottawa has a congregation of diocesan right, Les Soeurs de l'Institut Jeanne d'Arc (f.j.a), to whom we wish a Happy Feast Day!

There is also a movement afoot in some quarters of the Church to have the feast of St. Joan, limited to France and places where there is a special devotion to her (in the Institut in Ottawa, for example) to the universal church.

* * *
Dieu qui a choisi sainte Jeanne d’Arc pour défendre son pays contre l’envahisseur, accorde-nous, par son intercession, de travailler pour la justice et de vivre dans la paix.

* * * * * *

Photos du mois de mai

Through the press of travel and other duties, some events on my agenda have not figured on the blog so far. 

Today is a bit of a catch-up day (more to come in coming days, early June):

Franciscans of Halifax get ready to head home, visit for Mass and breakfast first [Fr. Paul Morris (centre), also from Halifax, looks on approvingly]

* * * * * *

M. l'abbé Michel Berder (à gauche), ami depuis mon temps en Terre sainte, me rend visite; le P. Yvan Mathieu, s.m., de l'Université St. Paul, est à la droite

* * * * * *

The 80th Birthday of Sr. Lorraine,
who assists in the Marriage Tribunal

* * * * * *

Journée pastorale / Pastoral Day

Les 18-19 mai, le Père Thomas Rosica, c.s.b. de Télévision Sel et Lumière est venu à l’archidiocèse pour nous aider, dans les journées pastorales de chaque secteur, à réfléchir sur le thème de notre année pastorale 2010-2011, « Appelées à la sainteté, les saints de chez nous ».

Father Rosica was the featured speaker for a recent Pastoral Day, partially devoted to our 2010-2011 Pastoral Year Theme, “Called to Holiness—the Saints among Us”. It was a very enlightening and informative session.


Men in Black, Ottawa Unit

First on his block with Canada's Madrid World Youth Day soccer-style shirt

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Sixth Sunday of Easter - CCO IMPACT! Ottawa's "Cornerstone"

Mission & Evangelization

"Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished – not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed.

"A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty.

"A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships."

--Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, Syndey WYD 2008, Sunday, 20 July)

These words of the Holy Father help us appreciate the importance of outreach to the youth of our church with the message of the gospel in a way that reaches them.

On Thursday evening, I dropped in on the weekly meeting of Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO)'s Cornerstone gathering for adolescents and young adults at the parish hall of Paroisse St. Thomas d'Aquin (situated across the street from our Diocesan Centre on Kilborn Place).

More than 200 young people had come to the session being offered by Impact! Ottawa, CCO's summer evangelizing program in the Archdiocese.  The 50+ university students from across Canada are learning in their training sessions how to present the Good News of God's love in personal witnessing, song, skits and every form of interaction.  On the weekends they are in ten parishes (both English-speaking and francophone) from Kanata to Orleans and parish communities in between.

Here are a few photos of the joyous sessions I took part in:

Praise and worship, prayer

A spoof on The Price is Right

Personal witnessing, challenging their peers

Fellowship, eats follow in the church hall and parish parking lot

* * * * * *

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Grant almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion, these days of joy which we keep in honour of the risen Lord, and what we relive in remembrance may we always hold to in what we do. Through our Lord.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Recollection Day in Alexandria

Saturday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Almighty eternal God, who through the regenerating power of Baptism have been pleased to confer on us heavenly life, grant, we pray, that those you render capable of immortality by justifying them may by your guidance attain the fullness of glory. Through our Lord.

* * * * * *


This is one of the many imposing structures in the Eastern Ontario town of Alexandria, site of St. Finnan's Church, the cathedral of the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall. Next to this building stood, in 1961, a retreat house where some of my Loyola High School '61 classmates and I went for a retreat in our graduation year.  On my return from that retreat I determined to enter the Jesuit Novitiate.

This week, I returned to a different retreat house, down the street and on the opposite side, Shalom House to offer some reflections on the Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini to the priests of this neighbouring diocese.

Some photos taken at the dinner:

Friday, May 27, 2011

St. Augustine of Canterbury - Visite chez les Visitandines

Optional Memorial Today
of St. Augustine of Canterbury

According to the Venerable Bede, St. Gregory was once walking through the Roman slave market when he noticed some barbarian children exposed for sale. They had fair complexions, fine-cut features, and fair hair. Looking at them with interest, he enquired what country and race they came from. “They come from Britania,” he was told, “where all the people have this appearance.”

He then asked whether the people were Christians, or whether they were still ignorant heathens. “They are pagans,” he was informed. “Alas!” said Gregory with a heartfelt sigh: “how sad that such handsome folk are still in the grasp of the Author of darkness, and that faces of such beauty conceal minds ignorant of God’s grace! What is the name of this race?”

“They are called Angles,” he was told. “Non Angli, sed angeli! That is appropriate,” he said, “for they have angelic faces, and it is right that they should become fellow-heirs with the angels in heaven.

And what is the name of their Province?” “Deira,” was the answer. “Good. They shall indeed be de ira saved (which is Latin for ‘from wrath’) and called to the mercy of Christ. And what is the name of their king?” he asked. “Aella”, he was told. “Then must Alleluia be sung to the praise of God our Creator in their land!”

Although high-minded historians have generally treated this episode skeptically, it is probably the most well known story about how the mission of St. Augustine came about. However charming its puns may be, it does have a basis in history.

In 595, St. Gregory wrote letters to his servants in Gaul asking them to buy Saxon boys to be brought to Rome to be brought up and educated as monks. Likewise, we have another letter from 599 in which St. Gregory mentions that he had been planning a preaching mission to the Anglo-Saxons. Given these two gobbets, it would seem reasonable to assume that Pope Gregory had conceived the idea of preaching the Gospel to the Anglo-Saxons as a result of this encounter in the Roman slave market.

No one really knows how St. Gregory got the idea of using monks as missionaries, but it was to the monks of his own monastery of St. Andrew’s that he turned to find them. The monk-missionaries were common among the Irish, but it is unlikely that St. Gregory would have known about this. And even if he did, the Irish spirit would not have been well received by the very Roman Gregory.

St. Gregory’s own account of the Life of St. Benedict contains some distinct apostolic hints (such as St. Benedict’s preaching on arrival at Monte Cassino, and various references to monks being sent out, apparently on pastoral work) that such work was not incompatible with the ideal of monasticism as presented in the Rule of St. Benedict.

As Prof. Mayr-Harting wrote in this regard: “there were indeed plenty of able clergy in Rome on whom Gregory’s choice might have fallen, but perhaps they would not have exactly leapt at the opportunity to come to this land (England), ridden as it was with fogs, swamps and kings with unpronounceable names.” None the less, St. Gregory’s choice fell on St. Augustine.

In 597 St. Augustine and 40 monks landed on the island of Thanet in the Kingdom of Kent. Ironically Kent was not even an Anglo-Saxon Kingdom, having been settled by a lesser well known Teutonic tribe called the Jutes. Fortunately for St. Augustine, the King of Kent, Ethelbert, was married to a Frankish Christian princess.

Thus, by God’s providence St. Augustine and his companions had landed in one of the most hospitable places in Britain. Sadly , even St. Bede does not record what St. Augustine said to Ethelbert, but King Ethelbert was completely won over. He settled the missionaries at Canterbury and by the end of the year, the King and thousands of his subjects were baptized and the conversion of the English was begun.

St. Gregory is considered to be the “Apostle to the English” even though it was St. Augustine and his monks who did all the work. The character of St. Augustine that emerges from the pages of St. Bede is of a man of immense seriousness, dignity, and that great Roman virtue of gravitas.

St. Augustine was always the obedient, competent, efficient administrator, intent on organizing the Anglo-Saxon Church and very aware that he is the servant of a higher master. In Benedictine terms, St. Augustine was the ideal prior to Pope St. Gregory as Abbot. For us he provides an idea model of the Benedictine pastoral ideal: the primary characteristic of which — the characteristic that most marks its monastic significance — is that it is an enterprise of 'presence' rather than 'confrontation' (http://www.benedictineoratory.com/).

* * *

O God, who by the preaching of the Bishop of Saint Augustine of Canterbury led the English peoples to the Gospel, grant we pray, that the fruits of his labours may remain ever abundant in your Church. Through our Lord.

* * * * * *

Les Visitandines à Pembroke

A Pembroke, après la messe pour les autochtones dimanche au Centre Marguerite, j’ai visité, lundi matin, les Sœurs de la Visitation dans leurs nouveaux locaux.

La journée a commencé avec les Laudes et la sainte messe, suivie d’un petit déjeuner festif, visite guidée du monastère (a l’intérieur de la maison mère des Sœurs de St. Joseph de Pembroke) et une causerie avec les religieuses.

Quelques photos :

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mémorial de St. Philippe Néri - Easter Sunday 6: Awaiting the Paraclete - Kateri Native Ministries Assembly


Fondateur de l'Oratoire (1515-1595)

Philippe naquit à Florence le 22 juillet 1515. Dès son enfance, on l'appelait le bon petit Philippe, tant il était bon, doux et aimable. Vers l'âge de dix-huit ans, il renonça à la fortune d'un de ses oncles pour aller à Rome étudier les sciences ecclésiastiques. Rien de plus édifiant que sa vie d'étudiant: pauvreté, mortification, prière, travail, silence, vie cachée, habitaient sa modeste cellule.

Après plusieurs années d'étude opiniâtre dans les universités, il travailla seul, quelques années encore, dans le silence et la solitude, et quand, devenu prêtre par obéissance, il commença à se livrer au ministère des âmes, son esprit facile et profond avait acquis une science fort remarquable. Son angélique pureté eut à subir les plus rudes assauts; mais il sortit toujours vainqueur de tous les pièges, et reçut comme récompense la grâce de ne jamais ressentir, le reste de sa vie, aucun mouvement, même involontaire, de la concupiscence charnelle.

Un jour, Philippe fut tellement embrasé de l'amour de Dieu, que deux de ses côtes se rompirent pour donner plus de liberté à ses élans séraphiques. Souvent ses entretiens avec Notre-Seigneur étaient si suaves, qu'il n'y pouvait tenir et se mourait de joie, ce qui lui faisait pousser ce cri: "Assez, Seigneur, assez!"

Philippe visitait les hôpitaux, soignait les malades, assistait et instruisait les pauvres, passait de longues nuits dans la prière, aux catacombes, sur les tombeaux des martyrs. Partout et à toute occasion, il cherchait à gagner des âmes à Dieu.

Il aimait surtout les jeunes gens; il les attendait à la sortie des écoles, se mêlait à leurs rangs et conversait avec eux; il les abordait sur les places publiques, les cherchait jusque dans les ateliers et les magasins, en confessait une multitude, en retirait un grand nombre du vice. "Amusez-vous bien, leur disait-il souvent; mais n'offensez pas le bon Dieu!"

Aussi Philippe exerçait-il sur l'enfance et la jeunesse un ascendant irrésistible, et nul mieux que lui ne mérite d'être regardé comme le Patron des Oeuvres de jeunesse. Le Saint fonda la Société des Prêtres de l'Oratoire.

Philippe jouait pour ainsi dire avec les miracles, et les résurrections de morts ne coûtaient rien à cet homme extraordinaire. Il se regardait, malgré tout, comme le plus grand des pécheurs, et disait souvent à Dieu: "Seigneur, défiez-Vous de moi, car j'ai peur de Vous trahir!" Philippe mourut à l'âge de quatre-vingt ans, le 26 mai 1595. --Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.

* * *

O God, who never cease to bestow the glory of your holiness on the faithful servants you raise up for yourself, graciously grant that the Holy Spirit may kindle in us that fire with which he wonderfully  filled  the heart of Saint Philip Neri. Through our Lord.   

* * * * * *

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year "A") - May 29, 2011 - JESUS SENDS THE PARACLETE TO COMFORT CHRISTIANS - [Texts: Acts 8.5-8 [Psalm 66]; 1 Peter 3.15-18; John 14.15-21]

In commenting on the Easter mysteries, Ignatius Loyola observed that Christ's divinity became manifest in the lives of those blessed with a resurrection appearance ‘in its true and most sacred effects” (Spiritual Exercises, 223). In his risen state, Christ exercises the office of consoler, Ignatius says, “the way in which friends are wont to console each other” (224).

Over the past several Easter Sundays, we have seen Jesus offering reassurances to his disciples. Though changed in aspect so that he was not immediately recognized, the Lord called Mary Magdalene by name. He invited her to share the news of his resurrection with “My brothers”.

A week after Easter, the risen Lord overcame the doubts of Thomas, bringing joy to him as he had to the other apostles.

On Easter evening, under the guise of a stranger walking with two despondent disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus exposed the hidden meaning of the Scriptures. In Jesus' reading, Moses and all the prophets indicated God's design that the Messiah had to enter into glory by the path of suffering.

Reflecting afterwards on their experience, Cleopas and his companion noted that “our hearts [were] burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the Scriptures to us”.

Beginning with the fourth and fifth Sundays of Easter, the Fourth Gospel presents words of Christ spoken to hearten his listeners: “I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved.... I came that they may have life and have it to the full.”

As well, Jesus spoke of his absence after the Ascension as his going to the Father's house “to prepare a place for you”.

The words of Jesus—which continue to produce the effects of his consoling presence—are not his alone. “The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works”. Both Jesus' words and works derive from the Father.

In today's gospel reading, Jesus introduces the designation of the Holy Spirit as “another Advocate, to be with you forever”. This suggests that Jesus is also a “paraclete” (cf. 1 John 2.1 where Jesus is explicitly identified as Paraclete).

The range of meanings in the word parakletos includes “comforter”, “advocate” and “counsellor”. Some commentators suggest retaining the English word “paraclete” to help keep in mind all the nuances that would have been evident to a Greek speaker.

Five passages in John's Gospel mention the Paraclete's role: 14.16-17; 14.26; 15.26; 16.7-11; 16.12-15. All of these associate the Paraclete with Jesus' preparation of his disciples for their life following his return to the Father. By means of Jesus' promise of the Spirit, the Church learns that his death, resurrection and ascension are not the end, but the beginning of a new era for the believing community.

The presence of the Paraclete in the midst of Jesus' disciples means that there are no temporal or spatial limits on Jesus' love. Or on the availability of that love to believers. The Paraclete passages portray the Spirit of Jesus as teacher of the meaning of his words. They also witness to the abiding validity of his literary testament within the community of believers.

The Spirit helps the Church conserve the legacy of Jesus' teaching it has received. By causing the Church to “remember” Jesus' words, the Paraclete enables these words to be powerfully present anew, sustaining disciples in difficult periods.

As well, the Paraclete empowers the words of Jesus with a creative force in order to address unforeseen needs and situations in a creative way.

As the Spirit of truth, the Paraclete participates in the work of Jesus who declared himself to be the Truth. The Paraclete is “the Spirit of truth” communicated to believers. Others, because they are unbelievers (“the world”), cannot receive the Spirit. Christians know the Paraclete because “he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

Acts portrays the Spirit with a different perspective than the one found in the Fourth Gospel. There the Spirit actively directs the missionary activity of the early Christian community when persecution caused the Word of God about Jesus to spread from Jerusalem to Samaria. By their laying on hands, Peter and John communicated the Spirit to the Samaritans.

* * * * * *



On Sunday, I journeyed to the Marguerite Centre in Pembroke to take part in the closing activities and celebration of the Eucharist with Native men and women from different parts of Canada who came together to seek healing and reconciliation from their wounded lives due to numerous causes including the residential schools.

The mood was quite positive and I enjoyed meeting representatives of various tribes and sharing lunch with the afterwards.  Some more photos:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Venerable Saint Bede - KofC Ontario State Convention

Today, the liturgy permits the memorial of several saints, including the Venerable Bede (673-735)

Within the walls of the imposing Norman Cathedral of Durham lies the simple tomb of a Christian monk who has earned the title as the "Father of English History".

Bede was born at Tyne, in County Durham, and was taken as a child of seven to the monastery of Wearmouth. Shortly afterwards he was moved to become one of the first members of the monastic community at Jarrow.

Here, he was ordained a deacon when he was 19 and a priest when he was 30; and here he spent the rest of his life. He never travelled outside of this area but yet, became one of the most learned men of Europe.

The scholarship and culture of Italy had been brought to Britain where it was transported to Jarrow. Here it was combined with the simpler traditions, devotions and evangelism of the Celtic church. In this setting Bede learned the love of scholarship, personal devotion and discipline . He mastered Latin, Greek and Hebrew and had a good knowledge of the classical scholars and early church fathers.

Bede's writings cover a broad spectrum including natural history, poetry, Biblical translation and exposition of the scriptures. His earliest Biblical commentary was probably that on the book of the Revelation. He is credited with writing three known Latin hymns.

He is remembered chiefly for his "Ecclesiastical History of the English People." This five volume work records events in Britain from the raids by Julius Caesar in 55-54 BC to the arrival of the first missionary from Rome, Saint Augustine in 597.

Bede's writings are considered the best summary of this period of history ever prepared. Some have called it "the finest historical work of the early Middle Ages."

Bede's motive for recording history reminds us of his deepest desires. He clearly states his purpose in his writings when he says, "For if history records good things of good men, the thoughtful hearer is encouraged to imitate what is good; or if it records evil of wicked men, the good, religious reader or listener is encouraged to avoid all that is sinful and perverse, and to follow what he knows to be good and pleasing to God." (http://www.britannia.com/)

* * *

O God, who bring light to your Church through the learning of the Priest Saint Bede, mercifully grant that your servants may always be enlightened by his wisdom and helped by his merits. Through our Lord.

* * * * * *

Wednesday after the Fifth Sunday of Easter

O God, restorer and lover of innocence, direct the hearts of your servants towards yourself, that those you have set free from the darkness of unbelief may never stray from the light of your truth.

* * * * * *


On Saturday, I attended the formal opening ceremonies of the 108th Annual Ontario State Convention of the Knights of Columbus.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and his wife Dorian were present, as well as a large number of delegates from across the Province; several chaplains from the Ottawa Archdiocese were able to find replacements for weekend ministry to attend.  I was asked to address the assembly on the Catholic motivation for being a volunteer; I drew on the biblical principles of stewardship in shaping my talk.

Other photos:



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bienheureux Louis-Zépherin Moreau - Our Lady of the Way

Aujourd'hui l'Eglise du Canada peut marquer le mémorial facultatif du bienheureux Louis-Zépherin Moreau (1824-1901).

Lorsque Mgr Jean-Charles Prince devient le premier évêque de Saint-Hyacinthe, en 1852, le jeune abbé Moreau l'accompagne à titre de secrétaire.

Dans les diverses fonctions qu'il exerce auprès des trois premiers évêques du diocèse, M. l'abbé Moreau s'est mérité l'affection et l'admiration de tous par le rayonnement de ses vertus. Il fut entre autre curé de la cathédrale à deux périodes différentes, de 1854 à 1860 et de 1869 à 1870.

On le retrouve comme procureur de l'évêché de 1860 à 1866 et vicaire général du diocèse de 1869 à 1875.

À quatre reprises, il fut administrateur du diocèse en l'absence de l'évêque titulaire ou pendant la vacance du siège épiscopal, à la mort de Mgr Prince et sous les deux évêques Joseph et Charles LaRocque. Il est élu évêque de Saint-Hyacinthe par le pape Pie IX en novembre 1875 et reçoit l'ordination épiscopale le 16 janvier 1876, en la cathédrale de Saint-Hyacinthe.

Le IVe évêque de Saint-Hyacinthe laissera pour ainsi dire une marque indélébile de son passage à la tête de cette Église diocésaine. Il sera proche de ses prêtres et dotera le diocèse du Chapitre-cathédrale qui existe encore.

Il aura à coeur de développer l'éducation en ayant recours à plusieurs communautés religieuses, tant féminine que masculine. Il fondera lui-même deux communautés religieuses : les Soeurs de Saint-Joseph à qui il confie l'éducation de la foi des jeunes dans le monde rural et la communauté des Soeurs de Sainte-Marthe pour répondre aux besoins du Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe et du clergé en s'adonnant aux tâches ménagères.

Homme d'une grande piété et grand ami des pauvres, il s'est déjà gagné une réputation de sainteté durant son vivant. Les gens l'appellent le bon Mgr Moreau. Il s'endort définitivement dans le Seigneur le 24 mai 1901.

Le 10 mai 1973, l'Église, de façon officielle, reconnaît l'héroïcité de ses vertus, et le 10 mai 1987, Mgr Louis-Zéphirin Moreau est déclaré bienheureux par le Pape Jean Paul II, à Rome. Il est le premier évêque d'origine canadienne à être déclaré bienheureux.

* * *

Nous avons actuellement au sein de la Conference des évêques catholiques de Canada deux autres Mgr Moreau: Mgr Dorylas Moreau de Rouyn-Noranda et Mgr Yvon Joseph Moreau, ocso, de Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière.
* * *
Nous Te bénissons, Père très Saint, d’avoir donné à l’Église locale de Saint-Hyacinthe le Bienheureux Louis Zéphirin Moreau, pasteur attentif aux besoins de ses ouailles et initiateur de nombreuses associations de charité. Sa devise : « Je puis tout en Celui qui me fortifie » invite à renouveler notre Foi en Toi. Accorde-nous, par son intercession, la Grâce de savoir annoncer aujourd’hui la Bonne Nouvelle avec la même ferveur qui fut la sienne. Par Jésus, notre modèle. Amen.
* * * * * *
Today, Jesuits worldwide may observe an optional memorial, a Marian feast day relating to the Order's early history when a wayside chapel devoted to Our Lady was entrusted to the fledlging religious community.

Madonna della Strada, Our Lady of the Way, is a fresco dating from the late thirteenth century to the early fourteenth century that has always had a place of importance in the Jesuit world.

The image, which is in the Jesuits' Church of the Gesù in Rome, was in recent years cleaned and restored.

The image came from the little church named after it that existed during Ignatius's time at the site the Gesù now occupies.

When work began on the construction of the Gesù, it was necessary to tear down the old church. The painting was removed and ended up in the Gesù.

For hundreds of years, the Madonna was thought to be an oil painting, but the restoration and cleaning brought to light the fact that it is a fresco attached to canvas. Over the years the plaster had been repaired and certain colors were changed. Here is an image before it was restored. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tomorrow: Day of Prayer for the Church in China - Prier pour les catholiques en Chine

Tuesday, 24 May, is dedicated to the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai: the whole Church joins in prayer with the Church in China. There, as elsewhere, Christ is living out his passion. While the number of those who accept him as their Lord is increasing, there are others who reject Christ, who ignore him or persecute him: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). The Church in China, especially at this time, needs the prayers of the universal Church. In the first place, therefore, I invite all Chinese Catholics to continue and to deepen their own prayers, especially to Mary, the powerful Virgin. At the same time all Catholics throughout the world have a duty to pray for the Church in China: those members of the faithful have a right to our prayers, they need our prayers.

We know from the Acts of the Apostles that when Peter was in prison, everyone prayed fervently, and as a result, an angel came to free him. Let us do likewise: let us all pray together intensely for this Church, trusting that by our prayers we can do something very real for her.

Chinese Catholics, as they have said many times, want unity with the universal Church, with the Supreme Pastor, with the Successor of Peter. By our prayers we can obtain for the Church in China that it remain one, holy and Catholic, faithful and steadfast in doctrine and in ecclesial discipline. She deserves all our affection.

We know that among our brother Bishops there are some who suffer and find themselves under pressure in the exercise of their episcopal ministry. To them, to the priests and to all the Catholics who encounter difficulties in the free profession of faith, we express our closeness. By our prayers we can help them to find the path to keep their faith alive, to keep their hope strong, to keep their love for all people ardent, and to maintain in its integrity the ecclesiology that we have received from the Lord and the Apostles, which has been faithfully transmitted to us right down to the present day. By our prayers we can obtain that their wish to remain in the one universal Church will prove stronger than the temptation to follow a path independent of Peter. Prayer can obtain, for them and for us, the joy and the strength to proclaim and to bear witness, with complete candour and without impediment, Jesus Christ crucified and risen, the New Man, the conqueror of sin and death.

With all of you I ask Mary to intercede that all of them may be ever more closely conformed to Christ and may give themselves ever more generously to their brethren. I ask Mary to enlighten those who are in doubt, to call back the straying, to console the afflicted, to strengthen those who are ensnared by the allure of opportunism. Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, Our Lady of Sheshan, pray for us!


Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother,
venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title "Help of Christians",
the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection.
We come before you today to implore your protection.
Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them
along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be
a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.

When you obediently said "yes" in the house of Nazareth,
you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb
and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption.

You willingly and generously cooperated in that work,
allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul,
until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary,
standing beside your Son, who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way,
the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith
and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross.

Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed
with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter.

Grant that your children may discern at all times,
even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China,
who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love.

May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world,
and of the world to Jesus.

In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high,
offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love.

Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love,
ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built.

Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!

Les catholiques chinois, comme ils l’ont dit de nombreuses fois, désirent l’unité avec l’Eglise universelle, avec le Pasteur suprême, avec le Successeur de Pierre. Avec la prière, nous pouvons obtenir pour l’Eglise qui est en Chine de demeurer une, sainte et catholique, fidèle et ferme dans la doctrine et dans la discipline ecclésiale. Elle mérite toute notre affection.

Nous savons que, parmi nos frères évêques, certains souffrent et subissent des pressions dans l’exercice de leur ministère épiscopal. A eux, aux prêtres et à tous les catholiques qui rencontrent des difficultés dans la libre profession de leur foi, nous exprimons notre proximité. A travers notre prière, nous pouvons les aider à trouver la voie pour maintenir la foi vivante, l’espérance forte, la charité ardente envers tous et intègre l’ecclésiologie que nous avons héritée du Seigneur et des Apôtres et qui nous a été transmise avec fidélité jusqu’à nos jours. Par la prière, nous pouvons obtenir que leur désir de demeurer dans l’Eglise une et universelle dépasse la tentation d’un chemin indépendant de Pierre. La prière peut obtenir pour eux et pour nous, la joie et la force d’annoncer et de témoigner, en toute franchise et sans obstacle, de Jésus Christ crucifié et ressuscité, l’Homme nouveau, vainqueur du péché et de la mort.

Avec vous tous, je demande à Marie d’intercéder afin que chacun d’eux se conforme toujours plus étroitement au Christ et se donne avec une générosité toujours nouvelle à ses frères. A Marie, je demande d’illuminer ceux qui sont dans le doute, de rappeler ceux qui sont égarés, de réconforter les affligés, de renforcer ceux qui se sont laissés séduire par l’attrait de l’opportunisme. Que la Vierge Marie, Secours des chrétiens, Notre-Dame de Sheshan, prie pour nous!