Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deux visites à la Paroisse de L'Orignal

La paroisse de L'Orignal célèbre son 175e anniversaire

Cet été, j'ai eu la joie de célébrer l’anniversaire important de l'une des paroisses les plus anciennes de notre diocèse : Saint-Jean-Baptiste à L'Orignal.

En effet, le samedi 2 juillet en après-midi, j'ai présidé la messe pour le jour du Seigneur pour marquer le jour où l'église Saint-Jean-Baptiste a été dédiée. Le village de L’Orignal est bien connu puisqu’on y trouve la plus ancienne prison en Ontario. Grâce à l’initiative des paroissiens, j’ai pu visiter cet héritage patrimonial et attraction touristique.

De nombreux paroissiens portaient des vêtements d’époque, lors de cette visite, ce qui a donné de magnifiques photos.

Dimanche dernier, le 28 août, je suis retourné à la paroisse Saint-Jean-Baptiste pour présider la messe annuelle au cimetière afin de commémorer les fidèles défunts. Comme il ne faisait pas beau, la messe a eu lieu dans l'église paroissiale et non au cimetière.

Lors de chacune de mes visites à L’Orignal, les Chevaliers de Colomb ont permis qu'on organise un souper dans leur salle de réception.

J’ai été attristé d’apprendre, dimanche dernier, que la Maison Jeanne d'Arc Cadieux traiteurs, qui servait le repas à la Salle des Chevaliers de Colomb, allait bientôt fermer ses portes, et ce, après plus de 40 ans de service. J’ai pu savourer les délices gastronomiques offerts par cette maison, à plus d’une reprise, lors de mes visites dans cette région. J’offre mes meilleurs vœux à la famille, particulièrement dans les jours qui suivront.

Voici des photos des deux événements :

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cardinal Ambrozic Funeral Details - New Photos from WYD 2011

Today, Archbishop Gervais and I will drive westwards to take part in the obsequies for the Emeritus Archbishop of Toronto.

The body of Cardinal Ambrozic will arrive at St. Michael's Cathedral this afternoon , August 30, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. At that time the Rite of Reception will be held.

His Eminence will lie in state for visitation at the cathedral Tuesday afternoon from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. with the Office for the Dead being celebrated at 8:30 p.m. All Tuesday events are open to the public who are most welcome to visit the cathedral to pay their respects.

The funeral Mass for Cardinal Ambrozic will take place on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael's Cathedral. There will be limited seating available to the public for the funeral Mass.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to pay tribute to the Cardinal are invited to donate to one of his favourite charities, the Shepherds' Trust (c/o Archdiocese of Toronto, 1155 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4t 1W2).

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Bishop Durocher at WYD Mass following catechesis

During World Youth Day, on several occasions persons who took photos promised to forward them to me and this is the case with M. Alain Lalaude of France. 

I met him at El Retiro Park one afternoon and again the next day at a French language catechesis given by my neighbour Bishop Durocher of Alexandria-Cornwall to pilgrims from Bayonne, France at the parish of Santa Maria del Pinar (St. Mary of the Pines, alluding to the many pine trees in the area where the housing development took root).

As promised his photos were forwarded to me, so here are a couple more:

With Missionaries of Charity in El Retiro Park

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beheading of St. John the Baptist - Caravaggio Exhibit at Ottawa's National Gallery

Caravaggio (c. 1571-1610)
The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1608)

Today in the liturgy, the Church celebrates the memorial of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist:

* * *

The Passion
of Saint John the Baptist

O God, who willed that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in birth and in death, grant that as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we, too, may fight hard for the confession of what you teach. Through our Lord.

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Yesterday, I accepted Msgr. Gregory Smith's invitation to accompany him to the National Gallery's exhbition of the works of Caravaggio and artists of his time influenced by his style, innovations.
It is well laid out and the works are striking. I particularly was moved by several representations of St. Francis of Assisi and by a little known (until recently) depiction of St. Augustine (cf. below).
The exhibition, which opened on June 17, closes September 11.  Anyone near Ottawa who loves art is encouraged to take it in if you have not yet had a chance.

Caravaggio, St. Augustine (c. 1600)

A portrait of Saint Augustine in a private British collection has been identified as the work of the Italian master Caravaggio, with art historian and dealer Clovis Whitfield making a persuasive case by locating documentary evidence to support the identification.

According to the Guardian, Whitfield managed to trace the painting to one of Caravaggio’s most powerful patrons, Vincenzo Guistiniani, by discovering that a portrait of Saint Augustine of similar dimensions was recorded in the 1638 inventory of his collection. The painting, produced around the year 1600, is now attributed to Caravaggio in “Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome,” an exhibition on view at the National Gallery of Canada through September 11, and will appear in a book with the same title to be published by Yale University Press.

“What looked like an anonymous 17th-century painting revealed its artistic qualities after restoration,” Sebastian Schütze, an art historian who is one of the book’s co-authors, told the Guardian. David Franklin, co-author and director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, noted that the portrait “shows a side of Caravaggio perhaps that is not as drastic and antagonistic as usual, but where he was working very closely with Giustiniani to try to create a much more quiet image of a saint.”

Indeed, Caravaggio, who was known for his violent escapades, as revealed in detail by the recent discovery of his police file, was not a man naturally given to quiet reflection and contemplation. (

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Collect - Photos from Last Hours in and Return from Spain and World Youth Day


God of might, giver of every good gift, put into our hearts the love of your name, so that by deepening our sense of reverence you may nurture in us what is good and, by your watchful care, keep safe what you have nurtured. Through our Lord.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Passing of Cardinal Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic (RIP)

Aloysius M. Cardinal Ambrozic
(January 27, 1930-August 26, 2011)

It is Jesus to whom we look.
It is Jesus whom we imitate.
It is Jesus whom we follow.
It is Jesus who is with us so we can be with him.
Yes, we work with others.
Yes, we learn from others.
But in Jesus we find our ultimate identity and purpose. He is the Alpha and the Omega for each one of us and for every human being.  (Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic)

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Yesterday, the Lord called home to himself a dear friend, teacher and mentor as teacher and bishop.

When Aloysius Ambrozic returned from doctoral studies in Germany in the fall of 1971, I was in one of his seminars and was captivated by his teaching style. 

The next year, he agreed to direct my doctoral studies and so the one who would become auxiliary bishop, then Archbishop of Toronto and a Cardinal became my Doktorvater

I shall always treasure his encouragement of my ministry of reading, praying, studying, preaching and teaching God’s Word.

May the Lord grant him a merciful judgment and the reward of his labours, and give consolation and peace to his family and to all who were touched by his life and ministry.

* * *

From the Archdiocese of Toronto's web site ( tribute to His Eminence:

On the importance of Scripture to the life of the Catholic

A professor of mine decided not to teach Scripture any more and they were looking around for someone to replace him. They knew I had studied Greek. In the seminary I had studied (Greek) on my own and I had studied Hebrew for the simple reason that I felt that every priest should have at least a smattering of the ancient languages.

So they asked me to study Scripture.

Really my first love is history, but Scripture is very much like history so I had no complaints. A lot of my reading is history related. It's like knowing yourself because you discover things about yourself. I think history is basically an extension of the human personality. Ultimately, we're all very much the same. Realistic history has a way of flattening personalities. You get to know the real greatness. Take, for instance, John A. Macdonald. He had trouble all the time; there was really no period when he could enjoy his greatness. And the same with Winston Churchill.

The Bible is the book, though the longer I live the more I realize how much you need a living authority. You can always play around with a book. You can always make it say things it doesn't say and keep quiet about things it does say. That's why you need a living authority (i.e. the magisterium).

The Bible is our book. Studying Scripture obviously gets you in touch with the real people who created the Bible. Of course I know Mark (ed. - the cardinal did his doctoral thesis on the Gospel of Mark), for me the most interesting thing about Mark is that he had no absolutely no intention of being original. He was not doing his own thing, but it was the church's thing. And yet he is at the same time the most original of the evangelists. He probably wrote the first Gospel; I really do believe that. Precisely because he had no intention of being original, he was probably the most original of them all. His intent was to preach. He was a catechist or a leader of the community, probably a Roman community, so what he was doing every day, or at least every Sunday, he then put down in writing. As far as he was concerned, his writing was simply an extension of his work.

What I find in the Old Testament, and also in the New Testament, but particularly in the Old Testament, is a continual tug of war between divine revelation and the human temptation to domesticate it. We want to domesticate that and God is continually resisting us. We want to make God a nice guy. He is much more than that.

I read the psalms every day and every so often I discover something I never saw before. I know I have read that psalm before a thousand times, and yet all of a sudden I discover something new. I think that if people read the Bible intelligently, they'll find most of it is quite clear. I don't encourage them to take courses, but I just take it for granted that they have a certain understanding and a certain curiosity for truth.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunday 22A: Paul on the Christian's New Mind-set - The Walls of Avila

Valentin de Boulogne (1594-1632) or Nicolas Tournier (1590-1638)
St. Paul Writing His Epistles (1620)

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year "A") - August 28, 2011 - CHRISTIAN LIFE: “A LIVING SACRIFICE”... “SPIRITUAL WORSHIP” - [Texts: Jeremiah 20:7-9 [Psalm 63]; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27]

In this liturgical year “A”, which features Matthew's gospel, Paul's magisterial epistle to the Romans is appointed as the second reading for Sundays 9-24.

The first part of this epitome of Paul's theological reflection began with a characterization of the human predicament deriving from the fact that all members of the human race—whether Jews or Greeks—have sinned and fallen short of their dignity as children of God.  More than that, every single person finds himself or herself unable, on their own, to extricate themselves from this sorry situation (Romans 1.16-3.20).

God's answer to this mess was to send his Son Jesus Christ, innocent and without sin, to offer his life as an expiation for sin, “a sacrifice of atonement by his blood” (3.21-25).  Just as Abraham had righteousness reckoned to him by his faith, so people in every age may freely avail themselves of God's free gift of salvation in Christ by confessing faith in Jesus (3.26-4.25).

Paul expands on this saving mystery by declaring that God's love for sinners became manifest to them when they personally experienced the love of God poured into their hearts through the Holy Spirit lavishly given them (chapter 5).  Begun in baptism, Christ's victory over sin is gradually being won in each individual disciple, though the struggle they personally wage against sin continues to have an impact on their human psyches (chapters 6-7).

The indwelling Holy Spirit, who assists Christians in joyfully bearing with the vicissitudes of everyday life, becomes the “pledge” (or down-payment) of the salvation that God will ultimately make fully theirs (chapter 8).

In a passionate summary, Paul gave expression to the paradox that “all things work together for good for those who love God” (8.28) and his conviction that nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8.39).

After an excursus on God's designs for Israel's final salvation despite their having refused to accept Christ (chapters 9-11), Paul gives an exhortation on how Christian life should be lived in the interim period between the beginning of salvation in this world and its completion in the world to come (12.1-15.13).

Paul urged the Romans not to be conformed to the thought-patterns of this world, but to present their bodies as “a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God”.  They were to allow the gospel message to “transform” their lives from the inside out.  The result would be a Christian lifestyle in which they offered their own bodies “as spiritual [or reasonable] worship”.

The Christian's change of perspective is not an act of mindless conformity, but is guided by reason, as befits an intelligent human being.  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God”.

Christians must guard against adapting themselves to the form of this passing age.  They must enter into a permanent state of renewing their minds so that they are able to recognize God's will (“what is good and acceptable and perfect”).

God's word urges disciples to choose the good, that path which leads not to death but to life.  In the gospel, Jesus prompts his disciples to see that the pathway to eternal life lies in dying to self, in taking up the cross.  And in not following worldly views such as Peter espoused when he resisted Jesus' teaching about his coming Passion.

The truth of the cross as the way to life gets expressed in various formulas within gospel traditions:  Believers are to “deny themselves”, take up the cross and follow Jesus.  Saving one's life happens by letting go of it.  Indeed, it proves futile for people when they “gain the whole world” but “forfeit their life” in the process.

Michelangelo, The Prophet Jeremiah

In a similar vein, Jeremiah described the effect of his decision to follow God's way as that of becoming a “derision all day long”.  He described the way of life he had embraced as a divine seduction.  Though lamenting that God had “enticed” him, he admitted that he had let himself be enticed!  Life with God is a challenge—at times a frightening one—but, like the follower of Jesus, Jeremiah would not have had it any other way.

* * * * * *


On the second day of our stay in Avila, some 25 of the Ottawa representation took an hour or so to walk along the beautiful walled ramparts of Avila. 

Some photos:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

St. Louis de France - Back to the Challenges of Daily Life

Saint Louis est un Roi qui a marqué l' Histoire de France, il symbloise le bon Roi.

Pourtant le début de son règne a été difficile sous la tutelle de sa mère Blanche de Castille (une des plus grandes dames du Moyen-Age).

Sa pièté a été mis en exergue et c'est le seul Roi de France canonisé par L'Eglise.

Il est mort en Croisade, à Tunis, en 1270.

* * *

Collect for St. Louis, King of France

O God, who brought Saint Louis from the cares of earthly rule to the glory of a heavenly realm, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that by fulfilling our duties on earth, we may seek out your eternal Kingdom. Through our Lord.

* * * * * *


Last night, our travel to Spain drew to a close: we had wonderful travel weather, but several bags did not make it to Montreal when we did and one was badly damaged.

This meant that our bus from Dorval's Trudeau airport to the Diocesan Centre via Sainte Trinite Parish arrived there at 9:30 PM and at Kilborn Place at 10:15.  Much rejoicing with the bells ringing out in Rockland and happy parents, family and friends at the end of the long journey and the great adventure.

This morning, after a brief sleep in, I headed to the Terry Fox Centre for a presentation to CCO staffers on the NEW ROMAN MISSAL and Eucharist; this afternoon it's the seminarians Mass and barbecue, so I have hit the ground running hard.  The posting of photos from the last day in Avila, etc is on hold for the moment. More shortly.

Thanks to all who kept us in their thoughts and prayers: WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR SO MANY GRACES!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

St. Bartholomew, apostle - Last Days in Spain

The Martyrdom of St Bartholomew
Valentin de Boulogne, The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew

Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle
Strengthen in us, O Lord, the faith by which the blessed Apostle Bartholomew clung wholeheartedly to your Son, and grant that through the help of his prayers your Church may become for all the nations the sacrament of salvation. Through our Lord.
* * * * * *

[a photo display of the first day]

Loading the buses

The courtyard of our hotel, the Palacio de los Velada

This is where we will have lunch the first day

The cathedral entrance

Part of the Plaza major (main square)

The church commemorating the house in which St. Teresa was born

Cathedral chapel of San Segundo, Avila's first bishop (1st century)