Monday, July 16, 2012

Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel - Resignation of Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie, OMI

Sacred Scripture celebrated the beauty of Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the purity of Israel's faith in the living God. In the twelfth century, hermits withdrew to that mountain and later founded the Carmelite order devoted to the contemplative life under the patronage of Mary, the holy Mother of God.

Devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is worldwide, and most Catholics are familiar with the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular. Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, and gave him the scapular with the following words, which are preserved in a fourteenth century narrative: "This will be for you and for all Carmelites the privilege, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire."

The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was instituted for the Carmelites in 1332, and extended to the whole Church by Benedict XIII in 1726 (

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May the venerable intercession of the glorious Virgin Mary come to our aid, we pray, O Lord, so that, fortified by her protection, we may reach the mountain which is Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Today it was announced in Rome that Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of His Excellency the Most Reverend Sylvain Lavoie, O.M.I., as Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas, according to canon 401 §2; and appointed Father William Stang, O.M.I., the Vicar General and Chancellor of the Archdiocese, as Apostolic Administrator of Keewatin-Le Pas.

Father William Stang, OMI

While no grounds for resignation were given, the canonical reference mentioned is to a bishop who, because of ill health or some other grave cause “has become less able to fulfill his office”.

Let us keep Archbishop Lavoie, Father Stang and the people of this remote northern archdiocese in our prayers as they cope with this change in leadership and await the appointment of a successor as their chief shepherd.

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