Prayers on a plane

When you are a priest, you never know when you'll be called upon. There are things you can plan, such as a meeting I had in Toronto on June 13-14. But then there are things that are just surprises from God. On my way back from Toronto I wound up sitting next to a lovely couple from Arizona who were on their way to Wabush in Labrador (quite a trip!). After some typical chit chat they asked me to pray with them for a member of their family who is sick. So the three of us, sharing row 16, leaned in and prayed. It was a lovely (and surprising) moment of ministry.

My little black book

I had a chance to go for a lovely lunch with a local businessman, where in addition to eating we prayed and shared our spiritual journeys. During the lunch I shared on a little technique I've found very helpful to stay focused.

Preaching on providence

I had the joy of celebrating the opening mass for the general chapter of the Sisters of Providence. What an honour to have been invited! I was just so amazed and delighted to be among these impressive women who have offered so much to God and their neighbour.

Family day in Ottawa with new cousins

My family on my mother's side is on the larger side, and unfortunately that means there has been some loss of contact between some of us. What a joy it was, then, to meet up two cousins, Genevieve and Shayne, children of my (late) uncle Winfred. I've only gotten a chance to get to know Genevieve in the past couple of years, but despite her living on the other side of North America social media lets us all keep in touch.

Happy Festa di San Marziale to all my Calabrese friends!

I had the opportunity today to celebrate mass at Saint Michael and Saint Anthony parish on the occasion of the feast of San Marziale Martire. He's the patron saint of Isca sullo Ionio in Calabria. This was the 50th anniversary of the feast in Montreal, and my chance to discover it. Several blocks of Saint Viateur were closed off for a street festival, and after the mass there was a traditional Italian procession with the image of the saint through the neighbourhood.

Question on communion for divorced people

I know that there is a great deal of discussion going on right now regarding whether or not people living in certain marital situations should receive Eucharistic communion. Part of my job as a bishop is to provide a measure of clarity through answers to such questions. This isn't always easy, especially when certain particular situations are especially messy. Still, sometimes the answers are easier, and I am happy to oblige.

For example, one common misconception is that people who are civilly divorced are not allowed to receive communion in a Catholic church.

The Gospel and animals

So I was walking down the street today (June 27) to get to a lunch appointment when a guy came up to me while I was waiting at a red light. He handed me the above two cards, and then began to berate the Catholic Church for (in his view) not doing enough to protect the animals, despite Jesus having eliminated animal sacrifice.

Such is life when you walk around downtown Montreal in a Roman collar -- similar to a box of chocolates, you just never know what you're gonna get.

30th high school reunion

Yes, it's true: it has been 30 years since I graduated high school. I can hardly believe it!
 
Our last reunion was 10 years ago (20th anniversary), so we were due for another. It was great seeing people I had not seen in so long, even if I couldn't stay long. And even if I went in my collar, it was nice to just be "Tom" for a little bit.
 
My first three years of high school were somewhat meh, but my final two years were among the best of my life, especially the last year.