There is just never a dull moment in my diocese. I awoke this morning to find an article on the front page of the Montreal Gazette entitled “Devout flock to weeping Virgin icon” . It’s all about a Muslim man who rescued an icon of the Blessed Virgin from the trash 10 days ago, and it is weeping oil (or so it is claimed).
One of my parishioners asked me for some advice on how to grow closer to the Father (you know — the one in heaven, hallowed is His Name). Now obviously the whole point of the Christian life is to enter into the joy of the Father, but the question was really asking about how to worship and love God-the-Father as the Father, and not just as “God”.
One of my parishioners asked me for some advice on how to grow closer to the Father (you know — the one in heaven, hallowed is His Name). Now obviously the whole point of the Christian life is to enter into the joy of the Father, but the question was really asking about how to worship and love God-the-Father as the Father, and not just as "God".
One of my parishioners works for Q92, a local radio station, and on Saturday she asked me if I could use 4 free passes to the special premiere of “The Passion of the Christ” set for tonight. Well duh! The only question was: who would I invite to come along?
At the request of a member of the Montreal Challenge Movement (I was the Lay Director of the movement from 1997-2000, approx.), I did some digging through some old computer disks and found the Montreal Challenge Talk Manual. It doesn’t quite cover everything necessary to run a Challenge weekend, but it does explain well the various roles for those participating as part of the team. So I’ve decided to post it to my web site, to make it accessible to anyone who might find it useful.
Given that the diocese of Montreal has dropped its requirement that all new candidates for the seminary receive an HIV test, you might be surprised that I am bothering to write this blog entry.
Today I had another one of our regular ministry association meetings, this time in a Chinese restaurant not far from the parish. The attendees were the same as last time: 2 Catholic priests, an Anglican priest, and a United Church minister. My goodness, our dialogue was really theological this time. We chatted about process theology, “what’s worse: heresy or schism”, the Mel Gibson film (please don’t ask me “what Mel Gibson film?”), and even the theology of the Atonement.
In a recent blog entitled The Passion, the Jews and the Teaching of Contempt, the “Secret Agent Man” put forward an essay in which he pointed out what I think is a very important point:
When I was in business I was involved on the Board of Directors of several community organizations, and so recently the Archdiocese asked me to join the board of the “Montreal Archdiocesan Clergy Community Fund”. I attended my first meeting today. This fund contributes to helping out priests who are in special situations of financial need.
Today our parish kicked off its 17th Alpha course. I am not directly involved in the organization, but I do support it, and I had 4 people starting it so I went just to welcome them to the room and to wish them luck.
As some of you know, I have recently undertaken the role of diocesan liaison to the Charismatic Renewal (English-speaking) here in the archdiocese of Montreal. Knowing that I am new to all of this, one of the members of the renewal passed me a copy of a document published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops entitled The Charismatic Renewal in Canada 2003.
As many of you know, last January I had a chance to see a pre-screening of Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ. Today I got a phone call from a well-known Montreal journalist, Alan Hustak, about this “secret meeting” about the film. He wanted my opinion on it.
Not the vegetable. The sport.
Today I went to the local “Y” to play some squash with a brother priest, Fr. Stephen Otvos. It was great fun, but boy am I sore. I has been a few months since we played last, and I am feeling it. He kicked my butt both games.
I must say, I really enjoy the game….it’s a great way to work out your stress and even your frustrations (heck, I’d even say it’s better than blogging for that!) And without going into details, I’ve had a few frustrations lately, let me tell you!
I have to hand it to Tom of Disputations — he sure can get you thinking. He wrote the following comment on my blog from yesterday, about teaching the little girl the Rosary:
You’re doing something wonderful and important with this girl, but the American in me has to ask, is this efficient?
Last week after a Sunday Mass I spotted a little girl (about 9 or 10) wearing a set of rosary beads like a necklace. “Very nice!” I said. “Do you know what these are for?” “I think they are prayer beads,” she replied. “That’s right,” I answered, “Do you know how to use them?” She shook her head. “Do you want me to show you?” Her eyes opened wide and she nodded. “OK,” I said, “get out your prayer book and we’ll look in it together.”
Today I visited some of our Saturday catechism classes for students preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. I took pictures of some of the classes (ones for which all the students were present), and have posted them to the Internet so they and their families can easily get a copy. You can find the pictures by clicking here.
I would have blogged last night as usual, but I have been living a very unusual stream of providence the last 24 hours. In fact, today seems like a mere continuation of yesterday, not a day in itself, to the point where I have to remind myself it isn’t Thursday, it actually *is* Friday.
The question recently came up to me, “Are there things a person should not ask a priest?” I think this is a valid question. I don’t know that I can give an exhaustive answer, but here’s a bit to reflect on.
Today I got a call to go and visit an elderly man at one of our local elder care residences. According to the message he was dying, so I brought my holy oils and my prayerbook. When I arrived at the residence the family was gathered around him, and it was clear he was in extremis — the poor man had contracted pneumonia, and his breathing was very laboured.