February 2008

Healing mass at St. Brendans

Today was another healing mass led by the CCSM healing ministry. It took place at St. Brendan’s parish, in the East End. Fr. Paul Pomkoski did a super job presiding it, and encouraging all persons present to pray for each other for healing (whatever the specific need might be). As for me, I heard confessions, both before and after the mass. It was great! I just love getting back into the real thick of things — and there is nothing more “real” than the sacraments (as surprising a statement as that might be for some).

Getting out of the office

Today was a meeting between the various department heads (and their associates) at the Archdiocese. We call the “Offices and Services”. In 2000-speak of our diocesan curia, an “Office” is like a “congregation” in the Roman Curia — its role is to set binding policy for the diocese. On the other hand, a “Service” is more like a “council” in the Roman Curia — it is there to support certain pastoral initiatives. For myself, I work in an Office, called the Office for Pastoral Personnel.

Trip to the doctor

Not for me. For an elderly brother priest, who needs to get special injections every 3 months. We have an infirmary for priests who require medical attention, and while this brother priest does not need 24-hour care it makes sense that he go there to receive his medication.

The Clergy Fund and CanadaHelps

The Montreal Clergy Community Fund is a charity specially founded to help look after our diocesan priests here in Montreal, and yes, I am on the Board of Directors. One of the things I have been pushing for is a greater flexibility in how people can contribute. I am pleased to report that we are now fully registered with CanadaHelps.org, so that people can contribute to the support of priests through that website.

Mass with the Challenge movement

Today I had the pleasure of presiding a special mass for the Montreal Challenge Movement. It is team day today — the last major day of preparation before the Challenge weekend. Of course, being a Sunday, the members of team wanted to have Sunday eucharist, and as I was already going to be present at the parish where they were doing the team day for another purpose it just made sense.

Surprise night off

I was all set this evening to receive two people for pastoral meetings (one for spiritual direction, one for marriage preparation). And then…neither of them showed up! The first had to cancel at the last minute, and the second went to the wrong church to meet me. We’ve rescheduled both appointments for next week.

Putting things in order

Today I had a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism (of which I am the Treasurer). I had asked for this meeting in order to discuss a plan I had put forward on December 12, 2007, to help the Centre reorganize its membership register. It may seem like a trivial thing, but not having a well-organized register could eventually have serious consequences if not tended to.

First confessions at Ausiliatrice

This morning I headed over to the east end of Montreal to hear confessions for kids doing their first Reconciliation. This is a very special moment for a child, as he or she tells another adult about his/her sins – never an easy thing for anybody! I do my best to help make it an authentic and positive experience for them. Of course, I can’t tell you anything more about it (sacramental secrecy and all) except to say that is was a real blessing for me as well.

Blessing a house

This evening I had the chance to visit one of my married couples and bless their house. Well, eventually…we started with an excellent Italian meal (and yes, there was a LOT of food) and some excellent conversation (yes, there was a LOT of that too!) I really enjoyed myself, and I think it was a real moment of grace for all involved.

The things I do in this job

Sometimes, I am helping an elderly priest make the transition to having to live in a home.

Other times, I am helping foreign priests get settled in our diocese.

Today? I went bowling.

Yep. Bowling. It was the priest bowling tournament this afternoon, followed by a dinner. Not that I actually know how to bowl all that well. Still, I showed up, mainly to demonstrate my support for the event and to have a bit of quality time with my brother priests.