November 2009

Cinematic torture

So my niece has been waiting with great anticipation for the new Twilight film, called “New Moon”, and now it is finally here. I had seen the first one, and while it was “ok” I had found it pretty cheesy, so I was wary about seeing the sequel. However, the various reviews I read of the film were actually quite positive. In general, the consensus was that the movie was better than the first installment of the series, and that the performances really let you get into the mindset of the main character Bella.

Lay pastoral worker gathering

I attended a meeting this morning of the various lay pastoral agents for our Archdiocese, which was organized by our office (the Office for Pastoral Personnel). I found the gathering very touching — several witnesses got up to give their testimony of the work they are doing in the Lord’s vineyard, and more importantly of the work they see the Lord doing in his vineyard.

Question on purgatory

The following email came in recently:

I always understood that when you die, your soul is immediately judged by God and are sent to hell or heaven. Some would be sent to purgatory for purification before entering eternal life.

However, Jesus did say that He would return to judge the living and the dead. Does this mean that those who have died must also wait for the return of Christ for the final judgment? Where does Purgatory come into this?

R.I.P. Fr. Donell Lowe

I got word Saturday evening that Fr. Don Lowe passed away earlier that day of a heart attack. His parishioners showed up for the Saturday evening mass and the doors were locked. When someone came with a key and they opened up the rectory, they found him dead. What an awful shock that must have been. I’ll post more details as I get them.

Foreign priest training, part 2

Whew, what a weekend. I had another 24-hour training session with some of the foreign priests, which had me going full steam all day Friday (until 10 pm) and all Sat morning. But it was amazing — Fr. Alain Pouliot came from the diocese of Quebec City to be our guest speaker on the subject of teamwork in the Quebec cultural context, and Francine Tremblay spoke to us Saturday morning on the relationship between men and women (again, in the local cultural context). Both sessions were just great, and I think everyone got a lot out of them.

Stewardship at Concordia

Today I had the chance to be the inaugural speaker for the Concordia University Catholic Students Association. They are a new group — only been around a month — so I was delighted to be able to be there with them and support them. The topic they had proposed was quite interesting: Man is made to keep the garden — Stewardship in environment and religion. Unfortunately there were relatively few students, but that may have been just as well — I wasn’t at my best, to be honest, having just come off 3 hours of teaching at the Grand Séminaire.

Visit with the Melkites

Today I had a chance to visit the Melkite cathedral here in Montreal, in order to prepare an ecumenical pilgrimage that will take place in December. The Melkites are Catholics, generally from Lebanon, who follow the Byzantine liturgical tradition. Given the large Lebanese community in Montreal, the Holy See gave the Melkites their own diocese (called an eparchy) 25 years ago for all of Canada, with its home base in Montreal.