Take a look at the special package I have in my arms in this photo:
This evening I had a chance to do a form of ministry that has been a real source of joy for the past 3 years: Bible study with the youth group at the Montreal Chinese Catholic Mission. We’ve been working through the letters of Saint Paul for the past couple of years, month by month, and personally I have found it quite rewarding. Tonight we closed off our study of Ephesians — but, unknown to me, a plot had also been hatched. A happy one, mind you, as it involved cake! :-)
Camping season is upon us, and today I had the pleasure of going up to Camp Kinkora (a campsite owned by the Foundation of Catholic Community Services) to say mass for the Diocesan Liturgy Camp (a.k.a. DLC). The photo below is of yours truly in action:
Those who know me know that I have a special place in my heart for the Ottawa and Montreal branches of the Challenge Movement, which organizes retreats and ongoing catechism for young adults. The Ottawa branch has been around since the late 1960s, and the Montreal branch (in its latest incarnation) since 1998. Since then the movement has had over 20 retreats, and continues to count on the support of young (and some less young) men and women committed to its work of evangelisation.
As mentioned in my previous post from early this morning, I went to Toronto today with Mgr Lépine to shop for episcopal clothes — specifically, the purple and black-with-red-trim cassocks that we need, as well as the mozetta, shoulder cape, and cincture. These items are not easy to find, and the advice I got from a couple of bishops was to either go to the USA to get them, or to fly to Rome.
Christoper Curtis, in his recent article on me in the Montreal Gazette, includes this quote: “The job can be a lot of things. When I worked for a hospital, I was on call and you would get everything from a multiple victim car accident to a guy who is sick and needs you to feed his cat.”
While many news organizations have been running with the story of my episcopal nomination this week, particularly in radio and television, I was told that newspapers often save their human interest stories for the weekend. And so it is: a couple of articles have appeared in local Saturday papers today, one in English and one in French:
The recent interest in my appointment as bishop has meant that some in the media have started calling me “the blogging bishop”. In all fairness, though, I want to point out that there are other bishops out there who have blogs of their own, too! Take, for example, the blog The Journey of a Bishop, by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, whose blog was recommended to me by the Apostolic Nuncio himself when we met on July 5. Do readers have any other bishop blogs to suggest?
I got a very special message on my voice mail this evening. A six-year old wanted to talk to me to find out how she can see Jesus (because, you understand, she really REALLY wants to see Jesus) and she thought I might know. Of course I called her back, and after talking with her mom the little girl and I chatted a bit. She knew that Jesus had risen from the dead and was now in Heaven, so I explained that thanks to this he is able to see all of us and take care of us.
I was interviewed this afternoon by two different journalists: Bertrand Marotte of the Globe and Mail, and Alan Hustak of the Métropolitain. I see that their articles are already on the web:
Many people have been asking about my new appointment, wanting to know how long I have known, what my reaction was, etc. I’ll start with that story.
I have some big news…
I am being named auxiliary bishop of Montreal. I will be ordained a bishop within the next three months.
I can hardly believe it myself!
At present I am in Ottawa, as my family lives here and I wanted them to hear it from me first. I told my siblings to come over to my parents’ house for 7am, and after they arrived I woke up my mom and dad. Once everyone was seated in the living room, I broke the news. Cheers and hugs were the result!