June 2017

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.

Learning about conscience, part 1: Saint Thomas More

I was a kid in a time before video on demand services like Netflix. Heck, it was before PVRs and even VCRs. We had one TV in the house, and if you wanted to know what was going on you consulted the newspaper or a print publication like TV Guide. Or, sometimes you'd be channel surfing and if you came across something you wanted to watch, you either just watched it or you let it go.

RIP to my aunt Louise Turner (nee Dowd)

I got a message from my cousin Paul that his mother Louise (my aunt) passed away. Condolences to her two sons, their spouses, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Bruce a little under a year ago.

My siblings and I remember her kindness during many a visit to her home when I was young. She was suffering from dementia in recent years, so we kept those memories for her. Now she is with the Lord. May she rest in peace.

Wonder Woman is all kinds of awesome

I saw the new Wonder Woman movie. I was thoroughly entertained. It is definitely in my top three favourite super-hero themed films of all time. I don't know it if will achieve the number 1 spot (I'd rather wait and see how I feel about it some time down the road, after the initial exhilaration has worn off), but it has definitely de-throned my previous #1 favourite, The Dark Knight.

Confirmations at the Filipino Mission

Today is the feast of Pentecost, and I had the pleasure of visiting Our Lady of the Philippines Mission to offer the sacrament of confirmation to 9 children and 3 adults. The welcome was warm as only people of the Filipino culture can do, the ceremony was full of life, and the meal afterwards was delicious! Bring on the lechon!

Many thanks to Father Frank Alvarez, as well as the team of catechists, who joined in the picture you see above (click on it to expand). Congratulations to you!

Confirmations at my parish

As a bishop I have the chance to celebrate confirmations in many different places. Tonight, however, I had the joy of presiding confirmation in the parish where I am pastor (Our Lady of Fatima). I was so proud of those young people! And they were really good, participating well (reading and singing) and answering my questions at the homily. May their lives be filled with the Holy Spirit always!