Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal issues eighth pastoral letter amid pandemic crisis.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Losing a loved one, at any time, always entails suffering and grief. During this pandemic, this suffering is compounded by considerable obstacles that make a bedside visit to someone who is ill difficult, someone whom we love and who is approaching the end of life. Added to this are the restrictions, due to the risk of contagion, prohibiting gatherings with family members, friends and acquaintances, be it in the funeral home, church or cemetery.
It was suggested that we dedicate the month of June to pray for all those who have died during the pandemic since March, whatever the cause of death, a suggestion that I readily embraced. Accordingly, I invite you to join me every day to pray what I’ve called the CATHEDRAL-HOME ROSARY, praying for the intentions of the men and women who have died – often feeling very isolated – from an illness, an accident or any other tragedy.
I am deeply thankful to the many individuals and families who responded to Pope Francis' invitation to pray the Rosary during the month of May, and to all those who participated in our diocesan-led Rosary, having invoked Mary, Mother of the Church, to protect humanity, the Church, families and individuals during this pandemic.
I reach out humbly, with this new invitation, to those suffering a recent loss, bearing immense sorrow in their hearts. Alternating between the cathedral and the homes of families and individuals, together, let us entrust our departed ones to the maternal intercession of Mary, who, as Jesus was dying, remained at the foot of the cross. The Virgin Mary has no other desire than to show us Jesus and to lead us to Him, He who died and rose again, opening the way to eternal life for us.
During the month of June, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we can turn with confidence to the One whose heart has been pierced out of love for us. Be assured that your departed loved one whom, perhaps, you were unable to visit, has now been visited by Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, who knocks at the door of our hearts. We can pray – prayer which transcends time itself – for this encounter between your loved one and our Lord and Saviour.
Included with this message are steps on how to participate in praying the Cathedral-Home Rosary and how to submit a name for inclusion in our online IN MEMORIAM listing. One may submit the name of a deceased individual, together with his/her date of death, which will be added to the list of names to be posted on the diocesan website for those who have died from March until now. Sacred Heart of Jesus with your pierced heart and open arms, we turn to you with confidence. We present to you all those, from every generation, who have died during the COVID-
Welcome them lovingly into your Kingdom.
May their sorrow be transformed into joy.
May their experience of aloneness be transformed into everlasting communion.
May their death be transformed by their passage into the fullness of life.
May You, who have the power to console hearts and to cultivate hope, apply a healing balm to these hearts stricken by such sadness.
Carry them in their pain, renew their faith in your Love, and strengthen their hope of being united with their loved ones one day.
Guide us along this path as we journey in grief and in solidarity with those who mourn.
Through Mary’s intercession, let us entrust these deceased members and those who grieve their loss to the gentleness and strength of Jesus Christ.
† Christian Lépine
*Guidelines for participating in praying the Rosary and for submissions to the online IN MEMORIAM listing:
Recitation of the Rosary will continue to be broadcast every day in June, at 7 p.m., either live from Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, or as a pre-recorded segment from individual homes. Viewers may follow via the diocesan YouTube channel or via the Facebook pages of either the diocese or the cathedral. Archbishop Lépine will lead the Rosary from the cathedral, on alternating days until June 30, with families or individuals who will lead the prayer from their homes.
We are currently looking for faithful interested in virtually leading one session of praying the Rosary during the month of June, at 7 p.m. (to be broadcast on the diocesan YouTube channel and Facebook page).
To help support this initiative:
1. IN MEMORIAM listing: Send us the name and date of death of the deceased online at: https://www.diocesemontreal.org/en/lets-connect/prayer-requests. We ask you to enter your e-mail address in the assigned field. As we receive the names of those who have died during the pandemic (as of March 2020), a list will be published and continually updated on our dedicated diocesan COVID page.
2. CATHEDRAL-HOME ROSARY: Record a home video featuring you and/or family
members praying the five Mysteries of your choice, in any language of your choice: JOYFUL (Monday and Saturday), LUMINOUS (Thursday), SORROWFUL (Tuesday and Friday), GLORIOUS (Wednesday and Sunday) (cf. Family Prayer booklet).
To do this, record yourself with your cell phone or other device (N.B. use the landscape setting, in HD), stand in front of the camera and state the language in which you will pray, then state each mystery as you proceed to pray the Rosary. Send your video to: email@example.com (via any of the following file-hosting services: Dropbox, WeTransfer or Google Drive). It is important to mention in your email that you have granted the diocese authorization to broadcast your video on the digital platforms mentioned earlier.
Archbishop Lépine wishes to thank the many families who responded to his invitation in May, those who prayed with him and those who submitted their videos. To view archived videos, please visit our YouTube channel here.