After the holiday bustle, three gatherings for those involved in pastoral teams across the diocese were hosted by the Archdiocese of Montreal to celebrate not only the joy of the birth of Christ but also the Epiphany, the feast highlighting the adoration of Jesus by the Magi.
More than 200 people from all over the diocese gathered in the basement of Sainte-Sixte Church, on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, to share a meal and most importantly a time of solidarity to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. Before the good meal was served, the assembly took the time to pray, to read the Word of God and to present prayer intentions.
Bishop Ignace Bourget Diocesan Medal of Merit
On this occasion, eight people received the Bishop Ignace Bourget Diocesan Medal of Merit, a price in recognition for their services. As indicated in the description, the diocesan recognition underlines these individuals’ pastoral creativity, and contributions and implication in their community over the last 40 years.
The Medal of Merit was granted to:
- Maria Terezinha Barbossa Laberge, Catechist and Churchwarden, and Irma Hernandez, Catechist of Saint-Roch parish.
- Anna Diodati, Pastoral Associate, and Jennie Parsons-Armstrong, Parish Catechetical Leader, at Saint Monica’s parish.
- Gérald and Julie Proulx, a couple who volunteers at Bx-François-de-Montmorency-Laval Church.
- Sr. Annette Boisvert, CND, Director of the Œuvre des Tabernacles, and Lise Jacques, her assistant.
Blessings for the Archbishop
As per tradition, the Archbishop gave his blessings to the whole assembly, but first, he received the blessings of the assembly through the voice of Sr. Maura McGrathe, CND, the founder of the Refuge Juan Moreno for immigrants, and of Charles Taker, a man highly active in many charities.
“I wish in the name of the entire Catholic community to express my profound gratitude toward you, Archbishop, for your leadership, for your shepherd’s heart and especially for the way you listen to people,” said Sr. Maura. She gave thanks to God for three calls she felt were really important for the Archbishop, one being the call to unity from all the communities in the diocese of Montreal; the call of the cries of the refugees, underlining especially the work of the organization Le Pont; and the call for the Church of North America toward complete ecological sustainability, as an answer to the cries of “Mother Earth.”
Charles Taker asked afterwards the assembly to stand up and to bless the archbishop, as he recalled the traditional family blessing given on New Year’s Day.
Adoration … our good resolution!
Inspired by Pope Francis’s homily, Archbishop Lépine suggested that adoration be at the heart of this new year, not only as a personal resolution, but as a resolution taken by the community to “take time for adoration” despite the daily whirlwind: “I am very busy… It becomes thus particularly important that I take time for adoration. The roof is leaking, a pipe burst overnight […], we are going into deficit… The more reasons to take the time for adoration,” said Archbishop Lépine.
“We are going through demanding times, yet they are filled with grace. These are times to finally get closer to God,” he said. It is in that perspective that Archbishop Lépine invited each of us to (re)discover the “power of adoration”: “Because faith is there to bring its light […] in all facets of our lives.”
“We all wish to make God a priority in our lives, but what is the sign that shows that we are really making him a priority in our lives? By taking the time to adore him.” A beautiful call for our faith in 2020.