What better way to mark the Epiphany than to come together and celebrate the joy that God brings to our lives and to see the connections he helps us build? It was in this spirit that pastoral teams from across the diocese gathered Jan. 14 and 15 to receive the Archbishop's blessing.
It is in the church basement of Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel and Saint-Pie parishes, just north of Montreal to enable all the diocesan personnel to gather, that was held on January 14 and 15 the second and third annual edition of the blessing from the Archbishop. People gathered in a spirit of solidarity. On the 14th, the assembly intoned an introductory song of thanksgiving, the Gloria. A meal was served after the prayer, followed by the award presentation, the blessing bestowed by the assembly on the Archbishop Christian Lépine, and finally his own blessing to the assembly for the year 2020.
Kind Souls Serving the Community
On this occasion, three people received the Bishop-Ignace-Bourget Medal of Merit, a prize awarded to individuals in recognition for their pastoral creativity, contribution and involvement in the community over the last 40 years.
The Medal of Merit was awarded to:
- Raymond Labbé, a volunteer in the Saint-Stanislas parish for more than 30 years.
- André Dubé, sacristan and warden, involved in Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church over the last 33 years.
- Reine Tremblay-Martel, a volunteer in the Saint-Gilbert parish for 50 years.
Shining Like a Star
“There are plenty of challenges, but the Lord is always with us,” said Archbishop Lépine, as an introduction to his blessing. “At the heart of the Feast of the Epiphany is Jesus, the Holy Family, but also the Star […] guiding to the manger,” he added, reminding us that “we are here because a star led us to Jesus. These stars might have been our parents, a witness or the life of a saint, but now it is our turn to become stars leading others to Jesus: this is the most beautiful mission and vocation, which consist in helping people discover and receive God’s love.”
At times, when we feel surrounded by darkness, “a star can shine in the night and help us see that we can go forth on the road lighted up by the star,” he added.
“Think about the Lord and let yourself be guided by the star leading to the Lord, no matter how deep the darkness is,” he concluded.
On January 15, the Medal of Merit was awarded to:
- Laurent Vermette, a volunteer in the Sainte-Béatrice parish, who has devoted his time to the Service d’entraide over the last 24 years.
- Sr. Mariette Desrochers, m.c.r., a volunteer at Partage Saint-Maxime since 1998.
Congratulations to the laureates for their award!
Here is the blessing that was addressed to the Archbishop:
“As written in the Joy of the Gospel from Pope Francis, an evangelizing community sees that the Lord took the initiative; love comes first and leads the Church. Let us now take the initiative without fear and embark on a journey toward those who are far, at the crossroads, to welcome the excluded. This year, let us initiate the process.”
“Archbishop Lépine, may you find in the Spirit of God the necessary impulse to bring the appropriate changes to our Church.”
Adoration, a source of “inspiration”
Quoting Pope Francis’s writings on the Feast of the Epiphany, Archbishop Lépine underlined the importance of “adoration” in our personal lives and in the life of our parishes: “Adoration does more than just bringing us closer to the Lord. It also brings us together.”
When conflict reigns, “when roads seem to lead nowhere, suddenly we see hope,” said the Archbishop, as he underlined the importance of adoration to find new solutions.
In this year 2020, Archbishop Lépine call us all to “stop to breathe” and to adore the Lord, the One, our “inspiration.”