Members of our large diocesan family gathered to meet with the Archbishop to exchange greetings and to pray and celebrate the New Year together in the spirit of the Epiphany, on Saturday, January 14, at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral.
The morning program began with the Liturgy of the Word and an exchange of best wishes. There followed conversation time, accompanied with refreshments taken in the sacristy, in the residence hallway and in the parish hall of the Cathedral.
The moment of prayer began with a passage from Isaiah. Louise Royer, director of the Social Action Office of the diocese of Montreal and this morning’s moderator, addressed the gathering, saying it is "beautiful to hear a voice that speaks to us of the future, reminding us that God counts on his people to make his glory known in the world...we discover that we are the sign that God has chosen for himself to proclaim his presence." She continued, "Let us take this moment of prayer to rekindle our desire to be the light, because it is our mission to illuminate the world, it is our commitment to live so that the light can transform the world in and around us."
The vows in French were pronounced by Fr. Nicolas Sengson, s.v.d., a religious missionary priest of the Society of the Divine Word and vicar in charge of pastoral care for Sainte-Madeleine parish in Outremont. "We pray that you, our shepherd, may continue to fulfill your mission grounded in the word of the Lord; and we pray that that word will be your star, and that it may continue to light the path that has brought you thus far," he said.
The vows in English were pronounced by husband and wife Mr. Emil Tirona and Irah Jane Tirona of Our Lady of Fatima parish in Ville Saint-Laurent. "We are grateful for all the work you have done and the efforts you have made for the Catholic community in Montreal. Thank you for being our shepherd, thank you for your perseverance, thank you for your love and kindness and leadership," said Mr. Tirona. "We offer our most heartfelt prayers and our greatest support and encouragement. May Your Excellency continue to be blessed with wisdom, joy, peace and good health, as you lead us and carry on the work of Jesus in the Archdiocese of Montreal," he added.
Archbishop Lépine in turn thanked all those attending for their presence. "Epiphany reminds us that there is always a light that guides us in our search for the Lord and so we must start out on our journey to meet Him. For this, we must ask Mary, our guiding star, to help us," he said. "To reflect the light of Jesus, we must embark on a journey of conversion together, because the world is so starved for happiness. Let us rise up this year with the power and the strength of the Holy Spirit,” he added, “for if we truly know Jesus, we must proclaim him to the world."