The Devotion to the Divine Mercy can now be found in Saint-Nazaire parish in LaSalle. It has been visited already by many pilgrims wishing to pray to the Divine Mercy.
Saint-Nazaire parish has stepped into quite a renewal due to recent initiatives. “I would like the parish to touch people of all ages,” the high-spirited Father Dominic Richer insists. This new form of evangelization largely inspired by the writings and recommendations of Father James Mallon rests on many projects. To start with, five evangelization units meet each month over a meal, to praise and to read the Gospel and, finally, to pray for everyone who would benefit encountering Jesus. Almost 50 people participated to this missionary impulse. An Alpha Journey is also proposed to facilitate a more personal encounter with the Lord, and more than 60 people have already followed the teachings over the last two years!
The parish also attaches importance to having an outreach team welcome everyone before each Sunday Mass, a celebration filled with music and two choirs leading activities. In the fall, youth people will offer coffee and a small present to all new parishioners as a welcome gift.
“Jesus’s heart is like a magnet.”
Yet, “all this would not be possible without the Merciful Jesus: His heart attracts people like a magnet”, Father Dominic Richer says. Indeed, over the last two years the Devotion of the Divine Mercy has moved to Saint-Nazaire Church. The goal of this Devotion is to raise awareness and to put into practice trust in God’s mercy based on the messages given by Jesus to Saint Faustina. It has been in Montreal for 35 years as a result of Father Bernard Signori’s impulse, the first to welcome the Devotion in his parish, Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs. Saint-Nazaire parish is since September the most recent location of the Devotion in Canada.
Testifying to the Divine Mercy
From Monday through Thursday, Francine, Gisèle, Anne and Marie testify to the Merciful Jesus through the means revealed to Saint Faustina: working, speaking and praying.
Working: an office and a store are open from Monday through Thursday to prepare the Devotion’s newsletters and pamphlets, and to suggest all sorts of religious articles on the Divine Mercy to pilgrims.
Speaking (and listening!): those who need to be listened to and understood can call and, through volunteers, hear the messages Jesus gave to Sister Faustina. “I feel very fortunate to be loved by the Lord that way; it gives me confidence on a daily basis in my mission,” Francine Valiquette, vice-president of the Devotion in Montreal, reveals.
Praying: every day at 3 p.m., recitation of the Holy Rosary takes place for the world and for all who asked this prayer. On each third Friday of the month at 2 p.m. a prayer meeting is held. Half of this day is devoted to a presentation under the theme of Mercy (“the Prodigal Son and Mercy”, “The Heart of Merciful Jesus”, “Saint Francis and Mercy”), followed by Adoration, the prayer of the rosary and the way of the Cross. A Mass celebrated by priests from the entire region, who also come to give the Sacrament of Reconciliation, closes the meeting.
Father Dominic Richer is also there every day to offer spiritual guidance, to discuss with people and to hear their confessions. “Mercy, it is Jesus healing the wounds of my heart and enabling me to give back Mercy to others,” he reveals.
Soon a Shrine?
For some months now, flocks of pilgrims have been coming from everywhere, dozens of buses arriving from the United States or Ontario.
Divine Mercy Sunday – the first Sunday following Easter – is also a great moment. More than 1000 people attended the parish activities last year on that day: procession through the streets, animated Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and a Mass.
Archbishop Lépine’s wish and ours is to see the parish becoming a Shrine to the Divine Mercy. Every effort is made to have the Church appear on the list of the Way of the Sanctuaries Montreal / Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in the near future.
Saint-Nazaire Parish / The Devotion to the Divine Mercy
Address: 111 BÉLANGER AVE, LaSalle, QC H8R 3K7