Saturday, March 7, 2009

Archbishop Joseph MacNeil's 40th Anniversary

During the Assembly of Western Bishops' meeting, we took time to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Ordination to the Episcopate of Archbishop Joseph MacNeil, Archbishop Emeritus of Edmonton.

We began with the Celebration of the Eucharist at Providence Centre. Archbishop Richard Smith preached the homily at that Mass. Archbishop Smith is the present Archbishop of Edmonton and also a "Maritimer" like Archbishop MacNeil and some others out here in the West.

I knew Archbishop MacNeil when he was Bishop of Saint John, New Brunswick. He was always referred to as "Bishop Joe N," following the Cape Breton custom of distinguishing people who had one of the common Scottish names in their community by the second initial. I was a very young priest at that time. The people of Saint John were very pleased with this Cape Bretoner who had become their Bishop and were more than a little saddened when he was taken from them to become Archbishop of Edmonton.

Following the Mass we gathered for a very nice dinner hosted by Archbishop Smith.

The Archbishop is here with the Saskatchewan Bishops: Bishop Albert LeGatt of Saskatoon, on his left, myself on his right and Bishop Albert Thevenot of Prince Albert. We have lots of Alberts now in Saskatchewan.

From left to right here are Abbot Peter Novecosky, Archbishop James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg and President of the CCCB and next to Archbishop MacNeil is Archbishop Smith.

Archbishop Weisgerber and Bishop Gerry Wiesner of Prince George had Archbishop MacNeil as one of the Principal Consecrators at their Ordination as Bishops.
It is nice to celebrate these special occasions together and to thank God for the blessings that are so generously given to us.

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