Wednesday, September 30, 2009

International Priests Retreat in Ars, France

Msgr. Ken Miller, Fr. Danilo Rafael, Fr. Eusebio Tubale and myself travelled to Ars, France this past weekend to take part in the Internationl Priests Retreat sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy as a beginning to the Year for Priests, declared by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict declared this special Year in celebration of the 150th anniversary ofthe death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests worldwide.
The town of Ars is a very beautiful place about a 45 minute drive from the city of Lyon. In this picture in the background on the left can be seen the Basilica and Shrine to St. John Vianney, the Curé of Ars. In the foreground are part of the tents which serve as the dining hall for the 1200 priests attending this Retreat from around the world.

I am staying in this retreat house for priests, le Foyer Sacerdotale. It is just on the outskirts of the town and very pleasant.

It did not take Fr. Danilo and Fr. Eusebio to find some friends from the Philippines, seen here along with Msgr. Miller.

Because of a Wedding I was performing in Saskatoon on Saturday, I arrived in Ars late afternoon on Monday after 15 hours of travel to Calgary, Frankfurt and Lyon. That evening, the citizens of Ars put on a dramatic representation of the work of the Curé of Ars which was interesting and moving.

St. John Vianney spent his entire priestly life in this small town. However his reputation as a pastor, counsellor and confessor spread throughout Europe and people came from across the continent to talk to him about their lives and go to Confession to him.

His simplicity, dedication to Christ and care of people transformed the lives of many people.

People still come to Ars today by the thousands each year to be near the place where the Saint lived and worked and touched the lives of people with the mercy and compassion of God.
Fr. Danilo and Fr. Eusebio are ready to begin the day in the company of their brother priests from around the world.

The day begins with morning prayer presided over by one of the Bishops taking part in the Retreat.

Some of the 1200 priests participating in the Retreat are getting ready for the first daily conference, given by Cardinal Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria.
I will be back with more later.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Archbishop Albert Legat's Installation

I had prepared this post before leaving for the International Priests' Retreat in Ars, France and didn't get it posted. So here it is, a little late, but it may be of interest to some among you.

On Monday, September 21st., Archbishop Albert LeGatt, newly appointed Archbishop of St. Boniface, inaugurated his pastoral ministry as Archbishop with a beautiful Eucharistic Celebration in the Cathedral of St. Boniface. A great number of faithful from the Archdiocese along with representatives from other Christian Religions, many priests, deacons and Bishops attended to witness the installation.

Prior to the Mass a dinner and reception was held Fr. Archbishop Legatt. Here you see Archbishop Gerard Pettitpas, C.Ss.R of Grouard McLennan and Bishop Noel Delaquis. Bishop Delaquis was the Bishop of Gravelbourg at the time of the Diocese of Gravelbourg returning in part to the Archdiocese of Regina. Bishop Delaquis is no a member of the Trappist Fathers.

On the left of Bishop LeGatt is Archbishop Joseph MacNeil, Archbishop Emeritus of Edmonton

On the left, Bishop John Corriveau, cap, Fr. Steve Penna of Newman College, Bishop Albert Thevenot, M. Afr., and Archbishop-Metropotain Lawrence Huculak of the Manitoba Arch-Epachy of the Ukranian Catholic Church.

A farewell address was read by Archbishop Emelius Goulet, Archbishop Emeritrus of St. Bonifxace.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Swift Current Deanery Celebrates the Archdiocese's Centennial

A week ago last Sunday the Deanery of Swift Current gathered as a deanery to celebrate the Centennial of the Archdiocese with the Eucharist in the new Church in Swift Current and this was followed by another good lunch.

There were servers present from the different parishes of the Deanery. It was very good to see this representation. This is an important ministry that young people can be trained to do very well. The servers you see here are excellent Servers at the Altar.
Some ladies of Christ the Redeemer Parish were busy raising funds for their new church in front of some of the parish banners that were present for this special Centennial Eucharistic Celebration.

And here are more workers.

Fr. James Owolagba, pastor at Gull Lake is seen here with Fr. Rick Krofchek, the Dean of the Saskatoon Deanery.

There was a very fine turn out of parishioners from without the deanery, pretty well filling Christ the Redeemer church to the limit.

I am blessed to receive Spiritual Boquets from school children, however this one was beautifully made up with the prayers formed to make an attractive boquet.

I am enjoying seeing the creativity in the Centennial Banners that each of the parishes in the Archdioces are making.

During the Mass we recalled that this part of our Archdiocese once formed the Diocese of Gravelbourg, which was formed out of the Archediocese of Regina in 1930 and for the greater part again became part of the Archdiocese in 1988 due to the diminishing population which had been common throughout rural Saskatchewan. The Diocese of Gravelbourg also had a rich and vibrant history during those years.

Parishioners of all ages participated in the Mass. In our 100th anniversary we remember the contribution made to the Church and to our Province by people who immigrated from different parts of North America and from European countries. Today we continually see the arrival of new families who leave their homes in many parts of the world to come to Saskatchewan to build a new home and new lives for themselves and their children. They too will help form and build our Church over the decades to come.

The Gifts for the Mass are brought forward,

And also the Spiritual Boquet.

After the Mass was finished there was a short musical program which included the school's children's choir who gave a great and entertaining performance.

The celebrations concluded with a great meal in the parish hall. It was a happy and warm celebration of our 100th Anniversary of our Archdiocese.

We welcome a New Priest to the Archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Regina is very happy to welcome Fr. Anthony Varghese Padayatty. Fr Anthony is a member of the Heralds of Good News.

' Heralds of Good News' is a clerical missionary society of apostolic life of pontifical rite. It was instituted by Rev. Fr. Jose Kaimlett in the year 1984,in the Diocese of Eluru,India. The specific objective of this Society is to train holy and zealous priests and supply them wherever there is a need for priests in the universal church.At present, it has more than three hunred priests and they are working in North America, Italy, Holland,England,Kenya, Tanzania,Papua New gunia, India, New zeland. It has St. Joseph the worker and Mary queen of apostles as its heavenly patrons.

We are awaiting the arrival of the second member of the Heralds of Good News to also do pastoral work in our Diocese.

Fr. Anthony arrived in Regina during the Summer and is stationed as an assistant pastor in Estevan where he will spend the year becoming acclimatized to our Western Canadian Church here on the prairies.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome to a new Seminarian

We were very pleased to welcome to the Archdiocese a new seminarian, John Baptist Tri Tran. Tri arrived in Regina this summer with a commitment to continue his studies in order to become a priest in our Archdiocese. He comes from the diocese of Dalat in Vietnam.

For the next few months he will follow English Courses at SIAST to improve his command of English and improve his accent. If this goes well, he will then enter St. Joseph's Seminary to take up again his theological formation.

We support Tri with our prayers and encouragement as he takes up the challenge of studying in a different language and learning to be a priest in a new culture and a new country.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Canada's Apostolic Nuncio off to Paris

The news was made public yesterday that Archbishop Luigi Ventura who has been the Pope's representative in Canada for the past eight years has been appointed Apostolic Nuncio to France.

Archbishop Ventura has represented the Holy See with grace and efficiency in his eight years in Canada. One of the responsibilities of the Nuncio is to present to the Holy Father names of priests he recommends to be made Bishops. Archbishop Ventura has been involved in the appointment of some seventy bishops and archbishops in Canada during his time here, myself among them.

I have expressed more than once my appreciation to him for his part in the Holy Father's choosing to me to come to Regina as its Archbishop. He always just brushed it off with typical self effacement, muttering something about "just doing my job." Perhaps so, but my appointment as Auxiliary in Toronto and then my appointment here by our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to Regina to serve the people of this Archdiocese has been a great source of grace and blessing for me. I will will always hold Archbishop Ventura with great respect and affection for his part in bringing that about. These sentiments accompany my gratitude to the Holy Father for his trust and confidence in entrusting this ministry to me.

I, along with many in the Church in Canada, will miss his easy approachability, warmth and openess. I join the many others who are pleased with this recognition of his considerble ability as he is appointed as the Pope's representative in France, a country often referred to as "the Church's eldest daughter." France is also at the heart of European Secularism, and so the challenges will be considerable and we offer our prayers for him as he begins this new ministry.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Regina East and Regina West Deaneries Celebrate the Centennial

Regina East and Regina West Deaneries had a great day for their celebration of the Centennial of the Archdiocese. Here are some familiar faces of the day

Face painting was very popular and made some pretty little girls prettier.

Fr. Gordie Rushka, of course, was there. Fr. Gordie would celebrate his 50th Annniversary of Ordination on the following weekend in Balgonie.

Some parishioners were tiny and safe in the arms of their mother.

The celebrations began in the morning with Sunday Mass at Resurrection Parish.

I was joined by Fr. Steve Bill on my left, the pastor of Resurrection Parish and the Dean for Regina East Deanery. We were assisted by Deacon Joe Lang.

And met a lot of parishioners from Resurrection Parish

This young man really was enjoying his pancakes.

Fr. Steve with Tony Gartner, Grand Knight of the Resurrection Council Knights of Columbus. Tony also serves on the Building and Properties Committee for the Archdiocese.
In the afternoon, the Cathedral hosted a picnic in the park beside the Cathedral, complete with the band "Vision."

And some big people and some little people.

And some young people, and...

Here's Frank Flegel, our Archdiocesan Communications man seen here at the other end of the cameral lens.

Sr. Esbert and Sr. Arlene are members of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are from the Philippines and have come to Regina to help in ministry to our Aboriginal people in the city.

Some of the ladies were helping to make available some of the Centennial garments available for the 100th Anniversary celebration.

And some more faces of our Archdiocese.

Our new Vicar Genera, Msgr. Don Bolen on the left and our past Vicar General of many years, Msgr. Ken Miller on the right. Just getting vested is Fr. John Weckend who arrived after running the annual marathon.

Following the picnic we gatherd for the celebration of Vespers in the Cathedral. We were blessed with an excellent turn out of priests from the two Deaneries.

Fr Brian Meredith, Rector of the Cathedral, is running through some final details with Deacon Barry Wood and the servers.

Here are a frew of the many beautiful banners made by the parishes of the Deaneries for the Centennial year. They were brought into the Cathedral at the beginning of Vespers and are seen here with the Centennial Icon of Our Lady of the Rosary on the right.

Vespers began with the procession of the Light of Christ with the Paschal Candle carried by Deacon Barry Wood.

The opening prayer is said,

And the singing of the proclamation of the Light of Christ follows. The singing of Vespers follows. It was a beautiful time of prayer and a moving celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours.

After Vespers, the very able crew of the Knights of Columbus set to work barbecuing hamburgers for all present.

As it happened, there was a Riders Game that afternoon as well.

And Msgr Miller has changed to his other vestments.

And here are some more faces of the Archdiocese during this special celebration.
Msgr. Don Bolen with Fr. Brian Meredith.

Some of the 300 -400 people who gathered for the celebration. It was a lovely day. God blessed us with summery weather and many reasons to give thanks for our 100 years of diocesan history.