Since its foundation in 1904, the Oratory has closed its doors to the public only three times. Aside from the current closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Oratory also closed its doors for one week during the 1998 ice storm.
Did you know that as early as 1940, the Oratory broadcast a 15-minute morning show on CKAC with the inevitable morning prayer. However, it was not until May 5, 1946, that the Sunday Mass in French was broadcast.
On January 1, 1924, two Oratory employees, Édouard Barsalo and Napoléon Carrières, had a pious idea: to start the new year off right by making a night pilgrimage from Mile-End to the Oratory, arriving on time for the first mass of the year, at 6 a.m. From this initiative, a tradition that has lasted over 80 years was born!
By definition, a blessing is “a sacramental. It is an act, when performed by a duly qualified minister, in the name and by the authority of the Church, praying that God may look with favour on certain people and things, or dedicating them to religious service.1”