It was on December 27, 1870, just a few weeks after arriving at Collège Notre-Dame, that young Alfred Bessette entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Holy Cross1. Dressed in the Brothers’ cassock with a double cincture around his waist, Alfred took his vows of commitment before the novice master, Father Julien Gastineau, CSC. It was during this ceremony that he took the name of Brother André.
Now that summer is here, we can’t help but think of vacations, festivities, pleasure, sun and warmth. It is also a special time to begin a spiritual process of self-reflection that will open up a new place in your life.
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”
When spring arrives, the swallows return. New plants sprout from the earth: fragile yet resilient. A gentle breeze blows through the open windows. It’s the season of renewal, of awakening, of life… and of spring cleaning! At least, that’s what we used to do to give our homes a fresh look. Before summer begins, I recommend you perform a small, practical exercise which doubles as a way to honour Saint Brother André.
To mark our gratefulness for Father Claude Grou’s recovery, following his attack on March 22, and to salute his return to pastoral fonctions, we are happy to share the homily he gave, in French, during Mass on Friday March 29.
Tradition holds that on Holy Friday, church bells everywhere fly away to Rome, receive blessing from the Pope and come back to their parish on Easter Sunday to bring back the good news of Christ reborn!