With these words, Pope Francis invites us to take advantage of Lent 2024 as a journey where we allow God to guide us towards freedom. “When God reveals Himself,” says Pope Francis, “He communicates freedom: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery'” (Ex 20:2).
At times when hope may be lacking, and we feel powerless to build a more fraternal and solidarity-oriented world, a world where peace and care for the most vulnerable are priorities.
“Lent is the time of grace during which the desert becomes – as the prophet Hosea announces – the place of first love (Hos 2:16-17)… God brings us back to Him and whispers words of love to our hearts.”
150 years ago, on February 2, 1874, Brother André, known in the secular world as Alfred Besset, pronounced his perpetual vows as a religious of the Holy Cross. The newspapers of 1924 highlighted this golden jubilee, emphasizing the figure of the good brother and his dedicated work to Saint Joseph, which was developing on Mount Royal.
One hundred and fifty years ago, on February 2, 1874, Brother André confirmed his commitment to live as a religious of the Holy Cross. Three years earlier, at the end of his novitiate, the superiors had hesitated to accept him into the community. There were concerns that, with his fragile health, he might be unable to actively participate in the mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
In the rear of the Basilica, in a small apsidal chapel, rests a remarkable and particularly precious object for the Congregation of Holy Cross: the original tombstone of its founder, Blessed Basile-Antoine-Marie Moreau. The story of its journey is relatively enigmatic.
In this Christmas season, may peace and serenity flood your hearts and homes. May the light of the star that guided the Three Wise Men to the newborn Christ illuminate your path and bring you hope and joy.
Christmas is a special time to share love, compassion and generosity with those closest to us, and even with those we don’t know. It’s an opportunity to reach out to those in need, to spread the warmth of friendship and to cultivate mutual understanding.
A recent advertisement from an insurance company had a recurring theme in recent months: THERE.
All human beings are unique, in their essence, in the events of their lives, and in how they react to them. They are there, they are at that point in their lives. There, at a place, at a moment, but never in immobility.
Some people are naturally optimistic, while others are habitually pessimistic, and this gives a particular color to the entirety of their lives. Yes, there are characteristics that are unique to us and that paint a picture of who we are.
We had the grace and privilege of participating in the World Youth Days from July 23rd to August 9th in Portugal. We had a beautiful experience that was both spiritual, human, and fraternal!
After spending a week in the diocese of Faro, we experienced the world days with 1.5 million young people in Lisbon, including 5000 Canadians and 400 Montrealers. We also had the opportunity to visit our heavenly mother in Fatima.
Every year in October, we celebrate Thanksgiving. This harvest time encourages us to give thanks for the bounties of nature. At the Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, we give thanks to the Lord for His bountiful gifts, but we give thanks in a very special way for this place of welcome, prayer, and peace, and for the one who made it possible, Saint Brother André. On October 19, we commemorate the anniversary of the first Mass celebrated in 1904 in this small oratory on the mountain, and on the 17th, we also give thanks on the anniversary of Brother André’s canonization.
Scriptures have the ability to introduce God into our lives much like the sun brings light to the earth. The journey through the Bible can be surprising, beautiful, shocking, or bewildering, but powerful; at times, life seems to spring forth from God’s Word like clear blue skies with an irresistible force.
In this month of Saint Brother André, Patron Saint of Caregivers, we want to highlight the importance of those who devote much of their time and energy to people who are ill and isolated because of their age or loss of autonomy. Following the example of the Canaanite woman in the Gospel of the August 9th liturgy, and of Saint Brother André, caregivers know that life is no match for hope when it comes to believing. Believing as an immense yes to life.
In October 1995, delegates from the poorest families in several countries came to Quebec to speak at the UN. Philippe, one of the leaders who was working to promote the dignity of the poorest individuals and families through his involvement in the ADT Fourth World* movement, and who was preparing to welcome them, wrote to me: “We feel very close to Brother André’s commitment and spirituality, and we hope that these delegates will be able to visit the Oratory and discover Brother André’s life.”
On several occasions, Saint Joseph moved from one place to another. In Luke’s Gospel, we see Joseph traveling to Bethlehem for the census of the people according to the decree of Caesar Augustus. Joseph and Mary also travel to Jerusalem for the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The Holy Family also travels to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish Passover. In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, there is the flight into Egypt.
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