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Category: History

The Spanish Flu

By Martin Brideau

Archives Technician

May 28, 2020 History

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.

The broadcasting of masses

By Martin Brideau

Archives Technician

April 29, 2020 History

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.

To Free from suffering following the example of Saint Brother André

Over the years, the Counseling Office of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, a space of welcome, of listening, and of compassion, has without question become a valuable service offered to people who are wounded, not necessarily physically – as was the case in the time of Brother André (1904 to 1937) — but rather psychically, psychologically, emotionally, affectively, morally, and religiously.

What Remains of Brother André Today?

By Julie Buduroi

Registrar of Collections, Saint Joseph's Oratory Museum

February 20, 2020 Brother André, History

Brother André left few objects behind. The few pieces preserved at the Oratory Museum remind us that Brother André was a simple man. His great devotion to Saint Joseph moved large crowds in the early 20th century. This immense faith left us a legacy: the internationally renowned sanctuary, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal.

New Year’s pilgrimage

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!

A short history of the great Beckerath organ in the Oratory Basilica

By Vincent Boucher et Denis Juget

Titular Organist at the Oratory / Organ Builder

September 26, 2019 Arts and culture, History

In 1957, Rudolf von Beckerath installed a 44-stop organ in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He then made a trip to Montreal, at the invitation of organists Kenneth Gilbert, Raymond Daveluy and Lucienne and Gaston Arel.

Alfred Bessette : Novice (1870-1874)

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

August 15, 2019 Brother André, History

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.

Rituals for the Blessing of Vehicles

By Martin Brideau

Archives Technician

July 18, 2019 History, Pilgrimages and Devotions

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

Easter Bells at the Oratory

By Andrée-Anne Doane

Titular Carillonist of Saint Joseph's Oratory

March 27, 2019 Fêtes et célébrations, History

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!

Everything to God in a Consecrated Life

Saint John Paul II initiated what would become the instauration of February 2 as the annual World Day for Consecrated Life. The date is symbolic in using the same date as the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord at the Temple.

Saint Brother André’s Guide

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

January 29, 2019 Brother André, History

We recently found trace of someone who played a key role in Saint Brother André’s religious life: Father Joseph André Provençal (1817-1889).

Colours from Another Era

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

September 24, 2018 Arts and culture, History

Discover architectural drawings and sketches from the very beginnings of the conceptual work on the Basilica and the Crypt Church. Full article in French here