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Category: Brother André

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

February 2, 2023 Brother André, Feasts and Celebrations, Spirituality

Today’s liturgy is the result of a long evolution in which two elements come together. A celebration of the presentation of Jesus in the temple and a celebration of light. On Christmas night we celebrated Christ, who came to be the Light of the World. Forty days later, this light enters the temple.

The temple, which for the Jewish people was the place of God’s presence among his people, now receives the Light of the World. The ancient rituals of presentation in the temple and purification are suddenly transformed by a light and two people, witnesses of this waiting people, are present to welcome the one who comes to illuminate the temple. They are there to testify that the time of waiting is now over and that the time of full realisation of the promise has arrived.

Brother André, a friend, a saint, a source of pride and life for all of us

It is no coincidence that Brother André was canonized on October 17, 2010, the world day for the fight against poverty. His whole life was dedicated to alleviating the suffering of others, to give them hope and to tell them that they are loved by God.

With Joseph, welcoming Jesus into our lives: “The Lord saves”

This Sunday’s gospel reveals God’s message to Joseph. Through the dream he had, Joseph is invited to enter into God’s plan by welcoming Mary with her child because this unborn child comes from God. Through the angel, God asks Joseph to give this child a name that corresponds to his mission: “You shall call his name Jesus, that is, The Lord and Savior. (Mt 1:21) The evangelist Matthew concludes, “When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel had told him to do.” (v.24)

Saint Brother André, the man who knows how to whisper in God’s ear

“The Good Lord is not far from you. He is close to you. Every time you say Our Father, God’s ear is next to your lips”, Saint Brother André often said.

These few words express the essence of the spiritual and mystical experience of the little lay brother, porter of the Collège Notre-Dame, friend of Saint Joseph and founder of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal.

His continuous meditation on the passion of Christ allowed him to experience and live, in an exceptional way, the mystery of the disconcerting and disconcerting closeness of God, our Father, through his privileged relationship with Saint Joseph.

A listening Ear

A Listening Ear

If you go to pray in front of the urn that contains Brother André’s heart, you have behind you one of three scenes representing episodes from his life: his doorkeeper’s quarters at Notre-Dame College, from which he often contemplated the new Oratory; the office where he welcomed so many pilgrims; the hospital room where he died.

Of the three, the one that strikes me the most is the second one, and here is why. We see the little brother standing there, his eyes bright and welcoming. He listens attentively to the person who speaks to him. He has received so many pilgrims for over thirty years!

At Notre Dame University, Saint Brother André is well known!

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

July 21, 2022 Brother André, Religious Heritage

In June 2022, I was invited to the city of South Bend, Indiana (USA), to attend a conference on religious archives. The event was held on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. This institution shares some commonalities with Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. First, it was founded by a Father of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Father Édouard Sorin (1814-1893). Like the Oratory, the university was placed under the protection of the Congregation of Holy Cross. But above all, Brother André is very present there.

Seven loaves of bread and a few fish

By Patrick Celier, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team at Saint Joseph's Oratory

March 31, 2022 Brother André, Faith, Spiritualité

That morning I was to preach on the Gospel of the Multiplication of the loaves. Now I didn’t feel like talking about the parallel between the multiplication of the loaves and the Eucharist yet. As I reread the Gospel, another clue emerged with the seven loaves.

We are in a desert place, far from any settlement. For three days a huge crowd has been following Jesus without eating. Jesus is moved by compassion. But how to feed all these people? The apostles have only seven loaves of bread. So Jesus asks them to bring them to him. The disciples comply. Jesus blesses the seven loaves and asks the apostles to distribute them. Not only do they feed the crowd, but they collect seven baskets of leftovers! Because they put their poverty at the service of Jesus, he was able to do wonders.

International Recognition

By David Bureau

Archivist, Roland-Gauthier Archive and Documentation Centre

January 6, 2022 Brother André, History

It is sometimes disconcerting for researchers who frequent the shrine archives to note that Brother André’s name is rarely mentioned in the official publications of the Oratory. He does appear here and there, but only on very rare occasions and no article is specifically dedicated to him.

National Week Dedicated to Natural and Close Caregivers

The National Week dedicated to Natural and Close Caregivers will take place from November 7 to 13. Let’s honor the courage of these exceptional people and recognize their social value.

Brother André Memorabilia

By Nathalie Dumas

Editor

October 29, 2021 Brother André

Hat in hand, luggage in tow, Saint André Bessette is flying off to Rome this fall.
The Generalate of the Congregation of Holy Cross will welcome Brother André precious keepsakes from Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. A framed photograph of Brother André with an authentic signature, together with one of his hats, will represent the Oratory’s founder at the exhibition of the Congregation’s holy men.

They will include: Blessed Basile-Antoine Moreau (founder), Venerable Father Patrick Peyton, as well as Most Rev. Theotonius Amal Ganguly, Most. Rev. Vincent McCauley and Brother Flavien Laplante, all of whom have become Servants of God after the Vatican acknowledged their causes.

The Oratory, a Place of Hope and Healing

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

September 24, 2021 Brother André, News

We seem to be on the way out of this long period marked by the pandemic, even if the path remains uncertain and the fear of new waves still present. We have all been affected by this crisis and we understand the importance of healing the wounds caused by these difficult times.

People who suffered from this disease needed medical attention and a shorter or longer healing time. But, all of us need to heal from the isolation, the estrangement, the loss of the landmarks that give direction to our life. We need to experience these moments of brotherhood again: of celebration of life or of support in the ordeal of the death of relatives or friends.

Present in the World Today

“Saint Brother André, we celebrate your presence among us.” This first sentence of the prayer that is offered “to obtain a special favor” through the intercession of Saint Brother André will resonate in a very special way during the month of August which is dedicated to him. More than an occasion to mark the birthday of the founder of the Oratory, born Alfred Bessette on August 9, 1845, this annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the Friend, the Brother, the Saint who accompanies us today.