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Category: Feasts and Celebrations

Lenten journey with Jesus

Christian Lent always begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Palm Sunday, which opens the door to Holy Week.

It is a 40-day journey of fasting, prayer, meditation and sharing, in memory of the 40 days Christ spent in the desert, under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:12-13, Mt 4:1-1, Lk 4:1-13).

This retreat of Jesus into the desert echoes the 40 days and 40 nights of Moses on Mount Sinai where he received the two tablets of the Law (Ex 24:18), his fasting of 40 days and 40 nights to intercede for Israel who had sinned gravely in making and worshipping the golden calf (Deut 9:18. 25), to the 40 years of wandering of the Hebrews in the desert (between Egypt and the Promised Land; Ex 24:18) and finally to the 40 days of the prophet Elijah’s walk to meet God on Mount Horeb (1Ki 19:8).


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.

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)

With Joseph, being attentive to God’s will in our lives

The second Sunday of Advent invites us to be converted, to adjust our lives to what God wants from us.

When we look at the life of Joseph in the Gospels, there is a first thing we can observe: Joseph leaves the field open to God’s action in his life, even if it upsets his plans. Joseph acts by allowing himself to be guided by the Spirit of the Lord of which Isaiah speaks in the first reading of this Sunday: a spirit of wisdom and discernment, a spirit of counsel and strength.

Advent: A time to Draw Closer to God, to Renew our Hope.

Faced with the difficulties of life and the tragic situations of our world, we sometimes doubt the presence of God and his love in our daily lives. Our hope is then put to the test.

The season of Advent reminds us that God is always at work in our lives and wants to be close to us as he was in the life of Saint Joseph. Saint Teresa of Avila used to say to those who are looking for a way to God: “All they have to do is take Saint Joseph as their guide and they will not go astray. Brother André, for his part, kept repeating to all those who approached him: “Go to Joseph, he will know how to listen to you, he will know how to help you.” This is why we propose that for this Advent 2022 we take Saint Joseph as our guide to live this time of preparation for Christmas. May his journey of faith inspire yours!

Easter, Christ is Risen

At Easter we remember the most beautiful and greatest liberation ever offered to humanity: God raising Jesus his Son from the dead.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

On the occasion of the World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis, in his message, writes: “The theme chosen for this day, ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful‘ (Lk 6:36), directs our gaze first of all to God, ‘rich in mercy’ (Eph 2:4), who always looks upon his children with a father’s love, even when they stray from him. In fact, mercy is, the name of God, which expresses his nature, not in the manner of an occasional feeling, but as a force present in all that he accomplishes. He is both strength and tenderness. The theme of this day presents us with a comforting image of God, a God full of mercy, tenderness and forgiveness.

Entering Lent, following Christ and becoming witnesses of hope

Ash Wednesday is that period of the liturgical year when we undertake, with the meaningful rite of the imposition of Ashes, a renewed experience of Christ’s merciful love. Saint Brother André used to say: “The love that our Lord had in his passion brings to light the love of the good Lord for us. “Let us learn from him, to become bearers of hope and to learn how to “give back” his love to our neighbor, especially to those who suffer and are in difficulty. This is the mission of every disciple of Christ. But in order to fulfill this mission it is necessary to convert, as the evangelist Mark’s exhortation, addressed to us upon receiving the ashes, invites us to do: Convert and Believe in the Gospel.

Reflection on HOPE

Feast of Father Basil Moreau, CSC, Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross

One thing I learned many years ago, was that to be a person who lives HOPE in life, it is likely that one has had to live through difficult times. Also, it is likely that one who sees possibilities of HOPE in the challenges faced in life, has been shaped by many challenges, setbacks or failures – yet, has come through it to be a witness of hope to others. Even with such difficulties that one must face, it is possible to face them not with just a naïve optimism, but real HOPE!

At Christmas : Discover Joseph to better know Jesus

A newborn baby is always a source of wonder to family and friends. A new life is full of mystery, full of future, full of hope too. Everyone has their say in what that child will be like. And as the child grows, as his or her personality takes shape, the child will be referred to as “like father, like son” if it is a boy. In Jesus’ day, when talking about him, people used to say, “Isn’t he the son of Joseph the carpenter? »

Commitment to the Mission in the Style of Blessed Basile Moreau

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

September 15, 2020 Feasts and Celebrations

When he founded the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1837, Father Basile Moreau opened the door to a wide range of missionary engagements. ln 1840, he responded to the requests of an Algerian bishop; the next year, he established a new team to support the work of the Church in the American Midwest. Six years later, in 1847, he accepted the invitation of the Bishop of Montréal, and sent a group of Sisters, Brothers and Priests to Quebec. ln 1850, he agreed to send a team to Rome to care for orphans. Finally, in 1852, he acquiesced to a request made by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, and took on the difficult Bengal mission.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart

By Claude Grou, c.s.c.

Member of the Pastoral Team of Saint Joseph's Oratory

June 19, 2020 Faith, Feasts and Celebrations, Spirituality

On this third Friday of June, we celebrate the Sacred Heart. What exactly are we celebrating?