“The People’s Testimony Of Faith Stimulates My Faith And Hope.”
Several years ago a diocesan priest from the South Shore gave this touching testimony on his website: “If I am free on a Sunday, I like to participate in one of the Sunday Masses at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. The liturgy is simple. The singing is beautiful. And above all, the gathering of the faithful speaks volumes. The testimony of people’s faith, modest but real, stimulates my faith and my hope… People of all nations, of all colors, of all ages, of all states of health and probably of diverse religions, come to pray to God during the Eucharist, and to Saint Joseph in the huge hall with votive lamps and to Brother André at his tomb. It is truly the universal Church that is present here and it is, visibly, the salvation wrought by Jesus for all that is manifested here.”
This priest revealed in his testimony a reality whose importance we cannot stress enough. The pilgrims’ witness of faith, modest but real, stimulates the faith and hope not only of this priest but mine also, that of the Oratory staff and that of other pilgrims and visitors. One of the greatest riches of our shrine is the faith of the people who come here.
Those responsible for the pastoral care of the Oratory recognize in the pilgrims this true faith, initiated in baptism and then expressed, not only in worship but also in culture, in their daily ways of expressing their search for God, of living the values of the Gospel and of their devotion to Mary, Joseph and Saint André.
The pilgrimage of people who come to Saint Joseph’s Oratory is a great gesture of faith, the simplest and also the deepest and the most universal. As a pastoral team, we learn a lot and we are nourished by prayer with the pilgrims themselves, by the Word of God and by the example of the faith of the People of God. Our longing for change nourishes our hope.
On this 10th anniversary of the canonization of Saint André and despite this coronavirus pandemic which affects us all, we want to express our gratitude to you, pilgrims and friends of Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Year after year, you come to the shrine or you write to us; you bear witness to an unfailing faith, at once simple and generous, trusting and grateful to the Lord. You don’t even suspect all the good you do and the hope you sow. And, in this time of pandemic, more than ever we are united in prayer. Let us ask Saint Joseph and Saint André to keep us in hope and to help us through this trial with courage, serenity and mutual aid.
Thank you for revealing to us the action of God through your life and for nourishing our hope. May the Lord bless you and fill you with his love.
Jean-Pierre Aumont, CSC, rector