The Archbishop of Ottawa, Terrence Prendergast, keeps a blog that is a daily stop for me. It's called The Journey of a Bishop and it includes a mixture of homilies, reflections on saints, and lots of pictures and news of events around his bilingual diocese.
I think sometimes that maybe he might have been a journalist had not God called him to be a Jesuit priest. I am often at the same events and sometimes he's up arranging folks for a photograph while I'm still lolling in my chair. Sometimes he'll warn that blogging will be light as he's traveling to Rome or something, but then, sure enough, there will be pictures and commentary from Rome, like this post during his recent visit as a member of Vox Clara, when the committee presented the new English translation of the Roman Missal to the Holy Father. It cracks me up. His youth ministry director, who set the blog up for him, told me he took to it like a duck to water.
Sometimes I have been known to borrow the odd photo or bit of text from his blog and put it on mine. Well, imagine my delight when he recently borrowed a little something from the Anglo-Catholic! He also put up a picture of the Adoration chapel that I had written about here, though when I was there it was darkened, with light coming through the stained glass windows. Here's an excerpt of what he used from this post about renewal in the Catholic Church and a homily by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada.
“Nobody is left out,” Ouellet said. “We all have a personal vocation to be with Jesus.”
“Some of us are called to be more publicly exposed,” he said, describing Peter as being called to be in front of the flock and to speak out for the flock.
“Others are behind. John is behind. Peter is the symbol of ministry; John is the symbol of love, pure love, the loving response to the love of Jesus.”
(Thanks to Deborah Gyapong for the photo and this blog she posted at www.theanglocatholic.com)
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Except when Mass was being offered upstairs in the cathedral basilica, Eucharistic adoration took place 24/7 in the lower-level Archbishops' Chapel during the Montee Jeunesse: here a group prays silently on Sunday afternoon
Yesterday, Archbishop Prendergast joined Cardinal Ouellet in Quebec City for a news conference on abortion. This was a courageous move for two reasons. First, the Cardinal has faced an unprecedented wave of vitriol, even having a popular Quebecois columnist wish he would die of a slow, painful illness for his defense of Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life, even in cases of rape. The backlash has been so extraordinary that the Quebec National Assembly (that's what the province calls its provincial legislature) passed a unanimous motion last week, in effect calling on the federal government to assert some sort of inalienable right for women to free and accessible abortion. Canada is the only western nation with absolutely no legal protection for the unborn child until after birth. So, the good bishop was sticking his head up above the parapet in making that sign of solidarity with his brother bishop. Second, Prendergast is bishop of Canada's capital city. He can see the Parliament Buildings from the front door of his cathedral. Ottawa is also home of the National Parliamentary Press Gallery, known for their feeding frenzies on controversial issues. He has put himself in their sights.
And abortion is the hot topic these days in Canada. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced he would lead, as president this year of the G-8, a maternal child and health care initiative to help save the lives of the 900,000 women who die due to preventable complications of pregnancy or childbirth and the also preventable deaths of millions of children five and under due to malnutrition, malaria or unsafe water. Opposition parties have insisted abortion be included in the package. Harper has stood his ground and said no. At the same time, he has also stood his ground against doing anything to "re-open the abortion debate," which means the legal vacuum, the horrific status quo that sees 100,000 abortions a year in Canada, and between 25,000 and 30,000 in Quebec, with a population between 8-9 million people.
The mainstream media have sometimes acted like shills for the Opposition stance that abortion is a right and somehow what's best for women in poorer countries is that we help them kill their babies before they are born. The Holy Father, when visiting Africa, spoke of the danger of spiritual toxic waste being dumped there, and I can't think of a better example than this.
So please join me today in praying for this good bishop and for Cardinal Ouellet and for Canada.
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