Some of you may have seen a few of the glorious pictures or listened to the audio of the wonderful welcome Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast gave us Anglicans here on April 15. But the generosity has continued, first and foremost with the priest he has loaned to us, Fr. Francis Donnelly, who is a canon lawyer of all things — but I must say it was really helpful to have the combination of expertise in someone who could never be dubbed legalistic and who at the same time is deeply faithful when a number of us had to get marriage irregularities or questions about baptism or confirmation straightened out before being received into the Catholic Church.
On Saturday, when a group of us gathered at a restaurant after our first Eucharist with Fr. Francis, Carl Reid, our former bishop, told us how Archbishop Prendergast had accompanied him the previous Friday to the home of a shut-in parishioner and his wife.
When the archbishop was ready to confirm the couple and give them Holy Communion, he stood in their living room in a cope and mitre. Carl Reid found it very moving that he would go to so much trouble. To me it represents the splendor of Christ and His love for the least among us, the most humble, the most marginalized — the frail and the ill.
Also on Sunday we heard news that the Archbishop will come celebrate Mass at our humble little parish on Ascension Day, May 17. Considering that it would take him more than two years to visit every one of his parishes if he visited one a week, it is extraordinary that he is coming to us. Perhaps it helps that we will celebrate Ascension on the Thursday, while the Catholic Church in Canada has transferred the feast to the following Sunday.