"This Land is Holy"

2011-05-11

Anticipating John Paul II’s beatification, I thought to reread the various messages that he shared with us during his 1984 visit to Montreal.

The pope had spoken briefly to us upon his arrival at the cathedral on the evening of Monday, Sept. 10. The next day, he had a very demanding schedule and delivered six major exhortations:
- near Brother André's tomb
- in the basilica at the Oratory, where he met with the priests
- near Marguerite Bourgeoys' tomb
- during the Eucharist, celebrated at Jarry Park
- at Notre-Dame Basilica, where he spoke to school children
- at the Olympic Stadium, where tens of thousands of young people had come to hear his message.

While slowly rereading the texts of his talks, I was struck by the importance he placed on the theme of God's presence right here, where we live. Upon his arrival at the cathedral, he told us:

The city spread, was transformed, became modern. But God still has a place here. Rising in the heart of the city as it does, the cathedral bears witness to this. Yes, this land is holy because God dwells in it; his mystery remains as a light, as a call, as a force in the heart of every human person who remains open to his will …

The next day, at Jarry Park, he began his homily by quoting that well-known phrase spoken to Moses: "... the place on which you stand is holy ground" (Ex 3:5).

He expounded on it by asking us a straightforward question:

Dear brothers and sisters of Quebec and Canada, what of your meeting with the living God? Sometimes today's world seems to conceal him, seems to make you forget him. […] And you hear repeated around you: "Where is your God?" (Ps 42:3).

For the human heart, however, there is no way to become accustomed to the absence of God. Like Moses' compatriots, it suffers when removed from his presence. But he is never far from each one of us (Acts 17:27). He is mysteriously present, like the fire that cannot be grasped, like the gentle breeze that cannot be seen (1 Kgs l9:12-13). He beckons to us. He calls us by name to charge us with a mission.

To replace God is an impossible task. […]

This land, the place where we live, is holy land.

Truly these words, spoken to us by John Paul II 27 years ago, are just as relevant today.

+ Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte
   Archbishop of Montreal

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Diaconal Ordinations

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Jason PIPER, acolyte for the diocese of Montreal, will be ordained transitional deacon; Mr. Bernard GLOVER, and Mr. Robin CHEUNG, acolytes for the diocese of Montreal will be ordained permanent deacons, at the Cathedral of Montreal, on Friday, May 27, 2011, at 7:30 p.m.

His Eminence, Jean-Claude cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal, will preside at these ordinations.

Warm welcome!

Fr. Benoît-Marc Boyer
Vice-Chancellor
May 3, 2011-05-09

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Upcoming events :

May 13 7:30 pm Ordination to the Priesthood of Mikel Joel Saavedra Valencia, at Notre-
    Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs church, in Verdun
May 31 7:30 pm Diocesan Patronal Feast - Mary Queen of the World Cathedral

 

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