300th anniversary of Saint-Laurent Parish
The atmosphere in Saint-Laurent Parish was festive as the celebrations commemorating its 300th anniversary came to a close on Sunday, August 8, two days before the parish’s patronal feast day. So many are to be thanked for their contributions to these celebrations, that provided an opportunity to give thanks for the past at the same time as we look forward to the future with great optimism!
"This is a great day, a day of celebration," the priest declared at the beginning of the Mass that closed celebrations for the 300th anniversary of Saint-Laurent Parish. "This is a story, the story of our Lord being present here through our community," he added. The parish, founded some years prior to 1720 at the insistence of the first French settlers by the Marquis de Vaudreuil and governor of Nouvelle France, Philippe de Rivaux, was canonically erected in 1720 by the second Bishop of Quebec City and Nouvelle France, Jean-Baptiste de La Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier.
Like a great tree...
Attending the event held in the heart of the Laurentian community, Archbishop Christian Lépine expressed his joy at being able to celebrate the 300-year history of this institution whose religious and social aspects move forward together "hand in hand’’. He stated, ‘‘As we celebrate Saint-Laurent Parish we are also celebrating the history of a living environment. And such growth!"
"When we see a beautiful, perfectly-formed tree in blossom, it is because before that, there was a smaller tree. And the reason that small tree became a great tree is thanks to its roots," said the Archbishop, referring to the human roots of the parish itself and of the Borough of Saint-Laurent, whose "men and women were committed from generation to generation and who passed on the torch of life and work, of family and generosity, of society" and Christianity.
Reflecting on how the words of St. Paul have always resonated with him, "What do you have that you did not receive? (1 Cor 4:7), Archbishop Lépine emphasized, "we have received so much." He went on to say that celebrating this anniversary is an opportunity for us to give thanks for all these gifts, in the hope that they will continue to develop roots for our future generations: "What we have received is the fruit of the labour of men and women who gave their lives.’’
Saint-Laurent, a mosaic
Those assembled, along with the many liturgical servers, represented a diversity that was as much Christian and religious as it was cultural and social: a rich and splendid mosaic! "Saint Laurent is a tiny corner of the world, but I would say the whole planet is reflected here in all its varied dimensions," said the Archbishop.
With thanks to the choir, the congregation was able to express its joy and gratitude through songs, sometimes classical, sometimes well-known, and sometimes taken from the tradition of the African and other communities. Leader of the Opposition Dominique Anglade enjoyed the event, mentioning in her speech that even she had done "a few little dance steps."
Official guests included, among others, MP for Saint-Laurent Emmanuella Lambropoulos, MLA for Saint Laurent Marwah Rizqy, MLA for Acadie Christine St-Pierre and Mayor of the Borough of Saint Laurent Alan DeSousa, who has been participating in parish events for several years.
"I don't think we can speak about the Borough of Saint Laurent without talking about the church and the role it has played in the vibrant life of this community, in the past as well as in what the future has yet in store," said the mayor.
Outside the church following Mass, boxed lunches were provided as the festivities continued. Everyone took the time to enjoy the day and stop for a talk.
To see some highlights from the celebration, visit the parish Facebook page: https://fb.watch/7t_FO7KOO5/
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