Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Since Arriving here January 2 I have been made to feel at home. Archbishop Prendergast, Frs. Kevin Beach, V.G., and Geoffrey Kerslake, E.V. have been very helpful and welcoming, as have been the staff at Kilborn. Kilborn is a former Seminary, which nows houses the pastorcal center for the Archdiocese of Ottawa and other offices, it is also the home of the JPII residence for priests (left side of the building) which is where I live. It is a nice set up, we each have our own one bedroom apartment, there are about 15 or so other priests who live here, and a community of nuns.
The commute to class is about 10-15 drive so not bad. My neighbour is also a canon law student Fr. Paul Morris from the Archdiocese of Halifax so we usually share the driving. It is also nice having someone from the east coast around as well. St. Pauls is a nice campus not that big, many people from the archdiocese of St. John's have been here over the years either as Seminarians or at the summer institutes.
Since I have arrived here I have been concelebrating mass on the weekends at Notre Dame Cathedral, starting next month I will be put on the regular rotation for the english masses there. During the weekdays we say mass at the residence or on campus. I miss the regular parish community so once I get to know some people it will be good. I have already met for expatriate Newfoundlanders and Labradorians at the Cathedral on the weekends.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Yesterday was a great highlight the closing mass over 70 000 people packed into Croke Park (Soccer Stadium) for the great celebration of our faith. The Statio Orbis Mass was an extraordinary rich experience: an hour of music and testimonies broadcast by RTE, the Irish National Broadcasting System (picked up by Salt + Light and other Catholic networks), and the Holy Father's closing message, which included the announcement that Cebu, Philippines would host the next ICE in 2016. Despite the walking, waiting and the rain, everyone was in great spirits and really enjoyed the mass. Yes, eventually the Sun did come out and stay out. It was great to see so many people from around the world come to gather to celebrate our common faith. Our own canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet was the main celebrant. The music and testimonies before mass was a great highlight, wee even heard from the Irish Tenors, and the "Priests" After a hike back to our bus, we headed back to our hotel for our last night. We head a lovely supper and a fews laughs to say the least. After a goodnight sleep we are getting ready to head to the airport. We arrive early Tuesday morning. Please keep us in your prayers.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Day 9, with the exception of driving to and from the Royal Dublin Society was spent at the Eucharistic Conference. When we arrived we headed straight for the the main stadium for the Catechesis and a witness talk. We listened to the Archbishop of Manila, Philippines it was a very emotional talk. During the morning as well in between the talks some of us moved around mingling with people from around the world. We then gathered for Mass at 12noon, at least 15, 000 people, an African Cardinal was the main presider. It poured rain, but it did not seem to dampen anyone's spirit, as the Cardinal said we had be showered with God's Grace. After mass we were free to roam the grounds for lunch, and take in more talks. We also had more time to explore the exhibition hall. One of the great experiences of the last few days is meeting the other pilgrims from the various parts of the world, 130 countries are represented. We then boarded our bus at 5 and toured a little more of the city making a stop at the old city wall of Dublin, and the hight-light was stopping at Kilmainham Jail site of the song "Grace". We then headed back to the hotel for some rest and supper. Today we had a late breakfast, and a chance to sleep in. The closing mass is at 2:00pm over 80 000 people are expected to attend and the sun is shining, lets pray it stays that way.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
We started the day with morning prayer on the Bus as we drove into the city. It was a wonderful experience, and Anne and Fr. Steve explained what the Liturgy of the Hours is. We arrived at the Royal Dublin Society with thousands of other pilgrims. The morning we were free to roam the grounds and take in some of the talks. There are speakers here, Clergy, Religious and Lay from all over the world. There is also a great exhibition hall here with exhibits from around the globe. At 2 pm we with all the other pilgrims gathered in the main stadium for a catechesis talk from the Archbishop of Bagdad, Iraq. Afterwards we joined in a global rosary uniting with people from all over the world. There was a witness talk about forgiveness and God's Love given by a young woman from Uganda. We then celebrated mass together (with the anointing of the sick) in the stadium about 15000 people. Fr. Steve was able to meet up with some friends from his seminary days. After mass we made our way back to the bus, on the drive home everyone shared their experience's of the day. People were amazed at just how big and diverse the Church really is. The pilgrims are truly seeing and experiencing the Church universal. We had a lovely Lamb supper last night. Today we head back for another day of the IEC.