Tag Archive: terrence prendergast

This Sunday, 14 October 2012, is the mid-point in the current 40 Days for Life campaign.

Following are the details for the Mid-point Rally on Sunday evening:

Sun. Oct.14, 2012, 7:00PM – 8:00 PM @ Ground Zero 65 Bank Street, Ottawa – Candlelight Vigil – Archbishop Prendergast to give a reflection, John Pacheco (Pro-Life Activist & Blogger), Doris G. (Helpers of God Precious Infants), Jennifer Snell, Deacon Charles and Marcel Dion on Vocals!  Come out for an awe inspiring event as we mark the Year of the Faith in the Pro Life Movement!

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast greeting some of those gathered after Vespers on 11 October 2012

Archbishop Prendergast presided at Vespers in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa, yesterday evening to mark the beginning of the Year of Faith.  There was a good presence of pastors and other parish representatives.  Towards the end of the service, candles were lighted and the faith was professed using the Apostles Creed.

Yesterday, 11 October, was the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  I was pleased that the Archbishop, in his homily, acknowledged that the aftermath of Vatican II is not without contention.  The Archbishop encouraged us to “see the good” in those who hold different views than us.

How we face this tension is going to be important in the years ahead.  Thanks be to God we have Pope Benedict XVI who is leading the way in helping us to understand how to properly interpret the Conciliar teachings.  We must follow the Pope!

Some more – blurry! – photos from last night can be found here.


Today, during the 40 Days for Life, students of Saint Paul University are covering the times on the vigil roster for praying at the abortion mill at 65 Bank Street Ottawa.  I’m about to head down there for my hour, and I’ll also be taking one of the slots for the proclamation of the scriptures.  During the 40 Days for Life here in Ottawa, the Bible is proclaimed from beginning to end at the abortion mill, as a sign that this is a prayerful campaign asking God to change hearts.

The Year of Faith begins on Thursday 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

To mark this beginning, here in Ottawa there will be Prayers in Notre Dame Cathedral at 7.30pm on October 11th.

Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa has also issued a pastoral letter for the Year of Faith, which can be viewed here: 2012 09 14 Archbishops Letter for the Year of Faith.

The Holy See has also made known the occasions on which a plenary indulgence may be gained during the Year of Faith.  See here for details.  The list gives some interesting ideas of how we might enter into the Year of Faith.  Fr Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity has some more information on indulgences which readers may find helpful.

The new home of the Queenship of Mary Community in Metcalfe

This morning I had the blessing to be able to visit the Queenship of Mary Community at their new convent in Metcalfe, not far from Ottawa.  The Queenship of Mary Community were established as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful by decree of the Archbishop of Ottawa, Terrence Prendergast SJ, on March 26, 2012.  This is one of the stages along the way to their being – God willing – established as a Religious Institute at some stage down the track.

With the Sisters at breakfast

This morning’s visit began with a concelebrated Mass in the Sisters’ Chapel.  This was followed by a festive breakfast on account of the feast day of Saint Matthew.

At prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

Following breakfast we made a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, concluding with Benediction, most appropriately given by Fr Matthew, on his feast day.

It is always a blessing to spend time with these joy-filled and Spirit-led women who are pursuing holiness in union with Christ and the Blessed Virgin, for the sake of the Church and especially for her priests.

Please pray for the Queenship of Mary Community in these exciting and important foundation years of their Institute.

Father Matthew Wertin and Father Adrian Sharp with the Sisters of the Queenship of Mary Community

Some more photos of this morning’s visit can be viewed here.

On August 5th this blog, A secular priest, will turn one!  I must admit that it feels like it’s been going longer.  I knew the birthday was approaching because I started the blog around the time of preparing to go to last year’s canon law conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  I head to this year’s conference tomorrow.   The first post on A secular priest appeared on 5 August 2011, and as I mentioned in one of the early posts “Why a blog?” the actual act of creating the blog was in fact a mistake.  After making the mistake (i.e. clicking the wrong button whilst trying to do something else), I figured that I might as well see where things went, and here we are today!

Since beginning a year ago I’ve made 447 posts, and there have 26,184 page views.   Readers come predominantly from Australia, the United States, and Canada.  Since 25 February 2012 the page views from each of those countries was 6254, 2848, and 2373 respectively.  For that same period there were 517 page views from the United Kingdom.  Curiously, the posts that always generate the most traffic are ones announcing the appointment of new bishops!  So thank you to Bishops Tomlinson, Kennedy, McGuckin, and Archbishops Costelloe and Coleridge for bring visitors this way!

One of my main motivations for pursuing the blog was to be able to communicate in some way with those back home whilst I was in Canada.   It would be simple if everyone was just on Facebook, but that’s never going to happen (not to mention any names, but you know who you are)!  And so, if you are going to try to be available and accessible via modern social communications media, it seems to be necessary to use several different modes at the same time.  I recently ventured into Twitter after curiosity got the better of me.  Someone asked me recently if I started the blog so that I could still “have a say” back home, and there’s probably some truth in that too!  It is interesting, and still surprises me, when someone brings up the blog in conversation.  I’ve received enough feedback over the year to lead me to conclude that it’s something worthwhile to do.  How it will evolve into the future, especially once I return to Brisbane in December, I’m not sure, but we’ll see what happens.

After nearly a year of blogging, I am even more impressed by the truly “serious” bloggers.  At the 2010 joint conference of the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy of both Australia and the United States – together with clergy from the United Kingdom before their Confraternity was established – I heard many positive comments about Fr Tim Finigan’s blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity (Fr Finigan spoke at the conference).  At the time I wasn’t really sure what a blog was, and certainly wasn’t in the habit of looking at them!  His blog is still one of my favourites because his posts are succinct, based in pastoral ministry, and he covers a variety of topics that I find interesting.  Fr John Zuhlsdorf’s What Does the Prayer Really Say? is always full of interesting news, and good for a laugh too!  I have enjoyed his cooking photos.

I’ve said it before, but I really admire how someone like Archbishop Terrence Prendergast SJ of Ottawa is able to maintain his blog, The Journey of a Bishop.  Archbishop Prendergast’s schedule of activities is impressive to start with, and yet he still makes time to offer posts on his blog.  What a wonderful way of reaching out to the people of the Archdiocese and beyond.  I really do hope that my own (new) Archbishop, Mark Coleridge, in Brisbane, will take up blogging.  I’m sure if he did his offerings would be informative and engaging and would allow the people of the Archdiocese to really tune in to their spiritual leader.  It would also be a very concrete example and expression of his desire that we as a Church need to reach out in a new way, and not just “circle the wagons.”  [No pressure Your Grace!]

Anyway, whatever it is that brings you to A secular priest, thank you for coming by, and I hope your visit here provides something helpful, useful, or interesting.   I see the blog as one aspect of my priestly ministry, and a way of connecting with and encouraging fellow travellers as we strive to live God’s will in our lives.

I saw the following Litany of Blog Humility the other day on The hermeneutic of continuity (quoting from here).   Whilst I clearly fail on most points, it’s good to be reminded of the need for humility when one sets one’s words before the gaze of the world.

The Litany of Blog Humility
From the desire of my blog being read
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the desire of my blog being praised
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the fear of my blog being despised
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the fear of my blog being forgotten
Deliver me dear Jesus
From the fear of no page views
Deliver me dear Jesus
That other blogs may be loved more than mine
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That Nihil Obstat may find all my grammatical and spelling errors
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That Google may never list my blog
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That comments always be negative and abusive
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That my commenting system always say “commenting temporarily unavailable”
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That Mark Shea may notice every blog but mine
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That others may be pithier than I, provided that I may become as pithy as I should
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it


Today is Pentecost Sunday, and with it begins the Year of Grace which has been called by the Australian bishops.  The brochure that was handed out at Masses in Brisbane this weekend says that the Year of Grace is

A holy time, given by God, to start afresh from Christ;  to contemplate his face and listen to God’s Word, that Jesus may heal our wounds, overcome all our divisions, and make us rich in hope, so that we may show forth his face and speak God’s saving Word to the world in new ways.

The local Brisbane Archdiocesan website for the Year of Grace can be found here.  There is also a Facebook group.

The Year of Grace in Australia will overlap with the Year of Faith, an international Year called for by Pope Benedict beginning in October on the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but I don’t think that will matter much as both Years will have a similar goal: renewal of faith in Jesus Christ.

Click here to go to the National Year of Grace Prayer – perhaps you could say it when you make your morning offering, or as part of grace before the evening meal?

In other news … (including the suggestion, or two)

I haven’t had much chance for blogging of late!  I am half-way through my tribunal and chancery practicum, so that keeps me occupied for most of the week.

I did get slightly excited when I saw an announcement in the Archdiocesan Clergy Bulletin announcing that the Archdiocese was going to take up the new social media.  Because I read the notice in a hurry I assumed that meant Facebook.   However, when I read the notice more carefully later, it seems we haven’t gone that far yet.  But, for those of you who use Twitter, who can follow the Archdiocese of Brisbane at https://twitter.com/BneArchdiocese  Hopefully the Archdiocese might join the rest of us on Facebook soon!

But it did get me thinking … what would be really excellent, in my humble opinion, is if Archbishop Coleridge took up blogging!   Since he is already showing himself to be a very “hands on” leader, a blog would give all of us direct and constant contact with his thoughts and activities.

The excellent Archbishop of Ottawa, Terrence Prendergast SJ, maintains a very informative blog (The Journey of a Bishop) complete with pictures detailing his many pastoral and other engagements in the Archdiocese of Ottawa, in Canada, and internationally.  I’m not sure how he finds the time to do it, but he is certainly setting a good example of what is possible.

On the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the Church throughout the world takes up the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary in praise of God.

Here in Ottawa we had an extra reason to sing for joy as we celebrated this great feast.  Today a group of five women said their own “yes” to the Lord as they received the habit of the newly established Queenship of Mary Community.  At 11am in the Archbishop’s Chapel underneath Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, blessed the habits of the new community.

Immediately following this ceremony, Mass was celebrated, during which the Archbishop read his decree establishing the Queenship of Mary Community as a private association of the Christian faithful.  The journey to becoming a religious institute in the Church is one that passes through many phases of testing and discernment, and today is yet another important milestone for the Queenship of Mary Community.

The archbishop then received the temporary profession of vows of four of the newly established community, and also assigned them religious names.  The fifth member will remain a novice for the moment, and make profession in the not-too-distant future.

A few photos follow, and more can be found on Flickr.

UPDATE 27 MARCH 2012:  See Archbishop Prendergast’s blog for his post on the occasion and more photos.

On Monday, 26 March 2012, at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast SJ will celebrate Mass at 12.15pm.  During this Mass, Alice Fougère, Jennifer MacDonald, Teresa Kargul, and Madeleine Thomson will be professing temporary vows, and receiving habits and religious names, and Genevieve Moncrieff will be receiving her habit.  His Grace will also erect the Queenship of Mary as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful, another important step of the Queenship of Mary Community on the way to becoming, formally, a religious institute in the Church.

All are invited and welcome to join with the Archbishop and the Sisters for this special Mass.  A reception will follow in the Cathedral hall following Mass.

[Update 30 March 2012: Post about the clothing ceremony and temporary profession, with photos, here.]

Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa especially suggests Lectio divina – the prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture – for individuals, families and households this Lent.

See his letter here: 2012 Archbishop’s Pastoral Letter for Lent.

Source: http://archottawa.ca/