Second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. In the Gospel today, the disciples experience fear. We too continue to experience unknowns, and these ongoing restrictions continue to create doubt. Our Lord stands in our midst, and offers us peace, His peace! As we continue walking during this Easter Season, let us know God’s love and mery in our lives! Like the disciples, we are indeed witnesses to God’s mercy, having encountered the Crucified and Risen Lord!
The Easter Season is a seaon of joy! Today, April 11th, is the Dedication of St. Finnan’s! It is a joy for our North Glengarry Parishes, as well as for the church in the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall.
This is great news for us! I have invited His Grace Archbishop Marcel Damphousse to read this official decree at our 11AM mass. Unfortunately, with these new restrictions we had to change our plans. His Grace will be present at a later date, also to bless the monument outside with the new name – St. Finnan’s Basilica -, hopefully followed by a reception!
Why is this happening today? As we see in the chronology, on May 6, 2020, our two dioceses officially became one – the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. The name “cathedral” is given to churches that are the centre of the diocese, where the bishop typically presides at important liturgies. Indeed, the cathedral gets its name from the presence of the bishop’s chair, aka cathedra (Latin word for “chair”). St. Finnan’s was no longer the cathedral since His Grace Archbishop Marcel Damphousse now lives in Ottawa, at the rectory for Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
A team of parishioners was formed last year to petition the Pope asking for the title of basilica for St. Finnan’s! Thank you to each and everyone of you sharing your gifts and talents in this process!
The approval by Rome recognizes in St. Finnan’s church its extraordinary beauty with a rich history! It is a great honour for all of us involved! Our North Glengarry Parishes Finance and Pastoral Teams will continue the discussions of what it means for all parishioners.
Finally, “basilica” is also used as an honorary title that is bestowed upon a Roman Catholic church. It is an important Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope. Once the title is bestowed upon a basilica, it may never be taken away. Working along with the Archdiocese, we hope to open our doors to parishioners and visitors who would like to come here on a pilgrimage, or simply to visit our beautiful home.
Stay tuned for more details and important dates to come. God Bless you, and Mary protect you.
St. Finnan’s, pray for us! Have a great week. Peace.