Friday, January 1, 2010

A Happy New Year's Day with Archbishop Prendergast

A Wonderful Way to Ring in the New Year

Yes, our "special friend" mentioned in my last post was Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. The kids and I picked up Anne-Marie from the airport around 2:30pm yesterday, and were at His Grace's residence by 4. We had a lovely dinner, unwrapped a present or two, and then, as the girls went off to bed, Isaiah, the Archbishop and I watched Canada play the USA in the World Juniors. For one who doesn't watch much hockey, I found the game quite exciting.

The highlight of the next day was the Holy Mass celebrated by His Grace at noon. As I sat there, holding my baby Stephen who had thankfully drifted off to sleep, I experienced a rare and marked joy. It may have been the Cathedral itself that was responsible for this, maybe it was the solemnity of His Grace's mass - I'm not sure, but I found myself wanting to be no where else in the world, ever. And I'm certainly not a city-guy. For a city, Ottawa is lovely, yes, but it can't hold a candle to my Barry's Bay.

So I was surprised that I should find my perpetual desire to return home like a migrating bird suddenly fastened upon the very spot upon which I was then sitting. Was it the Real Presence of Christ reaching out to me? One can almost feel the presence of the saints there; the stunning, ornate statuary communicates their presence so palpably. Notre Dame Cathedral is truly one of the gems of the Church in this country.

Well, after lunch we bade His Grace goodbye, to begin our long and rather snowy drive home. I am never sure that he knows how much we love him and are grateful for his friendship.

Dominus vobiscum.

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