Tuesday, May 24, 2016
The old Basilica, begun in 1695. Raised to the status of Basilica by Pope St. Pius X, of blessed memory. The miraculous tilma of Juan Diego was kept here from 1709 - 1974. Although closed in recent years because it has been sinking, it is open again and a very special place to pray.
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Monday, May 23, 2016
Sunday, May 22, 2016
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Saturday, May 21, 2016
And it teaches kids adult skills.
Mom had jobs day every Saturday. We worked. And we learned to clean well and actually to like it. And to take our turn and do our share.
That's how kids learn. They have to be taught at home by mom and dad. Many adults are slob children who were never instructed by their own parents how to clean and maintain a house like a grown up.
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"As a cruel persecutor of the faith she had sworn to defend, Elizabeth was excommunicated and deposed by St. Pius V, February 24, 1570, and the Bull of excommunication was found on May 25, the Feast of Corpus Christi, on the gates of the Bishop of London's palace, where it had been placed by John Felton, a brave ands zealous Catholic gentleman. After this act he refused by fly, trusting, he said, to God's grace for whatever might happen, and when teh escort arrived for his arrest, he voluntarily surrendered himself. Both at his apprehension and his trial, he openly acknowledged having posted up the Bull, and said that, as he held the Pope to be the Vicar of Christ, what came from him ought to be duly venerated. Notwishstanding this public confession, he was three times racked in the vain hope of extracting from him admission, compromising others. In his sation doublet, on the day of his martyrdom, as he faced the crowd, calm and unmoved, he looked indeed a royal champion, and he told the people that he died for the Catholic faith. His last words on being disembowelled were "Jesus, Jesus." He sent the Queen, from the scaffold, a ring worth 400, showing he bore her personally no ill-will. He suffered, St. Paul's Churchyard, London, August 8, 1570."
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Thursday, May 19, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Construction of this convent was begun in 1871. The property is a lovely 6.5 acres, located next to Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, B.C.
Today this precious link to the past is owned by the Province of British Columbia and houses offices of the Ministry of Advanced Education. It would be nice to see the property revived once again as a private Catholic girls school. Girls in uniform and nuns in habit. The best of what it always offered.
Pray for more female religious vocations to fill our empty convents. It will take robust new religious orders to rise and reclaim what has been lost -- the priceless value of a Catholic education by religious nuns.
Commemorated in the busts flanking the entrance to the chapel are Mother Marie Anne Blondin, the Foundress of the Sisters of St. Ann, and Bishop Ignatius Bourget, the Bishop of Montreal when the congregation was established in 1850. They were pioneers.
Convents have always been special places. Each one an oasis of peace.
Lots of thought always went into the layout, design and construction.
Always a large parlor with a piano. Immaculate and clean. Lovely, feminine sisters in their long and flowing habits; brides of Christ. A lovely novitiate garden where flowers for the altar were grown. Sometimes a single crab apple tree, to serve as a pollinator for other trees. Large, French casement windows. Art and music rooms. Classrooms, dormitory, library. The Sacred Heart enthroned. A crystal chandelier. Orchards, a cemetery, a formal garden, an outdoor Marian shrine for the May crowning. A bell to ring. A refectory with an image of the Last Supper, the infirmary with access to the chapel. The priests breakfast room for the chaplain, with attached confessional.
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Sic Itur Ad Astra ("thus one journeys to the stars").
Victoria is the oldest Canadian Diocese west of Toronto (1846). A lot of history here.
The chapel, seen here, was the first cathedral of Victoria which at one time included Alaska - construction of the chapel was completed in 1858. It was built by Brother Joseph Michaud, who became the first priest ordained in the chapel. Just imagine, Pontifical Mass celebrated here in the 1850s, on an island wilderness, on the edge of the Empire.
The chapel boasts treasures such as a Casavant organ and 23 cart gold-leaf detailing with Francophone artwork that help make it a national historic site. During the 1960s the historic altar and communion rail were discarded by the nuns and the chapel was painted a somber grey. It has since been restored by the Province of British Columbia.
Today the property is owned by the provincial government -- the school was closed and sold in 1973. The property has been designated by National, Provincial and Municipal governments as a heritage site. The 1997 renovation and restoration cost $16.5 million.
The chapel is now rented out for weddings - sadly, to any or no religion as an interfaith rental facility. The old nuns would be rolling over in their graves if they knew this.
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