Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Palm Sunday in Canada

My parish in Canada.  We are very proud of our spectacular liturgies and our truly phenomenal pastor.

Church of Sts. Joachim and Ann, located in Aldergrove, British Columbia.

It is a newer construction church, completed in the Holy Year 2000.  Located in the Fraser River Valley, east of Vancouver, in a rural, but growing community.

Our very gracious pastor, Fr. William Ashley, was ordained priest in Rome 40 years ago this month.  During his student days in the Eternal City he attended sung Vespers every Sunday in the Vatican Basilica.  A great thing to do while in Rome.

As a boy he grew up in the shadow of the mighty Cathedral of St. John's, on Newfoundland island off Canada's Atlantic coast - truly on the furthest edge of the continent.  There he experienced the splendor of the Roman rite, which included sung Vespers every Sunday.

Fr. Ashley has graciously allowed for this same coherent whole of Catholic life to be passed on to his parishioners.  It warms our hearts to think how our kids are growing up with the same: Sung Mass, Vespers, Tenebrae, Gregorian Chant, and all things good and beautiful.  His father, Dr. John Ashley, was a classics professor who taught his son perfect Latin. 

Directly tied to the traditional liturgical practices of the Roman rite is a progression of values or elements, varying by degrees, which teach our kids Catholic culture.  Although there has been a break in many other parishes with this Catholic life, here our kids inherit the whole liturgical experience.   

Fr. Ashley has passed on this rich liturgical (= cultural) heritage to his parishioners.  We are eternally indebted to him for this.  In the name of our children, we thank him profusely.    

To the best pastor in Canada, thank you! 

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