Wednesday, August 16, 2017

100th Anniversary of Fatima Devotions in Canada

This is my wonderful parish in Aldergrove, Canada, the church of Saints Joachim and Ann.

It is a suburban parish located in the fast-growing Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver.  The pastor is the famous Fr. William Ashley, son of the late Dr. John Ashley of St. John's Newfoundland.  

The future of the Archdiocese of Vancouver is here, where young families continue to settle in droves, seeking affordability and less traffic congestion. 

For the centenary celebration this year Fr. Ashley has initiated Fatima devotions the 13th of each month, beginning May 13.  About 250 faithful have showed up for each evening of prayer; everyone bringing their prayer intentions to the altar.  The ceremony consists of Marian hymns, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a sermon, rosary and outdoor procession.    

Fr. Ashley grew up experiencing the magnificent cathedral liturgies of his native parish, the Cathedral of St. John in St. John's.  He was ordained in the Vatican Basilica in 1977.  

Father Ashley has done pastoral work in both the USA and Canada.  I am immensely grateful to have him as pastor!  I cannot think of a better priest.  The faithful constantly sing the praises of this gifted priest with gratitude for his tenure as pastor, acclaiming it a true golden age and we truly appreciate every minute of it.  

Each Sunday he celebrates 3 Masses!  Plus Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Vespers.  Fr. Ashley has the best sermons, choir and best bulletin.  He is the foremost senior scholar on the liturgical praxis of the Roman rite in Western Canada.  Thank heaven for such a wonderful and fine priest.  The Church could use many more like him.  He is popular with seminarians and mentors many young people discerning a possible call to religious life.   

His entire priestly life has been spent in work for Catholic education.  He is above all a teacher, but primarily a very fine priest.  Currently he is adjunct professor of Latin at a nearby Catholic College.  Thank you, Father Ashley!    

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