Week of February 16

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

Look for three themes in this week’s letter: Lent (prayer, study and reflection);- community business – and having fun in spite of winter.

Contemplative prayer and meditation continue every Tuesday after evensong, around 5:45.

The Ignatian Centre  is offering a one day workshop on prayer and the feeling we often have of God’s absence. Called WALKING IN THE DESERT, this workshop, led by John Carey, will tap into the traditional spiritual wisdom of the Desert Mothers and Fathers, including John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila as well as the experience of more contemporary writers. Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 9:30 am to 3 pm. Cost: $60. Please contact the Centre for more information or if you would like to register at 514-481-1064 or .

When Lent is over and Spring has arrived think about attending the Parish Retreat:
When: April 30 (Thurs suppertime) – May 3 (Sunday after lunch)
Options to arrive Fri suppertime; or attend simply on Saturday for Quiet Day
Where: Ermitage Sainte-Croix, Pierrefonds
Sally Harrington Philippo will provide talks on prayer
Paul Kennington will serve as chaplain and organize liturgies etc

Also in the spring the book group will read a most unusual book, Thaliad by Marly Youmans published by Beth Adams, Phoenicia Publishing. Thaliad, a long narrative poem deals with issues of war and peace and humanity’s self destructive tendencies that are much on people’s minds so the book group is planning a wider meeting than usual. Books are available from Jane Aitkens or Ann Elbourne for $10. Our March book is The Circle by Dave Eggers

Just one item of business: Forum will meet on Tuesday, February 24 at 6:30 preceded by light refreshments at 6 pm. All Cathedral members are invited. Please see the attached agenda, minutes and reports and if possible print out your own copy.

Now to fun!

By now you are probably all aware of the Cathedral’s involvement in Nuit blanche on Saturday Feb 28.


Please help us to make it a wonderful success by spending part (or even all) of the evening in the Cathedral and bringing your friends. You can enjoy an art exhibition, an NFB movie about Montreal in the old days, many concerts featuring bells, organ, flutes, violin, guitar, the new choir Adeleisia, a jazz trio and a jazz duo as well as poets reading their own poems, a dramatic interpretation of the creation story in Genesis, dramatic readings commenting wryly on the horrors (and delights) of Montreal in winter – drama director our own Paul Hopkins back in Montreal especially for this event. Moreover there will be candles, hot chocolate and compline around midnight. The amazing thing is that nearly all the artists, musicians and actors as well as the organisers are Cathedral members. The breadth of talent we possess is blowing my mind. Please take a look again at the schedule and do plan to visit the show for an hour or two – or three. Patrick is being given the night off so Alex and Adrian are taking over the organ to perform music by two modern composers. Jonathan and Ben Stuchbery and Erica Jacobs-Perkins have a fascinating programme of music for flute, guitar and violin. Who knows what the jazz groups will do – I don’t think they know themselves – but we just know that from 10:30 to midnight the jazz performers will share the stage with the poets. The organisers are refusing to worry. We just hope that Paul and Jonathan don’t miss their planes and that no one gets sick. Perhaps Nuit blanche should be under the heading prayer as well as fun. Please do pray for us and for our visitors that they will find the Cathedral to be an oasis of joy and peace.

The Oasis concert on Saturday features pianist Jana Stuart, performing a mixed programme of Romantic music including works by Franz Liszt and Sergei Rachmaninov, complemented by more contemporary pieces from successful composers of movie music Philip Glass andPaul Cantelon along with a work inspired by that most romantic dance-form, the tango!

Seniors’ Pot-luck Lunch Tuesday March 3  at noon in the Hollis Lounge. Please confirm attendance with the Cathedral office by March 2. Please bring a dish to share for the potluck lunch or contribute  $3.00 toward the cost of the lunch.

We have several keen members of the Scouting movement in the Cathedral congregation – Maggie Shaddick, Bob and Janet King and George Deare spring immediately to mind.

On Sunday, the 22nd of February, 34 million  Scouts in 161 countries will be celebrating the birthday  of Robert, Lord Baden-Powell who was born in 1857 and after a very successful career in the Army  in 1907 founded the Scout Movement.    The  Girl Guides will also be celebrating the birthday of Olave, Lady Baden-Powell who was born on the same day but in1899. The Girl Guide Movement  was started in 1910 by Lady Baden-Powell and her sister in law Agnes Baden-Powell.. There are Girl Guides in 145 countries.

This day is generally known around the world as Founders Day and Scouts and Guides and Leaders  across the world in various meetings and various places will be repeating their promises  to God and to Country. There are 16 or more religions in Scouting and Guiding  so the promises will slightly differ but the meaning remains the same. The law and the promise join all the members in Scouting and in Guiding together.

Finally, a fun Lent activity. Tim Smart  recommends a site called  Lent Madness… Take a look. This might be an interesting activity for a family or for anyone who enjoys trivia.
32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and people vote for their favorite saint.
16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen;
8 advance to the Round of the Elate Eight;
4  make it to the Faithful Four;
2  to the Championship;
and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo.

The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, and explore legends


  1. Reply
    Serge Godin says:

    I would like to participate in a contemplative prayer meeting on March 10. Where?



    • Reply
      Rhonda Waters says:

      The contemplative prayer is held in the Cathedral chapel. Enter the main doors on St. Catherine Street and head toward the far left end of the church. You will see people gathering over there.

      • Reply
        Serge Godin says:

        Thanks for your answer. I will be going there with joy.


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