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Week of May 21

Because Sunday will celebrate Pentecost, the theme of the letter this week is new beginnings; beginnings which embrace cleansing, reconciliation and hope for the future, all under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Cleansing will start with a clean-up of the church grounds on Saturday at 10 am. We are confident the Spirit will be present when a crew of volunteers from the Cathedral joins our churchyard campers in this task. By doing it together, cathedral community and cathedral grounds community, we show our joint respect and care of the grounds – and it might provide an easy situation for us to talk with each other. Gloves, a sharpie box and refreshments will be provided. Please bring a friend and come along to help.

Sunday will be filled with the inspiration of the Spirit. Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, will preside at the 10 am service (when Paul is preaching) and will be present at the 4 pm Ordination. The clergy are hoping that large numbers of people will be present at 10 am to welcome the Primate. There is sure to be big turn-out at 4 pm when three members of the cathedral congregation will be ordained as deacons. Please pray for James Duckett, Jean-Jacques Goulet and Josée Lemoine.

We continue to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the election of our new bishop moves towards its final stage at Synod on June 6. The candidates have just been announced. They are Denis Drainville, Karen Egan, Mary Gibson and Bill Gray. The cathedral’s synod representatives who will vote in the election are Sam Keuchguerian and Flo Tracy and they will want to hear people’s opinions. The proceedings, starting with an Eucharist at 8:15, are open to the public. Visitors may not vote or speak publicly.


Like all Christians, the cathedral community struggles to create a peaceful, reconciled and nurturing world.

  • Next Wednesday, May 27 will be the final meeting in the series “What shall we say to War?”.
  • On May 26 and June 9 at 7pm in the Undercroft Jeffrey Mackie will lead a poetry workshop reflecting on the environment and creation.
  • On Sunday, May 31, after the 10am service, Jeffrey Mackie and Ben Stuchbery will share their reflections following their participation in the Green Church Conference in Quebec City.
  • On Sunday, June 7 SJAG (Social Justice Action Group) will animate a discussion about Justice for Aboriginal Peoples.


As I mentioned last week, May 31 marks the start of the closing ceremonies for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The theme of these ceremonies emphasises that the ending is just a beginning. Paul was among the six Canadian Deans from cities which hosted the TRC who met to discuss ways their Cathedrals could show leadership in the work of reconciliation. They saw 22 days between May 31 and June 21, National Aboriginal Day, which could be set aside for prayer toward a commitment to reconciliation.  Visit the website for more information about this important campaign:

This is what Christ Church Cathedral is doing during those 22 days:

  • Praying  every day for the work of reconciliation
  • Creating a small display about the TRC and the history of First Nations in the Anglican Church of Canada.
  • Ringing the bell 1122 times on Wednesday afternoons between May 31st and June 21st to remember the 1122 murdered and missing aboriginal women.  This is part of a bell-ringing wave across Canada at that time.
  • Including aboriginal elements and guests, in our 10 am Eucharist, June 7. Lee Greyfeather, a survivor of the Residential school system has been invited to preach.
  • Hosting a “Gathering of Friends” in Wallenberg Square at the back of the Cathedral on June 14th from 5.30pm7pm.  We are inviting leaders from the Mohawk nation to join in a mutual act of friendship and respect.  Bishop Barry will be there, with leaders of other churches and a group of aboriginal drummers.

Creating hope for the future – this is the intention of the small refugee sponsorship committee which, having received approval in a motion from April’s Forum, is going ahead with plans to sponsor a family which will be submitted to Corporation. They will be working in close co-operation with Action Réfugiés Montreal who will share a list of families approved by the government for immigration to Canada as refugees.

Social Service Society has guaranteed that the necessary funding (about $24 000) will be available. It is expected that the family will probably arrive in early spring 2016. Paul Clarke , director of ARM is willing to visit the Cathedral to give parishioners more detailed information about the process – which is good, because I think many of us are eager to be involved, but don’t quite know how. He suggests that once a family is chosen it will take about 6 months for them to arrive and in the meanwhile the committee should form a cabinet with individual “ministers” in charge of various tasks such as housing, employment, schools, health. Each minister will have a team of helpers.

You will be given a great deal more information later, but meanwhile, if you think you might like to be involved please speak to Janet King, Jan Jorgensen or Marian Dagher

Are you interested in a Summer Bible Study?  Let Rhonda know and she’ll see what we can do!

The book group meets this Sunday at 8 pm (later than usual to accommodate people going to the ordination and reception). We will discuss Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

Two Cathedral members, Ann Elbourne and Marko Hubert are members of the cast of Noises Off, a hilarious comedy by Michael Frayn which will be performed in Victoria hall, Westmount, May 31 – June 1 It’s always nice to know what people are doing in their spare time, so please tell me about anything interesting or creative you have been doing.

Oasis concerts are growing in popularity and present very talented artistes performing interesting and often unusual programmes. On Saturday 23rd May at 4:30pm German organist Matthias Boehlert will present a concert entitled “Festive Organ Music from Four Centuries” and on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:15pm Joanna Marsden, baroque flute, and Mark Edwards, harpsichord, present works by Devienne and Mozartin a concert called Les Mystères d’Isis.

The next session of contemplative prayer, on Tuesday May 26 at 5:45 will be a silent meditation.

Flowers sponsors are needed for some Sundays in June and July. Please speak to Rob Wells or contact the Cathedral office if you would like to donate flowers in thanksgiving or in the memory of a loved one. (Cost: approximately $60.00)

Keep this date free – Outdoor Eucharist and Parish BBQ June 7th at 6pm on the Cathedral grounds. Rhonda would rather not do all the planning, set-up and clean-up by herself! Please speak to her to offer your help.

We have a wonderful two weeks coming up. Wishing you all the blessings of Pentecost and the support of the Holy Spirit.


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