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News of 21st April

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

There is never a dull moment around our cathedral. Members of Forum were made very aware of this last Tuesday when they heard about the plans to dismantle – yes, dismantle – our spire and build a new one.

The plan is to build a secure platform at the level of the louvres in the stone tower.  This means that we do not have to scaffold up the entire body of the cathedral.  This is good for security and more importantly restricts the pounds per square inch on the concrete table upon which the Cathedral is now supported.  From this platform, in the first instance scaffolding will be suspended to work on the masonry of the lower part of the tower. Then when that is completed, scaffolding will be mounted on the platform up to the level of the gothic feature above the clock.
The stone masonry on the upper part of the tower will be restored.   Then the upper part of the spire will be detached from the lower part of the spire and a very very large crane on St Catherine’s street (where they claim the pounds per square inch permitted is 5 times greater than on the concrete table under the cathedral)  will remove the upper part of the spire. The lower part of the spire will be dismantled from the scaffolding and removed by a smaller crane on Union or Robert Bourassa.
The spire will be worked on in a secure workshop, as the presence of lead in the joints demands worker protection which would be difficult and expensive on site.  in 2020  the very very large crane would return to replace both the lower and the upper part of the spire…. Then we have a party ! Closer in time, but still exciting, are some events taking place in the next week or two.

  1. We hope you and your friends will be able to attend theconference in support of Call 62 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Saturday, April 30th, 10 am to 3 pm in Fulford Hall. In the morning we will hear from Indigenous representatives Kevin Deer (Mohawk), Morris Bowen (Cree), Annie Ittoshat (Inuit), Kenneth Matoush (Cree from Mistissani), and Ron Stringer (Metis) a researcher on education amongst Metis. After a light lunch a group of university students and educators will share their experience of learning and teaching about aboriginal culture and history. The event will finish with a discussion about how we in the church can most effectively work for better education about Indigenous Peoples in Quebec schools. The event is free, but we ask for a donation to help cover costs. If you are interested, please sign up on Eventbrite or contact the cathedral office. Please forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested.
  2. The usual Oasis Concert will take place Saturday at 4:30. It sounds exciting – Arias of Passion is the title:From the story of the exiled empress Ottavia, to conflicted Charlotte, to the seductress Carmen, experience a selection of passionate moments from the stories of opera’s most profound characters. Irem Ince, mezzo-soprano, Marie Haines, piano. Details at http ://
  3. This Sunday during coffee hour Opal (Dix Mille Villages manager) will be accompanied by Patricia Pearson from Level Ground (a Direct Fair Trade organisation founded in 1997 by four Canadian families) whose dried fruit and loose tea-leaves we sell at the Kiosque. Patricia will be bringing along a new range of tea bags which we will soon be stocking at the Kiosque, and there will be a chance both to sample these teas, and to find out more about the work of Level Ground with farmers and producers around the world. Open to all!
  4. Later in the afternoon on Sunday, at 2 pm,Pain, partage et prière, the French Bible study and prayer group will meet in the Hollis Lounge.

Moving into May there are more events of note.

  1. The Cathedral Reading Groupwill meet at 7pm May 1st to discuss City of Thieves by David Benioff. Set in Leningrad during its siege by the Nazis in World War II, the novel has been described as “Funny, sad and thrilling.” Beautifully written, it’s the kind of book that makes you forget to go to bed. All are welcome to join the discussion. Please speak to Jane, Ann or Diana for details of the meeting place.
  2. Lunch’n Chatinvites you to join them at noon Tuesday May 3rd for a potluck lunch and fellowship in the Hollis Lounge (on the second floor at 1444 Union Avenue). Please confirm attendance with the Cathedral office by Monday  morning, May 2nd.
  3. Wednesday May 4th at 6:30pm sees the launch of Wednesday Evenings at the Musical Oasis, which are open to all, for a voluntary contribution. We have a wonderfully varied selection of concerts this season (May – September) so please pass the word around,  come along, and bring your friends too.  A mid-week early evening slot is convenient for workers who want some culture before heading home, or a great way to start a summer evening out on the town with friends! Visit http://loasismusicale2.blogspot.cato find out about the concerts.
  4. Sung Eucharist for the Ascension:  Join us on Thursday May 5 at 12:15 for a Eucharist celebrating the Ascension of the Lord, followed by an organ concert by Patrick Wedd.

Nicki Hronjak, Programme Officer for the Diocese, has asked us to publicise the Mission Works Golf Tournament, on Monday, June 6. This is an important fundraising event which raises money for Tyndale St Georges Community Centre, Action Réfugiés and Mile End Mission. Nicki writes:

Don’t golf? Don’t stop reading! You can still come for dinner! It’s fun! Talk to people who’ve attended – it’s a chance for us to come together as a diocese and enjoy one another’s company in a beautiful venue, the Country Club of Montreal – in Saint Lambert. It’s yummy! Read about the Club’s chef here: It’s affordable! The 3-course meal (with wine) is $75 – and you will receive a generous tax receipt. There will be fabulous merchandise at our Silent Auction… from baked goods to artwork to concert tickets – see what tickles your fancy – all from generous parishioners and friends of the diocese.

The poster for the event is attached. If you would like to donate an item for the auction or sign up to play golf, please contact Nicki Hronjak 514‐843‐6577 or email 



Doesn’t it feel good that spring seems to be here? Let me close with a prayer that seems just right for this season.

Creator God, forgive our moments of ingratitude, 
the spiritual blindness that prevents us
from appreciating the wonder that is this world,
the endless cycle of nature,
of life and death and rebirth.
Forgive us for taking without giving
reaping without sowing.
Open our eyes to see
our lips to praise
our hands to share
and may our feet tread lightly on the road.

Read more at:

Happy spring!

Ann Elbourne

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