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Week of May 5th – Ascension Day

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

This Sunday we will enjoy a mixed bag of celebrations. It is Jerusalem Sunday when Christ Church Cathedral joins with churches throughout the Anglican Church in Canada in praying for the people of Jerusalem and for God’s mission in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem which extends over Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It is also Mother’s day when North Americans traditionally send flowers or cards to their mothers and/or perhaps take them out for a nice meal. In the cathedral we will probably give thanks for mothers everywhere and say a prayer for our own mothers. In another kind of celebration at the end of the 10 am service we will also think about students in our community who are graduating, and send them off on their new paths with a blessing

We are delighted to see that at the Convocation of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College last Monday four students who are either recent or current members of the cathedral parish won academic prizes. Congratulations to Joel Amis (winner of 2 prizes), Tania Lesack, Tyson Rǿsberg and James Duckett. We are full of foster-parental pride!

Our Queen has had a very special celebration recently for her 90th birthday. Fred Hiltz, primate of Canada sent greetings on our behalf  Read the Primate’s letter to the Queen.

The queen is known to feel a special affection for Canada. She has responded to the devastating fires in Fort McMurray in a letter addressed to all Canadians expressing her shock and sadness . You can read it on line

Appeals have been pouring out of Alberta asking people to donate and to pray. Both PWRDF and the Red Cross are accepting donations. The government of Alberta will match donations to the Red Cross.  PWRDF says that it will respond through local Anglican channels as the needs become evident in the next few days.  Naba Gurung, PWRDF’s Development and Humanitarian Relief Coordinator, has been in contact with the Dioceses of Athabasca and Edmonton and will continue to liaise with both dioceses throughout this emergency.

Here is a prayer from the Mennonite World Conference which you might like to use, both for the people of Alberta and for Syrians living in a refugee camp in Aleppo which is coming under heavy bombardment.

God of healing and mercy, we come before you with our hearts filled with grief as we see the devastation in  Alberta and in Syria.
We pray that your presence would be felt by those who are grieving, who are injured, who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
We pray for wisdom and safety for those who are responding to the people in need and the many challenges left in the wake of the event.
We pray for our church, that it may be a witness to your compassion and care for all who suffer.
God, you are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. For this we give you thanks and ask that you hear our prayers for the people of Fort McMurray and Aleppo.

In spite of the suffering caused by natural disasters like this one in Alberta, we live in a country where we can be reasonably sure that we will be treated justly, unlike the countries targeted by Amnesty International’s various campaigns. You can participate in the Amnesty letter writing campaign to speak out against injustice this Sunday after the 10am Eucharist.

Many of us who travel during the summer enjoy visiting other churches. Finding an Anglican or Lutheran church anywhere in Canada is quicker and easier than ever thanks to a convenient new website. A joint venture between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, uses a simple interface to help users instantly find a church near them or in an area where they plan on travelling.
Pentecost Sunday May 15 is another day of celebration. In England it was the day when families paraded to church and walked around town wearing their new clothes. In Christ Church Cathedral at 4 pm our bishop, Mary Irwin-Gibson, will be ordaining Stanley Brooks to the Diaconate and James Duckett, Denis Gévry, Jean-Jacques Goulet, Amy Hamilton and Josée Lemoine to the presbyterate. Come and support them on this important day! A reception will follow in Fulford Hall.

May 15 is also World Fair Trade Day and there will be a special celebration from midday in Fulford Hall. Jonathan writes: “We will be screening the Canadian documentary film Traceable, set against the backdrop of the fast-fashion industry and our increasing disconnect of where and how clothing is made, and the hands that create a garment. Also browse and buy fair trade products from Dix Mille Villages, Aysana (fair trade women’s clothes) and enjoy fair trade refreshments.”


Wearing another of his hats Jonathan has been masterminding some really excellent concerts at the Cathedral. There are free L’Oasis Concerts every Wednesday at 6:30 and every Saturday at 4:30. Free, but you are requested to give a donation if you can to cover costs and pay the musicians.

On Saturday 7th May at 4:30pm we are delighted to welcome trombonist David Martin and pianist Philip Chiu, the first winner of the prestigious Prix Goyer for “extreme emerging artist”, for a recital entitled “Flowers and Thorns”. The contrasting choice of pieces demonstrates the versatility of the trombone, some emphasizing its lyrical voice (‘flowers’) and others its more strident tone (‘thorns’).  As well as staples from the classical trombone repertoire, you will hear rarely-performed works and a couple of jazz standards.

On  Wednesday, May 11 6:30pm in the concert « 5 à 7 avec Les Six ». a sextet plays works by Poulenc, Fine, and Brahms.

There are also rental concerts. One of my favourite choral groups, Adleisia, an 18 voice women’s choir, will be giving a concert in the cathedral on Saturday at 8 pm. Titled Je suis – I am”, the concert will explore different facets of womanhood and femininity,  such as motherhood, sensuality and strength. Young modern composers will be featured along with classical composers like Fauré, and music will represent a variety of cultures. It sounds like the perfect concert for the eve of Mother’s Day.

If you enjoy books as well as music, do consider joining the cathedral’s reading group. The next meeting is on June 12 at 7pm to discuss Finding Home  by Eric Wright. Eric Wright was born in London, England and immigrated to Canada in 1951. He is the award-winning author of seventeen crime novels. The hero of this book is Will, an ex-British Canadian, who goes home to bury his mother and unravel a mystery she left behind. As he travels across England with a distant cousin, he reminisces about Canada and tries to sort out where he belongs. The cathedral office can put you in touch with one of the members of the group.

As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter the grounds along the cathedral on both sides are going to be re-landscaped. If you would like to make a suggestion or possibly help out see Louise Lockhart or contact the office.

Please make a note on your calendar that Cathedral Forum, the sounding board of the community, will meet at 6:30pm on Tuesday, May 17. All congregation members are invited. If you have an item for the agenda, please contact Jeffrey Mackie via the Cathedral office.

Wishing all sons and daughters a joyful celebration of Mother’s Day and all students a relaxing summer about to begin.

Ann Elbourne



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