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Newsletter, March 2, 2017

Lent – devotional card available – Lenten book study – Quiet day – diocesan retreat – flowers and music – two pieces of good news – Reminders of lunch n’chat, Hungry Minds, Nuit blanche – Oasis concert “Christus factus est” – George Herbert poem for Lent

Dear Friend of the Cathedral

So here we are at the beginning of Lent having eaten pancakes cooked by George and his team, put away the alleluias, received the imprint of ashes as a remembrance of our mortality and decided what we should add to our spiritual life and subtract from our indulgences. Episkopé has revised last year’s Lent devotional card so that it is bi-lingual. Some of you may have picked it up at the back of the church yesterday. Do take one next time you’re in the church. It’s a helpful tool for keeping a holy Lent.

Jean-Jacques referred to it in his Wednesday sermon which you will be able to read when it is posted on the website.  Here is the Lent card for those of you who can’t get to the cathedral so that you can read the suggestions and prayers.

The cathedral has two special Lenten offerings:

  1. Lenten book study Dethroning Mammon by Justin Welby. Led by Gideon

Strauss on Sunday March 12, 19, 26 and April 2 from 12:30 to 2pm.  I believe there are still a few copies of the book available at a cost of $20. Speak to Jane Aitkens or contact the office.

  1. A quiet day A day for spiritual refreshment in mid-Lent with time

for reflection, simple liturgies, and guided meditations in both English and French, Saturday March 25, 9:30 – 4 pm in Fulford Hall. The meditations will be led by our cathedral clergy; Amy Hamilton, Donald Boisvert, Jean-Jacques Goulet and Jean Daniel Williams. There are posters and forms at the back of the church, attached to a pillar. You can also look at the attached registration form and either print and fill in the form, or, even better, register directly at

There is also a diocesan silent directed retreat next weekend at La Maison de Prière Notre-Dame in Longueuil. I am told there are still a few places left. It begins Friday evening, March 10 and ends Sunday afternoon, March 12. Cost is $140, all inclusive.

To register, or for more information, please call Paul at 514-626-9462, or visit

Music and flowers in Lent

It is a tradition at the cathedral that we listen attentively to the Postlude. Voluntaries during Lent this year will be by J. S. Bach. We are invited to use the preludes and postludes as a time of quiet meditation appropriate for the season. During postludes, should you wish to chat with your friends, you are welcome to move to the baptistry for coffee hour. This was a suggestion made at the last cathedral Forum.

Traditionally churches do not have flowers in Lent; the arrangements remind us that Lent is a period of prayerful reflection and renewal during which we choose to give things up. The church will be filled with flowers for Easter. Please contact Rob Wells if you would like to donate flowers in memory or thanksgiving on that joyful day.

Good News

Carol Manning of Westmount has recently been awarded the Sovereign’s medal for volunteers, a medal which recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of individuals from across the country in a wide range of fields. Carol’s citation reads “Carol Manning has helped foster a culture of caring at Selwyn House School by encouraging students to volunteer at the Christ Church Cathedral in Montréal, where she has been serving meals to the city’s homeless population for the past 18 years. She also oversees a number of student-led initiatives, most notably donation drives to the NDG Food Depot, a local food bank.” Congratulations to Carol and our thanks for her devoted service to the end of the month lunches.

In other good news, Donna Riley has become a grandmother again. Tessa Rosado Riley was born to Donna’s son Patrick and his wife Sara a few days ago.

Congratulations to all the family.


Lunch n Chat: March 7, 2017 : noon till 2 pm.

Hungry Minds: Wednesdays at 6pm.

And – did you really think I would forget to mention this…? Nuit blanche this Saturday from 6 pm to 1:30 am!

For night owls –jazz at 12:30, for people who like to go early to bed NFB movie at 6 pm Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Leonard Cohen. The movie was made in the sixties in Westmount and Montreal, so great opportunity for nostalgia.

In between there will be concerts by Diverson, singing gospel music, the Gay Men’s choir singing well known songs, Nicholas and Rob playing the organ, Compline at 10:45, free fair trade hot chocolate, and one or perhaps two displays, an exhibition from the Montreal Bicycle Community depicting bicycling in Montreal, then and now – Photo mosaics of the present and Notman photographs from the past – and possibly (hopefully) an exhibition of photographs and documents taken from the archives of the cathedral in the sixties.

Before NuIt blanche starts Saturday evening there is a terrific Oasis concert at 4:30. Les Chantres Musiciens under the direction of Gilbert Patenaude present a repertoire of sacred music including a selection of the most beautiful musical works for four men’s voices of Francis Poulenc, Anton Bruckner, Jacques Blanchet, Max Reger as well as 2 American Negro spirituals. This summer 2017, Les Chantres Musiciens will also be presenting that repertoire at the 6th edition of the International Anton Bruckner Choir Competition and Festival, in Linz, Austria.

So – come to the cathedral at 4:30 and leave at 1 am! No? Oh well, come for some of the evening. You won’t be disappointed.

The season of Lent has inspired many poets. Here to finish this letter is part of a poem from 1633 by George Herbert

Welcome deare feast of Lent: who loves not thee,

He loves not Temperance, or Authoritie,

But is compos’d of passion.

It ‘s true, we cannot reach Christ’s fortieth day; Yet to go part of that religious way,

Is better than to rest:

We cannot reach our Savior’s purity;

Yet are bid, Be holy ev’n as he.

In both let ‘s do our best.

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone, Is much more sure to meet with him, than one

That travelleth by-ways:

Perhaps my God, though he be far before, May turn, and take me by the hand, and more

May strengthen my decays.

Ann Elbourne

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