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Newsletter, June 6, 2018

Update on spire construction & the capital campaign –Syrian family arriving June 19 –  Stravinsky mass, talk this Sunday, concert June 16, mass setting June 17, choral evensong followed by reception to say farewell to Patrick Wedd  June 17 –Ssummer reading – Forum Monday not Tuesday – Prayers for Masasi – Diocesan eletter – Social media forum –The spire nostalgia 1940

Dear Friend of the Cathedral,

There was a good turn-out last Sunday for the second part of the cathedral’s annual vestry meeting when the financial statements for 2017 were approved and Jane Aitkens gave an update on the Capital Campaign. In case you weren’t there (or didn’t take notes) here’s a summary of the main points:

Phase 1 of the construction, strengthening the tower, will finish in July with a large construction bill coming due. We might have to delay phase 2 (taking down the spire) because of planned building work by the city on Union Avenue and because of cash flow pressures. Total projected costs increased during Phase 1 due to the discovery of unexpected problems. Consequently, the cost of the project has risen to $10M. A total of $4,820,000 has been raised or pledged so far. These are the details:

  1. Government grants received total $2.7M
  2. a) The Quebec Religious Heritage Council (CPRQ) has given us $1.7M so far. We have applied for another $1M and hope to hear from them by the end of June.
  3. b) Parks Canada gave a grant of $1M
  4. Non-government pledges total $2,120,000, but these pledges cover several years so not all the money has been received yet. So far 51 members of the cathedral congregation have pledged a total of $284,281, an excellent start.

Commenting on these figures, Donna Riley, a member of the campaign cabinet, reminded us that support from the congregation is vital. Potential donors ask to see how many people in the congregation are supporting the project through their donations. Consequently, the aim is to get at least 120 pledges. Even small amounts are valuable, so every member of the congregation is being asked to prayerfully consider how they can help. Your pledge may be paid over 3-5 years.

The refugee support group received exciting news last week. The Syrian family we are sponsoring is booked on a flight from Beirut on June 19. Excited – overwhelmed – anxious – trusting – I imagine these adjectives describe not only the family beginning a new life but also members of the group helping them to settle in Montreal. Please pray for everyone as details are worked out and the adventure begins.

This Sunday, June 10, Patrick Wedd and Beth Adams will give a brief talk about the Stravinsky Mass you’ll be hearing next weekend, in the side chapel directly following the 10:00 service. They’ll be discussing both the music and Stravinsky’s religious life — for instance, he was Russian Orthodox, so why did he compose his Mass for the Roman Catholic Church? Come and find out!

And of course, do come to the concert on Saturday June 16 at 7:30 when the Cathedral singers and a wind ensemble will perform Stravinsky’s famous mass composed in 1948 including  Ave Maria, Credo and Pater Noster, followed by the Berceuse and Finale from the Firebird performed by Patrick on the organ accompanied by the wind ensemble. As you know, this event is a gala in honour of Patrick Wedd’s retirement and in recognition of his many contributions to the life of the Cathedral and to the diocese as a whole. It is also a reunion for those who have sung at Christ Church Cathedral throughout those years. The concert is free, but donations will be appreciated.

On Sunday morning at 10 am the Stravinsky Mass will be the mass setting. The events honouring Patrick finish with a reception after Evensong on Sunday – please note there isn’t a reception after the concert – Do be sure to come to evensong first. There will be lovely, joyful music.

This Sunday you will get another chance to look at the fliers about the 4 books suggested for summer reading and to sign up to join a group read followed by discussion over a meal.

Advance warning – Forum this month will be on MONDAY, June 18, a departure from our usual Tuesday meeting.

Prayers for Masasi, our companion diocese. Bishop Mary will be visiting Masasi, our companion diocese  this summer and would be glad to take prayers with her from the Diocese of Montreal. Please send personally written prayers to   Please include name and parish on each prayer.

Are you on the email list to receive our diocesan eletter? This week’s edition can be found here.  It’s full of interesting news from around the diocese. This week you can read about the Pride Mass which will be celebrated in the Cathedral on August 12, find information about church based summer camps for children, discover that there will be a Diocesan Quiet Day at the Cathedral/Cathedral Place on October 13, answer a call to sign up for Education for Ministry and consider joining a Holy Land pilgrimage led by our bishop Mary February 12 – 22 (here’s her description and invitation) as well as other news about parish events and special services. To subscribe, go to this page. Here is an entry I thought particularly interesting as someone often lost in the mazes of social media –

Social Media Forum  You are invited to hang out in an informal online setting to ask questions, share ideas and express concerns about Email, Websites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  Are you curious to learn more? Check out our New Social Media page on our website! Contact Lee-Ann if you have questions.

Jean-Jacques has found a delightful poem and photograph of the cathedral spire when it was being resurrected in 1940 (the construction funded by an anonymous donor!)   It will make you smile and think about the circularity of history!


Ann Elbourne

To receive this Newsletter earlier by email, and with it, additions like the Forum agenda, financial updates, minutes and reports, posters, photos, etc., simply send your coordinates to the Cathedral office…  the failsafe method is to email both Newsletter author and parish volunteer Ann Elbourne  and Parish Administrator Elizabeth Shama  .


Subscribe to the Cathedral’s regular capital campaign blog, RISING UP, edited by Hélène Montpetit, a super variety of photo- and video- essays on the life of this place.

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