Montréal - On 13 June 2015, the members of the three Montfortian congregations in Canada, joined by their lay-associates and many guests, gathered at the Shrine ‘Marie Reine-des-Coeurs’ in Montréal for the inauguration of the tercentenary of the death of Montfort. The celebration had three parts.
Solemn Mass. First, there was a brief video presentation of the celebration held at St-Laurent-sur-Sèvre on May 24, linking it to the assembly present for the mass that followed. Three bishops were present: Mgr Quesnel Alphonse s.m.m., bishop of Fort-Liberté in Haïti, who presided the celebration and pronounced the homily, Mgr Roger Ébacher, bishop emeritus of Gatineau (Canada), and Bishop Gérard Deschamps s.m.m., bishop emeritus of Daru-Kiunga and Bereina (PNG). Over 20 priests concelebrated. The assembly was led into singing by Brother Ronald Brissette s.g. Organ and trumpet filled the air with their joyous music.
The festive meal. Over 300 guests joined for the meal, prepared by a catering company involved in social reinsertion. Suddenly, in the middle of the meal, Montfort, Marie-Louise de Jésus and the first St-Gabriel in Canada appeared on the stage! They came to give a message to their ‘descendants’! This short event was filled with humour and thanksgiving for the road we shared together.
The concert. The Ensemble Vocalys - a choir of 15 professional singers- presented a great concert. The first part offered a vast repertoire from Purcell (+1695) to Rutter (born 1944). The second part consisted of the world premiere of the oratorio Virgo Fidei, music composed by a young Québec talent, Nicolas Gagnon, on a libretto from Georges Madore s.m.m. Benefits of the concert will we offered to Montfortian projects in Haïti.
-Fr. Georges Madore, SMM