The Celebration of four Jubilees of Ordination at Pointe-du-Lac, 4 March 2014
All year long feasts occur which add rhythm and meaning to our lives as believers. In certain Christian countries, the 4th of March would have been a day of celebrations and festival called Mardi Gras, a day that proclaims the beginning on Ash Wednesday of a period of forty days of conversion and penance. For us, our Mardi Gras was rather a beautiful celebration of thanksgiving for four Jubilees of Ordination: Fr. Dorio-Marie Huot, celebrating his 75th anniversary at the age of 100; Fr. Germain Vincent, his 70th anniversary at the age of 94; Mgr Gérard-J Deschamps, his 60th at the age of 84; and Fr Raoul Deshaies, his 50th at the age of 76. The celebration was presided over by Fr. Claude Sigouin, Vice-Provincial, in the chapel of the Cénacle St-Pierre, in Trois-Rivières. As we know, the Cénacle St-Pierre is a retirement home where 12 of our elderly confreres, 7 Fathers and 5 Brothers, are in residence with other Religious, above all the Fathers and Brothers of the Fraternité Sacerdotale. The owner gives priority to Religious, but accepts also lay people (both men and women) who agree to share in the rhythm of life that is characteristic of a religious retirement home. The entrance hymn, led by M. Antonin Maltais, provided the tone for the celebration: “The Spirit of God rests upon me, the Spirit of God consecrates me, the Spirit of God sends me to proclaim peace and joy!” The Word of God recalled for us that famous passage from Acts on the life of the Apostles after the Ascension: “So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, they went back to Jerusalem, … and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying (the Cenacle); … With one heart (they) all … joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1:12-14). In his homily, Fr Sigouin spoke about the apostolic work done by each of the Jubilarians. Through texts taken from the Prayer for Missionaries, he showed that, as Montfortians, they are people chosen by God but given to Mary. The celebration in the chapel ended with the singing of “Magnificat! Magnificat! My heart exults for joy!”, and was followed by a “cocktail” and a meal with all the residents of the house. In solidarity with our confreres, Fr Sigouin decided to extend his stay at the Cénacle until the following day, to preside at the Mass of Ash Wednesday and begin Lent with our elderly confreres.