Canada 150 – Internal debate: What does that have to do with us here?

  •  May say, nothing: Not in readings, Mass rise above…
  •  But, Mass should relate to our lives, world, hearts…

Going to preach on it, what?

  • Talk about how great Canada is; Critical, everything wrong
  • Plenty of both: compared to other countries, peaceful, care for poorest, open to refugees, other countries
    • o But: Current problems: abortion, euthanasia,
    • o Historically: Indigenous ppl, taking land, residential schools, violence
    • o Current: Suicide rates; 7 times more likely to be murdered, 10 times die in house fire, Communities boil water 10, 20 years; less funding education… Black mark on Canada, hide, make excuses
  • Lots we could say. Want to look at today, Canada 150, w/ faith. Go?

Saints in Canada. Quebec, shocked – Europe – saints here.

 Seem unreal… possible here. Canonized, Canonizable…

Marguerite d’Youville: 1701– 1771. Quebec.

 Grew up poor, dad died 7. Married at 21, difficult marriage, husband alcoholic, fur trader; died after 8 yrs. 29: six kids, lots of debt.

 Ppl more need than her, helped: Montreal, three friends dedicated selves to service of poor, home for women in need (still raising children)

o Because husband, not really sisters, bad reputation; called drunk, prostitute. Kept serving.

 Run hospital, serve poor, abused women, abandoned children, wounded both sides of wars; Raised money, ran companies sewing, building materials, bar. Went to hospital. Life in service.

o Religious order, Grey Nuns, came from hospital. Same care for poor, sick across Canada. St. Paul’s Saskatoon (on way to Edmonton, typhoid epidemic, stayed to help, never left).

 How? 27, heart broken difficult marriage, turned to God; struck by revelation of God’s personal love for her. Trust in, abandon self to, God’s providence. “Seeing Christ in the person of the poor” Sister: “one heart and one souls, always considerate and supportive of each other in our weakness, knowing that we need a greater love to bear our own.”

Andre Bassette: 1845 – 1937. Quebec.

 Poor family, father died young. Work in factories in New England.

 Joined community Holy Cross; uneducated, weak/sickly, what to do?

o Porter (door man) school in Montreal. Welcome ppl, take them to person come to see. NO one comes to see doorman. Andre changed.

o Over years, hundreds, thousands ppl came see door man.

o Why? Loved prayed.

 Loved ppl who came. Ask, how are you, don’t care. He cared. Ppl answer.

o I’m sick. Dad can’t walk. Need a job. When shared, prayed.

o Pray himself, ask St. Joseph. Prayed, ppl healed.

o Miraculous healings. Easy to be skeptical. Died 1937. Ppl knew him still alive. Video, God’s Doorkeeper, interviewed ppl healed by him. Stories of Js healing, saints in distant past. Ppl today saying “I was healed.” Hard to discount.

 Why? Where love come from? Deathbed: “God is good! How beautiful and powerful he is! He must be beautiful, because the human soul, which is a reflection of God’s beauty, is so beautiful.”

Kateri Tekakwith: 1656-1680. Indigenous, father Iroquois chief. NY/Quebec.

 Four, smallpox killed mom, dad, brother, left her scared, nearly blind. Raised by family.

 Ten, French troops attacked, village hiding, met Jesuit missionaries.

 Older, refused marriage, 20 Jesuit visited, asked to be baptized.

o Family didn’t understand, pray, not work Sundays: deprive of food, ppl of village throw rocks went to pray. Xv FN village near Montral

o Hard: rejected by family, poor health

o Dedicated prayer, almost lived in chapel. Prayed ppl know love come to fill her life.

o Died 24. Said, “Who will teach me the best things about God so I may follow them?” Remarkable; many struggles she faced, her people: Most important for her, know God and follow him best.

Point? Saints seem unreal. Distant past, far away, another world.

 What your life be like? This parish? This city? First Saint of Saskatoon?

 In Canada, young country, not perfect; Great examples of holiness lived out here.

 Possible in Quebec, why not Saskatoon? Possible for them, why not us?

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