27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Broadcast from Martyrs' Shrine

This Week's Spiritual Reflection

Can the Canadian Martyrs help us in this time of pandemic?

On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Pope Francis said, “We never emerge from a crisis just as we were.  We come out either better or worse.”

Our government leaders and health officials are urging us to care for the most vulnerable among us.  To protect them they urge us to avoid time in large groups, to keep social distance, to wear masks when distancing is not possible, to wash our hands over and over, and if possible, to stay home. All of this demands discipline and sacrifice.

If I do this only to protect myself, I may soon catch pandemic fatigue.  To satisfy my own needs and even my mere wants I may choose to risk getting the virus, thinking I am strong and invincible.  “It is worth chancing it, I say to myself, because I feel like a caged dog!”

But if I wear the mask and follow the protocol to help protect others, annoyance is replaced by eagerness!  I don’t want my grandparents to die!  I don’t want to see children and young people on ventilators!  I embrace the protocol.  I embrace the Cross.

The Canadian Martyrs embraced the famines, the tortures and even death because they fell in love with the Indigenous people and they would do anything to secure for them baptism and eternal life.

St. Jean de Brébeuf and Companions pray for the World of 2020.  Help us to care.

We want to come out better not worse from this pandemic.


Robert Foliot, SJ

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Broadcast from Martyrs' Shrine

This Week's Spiritual Reflection

The Cardinal and the Pope

NO; this is not an "insider's" view on Vatican 'intrigue'

It is however a peek at the pope & one of his Toronto visitors  -

a peek which came to light thanks to the Toronto archbishop of

the 1980's: Gerald Emmett  CARD. Carter. In a magazine item

in 1983 His Eminence told of a private conversation which took

place between him and Pope (become-saint) John Paul II. The

two of them were recovering from serious health concerns: the

cardinal from a major stroke/the pope a near-fatal shooting. As

the cardinal urged the pope to "take it easy" Pope John Paul II

asked,, "What about you?" And Cardinal Carter then said, "I'm

all right. I've learned to accept my condition". He was told that,

" It is not enough to accept your condition.  You must accept it

with joy". As he walked away, the cardinal thought to himself;

'JOY; that's the difficult part'

In the face of problems of all sorts the element of Christian joy

is one to reconsider. It is a grace of God with which we can be

at peace with the realities of life  -  a peace, as Our Lord said,

"Which the world itself can't give". He prayed for us in regards

to it: "That (His) joy may be in (us), and (our) joy be complete"

It is a sense of peace and joy embodied, literally, in the life of

the Mother of the Lord + Our Mother. In this month of the Holy

Rosary we ask for her help, Mother full of holy joy, pray for us.

Fr. Stephen LeBlanc, SJ

©2018 Martyrs' Shrine.