Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Glorious Day in Hamilton and Guelph, Ontario: Two Magnificent Basilicas

Wednesday greetings from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

At yesterday's third day of the Summer School for Musicians and Initiation ministers, we were asked to reflect on the movements of conversion in our own lives. The participants entered into some serious discussion about the ways that they have experienced conversion in their Christian journeys.

I went to a skill session in the afternoon led by Janet Loo, and it was just wonderful singing for a director who is so capable and sensitive. A highlight for me was the singing of Chrysogonus Waddell's Jesus Lives.

In my afternoon session, we focused on the celebration of the scrutinies. Then we climbed aboard a motor coach for the trip to the Basilica of Mary Immaculate in nearby Guelph, Ontario. A few photos of the exterior of this magnificent basilica.

And here is a photo of the interior, taken from the choir loft with its magnificent Casavant organ, ca. 1919, which I had the privilege of playing for a few minutes. The basilica organist played a brief piece, introducing us to the colors painted by this glorious instrument. 

The sun flooding through the stained glass windows was breathtaking.

In a recent restoration of the basilica, the font was moved to the front of the church in a new baptism space. It used to be in a corner in the back of the church, in a space upon which a sorely needed bathroom was added. One can still see the tiles forming a square in the floor where the font used to be located. (Now, resting on that space is a toilet in the new bathroom!)

Here is the font in its new location.

Speaking of fonts, here is the baptistery in the cathedral church, The Basilica of Christ the King in Hamilton.

And the Door of Mercy at the cathedral basilica.

I have been so happy to be spending time with former team members of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate here, who have been presenting the sessions for those involved in initiation: Catherine Ecker, Fr. Larry Leger, and Debbie Walsh, colleagues and friends. I have learned so much from them over the years of our shared ministry.

At the basilica in Guelph, beginning at 8:30, as the sun was beginning to set, we all prayed a Taize prayer. It was just wonderful and moving in that grand space.

It's been a real honor for me to be here. As I have led the sessions, I know that Holy Spirit is touching my heart in new and real ways, and for that I am so grateful.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

David Komel said...

Thanks for your ministry to us! It was another wonderful redirection on my (our) journey. ....and thanks too for your insight into the publishing world.