Friday, July 2, 2010

Canadian Church History

Yesterday was Canada Day, in commemoration of our Dominion founded on July 1, 1867. I wanted to post something, but I couldn't think of anything.

Today I decided to read some Canadian Church History that I found quite interesting. It is from a book called "The sword of Saint Paul : a history of the Diocese of Saskatoon, 1933-1983" by Duncan F. Robertson (

I was reading about Western Canadian Catholicism and thinking about how Roman Catholic Metis (Native tribe that was genetically of half-French, half-Indian) lived in the wilds and the forests, and still practiced their faith. As someone who can rarely find confession, etc, this interested me, and as most know, my primary devotion is the Rosary.

So it was interesting when I read about Bishop Albert Pascal O.M.I, and his mission work with these people on the frontier. In 1876 he wrote of their practices:

"Several among them faithfully recite twice the beads every Sunday, as well as on on Fridays and days of fast and abstinence. When away from the priest and buried in the solitude of the woods, they gather up all their religious pictures, with which they decorate a tee pee, which for the nonce is transformed into a chapel. There they assemble to pray, and sing hymns in their language."

It makes me feel connected to the Canadian tradition of praying the rosary, that has gone back hundreds of years even in our relatively new state, and it makes me again wish I had a vocation to priesthood as I think of how those Metis Catholics had hymns to sing, thanks to the Missionary Jesuits who translated them into the vernacular. In any case, I hope to be one of those proud laymen, faithfully praying the rosary my whole life. If I can do that, I will have carried on the tradition.

May God advance his Church in our country, and may God save the Queen.

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