Madrid, we’re on our way!

TrishaAlvaroOTW

Trisha Villarante

Trisha Villarante

This week, for the little corner of the church, Opus Dei, all roads lead to Madrid!

With the Beatification of Bishop Alvaro Del Portillo, the first successor of St. Josemaria, happening in Spain, there is an estimated 100,000 people (according to the Catholic News Agency) coming to witness this momentous and God-glorifying moment.

Every step of the way the members of the Work (Opus Dei) are giving thanks and collecting intentions.

A good friend of mine, Coeli Anne Bugash,  mentioned the trip to a friend of hers and offered to bring along her rosary and any intentions she might have. The following day she received a beautiful tin box full of rosaries and slips of intentions to pack in her suitcase.

Across Canada, there are over 400 people heading to Madrid this week. Some have left early to tour Spain before the blessed occasion and for many of these pilgrims, Rome is the next destination. There they will be attending the thanksgiving mass and the Papal audience on Wednesday morning.

At this moment, my group and I are on route to Madrid. However, we have encountered a minor set-back. After a delayed flight, 3 re-bookings and seperate hotels in London, we are all anxiously waiting for the next flight to Madrid. While laying low, we have discovered that there are others stranded around the world, so together we are praying the new prayer card to Don Alvaro that was sent to us in our Beatification packages in solidarity.

We’ve been through a lot today, but spirits are high and regardless of what has happened so far we still feel as though we are floating in the prayers of people from all over the world.

MADRID, WE’RE ON OUR WAY! #Alvaro14

Written by Trisha Villarante, guest blogger. 

Perspectives Daily – Tues. May 13, 2014

Today on Perspectives, students of the Pontifical Universities and Colleges meet the Pope and concern ahead of the Pope’s visit to the Holy Land.

Perspectives Daily – Mon. May 5, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis visits Rome’s Polish parish, his Regina Coeli address and the Catholic Mission in Canada gala.

Perspectives Daily – Mon. April 28, 2014

Today on Perspectives, the canonization of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, meetings at the Vatican and an interview with a former Swiss Guard.

Perspectives Daily – April 25, 2014

Today on Perspectives, our team brings us the latest in the lead-up to Sunday’s Mass of Canonization including an interview with John Allen

Perspectives Daily – April 23, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ General Audience, a letter from the CCCB to the Prime Minister and CNS talks about the death penalty in the United States.

Perspectives Daily – Mon. April 7, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis’ weekly Angelus address and a visit to a Roman Parish, a Dutch Jesuit is assassinated in Syria and a Ukrainian Catholic Church in Brampton is destroyed.

Perspectives Daily – Thurs. March 6, 2014

Today on Perspectives, Pope Francis meets with the priests of the Diocese of Rome, a miracle attributed to the late great Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Quebec goes to the polls and a new mobile app to help Catholics during lent.

“When in Rome….and when in Calgary…”

ecumenical service

By. Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton (Canadian Council of Churches)

Given that the focus country of the 2014 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was, for only the third time in the Week’s one hundred year history, Canada, it was no surprise that I should be invited to preach in a number of places.

It was a great honour to preach in Calgary on January 19th. Twice actually as I was invited to preach in an Anglican parish in the morning and then for the Week of Prayer service sponsored by the Calgary Council of Churches in the afternoon. Ecumenism abounded! And it abounded the next day as well as at a Calgary press conference we launched the new CCC resource on Human Trafficking in Canada and around the world. A dire subject. A calling for all of us who believe that all people are made in the image of God to eradicate this form of modern-day slavery. The resource is available on the CCC website.

Please educate, please act, please pray.

It was also a great honour to be invited to preach at the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity English language service in Rome. Yes, that Rome!

His Holiness Pope Francis was, of course, giving the homily at the Italian Week of Prayer service held in St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. I was invited to preach at the English Week of Prayer service, January 26th in San Silvestro. What an awesome privilege it was to be there with brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations – Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Church of Scotland, Evangelical as we prayed, sang, lit candles and heard and experienced the Word calling us forward in our unity in diversity, in our witness to the world. We reminded each other that the Church exists for the sake of the world, God’s world and we strive for unity in order to better manifest Christ, in order to better serve God’s people. The sermon I preached is posted on my Facebook page and is available to all.

 As the General Secretary of the focus country for the Week of Prayer, I was invited to be a special ecumenical guest at Pope Francis’ service as well. Ecumenism abounded there as His Holiness prayed at the tomb of St. Paul together with the representatives of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch. There were many Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican sisters and brothers there in prayer. We sang together, we lifted our hearts together.

And at the end of the service Pope Francis came to greet the ecumenical guests. I was able to tell him who I was, my position and my country. He asked me, as he does, simply and directly, to pray for him and so I have every day since.

After both services, after being special guest for the 125th anniversary celebration of the Pontifical Canadian College, which was where I was most graciously hosted, I was asked by a number of people what colour the Pope’s eyes are. Of course, we could all just look that up. It must be on Google somewhere, if not just evident from pictures. But my answer to the question was my experience – his eyes sparkled and shone with the love of Christ, with the love of the World.

May ours do the same every day, whether preaching in Rome or serving soup in an out-of-the-cold programme or holding the hand of a friend struggling with depression.

Pray for the Pope, Act in unity for the World.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Karen Hamilton

Perspectives Daily – December 2, 2013

Today on Perspectives: Pope Francis celebrates the start of Advent with the university students of Rome. Deacon Pedro reports from Maracaibo, Venezuela where the 4th Missionary Congress for the Americas has just wrapped up.