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Pancakes with the Archbishop

February 20, 2007
One cannot omit this great feast in the Church today. Mardi Gras is the last day before the start of Lent. It's your last chance for feasting before the 40-days leading up to the the great celebration of the Resurrection.
For the boys at St. Michael's Choir School in Toronto, the Mardi Gras festivities attracted an extra guest this year; none other than the Archbishop of Toronto himself. Having checked his blackberry and assessing his availability (7:30AM!), how could Archbishop Thomas Collins not start the day eating pancakes prepared by the students themselves? I know a Sister who once said you can always get to "Father" by his stomach! Maybe this touch of the gourmand applies to bishops too?
But Mardi Gras is not only about feeding your stomach, but also feeding the soul. On this account, the Archbishop led the school in morning prayer: "Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for it is from your goodness that we have this day on the threshold of Lent."
Today's festivities were a special treat, for both staff and students alike. A first - but certainly not the last - visit of Archbishop Collins to the Choir School - a school of which he is chancellor.
As we prepare ourselves to enter Lent, why not treat ourselves tonight? Maybe we are not going to have a chat with our bishop over pancakes, but partaking in a meal is a great way to share with others and celebrate. Hey! That reminds me of a particular Supper...