Dedication of Holy Rosary Cathedral
Yesterday was a pretty interesting day for me… Immediately after the morning mass at the abbey at 10:00 am, all of us Vancouver seminarians booked it off to downtown Vancouver. It was the day of the dedication of our cathedral, Holy Rosary Cathedral and we were expected to serve for the mass. My job was to carry the mitre (the cool hat-thingie :-)) of Archbishop Miller. The mass was also there to celebrate a number (about 26 of them) people who were receiving papal honours from the Vatican for the services they rendered to the Archdiocese. Before the mass, we had lunch (some of us, at least) at White Spot… I had a hamburger and a nice big chocolate milkshake–something I haven’t had in a long time!!! MMMMMMMmmmmmm!!!! 😀
The mass was pretty cool as well… It was my first time serving on the duty of mitre… I’ve served with the crosier (the funky looking staff.. unless I’ve got it backwards.. I’m not sure… :-P) before. Archbishop Miller’s homily was really good so I’ll try and summarize it a little bit below.
He started by quoting the passage from Scripture: How lovely is Your dwelling place O Lord! Blessed are they who dwell in your house (Ps 84:2,5). He then went on today that this 58 year old cathedral is a worthy house of worship that prepares the church on earth for the glory of the Heavenly Jerusalem. Here, each person can meet Christ who nourishes us from the table of the Word and the table of the Eucharist. We also had the heart of St. Jean-Marie Vianney (more on him later on) present, who just happens to be the patron of all priests now. He mentioned that among the relics that are in the cathedral altar, there are the martyrs of Japan and Korea, St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Sienna and reminded us that the altar is more than a table and the mass is more than a holy meal… It is making present Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and when we gather here, we join God’s holy ones, the Saints.
The second reading was an important part of the archbishop’s homily, where St. Peter reminds his people that they are precious in the sight of God, that like living stones, we need to be built into a spiritual house (1 Pe 2:4). Archbishop Miller quoted St. Agustin who said that through faith, people are like living stones collected from the building… through baptism and confirmation, they are cut and polished but it’s only when they become the house of the Lord that we come together in love. While Christians are living stones of the Church, it’s Jesus Christ who is it’s sure foundation as the cornerstone, the architect and the builder of the temple. Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it (Ps 127:1). He said that the cornerstone has always been rejected as Christ’s rejection extends throughout human history. Jesus has often been treated, among other things, as a figure of the past who in both irrelevant and even dangerous. When we enchanted people like this, we should not be discouraged because our faith must endure many tests and because we believe that the Lord is always in the heart, the little church where we gather. Though God builds up His church through frail human beings, it is still Christ’s church. “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it (Matt 16:18). We can become living stones because He is the master architect!
So needless to say, the mass went by really smoothly…. I really enjoyed being the bearer of the mitre.. It was weird walking under all those swords of the fourth degree Knights of Columbus… hahahhaha It’s funny to say I’ve actually already been under that.. 😛
After the mass, we went for dinner with Fr. Hughes at a little Italian restaurant along Commercial Drive before calling it a day and driving all the way back to the abbey. Today is a really interesting day as well as we have with us the relics of St. Jean-Marie Vianney but I think that warrants its own post!!