Saturday, March 20, 2010

March Break musings

We made what has turned out to be our annual trip to Niagara-on-the Lake again this year. Don't tell anyone, but at this time of year everything is open including the wineries, hotel prices are great bargains compared to high season, and you have the place largely to yourself. Perfect recipe for relaxing.

We also made our annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Little Flower at the Carmelite Monastery in Niagara Falls. They have a reliquary of St. Therese, and a nice display of her writings and memorabilia. A pleasant surprise this year was the finding that the reliquary has been moved from the roped off area of the sanctuary (where you can't go), to the back of the chapel, where you can sit close enough to touch the glass case containing the four relics. A setting for quiet prayer and handing over to St. Therese the cares and worries you bring with you.


Those cares include the spiritual health of our Church. We could not avoid the news of the week that included unsettling reports of sexual and physical abuse in the German and Irish churches. One commentator noted that this was seen to be an American phenomenon in recent years. Now, ironically, it appears to be the case that the Americans responded earlier and more openly, once it all started to come out. An article in today's (March 20) Toronto Star quotes Sr. Nualla Kenny and Dr. John Loftus about their experiences writing two reports on abuse in the Canadian Catholic church. One report in particular, they note, has been largely ignored around the world. Head in the sand mentality still exists. Perhaps this mentality can now really change. Perhaps it will now really have to change. Then we can take some comfort that this is the Church Jesus founded. Meanwhile, the lesson that we are a sinful Church is a humbling reminder that we still need the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus. How timely with Holy Week one week away. Pray for our Church.

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