Monday 17 June 2013

Blessing of lilies in a prairie parish

If it seems that things have been a little quiet on the blog over the past three or so weeks it's because we've been on holiday in western Canada visiting family and doing some wonderful hiking and wildlife spotting in the Rocky Mountains.

One of the highlights of our trip has been our discovery (and temporary adoption) of the Traditional Latin Mass community at St Anthony's Parish in Calgary. St Anthony's is a bi-ritual parish with both Traditional and Novus ordo communities and priests; the Traditional community's priests are from the FSSP. We loved Fr Anthony Sumich who gave some of the most hard-hitting and engaging sermons that we've heard away from our home parish. The servers were impeccable -- impressively so as there were many young ones; and the families we met were incredibly kind and welcoming. We could quite happily have settled in this parish forever! It's a thriving and growing community - there are currently two priests, based in Calgary, serving all of Alberta (one goes North to Edmonton to say Sunday Mass). To give you some indication of parish size: the Corpus Christi procession (around the local streets with three altars stationed around the neighbourhood) had over 400 participants. Today's procession for the parish's patronal feast (1st Class, moved to the nearest Sunday) wasn't as large, but was still the best part of two sides of a city block long. It was wonderful to hear the Rosary sung in Latin through leafy suburban streets. It was, my husband reminded me, a lot like our parish's Day with Mary procession. It's that universality that I love about being Catholic -- it makes no difference whether you're in a prairie parish or an outer London suburb.
Here are a couple of taster photos of today's traditional blessing of the lilies and of the statue before the procession... I'm hoping to blog more about our time in Canada when I get home...
The aspersion of the lilies after the traditional blessing

The procession sets off with servers and the statue at the front, followed by flag-bearers with the flags of countries represented in the TLM community, then parishioners followed by the choir and Fr Sumich

The statue back in the church after the procession


  1. You are not allowed to stay in Canada... I will miss our chats over coffee too much...

    1. Don't worry! We love the parish and the TLM community, as well as the wilderness, but can't imagine ever moving back although it's nice to have an excuse to visit!
      (I miss home!!)

  2. The redoubtable Fr. Leo Boyle and his confreres also Celebrate Mass in Calgary.