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Archive for October, 2010

Potters …

Courtesy: Loldemort

Friday Forecast …

If Environment Canada gets it right, tomorrow night the weather calls for snow. Snowfall 2 cm. Low minus (-1 ). 5 a.m. update snow starting Saturday evening into Sunday morning 2 -4 cm. Which means there may be more snow if it stays cold enough for it.

It was a good day today. I got up with plenty of time to get to work in the afternoon for my shift at Intergroup. It was a good thing I brought a couple of books to read. It was dead all day long. I got four phone calls the entire shift. Two of them were from other call workers, so they don’t count.

I got out of shift about 6 p.m. and headed home on the train. I took it as far as Berri Uquam on the Green line, and then changed trains to the Orange line, because I was going up that way to meet Rick and Dave for the trip out to the South Shore.

I got up to Snowden around 6:35 and had to wait for a while for my pick up. I decided to go to the Couche Tard and bought an 8 pack of Coke to pay back my debt from last weekend. That more than covered what I drank on Saturday.

We got out to the meeting early. The meeting had to move locations because of an event going on in the hall this weekend and all the tables were set for a dinner party. They gave us a tiny room to hold the meeting in the basement of the church. We pulled 27 chairs from the stacks and set them up, it was a tight fit for all the people who showed up for the meeting.

Rick and Dave have been talking about leaving the Friday meeting and going somewhere else next week. I was totally against it. And we talked about that on the way out. And it seemed that god was listening to our conversation, because when the speaker got up and spoke tonight, we were all shocked at what came out.

Our speaker is a member of the Friday night group and has recently been released from prison. That’s all I can say about it. But his message was loud and clear. My whole take on going to this meeting is Pastoral. To go and be present.

We have been going to this meeting for a month now, and we have been getting to know everyone, hearing them share and at least, I have invested myself in the meeting. I don’t know about Rick and Dave. But on the way home, he mentioned leaving again, and I finally put my foot down and said that we should stay. We’ve invested time in this meeting and leaving now would be insensitive.

That meeting is anchoring some heavy burdens. And they need all the outside support they can get. You never know when you are going to hear something come out of someones mouth, and then you don’t know when we would be able to share with someone something they need to hear. Rick agreed. I think Dave was miffed. The low man on the sobriety pole looses. You go where your sponsor goes.

Rick was driving like a maniac on the highway and he drove past our exit on the highway to drop us off at the Metro and continued driving himself home, up the Orange line. And we were like, where are you going? as he passed the second Metro stop. He had to turn around to let us off at the station. He was in a different place. I gave him the coke I bought from my bag and told him to deliver it to Tom, and that as far as I was concerned, I am paid in full, if he wants to carry around a resentment that’s his problem not mine.

Tomorrow is the Annual Area 87 Sober Conference at the Old Port. I don’t know that I will be going. There are people that I don’t necessarily want to run into. Better to do something else. It is supposed to rain all day tomorrow into snow tomorrow night.

So that was the day … More to come, stay tuned…

Thursday Thoughts …

Courtesy: Benjamin Draper Flickr – Tumblr

Funny what some people hold on to. It is interesting to know about someone with considerable sobriety, what they hold a resentment over. It seems I pissed my hosts off this past weekend, over 3 cans of coca cola. But ya know, people will do what they do. Doesn’t look like we will be going up North over the weekend. Me thinks I crossed an invisible boundary.

Oh Well.

It was a good day today. I had to write a report for Monarchs based on the books that the other members of the group supposedly are holding. I did not hear from anyone except one classmate. I drafted a single page summary on the text I am sitting on and the other books that I know were being considered at an earlier group meeting.

I emailed that page out this morning before setting off for the day to go work at intergroup. It seemed that the first shift went unanswered, as the office was dark when I got there at 1p.m.

It was a quiet afternoon. I had a few phone calls. People looking for meetings from out of town. For the most part when I work the phones, I tend to do a lot of listening. To happy people, to unhappy people. I even get the odd “I want to die” phone call as well. I try to be sound reason when I get a call like that.

My replacement came early, he remembered that I have class on Thursday nights. I really did not feel like going to class tonight, I was in a fair mood all day. So we sat and talked for three hours about sobriety and meetings.

We both had the same observations about meetings. It is usually said about meetings that one comes early to socialize to shake hands and get to know people, attend the meeting and then the after meeting social hour. But as of late people are barely making it to the meeting on time, they leave early and those who stay for the meeting skidaddle out the door after the meeting, not helping with breakdown and socializing.

Many meetings are hurting for warm bodies that we go to great lengths to even provide food at our meetings to get people to come and to hang around before and after the meetings, and it doesn’t seem to be working. We aren’t the only meeting who spend a lot of money each month in goodies.

It will be interesting to see how many people attend the regional conference set for Saturday at the Old Port. Areas 87, 88 and 90 are combining forces to put on the annual conference this weekend. I haven’t decided whether or not I will be going this year. I was hoping for a trip out to the country once again, but it seems that that is not in the cards this week.

Oh Well.

I left the phones around 6:15 this evening and got on the train to come home and was pleasantly surprised that they had new prototype rail cars on the green line. They usually put them on the Orange line only. The new cars are much more spacious the seating arrangements are a bit different and there are multi-armed stand poles by the exit doors giving people something to hold on to while the train is moving. Less seats and more standing room, and the new seats are in different configurations.

I got home around 6:45 and I decided that it would be good to hit a meeting instead of sitting at home farting around here. So I took off at 7:15 to make a bus up Sherbrooke to St. Matthias. The busses are running at ten minute intervals on several of the city lines, so I didn’t have long to wait.

The meeting was great. I got to read. The room was full. The speaker was hilarious. He lived a storybook life and we got to hear that story tonight. We laughed and he laughed. You can really have good sobriety and even laugh at our stories.

I heard a man say tonight that most recovering people in the rooms have such great potential. If more people could know what kind of possibilities we have once we put down the drink and focus the energy we spent using doing other things, that life was limitless.

But it takes time to find out just what potential we all have inside of us. But once we tap that source the sky is the limit. That is good thought I think.

I have a second phone shift tomorrow from 1 to 6, then it is off the Chateauguay for the meeting. Hopefully I will line up a speaker for Tuesday night. Let us pray …

Rick has wondered about changing up our Friday night meeting again. I have to look in the book at the office tomorrow and find out what the choices are on the South Shore and East end. We were just getting settled into a routine and now he wants to change it up. I don’t know if I agree with that logic. I mean, I am just getting to know people and I am in the position this month as chair to ask people to speak for me, and now he wants to go somewhere else.

Oh Well.

We’ll see what happens.

That’s all for tonight. More tomorrow.

Odd Night …

Courtesy: Robonmyknob

The word snow came up in conversation tonight. We are getting a cold, wet, blustery night coming on. This is the kind of significant teasing from Mother Nature that tells us that snow is in the offing.

There are flurries in the forecast for Sunday, which is Halloween. It will be cold out once again, and maybe a dusting will happen. The weather was getting quite blustery as the night progressed.

It has been an off night. The numbers were low again tonight. We have lost much of the core group over the past few weeks. The early meeting was hit and miss. 3rd step, self will run riot. I really had nothing to say about it. I try to stay out of my own way, and do the next right thing. I know better than to try and take back my will, what will happen. I’m sober a few 24’s so I keep it simple.

There were only 8 people at the early meeting, and we had a handful for the late meeting. Our speaker tonight has time, and she shared a good message.

We were very wary tonight, listening for trouble since last weeks incident. The trouble maker did not show up, but said person will be banned from the meeting for what he did. We can’t afford to find ourselves looking for a new place to hold meetings, we can’t afford any trouble with the church.

I have two phone shifts this week, one on Thursday and one on Friday. I am chairing the late meeting this month, and Friday night we are off to Chateauguay, I need to look for a speaker for next week.

Hopefully the end of the week will find us going to the country again. I am hoping that all works out.

I am behind the 8 ball in Monarchs. I need to find a book, write a report and get that report to my group members all before Thursday afternoon. I have a phone shift on Thursday afternoon, so that means I have to get done what needs to get done before I leave for Intergroup, which doesn’t leave me a lot of time.

That’s all for tonight. Stay tuned …

Monday Musings …

Courtesy: MorBCN Flickr

The weekend ended yesterday with me feeling the pain of so much work on ones feet. As we try to defy the fact that we are aging, it is nonetheless, the truth. I am not twenty any longer.

But I am determined to return to that mountain next weekend to finish what I started on Saturday. I am feeling it in my legs and in my arms. Felling trees and working with ones hands has its perks and drawbacks.

I spent Sunday sleeping in and not doing much of anything. Tonight I went to class and that was all good. I have some catch up to do for Monarchs. I am not really concerned with that class. My classmates are getting all crazy and shit.

I just wanted to put a note up tonight. I don’t have much else to say for the moment. The countdown to the Deathly Hallows continues… November 19th cannot get here any sooner.

Stay tuned… more to come.

An Honest Days Work …

Courtesy: Acratic

11:02 p.m.

I left the house at 8:30 this morning, en route to a country home way way out past Rowden Quebec. Over the river and through the woods up to Tom and Rene’s country home for the day. It is a two hour ride from the metropolis of the big city to a little home out in the mountains.

It was a beautiful little house on the side of a mountain, with a gorgeous view of a mountain with a grand escarpment of rocks at the summit.This, I was told, this place, was years in the making and a true reward of sobriety. It was just beautiful.

Our work today … wood. Little did I know then, the work I would do all day long. It takes a LOT of wood for a house to burn for the season.

I learned a great many things today.

Did you know that it takes upwards of 2 years for wood to dry properly in order to burn in a fireplace? We started off slow, tossing huge chunks of trees down the mountain into a ditch where we would transport that wood to the shed to be sorted, split and then racked.

Cutting trees, splitting them, stacking them is an ongoing process over a number of years. In the racks outside the house are storage racks where you stack the wood. And the wood is dated as it is stacked so the oldest wood gets burned first.

I got a tour of the property and I got my first lesson in responsible tree harvesting. The property is over an acre of land on the side of a mountain with several creeks running through it. And lots and lots of trees. Trees had been already marked for cutting, this has been an ongoing process for some weeks now.There was plenty of windfall that needed to be stacked to move in the future. It is quite the hike from the property proper to the mountainside where the trees are being cut from.

Got to get it all done before the first flake of snow hits the ground, because once it starts snowing out there you are fucked to cut more bush.

All around the property were racks of drying wood, cut, sorted and racked. Before lunch we transported at least a hundred logs of wood, that is uncut (36 inch pieces) of raw chopped trees. I’ve never lifted so much weight in my life.Through the forest on hand carts … Up the hill down the hill, over and over again …

We moved cut from one side of the property to the other all by hand truck, van and wheel barrows. That all took a few hours to complete. Then we had lunch. A very nice affair, the views from the dining room table are of the already mentioned mountain and escarpment.

After lunch I learned how to use a log splitter. Can I just say that wood working is very tedious. You have to know how the tree grew and how the grain of wood sets in order to properly put it into the machine and get a good split. While I was using the machine, Tom was hacking at the same pile of wood that I was working on with an axe.

Sometimes the axe wins, sometimes the wood wins.

We hit a huge 36 inch piece of wood that needed to be split, and however Tom tried to get his axe to do the job, that log wasn’t having any of that. We just threw it on the side of the pile uncut.

Then it was up the mountain, and when I say UP the mountain I mean UP the Mountain. Huffing and puffing all the way. My new work boots got a fair shake today in walking through the forest moving trees and logs from there to the split pile.

There was a tree that needed to be felled. It was actually two trees that rooted together but grew apart about 60 feet in the air. They asked me if I ever cut down a tree before. The answer was no.

I had a choice. To either split and stack wood, or enter the forest and fell a couple of trees. I chose the latter. So Rick and I climbed back up the mountain in back of the property and set our sights on felling this tree.

Rick cut the notch in the first tree, and with chainsaw in hand I took to the tree like an apprentice. Rick standing behind me coaching me as the blade cut into the tree. “Now if you hear the tree crack, you better get the fuck out of the way.” Set your feet in the ground, hold the chainsaw strongly, and make the cut.

So I am cranking through this tree, and its not going anywhere. I take a break, and re-asses the cut and I start in again. Little by slowly I am making my way through the tree and it splits in two. The tree is about 20 inches round. It splits and leans into a grove of standing trees right near by. I cut the remainder of the tree that was left standing, about 50 feet standing.  But the first tree was stuck. It took us 12 further cuts to get the tree on the ground. Cutting from the bottom of the trunk up the tree as it hung in the other trees.

So now there are at least 25 logs to get down the mountain and to the split shack. The sun was going down, and we just left the cut on the mountain to be collected next weekend.

We had a cord of wood to move from the split shack to the storage rack, which took us over an hour to finish and clean up. What is a cord of wood? Let me answer that question…

A full cord is a large amount of wood. It measures 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by eight feet long (4′ x 4′ x 8′) and has a volume of 128 cubic feet.

We cut and stacked a cord of wood today. But the wood we cut today, won’t be burned for at least a year. Tom moved a cord of wood from one of the stack houses into the house to be burned for the next few days. We still have to move usable wood from the stacks to two locations nearer to the house for the winter. It is quite a walk from the house to the stacks to get wood, and once it starts snowing who wants to drudge through all that snow to get at fire wood.

There is something earthly about getting your hands dirty, working with the land all day, and completing an honest days work. It has been a very long time, that I can say that today I put in an honest days labor.

As the sun set we finished cleaning up the grounds. Stacking all the wood and putting all the tools and transportation vehicles in the garage.

Rene and Tom made sure that there was plenty of good food, and a never ending pot of coffee. After a respite for a little while we showered and changed for a supper of stew and freshly baked bread.

It was divine.

We had pie and ice cream and Tom lit the fireplace. It was glorious. We shared a meal and watched a movie. All day in the house Rene was watching Global B.C. via satellite. It was sweet.

After the movie we set off for home, over the river and through the woods from the middle of nowhere to the big bright city. Several times today Tom, Rick and I talked about getting used to the silence of the forest, no traffic, no city … Too bad the down side of having a country home is the fact that it takes two jobs to keep two houses, once in the city, one in the country, Two cars, Two motorbikes, a trailer to pull those bikes around and a dog.

Hopefully next weekend I will get to go back out there to finish the job I started today.

That’s my story of the day … An honest day’s work …

Hoodie Friday Night…

Courtesy: Noticiaspotter – Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy.

I wouldn’t normally post a picture of Draco Malfoy on this blog because I am a staunch supporter of the Weasley family.

So anyways …

It was a good day. The weather cooperated. It didn’t rain, but it was cold. After last night’s welcome home for hubby we settled in late last night. It was good to have him home. None the worse for wear.

It was a treat to get out of the house for the evening. We went to Chateauguay for our Friday night meeting. And the space had been transformed. There were a bunch of tables sat and twice as many chairs as usual. There were more than thirty people in attendance for the meeting.

There was a cake in the kitchen, so someone was celebrating something tonight. Just what I didn’t know. The speaker was a few years sober. He had a great story and a strong message. Everybody was pleased to hear him speak.

Before the meeting adjourned there was a cake presented and one of the members of the Friday Night meeting was taking her 1 year cake. This is a very important milestone in sobriety, the first year.

We all like to say we remember what that first year was like. The farther we get from that point, the fuzzier the memory gets. My sponsor is up at 21 years now, and I am closing in on nine years. It is always good to see newcomers making their milestones with their sponsors.

Rick told us – his sponsees, that Tom was having a tree cutting party this weekend up in the country. Dave couldn’t make it so tomorrow I am off to the country to do some serious male bonding. Cutting down trees and prepping them for the woodpile. It will be a full day event, hubby said he was ok to spend the day at home resting.

The weather is getting frightful. We’ll see if we get that first snow before Halloween, at this rate in temperatures, it is probable.

That’s all for tonight, I need to get to bed soon, I have an 8 am call in the morning.


Skipped …

Courtesy: A-S-H

It has been a trying couple of days for us. But I think we are coming to the end of the troubles. Hubby has been out of commission and I’ve been trying to take care of things during his absence from home. Hopefully he will be discharged tonight and be home sometime soon.

Yesterday I went to class and it was good. We had a reading comprehension exam based on a reading from the text. We had to master reading from two sources making sure we did not miss the liaisons and the pronunciations. One reading was a bit easier on Canada, the second reading on France was much harder because there were dates and numbers in the reading – and we had to get it right the first time. I chose the second reading on France, and I earned a 97% on my read.

We had some time in the lab last night. We are moving fast through the text and the online exercises help as well. We are on unit three using the Pause Cafe French lessons online. There is listening comprehension, vocabulary exercises and conjugations.

After class I came home and made some dinner. It was very quiet being home alone. There was nothing I could do to help hubby where he was so I went to bed early and we spoke throughout the night.

Today I had to run errands for him, and take care of business for the house, and I had to run up to the general to take hubby some meds and I was trying not to freak out. I did not freak out as of yet.

I was not in the mood to go to class tonight. Between running errands and back and forth to the general and home, it was almost six when I finally got home. I was not going to rush out to Dawson for a class I truly had no desire to go to. So I skipped.

I cooked some dinner and ate. I needed to shower because I had to leave the house as I was this afternoon, hubby needed me to run off to meet him so I didn’t get a shower in.

I was going to go to a meeting tonight, and Rick and Dave went to their step meeting here in town so I was on my own for the evening, I was tired, I hadn’t eaten yet, so I decided not to walk to St. Matthias. I wasn’t in the mood, although I should have hit a meeting.

We’ll do that tomorrow. We are slated to get out to Chateauguay tomorrow night. So that will be ok. We’ll see about Laval for Saturday night.

That’s all for tonight. I am waiting on hubby getting home soon.

More tomorrow.


Tuesday …

Courtesy: Thiswillnotdefineus

I could not decide what image to use for this entry. I have so many to choose from. But this will do for now.

The weather is definitely getting cooler. And the sun is going down earlier and earlier each night. It was almost dark as the bells at the church chimed at 6 before the meeting.

I stopped off at Zeller’s to see if they had winter boots in stock, and  I was surprised that they had a handful of sizes. Although they are running $95.00 a pair, which is a little steep, I may go back by there tomorrow and get them. I hope that the pair I looked at will be there.

It was a good day. I got to the church with plenty of time to set up and chill out with a book for an hour. Nice peace and quiet.

Numbers were a bit thin on the ground tonight. We only had 9 people for the first meeting. The core crew did not show up tonight. It was a toss up on one hand you have half the room with more that 20 years of sobriety each, and on the other, people with less than 10 years, myself included. The meeting went quick and painless.

We had a good number for the second meeting. All the tables were sat. At one point there was a commotion up the staircase at the door, and it seems that someone pulled the push bar that locks the door, clear off the door. It isn’t a full moon yet, but whomever did it disappeared from the church. We had to fix the door in order for it to lock properly, we got it fixed with a few screws that popped off the door.

Rick went home and brought out his tool box and went back to the church to really fix the door. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and could result in us loosing our space, if someone is burgling the doors. That’s not what we need right now.

Well, it’s 11 p.m. and I need to boogie, more tomorrow.

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori & Integrity Sign Call to Action, “No More Bullying”

Courtesy: Ihaterenton

Lifted from: Walking with Integrity

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2010

Today, as leaders of Christian communions and national networks, we speak with heavy hearts because of the bullying, suicides and hate crimes that have shocked this country and called all faith communities into accountability for our words or our silence. We speak with hopeful hearts, believing that change and healing are possible, and call on our colleagues in the Church Universal to join us in working to end the violence and hatred against our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.

In the past seven weeks, six young and promising teenagers took their own lives. Some were just entering high school; one had just enrolled in college. Five were boys; one, a girl becoming a young woman. These are only the deaths for which there has been a public accounting. New reports of other suicides continue to haunt us daily from around the country.

They were of varying faiths and races and came from different regions of the nation.The one thing these young men and women had in common was that they were perceived to be gay or lesbian.

Each in their own way faced bullying and harassment or struggled with messages of religion and culture that made them fear the consequences of being who they were.

In the past two weeks, cities like New York have seen major escalations in anti-gay violence. Two young men attacked patrons of the Stonewall Inn, legendary birth place of the LGBT rights movement in the United States, locking them in the restroom and beating them while hurling anti-gay epithets.

Men on a Chelsea street, saying goodnight after an evening out, were attacked by a group of teens and young adults, again hurling anti-gay slogans and hurting one person badly enough to require emergency treatment. And nine young men in the Bronx went on a two-day rampage beating, burning, torturing and sodomizing two teenage boys and their gay male adult friend for allegedly having a sexual relationship. “It’s nothing personal,” one of the now arrested said. “You just broke the rules.”

What are the “rules” of human engagement and interaction that we, as people of faith, want to teach our congregants, children and adults alike, to live by?

Many have responded from within and beyond the faith community offering comfort and support to the families and friends of Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Tyler Clementi, Raymond Chase and Aiyisha Hasan. Our hearts, too, are broken by the too soon losses of these young and promising lives, and we join our voices to those who have sought to speak words of comfort and healing.

Many others, however, have responded by adding insult to injury, citing social myths and long-held prejudices that only fuel division, hatred and violence – and sometimes even death.

We, as leaders of faith, write today to say we must hold ourselves accountable, and we must hold our colleagues in the ministry, accountable for the times, whether by our silence or our proclamations, our inaction or our action, we have fueled the kinds of beliefs that make it possible for people to justify violence in the name of faith. Condemning and judging people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity can have deadly consequences, both for the victims of hate crimes and those who commit them.

There is no excuse for inspiring or condoning violence against any of our human family. We may not all agree on what the Bible says or doesn’t say about sexuality, including homosexuality, but this we do agree on: The Bible says, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them.” Abiding in love – together – is the rule we must all preach, teach, and seek to live by.

People of faith must realize that if teens feel they will be judged by their church, rejected by their families and bullied by their peers, they may have nowhere to turn.

Too many things go unspoken in our communities. It’s time to talk openly and honestly about the diversity of God’s creation and the gift of various sexual orientations and gender identities – and to do that in a way that makes it safe for people to disagree and still abide in love.

It’s time to talk openly and honestly about the use and misuse of power and authority by those we entrust with our spiritual well-being.  It’s time to make it safe for our clergy colleagues who are struggling to live what they preach, to get the help and support we all sometimes need.

The young people who took their lives a few weeks ago died because the voices of people who believe in the love of God for all the people of God were faint and few in the face of those who did the bullying, harassing and condemning. Today we write to say we will never again be silent about the value of each and every life.

To that end, we pledge to urge our churches, our individual parishes or offices, our schools and religious establishments to create safe space for each and every child of God, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. And we ask you to join us in that pledge.

Today, we personally pledge to be LGBT and straight people of faith standing together for the shared values of decency and civility, compassion and care in all interactions. We ask you, our colleagues, to join us in this pledge.

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Quebec monk declared saint for his ‘boundless charity’

The tapestry of Saint Andre Bessette, of Canada, is displayed on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica during a Canonization Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s square at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. (AP / Gregorio Borgia)

CTV.ca News Staff

Date: Sun. Oct. 17 2010 9:43 PM ET

The humble Quebec monk who founded Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory was named a saint by Pope Benedict in a ceremony at the Vatican Sunday.

The former Brother Andre, who was credited with miracle healings before his death in 1937, is now known as St. Andre.

The Pope told the thousands of faithful gathered for the ceremony, including hundreds of Canadians, that although St. Andre was poorly educated and working at a menial job, he was an inspiration to many faithful.

“(As) doorman at the Notre Dame College in Montreal, he showed boundless charity and did everything possible to soothe the despair of those who confided in him,” Benedict said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon led the official Canadian delegation to the ceremony.

“Here is a person who throughout his life had a dream, and he was able to pursue that dream, he was able to build the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal,” Cannon told CTV News Channel on Sunday in a telephone interview from Rome.

“So I think that when one looks at him, and what he was able to do throughout his life, he will be an inspiration for generations of Canadians to come.”

Francoise Bessette, whose grandfather was Brother Andre’s first cousin, was among the thousands of Canadians in attendance.

“I didn’t think this would happen while I was alive,” said Bessette, whose brother was named after the saint. “So to be here today is very special for me.”

In Montreal, the faithful crowded around a big-screen television in the Oratory’s church to watch the ceremony broadcast live from St. Peter’s Square.

His elevation to sainthood will carry some worldly benefits for St. Andre’s hometown, according to Kevin Wright, the president of the U.S.-based world religious travel association.

“When an individual is declared a saint, their shrines attract significant numbers of visitors,” Wright told CTV News Channel. “And we’re going to see that in Montreal.”

He said that while the oratory that St. Andre founded is not as big a draw as sites like the French shrine at Lourdes, it already attracts an estimated one million pilgrims a year.

And Wright said that St. Andre’s sanctification will only boost those numbers.

“Over the next couple of years we could see that double and get up to three, four or even five million people. And that’s incredible.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that the newly canonized St. Andre was “a great Canadian.”

“Brother Andre’s canonization is an important inspiration to us all, and the Oratory will continue to serve as a central landmark of spiritual strength and faith for Quebecers and all Canadians.”

Premier Jean Charest said in a statement from Quebec City that Saint Andre is a major figure in Quebec and that his “canonization gives full measure to his work as well as to his place in Quebec history.”

All the attention and ceremony would likely have embarrassed St. Andre, who was known for his humility and his faith, which has been described by Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte as strong enough “to move mountains.”

St. Andre was born Alfred Bessette in St-Gregoire-d’Iberville on Aug. 9, 1845, and was orphaned at the age of 12.

In 1904, the Holy Cross brother founded Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory, a landmark church on the northern slope of Mount Royal that receives about 2 million visitors every year.

He became known for comforting the sick, and is credited with more than 100,000 miraculous healings before his death in 1937 at age 91. Two of those healings met the Vatican standard for a miracle, reported the Globe and Mail’s Eric Reguly from Rome.

The drive for the canonization goes back to 1940, when it was started by the Archdiocese of Montreal and the Congregation of Holy Cross and St. Joseph’s Oratory.

He was declared “venerable” by Pope Paul VI in 1978, and beatified — declared “blessed” — by Pope John Paul II in 1982.

Benedict announced his canonization in February after officially recognizing a second miracle attributed to him.

Brother Andre died at age 91 on Jan. 6, 1937. During the six days and nights before his funeral, more than one million people filed past his coffin.

His heart still rests in a small shrine in the Oratory, where he was ultimately laid to rest.

The heart, which is on public view as an object of contemplation for pilgrims, is protected by security systems after it was stolen in 1973. Police recovered it almost two years later from the basement of a home near Montreal.

Brother Andre follows in the footsteps of Marguerite d’Youville, who was born in 1701 and was the first saint born on what is now Canadian territory.

Canada’s other saints are Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was born in France in 1620 and is considered the co-founder of Montreal, and eight French-born Jesuit martyrs who were killed during the 1640s.

Benedict gave Australia its first saint, canonizing 19th-century nun Mary MacKillop.

Also canonized Sunday were Stanislaus Soltys of Poland, Italians Giulia Salzano and Battista Camilla da Varano, and Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola of Spain.

Flipped the Switch …

Courtesy: Logontoboys

Sunday 9 p.m.

I spoke to the service team here at WordPress over the weekend about switching my domain from the old site to this one, and voila they got the job done for me. We also got word from several of the generator sites over the weekend that the blog has been approved across the board and traffic has spiked in the last 24 hours up to numbers that we used to get on the old site.

We are now operating at optimum speed and everything is up and running across the board. All my link sites are connected, the domain is redirecting traffic to this site and I could not be more happy.

Last night I got showered and dressed and bundled up for a trip to Verdun for a meeting, walking all the way to the train station and taking a train down into Verdun only to find when I got there that the meeting was canceled. That was a waste of time and effort.

Tonight I got out to Sunday Nighter’s for the literature discussion meeting and that went well. We read from Living Sober, and eliminating self pity. We had a lively discussion on the topic.

I decided not to stay for the speaker meeting. I instead had to stop by the store to get dinner for tonight, the IGA doesn’t stay open after 9 so I got that done on the way back.

Another week is about to begin. Yay …

What I'd Do With a Million Dollars

I have often thought about hitting that amount in a lottery. The first thing I would do is pay off all of our debts. Secondly, I would buy a condo here in Montreal, in a very tall building because we have a 17th story view now, I would want the same or better. I have mused about this as well… There are people in my life who could use a few bucks, and I would donate a chunk of money to friends.

After taking care of us and my friends, I would gather my friends from far and wide and we would travel the world. Nothing would be more fun that to revisit some of the places I have been to in my life, with my hubby and a chosen few friends.

I think that about wraps up my million dollars…

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What I'd Do With a Million Dollars

I have often thought about hitting that amount in a lottery. The first thing I would do is pay off all of our debts. Secondly, I would buy a condo here in Montreal, in a very tall building because we have a 17th story view now, I would want the same or better. I have mused about this as well… There are people in my life who could use a few bucks, and I would donate a chunk of money to friends.

After taking care of us and my friends, I would gather my friends from far and wide and we would travel the world. Nothing would be more fun that to revisit some of the places I have been to in my life, with my hubby and a chosen few friends.

I think that about wraps up my million dollars…

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