Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

The Oscars

Evolution (Fall Photo Essay #1)

Sunday 9 September 2007
Temp: 18c
Cloudy – Cool
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Today marks the beginning of my Fall Evolution Photography Project. Here you have three shots from my balcony of the trees in the neighborhood and at the bottom, Cabot Square. If you notice on these photos that the trees are starting to “lighten up,” I will be posting this series of photos over the next few months to photo document the seasons changing.

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As you can see – I have updated my blog photos and I will be taking other shots of the neighborhood and my travels around the city. So stay tuned for much more photography in the coming months.


Photo Essay #9 Storm Clouds and Color

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The sky was leaden as the sun set behind the dark clouds. It was the colors that attracted my camera. I just had to get the shot, before the light faded.

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Hurrican Dean from the I.S.S.

Hurricane Dean from the International Space Station/NASA


He moves in mysterious ways…

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Have you ever seen God? Would you know what to look for, if you knew for a fact that He would show his face? Do you know for sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exists?

Of all the meetings that I have been going to over the last five and a half years, there is one true location that God seems to make his presence known to people in attendance. That meeting would be Tuesday’s Beginners. St. Leon’s is a hallowed church in Westmount. And the members of our meeting never shy away from the spiritual and better yet, none of our members take for granted the fact that they can talk about God as they would any other subject.

Our meeting has been in existence for over 56 years. Several incarnations later and decades following we have seen people come, and go and come and go and come again… And I can tell you with certainty that I have seen God move throughout the room. There is just a feeling, a visual of light that comes from above (the church) and comes down through the ceiling and rests in the middle of the room.

People are having spiritual experiences, and we see it happen week in and week out. People remark that they feel so safe and comfortable in our room. And we find that slippers come back to us to restart their “journeys” after periods of further alcoholic experimentation. Another woman returned to us after a decade of struggle. Today’s topic was “what do you do to guarantee your sobriety?” Nothing guarantees our sobriety better than intensive work with another alcoholic.

My friend KEN came up from Toronto – one of my readers here at my blog. We met some weeks ago at the memorial service for his brother Craig, at St. James United. I had invited him to a meeting when he came to visit. He came to our meeting today, and what a joyous time we all had. We get visitors from all over the world – come to our meeting, and they all leave with a sense of calm and sober understanding.

The last visitor who came to our meeting and told us that God did not exist and that he was a confirmed Atheist, left that meeting and never returned! ‘Coincidence?’ I think not.

On the way home tonight I was walking with Louise and I told her about my perception of God’s power and light finding its way into the meeting and she said to me, “You aren’t the only one to say that, many people believe that God visits our meeting because we honor Him and we talk about Him and we pray to him unified and believing.

So many people have come through our room, and we are as constant as the North Star. We are a place of safety and love. We are always welcoming and spiritually centered, even when we run insane and crazy, the one true fact is that I believe that tonight, like may nights before, God came, saw and shown his light to those who were there.

A woman who had returned spoke of God to me after the meeting. And I told her “you saw the light, have you!” He was here; he is always here, because we seek him with sincere and humble hearts. We gather in his name, there is not one non-believer in the group. Yet we don’t push religion – or faith. But we speak boldly about a Higher Power, who just happens to be God for many of us.

I have seen him change hearts and heal lives and He has made people well, and sober. He has carried their burdens and held them when they wept. He has blessed so many with good things, and people come to express gratitude for all great things, and we all know that there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. People are put into our paths for specific reasons if you are able to divine those reasons as the need arises.

I see the face of God in the people I serve. I see the Christ in those who struggle and I see the spirit in those who have been renewed and healed. Look out into the trees and see his divine hand in creation, in the fall, see him paint the city in colors as bright as the sun. And in the Winter I wait for the silence, for that one true night when the clouds fall and the hush falls over the city as the first flake of winter snow falls, I rush outside and I welcome the voice of God as he whispers to the city… “I am here…”

I have seen him, and I know his voice…

And if you hear his voice today, Harden not your hearts.

 

 

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The Tams in Montreal

The Tams in Montreal

Woo Hoo my first production video from Mount Royal taken with my new camera.

Enjoy!!!

Ugh, after all that work, there is a freakin typo at the end of the video!!

*ACK*


It is so wickedly HOT!!!

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Time: 8:05 p.m.
Temp: 30c
Humidex: 38c

High Heat and Humidity Warning still in effect…

They warned us last night that today the mercury would rise farther up the thermometer than we had seen it in a years time. They weren’t kidding. Not having air conditioning is a pain in the ass, and the fact that we face West with 2 rooms with full windows on both walls makes it even harder. I turned down the dark shades on the widows to try and block the sunlight from frying the apartment and both my wind towers are running at full speed. We can’t “hang” a portable AC unit 17 stories up because it isn’t safe, seeing that directly below on the ground floor is the entrance to the garage, and God forbid a unit falls and kills somebody.

I met with one of my friends today and we had a great discussion. I know that a lot of people read yesterdays entry but once again, nobody leaves comments, so I don’t know what the community at large thinks about what I wrote. I wish, at least, that some of you would engage in a conversation. but oh well. Never expect …

I guess I will leave it there for tonight. I’ve got a whopper headache and I can’t think straight, not that I could ever think “Straight!” mu ha ha ha ha ha!!!

OH GOD – SEND US SNOW!!!!


Custodians of a Living Earth …

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I’m reading again, “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” and I am in the mindset to write about the custodianship of the living earth. The earth is in a shift, I think we can all agree on that – and attention is now on prevention and maintenance of the earth as it exists today. I have written recently about the fact that many people in my own community are not “Being Maintained” by anyone, they are lost among the crowd, banished to sidewalks, doorways and shelters. What can I do to change that? Write…

What if the governments of the world decided to stop warring and fighting amongst themselves? How much money would we have to spend on other things like food, shelter and water? I heard a comment on late night radio last night that

“There will be wars fought over drinking water!”

I am sure that there are some who think about the Order who seek to bring down the number of earths inhabitants by the millions. There is a surplus in population in certain areas of the world, and for some that is too much, and they would rather see them eradicated than to house and feed them.

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The earth is sputtering on its axis. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Hurricane, Oceanic changes to salinity and food source and the cooling of warm water fisheries all over the globe are causing catastrophic changes to major areas of the worlds oceans. How many more signs do we need from Mother Earth to tell us that something is wrong? And if we don’t stop with our preoccupation with war, division, killing and ignorance, that when “IT” happens we will not survive whatever IT will unleash.

I know better than to sit in my what if’s and coulda, woulda, shoulda! I can look out my windows from here and see trees and grass and the mountain off to the North. We can look out at our world and know that there are forests and people and animals who live amongst that forest. Forests are burning – trees are dying – infestations of beetles are killing swaths of forest across Canada, borne on the winds moving West to East. But I wonder what haven’t we done as custodians of the earth to try and mitigate these things from happening.

What if, The Almighty came down from heaven and told warring factions to lay down their arms, and those in power were removed and power was granted to the masses to govern themselves and the wars stopped all over the earth, not just in certain areas. All the warring areas on the globe. What if we heard from on high that “they” believe that wars fought over ideologies and factions needed to end today, right now, for us to stop killing each other and become custodians to one another. How would that change the face of the earth?

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Is there a way for the world to get up and state unanimously that the wars should end? Can we impeach presidents around the world, in countries that are sponsoring, funding and are waging wars on other peoples? Do you see what I am asking here?

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We truly need to depose several key world leaders, and the American President AND his entire cabinet need to be removed from office, sooner than later. Because America has been hijacked and “Nazi Control” is becoming an adjective to explain George W. Bush.

Mr. Bush, we are not With you –
And We Stand Against You!! It is time to leave Office…

 

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DO WE want to maintain another Hitler in office? Do we want this man making law and imposing unconstitutional amendments upon his people and the world? Because if he does it – the world is watching and you know, the only reason Hitler was so successful at what he did in the Holocaust, was because the people listened to him, and if the American President can do what he is doing, that gives free reign to other leaders to do the same!!! Bush still has the ears of many world leaders, who are not MAN or WOMAN enough to say NO! We will not follow you. So what do we do?

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There are some in power who would see people determined to be locked down and subjugated. That is already happening all over the globe, in many countries. Darfur, Sudan and in other areas of Africa, people are corralled into camps, with no water, electricity or better yet SHELTER. People are being slaughtered by militia men. We need to stop them and the killing needs to end. Genocide is happening in OUR time once again, and on many fronts, we must stop the genocide because:

 

 

 

“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”

In the Middle East, the most contentious area of the globe, not to mention Iraq and the Fertile Crescent area of the world including Afghanistan, the militias and the Taliban are trying to eradicate (on a mass scale) entire peoples akin to the likes of Adolf Hitler. If we prayed for the savior to come again and save us, this would be the time and the place.

We must now act, decisively and verbally. We need to lobby those who are in power to do the right thing. We need to Impeach the President. We need to stop the killing in Darfur, we need to stop the wars in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. We need people on the ground who can be trusted to help reconcile the factions that are fighting with each other and those factions who have fighting going on within themselves. We need ambassadors to get in the game and negotiations must be made to end the worlds strife and wars. If we don’t start this now, WHO is going to take our place later to hold those in office accountable for

“Crimes Against Humanity”

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It’s not about who – but What is in this photo, read on…

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There are too many people around the globe, being ignored. There are entire continents and nations of people that need to be cared for, not to forget those people in warring countries who need to be fed, re-housed and repatriated back to where they came from, those who had to flee to save their own lives. Rich countries sit back and say “we are doing all we can for those inside our borders.”

Yet on the European continent we know for a fact that there are disenfranchised peoples, in the millions, who are not being cared for properly because of the arrogance of status, ethnic superiority and ignorance to accept everyone for who they are not what form of dress or religious affiliation they identify with.

It comes down to the people to start the tide of Anarchy and Dissension. It is time to take back our land and our government from those who have taken it from us. They have been poor stewards of the land, the environment and of peoples. We must stop this – there is too much conflict in the world, so much that any “other” needs are being ignored at the expense of the whole, for a chosen few.

It Is Time to:

Bring the Soldiers Home – Stop the Wars. You either follow certain prescriptions here: (1) You bring ALL warring leaders to Justice, (2) Let them kill each other and save us the headache, or (3) You bring ‘Just’ Diplomatic Solutions to Warring Factions and Areas – and Sit Down and HAMMER out Peace Agreements and Co-Existence Clauses.

Isn’t it time to sit down and think and come to the realization that what war has done for the last 4 years has NOT worked, so let’s allow the Diplomats to work on Peace.

The Mission is NOT Accomplished.

Peace and Democracy has not been attained and WON’T be attained with the present course of action. WAR does not create Democracy – it Breeds Contempt, Rancor, Hatred and brings Division instead of creating Unity.

In Stopping Wars, Governments Agree to Equal care to all Soldiers repatriated home and for their families. And Agree to Rebuild war torn areas with the funds used to carry out war, and Care for those most affected by the war in their Respective regions.

This applies to Canada and the United States and All Countries involved in wars worldwide. It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against WAR!! It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against a President or a sitting Prime Minister.

 

 

Democracy is built on the premise of government for the people by the people !! Well People need to start speaking out for Change…

 

 

The ‘People’ are being AND have been hugely ignored, save those who support the puppet in office and his cronies he protects. The Ship is Sinking – and is Going down. Who is going to save us? It comes down to us, those of us who are writing around the world, to speak up and ask each and every one of our readers to join this movement. To call your leaders and rulers to task, to make them accountable not only to you the citizens of the country that you reside in, but also to the immigrants who have resettled there as well. Leaders need to be accountable to the earth as well.

Or We Shall Pay when Catastrophe Occurs

 

We cannot remain self absorbed and self centered. We must step beyond the borders of nationalism and ethnic superiority. We all must be made equal, in that we must begin to love and take care of each other and to become custodians of the world at large, and it begins with me. It begins with you. It continues with US. We must, with a resounding voice say “we have had enough of this…” It is time to end this.

Before We Kill Each Other Trying to create Peace !!!

 

 

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We must become better custodians to the earth. If we stop the raping and pillaging of the land, we must stop the wars, we must stop the killing of innocents. We must stop the tide of suicide bombers. West and East must come together. The West and The East must agree NEVER to wage war again, however possible that is… We must find peaceful and RIGHT means to the future sustaining of the worlds populations. We MUST find an earthly solution, if we must, a heavenly solution.

“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”

 

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You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter

Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,

Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Survival in Auschwitz


Foggy Montreal … Photo Essay 4

Current Conditions:
Temp: 18c
Humidity: 100%
Winds: NE 11km/h
FOG: visibility 100 m

Night Photography – Flash and Zoom lens on Alexis Nihon Plaza/

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Answer the Call …

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As part of the Live Earth concerts, people are spreading the word about ways to be part of the worldwide effort. I have signed the PLEDGE

Please go to www.liveearth.org and take action yourself.

You can see all 8 Live Earth concerts live and on demand at http://www.liveearth.msn.com – and you can take action there, too!

Thank you so much.


The New Seven Wonders:

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The New Seven Wonders Site.

  1. Christ the Redeemer, Brasil
  2. The Great Wall, China
  3. Machu Piccu, Peru
  4. Petra, Jordan
  5. The Roman Colloseum, Rome
  6. The Taj Mahal, India 
  7. Chichen Itza, Mexico 

Global vote picks Seven Wonders

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Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is among the modern-day Seven Wonders

A non-profit foundation has named the Seven New Wonders of the World at a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, Brazil’s Statue of Christ Redeemer, the Colosseum in Rome and Jordan’s Petra all made the list.

The Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in Mexico and India’s Taj Mahal were also picked, but England’s Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower in Paris missed out.

Organisers say about 100m people cast votes over the internet and by phone.

The New7Wonders campaign is the brainchild of a Swiss man, Bernard Weber, who has had a varied career as a film-maker and museum curator.

Recognising achievements

American actress Hilary Swank said at the presentation ceremony: “Never before in history have so many people participated in a global decision.”

Organisers say the contest was a chance to recognise the achievements of societies outside Europe and the Middle East.

Tourists at Chichen Itza in Mexico

There are fears the ruins at Chichen Itza could have too many tourists

The original list of seven wonders was established more than 2,000 years ago by Greek scholars.

It included the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, the ancient lighthouse outside Alexandria, the great pyramid at Giza – the only survivor – and three other long-vanished edifices.

The campaign has been some six years in the making.

But the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) – which has long had its own World Heritage List – has criticised the organisation’s approach.

Unesco argues that the list is very limited. Its own World Heritage List numbers sites including 660 cultural and 166 natural.

Success in the competition will not be popular with everyone.

Archaeologists said the Mayan ruins, at Chichen Itza in south-eastern Mexico could be hit by an avalanche of additional visitors and that the extra wear and tear could force authorities to limit the tourist traffic.


Live Earth from Montreal

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It has been a quiet day today. I have the house to myself. I got some much needed chores done around the house, with musical accompaniment. At 5:00p.m. eastern time, Madge played Wembly in London. It was a great set from Madonna. She sang “Hey You” with a young peoples chorus, “Ray of Light” and “La Isla Bonita” and finally “Hung Up.” It was like going to the concert itself because she had all her dancers, props and even the stage set up for the runway portion of her music.  Fantastic. I only video taped the last number.

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If you are interested you can visit the “Live Earth.Org Site”  

We started watching the concerts last night from Sydney. It is time to get conscious and start making a difference. I am waiting on the new Canadian Tire to reopen up the block before I start my Summer renovations. The “Tire” is upgrading and doubling its size in the mall, and we have some much needed renovations that need to happen as the sun has charred all of our window blinds and they are falling apart. Light bulbs need to be replaced and  the new “green” bulbs are not cheap. But nonetheless, Montrealers are very active in the recycling and green initiatives. So we do our part. I don’t have a car so my carbon footprint isn’t that BIG!

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So what will you do to change the world? And have you started? Share with my readers what you have done to help the planet. Comments are open and always appreciated.


It's raining – It's Pouring …

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Montreal 28 June 2007 – 3:06 a.m.
Current Conditions: Temp: 20c / Humidex: 27 / Humidity: 96%
Winds: SSE – 4kmh Severe humidity and heat warning, Torrential Rain overnight and massive lightening strikes all over the city. Rain is coming down in sheets like bands of a hurricane. We haven’t seen rain like this in a many months.

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It’s raining, it’s pouring
My lovelife is boring me to tears, after all these years

No sunshine, no moonlight, no stardust, no sign of romance
We don’t stand a chance

I always dreamed I’d found the perfect lover
But he turned out to be like every other man
I’ve loved,
I’ve loved

Raining (raining)
Pouring (pouring)
There’s nothing left for us here
And we won’t waste another tear

If you’ve had enough, don’t put up with his stuff, don’t you doit

If you’ve had your fill, get the check pay the bill, you can doit

Tell him to just get out,

Nothing left to talk about

Pack his raincoat show him out

Just look him in the eye and simply shout:
Enough is enough
I can’t go on, I can’t go on no more no
Enough is enough
I want him out, I want him out that door now

Enough is enough
Enough is enough
That’s enough


It’s raining – It’s Pouring …

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Montreal 28 June 2007 – 3:06 a.m.
Current Conditions: Temp: 20c / Humidex: 27 / Humidity: 96%
Winds: SSE – 4kmh Severe humidity and heat warning, Torrential Rain overnight and massive lightening strikes all over the city. Rain is coming down in sheets like bands of a hurricane. We haven’t seen rain like this in a many months.

************

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It’s raining, it’s pouring
My lovelife is boring me to tears, after all these years

No sunshine, no moonlight, no stardust, no sign of romance
We don’t stand a chance

I always dreamed I’d found the perfect lover
But he turned out to be like every other man
I’ve loved,
I’ve loved

Raining (raining)
Pouring (pouring)
There’s nothing left for us here
And we won’t waste another tear

If you’ve had enough, don’t put up with his stuff, don’t you doit

If you’ve had your fill, get the check pay the bill, you can doit

Tell him to just get out,

Nothing left to talk about

Pack his raincoat show him out

Just look him in the eye and simply shout:
Enough is enough
I can’t go on, I can’t go on no more no
Enough is enough
I want him out, I want him out that door now

Enough is enough
Enough is enough
That’s enough


The Church of St. Louis (where I grew up)

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The unassuming building hides among the homes that line the street where my former High School is located, Palmetto Senior High. You’d never know such a church exists until you happen upon it driving down 120th street. Since many years there are tall sentinel palm trees that line the streets adjacent to the church grounds. This most peculiar “space ship” looking church would gather thousands upon thousands of parishoners over the years.

This would become home for many, and later a place of education for students. An aspiration that was the brainchild of one Rev. Father James Fetscher. The leader of a rag tag bunch of men who knew their faith and led us through life with their wisdom, faith and love. Many of us came to know God here, and many young people came to know the love and forgiveness and most importantly the “acceptance” of Jesus, no matter who we were or what road we traveled.

The landscaping around the Church and school site lends to the natural beauty of the plants and trees and also accents the neighborhood and this oasis of spiritual life is an amazing retreat away from the world outside not far away.

We would walk up the street from the High school and have lunch on the grounds every day during the school year. The proximity of sacred space to the profane world of life and school lent to the fostering of a spiritual life and practice. As long as one kept their minds and hearts on the life of Jesus once could not go wrong.

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Looking from the West end of the courtyard and the (then) Religious Education and Youth Ministry offices this is the courtyard of St. Louis Catholic church. I spent many a day and night sitting in this courtyard with my friends, with ministry leaders and fellow parishioner’s who attended mass in this amazing church. The architecture is unlike any church many had ever seen. It’s modern lines and circular and dome themes are prevalent all over the church campus.

There is a noticed departure from sharp lines and corners, the builders of this space, moved away from the “square – box” method of church building when the new sanctuary was built. All the outdoor accents and seating have curved edges which invites people to sit and linger. To gather and converse. To the right of the photo you see a raised seating area, where many of us met to travel around the city on ministry projects and retreats all over the world.

We celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Church outside in this square when I was a teen ager. Imagine the congregation being seated in the square and the celebration of Holy Eucharist in the open air, it was quite an amazing time in our church history.

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The Great Doors – each door with its own religious themes replaces wooden doors over the years. Under the most amazing domed reception area outside the main sanctuary and chapel and Blessed Sacrament Chapel which is open twenty four hours a day with someone always praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

Inside these doors sits a baptismal fount / fountain which gurgles with the flow of blessed water for the worshipers in the church as they come to mass. A very holy “oasis” amid the architectural masterpiece that is the main sanctuary of St. Louis.

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A very special anecdote: The battle of the aspersorium (L), aspergill (Eng). When the four horsemen where together on the altar, Fr’s Fetscher, Kish, McGowan and Fr. Radloff, on certain holy days when the blessing of the people with holy water would take place, it was a battle of the men to see who would drown the other in Holy Water. As each High Holy Mass was celebrated, the ‘main’ celebrant would usually change. So each would have his turn in dowsing the other with massive amounts of Holy water from the aspergill. It was a hoot to sit on the altar and watch this little ‘in house’ competition progress over the years.

This is the main sanctuary. The most amazing Holy Space ever to be built. Built in the spirit of the Roman Amphitheater style, there is not one bad sight line in the entire space. With the sanctuary in the “round” and banked as the amphitheaters of antiquity, the worshipers are witness to the theatrics of the Holy Mass.

To the right and left of the brick altar area are large blank walls, as I began to attend church here, there was the move from hand held lectionaries-missals and song books to a more multi-media savvy congregation. With hands free worship there wasn’t the need to take the focus away from the action going on – on the altar or within the sacred space.

All of the spoken words, prayers, responses and music and as well, audio visual accompaniment for the mass are projected onto the walls (left and right) of the altar. This audio visual lends to the complete participation of everyone in the worship space. No one is preoccupied with looking down into some book or missal. All eyes are front and center, participating in the rites of Holy Mass and the celebration of Eucharist.

Lighting is a very important component to worship in this space. As you notice in this photograph, light is concentrated on the altar itself, and the congregation is darkened to bring lighted accent to the location of celebration, the ‘focal point’ of the Eucharist, the altar and the main celebrant. Over to the far right of the altar, located off screen is the band pit where the light controls are located. As mass progresses from start to finish, the lighting in the entire sanctuary moves. Lighting is the indicator of movement, and in this space with the wood accents and white walls, light and shadow play off each other as mass is presented each weekend.

Tucked in between the levels of the aisles, are the entrance doors, for entry and exit and also to the left of the altar stones in the funerary doors which allow access for the caskets of the deceased to be brought into the sanctuary for blessed rites of Christian burial. The immense size of the main sanctuary lends to fantastical processions on high holy days and the procession of ministers on any given Sunday.

A wedding procession of a bride through the space to meet her husband at the central point directly in front of the altar bricks is just an amazing vision. Circular lines of the space lend to the flowing of people and ministers throughout the space. There are no sharp corners or the interruption of the flow of people and holiness.

The lighting moves from the main sanctuary to the celebratory area, where the celebrant, lectors and the cantor take their places during mass. Above and behind the main altar you notice the gold colored wall which houses a projection room above and behind the altar space. This back lit screen also adds audio visual accompaniment to the mass.

On any given Sunday you will see the liturgical theme of the day, the liturgical color of the Christian Liturgical season and also progressive slide shows during High Holy Days and celebrations. The ‘Easter Vigil’ is the highest liturgical celebration in this space. Mass on Holy Saturday is the most cosmic and most amazing presentation of high mass theatrical worship I have ever witnessed. The sacred space decorated with the most beautiful of trees, flowers and religious items is just amazing.

If you notice high above the altar upwards towards the ceiling, a notch, following with straight architectural lines of the building, there is yet another space for liturgical decoration. You see the yellow fabric behind the very large cross that hangs behind and above the altar. At the uppermost area of the sanctuary is the highest point of access in the sacred space.

During Advent and the Christmas season, you will see Christmas trees there, high above the altar, as they are also decorated aside the altar proper on the ground level. As you must ponder, with the wide open spaces here in the main sanctuary the eyes are drawn to multiple locations in the sanctuary, as there is much to see. It is a veritable feast for the eyes on any given Sunday.

As the ceiling is formed in wood in circular patterns the cement architecture is in round forms as it encircles the whole of the uppermost sanctuary ceiling. As one looks up at the spectacle of the most beautiful wood form, during the Christmas holidays, you might find an angel hanging over the sacred space, trumpet in hand, announcing the coming of the Christ child. She is a most beautiful angel.

The cross that you see hanging above the altar once stood on the altar during lent. There were years when the passion play was performed on Good Friday, and one of our members, we used to say, “he looked like Jesus,” would play his part. And one would swear that with the lighting technology and the meaning of the mass, that he was actually crucified on that very cross. I remember sitting in my pew weeping for Jesus on that most Holy of days.

The architecture of the sacred space, the interplay of light and shadow and the music of the season and the additional choirs and congregants inside the space made worshiping God and the celebration of the Eucharist an amazing weekly mass event. There has never been another Catholic Church, that I have ever seen built nor operated as this unique church has for so many decades.

To the right of the altar space is the lectern for the cantor or music minister and farther to the right you will see the seating area for the elderly and the handicapped. They are situated right close to the altar which is very important to those who come to hear the word and celebrate in the Eucharist. There is also a cry room, which is located to the upper far left of the frame. There is an old anecdote of the Rev Fr. Fetscher.

On any given Sunday, the good father would be preaching, as he walked around the sanctuary, a child would begin to wail, as the acoustics of the room lends to the reverberation of sound throughout the domed wooden structure, like a divining rod, the good father’s hand would rise as he continued to speak to the congregation, until he zeroed in to the exact location of the wailing child, as the parents attempted to quiet them or move as quickly as possible to the cry room, or out of the church completely, so as not to interrupt the train of the good father’s thought on the topic he was preaching on at the moment.

What is lacking in this new architecture is the lack of ‘old church’ visuals. The absence of statues, a tabernacle and candles as we would see in any given sanctuary in Montreal, in the Gothic and cathedral style church in this historical city of faith. The tabernacle was located in the chapel, then as I see in the photographs to follow, it must have been relocated into the Blessed Sacrament Chapel located in another area of the building.

You will see candles in use during mass and also during Advent. But there are no standing candles in open space within the sanctuary. Fire and soot from candles burning does not lend to the wood building of the sanctuary and the clean lines of the white washed walls.

I have served on this altar as an altar boy, a seminarian, lector and Eucharistic minister. It is a most beautiful vision to stand upon the altar and look out at the massive community of worshipers there to celebrate Holy Eucharist.

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The Chapel of St. Louis Catholic Church. These are the stained glass windows that bank the rear wall of the chapel and looks out to the parking lot and new covenant school. Each of the windows has origins in biblical scripture. I want to say that, if memory serves, but don’t quote me on this, but these are images from the book of Revelation.

Somewhere in my mind is a memory of this being mentioned to me at some point of time. In the chapel is where morning masses are held along with the recitation of the Holy Rosary. Funerals are also held in the space, there have been musical accompaniment in this space. This is the space where we buried my paternal grandparents, when Roger and Paul were still music ministers at the Church.

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This is the Sacred Space altar and lectern in the chapel. This chapel is also situated in ‘the round.’ the theme of circular space is repeated in all the main buildings in this specific building housing the main sanctuary, chapel and sacristy. There is a logical progression of ever changing architecture on the site moving from the primary sanctuary location which housed religious education, to this sanctuary space which is themed in the circular domed spaces.

As I look at this photo, observing the interplay of light and shadow, you have three elements. The light above the crucifix, the shadow on the walls to either side, and the light that streams in the windows in front of the altar space looking on. With circular space and the accent of internal lighting and the addition of natural light in the chapel and in the hallways of the building, the ‘drama of the spaces’ is made even deeper.

Different from the box – cathedral type church spaces we have here in Montreal, streaming light travels in one direction and towards the floor in our churches. With more rounded buildings such as these, light bends across, down and around the spaces, which brings movement and action to a quiet and sedate space. You do not see modern ‘churches in the round’ in a city steeped in architectural history.

As on kneels before Christ on the cross – you can imagine that – He is there, in the flesh, as you look upon his face, more than once, I imagine in my minds eye, that he is there alive, and beckons us to see Him in his most powerful state, that liminal space between life and death, where we are called to pray and believe that He will rise again on the third day. The crucifix sculpture is one of the most striking images of Christ I have ever seen.

The tabernacle was once located behind the altar beneath the most beautiful crucifix I have ever seen. This most lifelike representation of Christ on the Cross is amazingly detailed in size and scope. To the left of the crucifix is a painting of the Blessed Mother and child. In this sacred space you will find more conventional ‘church’ representations of religious artifacts. It is a most beautiful room to sit and pray, by ones self and ‘in community.’

When I was seeing Fr. Jeff for spiritual direction, some years ago, I would meet the daily group of people who attended the morning mass and we would recite the scriptural rosary every morning. It was an amazing way to star ones day, as the sun rose out of the east, the light would filter in the stained glass windows and illuminate the chapel, those seated in the chapel and as the light changed and light and shadow played off each other to lend such dramatic mood to the sacred space.

So this concludes a tour of my home parish of St. Louis Catholic Church in Miami Florida. I will be adding some more spiritual stories from this place to my ‘pages’ in the coming weeks as I compile my spiritual stories for my next publishing project.



What to do next???

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Yesterday was sweet. Now since I have no classes to attend I can catch up on my sleeping and not have to get up in the morning, since I an a nocturnal creature. I’d rather sleep during the day and have the night free to do whatever I pleased.

I went to have coffee with Ms. Nikki and we had fun. As always. I brought my diploma to show the rest of the group at the meeting and we had a little party before the meeting to celebrate. I got some really kool gifts. Ms. Nikki bought me a few boxes of Laura Secord Chocolates which are the best chocolates in Quebec. Their chocolate covered cherries are to die for!

She also gave us gift certificates for Provigo, our local grocer, seeing that the government had screwed us out of much needed financial assistance, which we have learned this week will be reinstated over the next calendar year. We set off on this huge odyssey with the government and even got a letter from the Minister of Education in Quebec City only to find out that the person who had the power to change this situation was at the institutional level. People in high places who choose to do nothing until they are backed up against the wall SUCK!

She also gave us two booklets of movie gift certificates which were very timely and appreciated. My in laws sent a nice card and some cash which we used to buy groceries. All in all, those people I counted on for support rose the the challenge and stood by me even if the institution and her students did not. Thank God that I don’t have to bother with any of them in the coming year. Good riddance.

It rained last night, and today the sky is blue the temperature is 23c which is cool and comfy and there is a breeze blowing which has cooled off the city quite nicely. There is rain in the forecast for the coming days. We watched a Thunder and Lightening storm cross the south shore yesterday afternoon but it did not rain on the city at all until late last night.

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DiverseCite

Montreal Pride Information can be found
at this link

DiverseCite

I know that many people will be going to Toronto this week to celebrate Pride – they have set out an ambitious advertising campaign on television. Most of our Toronto affiliated stations here and as well on Montreal channels are running the TO Pride ads around the clock. We have commitments here through the next week, and getting to Toronto is pricey since we don’t drive and finding a place to stay at this stage of the game would be futile. I hope that they have a wonderful week, I’m sure you will find plenty of writers talking about it over on many of my Canadian Gay Blogs over on the sidebar —> over there.

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What’s on the telly tonight?

So You Think You Can Dance!!

Woo Hoo!!

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Neil Haskell

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Kameron Bink

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Pavel Pkovalev

And let’s make honorable mention of a very popular dancer cut last week, Sad, Ricky isn’t going on this week, because he was so talented and not to mention he was a cutey!!

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Ricky Palomino

Last night friends of mine called from Texas and we laughed and giggled about boys and men, Beverly you are a strong and faithful woman. Like I said, what people think of us is none of our business. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. The divorce is final and the papers are signed and you can move on with your life. Now it is time to put those new sheets to good use. Ooops did I say that!!!

It is good to have the Kahuna in North America proper. I am hoping to make a pilgrimage to Texas in the month of August after all of my boys are situated in their new digs and by then the Kahuna should have a place for me to stay, or I can crash on Beverly’s sofa! So Sam and I can have some fun ‘gaming’ and playing frisbee golf! I’ve never played frisbee golf before.

This is for Michael and Tom: Karl is in Houston and he got there yesterday and he is with the family now at their home in Katy! So he made it across country safe and sound. I am supposed to call and check on him tonight. Now all I need is for Jon to make his move to San Antonio and we will all be set.

The great thing about having the Kahuna around is that if you cannot go to church because people are nosy and judgmental and opinionated, well like I said, we can give the Kahuna a lectionary and you can have church in the backyard, since he is an ordained minister!!

I can’t wait to have church at home when I get there. The two preachers and the woman with the scarlet letter on her dress and the other groupies from the lot. YAY!!

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Today is a quiet day. Hubby had some things to do today and now he is seeing his doctor and he should be home shortly. We went grocery shopping and cleared $100.00 in foodstuffs in less than 30 minutes! We love grocery shopping. But I must admit the price of food has risen considerably here in Montreal over the last few weeks. Meats have more than doubled in price, and milk went up as well. They warned us that the fresh fruit shipments would go up this summer and they weren’t kidding. I bought a bunch of grapes which cost me almost $6.00! Strawberries are running between $5 and $6 a quart. We had a run on raspberries last week – they were 3 pints for $5.00 which was sweet.

Have you noticed that the price of cereal has risen to insane levels? Since we have these certificates we splurged of foods that we would not necessarily buy because they are just too expensive. So a box of mini, mini, mini, mini wheats was $7.00!!! Ice Cream is running between $5.00 and $7.00 a carton. It’s just insane the prices they are charging for food these days. We usually stick to staples and flyer sales each week to do our shopping. We buy in bulk when there is a sale – but for the most part we don’t pack the cupboards when prices are running too high. So what did $100.00 but? Dinners for a week, lunches for a week, a few odds and ends, some cleaning and health a beauty supplies, and some veggies and fresh fruit.

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Moving Day is July 1st!!!

Here in Quebec we have a yearly tradition. It is called Moving Day. This day falls on July first, since most leases run June to June of any calendar year. Early in January and February landlords send out rent renewals and then follows the annual rent increase that happens here in Quebec. This is when landlords get to rake us over the coals by raising rents to insane amounts and we tenants fight with the Rental board and landlords to negotiate a more manageable settlement on the next years rent. We are still paying less than $700.00 for a one bedroom apartment. In Quebec speak, I think that qualifies as a 2 1/2. I can never get that straight. I wouldn’t move from here because we have a 17th story view West over the city into Westmount and we can see 35 miles on a clear day from our windows and balcony.

So Moving Day, I digress…

 

This is the time (now) that people are looking for new places to live. It is a far gone conclusion that in the next 2 weeks we will start seeing furniture being thrown out on the sidewalks and massive garbage heaps all over the place as landlords clean out left over furniture and tenant stuffs. It is worse in other areas of the city where mounds of furniture litter sidewalks and alleyways.

 

AH! The good thing this year is that recently the mayor passed new city legislation giving his authorities to write tickets for littering and they have teams going out to explore alleyways and sidewalks around businesses to try and clean up our streets because after last winter there was SO MUCH TRASH under neath melting snow that Montreal got a Very Dirty Report from visitors and residents of the city.

 

So the idiots of the city who do not renew their leases nor continue at their present locations are running around the city like mad people trying to find new lodgings. We get a rash of abandoned pets on the streets, the influx of garbage and furniture piles and dirty streets. People are so adamant about moving here in Montreal that they creates such drama for themselves by moving YEARLY!! Which is just insane to us. It is very simple;

 

DON’T MOVE
STAY WHERE YOU ARE FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!

 

All this drama gives us all a great big headache. The shelters are opening en masse to accommodate people who become homeless, you can’t bring pets to shelters so they get abandoned on the streets. Kennels are packed collecting those abandoned animals, and the move crisis will get worse as July 1st looms near. It is very INSANE! For weeks coming the news here will be reporting on the statistics on homeless tenants, the rental board will be up in arm, landlords will be gouging new tenants. All those new tenant rules will come into affect now that they are turning over vacated properties and fixing up new ones. It is just a serious travesty of monumental proportions.

 

Landlords in Montreal have no scruples. They are belligerent, rude and obnoxious. They only think of themselves and their families and fuck that so many people are going to soon become homeless that rents will not be negotiated as they are not every year. All the city landlords will be hiking rents astronomically so that middle class folk will never be able to afford those hiked rents and they will be forced to move off island and into the burbs to find housing. It is really sad. If you don’t have to move THEN DON’T!! Save yourself and us a lot of insanity and sleepless nights. It is all about the Almighty Dollar where rents are concerned.

 

Add to that the hike in Hydro billing, the merging of telecommunications giants here, Rogers and Sprint and the massive amounts of cell phone charges. Everyone is playing catch up on their bills especially HYDRO Quebec, because of the massive charges that we accrue yearly during the Winter for heating – they cannot turn off heating or electricity during the Winter for nonpayment. It is a law here, so now we are all playing the “pay the bill off now game.” Then Hydro will calculate the increase and modify our billing agreements and our payment plans for the next calendar year. UGH! Lord, give us strength. We are all pressured to pay off past balanced before the end of the Summer because it won’t be long after that that we start using heating into the Fall.

 

This has become quite a missive on Montreal, hasn’t it! I did not mention that there are new build apartment buildings that have gone up all over the downtown core. I’ve seen some of their pricing sheets and I must say that the rents in these snooty tooty buildings are astronomical. But I am sure they won’t have any problems filling those empty units. A tall building in the middle of the downtown core looking in any direction are classy digs. The higher up you are in the quarter the more beautiful the view. Especially in the Winter.

 

Well, I think I’ve written enough for now. So I am off to contemplate my navel and take a power nap, until later my babies… ta ta…

 

A few homo thoughts:

If you are drinking and driving, drive another fags car, because you might hit a bump and spill your drink!

Remember to wash your fruit before you eat it…