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Our Lady of Victory / St. Malachy
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Our Lady of Victory
Sunday - 9:00 A.M.
Saturday - 7:00 P.M.

F O O D   F O R   T H O U G H T

Reading I Isaiah 60. 1 - 6 Responsorial Psalm Lord, every nation on earth will adore you
Reading II Ephesians 3. 2 -3a, 5 - 6 Gospel Matthew 2. 1 - 12
Food for Thought
  • As Jesus’ life begins to unfold for us, the gospel writers underline that Jesus was excluded: born outside, in a stable, acclaimed as a king but immediately under the threat from those who held the political power.
  • The three wise men were also outsiders; they are our spiritual forebears; through them we are invited to approach the Messiah.
  • Lord, teach me to recognize God’s children and welcome them.

January 06th, 2008

490 Charles Street
Gatineau, Québec J8L 2K5
Monday and Thursday - 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday - 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
(819) 986-3763
(819) 961-3159

Welcome to those who want to make our parish their faith home. You may have come from other places. You may have been “away for a while”. Be assured that we love to have you among us. We would appreciate it very much if you identified yourself at Mass. It would also help if you would take the time to fill out a registration form. The next time you are with us, you may leave it in the collection basket or give it to one of the ushers or to the priest. Thank you and welcome.

M A S S       S C H E D U L E

SAT. Jan. 12th - 7:00 p.m. St. Malachy Paul Coveny & Holy Souls by Kathleen & Virginia Roos
SUN. Jan. 13th - 9:00 a.m. OLV Louis Weatherdon by Fran Butler
Veronica Smith by Mr. & Mrs. Richard Lavell
Pearl Philips by Michael McDonnell

– from the Prairie Messenger – are reproduced here in the bulletin:

Deepening our faith – Faith Today

Grasp full Christmas festival in person of Christ

(from the Prairie Messenger, December 19, 2007; page 11. By James Schellman - executive director of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate;

Try for a moment to imagine Christmas without Christ. It is actually pretty easy. Witness the “holiday season” as observed in our contemporary culture. It seems to become longer each year, now starting right around Halloween and concluding with Christmas Day, or for those with stamina, New Year’s Day. We cannot deny that there are good aspects of this experience. Our fractured society actually comes together in an unusual if partial way at this time. A sense of goodwill and solidarity takes temporary hold of us.

Even so, many Christians are in danger of losing an understanding and observance of the full season under the force of a “cultural Christmas.” How many Christians grasp the full Christmas festival, which begins four weeks before Christmas with the preparatory season of Advent – the beginning of the Christian year? The Christmas season reaches a climax on Christmas Day and continues for a few weeks into the new year until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. What is there in this ancient Christmas season of extended preparation and celebration that we lose at our peril? In short, we lose Christ, the whole person of Christ. The Christ of the Christmas season is not simply the babe in the manger. This Christ went on to live, to die an unspeakable death and to rise from the dead. And this same Lord will come again!

All of this history is held together in the few weeks of the Christmas season which proclaims the beginning of the end of the world as we know it – and that end itself. Through prayers and Scriptures, we hear again the story of our darkened world and of that world’s only salvation. The feast of God’s first coming in Christ is made the occasion for us to long anew for that time when God will come again to make of us, and the beloved broken world we share, what God intended from the beginning – a garden place of graced communion. This is the promise. We are its keepers and preachers. Our vocation is to embrace the story whole and leave none of it out, to offer it faithfully to a world that longs more than it knows for the truth of this transforming story.

What is at stake here is our way of seeing things whole, of living that vision faithfully. This is our vocation, our graced purpose in this world. We fudge it at our peril. Doesn’t Advent make this abundantly clear? The first few Sundays do not focus on the Incarnation. Rather, they (and the last few Sundays of Ordinary Time that precede them) raise our eyes to that whole vision of Christ, who will return at the end of time.

John the Baptist becomes for us the herald, not so much of that first coming, but of the returning Lord we are to watch for now. Even when the focus begins to shift to the birth narrative, it is never simply on Jesus’ birth alone. The babe in the manger is already identified through sign and symbol as the royal one destined to pay the dearest price for our redemption. Thus the Magi’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

No sooner is Jesus’ birth celebrated than we turn our minds and hearts to the major mysteries proclaiming his purpose and power. The Feast of the Holy Family inserts us immediately into the full humanity of this incarnate Lord, who for three decades was formed and nurtured in the bosom of an extended family. Then, contrary to the usual chronology, we return to the days after Christ’s birth in the feast of the Epiphany to celebrate the mystery of Jesus’ mission as the gift of God to all peoples.

No sooner have we chewed on this than we find ourselves at the edge of the Jordan with John the Baptist, who accedes to the now mature Lord’s desire and plunges him in the waters of the Jordan, ending Jesus’ 40-day sojourn in the desert apart from all he loved and launching Our Lord on his brief public life and the fullness of his mission.

This sacramental season immerses us new in our baptismal calling to lay down our lives for that new world where all tears will be wiped away, where broken individuals, families and communities will be made whole, where war can never again be waged let alone imagined. Through this full seasonal celebration we learn once again that this new world is what we pray for every Sunday: “Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory!”

It is a holy longing that is at the heart of our vocation. A longing for a God who with unimaginable humility became like us so that we might become like God. That transforming power and grace is meant to be shared. It is Christ’s continuing mission and now ours.

Little is known about three mysterious visitors

(Feature article from the Prairie Messenger December 19, 2007 by Benedicta Cipolla)

They came. They saw. They gifted. That’s about all we know of the foreign visitors who travelled to Bethlehem to see the infant Jesus. The scene ingrained in the public imagination – a stately procession of three kings in turbans, crowns, elaborate capes and fancy slippers, with an entourage of servants and camels trailing behind – isn’t from Scripture. In fact, there’s no evidence in the Gospels that the Magi were kings, or even that there were three of them, much less that they sidled up to a manager on dromedaries exactly 12 days after Jesus’ birth.

“Legends pop up when people begin to look closely at historical events,” said Christopher Bellitto, assistant professor of history at New Jersey’s Kean University. “They want to fill in the blanks.” Only the Gospel of Matthew mentions “wise men from the East” who follow a star to Bethlehem. In the original Greek, they were called magoi (in Latin, magi); from the same root that gives us the word magic. It’s been posited they were astrologers or members of a Persian priestly caste.

But what matters more than their exact number and status, say historians and biblical scholars, is the fact that they were not Jews. “For Matthew, the magic star leading the wise men to the place of Jesus’ birth is his way of saying what happened in Jesus is for the gentile world as well,” said Marcus Borg, professor of religion and culture at Oregon State University and co-author of the new book, The First Christmas. After being warned in a dream to avoid the murderous King Herod, the Magi returned home “by another road.” Metaphorically, that suggests they were transformed by their experience. While Matthew doesn’t say they converted to Christianity, popular legend holds that they were baptized by St. Thomas and died in Armenia in AD 55.

The first artistic depictions of the Magi are found in second century Roman catacombs, but it wasn’t until the early third century, when Christian writer Tertullian referred to them as “almost kings,” that they began to cultivate a royal air. Their kingly designation also echoes biblical passages in Isaiah and the Psalms, keeping with the common belief that Jesus’ birth was predicted in the Old Testament. Prophecies foretold gifts of gold and frankincense, two of the three gifts the Magi brought. The third, myrrh, was a burial spice, which some believe foreshadowed Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Around the same time as Tertullian, Origen – a theologian in Alexandria, Egypt – set their number at three, likely because they carried three gifts, said Teresa Berger, a professor at Yale Divinity School. Later, the wise men were portrayed as representatives of the three races of man as descended from Noah’s sons – Semitic, Indo-European, and African – which is why one is sometimes pictured as a black man. Fast forward to the sixth century, when a Latin document recorded their names as Gaspar (or Caspar), Melchior, and Balthazar, though the source is unknown, and different names exist in other languages.

By the time their relics arrived at the Cologne cathedral in 1164, after stops in Constantinople and Milan, the faithful venerated the Magi as saints, and festivals sprang up to honour them. A 14th century report of an Epiphany play described costumed “kings” riding through Milan on horseback with a large retinue, similar to contemporary three kings parades in Latin America and in Latino communities in the United States.

Today, Roman Catholics and some Protestants commemorate the Magi’s visit on Jan. 6 with the Feast of the Epiphany. Orthodox Christians celebrate both Jesus’ birth and the adoration of the Magi together, either on Dec. 25 or Jan. 7, depending on which calendar they follow; Jan. 6 or 19 marks Jesus’ baptism, also called Theophany. “All of those are revelations, which is basically what the ‘phany’ in Epiphany and Theophany means – an unveiling,” said Rev. Andrew Ciferni, a Norbertine priest at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, Penn. “With the three kings, it’s the revelation of salvation to the gentiles.”

In Europe and Latin America, where Jan. 6 remains a holiday in some places, Epiphany folk customs abound. The elderly Befana and Babushka bring gifts to Italian and Russian children, while in Puerto Rico, the “tres reyes” are said to deposit presents in children’s shoes, often in exchange for oatmeal or hay left out overnight for their camels. In Germany, where Berger grew up, children dress up as kings and process from house to house, collecting money for the poor, while French bakeries serve galette des rois, or kings’ cake. In a handful of countries, people still mark their homes in chalk with the initials of the three wise men, CMB, which also stands for “Christus Mansionem Bendicat,” or ”May Christ bless this house.”

The Magi may get short shrift in North America compared to other parts of the world, but they play an integral part of the Christmas story, cropping up in songs and often stealing the show in pageants. William Studwell, a retired professor at Northern Illinois University and an expert on Christmas carols, chose We Three Kings of Orient Are as one of two carols of the year for 2007 to mark its 150th anniversary. He recalls his own Magi days fondly. “It’s one of the only things I remember about third grade,” he said, being one of the kings.”

Thank you outgoing warden Aggie Ducharme for your dedicated service. Welcome Kenny Simpson as our new warden and thanks to Bill Cameron for accepting another term. The next wardens meeting will be on Thursday, January 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the rectory.

- to the families of Christel Wergener Dupuis and Eileen Giroux Gay who have died recently. Please remember Christel & Eileen in your prayers.

This is a magnificent sculptor designed to expand our understanding of the Eucharist and it will be at St. Aloysius church, 300 de l’Abbé-Murray, Gatineau, Friday, January 25, 7 to 9 p.m. Fr. Bill Marrevee will lead an extended Liturgy of the Word which will prepare our hearts to enter into the Liturgy of the Eucharist which will end in a meditative adoration and personal commitment.

Commissioned by the Steering Committee of the International Eucharistic Congress, this sculptor was created by the artist Alain Rioux of Quebec City. It is travelling across Canada to prepare the way for the congress which will be held in Quebec City June 15 to 22, 2008.

It is a wood sculptor in the shape of a boat containing a chest. This chest is adorned with eight icons produced by Romanian Orthodox monks and sold by a Romanian orphanage as a self-financing activity. It is made of five different types of wood to symbolize that the Good News of the Gospel is for all nations. The “boat” is embraced at both ends by the wings of angels turned in adoration towards the mystery of Christ, which the Ark as a whole represents.

A picture of the Ark is on the cover of the January 2008 issue of the Living With Christ Sunday Missal.

Monday and Thursday:   1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday:   9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Telephone messages are picked up on a regular basis throughout the week.

If you have any items for the bulletin, please send them to Alma before Wednesday afternoon
or email Gale directly by end of day Wednesday:

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490 Charles Street • Gatineau • Québec • J8L 2K5
Telephone: (819) 986-3763
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