Bringing Light, Hope, & Forgiveness
Rev. John Vickers, C.S.C.
St. Ann Church in Toronto is nearly 100 years old. Holy Cross religious have cared for it for the last 30 years. Harsh Canadian winters have played havoc on the Romanesque structure and caused major damage.
For months at a time whole sections of the massive structure are wrapped with a special covering to protect the public and provide shelter for workers who spend long days on the scaffolding as they drill, chip, and cement anew the stone and masonry and then remove the stained glass windows for restoration. The work is slow and painstaking and seems to have gone on forever as modern-day skilled workers build upon the craftsmanship of earlier artisans.
These ongoing repairs are a fitting metaphor for the ministry of the Congregation among English-speakers in Canada. Like the skilled workers restoring St. Ann Church, we continue to build upon the solid foundation of community members who labored to build up the body of Christ here and in other countries. Just as today’s craftsmen work with the latest technology, our challenge is to use all available means to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the people we are privileged to serve. It’s not an easy task, to be sure.
Our past and present approach to ministry is characterized by closeness to the people and the desire to empower men and women of all ages to use their gifts and talents to build up the community of believers. Like the refurbished stained glass in the windows of St. Ann’s that shines brightly and captures our imagination anew, our task is to help bring light, hope, forgiveness, and encouragement so that the richness of Jesus’ message breaks through into their daily lives. We continue the great legacy of Holy Cross to be men with hope to bring.
Fr. John Vickers, C.S.C., is a member of the English Canadian Vicariate (Welland, Ontario).