In September, the International Shrine of Blessed Basile Moreau continued its celebrations of the 150th Anniversary of the entry into eternal life of the Congregation’s Founder.
In keeping with its tradition before all major Congregational feast days, the shrine held a novena in preparation for the Holy Cross Family’s patrimonial feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. The novena began on September 6 and included a variety of different moments and styles of prayer each day.
One special day was September 10, when Fr. Paul-Elie Cadet, C.S.C., Rector and Pastor of Notre-Dame de Sainte Croix Parish, and Fr. Joseph Gonsalves, C.S.C., Assistant Rector and Pastor, led a pilgrimage to Notre Dame de l’Habit (Our Lady of Pity), a small chapel built around 1515 and given to Blessed Moreau in 1847. Fr. Moreau would often make pilgrimages to the chapel, before gifting it to the nearby parish of Domfront-en-Champagne.
Drawing people both from Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix Church and the local parish, the day began with Mass in Domfront. A social and lunch followed, served by the local parishioners and their priests, Frs. Jean-Max Renard and Patrick Pouplin.
After lunch the participants went on a procession from the church to the chapel, praying and singing all along the 1.5 kilometers leading to l’Habit. In the chapel, there were shared intentions and prayers, including the Litanies of Our Lady of Sorrows. The celebration ended with the blessing of all by the four priests.
Another highlight of the novena was the Mass on September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, at which Fr. Gonsalves presided. Although Mass was held on the feast day itself, the Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix parish community gathered on Sunday, September 17, for its celebration of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Fr. Cadet presided and preached. In attendance were Fr. Paul Valentin, C.S.C., Superior of the Mother Province, as well as the members of the Congregation’s Consecrated Life and Heritage Commission, who were in town for a meeting.
Following the Mass, there was a reception in the presbytery.