Wednesdays are always enjoyable at Holy Cross: we have a rich schedule of prayer and devotions beginning at 9 AM mass with chanted morning prayer, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament; then 12 noon mass in the Extraordinary Form, after which Exposition resumes until Evening prayer at 5 PM. In years past we had weekly Wednesday night Adult Faith sessions, which are now scheduled primarily during special seasons like Lent and Advent.
Today was the Feast of the Epiphany (Jan 6) in the Extraordinary Form and the optional memorial of Blessed Andre Bessette in the Ordinary Form.
You may have read that Blessed Andre is to be canonized sometime in 2010, an event that has been eagerly anticipated by the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Early in my first assignment as assistant pastor, I made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesvile, NY, St. Anne deBeaupre and St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. It was primarily through Brother Andre's dedication and vision that St. Joseph's Oratory was built. I was fascinated by the newsclippings of Brother Andre's life, especially reports that over one million people paid respects as his funeral, so great was his reputation for holiness and for effectiveness at obtaining miraculous cures on behalf of pilgrims. This despite his job as a simple porter at the oratory. It seemed to me that it would be only a matter of time before the one additional miracle necessary for his canonization would be approved - that time has come, although the Oratory's website and media outlets are reticent to discuss details of the miracle or set a definite date for the canonization.
Check out the website for St. Joseph's Oratory, an impressive site not only for its gigantic proportions and its mountain top view of Montreal, but for its spirituality and its witness to the power of God working through willing souls. The Oratory is close enough to visit easily and is well worth the trip, not the least reason is that the proportions and majesty of the place will likely change your spirituality of St. Joseph. Perhaps I'll feature some of the many interesting aspects of the shrine on St. Joseph's day.