October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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“Awakened” Church | Tap

“Awakened” Church |  Tap

In three years, St.-Bonaventure Parish in Rosemont has tripled its attendance on Sunday. His secret: the application of the concept of a priest from Halifax, he “awakened”, defended the missionary and fraternal church.


Matthew PerraultMatthew Perrault
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Three years ago, Patrice Bergeron was disappointed to create a missionary and fraternal church in which he vaguely dreamed. It was during this time that Elizabeth Boyle, parish priest of Saint-Bonaventure, parish in Rosemont, was ordained a religious worker. The meeting was crucial to their parish victory, an unusual number for the French-speaking parish in Quebec, before the pandemic drew 250 to 300 people to Mass on Sunday.

“Three years ago, it was less than 100 people,” Father Bergeron said. Elizabeth searched on YouTube and found a priest named James Mallon of Halifax, who spoke to the inconvenience and offered solutions. He called it Divine restoration. We decided to apply the recipe here and call it “Awakened Church”. Until then, I manage the decay, which I call the maintenance ward. ”

Photo provided by Edward Cenal

Mass outside last summer with Parish Priest Patrice Bergeron

Catechesis and Alpha Feasts

Among the discoveries: changes in the verses, in the catechism preparing for the sacraments and the fraternal meal called “Alpha Sessions”.

We want songs that speak more to the human experience with less cerebral as in old concerts.

Patrice Bergeron, Parish Priest of Saint-Bonaventure Parish in Rosemont

“We found songs from the Glorious group from a church in the center of Lyon, France, and we now have links to them. We have guitar, piano, band,” said Que Bergeron.

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The preparation of the sacrament was also revised to mean less education. “Before, children had to come every Tuesday evening for two years, we never saw parents and we hated church children; it’s more school. Now, we do catechumens in the basement on Sundays during Mass, children Our Father, Which is very strong, at this time there are sometimes 80 to 100 children around the altar. There are optional sessions. ”

Photo provided by Edward Cenal

Children around the altar Our Father, With Patrice Bergeron, Priest of the Parish before the Plague

The catechumatic course is now personalized, mTo me Boyle. “There are kids who make their way through the year.”

Alpha sessions are held twice a year and bring current or potential parishioners to a banquet, including adults who wish to be baptized. “People say,‘ Come and see ’, M.To me Boyle. If they like it, they will. It happens really often. ”

“It’s so good to live together”

In Montreal, many parishes that unite the same cultural community are sold en masse on Sunday, bringing together faithful from the immigration of the same country, either directly or through their parents. Saint-Bonaventure, multicultural, but one-third of the faithful are descendants of the permanent settlers of New France.

Many Haitians and Africans will rediscover the parish spirit of their country. Often they say: “I went en masse, but I was not welcomed. I did not ask anyone.”

Patrice Bergeron, Parish Priest of Saint-Bonaventure Parish in Rosemont

Immigrants to Quebec often come from countries that still support Catholic practice. Can faith become a meeting place? “Yeah, it’s great to be living together,” said Cue Bergeron.

The “young” priest

At the age of 51, Patrice Bergeron, a young priest, thought that the average age of his meetings in Quebec was 75 years. How did a young man who grew up in the Montreal area in the 1970s and 1980s decide to become a priest?

“My parents were watching, but we were not a family that talked about God all the time. When I was 15, I met Jesus through a synagogue, and he connected me to group religious activities, like alpha sessions. I entered the seminary at 20, which was a little difficult for my parents. This means fewer grandchildren. ”

Elizabeth Boyle is 56 years old and grew up in the Quebec City area. She has six children, ages 13 to 27. “When I was younger, my parents were very religious. Religion has always been very important to me, but by the time I was 16 I had a personal experience of Jesus Christ and began to attend more attractive and joyful celebrations. ”

Photo by Martin Tremble, Press Archives

Elizabeth Boyle (right), Mission Assistant at Saint-Bonaventure Parish in Rosemont, also works at Saint-Bonaventure Parish with her daughter, Judith Kornoir

Easter Petition

Last winter, mTo me Boyle launched an electronic petition to “save” Easter, believing that the government had imposed much stricter restrictions on places of worship compared to other states, the United States and France. Nearly 10,000 signatures were collected on the petition. OmTo me Before Jewish and Catholic Easter, Boyle was shocked and delighted to announce a week ago that the limit for places of worship had been increased from 25 to 250.