Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, chose the Shrine of Saint Anne of Beaupre in his native Quebec, to observe the 50th anniversary of his priestly Ordination. The Cardinal presided over the Eucharist, on July 26, 2018, in thanksgiving for the journey accomplished since May 25, 1968, where he was ordained among the priests of Saint Sulpice.
On July 27, L’Osservatore Romano published in Italian, under the title “In Solidarity with Migrants,” extracts of the homily delivered on this occasion by the Cardinal, whom Pope Francis decided to co-opt in the Order of Cardinal Bishops last June. Making himself Pope Francis’ spokesman in favor of migrants and refugees, the Cardinal invited – with the Holy Family, of which Saint Anne is the grandmother” – to take to heart the destiny of the great human family.”
He also invited families, and grandparents to transmit the faith to the young generations. “Faith is transmitted especially by osmosis, from person to person, and the bonds of affection and trust are indispensable for a profound and lasting education.
Here is a translation of the text.
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Cardinal Ouellet’s Homily: In Solidarity with Migrants
I bring the intentions of Pope Francis and, in particular, his solicitude for migrants and refugees, a great priority of his pontificate. A father or a mother of a family is concerned for the child that suffers most or is more vulnerable. So the Holy Father does not cease to attract attention on these drifting populations from one continent to another and from one country to another, exposed to all sorts of dangers and abuse.
During his first visit to the Island of Lampedusa in 2013, he implored aid for the Africans who drown in the Mediterranean, abandoned on makeshift boats by merciless traffickers. The Pontiff then went to Bangladesh to bring his help to the Rohingya and follow closely the fate of thousands of migrants of South America who go to the United States in search of their family.
Let us remember in our prayers these migrants and refugees, to whom we’re not indifferent, despite the temptation to ignore them or to reject them so as not to be disturbed in our country and in our comfort.
The family that welcomes us in this Shrine, the Holy Family, of which Saint Anne is the grandmother, teaches us to take to heart the destiny of the great human family. It couldn’t be otherwise, given that the Child-God was destined to transcend all frontiers of race, of color, of culture and of religion. Jesus Christ brings to humanity, and in the first place to the poorest, the good news of the hope of salvation. He involved His own human family in His mission, whose names have been venerated for centuries on the banks of this great river, the Saint Lawrence: Saint Mary and Saint Joseph, Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, Jesus’ relatives.
The most important fruit of any pilgrimage is the consolation of the Holy Spirit, the confirmation of our faith and of our hope, beyond the particular favors that we implore for our needs and those of others.
The reasons for our presence here are so numerous that all of us who make up this assembly, who are natives or foreigners, who have followed the whole Novena of preparation or who have come only today <do so> for the solemn celebration of our Patroness, Saint Anne. One day, she protected Breton sailors in danger on the river and she still protects faithfully all those who come here to entrust themselves to her patronage.
What we see and what we understand of the unity and diversity of this beautiful assembly is a sign of the blessing of God, who sowed the faith in our people, who guard it in their heart, in a manner that is perhaps more discreet than before but, however, is living and fecund. In fact, the souvenir of the first evangelization of Canada and the prodigious brilliance of a missionary Church in the country remain a patrimony of hope in the conscience of the universal Church. I witness it regularly in my meetings with Bishops of the whole world who are preparing the forthcoming Synod on Young People. The transmission of the faith to the young generations is a great challenge for our time, which calls for much prayer and creativity.
Today, we pray in particular to Saint Anne so that families, especially elderly people, grandfathers, and grandmothers, understand that they have a fundamental role to play through their personal witness of faith and openness to dialogue with the young generations. Faith is transmitted especially by osmosis, from person to person, and the bonds of affection and trust are indispensable for a profound and lasting education.
Pope Francis is carrying out especially a revolution in communication: we see him adopt all the means of communication, which are closest to people, to proclaim the Gospel. In addition to the encyclicals and addresses of circumstance, he multiplies the visits, the interviews, the books, the letters, the telephone calls . . . Thus he joins the poorest and questions the richest, who easily forget the miseries and injustices that are an obstacle to the peace of the world and to solidarity between the nations.
May this celebration in honor of Saint Anne be for all of us an oasis of peace and of hope on our journey and render us more solidary with those that are obliged to emigrate to flee from war and misery, without knowing where their sad adventure will end.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester