Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

March 09, 2009 09:00 ET

One of Brother Andre's Favourite Traditions in a New Setting: Saint Joseph's Oratory Celebrates the 89th Novena Dedicated to Saint Joseph

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 9, 2009) - From March 10th to 18th, thousands of pilgrims hailing from everywhere will gather at Saint Joseph's Oratory to observe the 89th Novena dedicated to Saint Joseph under the theme, On the Paths of Prayer, with theologian, writer and poet Jacques Gauthier.

"Since the founding of the Oratory, preparations for the Feast of Saint Joseph always held a special place in the heart of our good Brother Andre. At the time, this feast was observed with three days of prayer and since 1921, has been held for nine days. This tradition is still celebrated today, a fact of which we are particularly proud," said Father Claude Grou, CSC, Rector of the Oratory.

A meeting of cultures

Once again this year, hundreds of pilgrim groups from across Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, the United States, and even Latin America and Europe will join those of the Greater Montreal area. Among the local pilgrims, several groups from the Haitian, Vietnamese and Italian communities are expected to be present since for these groups, the Novena and the Feast of Saint Joseph have a special meaning.

New to the program

This year, the Oratory will feature a presentation by writer Jacques Gauthier, who wrote several notable works, including La crise de la quarantaine ("Mid-Life Crisis"), a compilation dedicated to the quest for a personal and spiritual balance in one's forties, as well as Les defis de la soixantaine ("Challenges of the Sixties"), published last February. Organized by The Oratory magazine, this presentation, under the theme "From the Crises of the Forties to the Challenges of the Sixties", will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14. Admission is free.

A renewed setting

Visitors will also have the opportunity to discover a new addition to the decor: the Oratory's Basilica has recently received a marvellous gift from the Sainte-Brigide-de-Kildare church. Located in Montreal's South Central district and soon to be converted into a community center, this church donated its beautiful yellow birch and chestnut pews, with a total seating capacity of 1,000. "This contribution is a tremendous gesture towards both the environment and heritage preservation," said Father Grou. "We are honored to add this community's legacy to the Oratory."

Novena celebrations

In addition to regular Masses (7:00 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. (in English), 4:30 p.m. in the Crypt Church), celebrations of the Eucharist, preceded by a special sermon, will be held each day at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This Novena will culminate with a feast for the patron of both the Oratory and Canada on Thursday, March 19. Three celebrations will gather pilgrims at the Basilica: one at 10:00 a.m., presided over by Bishop Andre Richard, CSC, Archdiocese of Moncton; another at 2:30 p.m., presided over by Bishop Jacques Berthelet, CSV, diocese of Saint-Jean-Longueuil; and the last at 8:00 p.m., presided over by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, archdiocese of Montreal. The choir will be composed of Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, accompanied by organist Philippe Belanger.

To obtain further information, make a reservation or request prayer booklets: 514 733-8211. The special novena section of The Oratory magazine is available online at

Photos and documents available upon request

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