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‘In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist . . . the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’ Sunday Reflections. Corpus Christi Sunday, Year C

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Gospel Luke 9:11b-17 (NRSV, Catholic Ed, Canada)
When the crowds found out about it, they followed Jesus; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.
The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away, so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a deserted place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” They did so and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baske…

National Shrine of the North American Martyrs: Blessings Amid Brutality

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I'm a half-century old and have been a practicing Catholic most of those years. And yet, until yesterday, I had never visited a shrine.  I never really understood the point. As a Christian, I believe that Mystery entered human history and settled among us. As a result, Christ is our constant companion. He is with us in every moment, in the circumstances of every person we encounter. So what's the point, my thinking went, of traveling many miles to a shrine of people who lived out their destinies with an eye on the One who made them?


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Please pray for Julie

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Mrs Julie Lamb with grandchildren Erin and Patrick O'Brien
Yesterday I received an email from a good friend in London, Ontario, Laura O'Brien. Laura asked me to pray for her mother, Mrs Julie Lamb. Julie has lung cancer and has been 'given weeks to a couple months to live'.
I've known Laura since 1981 when I was studying in Toronto. She and her husband Danny - Laura had the good sense to marry an Irishman! - were members of a prayer group that used to meet in St Basil's in the heart of  this remarkably cosmopolitan city. (The 1980 census showed that 44 per cent of the population of Metro Toronto had been born outside of Canada).
I met Julie for the first time in 2010 during a visit to Canada. She is a delightfully alive person.
Laura wrote, 'She is getting great care, and all the family have pulled together to ensure she has all her needs met'.
Please remember Julie and her family in your prayers

Where Poverty and Beauty Flower

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I spent the good part of an hour yesterday afternoon standing in a lobster shack. Outside it was pouring. As I waited for the skies to clear, I chatted with a woman whose given name is Storme.

Each summer after lobster season ends, Storme and her partner transform this shack (on the right in the photo) on the New Brunswick coast into a shop, where they sell their photographs, pottery and paintings. Transform is a nice way to put it: the women have to scour the shack of the stench of lobster, haddock and mussels so summer tourists see only a cute gift shop. It is hard, smelly work.

My husband and I like to vacation like this, nice and slow. We love to take in the local flavors, learning a little about another corner of the world. This summer, we are spending time in a town called St. Martins, population 386.

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O Canada

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Today is Canada Day. On July 1 2011 Canada celebrates its 144th birthday. One hundred and forty-four must be a significant number, because this year we are honoured with a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who are celebrating with us.
O Canada. We have the reputation beyond our shores of being polite, perhaps rather simple, peace-loving, and having cute, folksy accents. Some of those things used to be true, but while our country was founded on wholesome Christian values, our political and social climate has shifted in the last half century.
Fortunately we claim St. Joseph as our patron and if anyone can bring about conversion and restoration to this country, it is the foster father of our Lord. This year, our birthday coincides with the great Feast of the Sacred Heart. I believe that Jesus and His earthly father are united in their loving concern for this nation and its people. I earnestly beseech God's mercy on our government leaders. I ask for His guiding hand on all…