October 2008 - District Superior's Letter
Father Wegner named district superior of Canada. After his arrival in Canada, he has begun a visit of the district. In his first letter he explains the purpose of our existence, namely, to prepare ourselves by holiness of life for eternal happiness with God.
Father Wegner named new district superior of Canada
“Yours to discover!” How could I summarize better this surprising nomination to Canada? Neither you nor I expected such a change. Father Rostand was here just two short years. He fulfilled his task with admirable efficacy. In only two years time he marked the Canadian district by his initiatives, especially by his courage to undertake the opening of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy. Our debt to him is large, our gratitude will have us repay it by our prayers and daily sacrifices. We wish him many blessings and success in his new apostolate as District Superior of the United States. I was supposed to stay at least two years longer in Belgium to finish my term there. The nominations changed all!
It’s pretty certain: neither my origin, nor my work experience favored that I be asked to come here. Ordained in 1991, I passed long years in the Netherlands and in Belgium, 6 years in the boys school in Germany. For the first time in June, I set my foot on the grounds of the “New World”. Father Rostand tried to initiate his successor in his new task. Everybody, everything is new and unknown: priests, faithful, country, mentality, language, culture and distances…
Discover a beautiful country
My first concern was consequently to contact all the Society priests working in Canada to get to know them all and to plan the first visits. They will help me to discover this beautiful and gigantic country as soon as possible and to introduce me to you. From September 13th to 15th a first visit brought me to the Maritimes, to say Mass in Miramachi and Halifax. Some days later a one week stay at the priory of Calgary was scheduled, to introduce myself to the three priests and to the Calgarians, to visit the priory, John Bosco School and the church of Rocky Montains House. The next visits will be to the priory in Winnipeg in October, to Québec in November and to Vernon in December. A first tour will be finished before the end of the year!
Prepare ourselves for eternity
Now that we’re approaching the celebration of All Saints’ and all Souls’ days let us think on about our lives. The only reason of our being is to prepare ourselves for eternity. Holy hope makes us aspire to go to heaven, where the Almighty God invites his saints to contemplate what “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Cor. 2, 9)
The victories of the saints
The Holy Church shows us the saints of all peoples and nations who have already reached their eternal determination and who participate in the everlasting glory of God. Their victories, as different as they might be, encourage us to persevere in the battle of life. The saints defeated Satan, themselves and the world. Desiring more and more the intimacy with God, contemplating day and night the divine mysteries, always following the inspirations of grace, practicing admirably all kinds of virtue, accepting and bearing with love their daily cross, resisting temptations, heroes in generosity they are models for us. Models, because they undertook the same adventure and notwithstanding many defeats they never lost their goal. They never stopped their course and finally achieved their aim.
What they could reach, we also can! Nobody may plea his own physical or spiritual weaknesses, the difficult times of the crises of the Church and excuse himself; nobody may pretend that the saints received special talents or special graces and had to become saints. They were men as we, sometimes better than we, but sometimes also big sinners. The characteristic difference between saints and us is their firm will to renounce Satan and all his pomps and to collaborate consequently with God’s grace.
What’s necessary for us? Souls who will not be satisfied with assistance at Sunday Mass and the prayer of the daily rosary, for whom it is not enough to move so as to make sure their children can attend Catholic schools. All these acts are of outstanding merit, showing our praiseworthy intention and are necessary for sanctification. But true sanctity, based on these formal acts, consists in the subsequent and incessant realization of the faith. True Christian life represents not only several acts such as morning prayer, being patient at work, being a good father at home and taking care not to drink too much, but is a permanent state. All our prayers, all the sacraments we receive, all our good works – even though frequently repeated – have but the value of passing acts. Sanctity however can be compared to one’s physical life which is governed by one’s breathing or by the beating of one’s heart. These operations are not always consciously viewed, but life is impossible without them.
Sanctity works incessantly on the life of the soul
Sanctity, even though not alluded to, works incessantly on the life of the soul: it takes care to submit every movement of our life to God, it unites the soul in the most different occupations to its Creator and makes every separation and division impossible. A saint is a saint every moment of his life, in all his activities, everywhere and for everybody and sanctity imposes its desires on our whole life, nothing excluded. A saint is for that reason a saint in his prayers, but also in his work. He dresses conveniently when he is attending Mass and he takes just as much care of his decent outfit when he is doing sports. There is no difference in language neither in church nor with friends.
Therefore we’ll work and pray: to obtain the grace that sanctity will blossom in our communities. That the priories will become houses of saints, our homes will be like the little house of Nazareth, that strangers will admire our churches, schools and homes saying: “Look, how they love each other!”
With my priestly blessing,
Fr. Juergen Wegner