Monday, March 05, 2007

Meeting the Archbishop

Yesterday's Mass with Toronto's new Archbishop Collins and the women and men religious of the Archdiocese was a very nice event. The Sisters of St. Joseph hosted us in their chapel for the Mass and for the reception in the spacious hall beneath chapel. About 500 were in attendance. It was nice to get to meet and see some of the many sisters and religious priests and brothers who serve in this Archdiocese.
I just realized that I used a very specific Catholic term when I wrote "religious."
That word refers to men and women who are consecrated to God by means of vows, from the Latin word "religare" which means to bind. Many priests are religious--that is members of religious orders. Other priests are secular or diocesan--that is, they are not bound to live in common with other priests, nor do they have a vow of poverty. Canon Law which is another name for Church Law stipulates that priests should live simply, but it does not impose a vow of poverty on diocesan priests. Religious also stems from the Latin "regula" which means "rule." That is, each order of monks or Sisters has a rule or regulation to follow which governs their lives. Some older books about Catholicism may mention secular or regular priests: the regulars are the religious who live in community and follow a rule of life according to a particular order's constitutions. That's enough of "class" for the day. Enjoy the week, and for those of us in the northern clime, stay indoors as much as possible, since we have a wind chill warning that advises against going out in subzero weather.

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