Love is the measure of faith.
Written by Deborah Rankin for VMO
Thursday, November 27th, 2014
The Charbonneau Commission has only very recently wrapped up its public enquiry into corruption and collusion in the construction industry and political party financing amid lingering allegations that former mayor Gérald Tremblay knew about the system of corruption at Montreal City Hall but turned a blind eye to it.
André Cédilot, an expert on organized crime who co-authored the 2010 book Mafia Inc. on the rise of Canada's Sicilian clan said that politicians like Tremblay and Quebec's former municipal affairs minister Nathalie Normandeau, who were called to testify at the commission but claimed ignorance of the corruption detailed by other witnesses, were simply being "un-cooperative". The retired journalist also faulted Denis Coderre's adminstration for "shirking its duty" in not presenting recommendations to the Charbonneau Commission on ways to combat corruption and collusion.
Cédilot's remarks followed statements made by a secret police informant in a newly released section of an affidavit filed in court by Sûreté du Québec investigators that Tremblay knew about the system of corruption at city hall in which construction companies allegedly gave a 10 percent cut from their rigged municipal contracts in equal portions to the Mafia and to Tremblay's now-defunct Union Montréal party.
"Gérald Tremblay is well aware, but he prefers to play the ostrich," the affidavit quotes the source as saying.
Albert Biondi, the cantor whose rich bass voice enhanced worship at St. Patrick’s Basilica for more than 60 years, died Saturday at the age of 93.
Biondi made his debut singing Gésu Bambino at Midnight Mass in 1947, and continued to sing at the church until a few years ago, when in his own words he just "faded away." In his 80s.
“He was jovial, full of fun,” said Carol McCormick, the cantor who shared the chores with BIondi and eventually replaced him. “I have never seen anyone so dedicated to his work. He was always willing to sing. He loved to sing. Well into his 80s, he still climbed those treacherous stairs to the choir loft. Singing God’s praises was his vocation in life.”
Biondi was born in Montreal on May 30, 1921, the 11th of 14 children who were raised in an Italian immigrant family. His father shined shoes for a living. Albert made his first communion at St. Patrick’s in 1928 and when Father McShane, the formidable parish priest at the time, heard him sing he asked young Albert how quickly “he could become an Irishman” in order to join what was then the all-male church choir.
The stained glass window depicting St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, which has graced the entrance hall in a historic Notre-Dame-du-Vieux-Moulin Convent in Pointe Claire, will be removed this week and installed in the Mother House of the Congregation of Notre Dame on Sherbrooke and Atwater.
The window is the last object of any value in the historic convent, which closes its doors on December 1 when the last three nuns living there are scheduled to move out.
The window, depicting the congregation's founder, was designed in 1935 by Sister St. Rene and executed by the O'Shea glass works. Installed in the central corridor, it was the first thing you saw when you walked through the front doors. It is unique because it could be seen not only from inside the building but, because of the way the glass is backlit, could also be viewed through the chapel windows from the grounds outside, glowing in the heart of the convent.
For the first time in two decades there won't be a Christmas concert this year at St. Patrick's Basilica.
The St. Patrick’s Society, which has sponsored the event since its inception in 1992, is reassessing a number of the events it sponsors, including the seasonal concert at the Basilica.
There are, however, other opportunities to discover and enjoy crowd pleasing Yuletide-themed programs.
St. Gabriel's has stepped up and will hold a parish benefit concert of its own at the church, 2157 Centre St. in Pointe St. Charles on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. Terry Clahane and Lisa Forget are directing the close-knit Celtic community event. Tickets are $15.
This weekend’s Parish Vitality Conference at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral and the Nouvel Hotel aimed at bringing people back into the pews proved to be more successful than its organizers imagined possible.
More than 300 people registered for the Nov. 13-15 series of events, which featured workshops on how to stimulate participation in parish activities.
Bishop Thomas Dowd, who initiated the conference with support from Pillar’s Trust, described it as a contribution from the English-speaking diocese to the “whole sector, proof that we are one big happy diocese.”
Love is the measure of faith.