By Fr. Steve Morrisey, C.Ss.R.
St. Clement (our 2nd founder) dreamed of taking the Congregation across the Alps and one day as far as North America. He dreamed big dreams and lived bold ideas. Our lives invite us to do the same. Through our ministry and living our vocations as members of The Edmonton-Toronto Province in Canada, we are all called to help the Canadian portion of that dream come true. Since my first vocation weekend (some 25 years ago) at Holy Redeemer College in Windsor, ON, St. Clement has been a fixture in my daily prayer. I remember (with great fondness) looking at those large paintings of our principal saints. A portrait of St. Clement, and paintings of our other Saints, were all hanging in the front corridor of HRC in Windsor, ON. As I gazed upon these magnificent paintings I could not help but be aware that these men have influenced so many in the past and hope that they will continue to influence, well into the future. I remember dreaming and hoping then, as I do now, that they will also play a huge role in my life. Part of St. Clement’s inspiration made its way into my life via Brother Albert Power. I got to know Brother Albert on that vocation weekend and spent many hours praying with him and talking with him after those first days.
During my novitiate year, and then for years after, he often spoke about the influence Clement had in his life, an influence he was very pleased to share, an influence that rubbed off on me. I was blessed to be ordained to the priesthood on March 15, 1996, while the entire Church was simultaneously invited to celebrate his feast day.
When hands were placed upon my head and I was anointed with oil, a memory was etched into my heart and mind, a memory that will never be forgotten. Being ordained to the Priesthood on March 15, 1996 is a never ending part of that memory.
That moment in my life, which happened some 17 years ago, is something I get to thank God for each and every day. March 15 will always be a special day in my life thanks to the inspiration that I gained from St. Clement, an inspiration which has been given to all of us. An inspiration which rests at the heart of our call (to preach the Gospel anew) for the quadrennium.
St. Clement really entered my heart and it is from his actions and words that I feel blessed to live and preach the good news, not just at this particular moment in time, but always. It is from his inspiration that I share in the great missionary call to bring the good news to the far north. It is with his inspiration that I am blessed to share these few words from my last trip to the North. St. Clement was my inspiration in prayer when I was first blessed to go to Fond du Lac in 2012, he was my guide as I journeyed to the Beaufort (a region we heard about at Chapter) at Christmas 2012 and New Years (2013) and with each step I took and each word I spoke over Holy Week and the moments of the Triduum in 2013, again in Fond du Lac
As I wrote before, God’s Grandeur is more than alive in the far North! I sure do feel blessed to have had the chance to pray with the people of the North, to celebrate the Sacraments with them and enjoy the nature which surrounds their community.