The Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Ann - Cormac Pilgrimagehttp://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/Fri, 02 Jun 2017 7:07:33 -0700en-us<![CDATA[Home]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/home/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/home/Fri, 02 Jun 2017 7:07:33 -0700Shrine of St. AnneWelcome to all visitors to this beautiful and picturesque part of Ontario. There is an annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Ann in Cormac off Highway 512 near Eganville.

The Shrine is dedicated to St. Ann, the wife of St. Joachim, mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus.

The pilgrimage takes place on the last Sunday of July each year.

A triduum begins Thursday evening with a Mass at 7 p.m. in the Church. There is a 7 p.m. Mass on Friday and Saturday evening as well.

Most Rev. Christian Riesbeck, Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa, is the guest homilist for the Triduum and the Mass of Healing at the Shrine on Sunday, July 30th at 2 p.m. His theme is “Evangelical Hearts”.

The Mass on Sunday at 11 a.m. will be celebrated by Most Rev. Michael Mulhall, Bishop of Pembroke.

Fr. Kenneth O’Brien and the parishioners of St. Ann’s extend a Valley welcome to everyone to join them under the beautiful pines at Cormac.

ST. ANN's "WALK THE OPEONGO LINE" PILGRIMAGE
JULY 27-30


Father Kenneth O'Brien

St Ann's new Parish Priest welcomes you to the 78th Annual Pilgrimage at the Shrine of St Ann in Cormac on Sun July 31 2016.

FATHER KENNETH O'BRIEN

I am Father Kenneth O’Brien.  I was born on April 5th, 1948 at Clontarf on the Opeongo Line.  My ordination was here at St. James the Less Parish on May 11th, 1974.

In the fall of 1974 I was assigned to Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Pembroke for five years, then moved to the Cathedral for the next five years. St. Anthony’s in Chalk River was my home for 11 years and was also my first time as Pastor. I spent the next seven years at Osceola and Cobden and then moved to Combermere and Latchford Bridge for eleven years.

In the fall of 2015 with great delight I accepted my appointment as Pastor in Eganville, Cormac and Pikwàkanagàn. Having spent my first summer as a priest in Eganville, I never thought that I would be back as Pastor. It is great to be back in the area where I grew up.

I am still a chaplain at Marianhill in Pembroke on Wednesdays; a position I have held for the past twenty-eight years.
 


Bishop Christian Riesbeck, CC, VG

Bishop Christian R Riesbeck, C C, was born in Montreal l on February 7th 1970.

Bishop Christian Riesbeck, CC, VGAfter elemmentary school studies at École Limoges and École Sain nt-Paul in Aylmer, Quebec and École Laurier-Carrière in Nepean, Ontario, he attended St. Pius X High School in Nepean. He holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Political Science) degree from the University of Ottawa.

He studied theology a at St. Paul’s s University in Ottawa (S.T.B.) and at St Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto obtaining both a Bachelor and a Master of Divinity degrees. He obtained a Master degree and a License in Canon Law from St. Paul’s University in 2010.

He studied Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Bishop Riesbeck was ordained to the diaconate by the Most Reverend Frederick Colli, Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa, on May 3, 1996, at St. Mary’s Church in Ottawa and a ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Marcel l Gervais, Archbishop of Ottawa, on October 12, 1996, at Notre Dame Cathedral (Ottawa). He served as Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (Kingston), Administrator of St. Jude’s Parish (Hawkesbury) and Our Lady of Divine Love (Pendleton), Associate Pastor of St. Franci is Xavier Parish (Brockville), Pastor of Queen of Peace Parish (Houston, Texas). In 2011, he was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and Judge of the Ottawa Regional Tribunal.

In 2012, he was named Episcopa al Vicar for Canonical Concerns. He also served as Assistant General Superior of the Companions of the Cross. Following the announcement made by Pope Francis on January 7, 2014, Bishop Riesbeck was ordained to the episcopate on March 19 and now serves as Auxilliary Bishop of Ottawa. He also holds the offices of Vicar General and Vicar for the National Language Parishes, Communities and Faithful.

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<![CDATA[A 78-year tradition in faith was observed Sunday as crowds gathered at St. Ann's Catholic Church (STEPHEN UHLER - Daily Observer)]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/a-78-year-tradition-in-faith-was-observed-sunday-as-crowds-gathered-at-st-ann-s-catholic-church-stephen-uhler-daily-observer-1647.htmlhttp://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/a-78-year-tradition-in-faith-was-observed-sunday-as-crowds-gathered-at-st-ann-s-catholic-church-stephen-uhler-daily-observer-1647.htmlWed, 24 Aug 2016 10:14:43 -0700STEPHEN UHLER
Daily Observer

CORMAC – A 78-year tradition in faith was observed Sunday as crowds gathered at St. Ann's Catholic Church to take part in the Pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Ann.

Hundreds of the faithful from across Renfrew County and beyond, perhaps as many as 3,000, converged on the parish, located on Highway 512 between Eganville and Foymount, to celebrate a day of Mass, prayer and healing in honor of the grandmother of Jesus.

Bishop Michael Mulhall, Bishop of Pembroke, spoke to those assembled for the principle Pilgrimage Mass about the importance of splitting off the needs of the physical world from the spiritual, and to realize everything we now enjoy in life we owe to God.

Mulhall referenced Jesus’ parable of the foolish rich man, and quoted from Luke 12:16-21, stating,
“He spoke a parable to them, saying, "The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. He reasoned within himself, saying, 'What will I do, because I don't have room to store my crops?' He said, 'This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. I will tell my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry."' "But God said to him, 'You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."

“This is one which we can all very, very easily understand,” Mulhall said. “We are all drawn into the sense of security that if I can have one more barn, one more bank account, then I would be more secure in my future,” he said, asking what good is it to have all of these extra things if God decides to call you home this very day?

He said what people forget is all of which they possess is not really theirs, but is given to them by the Lord, for which they are to show good stewardship over, and not do with as they please. He said the world itself is in trouble because humanity has forgotten that basic truth. As a result, people everywhere have become consumers, where they are driven to consume more, and obsess on hanging onto what they already have in their possession.

“The value of being a human is whittled down to being just consumers,” Mulhall said, and so debasing the value of humanity. He said it is this sort of attitude which has led to the acceptance of euthanasia, where people think their life is there’s to do with as they please, rather than remember it was given to them by the Lord to take care of as best as they can.

The solution to this is simple, he said. Divorce oneself from the needs of materialism by realizing all that you possess in the physical world isn’t yours in the first place. Realize that what one must truly value isn’t in this world.

“Where does your treasure lie? It lies with The Lord,” he said.

In an annual tradition stretching back to 1938, Cormac has become the centre of faith and renewal in the heart of the Ottawa Valley. It serves both as a display of faith and as a chance for people to reunite with family and friends who also make the trip year after year.

Sunday's pilgrimage service completes a three-day mini-retreat of prayer and meditation known as a Triduum for the clergy, which prepares them for a day which includes the morning mass at 11 a.m. and the mass of healing for the sick, which followed at 2 p.m.

New this year was the first ever Opeongo Line pilgrimage from Renfrew to Cormac. Started by Father Scott Murray, parishioners and others of faith followed the old Opeongo Line on foot, making the 66 km trip in three days, in time to take part in Sunday’s Mass.

This was the first time Father Kenneth O’Brien attended the Pilgrimage as the parish’s priest. After spending his first summer as a priest in Eganville after being ordained in 1974, his service remained within the diocese. Last fall, he was appointed as Pastor in Eganville, Cormac and Pikwàkanagàn. On Wednesdays, he is also the chaplain at Marianhill, a position he has held for the past 28 years.

Father Howard Chabot returned to St. Ann’s after 40 years to conduct the Triduum and Healing Mass for a second time. is a priest of the diocese of Pembroke.  Ordained in 1968, he is now retired from full time parish ministry. He has experience in social services and religious education and is respected as a priest and teacher who continues to preach retreats and assist in weekend replacement throughout the diocese.

SUhler@postmedia.com

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<![CDATA[Mass with Anointing of the Sick - Homily of Father Howard Chabot]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/mass-with-anointing-of-the-sick-homily-of-father-howard-chabot-398.htmlhttp://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/mass-with-anointing-of-the-sick-homily-of-father-howard-chabot-398.htmlWed, 17 Aug 2016 6:18:33 -0700There is something about a pilgrimage and people gathering in the open countryside that reminds us of the crowds who followed Jesus through the hills of Galilee. They were seeking meaning for their lives and in Jesus the people found a teacher who spoke and acted with authority. The same Jesus according to his promise is with us here today in Word and Sacrament, in prayer and song, and in you and me as the holy people who have assembled in his Name.

We can say too that Saint Ann has gathered us here. Sisters and brothers of Jesus, our grandmother has brought us together for this family reunion to celebrate our faith and to do what Jesus told us to do in his memory. When families come together they tell stories as they remember their roots. They recall their origin and focus on their goals. A pilgrimage likewise gives us time and place for reflection… allowing us to remember who we are and where we are going.

Christian People view all of life as a pilgrimage in which we journey as sisters and brothers towards God. We are God’s People. That statement itself says something that is very important. It defines us as People of Faith whose journey moves us towards our goal struggling to be a light in the darkness of a culture that so often ignores and frequently denies the existence of God. We stand side by side firmly professing that we believe in God and trust in his Word.

That Word – God’s Word, defines our origin and our destiny. It affirms that every human being has been created in God’s image and likeness and as such possesses a dignity that demands respect at every stage and condition of life. We believe that |God has called us to rely on his mercy by living faithfully, acknowledging him in truth and serving him in holiness so that we may be welcomed finally into our heavenly homeland, the inheritance promised us through Jesus in his death and resurrection.

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church from Vatican II describes it this way: “At all times and among every people, God has given welcome to whosoever fears him and does what is right. It has pleased God, however, to make men holy and save them not merely as individuals without any mutual bonds, but by making them into a single people, a people which acknowledges Him in truth and serves him in holiness.”

As we look at our roots in the Hebrew Scriptures, we read how Joshua laid the choice for faithfulness before the people. He reminded them of what they had left behind and what God THE LORD had done for them. He challenged them to make a choice of serving the gods that their ancestors worshipped in Mesopotamia or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land they were living. But, he said ‘as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

Our pilgrimage here to the Shrine of St. Ann’s encourages us to remember what we have received from the hand of God and with gratitude on our part proclaim in our time: “We will serve the Lord.”

Can you say it? Will you say it? “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!”

How will we do it? We will do it tenderly and with mercy.

In proclaiming this extraordinary Jubilee Year, our Holy Father, Pope Francis has chosen the theme “Merciful like the Father”. These are the words of Jesus from the gospel of Luke (6:35-36) “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

“Merciful like the Father.” We know God’s mercy. We ask it as we begin our Eucharist. We celebrate it the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Many of you devoutly pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy pleading the Eternal Father “For the sake of Christ’s sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

We have been blessed by God. We have received mercy. Through his death on the cross and through his glorious resurrection, Jesus the merciful one, has demonstrated for us that the Name of God is Mercy. “Mercy” says Pope Francis, is the divine attitude that embraces, it is God’s self-giving that welcomes, that leans down to forgive…. To follow the way of the Lord, the Church is called on to pour its mercy over all those who recognize themselves as sinners, who assume responsibility for the evil they have committed and who feel in need of forgiveness.”

He teaches: “The Church does not exist to condemn people but to bring about an encounter with the visceral love of God’s mercy. ….”

Pope Francis likes to use the image from the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of a ‘field hospital’ to describe this “Church that goes forth”. As recently as last evening, speaking to priests, seminarians and religious in Poland where he is attending Word Youth Day, he urged these ministers of the Church to leave their comfort zones and go out and care for God’s People. The Church as a “field hospital” he noted in an earlier interview is to be “ a mobile structure that offers first-aid and immediate care, so that its soldiers do not die. It's a place for urgent care, not a place to see a specialist”. “I hope”, he said in the interview, “that the Jubilee will serve to reveal the Church’s deeply maternal and merciful side, a Church that goes forth towards those who are “wounded” who are in need of an attentive ear, understanding, forgiveness and love.” (Page 52-53 The Name of God is Mercy)

I pray you experience that here today… an attentive ear, understanding, forgiveness and love. These are signs of the Divine Mercy. I pray that you also will come to know it as the priests anoint you with the healing oil of Saint Ann during this liturgy.

We pray for mercy at this pilgrimage. We ask God for healing for all that ails us in body, mind and spirit. We seek courage and strength to choose life and live it day by day. We thank God for the mercy that has brought us to this moment and for the way it enriches all our human relationships. We come here just as we are and we trust in God and the intercession of Saint Ann.

In the parable that Jesus tells in the Gospel today we are reminded that it is not what we have; it’s what we are that matters. However great or small our possessions, we are reminded to set our heart on what really matters to God … to grow rich in the sight of God.

Portia in her soliloquy in Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice observes….

“We all do pray for mercy And that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy.”

Just as Jesus taught us to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”, we who ask Mercy of God are to show mercy to others.

The Church has traditionally listed Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy that can help us enter into what Pope Francis calls a revolution of tenderness. I am sure you are familiar with them.

Seven Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked; Forgive injuries; Shelter the homeless; Visit the sick and those in prison; Bury the dead.

And Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy

Instruct the ignorant; Counsel the doubtful; Admonish the sinner; Comfort the sorrowful; Forgive injuries; Bear wrongs patiently; Pray for the living and the dead.

As the Gospel parable today points out “it’s not what we have but what we are that is important and no matter how great our how little our possessions we need to set our heart on what really matters to God ….To grow rich in the sight of God.

From God we have received all that we have. To God we look to receive “mercy and the fullness of redemption.”

We take to hearts today the words of Jesus as he sent his disciples out to preach and to heal:

“Freely you have received, Freely give.”

“Be merciful like the Father”


 

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<![CDATA['Advance Party' Prepares Cormac Pilgrimage With Triduum of Prayer and Joyful Praise]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/advance-party-prepares-cormac-pilgrimage-with-triduum-of-prayer-and-joyful-praise-9626.htmlhttp://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/advance-party-prepares-cormac-pilgrimage-with-triduum-of-prayer-and-joyful-praise-9626.htmlWed, 17 Aug 2016 6:11:00 -0700Parishioners at Saint Ann Parish Cormac have prepared for the annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine with a three-day prayerful celebration of faith each year since 1941. From the first pilgrimage in 1938 through to 1940, preparation consisted of a nine-day novena of prayer in the parish. Apart from a ten-year hiatus in the post-war years of 1946-1956 when it was not held, the Triduum has been a popular devotion for local residents, cottagers and people from the surrounding area at the end of July each year since then. Guest speakers at this event have generally come from outside of the diocese and frequently were mission preachers or visiting bishops or priests invited by the local parish priest.

The Triduum this year was given by Father Howard Chabot, a priest of the Diocese of Pembroke who is retired from full time pastoral ministry. Father Chabot also was the celebrant and homilist at the Sunday afternoon Mass for the sick celebrated at the Shrine. He was assisted by Deacon Adrien Chaput who provided a meditation song following the homily each evening.

Father Chabot began the Triduum suggesting: “We might consider ourselves the ‘advance party’ – parishioners and friends of Saint Ann gathered here in this holy place in an atmosphere of faith and an environment of prayer into which will come pilgrims from throughout the Diocese of Pembroke and beyond … pilgrims led by the Holy Spirit who like us are invited to draw near to the Risen Lord Jesus that they might know the Merciful love of God the Father.”

The theme of this year’s 78th Annual Pilgrimage was taken from Psalm 130 in which the Psalmist exclaims “With the Lord there is mercy”.

Reminding the congregation that they had gathered under the patronage of Saint Ann, the grand-mother of Jesus, Father Chabot recalled how Pope Francis in his daily homilies often speaks of his “Granma Rosa” as an inspiration for his folksy illustrations of a Gospel truth. He said that using this image of a grandmother as one who is loving and tender in relating to her grand-children, the Pope is able to present the central theme of his papal ministry which always is focused on God’s mercy. Father Chabot went on to explain how the Holy Father’s call for a “Revolution of Tenderness” was a catchy phrase based on God’s Word in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospels. Quoting from the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, he linked the Holy Father’s call to Jubilee to this Vatican II document which speaks of how “the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the people of this age especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted…. are also the joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.”

“The challenge”, he said “is for you and me who have received mercy to do our part in a revolution of tenderness by going forth to show mercy to others”

He concluded the opening night reflection with a prayer asking Saint Ann’s intercession that this teaching be planted within our hearts to re-form and reshape us, prodding and empowering us by the Holy Spirit day by day to be “Merciful like the Father”. Only in this will we fulfill God’s plan and find rest for our souls” he said.

Friday night’s homily focused on the Biblical Book of Psalms as the prayers that were familiar to Saints Ann and Joachim, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, Himself. The reflection began by recalling the Fourth Psalm and the Psalmist’s search for happiness. The awareness that came from having personally experienced God’s mercy and forgiveness gave the Psalmist a trust that he would always be given an attentive ear when he called upon the Lord. Using the stories of King David, Saint Augustine and reflecting on personal experience we discover how every human heart longs for peace and an assurance that as pilgrims on life’s journey we can hope to obtain the deepest desire of our souls.

“As we journey”, Father Chabot said, “the Risen Lord Jesus invites us: ‘Come to me all you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest’. This is our opportunity for our personal encounter with Christ and as Pope Francis writes in The Joy of the Gospel “every moment is a perfect time to take a step towards Jesus [and] realize that he is already there, waiting with open arms.”

Such is the copious mercy of our God!” He concluded, quoting the author of the Imitation of Christ: “…the Kingdom of God is the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit, and if you prepare within your heart a fitting dwelling place, Christ will come to you and console you.”

The Saturday evening reflection by Father Chabot drew much admiration because it focused on a subject very dear to the congregation. He spoke about Saint Ann and Joachim as the first Holy Family of Nazareth as it was within their family that Mary was formed as a woman of faith ready to accept the vocation to become the Mother of the long expected Saviour. Hearing and responding to the Word of God as Mary did allows us to learn the way of being “merciful like the Father”.

Using the accounts of the Wedding Feast at Cana and Mary standing at the Foot of the Cross, Father Chabot showed how the common thread in all the reported apparitions of Mary is that she exhorts God’s People to prayer, repentance and an increased devotion to her Divine Son. Throughout the centuries ever since the Council of Ephesus in 431 the Church has always looked up to Mary and those who love Jesus receive Mary, his mother as their mother. She was Our Lord’s gift to us from the Cross.

He concluded acknowledging a litany of the Church’s devotion to Mary as “Mother of the Church, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comforter of the Afflicted, Mother of Mercy, Our Life, Our Sweetness and our Hope… “And so, with all the affection of our heart and full submission of our minds to the Marian Dogmas of our Holy Faith, we repeat the Church’s familiar words in praise of the Mother of Jesus. ‘Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy! Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception! Blessed be her glorious Assumption! Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother! … and then: Blessed be God in his Angels, Saint Ann and all the Saints, now and forever. Amen”

The evening concluded with a candlelight procession to the Shrine where the the participants were anointed with the Oil of Saint Ann. The congregation increased in number each evening and with great gusto sang the hymn: “O Good Saint Ann, we call on thy Name. Your praises loud, your children proclaim!” A spirit of charity prevailed and the joy of the Pastor, Father Ken O’Brien and the faith of the People was most evident throughout the Triduum and Pilgrimage.

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<![CDATA[Contact Us]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/contact-us/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/contact-us/Fri, 10 Jun 2016 7:21:02 -0700Tom Holly: tahollyandy@yahoo.com

St. James Secretary: secretarystjames@gmail.com

Father Ken O'Brien: 613-628-2020

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<![CDATA[Past Pilgrimages]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/gallery/past-pilgrimages/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/gallery/past-pilgrimages/Mon, 06 Jun 2016 7:12:18 -0700<![CDATA[Gallery]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/gallery/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/gallery/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 10:13:11 -0700<![CDATA[Historic Gallery]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/gallery/historic-gallery/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/gallery/historic-gallery/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 10:12:23 -0700<![CDATA[News]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/news/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 10:01:36 -0700<![CDATA[St Ann's Mass League]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/st-ann-s-mass-league/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/st-ann-s-mass-league/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 9:36:48 -0700Pilgrims may enroll in St. Ann's Mass League and once a month a Mass is celebrated in the parish for their intentions.

Download the St. Ann's Mass League Enrollment Form

The Enrollment Form can be mailed to:

St. Ann´s Mass League
St. Ann´s Church,
Cormac On. K0J 1M0

St Ann's Mass League - Cormac Ontario

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<![CDATA[Directions]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/directions/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/directions/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 9:26:10 -0700

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<![CDATA[History]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/history/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/history/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 9:22:21 -0700We have made PDF files of three books of historical significance for both the Pilgrimage and the Cormac area. The books are entitled A Journey of Faith, People & Places of Yesterday and The Story of Cormac.

Converting the books to digital media ensures that they will be preserved for the future - and for you to enjoy as well!

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<![CDATA[St Ann's Catholic Church]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/history/st-ann-s-catholic-church/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/history/st-ann-s-catholic-church/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 8:21:34 -0700The Stately Gray Stone Church

As one travels down Foymount Hill, the stately gray stone Church of St. Ann's, with its sky reaching steeple, rests serenely at its foothill. Visible, are not only buildings, but the well maintained sheds that sheltered horses and carriages in earlier days.

The beautiful Shrine of St. Ann, nestled among the pines, where the first Pilgrimage took place in 1938, finds tourists frequently praying at Her steps or kneeling before the nearby monument to the newborn. A young high school student, (now Reverend George Holly), arranged for the Crucifixion Scene beside the church.

People can be seen resting on a bench in thoughtful reflection or saying the Stations of the Cross. This beautifully decorated church which houses a statue of St. Ann above the altar as well as a relic of St Ann was not the first church to grace the grounds. Until 1891, a small chapel on the Opeongo served as a mission for Catholic families.

The Building of the First Church

Father James McCormac was responsible for the building of the first church in Cormac in 1891. This location was chosen because it was the center through which most traffic flowed, and so named because of Father McCormac's deep devotion to St. Ann. At the same time, the cemetery was moved from the Opeongo and positioned near the church, where it remains today.

The church was built of clapboards, with steps leading up to the entrance, and located on land donated by John Gibbons and by Thomas Kelly. This church served the parishioners until it burned on January 8th, 1916 at 3:00am. The cause of the fire was thought to be that of a faulty wood furnace.

The Rebuilding Begins

Parishioners immediately began building a new cement block church under the guidance of Father J.N. George. Fifty-five families donated lumber and worked laboriously to build a church that would serve its people. While the church was being built, Mass was offered at the Castile School (where Kevin Mullin's new house is located). A year after the church was built, a parish house was built. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated by Father George on July 23, 1916. The shell was up but the inside was incomplete. In 1917, the church was blessed by Bishop John Ryan. Father J.N. George became Cormac's first pastor on Nov 1st, 1919, ending Cormac's 60 plus years as a mission of Brudenell. The blessing of the bell took place on July 25, 1920. The next day, the first ordination was of Stephen Joseph Ryan, a native of Cormac, bestowing great blessings on St. Ann's. The first marriage was that of Mr. And Mrs. Joseph Manion on Nov 28, 1917.

Since Cormac was centrally located in the diocese, Bishop C.L. Nelligan approved of a Shrine to St. Ann in 1939. On July 26th 1938, Father George and parishioners hosted the first Pilgrimage and thus fostered a deep devotion to St. Ann in the hearts of people. Following the First Pilgrimage, the Shrine was built and blessed in July 1939. In 1946 and the following years, the church was extended, property improved and the Shrine enlarged with stonework, a stone railing around it with steps leading to the Alter. In 1978, Brudenell became a mission of Cormac.

St. Ann's was blessed by each pastor, who continually gave dedicated service to the church and community, not only to improve physical appearance and ambiance of the church, but to keep it vibrant as a living center of worship. St. Ann's lost its Resident Pastor August 1, 1999 with the reorganization of priests. Father Richard Starks moved to St. Micheal's, Douglas, but continued to serve as our Pastor. Then on September 1st 2004, Bishop Richard Smith, at an organizational meeting at St. Ann's, announcing that St. Ann's Church would no longer have a weekend liturgy.

St. Anns Continues to Flourish

St. Ann's continues to flourish as a parish community with Wednesday evening Mass and liturgies for special celebrations, funerals and weddings. Thanks to the dedication of a few faithful families and summer residents, we continue to serve the thousands of pilgrims who attend our annual Pilgrimage. The spiritual devotion to St. Ann and the faith of the people are still evident in Cormac, through the participation, financial support, and devotion of the people and community.

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<![CDATA[The Pilgrimage to St. Ann's]]>http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/history/the-pilgrimage-to-st-ann-s/http://www.cormacpilgrimage.com/history/the-pilgrimage-to-st-ann-s/Thu, 02 Jun 2016 8:21:11 -0700In 1937, bishop C.L. Nelligan, announced to Father J.N. George, his approval of a Shrine to St. Ann in Cormac, as it was centrally located in the diocese. On Tuesday, July 26, 1938, the Feast of St. Ann, the first Pilgrimage was held at St. Ann's, Cormac. Hourly masses were held from 6 am. To 10 am., when a Pontifical Mass was celebrated and a sermon given by Bishop Nelligan at the main alter, which was removed from the church and erected on the grounds. Additional priests offered the Masses and in the afternoon there was a veneration of the Relic of St. Ann to the sick. The Shrine that graces our grounds today was erected after the first Pilgrimage. Natural stone was used for the archway with a wooden platform for the alter. The blessing of the Shrine took place on July 16, 1939, at 3 pm by Bishop Nelligan. The only physical change to the Shrine was made in 1950 when the wooden platform was replaced by stone work, a circular railing erected around the Shrine and steps leading to the alter. With Father Tom Hunt's advertising in 1946, he and Bishop W.J. Smith saw buses arrive from Pembroke, Ottawa, Kingston, and Cornwall. The day ended with a procession to the Shrine at 8:30 pm. After World War II, the number of Pilgrims increase from 4,000 to 10,000 between 1946 and 1949. During those years buses also arrived from Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec and continue to arrive today. A Knights of Columbus Honour Guard was started by Father Tom Hunt and a St. Ann's banner was designed, and it also carried in the procession.

In the early years, many weeks of prayer were offered for the spiritual success and preparation of the Pilgrimage. A nine day novena commenced on July 20, 1940 before the Pilgrimage. There was Solemn Benediction and a Sermon in the evening for the spiritual success of the Pilgrimage. This was changed in 1941 to a Triduum, started with morning Mass, evening Benediction and a Sermon. There was usually a guest preacher invited to preach the sermon. The Triduum was not part of the Pilgrimage from 1946-1956 but was reintroduced again in 1957 with evening Mass and Sermon. A candlelight procession to the Shrine on Saturday night was started by Father Grant Neville and continued for a number of years. For nearly three decades, there was a Solemn Benediction at 3 pm at the Shrine until 1967, when Father Bernard Hunt introduced the 3 pm Mass, later known Mass for the Sick. This Mass still concludes the Pilgrimage today.

Today, the Pontifical Mass is the only morning Mass at 11 am. Generally, the Bishop of the Pembroke Diocese is the presider who preaches the Sermon. As the procession proceeds to the Shrine, St. Ann's choir, accompanied by other parishes, and pilgrims raise their voices in song, “Kneel at Thine Altar”, praising and imploring St. Ann to listen to their prayers. Anointing with Holy Oil is administered at one of the Triduum Masses and also at the 3 pm mass, giving strength and hope to the Pilgrims as they journey home. With the presence of many priests, confessions and veneration of the relic takes place in the afternoon.

From two large buildings on the grounds, Religious Articles are sold and a lunch of barbecued hot- dogs, hamburgers and ice cream are served. Pilgrims may enrol in St. Ann's Mass League and once a month a Mass is celebrated in the parish for their intentions. With few families to help with the Pilgrimages, it is with thanks to our clergy, parishioners, summer residents, members of other parishes and media that the Pilgrimage, held on the last Sunday of July continues today. Over 2,000 Pilgrims traveled the last Sunday in July 2012, to the 74th Pilgrimage of St. Ann's, Cormac.

The words prophesied by Reverend James McCormac in 1891, as the cemetery was moved from the Opeongo Road to its present site, “there will be a larger procession of the living to this center than the dead we are interring today”, are fulfilled by our Pilgrimages. These words were probably related to his firm belief, that the devotion to St. Ann would bring large crowds of people to Cormac. Father Grant Neville once said, “the greatest miracle of all, is the faith of the people”.

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