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Sacred Heart and Prayers for our Priests

(Banner image: Vatican.va)

June 11, 2021
From Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick:

We have all heard it said, “My heart goes out to you.” In saying these words, we offer our deepest support.  If you love someone with your whole heart, you would do anything for them. The heart has long been a symbol of love and life in many cultures. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus identifies the heart as the symbol of love. Love cannot be logically explained; it is not earned; love speaks of a presence that is always with us, whether we are acting in a noble fashion or not. Jesus spoke of an all-loving God and by his actions he revealed God’s love for everyone.  The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus gives us a picture of such compassion flowing from the depths of God.  From Jesus, mercy and redeeming love flow out to the whole world.  His heart goes out to us and to the whole world. 

The Solemn Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been celebrated since 1856.  It has been celebrated on Friday, nineteen days after the feast of Pentecost. Today we accept that it is celebrated on the Friday following the feast of Corpus Christi.  There has been much devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus from the early days of the church.  From the eleventh and twelfth centuries, it is evident there were devotions to the Sacred Heart. The most significant source for the devotion to the Sacred Heart is from the revelation to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), who received visions of Jesus Christ. The revelations were numerous, and the church has accepted these to be real and deeply spiritual. In one of the apparitions, Jesus allowed St. Margaret Mary to rest her head upon His Heart during which time He revealed to her the wonders of His love, telling her that He desired to make them known to all people and that He had chosen her for this work. In his appearances to St. Margaret Mary, Jesus promised many blessings to those who practice devotion to his Sacred Heart. Accordingly, Jesus promised all the graces necessary for their state of life; peace in their families; consolation in all their troubles; their refuge in life and especially in death; abundantly bless all their undertakings; he will be the infinite ocean of mercy. He promised to bless those places wherein the image of the Sacred Heart will be exposed and venerated and he will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts. Finally the promise that his all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die without receiving the sacraments; and the Sacred Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.  On June 11, 1899 Pope Leo XIII solemnly consecrated the whole world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1928 Pope Pius XI approved the devotion to the Sacred Heart.  In 2002 St. John Paul II requested this feast day be a World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.  All the Catholic faithful are invited to join in prayer for the sanctification of priests.  It is an opportunity to rekindle in priests an awareness of the gift they have received. 

Pray a Rosary for our Priests

For the past 12 years, Worldpriest has organized an annual global rosary relay for the Sanctification of Priests.  Worldpriest is a non-for-profit organization supported by Pope Francis that is devoted to prayer for our priests. Last year in Canada, there were prayer participants from all of the provinces and territories.  With global participation, there were over 700,000,000 Hail Mary’s prayed for all Priests.  It was a great and wonderful blessing and a mighty prayer support to the day of prayer.  This year again, the entire world will again be encircled in prayer for our priests on this “The Worldpriest Annual Global Rosary Relay Day for Sanctification of Priests”.  You can get more information on their website:


As you know, our priests need our prayers.  Many of our priests were ordained in May and June. As we pray for our priests, I want to highlight the following who are celebrating significant anniversaries of ordination this year:


10th Ordination anniversary

Rev. Callistus Abazie
Ordained: July 30, 2011

Rev. Macdonald Ibeh
Ordained: September 24, 2011


15th Ordination anniversary

Rev. Daniel James MacDonald
Ordained: May 12, 2006


20th Ordination anniversary

Rev. Andrew Boyd
Ordained: June 8, 2001


25th Ordination anniversary

Rev. Conrad Edwards
Ordained: June 7, 1996


30th Ordination Anniversary

Rev. Peter McLeod
Ordained: May 17, 1991


40th Ordination Anniversary

Rev. Raymond Huntley
Ordained: June 7, 1981


55th Ordination Anniversary

Rev. Daniel Doucet
Ordained: May 19, 1966

Rev. Angus Bernard MacDougall
Ordained: May 22, 1966

Rev. Colin MacKinnon
Ordained: December 17, 1966


60th Ordination Anniversary

Rev. Albert Maroun
Ordained: May 27, 1961


65th Ordination Anniversary

Rev. Daniel Allan MacInnis
Ordained: May 26, 1956




+ Wayne Kirkpatrick

(Most Rev.) Wayne Kirkpatrick

Communications Officer, Diocese of Antigonish

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