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A Day In Paris


Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Paris. Photo by Ana Paula Hirama Via Wiki Commons

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Paris.
Photo by Ana Paula Hirama Via Wiki Commons

On a Wednesday, some 14 years ago, I went to the Montmartre District in Paris by Metro. This section of Paris lies on its highest level. At the Abbesses Station, I climbed 150 steps to get to the surface.  At every 5th step, I stopped and said a Hail Mary.  As I stood there on Montmartre, the whole City of Paris lay before my eyes.  Montmartre means, “Mountain of Martyrs”.  During the French Revolution, 1800’s, many died for their faith.

On this rainy day, I searched out the Church of St. Peter of Montmartre, over 500 years old. In its silent, dim interior, I thrilled to knell at the Blessed Sacrament altar.  Within these sacred walls, St. Ignatius of Loyola, (1491 – 1556) was accustomed to bring his young student, St. Francis Xavier, (1506 – 1552) to attend Mass.  Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, was grooming Francis for his missionary work in the Far East.  As I sat there, I was hoping to hear things Ignatius spoke to Francis.  The hour passed too quickly.

Next door to St. Peter’s stands the splendid Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacre Couer), built in the early 1920’s, In the dim interior, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament goes on throughout the day.  On the entire back wall of the sanctuary,

I spent two hours within the Church of Reparation with my prayers, always, for a rededication of my Priesthood to His Sacred Heart. All through my Seminary years, in my darkest hours, I had confided in His Sacred Heart.  Now, on this raining, dark day, I was asking, in this great house of prayer, that He help me finish the race with my Priesthood intact.

The best gift we can ask of the Sacred Heart is humility. In my long life, the people with the most influence for my good lived humble lives.  They were kind, gracious, friendly, non-judgmental and unselfish.

Jesus shows us all these characteristics in every page of the Gospels. I left the Basilica with fervent thanks for His gift of faith to me!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 19, 2016 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. Another beautifully written,inspiring article. Thank You ,Father !

    Comment by Phil B | March 19, 2016 | Reply

  2. Thank you always Fr. George for keeping us close to Him with your words of great faith & love. You inspire us, His sheep! Such wisdom for each day! A Blessed Holy Week! With gratitude & love, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | March 19, 2016 | Reply

  3. Really exciting and useful story which learns us how to live in a correct manner in compliance with a NewTestament.

    Comment by Alexey | March 19, 2016 | Reply

  4. Wonderful information, Father! Thank you very much. Terry and I look forward to your article every week! God bless you and keep you.

    Comment by Ellen Hodges | March 19, 2016 | Reply

  5. Hi Fr. George! Thank you for that wonderful post and the picture, too! I have been to that very spot in Paris and been inside the beautiful Sacre Coeur – I never new the translation for Montemarte – but that does make perfect sense now that I hear it! We’ve been to Paris twice now and both times, we visited places that you had suggested. Now, I will have to return again and search out St. Peter’s church that you describe above. And, I have to admit to you, that we were slackers and rode the funicular up to the top! I love hearing how you took the stairs (that is a LOT of stairs) and stopping to say a Hail Mary. Wonderful!

    I love your rich writing style as I can picture clearly what you are writing about. Such a gift!! You are such a dear man and all of those tributes that you listed as important for people to be – kind, gracious, friendly, non-judgmental, and unselfish – that describes you!

    You are always in my thoughts and prayers, my dear friend. Love you much!

    Love,
    Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | March 26, 2016 | Reply

  6. one more thing, my Parish priest and many of the parishes here, are Jesuit priests (due to Seattle University being a Jesuit university) – and that is lovely to read about St. Ignatius teaching a young St. Francis in the church you mentioned above – St. Peter’s. You educate me so very often! I wish we could converse daily! Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | March 26, 2016 | Reply


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