Lenten Reflection: St. Andre

Last Friday I was privileged to journey to Montreal, joining fellow staff members in pilgrimage to St. Joseph’s Oratory, in thanksgiving for the journey which gave birth to Mount Royal Academy 25 years ago. Walking through the enormous main basilica, I was full of awe at the magnitude of all the blessings God has showered on this community over the years. Kneeling at the altar of the tiny, original, chapel I sensed the amazing scope of the dream our founding families possessed. Looking up I was surrounded by rows of crutches and canes, tokens of miracles granted through the intercession of St. Brother Andre. On either side, above the crutches, were rows of plaques commemorating additional favors granted through the intercession of St. Joseph, our patron. Later, as I knelt at his tomb, venerating his heart, I said the words found inscribed on the railing there:

Saint Brother André, we celebrate your presence among us.

Your loving friendship with Jesus, Mary and Joseph

makes you another son in the eyes of the Father.

Compassion carries your words straight to God’s heart,

and your prayers are answered

with comfort and healing

Through you, from our lips to God’s ear,

our supplications are heard…

We ask to be made a part of God’s work

in a spirit of prayer, compassion and humility.

Saint Brother André, pray for us.


Lent is the perfect season in which to commemorate the journey which gave birth to our school. It is the perfect time for reflection, penance, and re-commitment; to renew our dedication to both our patron and our mission. During this season of quiet I pause to truly listen and see what God is calling me to do. As I strolled through the beautiful, peace-filled spaces at the Oratory, I felt assured by the words of St. Brother Andre found around me, and the small smile on his face evident on every statue and image. This was a humble man who dreamed of great things: an enormous facility dedicated to the earthly father of our Lord. A place where all could come to pray and give thanks; where people experienced magnificent healings and miracles. It is a fitting place for a small band of parents to dream of their own miracle: a school that welcomes all, loves all, and cares for all.  A school where the whole child is educated, where seeds of faith are nurtured and can grow. In the words of St. Brother Andre:

“The door to heaven is the heart of Jesus. The key to this door is prayer and love.”

- Amy Sansone, Academic Dean