ANTIGONISH: A local university was one of the stops for a religious relic making a journey across the country.
The arm of St. Francis Xavier is making stops in Canada as part of a pilgrimage organized by the Archdiocese of Ottawa, the Jesuits in Canada, and Catholic Christian Outreach, states the Catholic Christian Outreach Web site, with the pilgrimage being a gift for the church.
It is the first time the relic visited North America in generations, with St. Francis Xavier considered one of the Catholic Church’s most well known evangelists and missionaries.
Bishop of Antigonish Brian Dunn was one of many folks to view the relic during its January 8 stay at the StFX Chapel, which included public veneration and a mass.
“Somehow or other, there was an agreement to allow the relic to come from Rome, to begin in Ottawa, and then go throughout the country,” said Dunn.
“It was a big decision and a big opportunity for us here in Antigonish and the local area. It only went to certain diocese and archdiocese throughout the country and it was only in three places here in Atlantic Canada.”
The relic one holds particular significance for Antigonish, with the town being the home of StFX University, explained Dunn, who saw the relic while he was in Rome.
“This is the patron of the university… but it’s also an important relic for regular parishioners,” he said.
Dunn added a number of young people came through for the veneration and mass, which he felt was significant. He called it a faith event for all who came out.