Sunday morning in Montreal. We wanted to go to Mass at the Notre Dame Basilica in old Quebec and had found out that there was an 11 o’clock Mass with the choir. Hurray! We slept late, then went called the concierge to reserve a taxi. Matthieu was a very helpful concierge. He reserved a space for us on the Gray Line for a Monday tour of Quebec, went across the street to exchange American money for Canadian money and got us a taxi.
Well, we were on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride with our monolingual-French speaking-Haitian cab driver and his monolingual-English speaking-riders. We were caught by streets closed by work and detours because…there was the Rock and Roll Montreal Marathon! Eventually it was obvious Old Quebec was closed for traffic and we turned away. As he was taking us back to the hotel, somehow we made it clear to him that we really wanted to go to Mass, not just visit the Basilica. His face lit up and he said, “I will take you to St. Joseph’s.” Great! But it was a long ride through much of Quebec and each of us separately and silently had Flanagan disaster thoughts wondering if we were being kidnapped. Nope! This nice man brought us to the Oratory of St. Joseph, an incredibly beautiful basilica.
St. Joseph was the home of Brother Andre who has a whole story that I’m not going into right now. Mass was at 12:30 and we arrived just after 11, so we had coffee and something to eat, then got to the church for the French mass with organ and a singer with a beautiful voice. Here is where having a Smart Phone was really handy: we looked up the readings for the day and could follow along in English. It is good to be “the other” sometimes.
After Mass we visited the Chapel of St. Andre and the museum. The museum had an exhibit of international creches, and if you know Bridget, you know how important Nativity scenes are to her. Then, of course, the gift shop. We took a taxi back to the hotel.
That evening we walked down the street to a little Italian restaurant and had very good veal Parmesan..