Canon Moreau's Return Visit, November 2019


Canon Jean-Marie Moreau returned for a one-week visit to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory on Saturday, November 16, 2019. On Sunday, he celebrated a Solemn High Mass, and a reception was held in his honor after the Mass.

It was a warm homecoming, because Canon Moreau has served here before, at both the Bay Area apostolates of the Institute of Christ the King at the same time. Between 2008 and 2011, he was rector of the former Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Santa Clara and was at the same time administrator for the rite of 1962 at the institute apostolate in Oakland at St. Margaret Mary Church. In 2011, Canon Moreau was then assigned to St. Anthony of Padua Oratory, in West Orange, New Jersey, where he served for five years. And he then spent the next three years at a newly created apostolate in Mauritius, an island nation near Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean off Africa's east coast.

During his homily at the Mass during his visit in San José, Canon reminisced about how many prayers and sufferings were behind the eventual erection of the current oratory at Five Wounds Portuguese National Church. While Canon Moreau was rector of the former Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the oratory was located at a small, former-Protestant church on Homestead and Monroe Streets in Santa Clara. After a diocesan priest and now Institute associate Father Donald Morgan was assigned as pastor to Five Wounds Portuguese Nationall Church in 2009, he allowed Canon Moreau and the choir to celebrate a High (Sung) Mass in the church at 9:30 every Sunday morning.

After a year, Father Morgan was reassigned, and the Traditional Latin Masses at Five Wounds came to a halt.  So, it was a great joy for all of us that—after the former Oratory was closed in 2013—Bishop McGrath erected the Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory and arranged for it to be hosted at Five Wounds Church. The oratory pays rent for use of the facilities and coordinates its offerings within the limits of the parish schedule, with a Low Mass every day, a High (Sung) Mass and a Low Mass on feast days, and two Low Masses and one High (Sung) Mass every Sunday.

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Canon Moreau flew to San José directly from Washington D.C. on Saturday, after he took part in a major event at the Pontifical Mass at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the morning, where local composer Frank La Rocca's Mass of the Americas was sung. Canon Moreau was invited to serve as Archbishop Cordileone's priest assistant at the pontifical Mass in D.C. He has close connections to Archbishop Cordileone and to Frank LaRocca. LaRocca attends the institute apostolate Masses at St. Margaret Mary in Oakland, and Canon Moreau was instrumental in the conversion of LaRocca and his wife and the covalidation of their marriage. In gratitude, LaRocca composed and dedicated an earlier Mass setting to Canon Moreau, which was sung at a Mass at St. Margaret Mary about ten years ago.

Canon's new assignment will start in February.

Before he leaves, he will celebrate daily Masses during the week. On Friday, November 22, on the Feast of St. Cecilia, he  will help Canon Ueda celebrate the Solemn High Mass, where he will give the homily at Mission Santa Clara at the upcoming event described here. Canon Moreau was the first institute priest involved with this annual event, which was started by lay members of the oratory who are devoted to the cause of the canonization of Father Magin Catalá, and the event is now in its eleventh year.

Some pictures from Sunday are below.

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