CARMEL, Sask. — Rock the Mount 2016, “Putting on the Whole Armour of God,” was held July 23 at the historic Mount Carmel shrine west of Humboldt, Sask., with music, talks, drama, games, prayer, opportunities for confession, and celebration of mass with the bishop.
Music throughout the day was provided by Saskatchewan artists Brad Johner and the Johner Boys, and the Trudel Family of Honeymoon, Sask. Keynote speaker was Matt Nelson of Shaunavon, Sask., who writes the blog Reasonable Catholic and contributes to Word on Fire Ministries.
This year’s daylong Rock the Mount was dubbed a medieval festival of faith, a theme reflected in the medieval games held during the day, and drama presentations about St. Joan of Arc and St. George. The concession was provided this year by volunteers from the Father Sinnett Council of Lanigan, Sask.
A number of priests were on hand to offer the sacrament of reconciliation after a morning penitential service. Bishop Donald Bolen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon presided at the afternoon celebration of the eucharist, along with Abbot Peter Novecosky, OSB, of St. Peter’s Abbey, Muenster.
In his homily, Bolen reflected on the profound mercy of God, and the gift of prayer, which allows each person to be in intimate relationship with God.
“What God desires of us in prayer is that our lives become a conduit of openness to the word that God wants to speak to us, so that our lives become a place where we are daily — minute by minute, hour by hour — able to stand in the presence of God and pour out our hearts,” the bishop said.
Trusting that our lives are in the hands of our merciful God, “our lives become eucharistic — caught up in the Paschal Mystery of God’s boundless love, shown in the dying and rising of Jesus,” Bolen said.
He encouraged those gathered to go forth to be “a sign of God’s boundless mercy for those around us, and for the world.”