50th Wedding Anniversary of Mike and Yvette Muise

My dear family and friends in ANTIGONISH CANADA.

I am back home in England after attending what was more than a royal celebration which many who attended it called it ‘The Party of the Century.’ I was overwhelmed and joyful that Mike and Yvette had included me in their celebrations.

In thanking them, I am going to make what I call a ‘mega-blog’ incorporating all the pictures and videos from the camera people, namely, Archie MacLellan, Danny Pinto, Miriam Gillis, Michael MacAllduff, and myself, who captured this most special 50th Anniversary, which was truly golden.

My joyous and grateful, nay Proud-of-my-sister-and-her-husband, Heart which is filled with admiration and wonderment, will be reflected in this my electronic gift to Mike and Yvette from me, my wife Betty , and all my family. I hope they will accept it with all our love.

Friday 8th June 2018 .... fifty years after 1968, the original date of their marriage in Mombasa Kenya, ... began with magnificent sunshine as we drove at 8.00am to Our Lady of Grace Monastery, thirty minutes away from Antigonish. The skies were full of promise of good weather to follow for the next five days.

As I entered the Monastery Chapel, I was totally overwhelmed by the beauty of the wonderful stained-glass windows that made up the whole front wall behind the altar, facing us, equalling that of Windsor Castle, and I dare say Westminster Abbey.

And, there just inside the sanctuary gates was a kneeler, draped with a golden satin fabric, embellished by two large pots of yellow roses on either side, and accompanied by two comfortable chairs. And, on the pews in the aisle, beautiful golden bows were lovingly attached, making the ambiance for a truly special for a king and queen.

All this was done by Mother Gloria and the Sisters, as a gift to Yvette and Mike in friendship and love. But it doesn’t end here, the Sisters sang the High Mass , like angels and the whole experience was ethereal for all of us who attended the Mass. Never before had such an event occurred at the Monastery, I’m told.

The Mass started with an entrance procession led by Earnie Curry carrying the cross as Altar server, followed by Sophia Lewis [Mike and Yvette’s nine year old grand-daughter] carrying a wreath of everlasting flowers, and a set of rings for the jubilarians ,followed by Mike and Yvette, and then Rev.Father Bill Crispo, celebrant of the Mass as the entrance hymn ‘YOU ARE NEAR, ‘ was sung by the angelic choir of five Sisters and accompanied by Sister Lexie on the keyboard, and by the congregation.

As this was a High Mass, all the parts of the Mass were sung in honour of THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS SOLEMNITY.

The first reading : Hosea Il, read by Chris Muise, Mike and Yvette’s Sister-in-law was followed by the responsorial psalm: ‘WITH JOY YOU SHALL DRAW WATER FROM THE SPRINGS OF ENDLESS JOY’ sung by my niece Anna Marie who truly filled the chapel with a flowing Melodious gift of song.

Then Jim Muise, Mike’s brother read from Ephesians 3 , and this was followed by the Celtic Alleluia by Anna Marie. Just beautiful.

Father Crispo read the gospel: John 19, and then gave a most wonderful homily into which he incorporated tributes to both Yvette and Mike. I felt truly proud to be witnessing all this.

Next came the renewal of the marriage vows. Father Crispo came down to the jubilarians , Sophia brought the rings to Father who blessed them and performed the Renewal of Vows ceremony, after which Mother Gloria and the Sisters sang THE IRISH BLESSING, complimenting the engraving inside Mike’s ring from Yvette which read ‘MAY THE ROAD COME UP TO MEET YOU....’ it was most special.

It must be mentioned here that a former member of Yvette’s choir, now a priest, Father Doug MacDonald who is studying in Rome at the Vatican, sent Mike and Yvette a Papal blessing from Pope Francis.... another wonderful blessing for the jubilarians.

This was followed by Bach-Gounod’s AVE MARIA sung by Anna Marie. It was flawless and her voice was like pure honey flowing from the hive of blessings to the last drop. I had tears in my eyes, as did Yvette and Mike, I’m sure. What a proud moment! ....What a beautiful Offertory Hymn wherein the gifts were carried to the altar by cousin Suzie and Danny Pinto from Toronto.

Mother Gloria and the Sisters sang ‘LIKE OLIVE BRANCHES’ as a Communian hymn, followed by a HYMN TO THE SACRED HEART.

The Mass ended with the closing hymn ‘WHEN LOVE IS FOUND’ , and hugs and kisses and photographs galore, and a wonderful coffee / tea and doughnuts reception in the Sisters’ dining room gifted and prepared by the Sisters for Mike and Yvette and their guests. What a sign of true friendship!

During this reception, Yvette made a special presentation. With Mike by her side she told everyone there, how on her wedding day, just before they left the house, her Mum and Dad had a special gift for her. It was a gold chain with a stylized cross with white sapphires imbedded in it, and that on that day, fifty years later she was presenting it to her only daughter as she took it off from her own neck and fastened it around Anna Marie’s neck. I’ll tell you that my heart was swelling.

I cannot find the correct words to express myself except to say ‘Thank You God for this wonderful blessing you bestowed on me and all of us present at this Mass of joy and unconditional love that Mike and Yvette practice.’

On the way home, I babbled and babbled my joy and we all said that that Mass was indeed an ethereal moment in our lives.

From a visitor’s point of view, I think the Monastery in the hands of Mother Gloria and the Sisters of Our Lady of Grace is a true blessing, and that they are to be commended and praised to the nth degree. It is my hope that this 50th Anniversary Celebration they gifted to my sister Yvette and Mike will be the start of a new venture of hosting weddings, anniversaries , group or individual retreats, parties, workshops etc etc etc .... and I hope my sister Yvette and Mike will help Mother Gloria and the Sisters to keep their beautiful Monastery alive and well for many years to come.

God bless you all my dearest Yvette and Mike, Aleixo & Debra, Little Joseph and Rachel; Anna Marie & David, Mikaela and Sophia; Joseph & Kelly, Patrick and Heather.
You are a truly blest family and I’m proud to be your brother together with my own family.

And last, but not least, Mother Gloria and the Sisters, Fr. Bill Crispo, Most Reverend Bishop Brian Dunn whom I met in the evening at the dinner party, and All the Family, and All the new friends I made, I thank you for the privilege of meeting you and getting to know you. I shall remember this event always.

Thank you and many blessings. I hope we shall meet again soon, here in Canada or in the UK.

Benny de Souza
Worcester Park
London... England.

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Dear Miriam,

It was a real pleasure meeting you at Mike and Yvette’s 50th Anniversary Party in Antigonish, and at their home where you shared all your wonderful photographs via USB, of the Mass at the Monastery, complete with over a hundred prints carefully arranged in an album that you put together that very day and presented to Yvette and Mike at the party. That was so spectacular and impressive.... it bespeaks of a friendship, tried and true.

I am honoured to be writing this wee note to you via my blog to thank you, however inadequately, on behalf of my sister Yvette and Mike, for I know how appreciative they are of your most generous gesture of your gift of your wonderful album to them, capturing memories of a very special Mass that will live on forever in their hearts, and through them, in my heart too not only as presenter of this blog, but as brother of my sister Yvette and her husband Mike, whose friend you are. I am truly honoured.

Many thanks Miriam, to you and your husband George. Hope we shall meet again soon.

Thanks a million for sharing your wonderful pictures with us. I hope my blog will do justice to your contribution of pictures taken at the monastery together with those taken by our cousin Danny Pinto, and Archie MacLellan and yours truly....together they make a ‘record of records.’

Muchas gracias.

Benny de Souza
Worcester Park
London England 

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CELEBRANT:  Christ proved his love for us on the Cross, when his heart was pierced                              with a soldier’s lance, bringing us forgiveness and grace.  We pray that we may respond to such great love.

RESPONSE  :   Lord, hear our prayer.
1. Let us pray that the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus be honoured and glorified
everywhere, especially today on the solemnity of the feast of the Sacred Heart.      Lord hear our prayer. 

2. Let us pray for Mike and Yvette, and their children Aleixo, Anna Marie and Joseph and their families.  May God watch over them at every moment and grant them the rich blessings of health and happiness.  May their love grow stronger each new day, and may their homes be filled with love, peace and joy.            Lord hear our prayer.

3. We pray for Mike and Yvette’s extended families and friends, and All here present.  May they continue to help and support each other in friendship and love in the years that be ahead.      Lord hear our prayer.

4. We pray for the Church,  the Body of Christ. We pray that at each moment of our day, and all of our lives, that we may act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with God.      Lord hear our prayer.

5. We pray for the Sisters of Our Lady of Grace Monastery, that their prayers and devotion continue unimpeded for many years to come, and that they will continue to enjoy good health and abundant happiness today and always.     Lord hear our prayer.

6. We pray for Fr. Bill Crispo, celebrant at Mike and Yvette’s Anniversary Mass:
That God will continue to bless him in his priestly duties and shower him with good health, joy and peace in his retirement.        Lord hear our prayer.

7. That all who have travelled far and near to celebrate Mike and Yvette’s  Golden Anniversary today, including those who could not be here due to ill-health and previous commitments, will travel home safely and with many blessings and love from the Jubilarians.          Lord hear our prayer.

8. Today, we remember the smiles and laughter of all those who have gone before us, who would have loved to share in the joy and happiness of this special day, particularly,  
Mike’s parents:        Joe and Sophie Muise.
Yvette’s parents:     Aleixo and Laurie de Souza
Mike’s siblings   :     Medric (Mike’s best man, and Sisters:  Mary and Teresa
Yvette’s maid of honour:   her aunt Almira
And for all deceased friends and relatives.         Lord hear our prayer.

Merciful Father,  receive these prayers we offer  in union with the pierced Heart
of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever.

Video Clip 1
Please Click on this link

or on the photograph below or on the link below photograph to view video of the
full Holy Mass Ceremony conducted by Father Bill Crispo.