The Canadian Catholic television channel Salt + Light TV has arranged a special programming schedule for Holy Week and Easter, March 29 to April 5, 2015, covering the celebrations by Pope Francis in Rome. Beginning on April 1, a link to the special programming will be accessible on the home page of the website of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Link to the special broadcasting schedule
Today, the Most Reverend Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal, has released a statement concerning the health of His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop Emeritus of Montreal.
Link to the statement
Servant of God Elisabeth Turgeon, founder of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, will be beatified in Rimouski this coming April 26. CCCB Publications is now accepting pre-publication orders for prayer cards being published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. These are available in either English or French. Pre-orders for the prayer cards can be placed with CCCB Publications by e-mail,
; by phone, 1-800-769-1147; or by fax, 613-241-5090.
Link to the description of the prayer cards in English
Link to the description of the prayer cards in French
To assist in preparations for Holy Week and the celebrations of Easter, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) again posts possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the Sunday liturgy with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. The proposed texts for the month of April 2015 include suggestions from the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday), April 4 and 5, to the 4TH Sunday of Easter, April 26. In addition, it includes suggestions for the Thursday of the Lord's Supper and the Friday of the Passion of the Lord. As usual, the suggestions for homilies and prayers can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of April are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section "Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB".
"Choose life!" This is God's plea to his people, a plea which echoed in our churches during the first week of Lent as a few lines of the book of Deuteronomy were proclaimed (30.19). Isn't it surprising to hear God plead with his people, beg them, implore them to make this choice? Perhaps God has to plead with us because the choice is neither evident nor easy. However, it is always crucial.
In preparation for the 8th World Meeting of Families to be held 22 to 27 September 2015 in Philadelphia, a new catechetical resource is now available. The Pontifical Council for the Family with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has published a catechesis entitled "Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive – A preparatory catechesis for the World Meeting of Families". The resource has been developed to assist in preparing dioceses throughout the world and to serve as a guide for the World Meeting itself. The booklet is available in several languages including English and French. It can be ordered in print or electronic formats in Canada on the website www.amazon.ca, from local bookstores, by email at
, or by visiting the website https://www1.lightningsource.com/contactUs.aspx.
The March 22, 2015, broadcast of the French-language TV program Le Jour du Seigneur on Radio-Canada (CBC's French-language service) focused on "Solidarity Sunday". This annual celebration on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, in most Canadian parishes, highlights the Share Lent collection for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). The Most Reverend Claude Champagne, O.M.I., Bishop of Edmundston, presided at the televised Mass. For several years, he was one of two Bishops appointed by the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCCB) to the National Council of Development and Peace. As agreed by the CCCB and Development and Peace, the role and responsibilities of the two Bishops on the National Council have been replaced and enlarged by the CCCB Standing Committee for Development and Peace, which meets regularly with the CCODP Standing Liaison Committee.
Link to the video archives of the program (in French only)
The Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, the Most Reverend Bernardito Auza, recently delivered an address on the promotion of inclusive and equitable economies to advance the status of women in the world during the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. In his address Archbishop Auza refers to how fragile family structures and the decline of marriage among the poor are closely linked to poverty among women. The Permanent Observer made his intervention on March 18, 2015.
Link to the Statement
Mr. Jean Vanier has received the 2015 Templeton Prize. This renowned international distinction was "for his innovative discovery of the central role of vulnerable people in the creation of a more just, inclusive and humane society".
Following the news by Pope Francis this past March 13 that an "extraordinary Holy Year" will begin December 8, the Archdiocese of Quebec has announced that the Holy Door of the Cathedral Basilica Notre-Dame de Québec will be open to pilgrims throughout the Jubilee of Mercy. His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of the Church in Canada, said the diocesan Church rejoices in joining Pope Francis in this Year of Mercy. "After the 350th anniversary of Notre-Dame de Quebec, this will be a Jubilee that we will celebrate with the Universal Church. Mercy touches the heart and the lives of all women and men," he said.
The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has sent a letter to the President of the Episcopal Council of Latin America (CELAM), the Most Reverend Carlo Aguíar Retes, Archbishop of Tlalnepantla, Mexico. The letter from Archbishop Durocher is an expression of solidarity by all the Bishops in Canada with CELAM in its appearance today, March 19, 2015, in Washington, D.C. before a tribunal of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) regarding the ethical and moral implications of projects involving the extractive industries in Latin America.
The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) held its annual Seminar on Life and the Family March 19-20, 2015, in Gatineau, Quebec, on the theme "When Life Takes Us by Surprise...." As the host Bishop, the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent a message to the participants. In his message, Archbishop Durocher recalls that "the wonder and miracle of human life should always be a "surprise", in the sense that we recognize, marvel and rejoice at the superabundant goodness of our God, source of all life and guarantor of its sanctity."
Link to the Message (PDF)