Mgr Gilles Cazabon, o.m.i.
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme (Canada)
The Bishop: Pilgrim with Christ and with his People
The Bishop has two passions: to live with Christ and to be in solidarity with the men and women of his era. These two passions are at the heart of his spirituality, giving it form and vitality. They are so fundamental to the exercise of his ministry that he can say, ‘Christ is my life’ and also, ‘we have made ourselves all for all’. Christ becomes the defining element of his life to such an extent that without this Divine Presence, his life is senseless and he becomes unable to fulfill his ministry.
In the Bishop’s ministry, Christ is both received and given. He is received in the sacraments presided by the Bishop, united in his Church; in the meditation of the Gospel, received by the Bishop before he can proclaim it; in the Bishop’s ministry exercised in the light of the Spirit active in the life of the world and of the people of his diocese. Christ is given in the proclamation of the Gospel for the life of the world, in the celebration of the sacraments, profound actions by which Christ heralds a new world and in the daily leadership of his diocese exemplifying at all times the proximity of God to his people,
The discovery of Christ, ever renewed, takes place within a particular people since the Episcopal ordination puts the Bishop at the service of a Church so as to be, in the image of Christ, Good Pastor and Servant. Today in Canada, our pilgrimage with the men and women of our time leads us with, albeit renewed effort, to deepen our understanding of Christ’s mystery and His Pascal event. Our co-citizens, of all ages, formed by a different culture, are faced with new challenges and ask new questions. When perplexed and overwhelmed by such new questions and new life styles it is for the Bishop with his people to seek answers in the Gospel’s ever newness, breaking open vistas of liberty that given rise to new hope.