As Bishops, we are sometimes asked to explain the purpose and activities of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). To answer simply, the CCCB, like any of the other national Episcopal Conferences in the world, is an organization of which the Bishops themselves are members. The purpose of the Conference is to assist the Bishops of Canada in advancing – through communion, synodality, and collegiality – joint action for the good of the Catholic Church, its faithful, and Canadian society at large. In this third millennium, our episcopal ministry is exercised with all of the Catholic faithful together.
To this end, the Bishops of Canada hold a meeting of the Plenary Assembly once a year to consider important questions affecting the Church in Canada. We reflect and deliberate on matters such as education, liturgy, responsible ministry, healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the dignity of life and the family, as well as the most pressing ethical questions of our times. Outside the meetings of the Plenary Assembly, the work of the Conference is furthered by Bishops who serve as members of the Permanent Council and Executive Committee, along with those who participate in the CCCB’s various councils, committees, and advisory bodies, and finally with the assistance and support of the CCCB’s General Secretariat in Ottawa.
In virtue of my own membership and participation in the CCCB, I have witnessed the Spirit moving within the communion of the Body of Christ. I have been inspired by marvelous examples of commitment and holiness in the missionary journey of the People of God in Canada. The modern world is filled with complexity, but also with opportunity for the Word of God to take root in society. We, as Bishops, count on the prayers and support of all of God’s People, including other clergy, laity and consecrated persons, so that the radiance of Christ may shine throughout with greater brightness.
It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to this website. I encourage you to explore the wealth of information and resources it contains. May it serve as another means of announcing the Good News, helping the Bishops of Canada to accompany and engage the pilgrim People of God on the path of holiness, especially the next generation of missionary disciples, as we walk together toward a deeper love and understanding of God and his unique plan for each of us.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Raymond Poisson
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and of Mont-Laurier
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops