Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Lacroix his special envoy at celebrations marking 200 years of evangelization in the West and North of CanadaTuesday, June 26, 2018
Pope Francis on 19 May 2018 appointed His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of Canada, as his special envoy for celebrations marking the beginnings of what is today the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface and 200 years of evangelization in the West and North of Canada. Beginning on 14 July 2018, Cardinal Lacroix will give at Saint Boniface University a public lecture on the theme “Walking on the Shoulders of Giants”. His address will be delivered in French, 9:30 a.m. to noon, and in English, 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The next day, 15 July, Cardinal Lacroix will preside at the outdoor Solemn Mass beginning at 11:00 a.m. in front of Saint-Boniface Cathedral. He will be joined by the Most Reverend Albert LeGatt, Archbishop of Saint Boniface, and the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and Vice President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The festivities of the day will begin with the historical re-enactment of the arrival on the Red River in 1818 of then Father Joseph-Norbert Provencher, who was to become the first Bishop of Saint-Boniface, and will conclude with a televised concert inspired by the Seven Teachings of the First Nations Peoples. The Solemn Mass will be broadcast live on Salt + Light Television and on Radio-Canada/Manitoba (CBC).
Following earlier visits in 1743 and 1751 by Jesuit missionaries who had accompanied explorers in Western Canada, Father Provencher and Father Sévère Dumoulin were sent in 1818 by the then Bishop of Québec, the Most Reverend Joseph-Octave Plessis, to establish a mission in the Red River Colony. Two years later, while continuing to serve the mission, Father Provencher was named Auxiliary Bishop of Québec, and was ordained Bishop in 1822. In 1847, the Red River mission became the centre of the first ecclesiastical territory of Western Canada with the establishment of the Vicariate Apostolic of North-West as part of the Archdiocese of Québec. In 1847, the ecclesiastical territory of Saint-Boniface became a Diocese, and then in 1871 an Archdiocese. Further background information on the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of evangelization in the West and North of Canada is available on the special website http://www.catholica200.ca/.