Letter from the CCCB to Father Dandenault About the Barbaric Assassination of Father Guy Pinard

Sunday, January 26 1997

Reverend Richard Dandenault, M.Af.
Provincial Superior
Society of Missionaries of Africa
11100, boul. de l’Acadie
Montreal, QC
H3M 2S8

Dear Father Dandenault:

The news of the barbaric assassination of Father Guy Pinard has left all Canadians in a profound state of dismay. The circumstances surrounding his death cause us once again to call to mind the courage of all missionaries who, in the name of their faith, have chosen to live among people who are experiencing unimaginable civil strife.

The history of the White Fathers is intimately tied to that of the Church in Africa. Many Canadians, including Father Pinard, have generously responded to the call of dedicating their entire missionary life to the African people. Not only are they witnesses of the Gospel but, like Christ, a number of them have spilled their blood for the people they serve. Father Pinard gave up his life while celebrating the memorial of Christ’s supreme sacrifice.

In the name of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, I wish to extend to you, Father Dandenault, our most sincere sympathies. We pray that God give the necessary serenity for the establishment of peace in Rwanda. Before God, the Father of all mercies, we place Father Pinard’s colleagues, the parishioners of Kampanga and all those whom this brutal death has touched.

Yours fraternally in Christ,

+ Francis J. Spence
Archbishop of Kingston
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops