2007 CCCB Plenary Assembly: Canadian Bishops to Reflect on New Evangelization

Tuesday, October 02 2007

(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly, 15 to 19 October in Cornwall, Ontario.

This meeting is the only one to bring together all the Bishops of Canada throughout the course of the year. The 80 or more Bishops who will meet will use this time by addressing the events of the past pastoral year and discussing the projects and work of their Conference.

As 2007 is an election year for the CCCB, the members will elect brother Bishops to represent them in leading their Conference. Among the elections will be that of a new President since Most Reverend André Gaumond, Archbishop of Sherbrooke, is completing his two-year mandate.

New Evangelization

As is the custom, the CCCB Plenary Assembly allows the Bishops to explore in depth a theme in keeping with their ministry. This year, the emphasis will be on new evangelization with the assistance of presentations by two specialists in the field, Professor Reginald Bibby, a sociologist at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta), and Most Reverend Claude Champagne, O.M.I., Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Halifax and of the Diocese of Yarmouth, who taught missiology at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, for a number of years before being given episcopal responsibilities.

Throughout the five days they spend together, the Bishops will also pursue their work with regards to CCCB restructuring, an operation that seeks to adjust the Conference in order to respond better to the needs of today’s Church. This year their attention will be focused on the Episcopal Commissions, each specializing in a specific area of pastoral activity: social affairs, theology, canon law, Christian unity and religious dialogue, relations with Catholic associations, evangelization, communications, liturgy and Catholic education. Each Commission studies the major issues of our times, analyzes the needs of the Church in Canada and helps in implementing projects that support the Bishops and Catholic communities according to their respective mission.

In addition to dealing with the Conference’s current affairs, such as budget and reports from various committees, the Bishops will also discuss preparations for the International Eucharistic Congress which will take place in Quebec City next June.

A group of invited observers, including priests, members from Catholic organizations and other Christian churches, also participates in the meeting. Each year, one religious representative is invited to address the Bishops, and for the first time in its history, the 2007 Plenary Assembly will welcome a representative from the Muslim community, Imam Dr. Zijad Delic, Executive Director of the Canadian Islamic Congress.

Celebrating its 65th year of existence in 2008, the CCCB is an organization created by the Bishops to allow them to collaborate on various pastoral responsibilities and to work together in addressing major issues that confront Canadians and the Church at large.

Internet users can follow this annual meeting by reading news releases and reports as regularly published on the CCCB Website at http://www.cccb.ca/.