Ecumenical Pioneer in Canada: Canadian Jesuit Rev. Irénée Beaubien to be Awarded Order of Canada

Tuesday, May 06 2003

(CCCB – Ottawa) – Rev. Irénée Beaubien, S.J., an important leader in the Canada’s ecumenical movement, will receive the Order of Canada this Friday at a ceremony in Ottawa presided over by Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada.

For more than 50 years, Rev. Beaubien played an important role in ecumenical dialogue, both nationally and internationally. He was involved with the Catholic Forum (a centre for information and exchange on Catholicism), the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism (founded to foster better understanding and promote cooperation among Christian Churches and other religious traditions), and Sentiers de Foi (offering services to Christians with no ongoing ties to their Churches). In 1968, Pope Paul VI named Rev. Beaubien a consultor to the Secretariat for Christian Unity in Rome.

He led the French Sector’s Conseil national d’oecuménisme at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) for eight years and represented Canada’s Bishops at many international meetings. He founded Ecumenism, a journal published in English and French and read in more than 40 countries.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize those who have contributed exceptional service and have made a difference to Canada. It is the highest honour that can be awarded to a Canadian.

On May 9, Rev. Beaubien will be among 54 Canadians to receive the Order of Canada that includes one companion, 16 officers and 37 members.