Message by new President, Archbishop Richard Smith

Friday, October 21 2011

(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Catholic Bishops of Canada have been in Plenary Assembly this week, since 17 October, at the Nav Canada Centre in Cornwall, Ontario. About 75 Bishops from across the country participated. They reviewed activities from the past year, shared their pastoral experiences and discussed the life of the Church as well as the major events that shape society. The main guest speaker this year was the Most Reverend Robert Le Gall, O.S.B., Archbishop of Toulouse. Archbishop Le Gall led the Bishops in reflections on the two most recent Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations of Pope Benedict XVI: Sacramentum Caritatis (following the Synod on the Eucharist as Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church) and Verbum Domini(following the Synod on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church).

In the opening remarks of his two-year term as CCCB President (2011-2013), Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton first of all thanked his predecessor as President, Bishop Pierre Morissette of Saint-Jérôme. “On behalf of all the Bishops,” Archbishop Smith said, “I wish to express our gratitude for the serenity, calmness and wisdom with which you guided our Episcopal Conference these past two years.” Archbishop Smith observed how Bishop Morissette had been a President who listens, who gives true leadership, and who profoundly loves the Church, the Episcopal Conference and his brother Bishops. “Thank you for your service as President and for having been on our Executive over the past eight years,” the new President said to Bishop Morissette. Archbishop Smith also affirmed the importance of unity and collegiality within the CCCB as it assists the Church in Canada and the communion of the universal Church.

In his final remarks as President, Bishop Morissette said his experience as President and his service to his brother Bishops and the CCCB had been most enriching for his own ministry as Bishop. “Our Episcopal Conference covers a vast geographical area and is a testimony to the beauty of the Church in our county,” he said. “I have acquired great appreciation for the vibrancy and particularities of the four pastoral regions of our Conference and of each of our diocesan Churches.”

Live Broadcasting by Salt + Light Television

For the first time in the history of the CCCB, the Catholic television network Salt + Light TV broadcast live a number of the Plenary events, both on the Internet as well as on television. In all there were 12 hours of Plenary broadcasting by Salt + Light, including the daily Mass, the President’s report, the two presentations by Archbishop Le Gall and the closing of the Plenary. Broadcasting statistics show 3,000 web visitors watched the live-streaming and repeats for a minimum of 12 minutes each. In addition, about 1,000 viewers visited the Plenary webpage on the Salt + Light website. These Plenary broadcasts can still be watched by accessing the Salt + Light video library at

In addition, the Plenary texts that have been published to date – including the President’s report and the daily news releases – are available on the CCCB website,