JANUARY 19, 2024
Montréal — Archdiocese News
Celebrating its centenary this year, today’s Mount Royal Cross, well known to the population of Greater Montreal, shines out in the evening for miles around.
Its tradition dates back to the founding of Ville-Marie in the days of New France. In 1642, Jeanne Mance, Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve and a few others created a city of faith, peace and mutual aid.
As early as the first winter, when a threatening ice jam was averted, people planted a cross on Mount Royal as a sign of thanksgiving. This was on January 6, 1643.
The cross that overlooks Montreal today was erected in 1924 and lit up for the very first time on Christmas Eve. Since then, it has continued to be a landmark throughout the city. A fitting tribute to the Christ it represents, who can be a beacon in our lives.
Like the many roadside crosses on our roads, in town and country, the one on Mount Royal reminds us of our roots and of the One who inspired so much generosity and solidarity in our ancestors.
This heritage is ours. It’s up to us to keep it alive. Because of a cross, as Robert Lebel so beautifully sings.
– Benoît-Marc Boyer
NOVEMBER 5, 2023
Montréal — Archdiocese News
On the occasion of a visit to Montreal this summer by Chief Rabbi of France Haïm Korsia, the Unified Sephardic Community of Quebec (Communauté Sépharade Unifiée du Quebec) and the Canadian Sephardi Federation coordinated an encounter at the Moroccan cultural centre Dar Al Maghrib. With journalist Élias Lévy moderating, Chief Rabbi Korsia, Archbishop of Montreal Christian Lépine and Dr. Faouzi Skali, founder of the Fez Festival of world sacred music, discussed together the legacy of Abraham.
Abraham presents an example of God’s hospitality. Dialogue is not some concession to modern sensibilities; it is what God has wanted since the beginning. As children of Abraham, what can we derive from this common kinship so that we can build something that we can pass on? I came across these words of Elie Wiesel at the Holocaust Museum, “To live an experience without passing it on is to betray it.” When we engage in dialogue not knowing what the others may say, we must accept that part of our truth must die so that we can embrace that of the other.
I thank God for these encounters, where I always experience the happiness of being together; it is a blessing from God. Among Abraham’s lessons is this: that things take time, and we must pass through experiences of suffering and defeat. Faith is a way of looking at God and at others. I look at others as brothers and sisters because, at the source, there is only one God, and we are all his children, as similar as we are different. I have a dream of peace. We must not doubt that it is possible and simply surrender. We are made for peace, and peace resonates within our hearts. Too often, we speak of others without knowing anything about them. Whenever I have met people about whom I had a preconceived notion, the preconception has fallen apart, and my perception has been altered. I have discovered that we have aspirations in common. God himself invites us to engage in this encounter, through which we have so much to learn from one another.
Too often, we speak of others without knowing anything about them.
Dr. Faouzi Skali
The eight centuries of friendly cohabitation in Andalusia should be an example to inspire us, particularly when we consider the dialogue that flourished among the great thinkers of that age, such as Maimonides and Averroës. They strove to live in both reason and faith together, in humanism as well as spirituality. This is what makes all the difference when we encounter another, and it makes an even greater difference when we share important moments of life with that person. As long as the other is merely a remote object, we can make all kinds of projections onto the person, imagining the worst. We must transform that relationship between subject and object into one of subject and subject. Morocco is heir to that culture of dialogue, exemplified in the invitation extended to the Chief Rabbi of France by a Moroccan government cultural centre, which is equally home to Moroccan Jews. A response must be found to speak to the distress that young people are experiencing, by organizing encounters among our three religions, recognizing our common values, including respect and dignity. To accomplish this, we must create concrete initiatives.
Knowledge of the other is not gained through arguments. At the Festival of sacred music of the world, individuals enter into communion with one another thanks to the power of music to bring people together. This is one example of how communion can arise based on spiritual values and without proselytizing.
Algorithms recommend content similar to what we have already seen, thus enclosing us inside ourselves.
Peace is a thing that is built. Not the peace of cemeteries. Someone said to David, “Go in peace.” This means that a movement comes into being, which is itself an acceptance of the fact of imperfection. In Judaism, perfection is perfectibility, the possibility that things can be made better. When I was elected, along the commitment to fight antisemitism, my desire was to fight all types of prejudice. So, I began by inviting priests, pastors and imams to visit our Jewish schools to uproot prejudices there. And we must not be naïve, our young people are not innocent of prejudice. What kinds of prejudices did these priests and pastors and imams encounter? The institutions’ directors were disapproving, until I explained to them that it was a condition of their contract with the State, at which point they understood somewhat better (audience laughs).
The eight centuries of friendly cohabitation in Andalusia should be an example to inspire us, particularly when we consider the dialogue that flourished among the great thinkers of that age, such as Maimonides and Averroës.
And so, the young people learned about the others, and at the same time they learned about themselves, as well. This is why encountering the other is so precious. The exact opposite of what Facebook does, corralling us together with others who think the same as we do: or algorithms that recommend content similar to what we have already seen, thus enclosing us within ourselves. Encounters with what exists outside have to be imposed. This is what God commanded Abraham to do: Go from Ur in Chaldea to the changing horizon of the unknown land that I will show you.
OCTOBER 22, 2023
Montréal — October 22, 2023
Brothers and Sisters,
Amid the outbreak of violence in the Holy Land, with civilians being killed or taken hostage, we are called to pray and fast for peace.
Let us turn to God every day, joining in prayer particularly with the Christians of the Holy Land, and let us pray for all who live there and for those here who have family members and loved ones in Israel and Palestine.
Let us come together and call on Our Lady of Palestine, Patroness of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A Mass for Peace will be celebrated on:
Sunday, October 29, 2023
Mary Queen of the World Cathedral.
As she looks upon our anguish, the violence and the suffering, Mary leads us to Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
† Christian Lépine
Archbishop of Montréal
October 15, 2023
Statement by the Most Rev. William T. McGrattan, Bishop of Calgary and CCCB President, to the Catholic Faithful in Canada on the Recent Escalation of Conflict in the Holy Land
Over these last few days, the world has witnessed a rapid escalation of armed conflict in the Holy Land, with reports of a growing number of wounded or dead, including innocent civilians.
As the Holy Land is immersed in this violence and bloodshed, we remember that Jesus, the Son of God, who lived and walked there as Love Incarnate, through His teaching by word and deed, calls us as brothers and sisters to be always united by the bond of charity.
I invite the Catholic faithful in Canada to join other people of good will, here and around the world, in imploring God to move the hearts of those leaders engaged in the present conflict in order to deescalate the acts of terrorism, cease violence and war, and resume constructive efforts that are aimed at establishing lasting peace and concord. As we pray for peace, let us remember all the families and individuals suffering because of this most recent outbreak of violence.
As Christians we are compelled by the teachings and example of Jesus to pray for peace throughout the world. In a fraternal spirit of solidarity with Christian, Jewish, and Muslim brothers and sisters, let us join together in recalling God’s desire for peace in the land that Jesus Christ called home.
AUGUST 8, 2023
Montreal — August 8, 2023
Archbishop Christian Lépine will celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the 7:30 p.m. Mass on Tuesday, August 15, at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. During the celebration, the diocesan mission of evangelization will be entrusted to the Virgin Mary, Star of the New Evangelization.
“Mary is present, guiding us along the path leading to the New Evangelization. At times, this can feel as though it is a journey through the “desert” (Rev 12:1-6). Just as stars appear brighter in the desert night so, too, the sky spanning our journey is brilliantly lit by Mary’s light, Star of the New Evangelization; we follow her confidently,” said Archbishop Lépine.
The Archbishop will also lead a “Jericho March” following the Mass “to bring down the walls in our hearts separating us from God and from others.’’ This procession is inspired by the biblical account in Joshua 6:1-27 in which the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho seven times carrying the Ark of the Covenant. On this day, the assembly will process behind a statue of Mary, who is the Ark of the New Covenant, circling the interior of the cathedral seven times.
About the Feast of the Assumption
Catholics observe the Feast of the Assumption on August 15 to honour and seek the Blessed Virgin’s intercession; the feast celebrates the assumption of Jesus’ Mother – body and soul – into heaven. The word “assumption” is derived from the Latin “assumere,” meaning “to take up, to take away.”
In reference to the Feast of the Assumption, it means that Mary is “taken up” into heaven.
The feast celebrates the death and bodily assumption or the “taking up” of the Mother of Jesus Christ into heaven, where she intercedes as Queen of Heaven.
juLY 16, 2023
Montreal — July 23, 2023
The third World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated this year on Sunday, 23 July 2023.
Pope Francis inaugurated this World Day to be celebrated by the universal Church each July, either on or near the liturgical Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus, to help “treasure the spiritual and human wealth that has been handed down from generation to generation.”
The theme chosen by Pope Francis for this year’s World Day is “His mercy is from age to age” (Luke 1:50), underlining the relational interconnection between old and young. This theme is particularly well suited to the upcoming World Youth Day in Lisbon, which will take place from 1 to 6 August 2023.
Together, young and old, let us be protagonists of generosity in our world and witnesses to the love of Christ, a love that is both fruitful and supportive.
Resources to promote World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly 2023
The CCCB Standing Committee for Family and Life, in collaboration with its corresponding Office, produced a 30-second video that captures a group of high school students visiting a retirement home. This heart-warming interaction between young people and the elderly illustrates this year’s theme and encourages us to find concrete and creative ways of drawing closer to the elderly.
Dioceses, eparchies, parishes, priests, religious, families and educators are all invited to share the CCCB promotional video on your social media platforms or in other creative ways!