Friday, September 10, 2010

Companions of the Cross: 25 Years; Days of Retreat

The Companions gather on a stage at the close of a Celebratory Dinner on August 30 (photo: Annemarie Gruden

The Companions of the Cross is a Roman Catholic community of priests, committed to living and ministering together as brothers in the Lord. We are called to the ongoing renewal of the Church through a dynamic evangelization in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. We proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all we are called to serve, with special attention to parish communities, the poor, youth, and those alienated from the Church (

This year, they are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their foundation, and those special events will draw to a close with a Special Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Maurice Church, Nepean on their chosen feast, The Triumph of the Cross (at 7PM on September 14).

On August 30 the celebrations included a new song composed for the occasion (photo: AMG)

Family and friends of the Companions were in great humour

Priests celebrating a special jubilee (5, 10,15, 20, 25, 55 years) were honoured, including Moderator Father Scott McCaig (15 years) [photo: AMG]

At the banquet's close, Father McCaig unveiled the latest publication by the Companions of the Cross, "Give God Permission:The Memoirs of Father Bob Bedard"

Much of my life has been very plain and simple, but I chronicle these everyday events to leave an important lesson for anyone who may read this: the desire and the capacity of God to use very ordinary people to co-operate with him in accomplishing his designs on earth.

“The eyes of the Lord roam over the whole earth, to encourage those who are devoted to him wholeheartedly” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

This describes the life of Fr. Bob Bedard, Founder of the Companions of the Cross, wholehearted for the Lord and to the carrying out of his holy will. He came from humble beginnings in Ottawa where he was raised, went to school and was ordained a priest in 1955.

His open and surrendered approach to his faith throughout his life, enabled him to say “yes”, when the Lord asked for his permission to begin a new community of priests and seminarians in 1985. A teacher for many years, the Lord transformed his ministry to his students and as a result many were evangelized and returned to their faith.

Through his involvement in the Charismatic Renewal and extensive speaking at conferences about the renewal of parishes he had a tremendous impact and helped numerous people allow the Holy Spirit to be active in their lives. He is truly a remarkable servant of the Lord and a pioneer of the new evangelization in the Church.

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Later in the week, I was privileged to attend and give conferences at the annual community retreat and community building exercises at Red Pine Camp, near Golden Lake.

Some photos:

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