Monday, October 17, 2011

St. Ignatius of Antioch - Canadian Bishops Meet - An Episcopal Visitor from Nigeria

The image below illustrates the most famous quote attributed to today's saint, Ignatius of Antioch, which is found in a letter he wrote to the Romans:

“I am writing to all the Churches and I enjoin all, that I am dying willingly for God's sake, if only you do not prevent it. I beg you, do not do me an untimely kindness. Allow me to be eaten by the beasts, which are my way of reaching to God. I am God's wheat, and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts, so that I may become the pure bread of Christ.”

Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Bishop and Martyr

Almighty ever-living God, who adorn the sacred body of your Church with the confessions of holy Martyrs, grant, we pray, that, just as the glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch which we celebrate today, brought him eternal splendour, so may it be for us unending protection. Through our Lord.

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The Bishops of Canada—all members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)—are meeting in plenary assembly beginning today, October 17, until noon on Friday, October 21.  The sessions are being held at the NAV Canada Conference Centre in Cornwall.

A report on this year’s sessions written by CCN Reporter Deborah Gyapong gives some of the main lines of CCCB Plenary business which I have excerpted from her recent article:

This a year in which the CCCB Executive Committee and the Permanent Council that manages matters between plenaries will be chosen.

The executive has already been elected, except for the position of co-treasurer for the French Sector. Traditionally, French and English Sectors have rotated leadership of the CCCB.

CCCB President Bishop Pierre Morissette of St. Jerome finishes a two-year term at the plenary’s close. Vice president Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton has been elected to a two-year term as president.

Gatineau Archbishop-elect Paul-Andre Durocher moves from four years as co-treasurer for the French Sector into the vice presidential slot, and Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby continues another two-year term as co-treasurer, poised to move into the VP position a couple of years from now.

Two names have been put forward for the new French Sector co-treasurer: Saint-Jean Longueuil Bishop Lionel Gendron and Rimouski Archbishop Pierre-Andre Fournier.

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, episcopal delegate for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, will report on whether Canada will have an ordinariate for Anglicans wishing to become Catholic while retaining aspects of the liturgy, patrimony and married priesthood.

The CCCB’s doctrinal commission will guide a discussion on freedom and formation of conscience; the justice and peace commission will lead a reflection on immigration; and the Christian unity and interfaith commission will focus on the fruits of the ecumenical dialogue and the New Evangelization.

The plenary will also hear reports from various Catholic organizations, including the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace and the Catholic Organization for Life and Family.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana will address the plenary, linking the events in the Canadian Church to that of the Universal Church and the Holy See.

CCCB General Secretary Msgr. Patrick Powers reported that the CCCB will present the nuncio with the second copy of the new Canadian version of the English translation of the Roman Missal at a reception in his honour Oct. 17 (the first copy will be presented to Pope Benedict XVI by Smith, Durocher and Powers in November).

The first batch of missals — 1,000 copies of each of the large parish version and the smaller chapel version — are set to arrive Oct. 15, a month ahead of schedule.

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Father Pierre Champoux is the pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish in Kanata and Father John Okosun, from Nigeria, is his associate in ministry. 

Bishop Gabriel Ghieakhomo Dunia of the diocese of Auchi came for a brief visit to Ottawa last week, and dropped in on my office so we could exchange briefly on the challenges of discipleship in Canada and Nigeria. 

Afterwards we posed for a photo for the blog: left to right: Father John, Bishop Gabriel, Father Pierre.

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