Catholic World News

Pope recalls beginnings of Church in Canada, calls for renewed Eucharistic, Marian devotion

September 08, 2014

On September 14, the Church in Canada will commemorate the 350th anniversary of the establishment of the first parish in what is now Canadian territory.

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino of Havana as his special envoy who will preside over the solemn Mass at the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Québec, the seat of the primate of Canada, Cardinal Gérald Lacroix.

In a letter to the Cuban prelate, dated July 25 and released September 6, the Pope recalled that the parish began as a shrine in 1647 and became a parish in 1664, a cathedral in 1674, and a minor basilica in 1874. The Pope also recalled that early this year, he canonized St. François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, whose relics are venerated in the cathedral.

Pope Francis asked Cardinal Ortega to “sweetly exhort the priests and faithful present there to follow Christ with perseverance and to venerate His Mother piously, as was the custom in these rather large regions. And at the same time, through the grace of God that arises in these places, we desire greatly the success of the new evangelization, by which the faithful may be led diligently, through true Eucharistic and Marian devotion, to a continuously greater charity and sanctity.”


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Sep. 08, 2014 5:30 PM ET USA

    There can be no doubt Canada and especially Quebec are ripe for a new evangelization. The Catholic faith, to put it very charitably indeed, is on life-support across the great north. In Quebec -- a place I am familiar with -- were it not for government support, many more churches would now be closed (the Qc government isn't particularly religious, tout le contraire, but it sees churches like Notre Dame de Québec as absolutely necessary to attract tourist dollars to the province).