April 4, 2021
Again, it’s lockdown for the Holy Days. How sad! Only a handful of people will be able to participate in parish celebrations. And we won’t be able to get together with our families and friends to celebrate Easter. This pandemic is robbing us of important moments in our lives. It forces us to retreat to our homes, which, for many, amounts to complete isolation.
Some will say that our Christian faith is based on belief in the resurrection of Christ, on the conviction that death did not have the last word in his life. Some will say that we should not despair and that there will be better days after this dark passage.
I believe this is true, but it seems to me that the Good News of Jesus is more than a biblical version of the saying, “There’s a calm after every storm.” Celebrating Easter is more than drawing rainbows and telling ourselves, “It’s going to be okay.” It’s at least this, certainly, but it’s so much more.
Celebrating Easter is not only believing that one can live again after death, it is believing that life springs from death itself, that death can be a source of life. This is what Jesus taught his disciples: “If the grain of wheat that has fallen to the ground does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
Celebrating Easter is therefore believing in the value of Good Friday, in the difference the death of Jesus makes in our lives and in the world. It is to discover with the disciples of Jesus that his very death is the source of life because it overflows with love for us.
Celebrating Easter isn’t just about believing that the pandemic will pass and that we will once again experience better days. It’s believing that life is hidden in the very heart of this pandemic, that it is trying to show itself, to speak to us and to transform us.
Celebrating Easter is not just believing that good weather will return after the rain, it’s believing that the rain itself has a purpose, that it is beneficial and necessary. As the famous prayer for peace attributed to Saint Francis puts it: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, in giving of ourselves that we receive, and in dying that we’re born to eternal life.”
For each and every one of you, for your families and for your friends, I pray that Easter this year will be a time of reflection, prayer and renewal. The pandemic forces us to dig deep within ourselves to find the necessary resources to endure it: it’s in these depths that we will find the presence of the One who descended to hell to raise us up with him to the fullness of life.
A blessed, joyful Easter to all!
Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau
Once again this year, we are offering a unique opportunity to contribute to the charities supported by the Archbishop of Gatineau. These non profit organizations are a valuable asset for our communities...
The CCCB Standing Committee for Family and Life released a short video message for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will take place on Sunday, 25 July 2021. The video message brings to life the theme chosen for this day, “I am with you always” (cf. Mt 28:20)...
The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) supports the Bishops of Saskatchewan as they announce a new province-wide Appeal for Support of Healing and Reconciliation...
In January, Pope Francis established the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly on the fourth Sunday of July. This year it is July 25...
Following the 10 June 2021 announcement regarding the delegation of Indigenous people to meet with the Holy Father to foster meaningful encounters of dialogue and healing, the Catholic Bishops of Canada are pleased to announce that the delegation is scheduled to take place from 17‑20 December 2021 in compliance with global travel restrictions.
Bishop Durocher has accepted the resignation of Brother Antonio Tavares de Sousa, O.P., as chaplain of the Portuguese Catholic Mission of the Holy Spirit, Gatineau. Luciano Roberto Camargo will take over as administrator of the Mission as of July 1, 2021, and this until June 30, 2022.
Bishop Durocher has renewed the mandate of Father Rodhain Kasuba-Malu as pastor of Notre-Dame de l’Eau Vive Parish, Gatineau, from July 1, 2021 until June 30, 2027.
Since 2018, the people of the Archdiocese of Gatineau have been walking together in a synodal process to identify how we are called to live the mission of Christ in our lives, in our communities and in our neighbourhoods...