To celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life, the Web site of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will be posting short outlines of the lives and spirituality of a number of Canadian Saints and Blesseds during 2015.
The Year of Consecrated Life, from the end of November 2014 to the beginning of February 2016, invites the Church to celebrate the gifts and charisms of the consecrated life – religious institutes, societies of apostolic life, and secular institutes, together with consecrated virgins.
Most Canadian Saints and Blesseds were members of religious communities, and one (Saint Kateri Tekakwitha), although not a member of a religious community, consecrated her life as a virgin.
The site observes: “Their lives are a wonderful testimony to how those in the consecrated life have generously and heroically served the Church in Canada and all our society. They are witnesses in our midst of how the example and teachings of Jesus continue to challenge each of us today. Moreover, they inspire us to evangelize our contemporary world, since we too as the baptized share in Our Lord’s mission to announce in word and deed that ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news’ (Mark 1.15).”
Saint André Bessette
The Church in Canada celebrated the life and witness of Saint Brother André Bessette on Jan. 7, his feastday. He was a lay man who was a member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.
The principal text outlining his life and spirituality which has been posted on the CCCB Website is a translation from the liturgical fascicules issued by the French Sector Commission for Liturgy and the Sacraments for each Canadian Saint and Blessed.
The text notes: “His close contact with suffering gave him insight into human nature. On his deathbed he whispered to a member of his community, ‘God is good! How beautiful and powerful he is! He must be beautiful, because the human soul, which is a reflection of God’s beauty, is so beautiful!'”
Printed copies of the complete fascicule in French are on sale from CCCB Publications.
The CCCB English Sector Office for Evangelization and Catechesis has also developed catechetical resources on the life and spirituality of Saint Brother André. In addition, the Office de catéchèse du Québec(OCQ) offers catechetical resources in French for children and adolescents.