Just as the current Week of Prayer for Christian Unity draws to a close, an “ecumenical pioneer” will be turning 100.
Father Irénée Beaubien, S.J., will celebrate his 100th birthday on January 26.
Considered one of Canada’s ecumenical pioneers, Father Beaubien has dedicated numerous years of his pastoral ministry to working for Christian unity. He was appointed in 1966 as the first French Sector Secretary for what was then the Conference’s newly established Commission on Ecumenism of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and Director of what was originally the national French-language ecumenical office in Montreal. The Montreal office eventually became the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism, which Father Beaubien directed until 1984.
Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, president of the CCCB, in a congratulation letter to Father Beaubien, says that the Jesuit’s “contributions to ecumenism and [his] other ministerial gifts are too numerous to mention.”
“Father Beaubien,” the bishop affirms, “your life work has truly been ad maiorem Dei gloria.”
For its part, the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism has prepared a video / document entitled “The Life and Work of Father Irénée Beaubien, S.J.” The Centre has also published a booklet entitled “Centennial Celebration of a Man of Faith, Father Irénée Beaubien, S.J.” (in French only), containing the wishes and testimonies of his friends and admirers and giving a brief biographical summary.