September 26, 2017


       The Catholic Bishops of Canada – now representing some 11 Eastern and Western Catholic Churches sui iuris* that have pastoral jurisdictions in the country – gather annually for a “plenary session” of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

       There are about 88 active Catholic bishops now in Canada and some 67 retired bishops across Canada. Well, most of the bishops remain active – even after mandatory retirement at age 75 – but for the most part only those that are still serving in a canonically-appointed office attend the CCCB sessions.

       Metropolitan Lawrence of Winnipeg and the other Ukrainian Catholic Bishops, besides attending the CCCB sessions, usually find time to hold a meeting of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of Canada. A sort of Metropolitan Synod, since all the Bishops are in one place from 25-29 of September.

       The Plenary Session of the CCCB has been held for a few years now in the Nav Canada Centre in Cornwall, Ontario as it is has appropriate facilities and is quite centrally located as far as the concentration of episcopal sees is concerned.

       Some of the highlights of this year’s plenary assembly will include a reflection on Pope Francis’ much-discussed Post-synodal Exhortation on marriage and family - Amoris Laetitia, a High Mass in celebrating Canada’s 150 years since Confederation, Ukrainian Catholic Vespers and the election of a new President of the CCCB.

       Cardinal Marc Ouellet, formally of Canada and now the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation that proposes and assists Bishops throughout the Church was invited to give the reflection and interpretation. It may be recalled that, along with such leading Churchmen as Ukrainian Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, some considered Cardinal Ouellet as one of the “papabile” at the last conclave when Pope Francis was elected in 2013.

       Some of the events are broadcast and regular reports on the proceedings may be found in the press and on the internet – by such services as Canada’s Salt & Light.

       At the major Canada 150 Mass which was celebrated at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa the highpoint, after the Eucharist itself, was undoubtedly the consecration of Canada to the Mother of God. The consecration of all dioceses and eparchies and parishes was a proposal of the CCCB as a 2017 project for the spiritual renewal of Canada. **

       The CCCB 2017 gathering continues until Friday of this week.

See updated reports from the CCCB Plenary Assembly 2017 [HERE]

See live streaming (when available) of 2017 CCCB Assembly events [HERE]


*sui iuris is a term found in the Catholic codes of canon law that means “according to their own law” or “autonomous”.

** The proposed prayer for the consecration…

Mary our Mother, may the Cross of your Son, planted on Canadian soil and in Canadian hearts, be known as the Tree of Life, whose fruit is visible and available to all in the garden of this world.

We place our country Canada in the sanctuary of your Holy Heart for we know that there we will find Jesus, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.


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