Friday, June 4, 2021

On the 215 Unmarked Graves at the Kamloops Residential School


Commentary on the Discovery

Of 215 Unmarked Graves

At the Kamloops Residential School


Gatineau, June 3 2021



Dear friends,


Like you, I am shocked by the news of the discovery of 215 unmarkedgraves of Aboriginal children on the grounds of Kamloops Residential School. I grieve for our Indigenous brothers and sisters whose suffering is rekindled by this news. As a member of a Church that has contributed to this desolation, I am ashamed.


This discovery throws a harsh light on what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) taught us eight years ago. Indeed, the TRC had commissioned research on the issue of the fate of children who died in residential schools. ( study concluded that many children died of tuberculosis in these residential schools, especially before 1950. The CVR had counted more than 3,000 registered deaths, a death rate two to three times higher than in the general population. As the registers are partial, one can believe that the real figure is higher. The report noted that health care was almost non-existent in these boarding schools, which were underfunded and far from large urban centers. In addition, the government refused to fund the repatriation of the bodies of deceased children so that their parents could properly bury them in their communities. They were often buried in cemeteries on school grounds, without gravestones, without identification. The TRC had concluded that at least 90 children had died during the Kamloops residential school's years of existence, from 1890 to 1969. Underground radar searches of the school grounds revealed that there at least 215 are buried there. Research continues, and additional graves can be expected.


This sad discovery rekindles the deep wounds of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters who attended these institutions. It also highlights how iniquitous the whole residential school system was. Even if some former students can name positive aspects of their experience at these residential schools, the system itself was founded on the racist view that native people had to be educated “white” in order to integrate into Canadian society. It sought to assimilate native children and kill their culture. It tore families apart, created places for the spread of disease and, all too often, violence. At the time, Christian churches, dioceses and religious communities thought they were doing good by participating in this system. Today, our eyes have been opened.


I join with the many leaders of local churches and religious institutions who ran these schools in asking forgiveness for the harm that has been done. With them, I want to contribute to repairing this evil, inasmuch it can be repaired. I know the road will be long, but I pledge to walk it with all people of good will.


Faced with such revelations, what can we do? We can learn about the work of the TRC if it hasn't already been done and familiarize ourselves with its calls to action, which can be found here:


We can make our own the apologies that have been offered since the early 1990s by those in charge of the religious organizations that have run these schools. You can find them here:


Regarding the recent discoveries in Kamloops, you can read the comments (i) of the Provincial of the Oblate Fathers who had managed this school, (ii) of the Archbishop of Vancouver on whose grounds the school was located during its years of existence, (iii) of the president of the CCCB and (iv) of the president of the AÉCQ, here:






Finally, Ms. Julie Cool, diocesan pastoral worker, is ready to lead discussion groups based on the recent text "Listening to Indigenous Voices. A Dialogue on Justice and Right Relations” published by the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice. To indicate your interest in such a group, contact her at


The Gospel of Jesus-Christ urges us to ask forgiveness for our sins, to reconcile and to seek unity. Animated by this Gospel, let us denounce past injustices, accompany present distress and, together, build a better future.


+ Paul-André Durocher,

Archevêque de Gatineau.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Eucharistic Prayer III

You are indeed Holy, O Lord, and all you have created rightly gives you praise, for through your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power and working of the Holy Spirit, you give life to all things and make them holy, and you never cease to gather a people to yourself, so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered to your name.


Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore you: by the same Spirit graciously make holy these gifts we have brought to you for consecration, that they may become the Body and Blood of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate these mysteries.


For on the night he was betrayed he himself took bread, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my body, which will be given up for you.


In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.


The mystery of faith.

We proclaim your Death, O Lord,

and profess your Resurrection

until you come again.


Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the saving Passion of your Son, his wondrous Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, and as we look forward to his second coming, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.


Look, we pray, upon the oblation of your Church and, recognizing the sacrificial Victim by whose death you willed to reconcile us to yourself, grant that we, who are nourished

by the Body and Blood of your Son and filled with his Holy Spirit, may become one body, one spirit in Christ.


May he make of us an eternal offering to you, so that we may obtain an inheritance with your elect, especially with the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with your blessed Apostles and glorious Martyrs (with Saint N.: the Saint of the day or Patron Saint) and with all the Saints, on whose constant intercession in your presence we rely for unfailing help.


May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation, we pray, O Lord, advance the peace and salvation of all the world. Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity your pilgrim Church on earth, with your servant N. our Pope and N. our Bishop, the Order of Bishops, all the clergy, and the entire people you have gained for your own.


Listen graciously to the prayers of this family, whom you have summoned before you: in your compassion, O merciful Father, gather to yourself all your children scattered throughout the world.


To our departed brothers and sisters and to all who were pleasing to you at their passing from this life, give kind admittance to your kingdom.


There we hope to enjoy for ever the fullness of your glory through Christ our Lord, through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.


Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever.



Thursday, April 1, 2021

Easter Message 2021

Dear friends, 

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 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Eucharistic Prayer II

(The passages in italics are taken directly from the third-century eucharistic prayer handed down by Saint Hippolytus in his "Apostolic Constitutions".)


It is truly right and just,

our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

Father most holy,

through your beloved Son, Jesus Christ,

your Word through whom you made all things,

whom you sent as our Saviour and Redeemer,

incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin.

Fulfilling your will and gaining for you a holy people,

he stretched out his hands as he endured his Passion,

so as to break the bonds of death

and manifest the resurrection.

And so, with the Angels and all the Saints

we declare your glory, as with one voice we acclaim:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.


    Eucharistic Prayer


You are indeed Holy, O Lord, the fount of all holiness.

Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray,

by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall,

so that they may become for us

the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.


At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion,

he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it,

and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and eat of it,

for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.

In a similar way, when supper was ended,

he took the chalice

and, once more giving thanks,

he gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it,

for this is the chalice of my Blood,

the Blood of the new and eternal covenant,

which will be poured out for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this in memory of me.


    Assembly’s acclamation


The mystery of faith.

We proclaim your Death, O Lord,

and profess your Resurrection until you come again.


    Eucharistic prayer continues…


Therefore, as we celebrate

the memorial of his Death and Resurrection,

we offer you, Lord, the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation,

giving thanks that you have held us worthy

to be in your presence and minister to you.

Humbly we pray that,

partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ,

we may be gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.


Remember, Lord, your Church, spread throughout the world,

and bring her to the fullness of charity,

together with N. our Pope and N. our Bishop* and all the clergy.

Remember also our brothers and sisters

who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection,

and all who have died in your mercy:

welcome them into the light of your face.

Have mercy on us all, we pray,

that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,

with the blessed Apostles,

and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages,

we may merit to be coheirs to eternal life,

and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ.


Through him, and with him, and in him,

O God, almighty Father,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever.


Monday, March 15, 2021

An Interesting Coincidence on March 19, 2021

Two events will coincide this Friday March 19.

First, a global march for climate action will take place, marked in our region by an afternoon demonstration on Parliament Hill (rally at 3:30 p.m., corner of Elgin and Sparks).

That same day, the Catholic Church will mark the beginning of a special year consecrated to Saint Joseph, a source of special joy for us in the diocese of Gatineau. Indeed, Saint Joseph is the secondary patron of our diocese and the titular saint of our cathedral.

You might think that these two events have nothing to do with each other. However, Pope Francis pointed to an important connection between these two realities eight years ago as he inaugurated his ministry as universal pastor on this feast day. In his homily, he underlined the special mission that God entrusted to the husband of Mary: that of being custos, protector, the one who oversees and cares. He invited his listeners to take Saint Joseph as a model, as they watch over one another and take care of each other.

He also added these important words: “The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world… It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live.”

My friends, to celebrate Saint Joseph is to commit to being protectors as we watch over ourselves, our families, our communities ... and over creation as a whole! That’s why those parishes that can do so will ring their bells this Friday at 5 pm, as the protest on Parliament Hill comes to an end. We will thus mark our solidarity with a global movement that calls for concrete actions to reverse the climate changes that threaten us all.

And in the evening, we will meet - online - to mark the feast of Saint Joseph with a time of reflection, song and prayer (in French). Here is the link for this activity, to which everyone is welcome:

Let’s take Pope Francis’ invitation seriously: let’s celebrate Saint Joseph and be protectors of creation!


+ Paul-André Durocher

Thursday, March 11, 2021

A Message from Archbishop Durocher concerning Vaccines

To all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Gatineau,

I want to encourage all members of our diocesan church to get vaccinated in order to protect the health of our people. It is a gesture motivated both by generosity towards others and by personal responsibility.

There is no moral reason not to get the vaccine. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified this issue a few months ago. It was mandated by the Pope to study this of question, and I fully agree with its assessment.

Various conspiracy theories that claim these vaccines are a means of population control have no basis in fact.

Since the start of the pandemic, over 150 people have died from this disease in our region. Think of all those grieving families. Think of our children and grandchildren who have to mask themselves to go to school. Think of businesses that cannot reopen. Think of our parishes which are deeply challenged by the conditions we know. The only way to overcome this pandemic is for the entire population to get vaccinated.

If you've never suffered from diphtheria, smallpox or tetanus… if you don't know anyone who has died from whooping cough, measles or polio… it's because of the vaccines that brought these diseases under control. Let's add COVID-19 to this list.

I invite you to imitate our good Pope Francis and to get vaccinated!

Fraternally in Jesus Christ,

+ Paul-André Durocher

Friday, March 5, 2021

Eucharistic Prayer I - The Roman Canon


To you, therefore, most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord: that you accept and bless + these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices,


[Petition – for the Universal Church]


which we offer you firstly for your holy catholic Church. Be pleased to grant her peace, to guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world, together with your servant N. our Pope and N. our Bishop, and all those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith.


[Petition – for the Gathered Community]


Remember, Lord, your servants N. and N. and all gathered here, whose faith and devotion are known to you. For them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them, for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and well-being, and paying their homage to you, the eternal God, living and true.


[Naming the Communion of Saints and Petition]


In communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ, and blessed Joseph, her Spouse, your blessed Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, (James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian) and all your Saints: we ask that through their merits and prayers, in all things we may be defended by your protecting help.


[Offering and Petition]


Therefore, Lord, we pray: graciously accept this oblation of our service, that of your whole family; order our days in your peace, and command that we be delivered from eternal damnation and counted among the flock of those you have chosen


[Invocation or Epiclesis over the Gifts]


Be pleased, O God, we pray, to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect; make it spiritual and acceptable, so that it may become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ


[Institution Narrative]


On the day before he was to suffer he took bread in his holy and venerable hands, and with eyes raised to heaven to you, O God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you. In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands, and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying: Take this, all fo you, and drink from it: for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.


[Anamnesis of the Community]


The mystery of faith :

A – We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

B – When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again.

C – Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.


[Anamnesis of the Priest and Offering]


Therefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the blessed Passion, the Resurrection from the dead, and the glorious Ascension into heaven of Christ, your Son, our Lord, we, your servants and your holy people, offer to your glorious majesty, from the gifts that you have given us, this pure victim, this holy victim, this spotless victim, the holy Bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation. Be pleased to look upon these offerings with a serene and kindly countenance, and to accept them, as you were pleased to accept the gifts of your servant Abel the just, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest Melchizedek, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.


[Invocation or Epiclesis over the Community]


In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God: command that these gifts be borne by the hands of your holy Angel to your altar on high in the sight of your divine majesty, so that all of us who through this participation at the altar receive the most holy Body and Blood of your Son may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing.


[Petition for the Dead]


Remember also, Lord, your servants N. and N., who have gone before us with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace. Grant them, O Lord, we pray, and all who sleep in Christ, a place of refreshment, light, and peace.


[Naming the Communion of the Saints and Prayer for Forgiveness] 

To us, also, your servants, who, though sinners, hope in your abundant mercies, graciously grant some share and fellowship with your holy Apostles and Martyrs: with John the Baptist, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, (Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia) and all your Saints: admit us, we beseech you, into their company, not weighing our merits, but granting us your pardon, through Christ our Lord.




Through whom you continue to make all these good things, O Lord; you sanctify them, fill them with life, bless them, and bestow them upon us.




Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever. Amen.