Regenerate the Christian culture in Quebec
The first homily of Archbishop Marc Ouellet of Quebec City
are excerpts from the homily given by the Most Reverend Marc Ouellet,
given on January 26, 2003, as he was officially installed as new
Archbishop of Quebec City (the oldest Catholic diocese in North America)
and Primate of the Catholic Church in Canada. It brings hope to the
Catholic people of Canada, who are in danger of being engulfed by the
violent waves of atheism pushed by the Marxists. Before this nomination,
Bishop Ouellet was, in the Vatican, Secretary of the Pontifical Council
for Promotion of the Unity of Christians.
Archbishop Marc Ouellet
“Repent and believe”
time is at hand, and the Reign of God is near. Repent and believe in the
Good News”. For two thousand years, these words of Jesus have echoed
in the world as the reason for our Church to exist...
A sentiment of urgency and gravity emanates from this announcement by
Jesus. This sentiment comes from the mystery of His Person and of His
mission that the evangelist St. Mark spoke of: Jesus is the Son of God,
who came to bring salvation to the world through Faith. This is why His
sojourn on earth cannot be placed among the register of human births as
a simple event among others. Jesus' story is `the basic event from
which all history is measured and accomplished,' say the Fathers of the
The Second Vatican Council remembers this truth of the Word while
confessing Jesus as the centre of the cosmos, of human history. His
passion, His death and His resurrection are the fulfillment of time and
history. It uplifts and regenerates all the human search for salvation
and liberty. They offer a fullness of life that the world does not know
and can not give. (...)
“Time is short,” St. Paul said, enflamed by the newness of Christ.
Let us live like new creatures, and not put anything before Christ. Let
us love good things and protect creation, but not fall into the idolatry
of money, sex, and material power. Listen to the message of the Cross
that maps out the history of the world and the history of New France
from Gaspe to Montreal, from Notre-Dame-du-Cap to Our Lady of Quebec. Is
not this glorious cross our light and our hope in the midst of these
erring times? Is it not our task to bring back the authentic values of
solidarity, justice, and peace that the Church in Canada preaches in
such a singular manner?
time is short! It is the time to wake up consciences and make a decision
of Faith. Quebec languishes far from the values that gave strength and
glory to its forefathers. Its will of cultural survival dramatically
clashes with a very low birth rate and catastrophic youth suicides.
These incomprehensible suicides tear us to pieces, and alarm us about
the family situations and about the values that should give sense to
their lives. Are these not the signs of the most serious loss that is
striking Quebec society: the forgetfulness of its spiritual heritage,
the forgetting of its martyrs and saints? But how much more should we
see to the teaching of the virtues and spiritual attitudes that form the
soul and the destiny of the people!
St. John Brebeuf, Blessed Marie of the Incarnation, Blessed Dina
Belanger, and so many of the holy mothers precede us and train us in the
way of sanctity. The time is short; the urgency of the Faith is obvious.
It is not too late to search together, pastors and faithful, for the
ways to regenerate the Christian culture that formed the Quebec of
yesterday and today. A new evangelical breeze and new ways are essential
so that young people take a more active role in the joy of Faith, like
the living joy of the young people who made the World Youth Day in
Toronto Good News for the whole world.
We must cultivate together, in peace and harmony, the essential values of
Christianity that gravitate around listening to the Word of God, of the
dominical assembly and the fraternal communion nourished by the Body and
Blood of Christ. The younger generation and the poor beg us to be the
Good News of the Reign of God in Quebec, because they hunger and thirst
for the ultimate way of the God of life who emanates our testimony. May
they find us, although perhaps covered with ashes, always ready to
rekindle the flame that revives the enthusiasm of converts. Let us be
careful not to extinguish in our province the torch of Faith which is
passed on from continent to continent and church to church, by the
missionaries from Quebec who still draw the admiration of the Church
throughout the world! The pluralist society of today will be greatly
impoverished, and the people of Quebec, that work to save their culture,
will lose their souls, if they lose Christ, the Lord of life and
history. May the Immaculate Virgin, the patroness of this Mother Church,
intercede for us so that the Quebec of today and tomorrow will live its
divine vocation in union with all nations!
Archbishop Marc Ouellet
This article was published in the May-June-July, 2003 issue of “Michael”.