States Dinner Remarks by Bishop Pierre Morissette

Remarks of Bishop Pierre Morissette
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
At the 128th Supreme Convention
The Knights of Columbus
August 3, 2010
7:30 p.m.
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Bishop Pierre Morisette
of Saint-Jérôme, Quebec

I bring you greetings from the Bishops and the Faithful of the Church in Canada at this 128th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus. It is with gratitude and admiration that I come before you this evening. On behalf of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, may I begin by thanking Supreme Knight Carl Anderson for his loyalty to the Church and for his witness to the faith.

We are grateful to him and all the Knights of Columbus for their support of so many of our activities in the Canadian Church. You have made it possible for us to establish an office dedicated to the promotion and safeguarding of Life and Family. This office allows us to keep many related issues uppermost in people’s minds in our society.

We are also thankful for you encouragement and support of our ministry with the Canadian Aboriginal peoples. Your generosity has allowed us to intensify our activities in this work. There is much more for us to do in this area, but much has been accomplished already, due to the commitments of many, especially this Order’s.

To express our thanks more tangibly, I recently presented to the Supreme Knight a large, framed photograph of a historic event in the life of the Canadian Church. Last year, my predecessor as President, Archbishop James Weisgerber, was accompanied by Chief Phil Fontaine and members of Canada’s First Nations on a visit to the Vatican for a meeting with our Holy Father.

All who attended were moved by the apology made by Pope Benedict for the abuse that had taken place years ago in our Residential Schools.

The photograph shows the Pontiff in conversation with the Archbishop and the Chief. Thank the support you have given to us in this part of our mission.

The Canadian Church is grateful for your support of so many of our initiatives, such as: Salt and Light Television which is part of the New Evangelization in our country. Events such as World Youth Day 2002 and the Eucharistic Congress in 2008 are two major events in which you were involved.

Your support of vocations to the priesthood, to consecrated life and to family life, is bearing fruit in our country. We thank you particularly for your affirming support of our priests during this recent Year of the Priest. Many local councils across Canada offered prayers and support to priests at this time.

You teach us, through your work, to be faithful members of Christ’s Church. You are men of faith, men of charity, men of hope. The theme of this year’s convention is “I Am My Brother’s Keeper”. Through your financial charity and your individual and collective actions, you are ever-present to those who need your assistance in our Church. You teach us to be Good Samaritans in our world. Your support of the sacredness of human life and the dignity of marriage and family life move us all to positive action.

In these challenging times for the Church, we count on your continued leadership at so many levels and in so many ways. We are happy that you are journeying with us in service to the Lord and His Church. May He continue to bless each of you in your working among us.