Visiting the CCCB

I am in Ottawa today, visiting my family, and in the afternoon I decided to pop in to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to visit a friend of mine, Msgr. Mario Paquette. Msgr. Paquette is a priest of the Archdiocese of Montreal, but since March he has been working at the CCCB as the General Secretary (sorta the “chief operating officer” of the Conference).

We chatted a bit about his work and about what’s going on in Montreal. He then gave me a tour of the office, and I got a chance to see some people I hadn’t seen since I helped the Conference set up its web site back in 1995 (first episcopal conference in the world on the Net, might I add!). I also had a lovely chat with Sr. Mary Jean Goulet, who is the Director for ecumenical relations and interfaith dialogue. I have a particular interest in this area, so it was fun to talk shop a bit.

I must say, though, visiting administrative offices like this really reminds me how much I like parish ministry. I’ve done the “behind the desk” thing, and I see how it is sometimes necessary, but there is nothing like that regular, direct contact with the People of God to keep your spiritual life grounded. It was very nice to visit my friend, but also nice to be reminded to good I have it.