A message came in over the fax machine today: Montreal will soon have two new auxiliary bishops! Congrats to Frs. Lionel Gendron and André Gazaille.
I know both men. Fr. Gendron was one of my teachers in the seminary, and we kept in contact quite a bit afterwards. Fr. Gazaille I know a bit less, but as he is the pastor of my good friend Fr. Benoit Morrier we would run into each other from time to time.
What is interesting about these appointments is how different these two men are. Fr. Gendron is an intellectual: he has advanced degrees, and as a Sulpician he was worked in seminary formation for most of his priesthood. Fr. Gazaille, on the other hand, is an experienced pastor: most of his priesthood has been spent in parishes, “on the ground” as it were. I see these two sets of experiences as complementary, and I think our Cardinal Archbishop is getting some fine help.
As a final note: special thanks to Bishop Jude St-Antoine for the many years of devoted service to the diocese. As part of this round of appointments that Pope also accepted Bishop St-Antoine’s resignation, which he offered when he turned 75 as per canon law. Bishop St-Antoine presided my ordination to the deaconate, and still refers to me affectionately as “one of his deacons”. He has a well-known reputation for prayer and general holiness, and he has always been kind to me. May his retirement be a period of continued fruitfulness!