To celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life, the website of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will be posting short outlines of the lives and spirituality of a number of Canadian Saints and Blesseds during 2015. The Year of Consecrated Life, from the end of November 2014 to the beginning of February 2016, invites the Church to celebrate the gifts and charisms of the consecrated life – religious institutes, societies of apostolic life, and secular institutes, together with consecrated virgins. Most Canadian Saints and Blesseds were members of religious communities, and one (Saint Kateri Tekakwitha), although not a member of a religious community, consecrated her life as a virgin. Their lives are a wonderful testimony to how those in the consecrated life have generously and heroically served the Church in Canada and all our society. They are witnesses in our midst of how the example and teachings of Jesus continue to challenge each of us today. Moreover, they inspire us to evangelize our contemporary world, since we too as the baptized share in Our Lord’s mission to announce in word and deed that “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1.15).
On January 7, the Church in Canada celebrates the life and witness of Saint Brother André Bessette, a lay man who was a member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross. The principal text outlining his life and spirituality which has been posted on the CCCB Website is is a translation from the liturgical fascicules issued by the French Sector Commission for Liturgy and the Sacraments for each Canadian Saint and Blessed. Printed copies of the complete fascicule in French are on sale from CCCB Publications.
The CCCB English Sector Office for Evangelization and Catechesis has also developed catechetical resources on the life and spirituality of Saint Brother André. In addition, the Office de catéchèse du Québec (OCQ) offers catechetical resources in French for children and adolescents.