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Abp Paul-André Durocher's Book Lauch!

Publié le : 2019-03-05 a 00h01 | Catégorie : News, Billboard

You are cordially invite to attend Abp Paul-André Durocher's Book Lauch on Sunday, March 10, 2019! The event will begin at 3 pm and will take place at the Saint-Joseph Cathedral, located at 245 Saint-Joseph Boulevard in Gatineau (Hull), Qc. All are welcome!


Here is an article written by Jonathan Guilbault from Éditions Novalis on Abp Paul-André Durocher's new book.


The moral crisis caused by the scandal of sexual abuse calls out loudly for the Church to confront the clericalism that has plagued it for so long. However, other reasons also compel it in this direction.

One of the most pressing is this: if the Church wants to successfully undertake the much talked-about "missionary conversion", it will largely depend on the breadth and quality of the commitment of lay people in all aspects of community life. A parish that survives only because of the initiatives imposed by its parish priest, no matter how charismatic or enterprising he might be, has no chance of letting the Gospel resound beyond the group of its insiders.

This is why the vast majority of studies on "the outward-bound church" emphasize the importance and diversity of ministries, official or unofficial, of all the baptized, not only of the clergy.

“Called by Name, Sent in His Name. Talks on an Outward-Bound Church” by Paul-André Durocher (Novalis, 2019) is no exception. The book, which has recently been published, takes its cue from a "secular" (so to speak) New Testament scene: the appearance of the Risen Christ to Mary Magdalene. The author emphasizes how the sequence is a "double-sided event", linking the naming of a disciple ("Mary!") and her sending forth ("Go find my brothers to tell them ...").

In this regard, the scene perpetuates a well-known rhetorical trope in the Bible: a character’s name often echoes his mission. Consider, for example, Moses, which means "saved from the waters." This is doubly true: Moses was literally saved from the waters of the Nile as a child; his mission is also to save his people from the waters (a symbol of death among the Hebrews who were anything but a seafaring people), powerfully underlined in the episode of the "parting of the waters" of the Red Sea (or Reed Sea, according to modern exegesis).

Archbishop Durocher shows that the logic inherent in the "naming-sending" structure is constitutive of the life of faith of each baptized person, and of the Church herself as a whole. Once understood, this provides a way of transforming our current parishes so that, in addition to being "communal churches", they also become "movement churches".

What about priests, in this perspective? The author gives them a particular structuring role, faithful to the purest Tradition. This role has nothing to do with the quasi-autocratic and top-down management of the past. The fruitfulness of a priest’s ministry is not measured according to the docility of the faithful as they receive teachings and sacraments, but in proportion to their engagement: "The quality of our [priest's] ministry is confirmed by the commitment of lay men and women to the Church’s mission."

Moreover, one of the great strengths of Archbishop Durocher's text is to address the issue of the missionary conversion from the point of view of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist. Today, the preparation and celebration of these sacraments constitute the essential activity of many communities. To help them become more missionary does not mean convincing them to abandon this aspect of the Church’s life in order to devote more time to missionary tasks. This is neither realistic nor, above all, desirable: the sacramental life is, by its very nature, mission-oriented. According to the author, we need to rediscover this and live it out, once again.

In conclusion, we should note the eminently personal, warm and pastoral tone of the book. The chapters are presented as so many "talks", and if they seek to convince, it is primarily by an osmotic effect through the accumulation of considerations whose accuracy will be obvious in the eyes of all the baptized.

Jonathan Guilbeault, editor, Novalis (French)