Montreal, February 19, 2010 (St. Joseph’s Oratory) — With a palpable sense of elation, a number of priests and brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross (the religious family of Brother Andre), members of the archdiocese of Montreal, and Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal assembled today in the Consistory Hall of Vatican City to hear Pope Benedict XVI proclaim in their presence and in the presence of the College of Cardinals that Brother André will be canonized the October 17 in Rome.
This long-anticipated news provoked warm applause on behalf of the first Canadian man to be formally recognized as a model of sanctity. The Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Father Hugh Cleary, CSC and the Rector of Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Father Claude Grou, CSC were part of a delegation which included the Canadian ambassador to the Holy See, Anne Leahy: “Brother Andre’s canonization is a great honor for Canada. Brother Andre is a well-known figure not only in the Catholic Church. He has touched people all around him in Montreal, in Canada and beyond. The Church wishes to recognize his merits that are a particularly shining expression of the contribution of Catholics to our country and its spiritual tradition.”
Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal, declared at a press conference at Saint Joseph’s Oratory, “The announcement of the canonization of Brother André is the best thing that could have happened this year for the Church of Montreal. I have always been impressed by this man, both a humble man and a visionary, a man of deep faith. An example of determination, still relevant today in 2010.” The Canadian Provincial Superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Father Jean-Pierre Aumont, CSC said that, “The announcement of the canonization is a wonderful gift which will be received with delight by his numerous friends who have benefited from his intercession and who have been his supporters for many decades. For the religious of Holy Cross, it represents more than ever a source of inspiration, a model of faith and trust in God and in the human condition. He shows us how to envision great things and how to look toward the future!”
A series of religious and cultural celebrations both in Rome and in Montreal will be announced soon. The travel agency Spiritours (www.spiritours.com) has been chosen to coordinate a pilgrimage to Rome for the canonization of Brother André. For all information contact Louise Pesant at 514 733-8211 ext. 2102.