CFN – Before he takes up his new post as Archbishop of Gatineau, a cross-representation of the local community, friends, family and colleagues gathered Wednesday evening at the Best Western Plus Parkway Inn to express affection and thanks for the almost ten years of ministry of Alexandria-Cornwall diocesan bishop Paul-Andre Durocher. Some 300 well-wishers filled the banquet hall for the $30 per plate event to enjoy fellowship and to witness the tributes.
Msgr Rejean LeBrun offered thanks on behalf of the Francophone Catholic clergy while local lawyer and community worker Sean Adams testified in a humourous way to many accounts of Durocher’s selfless service to the community at large. Durocher’s long-time co-worker and friend, Sr. Alice Laurin, addressed the group on behalf of the religious of the diocese while Jean Lemay spoke of the bishop’s invaluable contribution in the area of Ontario Catholic education in the Francophone sector.
Archdeacon Gordie Bryan spoke on behalf of the diocese’s permanent deacons and their wives followed by Dr. Raymond Legault representing the Catholic Francophone community. The final tribute of the evening was delivered by one of the event organizers, Fr. Kelvin Maloney, who took time to rib the bishop before acknowledging his wonderful example of leadership.Between tributes participants enjoyed the musical talents of local artist, Therese Motard, as well as the savoury prime rib dinner.Those who haven’t yet had an opportunity to bid farewell to Bishop Durocher might want to take in one of the two remaining gatherings to take place in the diocese prior to Durocher’s installation in Gatineau on November 30. On Saturday, November 26 at 7 p.m. all are welcome to attend a special Advent concert at Nativity Co-Cathedral featuring the bishop and the Legionairies of Christ. There will be a free-will offering. The following afternoon at the St. Finnan’s Cathedral in Alexandria, a final Mass of Thanksgiving will take place at 2:30 p.m., followed by a public reception at Fraternity Hall across from the the church.
This 20 minute clip features segments from the English tributes and the bishop’s own words to the community.