Changes Afoot

In light of the recent appointment of Bishop Guy Desrochers as the new ordinary of Pembroke, I noticed that at the same time, the diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall has more or less been abolished – or, more technically, amalgamated with the archdiocese of Ottawa. The current Archbishop, Terence Prendergast, S.J., is retiring this year, and his successor Marcel Damphousse, currently bishop of Sault Sainte-Marie.

Changes afoot for the Church in Canada, and after this Covidian crisis, likely far more to come – more such amalgamations, at least, both at the diocesan and parochial levels. The Church is getting smaller, in more ways than one, and such realities eventually must be faced.

Father Frederick Faber, a contemporary of Newman, and superior of the London Oratory (with Newman superior at Birmingham), once quipped that all change is bad, even change for the better.

Of course, like most aphorisms – alluding, I think, to the stability inherent in the Oratorian vocation, which may lead to a paradoxical instability in the souls of some Oratorians eager to flee to what appear to them ‘greener pastures’ – there is a degree of truth in this, but in reality, some changes are for the better, others for the good, and we will see what augurs from these.