Fr. Gilbert Dasna smmm

Obituary


    It is with deep sadness that we announce the tragic passing of Reverend Father Gilbert Dasna on May 9, 2014 at the age of 32 years. He will be greatly missed by his parishioners at St. Paul Cathedral Parish, Sacred Heart Parish in Saddle Lake, St. Mathias Parish in Goodfish Lake. Please join us in prayer. A Prayer Service will be held on Sunday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul Cathedral, St. Paul with Reverend Father Gerard Gauthier officiating. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul Cathedral, St. Paul with Most Reverend Paul Terrio, Bishop of St. Paul, as the celebrant.  

To send condolences online, please visit www.gracegardensfuneralchapel.com.

GRACE GARDENS FUNERAL CHAPEL  5626 - 51 Street, St. Paul, AB. T0A 3A1



Vita mutatur, non tullitur!


Today being Thursday, the 19th day of June, 2014, the remains of Rev. Fr. Gilbert Dasna, SMMM were buried at the Sons of Mary mother of Mercy burial ground. The Burial Mass was celebrated at Holy Trinity Parish Umule-Ohuhu, Umuahia in Abia State, Nigeria. It will be recalled that the Virgil Mass was celebrated on the 18th day of June, 2014 at the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Generalate Chapel, Afara-ukwu, Umuahia.

The Burial Mass proper started at about 11:00 am with a long procession of priests and the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Lucius I. Ugorji, who was the principal celebrant. He was flanked by the Superior General of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Congregation, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. George Okorie, SMMM and the former Superior General, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. James-Michael Okpalaonwuka, SMMM.

At the introductory rite, the bishop welcomed all present and described the death of Fr. Gilbert as “gruesome murder.” He welcomed the biological family members of Fr. Gilbert who traveled all the way from Cameroun to witness the burial of their son and brother. After the penitential rite, office for the dead before noon was said for the happy repose of Fr. Gilbert.

In his homily, the Rector of Sons of Mary Theologate, Rev. Fr. Cletus Ikwuegbu, SMMM, who is also the classmate of Fr. Gilbert Dasna, described the death of Fr. Gilbert as an “eye-opener.” For him, the death of Fr. Gilbert reminds him that death is an inevitable end that will surely come when it will come. However, he went on to console the religious and biological families of Fr. Gilbert with the hope of resurrection. For him, for those who believe in God and in His Son our Lord Jesus Christ, “life is changed and not taken away” (Vita mutatur, non tullitur). He ended by inviting all to sing the famous “it is well with my soul” song.

The Mass continued till after the post-communion prayer. The Secretary General of the Sons of Mary Congregation, Rev. Fr. Vitalis Onyeama, SMMM, stood out and acknowledged the receipt of some condolence messages that were not published in the burial brochure. He read the funeral oration presented on behalf of the entire Sons of Mary Family.

Afterwards, the Vicar-General of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Congregation, Rev. Fr. Cyprian Ihedoro, SMMM, thanked all present. In a special way, he thanked the Catholic bishop of Umuahia Diocese, the host diocese of Sons of Mary Congregation and the principal celebrant at the burial Mass. He thanked the Catholic Bishop of St Paul Alberta, Canada, where Fr. Gilbert Dasna was working until his death and other bishops and heads of Religious Congregations who showed concern over our bereavement. He thanked all priests, religious men and women, seminarians and all people of goodwill who have come from far and near to pay their last homage to Fr. Gilbert. He welcomed and thanked the biological family members of Fr. Gilbert for coming. He equally condoled with the biological family over the loss of their brother and our brother.

At the end of the Mass, the remains of Fr. Gilbert Dasna were taken to the burial ground of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy Congregation, located at their Novitiate House, very close to the venue of the burial Mass. At the grave courtyard, the Superior General of the Congregation buried Fr. Gilbert according to the Catholic rite of interment. This was done amidst sobbing and weeping. After this, all went way sorrowfully and soberly.

  • Eternal rest, grant unto Fr. Gilbert Dasna, O Lord.
  • And let perpetual light shine upon him.
  • May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed.
  • Through the mercy of God, rest in peace-Amen.
  • May he rest in peace,
  • Amen.

http://smmmonline.org/news/




Fr. Dasna Gilbert: 

A funeral oration presented 

by the members of the Congregation 

of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy


On Friday, 9th May, 2014, the day became night and light was turned into darkness, the earth stood still and there was total silence in the Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy, for on this day, we lost our beloved, amiable and dynamic brother, Rev. Fr. Gatsou Gilbert Dasna, SMMM, to the cold hands of death as he was shot dead by a gunman where he was on mission in the Diocese of Saint Paul, Alberta, Canada. It is disheartening, painful, devastating as well as heart-breaking. At first, no one could believe the bitter and ugly story that lead to his death, but now it has turned to become a history. It seemed to all like a nightmare, but now, it has turned to be real.

Born as the third child and second son into the happy family of Late Mr. & Mrs. Sispens Nganso and Kotabangou Monigue, of Tcheke-Yagoua Cameroun, on the 28th day of February, 1982, Fr. Gatsou Gilbert Dasna, was given all the childhood care and training that made him stood out among his equals.

He attended Sainte Anne Mission School Yagoua for his primary education and Classical High School Yagoua for his secondary education where he bagged a Baccalaureate A4 Allemand.

As a young boy, he began to aspire to serve God in a special way and his innocent and perfect disposition in answering this divine call was transformed and translated into a pathway of divine glorification. However, this journey of faith began with Fr. Gilbert’s leaving his family, his friends all his activities in his country Cameroon for Umuahia – Nigeria in 1999. He joined the Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy, in the year 2000 as a Postulant, after which he proceeded to the Sons of Mary Novitiate Umule Ohuhu, between 2000/2001 for his novitiate formation. He made his first religious profession on 7thSeptember, 2001.

Fr. Gilbert was sent to study Philosophy at St. Joseph Major Seminary, Ikot-Ekpene 2001 to 2004. He studied Theology at Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary, Owerri, 2005 to 2009. During his seminary and formation years, he distinguished himself positively in various ways and his good qualities were not in any way dwindled because of change of environment. He was a lovely and loving brother, would always show concern to a brother who is in need. He was quiet lively and that made his mates gave him the nick name ‘Ichaka Ike’, very hardworking and had this quality of no dull moment in life. With his final profession on 9th January, 2009, Fr. Gilbert became a full member of the Congregation. He was ordained a Deacon and then a priest on 10th January, 2009 and 11th July, 2009, respectively at Mater Dei Cathedral Umuahia.

After his priestly ordination, Fr Gilbert Dasna, SMMM, was sent to one of the schools owned and managed by the Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy – Lucy Memorial Secondary School, Amiri, where he worked for about one and half a year.

Filled with the vigor to serve God, he was sent on mission to the Diocese of Saint Paul, Alberta Canada in May 2011. There he served God and humanity with Christian charity and respect as the Associate Pastor in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Saint Paul, Alberta, Canada until his death on Friday, 9th May, 2014.

Our beloved Fr. Gilbert, tears run down our cheeks on your painful exit from the stage of service to God and humanity as a priest which occurred exactly on the day that marked your third anniversary in the mission land in Canada. You arrived Canada on 9th May, 2011 and died on 9th May, 2014. The celebration of your third anniversary became your birthday in heaven. Though very painful for us your brothers as well as your biological family considering the horrific circumstances that led to your death, (being shot dead by a gunman in your residence), we commend you to the protecting hands of God whom you served without reservation while you lived. May you find rest in His bosom. Amen

May God receive you in His eternal dwelling in heaven. Amen

We love you Fr. Gilbert,

Rest in Peace!

 

Signed:

Rev. Fr. Vitalis Otitodilichukwu Onyeama, SMMM

(Secretary General)

For and on behalf of the entire Congregation of Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy, Umuahia Nigeria



http://smmmonline.org/news/





Words of Remembrance of Fr. Gilbert Dasna smmm

Mots en Mémoire de Père Gilbert Dasna smmm

(presented by Pierre Lamoureux of St. Paul)

         These Words of Remembrance are not a short biography of the life of Father Gilbert.  That has otherwise been prepared and made available in the several articles printed in the newspapers.  The funeral liturgy for our associate pastor and friend, Reverend Father Gilbert Dasna is “an act of praise and thanksgiving for Christ’s victory over sin and death, a proclamation of the pascal mystery”  (National Liturgy Office, CCCB).  As Christians, we know, that death changes life but does not end it and that our loved one continues to live.  We come together to pray for Father Gilbert and to offer the Mass for the repose of his soul.  In the funeral mass, we offer to our Father and share in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and we ask God to prepare and to welcome him into eternal life.  That is what Father Gilbert would ask us to do for him today.

         Il est bon de nous rappeler l’exemple de vie de service dans l’amour que nous a laissé notre pasteur et notre ami.  Il est venu auprès de nous en véritable missionaire.  Il s’est impliqué dans notre vie paroissiale; il s’est tissé des liens d’amitiés profondes parmi nous, et il est devenu notre pasteur tout simplement.  Sa vocation de pasteur se manifestait par sa joie sereine, so acceptation entière de la personne devant lui et par la paix intérieure qui rayonnait de lui at qui attirait à lui.

         Il est bon de nous rappeler comment le Père Gilbert a touché nos vies.  Je veux exprimer ici quelques témoignages parmi tant d’autres de son exemple d’amour.  Il était peur-être le plus heureux lorsqu’il était parmi les enfants et les jeunes.  Les enfants aiment l’accompagner en  offrant leur services à la messe ou lorsque le Père Gilbert célébrait  des occasions spéciales dans les écoles.  Nous nous rappellerons son grand sourire devant une exclamation ou une voix d’enfant qui résonnait tout haut dans l’église.

         Il aimait beaucoup la musique et prenail grand plaisir à apprendre à jouer divers instruments sans doute pour la joie de jouer mais aussi parce qu’il aimait être avec les jeunes et les moins jeunes.  Il affectionnait les instruments de percussions qu’il appelait collectivement les « tams tams » qui évoquaient les rythmes africains de sa jeunesse.  Alain m’a partagé comment qu’il le Père Gilbert aimait de la musique avec lui de Noël dernier.  Alain témoigna de son affection pour le Père Gilbert en partageant : « It était comme un frère, comme un père pour moi. »

         Vincent-Sosthène, un ancient frère prêtre Jésuite et ami du Père Gilbert, résume ansi sa vie de service : « Gilbert a choisi d’être missionaire, de donner sa vie pour que d’autres vivent, il vient d’aller jusqu’au don suprême.  Heureux les artisans de paix car ils seront appelés fils de Dieu. »

         This humble and joyful priest from Cameroon, Africa came as a true missionairy to minister to our spiritual needs.  He served in several communities throughout the diocese, as far away as Fort Chipewyan.  The people of Sacred Heart Parish in Saddle Lake First Nations and of St. Matthias Parish in Goodfish Lake First Nations grew close to and loved Father Gilbert as their Pastor in a special way.  He accepted and loved all the people he served.  He enjoyed learning about our different ways, our customs and our cultures.  Father Gilbert exemplified that to serve Christ is to serve one another.

         He enjoyed much less our Alberta winters! … An early or late season snowfall often prompted from him a «Joyeux Noël!» after his opening greeting at Mass.

         Patsy spoke for all of us when she shared her grief at the death of Father Gilbert, but she also expressed in an inspired way the blessing that Father Gilbert was and continues to be for us.  She said to the St. Paul Journal: « He brought people back to the Church » and that he preached about loving all people, Catholics or non-Catholics, faults or no faults.  He encouraged Patsy about her concerns for her parish : « Have faith, Mom, [« Maman » or   « Mom » was a term of endearment and of respect in his tradition] trust in the Lord, we are still here, our Church still stands and people still come.  Trust and it will be okay. »

         Then she added that Father Gilbert would have said to us in our grief : « Hold on to Jesus and forgive.  As hard as it is to forgive, FORGIVE. »  The act of bearing witness to the mercy of God is the charism of his Order, the Sons of Mary, Mother of Mercy.  He would have told us, how you leave this life is not as important as how you live your life.

          Father Gilbert gave us the example of simply accepting one another; the first step in learning to better love one another.  This was his simple, powerful testimony: to accept and to serve each other as we are, is to love one another as Jesus Christ loves each of us.  It is the very act of loving God.

         Nous rendons grâce à Dieu pour l’exemple d’amour chrétien de notre frère, notre ami et notre pasteur, le Révérend Père Gilbert Dasna.  Que Dieu l’acceuille de lui dans la joie de la vie éternelle. 



 

Slain priest was beacon of light for St. Paul


                 
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

CHRIS MILLER   May 26, 2014
Father Gilbert Dasna was a happy, funny, hard-working priest who loved people, especially the First Nations people he served at Saddle Lake where his kindness and evangelical fervour sparked a flourishing parish.
"When my wife and I first started taking care of the church a few years ago, we were lucky if we had five people in church on Sunday," said Greg Hysell of Saddle Lake.
"After he was here for a few months, we'd have 40 or 50 people, sometimes more. He completely turned the church around."
Dasna went door-to-door speaking with people, bringing Communion to the sick and elderly, and immersed himself in every aspect of the community, Hysell said.
The 32-year-old priest from Cameroon died after being shot multiple times in the chest on Friday evening, May 9, the third anniversary of his arrival in Canada.
"He was the most wonderful man I ever met," said Hysell. "He had a way with people that he knew how to get a point across without offending anyone."
Greg's wife Patsy described Dasna as a humble, loving, charismatic, genuine and spiritual man. He never forgot the names of people he met.
Patsy spoke to Dasna on the phone about half an hour before he was shot.
After speaking with Dasna, she went to her computer to update the parish's Facebook page. Later, one of her friends from St. Paul posted that she heard gunshots by the church.
She got up and told her husband, "Something's wrong."
At a small altar in their home, Patsy lit a candle and read from her Bible. Worried, she kept phoning Dasna, but there was no answer. She texted him, and still no response. Eventually she heard from the diocesan office that he was dead.
"I felt like I was ready to drop. My whole body went numb," she said.
"A very big void is left in our community. Now we are left wondering what is going to happen to our church because he is what brought the people back. To have him leave, we have no shepherd."
Born in Lainde-Garoua, Cameroon, Dasna was the third child and the second son among four children. After his parents, Gango and Monique, died when he was a boy, Dasna was raised by his sister, who became a nun in his hometown.
Sister Jeannette Horbaita Dasna was killed in a car accident two months ago at the age of 42.
Dasna trained for the priesthood in Nigeria with the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy, an African-based religious order founded in 1970.
He was ordained a priest on July 11, 2009 in Mater Dei Cathedral in Umuahia in the state of Abia in Nigeria. He came to Edmonton in May 2011 for a three-week orientation to Canadian culture.
He was soon recruited to the St. Paul Diocese, becoming associate pastor of the cathedral. He also served Sacred Heart Parish on the Saddle Lake Reserve and its mission, St. Matthias in Goodfish Lake.
At about 5:50 p.m. on May 9, the St. Paul RCMP received an emergency call about shots fired at the rectory. Three police officers arrived around 6:15 p.m. and saw Dasna lying on his right side at the rectory entrance. He had been shot, and blood was coming from his wounds.
Dasna tried to speak, but no words came out.
An ambulance took him to the hospital around 6:30 p.m. Father Peter Tran, diocesan chancellor, arrived at 7:10 p.m., and was told Dasna had died a minute before.
He is survived by two brothers, his grandmother and members of his religious congregation, the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy.

LOVED ABORIGINAL PEOPLE

Tran said Dasna was a faithful priest.
"He liked to wear a white cassock to show that he belonged to God completely. He loved people, especially native people," said Tran.
Speaking both French and English fluently, he made friends easily with others, both young and old, said Tran.
Denise Paquette, religion teacher at École du Sommet in St. Paul, knew Dasna from working with him on the school's graduation Masses.
In that work, she found that Dasna listened carefully to the graduating students. He clearly cared about their problems and specific interests.
"I found him to be so attentive to our grads when we would meet with him. We'd have a lunch meeting with him, so he could get to know them a little better, so that he could preach a little more closely to who they were. He was generous in his ministry and generous with his time," said Paquette.


ST. PAUL HEARTBROKEN

Dasna's murder left people in St. Paul heartbroken, said Paquette. "You go to the grocery store and people just kind of look at each other with sad eyes. No one knows how to start a conversation with one another. It's tough."
Father Casmir Muobike, pastor at St. Isidore Parish in Plamondon, belongs to the same religious order as Dasna.
"He was very down to earth, lived his life with simplicity. He was a joyful person, and peaceful. Wherever he was, he brought joy to the people around him," said Muobike.
The charism of the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy is to bear witness to the mercy of God, by following in the footsteps of Christ. Muobike said the mercy of God was expressed in Dasna's compassion, forgiveness and kindness.
Father Ambrose Umeohanna, the pastor in Westlock, met Dasna in Nigeria and the two priests were reacquainted when Dasna came to St. Paul.
"He was a very dedicated priest, and a funny guy. Whenever you were in his presence, he made everybody laugh. He was a humble guy, a very smart man and a good fellow," said Umeohanna.
Dasna's life was short but exemplary. In his three years in St. Paul, he touched the lives of many people.
"There is so much love for him, and people are crying out how this could happen," said Umeohanna.
Yvan Beaudoin is the religious education coordinator for the Catholic school division in St. Paul and a parishioner at the cathedral. He said Dasna was always readily available to assist in the schools.
"He was a gentle soul is the best way I'd describe him. He had a gentle nature and a joyfulness about him that was evident, almost like a light that shone from him," said Beaudoin.
Beaudoin has a 10-year-old son, Nicholas. When the boy was told that their dear pastor had died, he said, "Oh no, I loved him because he always encourages me."

TERRIBLE TRAGEDY

Theresa Devall, a parishioner at the cathedral, said the murder stunned the entire community.
"It's been a terrible tragedy, not only for the Catholic Church but for the whole community of St. Paul."
Devall described Dasna as a nice man, smiling all the time and always busy.
In an official statement, Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith urged the priests of the Edmonton Archdiocese to pray for the repose of the Dasna's soul.
"May the Lord welcome him into the joy of eternal life, and bless the members of his family and religious community, as well as he clergy and faithful of the St. Paul Diocese, with consolation and peace," said Smith.




Slain priest a good shepherd

 
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
GLEN ARGAN   May 26, 2014

Father Gilbert Dasna was slain in the rectory of the St. Paul Cathedral after answering a doorbell that others would have ignored, said St. Paul Bishop Paul Terrio.
Dasna went to the door at 6 p.m. on a Friday because his conscience told him that was the right thing to do, Terrio said in his homily at the murdered priest's funeral May 19.
"I know some pastors who would have all kinds of reasons for not answering the doorbell on Friday evening at six o'clock," he said.
Dasna, the bishop said, "was a good shepherd after the example of Jesus Christ himself."
Mourners filled the cathedral in St. Paul to pray for the 32-year-old, joy-filled priest who came from Cameroon three years ago only to be gunned down after opening the rectory door during the supper hour May 9.
RCMP say the priest was likely killed by John Carlo Quadros, manager of a local health food store, who himself was killed in a gun battle with police an hour after Dasna was shot multiple times in the chest.
Priests and deacons, a Knights of Columbus honour guard, a children's choir, an adult choir and the McGilvery aboriginal drummers from Saddle Lake all played a role in the funeral liturgy.
Terrio said the Gospel on Sunday, May 18 recounted how Jesus told his disciples that there are many rooms in his Father's house.
"I can imagine Father Gilbert appearing at the house of the Father with its many rooms," the bishop said. "I also can imagine Father Gilbert asking Jesus if there is also room for another man from St. Paul.
"We pray for Father Gilbert, but we also pray for that other man of St. Paul who died within an hour of Father Gilbert. We do so because that is what the Good Shepherd would have us do."
The Church community also prays for the three RCMP officers who were injured in the gun battle and for their families, he said.
Terrio said that a year ago he discussed a possible pastoral assignment with Dasna but warned him that it could include some difficulties and dangers. "But he said, 'Oh bishop! As a priest, I'm ready to lay down my life for my people.'"
Several people told the WCR that Dasna exuded joy and a great love for those he served, and that he revitalized Sacred Heart Parish at Sadddle Lake, bringing many people on the reserve back to active participation in the life of the Church. 

RELIGIOUS ORDER

In a brief interview, Terrio said that Dasna was highly regarded by his religious order, the Sons of Mary Mother of Mercy. He had been selected to represent those priests who had been ordained less than five years at the order's general chapter in the fall.
The people at Saddle Lake and its mission at Goodfish Lake thanked the bishop for assigning Dasna to their parish because he was so affirming, faithful and joyful, Terrio said.

GOOD SHEPHERD

He chose to use the Scripture readings from Good Shepherd Sunday, which fell two days after Dasna's murder, because the priest was himself a good shepherd.
In his homily, the bishop said Dasna was a good priest because he listened to the voice of Jesus. "Father Gilbert was a good shepherd because he himself listened to the voice of Christ in his conscience."
Pierre Lamoureux, a St. Paul lawyer, gave some words of remembrance prior to the funeral Mass.
The African priest enjoyed learning about Canadian customs and culture, Lamoureux said. "He accepted and loved all the people he served.
"Father Gilbert gave us the example of simply accepting one another, the first step in learning to better love one another."

http://www.wcr.ab.ca/ThisWeek/Stories/tabid/61/entryid/5513/Default.aspx





 
DIOCÈSE de ST-PAUL / DIOCESE of ST.
PAUL         

Centre  Pastoral / Pastoral Center

4410 – 51 Avenue      Saint Paul, AB  T0A 3A2

Tél / Tel: (780) 645-3277                                 Fax: (780) 645-6099

Courriel / E-mail: bishopoffice@dioceseofstpaul.ca           Page web / Website: www.dioceseofstpaul.ca

 

May 23, 2014

 

Dear brother priests,

 

Reflections on the tragic  death of Fr Gilbert Dasna.

 

Just two weeks ago today Fr. Gilbert died of gunshot wounds at the cathedral rectory. Personally, now that the shock and disbelief begin recede, I can feel a lingering grief and sadness as I take up the round of annual Confirmations. I sense that it is the same for us all.

 In my experience, priests are all pretty sensitive persons and even if we get used to comforting our grieving parishioners when one of our own brother priests dies tragically somehow we are never prepared for that.

 I shall always remember the final commendation of his funeral Mass when, after the Salve Regina, practically all you priests reached out to place your hand on his casket  as you filed by. Somehow, some of those bullets, although they had not killed us, had reached us all.

There are practical consequences to Fr. Gilbert’s death, ie. the parish appointments which had been all but finalized but there are more importantly,  emotional and spiritual consequences.

Archbishop Smith called after the funeral offering sympathy as well as assistance and then Teresa Kellendonck of the archdiocesan pastoral services emailed us with an offer of bereavement support. Next week I am in Ft McMurray but when I get back I just might take advantage of the offer. So often we priests are not able to receive what we give to others. Just express and share our grief is helpful. So I encourage all of you to take advantage of the offer which Louise Lavoie sent to you yesterday.

 However, as well as sharing this with you, I also remind myself and you that  out devotion to our blessed mother Mary is a true strength and grace for us.

Certainly Fr Gilbert as a Son of Mary Mother of Mercy would agree that when the ways of Providence seem arbitrary and unfair, the example and prayer of the Virgin Mary are our best refuge.

And so let me invite all of us priests of St Paul diocese, this Friday at 6:00pm,  wherever we are, to join in praying a Hail Mary for our brother Fr Gilbert but also for ourselves as we continue the priestly mission from which the Master of the harvest has called him home.

 

I am praying with you and for you.

 In our Good Shepherd,

 Bishop Paul Terrio

 




Letter from Paul-Andre Durocher,  CCCB President

to the Most Rev. Paul Terrio, Bishop of St. Paul, AB

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

         The news of the violent death of Father Gilbert Dasna, SMMM, an African missionary priest who has been serving in your diocese for the past few years, came as a deep shock to me and, I am sure, to all Catholics and people of good will in Canada. The further violence that has led to the death of another man and the wounding of members of the RCMP only deepens our sadness and grief. I can only imagine the impact this is having on the community of St. Paul's and the members of your diocese, your priests and yourself. Please be assured of the solidarity and prayers of all the Bishops of Canada and of the faithful of their dioceses.
        Today's gospel reading reminds us of the words of Jesus in John's Gospel: "I have come that they may have life, and life to the fullest." May these words bring a measure of consolation, healing and hope to all those who have been personally affected by this tragedy. In this Easter season, as we celebrate more intensely Christ's victory over death, let us turn to God for wisdom, strength and renewed purpose in our journey towards eternal life. 

 Yours in Christ,

+ Paul-Andre Durocher     Archbishop of Gatineau

President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops 
 

        La nouvelle de la mort violente du père Gilbert Dasna, SMMM, prêtre missionnaire africain qui travaillait dans votre diocèse depuis quelques années, m'a profondément bouleversé et avec moi, j'en suis sûr, tous les catholiques et toutes les personnes de bonne volonté au Canada. La violence qui a entraîné par la suite la mort d'un autre homme et qui a causé des blessures à des membres de la GRC alourdit encore notre tristesse et notre douleur. J'imagine l'impact de ces graves événements sur la communauté de Saint-Paul ainsi que sur les membres de votre diocèse, votre clergé et vous-même. Veuillez compter sur la solidarité et les prières de tous les évêques du Canada et des fidèles de leurs diocèses.

        L'Évangile d'aujourd'hui nous rappelle les mots de Jésus dans l'Évangile de Jean : « Je suis venu pour qu'ils aient la vie, la vie en abondance. » Puissent ces paroles apporter un peu de consolation, de guérison et d'espérance à ceux et celles qui ont été personnellement affectés par cette tragédie. Au moment où le temps pascal nous fait célébrer la victoire du Christ sur la mort, tournons-nous vers Dieu afin de recevoir la sagesse, le courage et une détermination renouvelée pour la route vers la vie éternelle.

Fraternellement uni à vous dans le Christ,

+ Paul-André Durocher   Archevêque de Gatineau

Président de la Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada






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