Out of the blue last week, I got a phone call from a reporter at the Catholic Register. He wanted to talk about two potential new Canadian saints being considered by the Catholic Church. Slightly bewildered, I agreed to the interview.
He started off by asking me: “Have Canadians forgotten their history?” And I thought to myself, Oy! What do I do with that? But the resulting conversation was really productive.
Here is an excerpt:
The beginnings of the Church in Canada include a series of firsts that go beyond reminding us of who we are. If Blessed Marie de l’Incarnation and Blessed Bishop François de Laval become saints this year, in time for the 350th anniversary of the founding of the diocese of Quebec, these new saints could inspire Canadian Catholics to imagine what their church will become. . . . If Canadians could come to understand the world of Bishop Laval and Marie de l’Incarnation, they might see the origins of this country differently, said York University history Professor Boyd Cothran. “When they got here they discovered a complex indigenous place where they had to compromise, they had to learn how to live together and they had to create community,” Cothran said. Read full story.