His Eminence Cardinal Gérald C. Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of Canada, invites the population to participate to the Pontifical Mass that will be celebrated on September 14 to mark the 350th anniversary of the foundation of Notre Dame de Québec.
Pope Francis will take this opportunity to send us a message that will be delivered by his special envoy, His Eminence Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Archbishop of San Cristóbal de la Habana, who will preside the Mass in the presence of Canadian Bishops.
The Pontifical Mass
A Pontifical Mass is celebrated by the Pope or his special envoy who personally represents him in his actions and words. It is the highest solemnity of the Catholic liturgy. The extraordinary privilege to celebrate a Pontifical Mass was granted by Pope Francis who recognizes the historical role played by Notre Dame de Québec. He granted the privilege of having the 7th Holy Door in the world for the same reasons. In the same spirit, he also acknowledged the beginning of the Jubilee, on December 8, 2013, during the Angelus prayer on St. Peter Square in Rome.
Notre Dame de Québec is at the centre of the of the Catholic Church expansion in North America. First parish to be erected canonically by the first Bishop, François de Laval, it is the root from which all other Catholic parishes in Canada and in the United States stemmed.
Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino
Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino was born on October 18, 1936, in Jagüey Grande, in the Diocese of Matanzas, Cuba. He studied theology at the.Séminaire des Prêtres des Missions Étrangères in Pont Viau, near Montréal (1960-1964). Ordained on August 2, 1964, in Matanzas, Cuba, he served as a curate and a parish priest in various parishes at the same time because of an important shortage of priests in his country. He was much involved with youth, which he formed through many apostolical events he organized. He also taught at the Havana Seminary. He was appointed Bishop of Pinard el Rio on January 14, 1979, Metropolitan Archbishop of San Cristobal de La Habana, on November 20, 1981 and elevated to the College of Cardinals on November 26,.1994. He participated to the 2005 Conclave which elected Pope Benedict.XVI and to the 2013 Conclave which elected Pope Francis.
The Bishops of Canada
Exceptionnally, on the occasion of the 350th Anniversary, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly in Quebec City. After the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), it became part of a worldwide network of Episcopal Conferences, established in 1965, as an integral part of the life of the universal Church. CCCB members include over 100 Bishops, Bishops Emeritus and Cardinals. On September 14, some 100 Bishops will co-celebrate the Solemn Mass with Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino.