Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher
OTTAWA – Gatineau Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher has a passion for evangelization and faith education.
These have been "at the heart of my ministry, and something that has been the challenge of the hour for many parts of Canada," said Durocher, the new president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB).
Another area of focus will be the relationship of the conference with partners, whether the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), partners in the pro-life cause, and partners in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, he said.
Durocher spoke in an interview Sept. 30, following his election for a two-year term during the CCCB's annual plenary in Sainte-Adele, Que.
The CCCB president "presides at the meetings of the executive and the permanent council and ensures the will of the body is enacted as we move forward, makes sure members are informed and their voice is heard whenever a decision needs to be taken," he said.
In the eight years Durocher has served on the CCCB executive, the conference has undergone "a huge amount of change" in terms of episcopal commissions, committees as well as "huge changes" in the administrative structures at the CCCB's secretariat.
Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, the outgoing president, reported to the plenary a $945,000 reduction in payroll at the CCCB's Ottawa secretariat and a $250,000 investment in information technology infrastructure.
Durocher said the permanent council will meet in November to establish the priorities of the different commissions and committees. "The next two years will be a time of consolidation, of learning to live within those changes, to live well."
The CCCB executive now includes Durocher as president, Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby, vice-president; and Saint-Jean-Longueuil Bishop Lionel Gendron and Halifax Archbishop Anthony Mancini as the co-treasurers.