Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 2, 2004
Somerville named to Order of Canada
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
The first woman and Catholic to become general secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches, is among 102 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced by Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson Jan. 27.
Janet Somerville, a former associate editor of the Toronto-based Catholic New Times, was described in her citation as "a gracious yet forceful leader" and one who "helped create a model of ecumenism admired worldwide and continues to be a strong voice on global social issues."
It also said that for decades Somerville has been an advocate for interfaith understanding, human rights and peace. "Whether as a journalist, activist or teacher, she has provided a consistent example of faith in action," said the citation. She was named as a member of the Order of Canada.
Well-known Quebec priest Father Jean-Marie Brochu of St-Lambert-de-Lauzon, Que., was also appointed as a member of the order. "Known as 'Monsieur le Bonheur,' Jean-Marie Brochu is a pillar of the charitable community in Quebec," said his citation.
In 1963, "touched by the loneliness experienced by people suffering from chronic health problems" Brochu collected donations by radio, which was the beginning of Le Noel du Bonheur. Since then, he has helped more than 8,000 people in over 100 institutions in the Quebec and Chaudiere-Appalaches regions, it said.
Christian Brother Lawrence Spitzig of Toronto was also named a member of the order. The governor general's citation said Spitzig has devoted himself to the people of Southeast Asia for over 60 years.
"As a teacher and administrator with De La Salle schools in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, he promoted the development of new curricula and championed the construction of new classrooms and schools," it said.