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Remembering Father Bernard de Margerie

Apr 29, 2024

Nicholas Jesson writes:

Fr. Bernard de Margerie spent his whole life promoting Christian reconciliation and unity. After over 65 years as a priest in the Diocese of Saskatoon, Fr. Bernard died on March 3. He leaves behind a rich legacy of ecumenical relationships and close friendships. Combining his great loves for the church and for its witness, he constantly reminded us that Jesus prayed "that all may be one." There is a Gospel call to unity. Our continuing divisions mark the most enduring disobedience to the Gospel.

In 1984, Fr. Bernard established the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, which continues his work among the churches of Saskatoon. He was a strong proponent of ecumenical education and formation, incorporating this into the principle programming of the PCE, and shaping the character of Western Canadian ecumenism. Yet he did not neglect ecumenical cooperation in charity, service, and justice projects. He promoted local dialogue and ecumenical learning from one another. At the heart of his ecumenical vision was prayer together in the spirit of the great French ecumenist, Paul Couturier, whose prayer he prayed daily:

Lord Jesus, who prayed that we might all be one,
we pray to You for the unity of Christians,
according to Your will, according to Your means.
May Your Spirit enable us to experience the suffering caused by division,
to see our sin, and to hope beyond all hope. Amen.

The Prayer Vigil was celebrated at the francophone parish of Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens, Sunday, March 17, 2024 and the Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Holy Spirit Parish, Monday, March 18, 2024.