Honoring Archbishop Marcel Gervais

Archbishop Marcel Gervais, archbishop emeritus of Ottawa, died on 6 August and was laid to rest on 14 August. He was the founder of CNEWA Canada and its first board president.

The day of the funeral Mass began with mid-afternoon prayers for the soul of Archbishop Gervais, followed by a time of visitation and a funeral liturgy at Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica. Several CNEWA Canada staff members were on hand throughout the day, including Adriana Bara, national director, and founding national director Carl Hétu.

Archbishop Gervais’s family, along with bishops, priests, religious sisters and lay people, paid tribute to this man of God who devoted his life to the church.

“We come together to pay our last respects to a dear friend, a great leader within our church and within this archdiocese, and to pray for the soul of Archbishop Marcel Gervais,” said Archbishop Marcel Damphousse, archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall and current president of CNEWA Canada’s board.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, archbishop emeritus of Ottawa-Cornwall, gave the homily, honoring his immediate predecessor.

“He showed his preoccupation for the Eastern churches and Christians in the Middle East by the establishment here in Ottawa of Catholic Near East Welfare Association Canada,” he said.

“May Mary the mother of Jesus and our mother obtain from her Son, that whatever sorrow and sadness we feel at our loss of a spiritual father, brother, friend may be changed into consolation and joy,” he concluded.

The hymns chosen and sung by the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica choir invoked powerful images of a beautiful reality that awaits in the next life.

“He was a spiritual man with a love for Scripture,” the funeral Mass program reads. “He was a man of goodness and kindness. His decisions were people focused, carefully considered and made with care. He was deeply and lovingly committed to Jesus, his church and her people.”

CNEWA offers continued prayers and gratitude to God for the gift of Archbishop Gervais. May he rest in God’s great peace.

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