By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Monday, August 31, 2015


This week the Archdiocese of Edmonton is marking some wonderful milestones. We do so with great joy, so I'm happy to share the news with you.

First, on Wednesday we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the arrival in Edmonton of the Priests of the Society of St Sulpice. Founded in the seventeenth century in France by Jean-Jacques Olier, this community of priests is dedicated to the formation of seminarians. At the invitation of Archbishop Joseph MacNeil, the Sulpicians came to Edmonton and assumed responsibility for the care and formation of men studying for the priesthood at Saint Joseph Seminary. Their ministry has been exemplary, and they enjoy the confidence of the Bishops of Western Canada, whose dioceses they serve. The Sulpician Fathers are a great blessing to the Church, and it will be my joy this week to celebrate this anniversary with them.

Second, at another Catholic post-secondary educational institution in Edmonton, we shall formally open with God's blessing a new students' residence. Saint Joseph's College has operated on the campus of the University of Alberta since 1926. One long-held dream has been to establish a residence for women students in addition to the men's residence that has existed for many years. After a great deal of careful planning and hard work, this dream is being realized. Congratulations to all! As we gather on Thursday of this week for the formal blessing, please pray that all the students who will call this home may come to know the love of Christ that permeates this College community.

Finally, and also on Thursday, I shall be present when we celebrate the welcoming by Catholic Social Services of the Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre into their family. The dignity of human life from beginning to natural end inspires the entire social outreach of the Church. It is the reason the Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre reaches out in love and support to expectant women. From this principle Catholic Social Services embraces any who are in need. The two together are an obvious fit. As we celebrate this milestone I ask for your prayers for the protection and honouring of all human life.