So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Monday, April 27, 2015

Archbishop Raymond Roussin (1939 - 2015): Requiescat in pace.

Vancouver Sun

Archbishop-emeritus Raymond Roussin, SM
June 17, 1939 - April 24, 2015

Bishop-emeritus of the Diocese of Victoria and Archbishop-emeritus of Vancouver, His Grace Raymond Roussin, has died at the age of 75.
(Arch)bishop Roussin led the Diocese of Victoria (BC) back from the financial precipice left by his immediate predecessor. His Grace was a gentle but resolute man whose soft spoken homilies carried the thunder of truth.

Archbishop Roussin could speak with academics and tradesmen with equal ease, and even in the midst of a crowd during some diocesan event filled with people vying for his ear you knew he was giving you his complete and undivided attention without rushing you out of the conversation.

In the midst of financial and pastoral confusion, +Roussin restored a sense of sanity to the Diocese of Victoria. During his tenure, a large crucifix was suspended in the sanctuary where none had been for more than several decades. He established the Diocesan Messenger newspaper as the authoritative forum on the Island. The Messenger helped to connect Catholics on Vancouver Island and helped to marginalize the "Spirit of Vatican II" cafeteria Catholicism published in the Island Catholic News (ICN), an independent paper that went completely off the rails once it became clear the Diocese was on the road to recovery after years of being a haven for dissent and liturgical abuse. It wasn't long after the Messenger was introduced that the ICN disappeared from parishes.

Archbishop Roussin struggled with depression. In his weakness, he managed to inspire many people with hope. That the good Archbishop, when Bishop of Victoria, managed to carry out his duties while facing very trying circumstances in the midst of serious depression is a testament to his faith and heroic suffering. Though he retired from the Archdiocese of Vancouver earlier than expected, he certainly merited the consideration of a well earned early rest.

Archbishop Roussin was not overtly charismatic nor was his preaching style affected. Though, he was hardly boring. The humour he occasionally injected into his homilies was never gratuitous but always instructive. Only the haughty dissenting cafeteria-types might be offended by his humour. He possessed a good intellect that was never showy. He spoke with the facility of a trained teacher. In any given sentence he could speak both to the head and the heart. His homilies were well prepared and regularly contained invitations to place one's complete trust in God always. When Bishop Roussin spoke you knew he believed every word, and every word he spoke was true. Simply put, he was Catholic, a faithful son of the Church. May God grant him a swift and merciful judgement.

Archbishop Miller of Vancouver, quoted in The Province,
called Roussin a “mentor who taught me profound lessons of gentleness and simplicity, while exhibiting patience in suffering.”
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Archbishop Roussin, a gentle and kind man filled with love for the Lord and His Church, is scheduled for May 2 at St. Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg.
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