‘Tis difficult to believe that Quebec was once a a bastion of the Faith, incarnating in an almost unique way the harmony between Church and State, offering the early pioneers of this nation – New France – the elan vital to conquer a wild and savage land, to raise large families, and build a prosperous and virtuous society. But la belle province is now a sclerotic, socialist mess, moribund, and its culture, or what’s left of it, held up by governmental largesse, as is most of its economy. Under the Trudeau pere et fils, the rest of Canada has followed suit. As the Faith recedes, so does everything else, true, good and beautiful,
But what Quebec was, Canada once was, and might be again. We are free to choose which path to follow, and how to live – the present is not the past, and it definitely need not be the future.
The glory of Vieux Quebec was the work of saints, one of the greatest of them Francois-Xavier de Montmorency-Laval (+1708), her first bishop, two centuries before ‘Canada’ even existed. Born in France, a descendant from nobility on both sides, Francois was destined for the priesthood, demonstrating a high degree not only of intelligence, holiness, piety and devotion, but also a shrewd practical sense, with the capacity to administrate, to organize funds and to deal with men amicably in all their foibles and fractiousness. He was, in the truly Pauline sense, all things to all men. He lived a life of deep prayer, discipline and recollection, the source of his immense apostolic activity and fruitfulness.