Companions of the Cross founder Fr. Bedard dies after long illness

  • October 7, 2011

OTTAWA - Fr. Robert Bedard, founder of the Companions of the Cross, a society of apostolic life in the Catholic Church, died on Oct. 6. He was 82.

Fr. Bedard was born and raised in Ottawa and ordained a priest at Blessed Sacrament Church in Ottawa on June 6, 1955. For many years, he was a teacher at St. Pius X High School in Ottawa.

In January of 1984, Fr. Bedard began meeting with a group of young men to provide mutual support and prayer. In the fall of that year, he was appointed as pastor of St. Mary's parish in Ottawa where he continued to meet with the young men. The group grew and became a community of priests and seminarians. On Feb. 11, 1988, Ottawa Archbishop Joseph-Aurèle Plourde granted the Companions of the Cross official recognition. At this same time, a group of lay people in active association with the Companions of the Cross began to form a group of lay associates.

In May of 2003, Archbishop Marcel Gervais issued the decree establishing the Companions of the Cross as a society of apostolic life. In June of that same year, the Servants of the Cross, a group of sisters following the spirituality of the Companions of the Cross, was established.

The Companions of the Cross have foundations in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Houston and Detroit. There are currently 37 ordained priests as members and eight seminarians.

Visitation for Fr. Bedard will be at St. Mary's Church, 100 Young St., Ottawa, on Oct. 11, from 10:45 am to 3:30 pm, and from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., will preside at the funeral Mass to be held at Notre Dame Cathedral-Basilica Oct. 12 at 2 p.m.

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