CNS photo/Francois Gloutnay, Presence

Montreal marks diocesan service with annual Bourget Awards

  • January 20, 2024

After a four-year pandemic hiatus, the Archdiocese of Montreal announced the recipients of the Bourget awards for diocesan service, singling out four individuals and two groups.

André Lachambre was for 30 years a teacher to the deaf and after retirement continued to serve the hearing-impaired through the Maison de la Foi, which he co-founded with Fr. Gérard Bernatchez. Pierrette Bujold and Claude Laflèche of the Service Avant Mariage Laval marriage preparation team have been working for 26 years to prepare couples for sacramental marriage, while Joseph Thanh Hao Truong from Saints-Martyrs-du-Vietnam Mission has been involved in parish life since 1983, serving as a catechist and founder of the group Entré dans la vie.

The organization Carrefour Foi et Spiritualité is a faith community centre established in response to the 1996 Montreal Synod. The stated mission of the centre is “to inspire in people a spirituality that promotes and integrates the search for meaning, psychospiritual development, living together, as well as the social and environmental commitment.”

The only new initiative to be acknowledged this year is the technology and evangelization team of Ste-Thérèse d’Avila Mission, a mission to Spanish-speaking Catholics of Montreal.

“During the COVID pandemic,” explained Auxiliary Bishop Alain Faubert, who announced the 2023 Ignace Bourget Diocesan Medal of Merit recipients at the first of three Epiphany gatherings sponsored by the archdiocese, “they put together the communication initiative, social networks and email, and they have this technical committee to spread the Good News throughout the internet.”

The group was recognized for its “originality and modern, concrete approach to current and anticipated future Church needs.”

The Epiphany celebrations for priests, diocesan staff and parish volunteers were first held in 2012 at the suggestion of Archbishop Christian Lépine.

Faubert prefaced the Jan. 10 announcement with a reflection on Bishop Ignace Bourget, the long-serving second bishop of Montreal, after whom the award is named. Bourget served as bishop of Montreal from 1840 to 1876.

“We remember Bishop Bourget,” said Faubert, “as a man so committed to social life, as a witness to the faith in the changing world of 19th-century Montreal.”

Faubert said that the Bourget awards honour those people who “are working hard, like the Magi, like the Shepherds in the field.”

“People who are working hard but have not been fully recognized for what they have been accomplishing for so many years,” he said.

Faubert noted that the recipients “did not work to receive an award, and they might be surprised to even receive one, but we want to recognize their big efforts.”

“We want to point out, ‘oh look, there is something good going on here!’ ”

With a nod to culturally and linguistically diverse character of both the 2023 Bourget Medal recipients and the Archdiocese of Montreal, Faubert emphasized that “there is only one Church in Montreal, despite the diversity of our charisms and our cultures.”

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.