A “Father Henri Jubilee Year”.

"Father Roy is a spiritual giant!" These were the words of Lorraine (Noël) and George Provencher in the foreword to the volume "Jésus, je suis à toi!" -- "Jesus, I Am Yours".

Father Henri Roy is an emblematic figure who left his mark on the life of the Church and of Quebec society in the 20th century. Even today, he continues to be a source of inspiration for all the members of the Pius X Secular Institute and the many people who have encountered Jesus through the various apostolates set up by our Apostolic Family.

Whether through La Rencontre or the personal contact of members, through the apostolic work of La Maison du Renouveau or our discreet presence on the job market, through our publishing house Éditions le Renouveau and the Bible Reading Guide or a loving service to the poorest people we meet on a daily basis, there are thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of men and women who have opened their hearts to Jesus in order to receive salvation and taste true and lasting happiness! For this is God’s dream: that all his children should attain eternal happiness.

It was with this notion of happiness that Father Henri won over the first members of “the Family”. On November 11, 1939, in St. Cecilia’s Hall in St. Augustine’s parish in Manchester, New Hampshire in the United States, the young Oblate father, who had recently arrived from Canada, gathered a group of young people. Dynamic, ardent, enchanting, standing on a bench with his foot on the piano, he looks these young people straight in the eye. “Do you want to be happy?” he asks them. A simple question is all it takes for these youths to be won over and embark on the mad adventure of giving themselves totally to God. There’s no turning back!

On June 16, 2025, exactly one year from now, we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of Father Henri’s entry into the Inhabitable City. With the unanimous agreement of the members of the General Council, I am therefore declaring a “Father Henri Jubilee Year”. This jubilee year begins today, June 16, 2024, and will end on September 8, 2025.

This “Father Henri Jubilee Year” is an invitation for members to rediscover the spirituality of our founder and to see how it continues to be lived out in our commitment. I arrived a few days ago from a visit to the Guatemala region. As with each of my visits to the regions where our Family has taken root in recent years, I came away moved and overwhelmed to see our members and candidates share with me their experience of Father Henri. Yet they never met him when he was still alive; most of them have never even met any of the founding members, nor those of the first or second generation. And yet, they have received an interior grace to “know” Father Henri and to live “in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:24) the charism, spirituality and mission of the Pius X Secular Institute.

“We are living in a time of crisis and upheaval. The whole of society seems to be tottering on its foundations, everything is confused. A large number of people, even in countries that are said to be Christian, no longer accept the absolute concepts of good and evil, but adapt their lives to ever-changing standards based solely on the whim of the moment or selfish appetites.” These words were published in 1959 in the introduction to the Constitution of the Pius X Secular Institute at the time of its canonical approval. They are still as relevant today as they were then!

Over the next few months, the members of the General Council and the regional leaders will be proposing a series of activities and resources for reflection so that we can delve deeper into the person, spirituality, mystique and spiritual gift of Father Henri. It will be a year in which we do not look to the past to idealise Father Henri, but look to the future to live more intensely today and tomorrow the mission that has been entrusted to us. Father Henri’s genius remains a great spiritual source that can quench not only our thirst for the infinite but also that of many of our loved ones and contemporaries.

This is why today, in this “Father Henri Jubilee Year”, we are called to repeat our full and total “yes” in order to “know, love and serve Christ in order to make him known, loved and served” by all our brothers and sisters who cross our path every day. May Father Henri guide us today and every day of this jubilee year to the great encounter with Jesus. May it be “dear Him”, as Father Henri called Jesus, who guides our steps towards a greater fidelity and a greater generosity in order to “renew all things in Christ”.

Given in Quebec City, on 16 June 2024, on the 59th anniversary of Father Henri Roy’s arrival to heaven.

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