"Same-sex couples in the diocese of Quebec will soon be able to receive a blessing of their civil union. Quebec's diocesan synod, which met Nov. 2 to 4 , passed a motion supporting Bishop Dennis Drainville's wish to permit the blessing of same-gender unions. The motion also requests the creation of a working group to advise the bishop on how a 'pastoral response' can be implemented for those seeking to have their union blessed". [Text of entire article.]
Archbishop Fred Hiltz commented on the 20 October 2009 announcement of an Apostolic Constitution that "made a provision for Anglicans who want to be received into full communion with the See of Rome, to retain certain aspects of the Anglican tradition. Details released on Nov. 9  show that it allows Anglican converts to retain some of their traditions and practices, such as the eucharist." Archbishop Hiltz said: "I personally don't think there are going to be any huge implications from this. We are talking about a very small number of [Anglican] people who will respond to this provision that the Pope [Benedict XVI] is putting in place". The Canadian Anglican-Roman Catholic Bishops' Dialogue is scheduled to meet on 18 and 20 November 2009 in Vancouver, B.C., and the main topic of discussion will be "the growing global problem of human traffficking". "Dialogue co-chair, Dennis Drainville, bishop of the diocese of Quebec [said] 'I think the good will that has been built up over 40 years will continue'. However, he expected many questions [to] surface at the meeting, such as, 'What does this mean ? Why has this come now ? Why has there been no consultation on the part of the Vatican with the Anglican Communion ?'"
"Despite undergoing a major restructuring for the last four or five years, people in the diocese of Quebec are starting to feel more energized and hopeful". "One of the biggest changes has been improvement in the diocese's financial situation. For years, cash flow has been decreasing along with the number of people attending church in parishes outside major cities. Fifty years ago, the population of Anglicans in Quebec was 25,000; today it is less than 4,000". "By shifting expectations away from receiving donations made by people in the pews to investment income, the diocese has been able to stabilize its financial situation somewhat. The sale of Quebec Lodge, a diocesan camp no longer in operation, for $3.2 million" has given more financial breathing room. "In addition, ministries have been restructured with regional team ministries replacing the old parish structure. It 'didn't really suit our needs anymore as a diocese or as a people of God', Bishop Drainville told the 'Anglican Journal'." "Three areas of mission also have been identified, giving people in the diocese new energy and optimism. Significant steps have been taken to increase engagement with the francophone community". "Tackling the dilemma of trying to bring spirituality to a society that has largely rejected religion is another focus". "The third focus of mission is social justice". "Some of the diocese's 82 churches will still have to close, but some congregations are already accepting this".
"In mid-December , the diocese of Quebec completed a four-year process of divestment from fossil fuels and resource extraction, making it the first diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada to fully divest from both mining and fossil fuels. In a report to the synod of the diocese of Quebec in November , Bishop Dennis Drainville noted that since the Church Society of the Diocese of Quebec passed a motion to divest from resource extraction holdings at its annual general meeting four years ago, $525,000 has been divested from gold and copper mining operations. Following a subsequent motion in 2014 calling on the investment committee to get out of oil and gas, $1.72 million has been divested from fossil fuels". "In 2006, the diocese of Quebec was hemorrhaging money, with operating losses at almost $800,000, for its church society and almost $100,000 for synod., Drainville noted in his charge to synod. .... Given that the diocese could no longer rely on congregational offerings in order to remain solvent, Drainville said it began to liquidate assets and turn to investment as its main source of revenue". "'Five years, 10 years ago, when people were speaking about ethical investments, you would always hear people .. say things like, "Fine, but you're not going to make any money investing ethically." Well, that's nonsense, absolute nonsense', [Drainville] said. 'There's a world of investment out there -- you just have to be educated and make the kinds of choices that are appropriate'."
"This is the first of a two-part series that will provide an in-depth look at the current state of the Anglican diocese of Quebec, as well as hopes and plans for the future".
"When asked where the current demographic struggles of the diocese began, every single Quebec Anglican the 'Anglican Journal' spoke to cited two factors, both of which have a common root in the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s: secularization, the speed of which has been unrivalled in the Western world, and the out-migration of hundreds of thousands of English-speakers following the rise of Quebec nationalism and the passing of the Charter on the French Language in 1977, which made French the province's official language". "Attempts have been made by the diocese to reach out to French-speaking Quebecers, including an increasing number of churches that offer bilingual services. But the extent of these ministries is limited by the reality that one of the main attractions of coming to church for many English-speakers is precisely the fact that it is one of the few institutions that still functions in English". "'Lay leaders have taken a greater role -- there is much more of an acceptance that you don't have a parish priest', [Jim Sweeny, the diocese's archivist and property manager] says. The new model in his own region, the archdeaconry of St. Francis, is to have a team of priests and lay readers who share responsibility for the entire jurisdiction". "'We are on the cutting edge. The real benefit of being here in Quebec, and being a remnant community, is we do not have the luxury of pretending that we matter, that people think we're important, that we can rest on our history or our influence in communities', says Archdeacon Edward Simonton, who serves the St. Francis archdeaconry".
See also inset "Diocese of Quebec vital statistics".
"The Anglican diocese of Quebec is 'teetering on the verge of extinction' as parish finances continue to collapse and the number of parishioners dwindle. This doom-and-gloom message was delivered to the recent Canadian House of Bishops meeting here [2-6 November 2009] by Bishop Dennis Drainville, who declared that he could possibly be the 'last bishop of Quebec'." "People are looking for three things in a church he said: 'a compassionate, caring community; a transformational relationship with God, and life-changing liturgy'. Although the Anglican Church has these, '..we don't know how to present this to society', he said. Quebec will not be the only diocese to falter, he warned." "He noted that a vast majority of Quebec congregations (50 of 82) virtually have no children, 35 had parishioners with an average age of 75, and usually had only 8 to 10 people attending Sunday services." "With no money coming in from parishes, 'we have not paid our national assessment in church for two years,' said Bishop Drainville. 'I have not pride in that'."
"Separate offerings were made by the ELCIC's [Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada] National Convention and the General Synod of the Anglican church for those affected by severe floods that hit Calgary and southern Alberta on June 20 . There was also a moment of silence in memory of at least 13 people killed by a devastating freight train derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Que., on July 6 . The bishop of the diocese of Quebec, Dennis Drainville, travelled with his wife, Deacon Cynthia Patterson, to Lac-Magantic on July 7. They met with clergy and other survivors and evacuees housed at the local high school, some of whom were asking how God could allow such a tragedy to occur. 'The issue is not coming here to provide answers. The issue is to be with people', Drainville told the diocesan newspaper, the 'Gazette'. 'At the very core of a crisis like this, the need is to let people know that they are not alone'. In Calgary, the diocesan bishop Greg Kerr-Wilson urged members of his diocese to reach out to congregations and individuals who have been affected by the severe flooding in southern Alberta". "The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund sent an initial $15,000 grant to the diocese and announced that it is also accepting donations that will go toward areas of priority identified by the diocese. These include providing for the immediate needs of people from Siksika First Nation, where 1,000 people have been displaced and 280 homes destroyed, and drinking water has to be trucked in".
"Bishop Dennis Drainville of the diocese of Quebec has announced that he will likely retire in 2017. An August 6  statement posted to the diocesan website said that a co-adjutor bishop would be elected at the synod scheduled to take place on November 26-29 , that this bishop would be ordained in March 2016 and that Drainville would finalize a date for his retirement by Dec. 1, 2016. Because a co-adjutor bishop has the right of succession, upon Drainville's retirement that individual would automatically become the 13th diocesan bishop of Quebec. Drainville, 61, said this arrangement would help his successor get a sense of the challenges and issues facing the diocese. 'I hate to say this, but there's nothing that prepares you for the job of bishop ..'." "Drainville ran in the recent Montreal episcopal election on a platform of merging the dioceses of Quebec and Montreal, but lost to Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson. He said his decision to retire was not related to the result of that election, noting he has been talking about a possible merger for the past five years". "In 1990, he ran in the Ontario provincial election and was elected as part of Bob Rae's NDP [New Democratic Party] government, only to leave provincial politics three years later after splitting with the NDP over the party's support for bringing casinos into the province. He made the switch to federal politics in 1993, but lost".