Because of the intertwining of history of politics, Roman Catholicism is still quite strongly the default religious expression in Quebec – and as a result, in the rest of francophone Canada. The Anglican Church of Canada has gone through various iterations of identity when it comes to relating to francophone Canadians. There remains to this day in some parts of our church a lingering discomfort and a feeling that attempting to reach out to francophone Canadians might be encroaching on someone else’s “turf”.
There are, however, many attempts to break down these stereotypes. French speaking Québécois and Canadians wander into our communities and like what they see. Several communities across Québec are evolving in response to their presence, and becoming bilingual. There are experiments in planting home-grown francophone congregations, as well as experiments in non-parish-based ministry.
In this context, I hope to highlight some of the things that are happening in french language ministry in our church, and to consider some of the challenges faced by those of us who are learning “on the ground”. Those engaged in francophone ministry will hopefully find and offer encouragement and support; I hope that others who are in more traditional parishes will find it interesting to notice and consider the kinds of things they are able to take for granted.
God willing, working together we can turn our small offerings into something which shows forth the glory of God.