The so-called “silent revolution” in Quebec in the 1960s has turned year after year into the “silent de-Christianity” or “silent apostasy” of all of Canada.
The Catholic website Repost commemorates this slow, unstoppable decline in northern Ontario on April 27, 2021: “On July 16, 2017, Radio Canada listed about fifteen churches that have been closed and sold since 2004, while Timmins Parish includes five churches in In 2010, the Diocese of Sault-Sainte-Marie closed another five and sold three English-speaking churches in Sault Sainte-Marie itself.
In the same year, the French-speaking churches of the Resurrection and the Sacred Heart in Sturgeon Falls (which were demolished in 2015) and North Bay ceased operations, while the Hearst Diocese sold St. Rita’s Church and Rectory. In 2011 the same parish closed St. Stanislaus Church in Harti.
Finally, St. Mathieu de Wannabetai, bilingual in French and English, ceased operations in 2016. Additionally, the Youville orphanage in Sudbury was closed and destroyed in 2005.
Those closures have since continued and accelerated across Canada with the coronavirus crisis and severe region restrictions — in Quebec, for example, the number of worshipers allowed to attend mass has been kept at fifty months since April 6. reduced to 25.
In Quebec, church attendance, which was previously down 3 to 4% annually, was down 10% in the year prior to Covid-19 and by a fifth in the year of the pandemic. Many believers participated in mass online, but did not return to churches. This fact made the financial situation of the parishioners more difficult, which saw themselves largely being forced to separate from their churches.
The Quebec motto currently appears to contradict Catholic amnesia. Historian Thomas Chapis said in 1895: “This motto has only three words: ‘I remember’; but these three words, in their simplicity, deserve the most eloquent speech. Yes, we remember.”
We remember the past and its lessons, the past and its misfortunes, and the past and its glory. I hope Bell County realizes that without this memory there is no future, because it is impossible to know where we are going if we do not know where we are from!