The Diocese of Richmond was honored to have the Most Rev. Remi J. De Roo, S.T.D., Bishop-Emeritus of the Diocese of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Bishop Remi De Roo is one of the last surviving bishops of Vatican II who attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council between 1962 to 1964. Bishop Remi retired at age 75 thirteen years ago after thirty-seven years as the Bishop of Victoria. He was the youngest bishop in the world when he was ordained bishop at the age of 38 in 1962. He celebrates 50 years as a bishop in December 2012.
Bishop Remi was celebrant and homilist at many of the Masses during August 25th & 26th at Church of the Incarnation. Following is his recorded homily audio link. Bishop Remi is a gifted story teller and gave a fantastic talk about the history of the Second Vatican Council on Saturday Evening. Bishop Remi remembered that there was a great sense that the Holy Spirit was at work in helping the Second Vatican Council. He gave credit to both Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, but said it was the skills of Pope Paul VI that help bring the bishops together to agree on the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Bishop Remi highly recommended that everyone should take some time to read all the documents, but in reverse order. I thought this strange, but he said that some of the beauty and meaning of the first documents can’t be fully appreciated without understanding some of the ideas that came in the end of the council. He noted that in 1962 there were few women involved in the council, but said today there more women who are theologians than men. He gives great credit to women religious as carrying out the works of Christ in many places all over the globe he has travelled. Bishop Remi has been to many places including China three times to share his experiences with Vatican II and continuing to preach the good message of its creation and giving continued guidance to the Catholic Faith. Bishop Remi gave a great message of hope that he thought there were greater things to come, and this new generation have incredible tools such as the internet to help in learning, helping, and communicating. Bishop Remi also said that one should look at the word Eucharist as a verb and not a noun–through the Eucharist one should act as Jesus does through the teachings of the Beatitudes.
Bishop Remi De Roo is already a respected author, but is about to release a new book entitled, Remi De Roo: Chronicles of a Vatican II Bishop. Following is a description of the book from the publisher:
Fifty years ago, amidst the excitement and wonder of the early days of Vatican II, a young parish priest, Remi De Roo, is ordained as the Bishop of Victoria. Swiftly called to Rome, the young bishop participates in the enthralling and dramatic proceedings of one of the Catholic Churchʼs most memorable moments in history. Inspired by the passionate call to renew and reform Godʼs Church, he dedicates his life and ministry to the Councilʼs vision.
A rare memoir of the only surviving Canadian English-speaking bishop who participated in Vatican II, this book offers an intimate, insightful perspective on how Bishop Remi De Roo kept the vision of Vatican II alive.
Bishop Remi’s memoir provides an exceptional first hand perspective of the Council as well as the many joys and challenges of implementing its reform of the Church in the years after. Moreover, Bishop De Roo invites us to share in his colourful life as he reflects back on the many chapters of his life from the highs to the lows and the excitement of his priestly and episcopal years of service. As a participant in the Second Vatican Council from its beginning, Bishop De Roo continues to promote the Councilʼs message today.
Love One Another, composed by Bob Dufford, is a favorite Catholic Hymn that is used by many English speaking parishes around the globe. Bishop Remi was very pleased that this song was written for his 25th Anniversary as a Bishop, and is now the Catholic Hymn associated with the Diocese of Victoria. Deacon Chris Morash served as the Minister of Music for Bishop Remi at his cathedral in Victoria for 25 years. It is though the efforts of Deacon Chris Morash that we were able to invite Bishop Remi De Roo to help remember the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II. We want to thank this great shepherd of the church for his the very rare achievement of serving 50 years as a Bishop–God Bless Bishop Remi De Roo!
LINKS related to Vatican II
Great video below from Fr. Robert Barron explaining the history of Vatican II: