Fr. Bob Bedard Founder of The Companions of the Cross

The inspiring life of Fr. Bob Bedard

Posted on October 15, 2011 by Deborah Gyapong

Fr. Bob Bedard's coffin leaves Notre Dame Cathedral for the cemetary Oct. 12
This past week, I attended the funeral of a beloved Ottawa priest, Fr. Bob Bedard. He founded an order of priests called the Companions of the Cross. The church that hosts the Adoration Chapel where I find such joy and quiet spiritual nourishment was Fr. Bob’s former parish. Over the years, I interviewed him several times. As was mentioned at his funeral, he always remembered your name and what was important to you. After even a telephone conversation with him, I would feel bouyed by God’s peace for a couple of weeks afterwards, he was that authentic and grace-filled.

Here’s an excerpt of my obituary:

Father Bob Bedard, the Ottawa priest who founded the Companions of the Cross more than 25 years ago, died peacefully Oct. 6 at the age of 82 after a long illness.

Bedard not only founded the charismatic order that has grown to include 40 priests, six religious sisters and hundreds of lay associates in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Detroit and Houston, he was one of the leaders in the charismatic renewal movement and the popular host of the television program Food for Life for many years.

Bedard’s life was also punctuated by a dark event that traumatized his St. Pius X High School Grade 13 religion class in 1975.

Robert Poulin, a troubled student opened fire on terrified students with a shotgun, killing one and seriously injuring several others before turning the weapon on himself. Before opening fire, Poulin had raped and murdered a young woman who had befriended him.

Though Bedard seldom spoke of this life-changing incident in media interviews, it occurred only six months after he had found renewal in his prayer life through the charismatic movement.

Twenty years later, he told an Ottawa Citizen columnist that the night he came home from that horrific event, he wept.

Then his eyes fell on these words in 2 Corinthians 4: “We are afflicted in every way possible but we are not crushed; full of doubt we never despair. We are persecuted but never abandoned. We are struck down but never destroyed.”

Bedard went on to become a leader of the charismatic renewal, speaking around North America and took over Food for Life, which is still hosted by the Companions.

It was so good to go to his wake and to be with people who were close to him, to see a side of the Catholic Church that is vibrant and loving and deeply faithful. His funeral packed Notre Dame Cathedral. And the Companions are rooting for us in our little Anglican Catholic Church of Canada. A Companion priest Fr. Francis Donnelly is accompanying our catechesis in Ottawa and he makes us all feel loved and welcome—he really wants us to be part of the Church. That is encouraging and hopeful.
In Memoriam  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjObM20qSfk

No comments: