Depuis cinq ans déjà, notre archevêque, Mgr Marcel Gervais, s'exprime sur une variété de questions liées à la foi. Ces textes ont d'abord été publiés dans le Ottawa Citizen sous la rubrique «Ask the religion experts» . La traduction est faite par M. Gilles Ouellette d.p. À compter du mois de juin 2005, Mgr Patrick Powers, Vicaire général, assumera cette responsabilité.

Do the faithful in your group dress in a particular way to express their religion? (i.e. Hajibs, yarmelukes) What is the significance of each item of dress?

We have no prescription of a specific or particular type of dress for the laity. Nonetheless, the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls us to be modest. It reminds us that forms of modesty can vary from one culture to another. "Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man"(no. 2524). It awakens in each of us a genuine respect for the human person.

It is through baptism that we become Catholics and thus subject to the teachings of the Church. Near the end of the sacrament, the priest says: "You have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ. Receive this baptismal garment and bring it unstained to the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ so that you may have everlasting life." It is pure white and reminds each of us that in putting on Christ, we must - until death - be his witnesses. In the baptism of adults, the white garment which they put on is a type of alb - a striking sign to all those present of the inward change which has just taken place in them.

One of our former Archbishops used to take this example a step further when speaking of the liturgy. The members of the faithful who serve at the altar frequently wear this same type of alb, which is a reminder of one of the ways in which they are living out their baptismal call. Consequently, they challenge us to live out our baptismal promises as well. We are respectful of the practices of all other faiths. However, as we live our lives, rather than wearing a particular item, style or even colour, we are asked to dress both inside and out - in a respectful manner which befits our status as children of God.