Deborah Gyapong: Father Andre Drouin's on the two faces of the Church

Father Andre Drouin's on the two faces of the Church

I love my work as a journalist because it gives me the opportunity to meet and write about people like Father Andre Drouin, on Ottawa priest.

Here's a link to my profile carried on Catholic Online.

OTTAWA, Canada (CCN) – Father André Drouin rushes from his office here and returns with a woven white and black rug. He holds up a side where black dominates the weave; when he turns it over, white dominates. He explains that just like the rug, the church is one, but it has two different faces: a celebratory face reflecting the love towards God, and face of service to others, reflecting love of our neighbors.

“We have been showing to people too often one face, the celebratory church,” Father Drouin said. “We have to show a little bit more the other face.”

“Some of the ceremonies for a new generation it says absolutely noting to them. But to be really involved we must make sure we keep contact with the Lord,” he said. “We cannot separate the celebrating church and the church that is involved.”

In his 49 years as a priest, Father Drouin has practiced what he preaches. For 23 years, he has been ministering to people dying of HIV/AIDS in the Ottawa Archdiocese, where he was born and raised. With the advance of life-prolonging drugs, there are fewer people he needs to see, but when he first started an HIV/AIDS diagnosis was “a death sentence,” leading to a burial within two years.

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