Companions on the the Mission (Permission)
Song for Fr Bob Bedard

In his testimony, David describes how meeting Fr. Bob in 1988 caused him to become Catholic and saved his life. Like many hundreds of people touched by Fr. Bob, they maintained a lifelong friendship. Fr. Bob interviewed David across three episodes of the TV show "Food for Life". David's story "From Broadway to Fr. Bob-way" was included in the Companions' book "Tributes". Fr. Bob was a guest three times on David's weekly radio show that aired on CHRI radio in Ottawa in 2008 (shows linked below).

Story of the Song "Companions on the the Mission (Permission)"

David wrote the opening guitar riff and verse melody in November 1984, an unfinished song. Providentially, this was the year Fr. Bob began meeting with three seminarians informally, which was the genesis for the Companions of the Cross.

David gave up recording in 2008 after injuring his voice and later became a busy husband and dad. In 2011, he photographed Fr Bob's entombment. That year year he completed the song he started 27 years earlier. The song traces Fr. Bob hearing the word "Permission", his preaching of it to St. Mary's Church, and the subsequent formation of the Companions of the Cross. In 2023, David updated his studio to record his daughter singing A Jewelled Sword for his wife Kirsten who has late stage ALS. With the studio set up after 15 years of inactivity, it was finally time to record the song "Companions on the Mission (Permission)".

Draft recording of "Companions on the Mission (Permission)"

We have versions right now full production and no drums. We're still tweaking the vocals, drums, bass, speed of song, and mix levels. You can email us here to make any suggestions for the mix and to let us know which one you like best.

Companions on the Mission (Permission) --- Full production (polished and broadcast friendly)
Companions on the Mission (Permission) --- No Drums (more intimate)
  • Lead vocals: Rose Vandenberg
  • Background vocals: Cameron and Sara Turner, Rose Vandenberg, Adessa MacDonald
  • Guitars, keys, programming, engineering, music and lyrics: David MacDonald

Companions on the Mission  (Permission)
Song for Fr. Bob Bedard written in 2011-2013, recorded in 2023

A simple word, was all he heard                      (permission)
Spirit whispered, and his heart was stirred
He was a faithful priest who’d fast and pray
For a parish that had lost its way

The Great I Am
Held out his hand
Asking for his permission
The priest agreed 
And came to be
A Companion on the mission
He said “Yes, I give you permission”

He preached the word that he had heard
It echoed off the walls of an almost empty church
They thought a distant God would never care 
About a “yes” we give him in our prayer

He found a hundred different ways
To weave his message into everything he’d say
Doubters left but seekers came
They began to hear what God was saying

The Great I Am
Held out his hand
Asking for their permission
The Church agreed
They came to be
Companions on the mission
They said “Yes, we give you permission”

Young hearts listened to the call
A living legacy of the priest who gave his all    
He said "Rise up Church, light the flame
Proclaim Jesus’ Name"

The Great I Am
Holds out his hand
Asking for our permission
Who are we
That we should be
Companions on your mission
We say “Yes, we give you permission”

Like Our Lady, we give you permission

By David MacDonald, © Oct 8, 2011 – March 2013,

Interviews with Fr. Bob on David's radio show

Title Description
Listen or download
Fr. Bob's personal encounter with Christ David interviews Father Bob Bedard. Fr. Bob is the founder of the “Companions of the Cross”, which is a new community of priests that are spreading out across Canada and into the United States. He is the author of 7 books, including “Reflections of a Veteran Priest”, and is the host of the popular TV series “Food for Life” which shows on stations across North America. In this interview, Fr. Bob will give the testimony of his personal encounter with the Lord and how that has affected the way he ministers as a Priest.
Fr. Bob
St. Mary's Church turn around
David interviews Father Bob Bedard who describes how St. Mary’s Church in Ottawa, went from a parish of a few dozen members in a fading congregation, to a vibrant Spirit filled Church full of people and joyous music, after he “gave the Lord permission” to move. Fr. Bob is the Host for Food For Life, a popular Catholic TV program and also the writer of 7 books including the popular “Reflections of a Veteran Priest”.
Fr. Bob and the Companions of the Cross David interviews Fr. Bob Bedard who describes how the Lord moved through a small group of Priests, to create one of the fastest growing orders of priest in North America. Fr. Bob is the Host for “Food for Life”, a popular Catholic TV program and also the writer of 7 books including the popular “Reflections of a Veteran Priest”.
Fr. Bob on SUffering and Healing David interviews Fr. Bob Bedard who will speak about physical healing and the role of suffering in the lives of the faithful. Why does God sometimes heal and sometimes allow suffering. How can we put suffering to good use? What disposes us to the healing power of Jesus?

Top Bedardisms

  1. Lord, if you're real, show me
  2. Give God permission
  3. The decision to stay up late is the decision to not pray in the morning
  4. Tell God you'll do anything He wants - anything at all
  5. Lord, whatever you want me to do, I will do
  6. God wants to run His Church
  7. Don't make any major moves without consulting the Lord first
  8. We need to take the Lord seriously, but not take ourselves too seriously
  9. It makes no sense to catechize our people before they have been evangelized
  10. We cannot assume that the average Catholic who attends Mass on Sunday has been evangelized
  11. If its not God's will, it's not worth doing



Entombment ceremony pictures of Fr. Bob Bedard
by David MacDonald (AKA Hugh on this site)

Above: Chris Keyes (Left), Archbishop Prendergast (right)

Sisters of the Cross lead in prayerful music

Faithful friends of Fr. Bob, witnessing what will become an historic event

Bishop Prendergast, incense around the altar

Deacon Marc Gauthier preparing the gifts

The sunset sky cleared up for the service, it was cloudy all day, the prayers of the faithful drove away the
cloud and rain much like when the Pope arrived at World Youth Day in 2002

Communion time

Prayer time after Communion

Preparing for the entombment, the altar for the Mass was Fr. Bob's tomb

Placing Fr. Bob in his final resting place as the faithful praise the Lord

Sealing the Tomb, until the day of Resurrection, while the Sister's of the Cross praise Jesus

The completion of the first of many thousands of pilgrimages to the resting place of Fr. Bob,
who we believe one day will be known as Saint Bob Bedard.

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