Again this year, with the collaboration of Salt + Light TV, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is providing on the home page of its website Salt + Light's special schedule of Christmas and New Year celebrations presided by Pope Francis.
Link to the special broadcasting schedule
During 2015, the World Meeting of Families will take place in Philadelphia in September and the General Synod of the Bishops on the Family will meet in October in Rome. Throughout the year, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will continue to post possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the Sunday liturgy with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. The proposed texts for the first month of 2015 include suggestions from the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, January 1, to the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 25, including suggestions for the Sunday celebrations of the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord. January 1 is also the World Day of Peace. The theme chosen by Pope Francis for his World Day of Peace Message is "No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters". As usual, the suggestions for homilies and prayers can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of January are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section "Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB".
The Honorable Dennis Savoie, the new Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See, presented his Credentials to the Holy Father on December 15, 2014, which marks the beginning of his four-year appointment. Originally from New Brunswick, Mr. Savoie was actively involved for many years with the Knight of Columbus, and represented the Supreme Council on the Board of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF). He succeeds Ms. Anne Leahy whose appointment ended in September 2012.
Link to the report on the Vatican Information Website
During its last National Council meeting, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) elected the members of its Executive Committee, as well as of its Standing Liaison Committee which regularly meets with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). The newly elected CCODP President is Mr. Ray Temmerman from Manitoba. He succeeds Mr. Pat Kennedy from Newfoundland/Labrador.
Link to the CCODP media release
Following a symposium in August 2014, co-hosted by the Archdiocese of Toronto and St. Augustine's Seminary on the theme "Faith in the Public Square", a new Website has been launched at www.faithinthepublicsquare.com. The new Website includes the video archives of the symposium's key guest speakers, as well as written testimonies from the participants. The symposium was part of a year-long series of celebrations marking the centenary of St. Augustine's Seminary, Toronto.
On December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Church in Canada celebrates the National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. This project, with the approval of the Bishops of Canada, has been coordinated since 2002 by the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council (CCAC). "This year and next, as we join our Bishops in reflecting on the pastoral challenges for the family and its needs and role in evangelization, the members of the CCAC wish to honour elders who helped them develop their own faith."
Link to the 2014 Message
Today, December 10, 2014, the Holy See released the Holy Father's Message for the 48th World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on January 1, 2015. The theme chosen by Pope Francis is "No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters".
Link to the Message
Vatican City, 9 December 2014 (VIS) – The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops today issued a press release on the publication of the Lineamenta for the next Ordinary General Synod of Bishops, to take place 4 to 25 October, 2015, on the theme "The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world".
Link to Vatican Information Service
Link to the document
As I write this Christmas message, barely a week has gone by since Remembrance Day, a day marked by the still fresh memory of the recent assassinations of two members of the Canadian Armed Forces. This year, Christmas in Canada will take on a different shading, muted and somber, because of these events which have saddened our hearts and our spirits. Many voices proclaimed that Canada "lost its innocence" in October 2014. I understand and sympathize with that feeling. However, we should remember that our country's history has been scarred by many episodes of sporadic violence: the kidnapping of Chief Donnacona by Jacques Cartier, the assassination of Member of Parliament Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the violent death of demonstrators during the Winnipeg general strike, the assault on the Quebec National Assembly, the Montreal massacre at the École Polytechnique. These examples, among many, should dispel our illusions. And it's not just our past. Our present also confronts us with gang crimes, sexual assaults, family violence and workplace harassment. All of this convinces me that, sadly, we are not as innocent as we like to believe.
Pope Francis has sent a message to the participants of the recent international conference on human trafficking which took place December 5-6, 2014, in London, UK. The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), was there to represent the Bishops of Canada.
Link to the report on News.va
Calling on help again from the international community, the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land on December 5, 2014, expressed concern about the impact the proposed security wall will have on the mainly Christian community of the Beit Jala municipality, near Bethlehem.
(CCCB – Ottawa)... The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a new document entitled "The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today". Written from the current Canadian context, the text emphasizes that "spreading faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of humanity, is the Church's fundamental and primary mission" (no. 1). The reflection is primarily for pastors and those who serve in parishes, but also for all Catholics who wish to understand better the role of the parish in the Church's mission. The Commission notes that "it is through the parish that most Canadians experience the Catholic Church."