Our bishop (insert the name of your bishop here) exercises his ministry through many people in our diocese: priests, permanent deacons, religious sisters and brothers, lay pastoral assistants and thousands of volunteers. But he can also count on the help of his brother bishops through the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).
The CCCB, the association of all the Bishops of Canada, is an important element of the Catholic Church in Canada, carrying out many tasks at the national level so as to be heard as a single voice. Among other things, the Conference intervenes with the Canadian Government and interacts with representatives of the Holy See and other episcopal conferences around the world. The Conference voices its concerns when the government proposes to redefine marriage, discourages war as was the case in the Iraq conflict, participates in discussions on the future of the Holy Land, and publishes textbooks to help children on their faith journey.
The CCCB fulfills a unique role. In order to assist (your bishop’s name) and the Bishops of Canada to continue working together, a special collection is held each year on the last Sunday of September in most parishes across the country. Your contribution is essential in aiding the bishops to do their work collectively. Thank you for your generosity in helping our Church and its mission. For more information: www.cccb.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org
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You are well aware of the close relationship between your parish and your diocese: youth ministry, social action, the sacraments, Christian and adult faith education. But did you know your diocese also plays a role on the national and international levels?
As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), (Bishop’s name goes here) can speak out in the name of the faithful of the diocese on many important issues and events. People often wonder how to make their voices heard, or what can they do in support of their prayers for peace and their cry for justice in God’s name, or how to counter political decisions that go against the principles of their Catholic faith. In many ways, the CCCB provides the bishops and their Christian communities with a special voice in the public forum.
You can help your bishop and the CCCB through the Bishops’ Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada, held annually on the last Sunday of September in most parishes in Canada. The monies received will help (your bishop’s name) and his brother bishops to finance the CCCB which plays a valuable role in supporting their ministry.
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If you were asked to describe what the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops does, you might answer that it represents the Bishops of Canada and allows them to work together for the good of our Church. Others may recall World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, and the Pilgrimage of the Relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
But the CCCB does much more. It produces textbooks for Catholic schools in Christian education; it participates in dialogues with other Christian denominations and faith groups; it promotes missionary work in other parts of the world as well as in Canada’s North; it works with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to promote international solidarity with less fortunate countries; it speaks out nationally on important family and life issues, health care, child poverty, racism and discrimination.
For the Church in Canada, the CCCB plays a vital role and is closely connected with your diocese through (your bishop’s name here). In order to continue its work, the CCCB needs your financial help. We thank you for your generosity during the Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada, held every year on the last Sunday of September. For more information: www.cccb.ca or email@example.com
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Each year at this time, the Bishops of Canada ask for your support and prayers in order to carry out some of the most vital and important activities in the life of our Church. Your participation in the Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada ensures that the voice of the Bishops is heard nationally on such issues as concern for justice and peace, the definition of marriage, the elimination of racism, the importance of families, the protection of the environment, and defending human life from conception until death.
While each diocese and eparchy is autonomous, the bishops collaborate collegially through the CCCB to give a national voice to their work, and where opportune to develop national projects. Some of these areas of cooperation are Christian education, the development of liturgical texts, ecumenical dialogue, interfaith discussions, and questions of social justice, both nationally and internationally.
Your contribution to the Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada provides you an opportunity to participate in the work of the Bishops in helping to bring the Good News to a world in need of Christ’s message of hope and love.
As President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, I thank you for participating in the 2004 Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada. The Bishops of Canada count on your continued prayers and generous support.
Yours in Christ,
+Brendan M. O’Brien
Archbishop of St. John’s
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops