This letter to you marks one of my last responsibilities as president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) as my two-year term comes to an end this month.
The pamphlet you have in hand is to announce the next annual Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada, to be held during the weekend of 24 – 25 September 2005.
Over the course of the past seven years, I have been closely involved in the life of our Episcopal Conference as a member of both the Permanent Council and the Executive Committee. I can assure you that the CCCB offers to the whole church a range of services that no other Canadian Catholic organization can provide. Its work allows it to accomplish a mission that is both fundamental and unique.
When the Bishops of Canada created the CCCB over 60 years ago, they did so to establish a forum through which they could work and act together. A national conference enables them to coordinate their resources and supports them in the exercise of their pastoral ministry. It also offers a setting to discuss and act on the important questions of the day. Despite the passage of over 60 years, the Conference continues to be guided by its founding principles of pastoral service. The CCCB represents not only source of strength for our bishops, but for the Church as a whole.
As you are well aware, without the support and collaboration of pastors our efforts in inviting the faithful to respond generously to this annual collection would be in vain. At the same time, there are some parishes in which the CCCB is almost unknown.
As you consult this pamphlet, I hope you will find all the information you require to know more about the Conference, its mission, projects and activities. Also included is a selection of texts created especially for use in your parish bulletins, and presenting some highlights to help promote the Collection among parishioners.
In the name of my brother Bishops, and especially the Bishop of your diocese, I thank you for promoting within your parish the 2005 Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada by inviting the faithful to be generous toward the CCCB. Your collaboration is crucial and serves as a vital sign of commitment to our common mission and to the support of our ministry.
+ Most Reverend Brendan M. O’Brien
Archbishop of St. John’s
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops