20 September 2001

His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Vatican City

Most Holy Father:

Once again, assembled on the banks of the historic Saint Lawrence River, the Bishops of Canada in Plenary Assembly send greetings to you, our most esteemed Holy Father. Not far from our minds is the wonderful celebration scheduled for next July when we can greet you in Toronto for World Youth Day 2002. We will be discussing this event during this meeting of our Plenary, along with plans for the Third Continental Congress on Vocations to take place in Montreal next April.

Our agenda also includes reflections by Their Eminences Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte and Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic on your magnificent Apostolic Letter, Novo millennio ineunte, for which the bishops, clergy, those in consecrated life and the laity of Canada are most grateful. There will also be attentive work on the Instructio generalis of the tertia editio typica of the Roman Missal, which we hope will help ensure prayerful and spiritually enriching liturgical celebrations in the years to come. As well, we will be focusing in a special way on contemporary challenges and opportunities in the faith education of children, youth and adults.

Conscious of the spiritual hunger of so many, from our urban areas to our frontier regions, we have not forgotten your Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America, and continue to endeavour centring the notion of new evangelization at the very heart of our pastoral plans and activities. For this same reason, we also have great hope that the forthcoming meeting of the Synod of Bishops will result in renewed spiritual energies that will continue to transform the People of God and bring empowering new life to all the Church in Canada.

In joyful anticipation of your 55th anniversary of priesthood which you will be celebrating on 1 November, Holy Father, we assure you that you are always in our prayers and in turn we ask your apostolic blessing on our 2001 Plenary Assembly.

Sincerely in the Lord,

+ Gerald Wiesner, OMI
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops