15 October 2002
His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Most Holy Father:
In this year 2002, which will so significantly mark the history of the Church in our country with the North American Congress for Vocations to the Ordained Ministry and the Consecrated Life and World Youth Day, the Bishops of Canada will again assemble in Plenary Assembly on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, 17 - 22 October.
Our assembly cannot begin its meeting without first conveying to you our affection and gratitude, recalling especially your extraordinary visit to the World Youth Day celebrations in Toronto. For years to come, the Church in our land shall reap the abundant benefits of those unforgettable days. Your invitation to see youthfulness not in the measure of years but in the richness of the Spirit has indeed been heard, and also your repeated urging that we begin this millennium by advancing into the deep.
During this meeting of our Plenary Assembly, we hope to establish a structure and a basic approach to assist us in the proper development of the blessings received in the events of this past year. As well, we will give special attention to the liturgy in the life of the Church and to your Apostolic Letter Misericordia Dei. We will also continue to ponder how best to fulfill our mission with the Aboriginal Peoples, not only in our North but more and more in our major urban areas.
We thank the Father of all blessings for the apostolic ministry that you have courageously and creatively exercised as the Successor of Peter for 24 years now. In full communion and fraternal collaboration with you, we deeply appreciate your understanding of and love for the Church in Canada.
Assuring you, Most Holy Father, of our fraternal prayers, we ask your apostolic blessing on our Plenary Assembly.
In Christ Jesus,
+ Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V.
Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops