On May 15, 2016, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Holy See released the Message of the Holy Father for the 90th World Mission Sunday which will be celebrated October 23, 2016. In his Message, on the theme Missionary Church, Witness of Mercy, the Holy Father "invites us to consider the missio ad gentes as a great, immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material. On this World Mission Sunday, all of us are invited to 'go out' as missionary disciples, each generously offering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God's tenderness and compassion to the entire human family."
Link to Pope Francis' Message
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released its 2016 Message to Buddhists for the feast of Vesakh, on the theme "Buddhists and Christians: Together to Foster Ecological Education". This Buddhist holy day commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha who, according to tradition, was born, achieved enlightenment, and died during the full moon of the month of May. The feast of Vesakh (also spelled Vesak or Wesak in English) is usually observed on the day of the full moon in May, which in Canada this year falls on May 21.
Link to the Message
The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) has announced the appointment of Msgr. Robert J. Vitillo, C.S.S., as its new Secretary General, effective June 1, 2016. He succeeds Mr. Johan Ketelers who is completing his third term in office. Msgr. Vitillo is currently with Caritas Internationalis, and serves as both its Head of Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva and as Special Advisor on Health and HIV/AIDS. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is a member of ICMC. His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, serves as the Conference's representative on the ICMC Governing Committee.
Link to the Website of ICMC
In a recently published news release, the Apostolic Nunciature to Canada announced that Msgr. Maurizio Bravi, P.H., was appointed as Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the World Tourism Organization, and had left Canada for Rome on April 29. Msgr. Arnaldo Catalan, P.H., Counsellor at the Apostolic Nunciature has been likewise transferred to the Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippines, and Msgr. Emilio Sosa Rodríguez, currently counsellor at of the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States, has been appointed to the Apostolic Nunciature in Canada and will be arriving at the end of June 2016.
(CCCB – Ottawa)... On the Solemnity of Pentecost, celebrated this year on May 15, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released the Decree of promulgation for the following three French-language lectionaries: Lectionnaire dominical, Lectionnaire de semaine and Lectionnaire sanctoral et messes rituelles. The new edition of these three lectionaries will come into effect for use in the Catholic Church of the Roman rite in Canada as of September 4, 2016, the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time of the liturgical year C, hence replacing any other former edition. This past January, the CCCB received recognitio from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for use of the three lectionaries in the dioceses of Canada. This follows the publication in 2013 of the new Traduction officielle liturgique de la Bible.
A Breakfast Briefing is being sponsored on the "Hand in Hand" Jewish-Arab Schools which bring together thousands of children across Israel and teaches them the values of inclusion, understanding and multiculturalism. The Breakfast Briefing, on Monday, May 30, in English only, will be at the Toronto School of Theology and is sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), together with The Jerusalem Foundation of Canada. "Hand in Hand" is part of the CIJA Seek Peace and Pursue It Initiative. Space at the Breakfast Briefing is limited. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact
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The Standing Committee for Relations with Movements and Associations of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued its annual Pentecost message. Referring to how grace is always both a gift and a responsibility, the Standing Committee says that the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is an invitation to Catholic Movements and Associations to be open "to the gift of mercy" and "to take up the responsibility of promoting mercy. Our membership in the various Movements and Associations gives each of us unique opportunities to both experience God's mercy and be ambassadors of God's mercy."
Link to the message
In a news release issued yesterday, the Archdiocese of Ottawa has published the schedule of activities and celebrations during the National March for Life on May 12, 2016. Bishops will preside and participate at several Eucharistic celebrations, including His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa, the Most Reverend Brendan M. O'Brien, Archbishop of Kingston, the Most Reverend Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal, the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, the Most Reverend Christian Riesbeck, C.C., Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa, and the Most Reverend John Pazak, C.Ss.R., Eparchial Bishop elect of the Holy Mary of Protection Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix and Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada. A prayer service is also being organized by Ukrainian Catholics. Salt + Light Television will be on hand for news reports and interviews, as well as EWTN TV.
Link to the news release of the Archdiocese of Ottawa
On May 11, 2016, the Anglican Roman Catholic dialogue of Canada (ARC) and the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) are hosting an evening of prayer, discussion, and fellowship, sponsored by the University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto, and co-sponsored by Wycliffe College and Trinity College. The co-chairs of the two dialogues will reflect on Anglican-Roman Catholic relations on the national and international stage, using the overall theme "Two steps forward... one step back". The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, England, and the Most Reverend David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, will be speaking on behalf of the international dialogue (ARCIC) . The Right Reverend Linda Nicholls, Coadjutor Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Huron, and the Most Reverend Donald Bolen, Roman Catholic Bishop of Saskatoon, will be presenting on behalf of the national dialogue (ARC).
Link to the poster
On September 25, 2016, Pope Francis will celebrate with catechists around the world the Jubilee for Catechists. The Office for Evangelization and Catechesis has prepared an online resource The Jubilee for Catechists: Announcing the Mercy of God, that is available at http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/office-for-evangelization-and-catechesis/4482-jubilee-for-catechists, for use in dioceses and parishes. The resources can be used at any time throughout the pastoral year by clergy, directors of religious education, parish pastoral workers, chaplains, Catholic teachers and parents to emphasize the special role of the catechist. They have been designed in such a way that they can be used for reflection by individuals or in a larger group setting. Dioceses and parishes may wish to use the liturgical suggestions for a special blessing of catechists either on Sunday, September 25th, 2016 or at another time when catechists are gathered together.
Pope Francis and the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), have sent a message to the Most Reverend Paul Terrio, Bishop of Saint. Paul. Both texts concern the wildfire disaster in Fort McMurray and surrounding region. The letter from the President of the CCCB includes an invitation for all Bishops to encourage their faithful to pray for those in the city and area of Fort McMurray, as well as to make donations to assist those impacted by this terrible natural disaster.
(CCCB – Ottawa)... His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend John Pazak, C.Ss.R., as Eparchial Bishop of the Holy Mary of Protection Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix, Arizona. The Eparchy serves mainly the Ruthenian Catholics of western United States. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Pazak was the Eparchial Bishop of the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada, which has its See in the Toronto region. The Holy Father has also appointed Bishop Pazak Apostolic Administrator "sede vacante" of the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada -- that is, while the See in Toronto is vacant.