Letter from CCCB President for Lent 2010

Thursday, February 18 2010
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Ash Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Dear Brother Bishops,


Recently, I invited Catholics in Canada to participate in the DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE Share Lent Campaign, which annually finances the work of DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE as the official international development agency of the Catholic Church in Canada.

Over the past month, Canadians have been deeply moved by the overwhelming catastrophe which hit Haiti, a country that already knew extreme poverty and tribulation. Canadians have responded with generosity and compassion, and Catholics were among those in the forefront. The special collections organized across the country to provide aid to the victims in Haiti through the agency of DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE have to date succeeded in raising $13.5 million. These funds are already responding to the most urgent needs of Haitians and will also help provide long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation.

I am writing to thank you for your involvement in this, and for the unparalleled generosity of Catholics in your dioceses. At the same time, I also wish to recall that with the beginning of Lent the special appeal for Haiti comes to an end, and the Share Lent campaign of DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE begins. This annual collection is just as important and critical, since we can never forget the many people elsewhere who are also living in the midst of catastrophes, although ones that move more slowly and silently: hunger, injustice, violence, environmental degradation, lack of resources, and marginalization. Without our help to groups and people who are struggling to remedy injustice, defend the rights of the weakest and speak on behalf of the poor, those sufferings that Haiti well knew already before the earthquake would all pass by in silence.

At our Plenary Assembly last fall, we collectively reiterated our support for this year’s Share Lent campaign.

During Lent, let us not forget what must be done to build a just and peaceful world. I invite you to participate in the Share Lent campaign of DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE, and to encourage the faithful in your dioceses to contribute and support all who struggle for life with dignity.

Thank you for your attention to this.

Fraternally,

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+ Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
President
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops