Dear brother Bishops and special guests,
This annual meeting of our Plenary Assembly takes place within the Church's celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. A member of the Executive Committee joyfully noted at our August meeting how this special year highlights the many references to mercy found throughout Scripture and in the Liturgy. Another spiritual fruit is it opens eyes and ears, minds and hearts, to where loving kindness still needs to be more evident and tangible in the lives of our communities and in our people's lives as well.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) continues to post possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the Sunday liturgy with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. The proposed texts for the month of October 2016 include suggestions from the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 2, to the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 30, including World Mission Sunday, October 23. As usual, these suggestions for homilies and prayers can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of October are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section "Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB".
(CCCB – Ottawa)... The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a new document entitled "The Co-responsibility of the lay Faithful in the Church and the World". This pastoral letter explores the great responsibility of the laity in God's plan for the world, in which they are not simply collaborators of the clergy but are truly "co-responsible" for the Church's being and acting. It notes the unique mission of the laity as being "in the world" and transforming it from within through their life and witness. It also discusses the danger of clericalism, and considers several areas of society today that stand in need of the transforming power of the Gospel brought by the Church's lay faithful in communion with members of the clergy and consecrated life.
Directors and coordinators of adult faith formation and lay ministry will gather in Ottawa on September 20-23, 2016, to attend the annual conference of the Association for Canadian Catholic Adult Formation (ACCAF). The theme of the conference is On Good Soil: Exploring Best Practices for Adult Formation. On Good Soil, published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), was developed with the expressed hope that in it "...all who seek insight and answers about effective evangelization and catechesis with adults in Canada will find supportive, effective and practical help..." (p. 15). Sr. Elizabeth Davis, R.S.M., Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be the keynote speaker. Ms. Anne Walsh, Director of Adult Faith Formation for the Archdiocese of St. John's and Executive Assistant to the Most Reverend Martin Currie, Archbishop of St. John's, will act as facilitator. Bishop members of the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis of the CCCB will also participate in the conference. Throughout the conference, participants will have an opportunity to explore and share best practices for adult faith formation with colleagues and partners across the country.
Link to the website of On Good Soil
Link to the Association website
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the historic Interfaith gathering of 1986 with Saint John Paul II, a number of religious leaders, including Pope Francis, are in Assisi to gather in prayer for peace. This gathering comes at the end of a symposium which took place 18-20 September 2016 on the theme "Thirst for Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue".
Link to the schedule for the visit of the Holy Father
(CCCB – Ottawa)... The Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada will be held on September 24 and 25, 2016. In his letter to the parishes across the country, the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), recalls that the collection "is an opportunity for all the faithful in our country to give a hand to helping the Gospel." In view of the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy on November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King, Bishop Crosby also notes that the Year of Mercy "is being lived out with joy and commitment throughout our local churches and different communities of faith."
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.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly 26-30 September 2016, at the Nav Canada Centre, Cornwall, Ontario, in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall. Salt + Light Television, the Canadian Catholic television network, will broadcast events live online and on television with selected repeats throughout the day (times indicated below are Eastern Daylight Saving Time). This broadcast schedule is subject to change.
One year ago, on September 8, 2015, His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, announced a campaign to raise $3 million to welcome 100 refugee families in the Archdiocese of Toronto as soon as possible. A year later, Project Hope has raised $3.7 million to sponsor refugees fleeing areas of conflict and insecurity. A particular emphasis was placed on those from Syria and Iraq. To date, 44 families (comprising 133 individuals) have arrived, with 110 families(comprising 279 individuals) still waiting to be processed by the Government of Canada.
Link to the news release
The Most Reverend Gaétan Proulx, O.S.M., will be installed as Bishop of Gaspé at the Cathedral Christ-Roi in Gaspé, on Friday, September 16, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. The Most Reverend Denis Grondin, Archbishop of Rimouski, will preside, accompanied by His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of Canada. The Most Reverend Luc Cyr, Archbishop of Sherbrooke and Co-Treasurer of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), will be present on behalf of the President of the CCCB, participating with over 15 other Bishops from Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. The Counsellor of the Apostolic Nunciature to Canada, Msgr. Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez, P.H., will be also present. At the time of his appointment by Pope Francis on July 2, 2016, as Bishop of Gaspé, Bishop Proulx was then Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Québec. The Most Reverend Jean Gagnon has been Bishop of the Diocese of Gaspé for the past 15 years. He offered his resignation to the Holy Father on reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law. The celebration will be broadcast on the Internet by the television service of the Archdiocese of Québec, www.ecdq.tv.
The ordination of the Most Reverend Robert Kasun, C.S.B., as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto will take place on Monday, September 12, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in St. Joseph Basilica Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, will preside as the principal ordaining Bishop, along with the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Archbishop of Vancouver, and the Most Reverend Ronald Peter Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London, as co-consecrators. Cardinal Collins will deliver the homily. The Counsellor of the Apostolic Nunciature to Canada, Msgr. Fermin Emilio Sosa Rodriguez, P.H., will also be present. Bishop Kasun will join three other Auxiliary Bishops who currently assist Cardinal Collins in caring for the pastoral needs of the 1.9 million faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto. At the time of his appointment on June 17, 2016, Bishop Kasun was Pastor of St. Alphonsus - St. Clare Parish in Edmonton. The celebration will be broadcast live on Salt + Light Television and livestreamed on the website at http://saltandlighttv.org/live. It will also be repeated on the television network the following day.
Link to the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto
The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has sent a letter conveying condolences and prayers to His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference following the August 24 earthquake impacting towns in the dioceses of Rieti, Spoleto-Norcia, and Ascoli Piceno, and leaving close to 300 dead. In his letter, Bishop Crosby assures the prelates and indeed all the faithful in Italy of the closeness in faith and fervent prayers of the Bishops and all the faithful of Canada.
Link to the CCCB President's letter (PDF)