Most Holy Father,
It has been our custom since the beginning of our Episcopal Conference in 1943 for the Catholic Bishops of Canada to send greetings to the Successor of Peter at the commencement of our Plenary Assembly. The opening day of this year's weeklong meeting is the Feast of the Canadian Martyrs – Saint Jean de Brébeuf, Saint Isaac Jogues and their six Jesuit companions, including two laymen associated with the Society, who died between the years 1642 and 1649 in the pastoral service of the Indigenous People in North America. Our meeting again is in Cornwall, Ontario, on the Saint Lawrence River along which many of our early missionaries and Bishops travelled in the past.
Link to the letter (PDF)
(CCCB – Ottawa)... On the second day of the Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the CCCB Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace provided pastoral animation on the commitments by Catholic parties in response to the Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and how these commitments can be implemented in dioceses/eparchies. The Bishops also had an opportunity to reflect on the Encyclical Laudato Sí and continue their discernment on the pastoral response to assisted suicide and euthanasia, including approaches by Catholic pastors and pastoral workers as well as health-care providers and institutions. The day began with the celebration of Morning Prayer and Eucharist presided by the Most Reverend Robert Bourgon, Bishop of Hearst and Apostolic Administrator of Moosonee, followed withcumenical greetings and reflections by the Reverend Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan, President of the Canadian Council of Churches and a member of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is organizing a day of prayer for peace in Syria on the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Tuesday, October 4, 2016. In addition, the Holy See recently announced that there will also be an international and ecumenical day of prayer on October 31, 2016, for peace in the Middle East and especially for all the people of Syria. This is on the occasion of the Pope's Apostolic Voyage to Sweden to mark the ecumenical commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
(CCCB – Ottawa)... The annual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) began yesterday and will continue until 30 September 2016 at the Nav Canada Centre, Cornwall, Ontario. The meeting is chaired by the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and CCCB President, who presented his annual report at the opening session. On this first day of the meeting, the Bishops reflected on the impact of Bill C-14 which legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada. His Eminence Willem Cardinal Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht, Holland, gave a reflection on the social and cultural impact of legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in The Netherlands and beyond. The day began with the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Bishop Crosby with the participation of almost 40 members from the Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School Choir in Cornwall.
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) - Caritas Canada is searching for an Executive Director for a five-year term. The Executive Director works under the authority of the CCODP National Council, the organization's main governing body, supervising and directing the affairs of the organization to ensure its operations, development and sustainability are in compliance with its mission, culture and values. The deadline for applications to Development and Peace - Caritas Canada is October 14, 2016.
Link to the job description
Dear brother Bishops, distinguished guests and members of staff,
My predecessor as President, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher, is a spontaneous man who relies on the Gospel principle dabitur vobis: "When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time" (Matthew 10:19). However, as I come before this council and you its rulers, I have chosen to fall back on our Conference's time-honoured custom of a prepared text.
Link to the report (PDF)
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."