(CCCB – Ottawa)… With the 2012 Lenten season beginning on February 22, the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has written a message of encouragement for the annual Share Lent campaign of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). In his message, Archbishop Smith invites Catholics to give generously and demonstrate their solidarity with the Development and Peace mission to the poor.
As well as referring to the Holy Father’s 2012 Lenten message, the CCCB President reflects on his recent solidarity trip to Haiti this past December with CCCB Vice President Archbishop Paul-André Durocher and a CCODP delegation. The President states, “Time and time again, we met those whose lives had been crushed under the weight of poverty and oppression, but now are able to find new dignity and hope. This is possible because of the generosity of Catholics, the concern of many men and women of good will, and the services offered by Development and Peace, Caritas Internationalis, and other partner organizations that assist the poor and afflicted.”
Archbishop Smith invites anyone with concerns about the effectiveness or appropriateness of Development and Peace activities to send their questions to the CCCB. Its Standing Committee, composed of Bishops, will then explore with Development and Peace whether it may need to make adjustments or improvements in order to enhance its work. Noting that Development and Peace is “aware it too must adapt and improve” on its “journey of renewal and revitalization”, the CCCB President recalls that the Bishops of Canada entrusted Development and Peace 45 years ago with the ministry of helping “the Church in Canada and each of its members to accompany, assist and remember the poor”.