2020 Pentecost Message to Catholic Movements and Associations

Wednesday, May 27 2020

Dear members of Movements and Associations,

Time has ground to a halt – but the Spirit is moving!

Borders are closed, isolation is making itself felt, physical distancing is taking its toll even though we are finding ways to stay connected by various technologies and other media. Through this pandemic, humanity, surrounded by a shared suffering, has embarked on common quest for solutions that will spare people, especially those who are vulnerable on account of their health or employment. Every one of us is affected by the question, “Who are we?”.

Human beings, by virtue of their sense of responsibility, cannot but seek to control situations, and to use their knowledge to forecast what will happen.

The experience of Pentecost allowed the disciples to enter into an attitude of tremendous openness that allowed them to continue Jesus’ mission throughout the whole world, with the Holy Spirit. The Upper Room was no longer a hiding place, and boldness took the place of fear. They say things will never be the same after Covid-19: the ways we have of being Church, our ways of thinking about the world, of living together… Ever since Pentecost, everything has shifted towards a future forever opened by Love and borne along by the Kingdom’s abundance. Each one of us must labour to ensure that this future remains open. Enlightened by faith, the human experience of precariousness and fragility is an opportunity for each person to live the grace of listening and of self-abandonment, of healing and of discernment with the Spirit of God.

As was the case for the two disciples, the compass of a heart that is burning for God guides our hopeful gaze. Many initiatives and examples of willingness to help have revealed the greatness of caregivers and health-care workers. That too is Pentecost, releasing peace from its lockdown and breaking down the distances created by sin.

To all groups and associations borne along by enthusiasm for the mission, may we wish you joy and audacity in that post-Covid time where the Spirit will be at work creating and recreating!

Standing Committee for Relations with Movements and Associations
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pentecost 2020