Pentecost Message for Canadian Catholic national movements and associations

Friday, May 25 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Pentecost Sunday, with great joy we give thanks to God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that first Pentecost, and for that same Holy Spirit given today in renewing and creating new ways for Christ’s redeeming love to be made visible for the world.

As we approach the Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI, we recall in a particular way the grace that faith is for each of us through our one Baptism. In our unity of faith, God the Holy Spirit has given a multitude of gifts (charisms) in every age to the members of Christ’s Body, the Church, so that the message and person of Christ may always be good news and timely in addressing the challenges of each age and place in the diversity of cultures and languages.

These charisms, so evident in the many new and also historic movements, are a profound indication that the Holy Spirit continues to make the Church youthful and vigorous. The “languages” of today’s associations and movements find their particular voice and vigor for the Church in the same Holy Spirit poured out on that first Pentecost. “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability” (Acts 2.4).

At the beginning of our present millennium, Blessed Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (The New Millennium) gave voice to the Church’s need to “put out into the deep for a catch” (Luke 5.4). “To make the Church the home and the school of communion: that is the great challenge facing us in the millennium which is now beginning, if we wish to be faithful to God’s plan and respond to the world’s deepest yearnings“ (par. 43).

A spirituality of communion indicates above all the heart’s contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around us. A spirituality of communion implies also the ability to see what is positive in others, to welcome it and prize it as a gift from God: not only as a gift for the brother or sister who has received it directly, but also as a “gift for me.”

Our November 2011 Forum of national associations and movements in the Church gave us this beautiful experience and appreciation of the gifts that each association brings and lives in the Body of Christ. Our experience of communion created by God’s Word and Sacrament, and our time together, were the work of the Holy Spirit. On this Solemnity of Pentecost, we pray that the grace of communion we experienced at the Forum may enliven a deep appreciation of the gifts within your particular movement or association, creating a gift for the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in your own Diocese.

In the grace of the Holy Spirit,

+ Gary Gordon

+ Luc Cyr

+ Robert Anthony Daniels

CCCB Standing Committee for Relations with Movements and Associations