2004 Plenary Assembly: Letter to Pope John Paul II

Monday, October 18 2004

His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Vatican City

Most Holy Father:

Gathered in Plenary Assembly, 19 to 23 October 2004, in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, the Bishops of Canada are at Cornwall, Ontario, about 35 kilometres from the site where Father Alexander Macdonnel arrived 200 years ago, who was later to become the first bishop of Upper Canada.

As the Year of the Eucharist begins, our Plenary Assembly will study your Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia and the Lineamenta in preparation for the next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Eucharistia fons et culmen vitae et missionis Ecclesiae. We will also continue our reflections on the third typical edition of the Roman Missal and on Liturgiam Authenticam, the Fifth Instruction for the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, as well as discussing the ongoing implementation of the Institutio generalis of the revised Roman Missal and the reception of the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum.

It is thus at a special moment and with great joy that we welcome the news that the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress will be held in Quebec City, assisting the whole Church to continue its ever deepening appreciation of the sacred mystery that is entrusted to Christians in the Eucharist, and also helping to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City and the 350th anniversary of the nomination and episcopal ordination of Blessed François de Montmorency Laval as Apostolic Vicar of New France.

Our meeting in Plenary this year will give our Conference as well a special opportunity to reflect on its financial situation, to assure that we are good stewards of all God’s graces and able to serve the Church with the gifts that we have received (1 Peter 4.10).

In thanking you, Most Holy Father, for the Golden Rose given to Saint Joseph Oratory in Montreal, in recognition of its significance as a pilgrimage site, and in conveying to you our best wishes for your 26th anniversary of election to the Chair of Peter, we assure you of our fraternal prayers and ask your Apostolic Blessing on our Plenary Assembly.

Sincerely in Our Lord,

+Brendan M. O’Brien
Archbishop of St. John’s
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops