CCCB Annual Plenary Meeting: “World Youth Day An Integral Part of Youth Ministry”

Wednesday, October 16 2002

(Cornwall – CCCB) During World Youth Day (WYD) last summer in Toronto, Pope John Paul II expressed a hope that the event would spark a rebirth of youth ministry in Canada. Today, at the opening of the 2002 Plenary meeting of the Bishops of Canada, CCCB President Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V., enthusiastically told the participants that the Pope’s wish is now a reality in Canada.

In his annual report to the assembly, Bishop Berthelet invited his brother bishops to allow themselves to put into action what they experienced during WYD. “Once more, we see how faith marvelously transforms us on the paths we are trying to open up. We are creating a heritage that calls out to be implanted by way of new projects,” he said.

Bishop Berthelet, of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, in reviewing his first year as president of the CCCB, said 2002 was marked by large public outpourings of faith in all regions of Canada with the pilgrimage of the World Youth Day cross and the visit of the relics of St. Thérèse de Lisieux.

The Continental Congress on Vocations held in Montreal last April, that attracted 1200 delegates from across North America, was another remarkable event, said Bishop Berthelet. “We were again reminded how the ideal, the attraction and the authenticity of following Christ remains a living reality,” he said. Later, in the Plenary, the bishops were presented with the main themes of the pastoral plan resulting from the Congress. The plan will be published this winter and made available to all dioceses and religious communities across North America.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, brought greetings to the Plenary Assembly, reminding the Bishops of Canada of the solidarity and affection that the Holy Father has for them.

After being in Canada for one year, the Nuncio said he could now testify to the work and dedication of the Canadian Bishops with the faithful in their dioceses. “ During the visits I have made to 23 dioceses, I have become aware of the many challenges you are confronted with. Many of you are faced with the same problems as the early pioneers: huge distances and few resources. Others of you are faced with the whirlpools of the large urban centers. From one case to an other, I was amazed at the apostolic spirit that you have, and by your loyalty to the Church and to the Holy Father,” he said.

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