Letter to His Holiness Pope John Paul II on Behalf of the 1999 Plenary Assembly

Wednesday, October 13 1999

His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Vatican City

Most Holy Father:

The members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, gathered in the City of Cornwall, Ontario, October 14 to 19, 1999, for their annual Plenary Meeting, respectfully convey to you greetings and call on your paternal solicitude.

With the completion of the second millennium following the Incarnation of the eternal Word of God, we also mark this year the 15th anniversary of your visit to our country. Your words of encouragement and your repeated exhortations of love and hope continue to echo in our own hearts and those of all the faithful of our Church.

Over the past millennium, the Church has been planted throughout our vast country, thanks to the apostolic zeal and enthusiastic faith of our first missionaries. As the Bishops of Canada, we now see opening before us new approaches to which the Lord is beckoning. At the same time, our Plenary Meeting will also be an opportunity to discern and plan collaborative pastoral action.

Among the topics on the agenda of our Plenary Meeting is the scope of pastoral response proposed in your Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America, which we wish to study more closely, together with the theme of the X Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to which we will devote a full day of reflection, as well as the relations of the Church with the Native Peoples, the role and responsibilities of the Church in the area of social communications, and various other questions that touch on the life of the Church in Canada.

In a spirit of collegiality, we unite our prayers with yours and, following the example of the Apostles gathered in the upper room with the Virgin Mary, we pray that the Lord send his Spirit on our assembly so that we can discern and carry out his holy will.

Assuring you of our filial devotion in Our Lord, we ask you, Holy Father, to grant your apostolic blessing on the deliberations of our Episcopal Conference and on all the Church in Canada.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

X Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte
Archbishop of Montreal
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops