The Pope's message for Lent 2017 was released to the public on Tuesday, February 7. The theme for this years’ message is: “The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift.”
The Roman Catholic Church celebrates World Day of the Sick annually on February 11, the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes. This year, for the 25th World Day of the Sick, the main Eucharistic celebration will be solemnly celebrated in Lourdes.
This day of prayer, which was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1992, has three themes. First, it reminds the entire Church to pray for those who are sick. Second, the celebration invites all Christians to reflect on and respond to human suffering and pain. Third, this day recognizes and honours all those who work in health care and serve as caregivers.
The message of Pope Francis for this World Day is “Amazement at what God has accomplished: ‘The Almighty has done great things for me’ ” (Lk 1:49).
You are invited to join with the rest of the Church in praying for those who are sick and for those health care professionals and caregivers who minster to them.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has circulated a petition “Will you stand with refugees?” which calls on all governments to work together and do their fair share for refugees. The petition will be delivered to UN headquarters in New York before the UN General Assembly high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants, scheduled for September 19. This petition, which is only available on-line, may be signed at http://www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/petition/
Statements by Catholic and other religious leaders following the shootings at the Quebec City mosque
Following the 29 January 2017shootings at the mosque in Quebec City, the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), issued a statement expressing condolences and prayers on behalf of his brother Bishops as well as Catholics across Canada. A number of other Catholic leaders, as well as those from other religious traditions, also issued statements conveying their prayers and solidarity with the Muslim community, people living in Quebec City, and the rest of the country. Those issuing statements included Pope Francis. Vigil services, public gatherings and Eucharistic celebrations are also being organized.
To read the Pope's statement and those of the other Catholic leaders and from other religious traditions visit CCCB.ca
On February 2nd the Church will celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life. This is an opportunity to remember with gratitude the men and women who have chosen to live out their baptismal vocation by professing the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience by joining a religious congregation, a secular institute or through private vows. We thank those consecrated men and women in our diocese who dedicate their lives to God’s service, we pray for God’s continued blessing upon them and we pray that many others will hear and respond to the call to Consecrated Life.
In honour and celebration of Consecrated Life, Bishop Hundt will preside at the daily Mass at 9:30 am at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and the Immaculate Conception on Thursday, February 2. All are welcome to come and join in this celebratory Mass.
Sympathy is extended to Father Vitus Echedo and his family on the death of their mother, Nneoma Felicia Echedo. Mrs. Echedo died on Saturday, January 14, 2017 in Nigeria. She was predeceased by her husband Titus.
The Church celebrates the 103rd World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday, January 15, 2017. This day is an annual commemoration of the Church that raises awareness of the migration phenomenon. The theme of Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Day is “Child Migrants, the Vulnerable and the Voiceless”. In this message, he says:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mk 9:37; cf. Mt 18:5; Lk 9:48; Jn 13:20). With these words, the Evangelists remind the Christian community of Jesus’ teaching, which both inspires and challenges. …
But the Evangelists reflect also on the responsibility of the one who works against mercy: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin: it is better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Mt 18:6; cf. Mk 9:42; Lk 17:2). …
For this reason, on the occasion of the annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees, I feel compelled to draw attention to the reality of child migrants, especially the ones who are alone….
Click here to read Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in its entirety.
On Monday, January 9, the Church marks the end of the Christmas seaon with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Over the season of Christmas, the Church celebrates three feasts which mark the revelation of God to humanity:Christmas as the Incarnation of God, Epiphany as the revelation of God to the Gentiles through the visitation of the Magi and the Baptism of Jesus as the revelation of the Trinity (Jesus Son of God present at the baptism, the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the voice of God the Father announcing that this was His Son in whom He was well pleased).
On January 1, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This, the highest title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was given to her at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. and is the oldest feast of Mary celebrated by the Catholic Church. In the Canadian Church it is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means that Mass attendance is required.
Also on this date, we celebrate the World Day of Peace. This observation was introduced by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and first observed on January 1, 1968. Each year the Pope issues a message for the World Day of Peace, which has a specific theme chosen by him. The theme of the message for this 50th World Day of Peace is Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace.