On November 23, 2015, Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, sent a letter to the Bishops of the world with the purpose of encouraging and sustaining follow-up to the message of Pope Francis on the “right of the environment”. In this letter, he warmly invited the Bishops to offer the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday, November 29 for a responsive and successful international conference and summit in Paris on December 7th and 8th (i.e. COP21).  In our Diocese, Bishop Hundt will offer Mass for this intention at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and of the Immaculate Conception in Corner Brook at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 29th, 2015. All are welcome to attend.

On Sunday, November 22, we celebrate the Feast of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and was originally celebrated on the last Sunday of October.

With the provincial election taking place on Monday, November 30th, the Diocese has prepared a list of some key ethical and moral issues that we are invited to consider when casting our ballots.

Presentation Sisters of Newfoundland & Labrador

In the early 18th century, God spoke to the heart of a young Irish woman, Nano Nagle, calling her to listen to the cry of the poor and the marginalized of her country.  In her generous response to God’s call, Nano went on to become the Foundress of the Presentation Sisters in Ireland in 1776. Her fidelity to the Gospel,  generosity of Spirit and love for the poor have been the inspiration of all who have followed in her footsteps down through the years.

In 1833, at the request of Bishop Michael Fleming, four Presentation Sisters came from Galway, Ireland to Newfoundland to establish schools for the girls and young women of St. John’s. Sisters Bernard Kirwin, Magdalen O’Shaughnessy, Xavier Maloney and Xaverius Lynch were the first to carry Nano’s vision to the shores of Newfoundland , arriving in St. John’s on September 21, 1833. They were also the first to found a Presentation Congregation outside of Ireland. They brought with them the Word of the Gospel, the Charism of Nano, to those made poor and their love for the fine arts and music.

We are pleased to welcome to our Diocese Reverend Krishnarao (Chris) Mekala, M.F. Father Chris arrived in our Diocese on November 14. He has been appointed as Associate Pastor of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and Immaculate Conception, where he will begin a period of enculturation under the guidance of Father Edward Terry.

Please join in welcoming Father Chris to the diocese and praying for God’s blessing upon his ministry.

Restorative Justice Week is being observed in Canada and around the world from November 15-22, 2015. Restorative Justice views crime and conflict as harm done to people and relationships. It can take many forms but often involves a face-to face meeting between victim and offender. Participants have the opportunity to discuss the crime’s impact and to decide collectively how the offender can make amends. The goal is to encourage healing for the participants, reparation of the harm and reintegration of the offender into the community as a law-abiding citizen. Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria is the Liaison Bishop with Catholics involved in pastoral ministry in correctional institutions for the Canadian Conference of Canadian Bishops. In a recent letter to those workers, Bishop Gordon discussed “how the practice of restorative justice can build a culture of hope for all those affected by crime, and how our Christian faith challenges all of us to journey toward the horizon of mercy.”

Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy, to begin on December 8, 2015 and end on November 20, 2016. As with all jubilee years, the Year of Mercy will include the use of a holy door. On December 8, 2015, the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome will be opened to officially begin the Year of Mercy. Pope Francis has requested that a Door of Mercy be opened in “the mother church of the faithful in any particular area – or, alternatively, at the co-cathedral or another church of special significance.” The Door of Mercy at the Cathedral has been prepared and is ready to be opened on December 13, the Third Sunday of Advent.

On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada’s assisted-suicide law, giving the Government of Canada one year to create a new law to replace it. In response, the Government established an External Panel, the mandate of which was to consult Canadians and key stakeholders on issues which the federal government will need to consider in developing new legislation.

The position of the Catholic Church on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia has been presented to the External Panel by the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), by the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) and by the Roman Catholic Religious Leaders of Newfoundland and Labrador.

As well, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada released a joint statement on euthanasia and assisted-suicide, which has been endorsed by over 30 Christian denominations together with over 20 Jewish and Muslim leaders from across Canada.

Please pray for God's guidance for our country as we deliberate on this important issue.

On October 28, 1965, the Second Vatican Council promulgated a document entitled Nostra Aetate, Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions. To mark the 50th anniversary of this document, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through its Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue, has published a new resource entitled: A Church in Dialogue: The Catholic Church and Interreligious Dialogue. This 12-page resource presents the origins of Nostra Aetate and its impact on interreligious dialogue, both in Canada and abroad over the past 50 years, and most notably the renewed relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. As the document states, "Nostra Aetate offers a vision of hope and a model of respectful, meaningful interaction. It marked a critical beginning point for contemporary interreligious dialogue for Catholics...."

A recent publication by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Church Seeking Justice is an introduction to the social teaching of Pope Francis during the first two years of his pontificate. This document looks at three aspects of Catholic social teaching to which the Pope has given significant attention over the past two years - Human Dignity and Labour, War and Peace, and the Economics of Exclusion and Isolation. It also addresses the challenges presented to us as Canadian Catholics and offers reflection questions tailored to our Canadian context.

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