Archdiocese of St. John's

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Archbishop's Auction 2015

Sincere thanks and appreciation to all who supported the Bishop's Annual Appeal and Auction for 2015. All funds raise will help the Archdiocese in its ministry to the sick and elderly in hospitals and senior homes, to those who are incarcerated, and to those who avail of our counselling and support services at our archdiocesan Family Life Bureau. Your usual support is greatly appreciated. If you would like to make a donation to our annual appeal but have not done so yet, you may do so through your parish office or by calling the archdiocesan office at 726-3660. May God bless your for your generosity and kindness.

Archbishop's Auction 2015

Sincere thanks and appreciation to all who supported the Bishop's Annual Appeal and Auction for 2015. All funds raise will help the Archdiocese in its ministry to the sick and elderly in hospitals and senior homes, to those who are incarcerated, and to those who avail of our counselling and support services at our archdiocesan Family Life Bureau. Your usual support is greatly appreciated. If you would like to make a donation to our annual appeal but have not done so yet, you may do so through your parish office or by calling the archdiocesan office at 726-3660. May God bless your for your generosity and kindness.

Archbishop's Auction 2015

Sincere thanks and appreciation to all who supported the Bishop's Annual Appeal and Auction for 2015. All funds raise will help the Archdiocese in its ministry to the sick and elderly in hospitals and senior homes, to those who are incarcerated, and to those who avail of our counselling and support services at our archdiocesan Family Life Bureau. Your usual support is greatly appreciated. If you would like to make a donation to our annual appeal but have not done so yet, you may do so through your parish office or by calling the archdiocesan office at 726-3660. May God bless your for your generosity and kindness.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Month of May Happenings...


Ordinations

I wish to extend heartfelt congratulations to Jim Fleming who was ordained to the Order of Deacon at Mary Queen of Peace Parish, St. John’s, NL on May 13, 2015 and to Nelson Boren who was ordained to the Order of Priesthood at the Basilica Cathedral, St. John’s, NL on May 14, 2015. Please keep Deacon Jim in your prayers as he continues his journey to ordination and Father Nelson as he begins his priestly ministry.



Sacrament of Confirmation 

Over the past month I have visited all parishes within the Archdiocese of St. John’s to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on our youth. It has been an honour and privilege for me to visit our rural and urban parishes and meet our young people and their families who witness tremendous faith. Confirmation enriches the baptized person with the Holy Spirit, strengthening them to witness to Christ by their words and actions. May you come to a greater awareness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life ~ knowledge, understanding, wisdom, fortitude, right judgment, piety and fear of the Lord. Sincere thanks to the dedicated and faithful parish teams who prepare our young people for reception of Confirmation.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.



Survey

As we begin the process of developing a new Pastoral Plan for our archdiocese, we are requesting input from people through an online survey. All are invited to complete the survey – those who attend Church and those who no longer practice their faith. The survey can be found on our website at www.rcsj.org. Your opinion counts and we value what all have to say. Your responses and feedback will help us as we formulate our vision and mission for the coming years.



Mother’s Day Blessings

On Sunday, May 10, 2015 we celebrate ‘Mother’s Day’. I wish all mothers a very Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day. Mothers have the important duty to nurture, love and teach their children from infancy providing them with wisdom, faith, and guidance. I pray today as well for all mothers who are deceased. Let us recall their love, sacrifices, commitment and dedication in bringing up their children. For those who mourn the absence of their mothers today, may the many memories you have of your dear one bring you consolation and peace. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is known as the mother of all mothers. Mary was a common woman who possessed great holiness, piety and humbleness. “ Mary, mother of all mothers, pray for us.”


Mother’s Day Prayer

God our Creator, we pray:
for new mothers, coming to terms with new responsibility ;
for expectant mothers, wondering and waiting;
for those who are tired, stressed or depressed;
for those who struggle to balance the tasks of work and family;
for those who are unable to feed their children due to poverty;
for those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;
for those who have children they do not want;
for those who raise children on their own;
for those who have lost a child;
for those who care for the children of others;
for those whose children have left home;
and for those whose desire to be a mother has not been fulfilled.
Bless all mothers, that their love may be deep and tender,
and that they may lead their children to know and do what is good,
living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others.
Amen.

(From http://www.godweb.org/mothersdayprayer.htm)

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Easter Message 2015

My dear sisters and brothers,

Often, in the early Church, Christians would greet one another by saying, joyfully, “Christ is Risen!” The other person would reply, “Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!”

Imagine if we tried to greet one another in this manner today! People would think that we were crazy. Individuals would be too embarrassed to use these words in public. Others would probably make fun of us. Family members would try to keep us quiet.

But the news of the Resurrection is very Good News indeed. The words “Christ is Risen!” are the source of our joy; these words capture the joy of the Gospel. Why? Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, death has no more power. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus, life wins. The death that comes at the end of our earthly lives now becomes an open door, through which we pass into eternal life, new and transformed life. This is very Good News.

We all know that there are many kinds of “death.” We, our sisters and brothers, friends and neighbours, experience many kinds of “death”—the loss of hope, health, dreams or relationships, for example. There are many “tombs” in which people are placed—tombs of despair, of poverty, depression, judgment or fear. For example, today, the light of the Resurrection shines into these tombs, calling people from death to new life. The power of the Resurrection emboldens us to challenge all forms of death and despair. Easter calls us to live in and BE the Joy of the Gospel for those around us and for those in most need of experiencing the joy, hope and life that Jesus is and brings.

Easter is about possibility, transformation and renewal, in the next life, and also in this life. We are an Easter People. The wonder of the Resurrection is certainly that eternal life is offered to us. We must also understand it to mean that being Easter People means being instruments of new life, right relationship, transformation and renewal. The light of Resurrection reaches into tombs of all kinds. God raised Jesus from death. Through us, God continues to raise people to new life. As poverty, oppression and pain fall in the face of compassion, love and generosity, the power of the Resurrection becomes real in this life as well as in the next.

May the risen Lord Jesus open our hearts and minds to new possibilities? It is my prayerful wish that, the joy of the Resurrection fill your lives and pour out from all of us, waking up and transforming our families, homes, communities, parishes and diocese.

Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen indeed! Alleluia!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Letter to parishioners re Supreme Court ruling on Dr. Assisted Suicide

(Published Feb 25)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On February 6, 2015, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously that competent adults with grievous and irremediable medical conditions have the right to ask a doctor to help them die. This means that the current ban on doctor-assisted suicide will be struck down in 12 months, unless federal and provincial governments amend legislation to respond to the ruling. In 1993, the Supreme Court had ruled that physicians may not assist people to commit suicide. What had changed in the intervening 22 years? Does not life still hold the value that it has always held? Is life any less precious now than it was in 1993?

This issue is on everyone’s tongue and heart and mind, and so it should be, for what is more precious to us than the preservation of life and its dignity, and the protection of our most vulnerable people?

A great deal of the discussion around physician-assisted suicide has focussed on the concepts of compassion and dignity. The way that compassion is being presented by some would lead us to believe that, if someone is seriously ill and will not recover, the only loving, compassionate course of action is to allow a doctor to assist that person to die by administering drugs that will cause death. This is often phrased as “dying with dignity.” But, my friends, compassion is more than alleviating pain and suffering, although this is certainly an element, and dignity is more than the right to decide how one is to die. The word “compassion” comes from a Latin word meaning “to suffer with.” We act with compassion when we feel the pain and suffering of another person, and support them in love by reminding them that they are not alone and that someone does care about them. Compassion has more to do with helping some live in dignity than assisting someone to hasten their own death.

Today, we recognize that effective and compassionate palliative care is a very important element of health care. When we talk about “dying with dignity,” I would encourage each and every one of us to think about effective and meaningful palliative care. Palliative care is about supporting a dying person, relieving pain and giving a dying person the best possible quality of life.

A compassionate person, and a truly compassionate community, will advocate for and ensure that a person who is in the final stages of life receives palliative care. The aim of palliative care is to help people to live well, and so to die with dignity surrounded and supported by a community of faith, informed and assisted by good medical practice.

Dying with dignity is a good that every person would naturally desire; but we recognize that people understand this term differently. Those who support physician-assisted suicide argue that dignity is found in giving people the right to choose life or death. But dignity is not simply about control; it is about care.

It is natural to fear suffering and a loss of dignity. The Catholic Church teaches that people are not obliged to seek treatment or to continue treatment when it is of no benefit, or when the burdens resulting from treatment are clearly disproportionate to the benefits hoped for or obtained.

Today, more than ever, each of us, and we as an entire community of faith, must ask one key question: Are we for life, or for death? We must engage our culture and help them to see that choosing death is never a solution. Death will come to us all, but not by choice. Many of us have had the experience of sitting with dying loved ones, walking with them toward death in the same faith with which they walked through life. This can be a very moving experience, and sometimes an experience that changes us in profound ways. There is something deeply profound in journeying with a terminally ill person as they wait to be called home by our loving Shepherd. We suffer with them and walk with them and often find, to our surprise, that they continue to teach us and minister to us at this moment!

Having a Catholic perspective on life and death means being able to recognize signs of God and God’s abundant love everywhere, in all stages and moments of life, from conception to natural death. Having such a perspective gives us a guide to help us walk through the many complex end-of life-issues we face today. All life is sacred and that it is never permissible to take a person’s life or to assist them in taking their own life.

Therefore, rather than support a right to die, let us support a right to care for each and every person—particularly those who are seriously or terminally ill- in ways that bring meaning, joy, love and life. Only in this way will people die with dignity. Only in this way will we all live with dignity.


Yours in Christ, who is Compassion,

+ Martin

Archbishop of St. John’s

Share Lent 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“I invite all of the institutions of the world, the Church, each of us, as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world,” – Pope Francis at the launch of “One Human Family, Food for All” December 2013

The Season of Lent is a 40-day retreat. During this retreat-- through prayer, fasting and giving aid, money and service to the poor—we face our own sinfulness, are called to conversion, and are made ready to celebrate the great feast of Easter with joy. The new life of Easter can be the hope offered to a starving person with the offer of a meal. New life can look like a pair of socks offered on a cold March day. New life can look like a candle lit to remember a teen who has run away. New life can look like support offered to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

As you may be aware, Development and Peace is the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. This is the official international solidarity and aid organization for the Catholic Church around the world.

Through Caritas Internationalis, we are involved in a campaign to end hunger by 2015. The name of this campaign is “ONE HUMAN FAMILY, FOOD FOR ALL.” We think of Canada as a wealthy country, and Newfoundland and Labrador as a “have” province. And yet, thousands of children, and their parents, go to bed hungry each night. Thousands of parents lie awake, troubled by their inability to provide the necessities of life for the children they brought into the world. Across the world, this problem is magnified.

This year, during our SHARE LENT campaign, we will reflect and act on the theme, “SOW MUCH LOVE TO GIVE.” We will reflect on how, when we sow solidarity, justice, generosity and giving to our sisters and brothers who cannot afford to feed their families or their communities, “One Human Family, Food for All” becomes possible. Share Lent benefits over 100 partner agencies in over 30 countries in the world.

On Solidarity Sunday, March 22, we will be taking up a collection in aid of the work of Caritas Internationalis, through Development and Peace, to assist small family farmers to put food on the tables of people in more than 30 less developed nations. We will pray for those who struggle to feed their loved ones and grow healthy bodies, minds, spirits, people and communities.

On Solidarity Sunday, I encourage you to give from the heart. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians know what it is to have little, and we also know what it means to have more. I wish you a Lent filled with the spirit of generosity, of love and of conversion. May you experience the glory of Easter and continue the work of making the Reign of God ever more present in our world today.

In Christ,


+ Martin