Archdiocese of St. John's

Friday, 29 November 2013

Year of Faith Closing Mass

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. the faith community of the Archdiocese of St. John’s are invited to gather at the Basilica-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to celebrate the conclusion of the Year of Faith with a Eucharistic celebration. Pope Benedict XV1 announced a Year of Faith to begin on October 11, 2012 the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and conclude on November 24, 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King. It was Pope Benedict’s hope that the Year of Faith would help Catholics appreciate the gift of faith, deepen their relationship with God and strengthen their commitment to sharing faith with others. 
 I hope that you have had an opportunity during the past year to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. The ‘door of faith’ is opened at our baptism, but during the past year, we were all called to open it again, to walk through it and rediscover and renew our relationship with Christ and His Church.
"The 'door of faith' (Acts14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church."---Pope Benedict XVI.

Anniversary of My Installation as Archbishop of St. John's

On November 30, 2013 I celebrate my 6th anniversary of installation as Archbishop of St. John's. In 2001, I was ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Falls. When I became Archbishop of St. John’s, I remained Bishop of Grand Falls until the appointment of Bishop Daniels on April 11, 2011. I am the 13th bishop of St. John’s and the 7th archbishop. On this anniversary I am deeply conscious of what Pope Francis has to say about bishops:

“It is Christ who, in the bishop's ministry, continues to preach the Gospel of salvation and to sanctify believers, through the sacraments of the faith. Indeed, 'episcopate' is the name of a service, not an honor. It is the bishop's responsibility to serve rather than to dominate, according to the commandment of the Master: 'the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves'.”
I thank all priests, deacons, religious and laity for your continued support and prayers and know that I pray continually for you and your needs. 
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service… (1 Timothy 1:12)

St. Bonaventure’s College – 157th Anniversary

On Friday, November 29, 2013 I celebrated Mass at St. Bonaventure’s College chapel to commemorate their 157th anniversary. The Mass was followed by a cake cutting ceremony. Bishop Mullock established St. Bonaventure’s College to train future priests and to prepare Catholic young men for work in the various professions. While awaiting completion of the College next to the Cathedral, classes were held at the former bishop’s residence on Henry Street on December 1, 1856 with 8 boarders and 32 days students. On October 4, 1858 the College was formally blessed and named St. Bonaventure’s by Bishop Mullock after a College in Seville, Spain where the bishop had been educated. With the loss of denominational education in 1997, St. Bon’s was the first Catholic school to be closed. With the backing of the Jesuits, in September, 1999 St. Bon’s was reopened with a Jesuit as its President. St. Bon’s is today a thriving academic institution with an enrollment of over 360 students. 

Congratulations to the entire school community of St. Bon’s on your 157th anniversary.
"We aim to form leaders in service, men and women of competence, conscience and compassionate commitment." Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. 
Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


On Tuesday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. I invite the faith community of the Archdiocese of St. John’s to gather in the Basilica-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to celebrate the conclusion of the Year of Faith with a Eucharistic Celebration.  This date is significant as it is the feast of St. Francis Xavier, patron of missionaries. We are all missionaries. At this Mass we will be commissioned anew to live and proclaim Good News in all the  places we live, work, relax and interact with others.
           St. Francis Xavier

Monday, 25 November 2013

Archdiocesan Sessions with Br. Loughlan Sofield

On Thursday and Friday, November 21 and 22 the Archdiocese had the privilege again to work with Brother Loughlan Sofield. Brother Sofield held sessions with staff at the Pastoral Centre, administrative assistants and parish priests. Brother Loughlan Sofield has spoken in almost 300 dioceses in six continents. He has a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom in promoting and fostering collaborative ministry and all workshops are filled with touching stories and lots of humour. I thank all those who attended the workshops offered by Brother Sofield as well as the various Parish Finance Committees that attended the session held on Saturday, November 23 at Corpus Christi Centre on the Proposed Archdiocesan Budget for 2014. I pray that Brother Sofiled's inspirational message of hope with respect to collaborative ministry will help all of us do our part to foster and promote the ideals he presents to us.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Collection for Victims in the Phillippines

The recent Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the Philippines is proving to have been one of the most devastating natural disasters in history. The need is pressing, and the Government of Canada has announced that any donation made through a registered charity until December 8th will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Therefore, for the next two weekends, November 16-17 and November 23-24, Archbishop Currie has asked that the parishes in the Archdiocese of St. John’s take up a collection, which will be used to support the relief efforts in the Philippines. All monies collected should be forwarded to the Office of Business and Administration by Monday, December 2 at:

Archdiocese of St. John's 
Business and Administration Office
Pastoral Centre
P.O. Box 1363
St. John's, NL

A1C 5N5

The collection for The Gathering Place, which we had scheduled to take up on November 23-24, will be deferred to a later date.

Friday, 22 November 2013

New Blog

For those of you who regularly check my blog, you will notice that it now has a new look and all former posts are gone. Unfortunately, my account was infected with a virus which resulted in my old blog having to be deleted and a new one started. Thank you to all viewers who regularly check my posts and I will resume blogging regularly ~ please continue to visit our archdiocesan website as well as my blog.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Previous Posts


The Gathering Place welcomes persons of all ages. Many of the guests who come to The Gathering Place have complex issues, ranging from physical illness and mental health problems to learning disabilities and addictions. Guests are victims of abuse, income support recipients, or are low income earners. Guests are male and female, younger and older, street people, convicted offenders, and people falling through the cracks. The Guests of the Gathering Place come from all parts of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The goal of Gathering Place is to foster among guests independence, self-respect and dignity. Further, interdependence and personal growth are cultivated through a network of community partnerships.
A Archdiocesan Collection will be taken up in the near future. Please be generous.

Congratulations and Best Wishes

I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to Most Reverend Richard Gagnon who has been appointed Archbishop of Winnipeg. Please be assured of my prayers for you as you commence your new appointment. The people of NL extend to you their congratulations and prayers as you begin this new journey. I also wish Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber abundant blessings on his retirement as Archbishop of Winnipeg and extend to him best wishes from the people of NL. We all wish you continued health and happiness in your well-deserved retirement.

Help Me (Thanksgiving Day Prayer)

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
(By Samuel F. Pugh)

Commissioning of Catechists

Family Catechesis programs are now well underway in parishes across our province. On Saturday, October 19 at 5:00 p.m. Mass at Corpus Christi Parish on Waterford Bridge Road, St. John's, NL I commissioned Catechists from various parishes within the Archdiocese of St. John's for their Catechetical ministry this year. I thank all Catechists who are ministering to families in Family Catechesis and who are helping to prepare children for reception of the Sacraments. I pray for all Catechetical Minisiters who lead young people and their families to a deeper understanding of their faith and the Sacraments by what they say and how they say it as well as by who they are and how they live. Thank you for teaching and empowering parents, grandparents and caregivers to hlep their families grow daily in their faith and to fulfill what Pope Benedict XV1 stated, "Christian parents are still called to give a credible witness of their Christian faith and hope. They need to ensure that God's call and the good news of Christ will reach their children with the utmost clarity and authenticity."
"Go. Do not be afraid. Serve." Pope Francis

Anniversary of My Appointment as Archbishop of St. John's

On October 18, 2013 I celebrated a special anniversary - six years ago, Pope Benedict XVI named me as Archbishop of St. John’s, Newfoundland Labrador. I was later installed as the Archbishop of St. John’s on Friday, November 30, 2007 at the Basilica-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. I thank God for the privilege I have enjoyed to serve the faithful people of the Archdiocese of St. John's, NL for the past six years. Anniversaries are a time to stop and reflect on the blessings of years gone by and to give thanks to God for His unconditional love, mercy, and guidance. I ask for God's protection, strength, and guidance in the years ahead. Faithful servants of the Archdiocese of St. John's, please continue to remember me in your prayers and thank you for your dedication, commitment and support to me as your Shepherd. I thank God in a special way, on my anniversary, for you and your faithful service.
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service… (1 Timothy 1:12)

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
We have reached a crossroad: let us choose life!

Two recent Canadian court decisions have confirmed the inherent dignity of human life and the necessity to continue defending it until its natural end. The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) rejoices with all people and groups who have at heart respect for the life of each and every Canadian.

The most recent decision came on October 18, 2013, when the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal of Ontario, in the Rasouli case, by ruling that medical doctors must obtain consent from a patient or his or her substitute decision maker before withdrawing life-sustaining treatment that may result in death. A week earlier, on October 10, the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld Canada’s laws prohibiting euthanasia and assisted suicide, in a 2 to 1 decision, by overturning the June 15, 2012, lower court decision of Justice Lynn Smith in the Carter case (which ruled that Canada’s assisted suicide law was discriminatory and, thus, unconstitutional).

These two decisions are encouraging for those who believe in the sanctity of human life. But they are only two steps towards the acknowledgement by all of this fundamental and ultimate value. We are very preoccupied by the ongoing debate over Quebec’s Bill 52 (An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care). In a way, we have reached a crossroad. We must ask ourselves what sort of society we want to bequeath to our children and our children’s children. Let us choose to build a society which prioritizes the needs of the weak and vulnerable by giving them our attention, our support and our care.

The hour is extremely serious. This is a question of life and death. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we cannot remain indifferent. We must reach out to our family, parish, social and professional networks to discuss these pressing issues and share our Catholic perspective. Today, the Lord is counting on each one of us, as full-fledged citizens, to defend life by intervening actively in the social debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

COLF calls on Canadians from coast to coast to become more informed about these issues by consulting the following resources:

Catholic Organization for Life and Family (

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (

Living with Dignity (

Physicians Alliance for the Total Refusal of Euthanasia


As Pope Francis recently reminded us all: “The future of a people is in the elderly and in the children. A people that does not care for their elderly and their children does not have a future, because it will not have a memory and will not have a promise!”

Life is God’s to give and to take.

The Catholic Organization for Life and Family is cosponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus. Its mission is to promote the human life and dignity, and the essential role of the family.
For more information:

Michèle Boulva
Catholic Organization for Life and Family
2500 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 2J2
Telephone: (613) 241-9461 [141]

Fax: (613) 241-9048

Pro-Life Letter

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Sometimes, Catholics are depicted as being against developments, ideas, practices or concepts. Today, I ask you to consider with me all that we are for. Pope Francis has encouraged us to see as God sees. I believe that the best picture we have of God's love is the love of a parent for a child. When a parent looks at a child, the parent's eyes are filled with love, pride, affirmation, compassion and joyful hope. Because we see as God sees, we must affirm, now and always, that we stand for life, for humanity,for the dignity of each human being and for each human life. It is not our place to judge the worth or the value of any life. It is our place to affirm that life, love that person, help her or him to grow, and to give that person everything possible to live as full a life as possible. If we live in this way, looking at the world the way we believe God looks at it, we will continue the presence of God's Son, Jesus, who said of Himself, in John 10:10, "I came that you may have life, and have it to the full."

Many people today regard suffering as meaningless and intolerable, contrary to fullness of life. In this climate, euthanasia is presented as a way of avoiding suffering. Euthanasia, defined in the simplest terms possible, is when a doctor or another human being, not an illness or a condition, ends a person's life. Our role, as we have seen, is to bring life, to offer life, and to enhance life. We cannot and should not judge its worth or where and when it should end. That decision is God's alone. We cannot and should not play God; we must simply love like God.

We must ask: "What kind of society do we wish to build? What kind of world do we wish to bequeath to the next generation?" Certainly not the kind of society we would we have if euthanasia were legalized. In that scenario, people with advanced progressive illnesses, or simply in old age, would find it difficult to trust their doctors and nurses or other caregivers, or even their families. We want to leave a society and a world that is even better than the one we came into. We want to leave a society and a world where the wisdom of age is honored, elders are respected, and diversity is celebrated.

On this Pro-Life Sunday, let us commit to standing for human life, honoring human life and celebrating human life as a gift of God, in all of its stages, expressions, joys and sorrows. Let us actively seek opportunities to give life, rather than take it. Let us work together to build a society in which all can expect justice, dignity and equality, and where all act with healing and compassion and love. We pray this in Jesus' name.

Your brother,


Archbishop of St. John's