Archdiocese of St. John's

Thursday, 28 August 2014

An appeal for mercy, compassion and justice in the Middle East and throughout the world

The Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, meeting on August 25, 2014, in Quebec City, issues the following appeal: 
In the name of the Father of life, and of the Crucified Christ, and of the Spirit of love, we make this appeal for mercy, compassion and justice. 

We hear resounding about us still the question that God, Father of all life, posed to humanity at the beginning: “Where is your brother?” We see the homeless and the wounded of the Middle East: in Iraq, Syria and the Holy Land. We hear their cries in Ukraine and in parts of Africa. We observe the persecutions and hardships that hundreds of thousands of people today endure because of their faith and convictions – Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, members of other religions as well as ethnic minorities. The horrors of war and violence are ravaging so many innocent hearts. Families and children are left without water, food, aid and shelter. Homes and communities are being destroyed. Not only is the future at risk for the people of these regions, but international security itself is in peril. War and violence are again eroding the common bonds of humanity, fragmenting the human family. It is Jesus who is being persecuted, who is homeless, who is hungry, who is in prison, who is being tortured.
As followers of the Crucified One, we recognize particularly in the Middle East the sufferings of our own brothers and sisters in faith. Moved by their pains and afflictions, we make their cause our own. We are united with them in solidarity and faith. Our unceasing prayer and hope are rooted in the love and forgiveness by which Our Lord transforms the human heart. Our one comfort is in the concern and care that people around the world are offering. Encouraged by the calls of Pope Francis for peace and justice, we echo the statements and actions of the leaders of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches of the Middle East. We make our appeal to all people – of every faith and in the name of good will, here in Canada and around the world – to do even more to assist the suffering of those in need. 

We pray that the Holy Spirit continue to inspire Canadians, particularly the faithful of our Catholic Church, to support the work of agencies that bring solace and aid to the persecuted and the exiled. We pray too that the transforming power of the Spirit inspire political, religious and community leaders, in each of the troubled regions of our world, to speak out loudly for justice and reconciliation, to denounce atrocities, to renounce violence and oppression, to announce and demand peace. 

“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people and to his faithful…” (Psalm 85.8) 

+ Paul-André Durocher
Archbishop of Gatineau 
+ Douglas Crosby, O.M.I. 
Bishop of Hamilton Vice President 
+ Lionel Gendron, P.S.S. 
Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil Co-Treasurer 
+ Anthony Mancini 
Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth Co-Treasurer 
25 August 2014

Labour Day Weekend

Dear friends in Christ,

This coming weekend, we will all celebrate Labour Day. This is a holiday during which we honour and respect all those who labour, and re-commit ourselves to support and foster the dignity of all work and all workers.

The Labour Day weekend is also the “last weekend of Summer,” the last holiday before the school year begins for students in primary, elementary or high school, universities or community colleges, or trades programs. Many young people and their caregivers are looking forward to the school year, although for some this new beginning involves leave-taking and sadness.

Labour Day is a time when we contemplate fresh starts, and the wonder of a God who is a God of surprises and fresh beginnings, of new life, resurrection and reconciliation. We are made in the image and likeness of that God. We are called to be people who celebrate starting over. We rejoice in new life and new challenges and, where this is difficult or impossible, we support each other as we seek new ways and new endeavours. Jesus said, “I came that you may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

As individuals, as families, friends and communities, let us enter into this new time of life and growth in a spirit of solidarity and mutual support. We give thanks for the breaks that summer has afforded to so many. We pray for God’s blessing on new beginnings, and we ask God’s guidance on those who are unemployed or underemployed, who struggle with school and with change. Let us support one another.

I wish you a happy Labour Day and blessings on the start of a new school year. You are all in my prayers!

Sincerely yours in Christ,


Monday, 18 August 2014

12th Annual Rosary and Light Procession

On Thursday, August 14 I attended the Knights of Columbus 12th Annual Rosary and Light Procession at the Basilica. This year the Rosary was recited to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. I thank the Knights for organizing the annual Rosary and Light Procession and for their tireless efforts in spreading devotion to Mary and the Rosary and this year, in particular, for remembering in a special way all those who gave their lives in the First World War.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Summer Events 2014

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Columbarium 

The Archdiocese of St. John's has erected its first columbarium at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery on Topsail Road, St. John's. A columbarium is a place for the respectful and public storage of urns which holds a deceased's cremated remains and while new to our Archdiocese, columbaria are widely used throughout the country and worldwide. Currently, we have 78 niches available at Holy Sepulchre but this number can be increased to 300 if there is a demand for them. I had the honour to ​bless​ the Columbaria at the annual Liturgy for the deceased at Holy Sepulchre held on Tuesday, July 29. Families who wish to purchase a niche on the death of a family member are asked to make arrangements with the funeral home who will be handling your loved one's cremated remains. Thank you to all those who contributed to the planning and construction of our Columbarium. 

Blessing at Cemetery - Dunville 

On Sunday, August 3, 2014 I presided at the annual Cemetery Mass in Dunville and blessed the new altar and cross that were recently erected there. Thank you to all who were involved in this project and to all faithful parishioners in Dunville who take great pride and care of the resting places of your loved ones. 

Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention 

I will be attending ​, along with representatives Knights from NL,​ the 132nd. Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus being held in Orlando, FL from August 5 - 7 ​. ​The Knights of Columbus is committed to 'charity' and as such they are men of faith and men of action. During 2012, in addition to raising and donating more than $167.5 million to charitable needs and projects, Knights volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes. They undertake these acts of charity because they see those in need through the eyes of faith. Moreover, the Knights of Columbus approach these acts of charity together. Pope Benedict XVI called this the “practice of a community.” I look forward to attending this annual event and praying with the Knights of Columbus during their Supreme Convention.