- The 48th World Day of Peace will be held on January 1. Attached is Pope Francis’ message marking the occasion on the theme of “Slaves No More, But Brothers and Sisters.”
- Parishes and organizations are once again invited to share the joyous news of Our Lord’s Birth with Bishop David with the age-old custom of Christmas Carolling. Please contact the Chancery Office to schedule a time on Saturday, January 17 (10:00 am – 2:00 pm).
- The 2015 World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on January 18. Here is the Message of the Holy Father for the occasion, on the theme “Church without frontiers, Mother to all.”
- The 2015 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place from January 18-25.The materials for this celebration are jointly produced each year by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches. The Canadian Council of Churches, of which the CCCB has been a member since 1997, then adapts the materials to the Canadian context and makes them available in our country.Drafted by a writing team in Brazil, and using the theme “Give me a drink” (John 4.7), the materials for the 2015 Week of Prayer invite a prayerful reflection on the meaning of water and sharing with “the other”. The materials can be used during the January 18-25 Week of Prayer or at any other time in 2015.
Parishes are encouraged to work with the clergy and congregations of other Christian traditions to hold joint services or organize other local expressions of Christian witness.
In a recent letter to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II Decree Redintegratio Unitatis, Pope Francis wrote:
“Spiritual ecumenism, which reaches a high point in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, lives and develops through countless channels, which truly only the Lord sees, but which we, too, often have the joy of knowing: it is a worldwide network of prayerful moments which, at parish and international levels, spread the oxygen of the authentic ecumenical spirit through the body of the Church; a network of acts, which see us united and working together in so many works of charity; and it is also a sharing of prayer, of meditation and other texts which circulate on the web and can contribute to raising awareness, respect and mutual esteem.”
The full text of the Holy Father’s letter is available on the Holy See’s website:
Other resources are also available on the Holy See’s website:
The Canadian edition of the 2015 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity materials can be ordered or downloaded from: www.weekofprayer.ca
- The Ukrainian Musical Society of Alberta will hold its annual Concert of Carols, 3:00 pm, Sunday, January 25, at Saint John Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. Join Bishop David and Bishop Ilarion (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) on this festive occasion in celebrating the Nativity of Our Lord.
- 2014 Presbyteral Council meetings – February 9 (2:00-5:00 pm, Chancery Office), May 11, October 5.
- 2014 Clergy Conferences – February 10 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Saint George Parish, Edmonton), May 12, October 9.
- 2015 Annual Clergy Retreat – June 15-19, Sanctum Retreat Centre, Caroline.
- Pastors are kindly requested to forward to the Chancery Office by January 31, 2015 (or shortly after their annual general parish meeting) the following documents for each parish or mission in their pastoral care:
- A current list of the Parish Council Members, including position, name, address, telephone and e-mail.
- 2014 Financial Statements, as well as a copy of the annual T3010A Registered Charity Information Return (for parishes who issue income tax receipts).
- A photocopy of the Baptismal, Marriage and Death Registers entries for the year 2014.
- The Government of Canada gave Royal Assent to Bill C-266 designating April 2 annually as “Pope John Paul II Day.” The new Act recognizes Saint John Paul II as a champion of human dignity and freedom. The complete text of the Act can be viewed by downloading the PDF.
- On behalf of Pope Francis, the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops issued a press release regarding the publication of the Lineamenta of the next Ordinary General Synod of Bishops, to take place October 4 to 25, 2015, on the theme “The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.”The Lineamenta, or rather the first document for this Assembly, as indicated by Pope Francis in the concluding discourse of the Third Extraordinary Assembly, are constituted essentially by the Relatio Synodi, drafted by the same Assembly. However, to facilitate the reception of the synodal document and to allow its themes to be considered in depth, the Relatio is accompanied by a series of questions that help to further the Synod’s progress on the path it has undertaken, and to assist in the preparation of the subsequent Instrumentum laboris for the next Ordinary Synod.The text of the Lineamenta may be consulted on the Vatican website.
- Pope Francis, having concluded his catechesis on the Church during his weekly Wednesday General Audiences, began a new catechetical series dedicated to the family, “a new cycle in this intermediate period between two Synod Assemblies dedicated to this important reality”.Before considering the different aspects of family life, the Holy Father began by speaking about the Synod held last October on the theme “Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of new evangelisation.” The weekly catechetical series will appear on the Vatican website www.vatican.va.
- The 7th World Meeting of Families will take place from September 22-27, 2015 in Philadelphia. Pope Francis, in a letter to Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, announced that the theme will be “Love is our mission: the family fully alive.” In the letter, Pope Francis also confirmed his attendance at the event.The Holy Father writes: “The mission of the Christian family, today as in the past, is that of announcing God’s love to the world, with the strength of the nuptial Sacrament. From this same announcement a living family is born and is constructed, that places love at the centre of all its human and spiritual dynamism. If, as Saint Irenaeus said, “the Glory of God is man fully alive,” also a family that lives fully its vocation and mission, with the Lord’s grace, renders glory to Him”
- The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, published a new resource titled, “The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today.”The document will serve as a resource for pastors and all those who work in parishes in the ongoing renewal of parishes.The text notes our current Canadian context, including the various challenges faced by parishes in different parts of the country, and proposes that the response by which all our parishes are called is a new effort in evangelization, characterized by renewed missionary, catechetical, and pastoral activity.
The publication is a natural complement to our Eparchial 25 Year Pastoral Plan, in particular, our program “Becoming a More Welcoming Parish – Towards a Ministry of Welcome,” as well as the Synod of Bishops’ “Vision 2020: The Vibrant Parish, the Place to Encounter the Living Christ.”
Pastors may wish to study the document together with the members of the Parish Pastoral Council.
- Bishop David announced a new initiative “Investing in Our Future Today,” whereby parishes within the Eparchy of Edmonton can apply for grants to help youth and young families in their faith journey. $100,000 will be made available from the newly established Evangelization Fund every year for the next 10 years totaling $1,000,000.Applications (attached) are to be completed by the Pastor together with Parish Pastoral Council and returned to the Chancery Office by February 28, 2015. The Eparchial Youth Commission will then review the applications and make recommendations to the bishop for consideration.
The program “Investing in Our Future Today” is part of the implementation of the Eparchy of Edmonton’s ambitious 25 Year Pastoral Plan of spiritual renewal within the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Alberta: “Evangelization: A New Springtime – Encountering the Person of Christ; A Call to Action for Parish Renewal” (www.edmontoneparchy.com).
Together we can make a difference in the faith of our youth and young families.
- The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate will be celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the founding of their religious congregation in 2017. Sr. Patricia Lacey, ssmi, Provincial Superior, notified Bishop David of a specially commissioned pilgrimage icon of Blessed Josaphata Hordashveska, ssmi, Co-Foundress, that will be travelling among the parishes throughout the Eparchy of Edmonton in March 2015.
The focus of the pilgrimage icon will be prayers for: vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, monastic and religious life, especially to the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate; families; canonization of Blessed Josaphata; and peace in Ukraine and throughout the world.Further details will be available once the logistics of the visit have been finalized.
Bishop David, the entire Chancery staff and volunteers extend to the clergy, religious, monastic, and faithful of the Eparchy of Edmonton a joyous celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and prayerful best wishes for the New Year.
© 2015 Eparchy of Edmonton
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