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The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated annually around the world from January 18 (the Feast of the Confession of Saint Peter) to January 25 (the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul). During this week, Christians around the world are invited to celebrate a week of prayer for the unity of all Christians, to reflect on scripture together, to participate in jointly-organized ecumenical services, and to share fellowship. The resources for this year’s week of prayer have been prepared by an ecumenical team in Indonesia. The theme which they have chosen for this year is “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue … (Deuteronomy 16: 18-20)”. Christians around the world are invited to celebrate God’s reconciling grace, to recognize the pain of the deep divisions which afflict the Church and to become ambassadors of Christ’s message of reconciliation.

On Sunday, January 13, the Church marks the end of the Christmas season with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Over the season of Christmas, the Church celebrates three feasts which mark the revelation of God to humanity: Christmas as the Incarnation of God, Epiphany as the revelation of God to the Gentiles through the visitation of the Magi and the Baptism of Jesus as the revelation of the Trinity (Jesus Son of God present at the baptism, the descent of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the voice of God the Father announcing that this was His Son in whom He was well pleased).

On January 1st, the Church celebrates the World Day of Peace. This observation was introduced by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and was first observed on January 1, 1968. Each year the Pope issues a message for the World Day of Peace, which has a specific theme chosen by him. The theme of the message for this 52nd World Day of Peace is “Good politics is at the service of peace”.

On January 1, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This, the highest title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was given to her at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. and is the oldest feast of Mary celebrated by the Catholic Church. In the Canadian Church it is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means that Mass attendance is required.

On Sunday, December 30th, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. This Feast is  celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas.  The Feast of the Holy Family was instituted in 1893 by Pope Leo XIII, who was concerned by the apparent general breakdown of the family at the end of the 19th century. It was originally celebrated on the Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany but the date was changed in the liturgical calendar which was promulgated in 1969.

The date for the installation of Archbishop Hundt has been set for 7pm Tuesday, January 29 at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, 200 Military Road, St. John's, NL.

The people of the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador join in expressing their gratitude to Bishop Hundt for his ministry and offering  prayers for God's continued blessings upon him as he assumes the responsibility of this new phase of his priesthood.

The annual Christmas message from the President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., was released on Monday, December 10, 2018.

 

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2018

The Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S.

Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil

President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Taking the child Jesus in his arms, Simeon praised God, “… my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:30-32)

 

My dear friends,

Christmas! Christmastime again! We love this celebration and get ready for it enthusiastically, hoping everything will be perfect. Our preparations take many forms, spiritual and more interior, material and more external. Too often perhaps, the external preparations can take away from preparing hearts as Advent invites us to do. Without always realizing it, getting gifts and meals ready, inviting and visiting our loved ones, decorating our homes and even our churches can take on more importance than Advent. But it is the spiritual and religious journey Advent offers which lets the birth of Jesus open our hearts to the grace of Christmas and fill every dimension of our lives with unique joy.

Is there some way to unite our material and spiritual preparations for Christmas? Here is a suggestion.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Bishop Peter Hundt, Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador, as the new Archbishop of St. John’s, Newfoundland.  He replaces Archbishop Martin W. Currie who has reached the canonical age for retirement.  Bishop Hundt has served as the Bishop of Corner Brook nd Labrador since April of 2011.

In a statement commenting on his appointment Bishop Hundt remarked:

“I am honored to have been appointed the Archbishop of St. John’s by His Holiness Pope Francis.  I will do my best to be worthy of this appointment and of the trust that has been placed in me.

I have greatly enjoyed my ministry as the Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador and I am most grateful to the Priests, Sisters, Staff, Volunteers and Parishioners whose kindness and generous collaboration have been a great blessing to me.

Although I am pleased to have been appointed the Archbishop of St. John’s, I will find it hard to leave the people and ministry here that has been such an important part of my life these past seven and a half years."

Today, December 11, 2018, after 28 years with the Diocese, Patricia Jones retires from her position as Secretary of the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal and as Secretary of the Diocesan Chancellor’s Office.

We are grateful to Pat for the dedicated and generous service she has provided for these many years and we are sorry to be losing the benefit of her kind and experienced ministry.

We wish her well as she begins to spend more time with her husband, Wayne, and avails of the opportunity of time to travel and visit her sons and her grandchildren.

Please join with us in praying that she will enjoy a long, happy and healthy retirement.

On December 12, Catholics celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, Empress of Latin America and Protectress of the Unborn Child.

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