Bishop's Lenten Message

2016 Diocesan Lenten Message

Dear People of the Diocese,

As we prepare to begin the season of Lent this coming Wednesday, I wish to share with you an update on our Diocesan Pastoral Planning Process, as well as some thoughts regarding this upcoming Lenten Season.

In my Thanksgiving Letter I shared with you that all 26 parishes and 26 missions of the diocese had completed the Diocesan Pastoral Planning Survey and that the Diocesan Advisory Committee was beginning to review these responses, seeking to discern how best to move forward with our Pastoral Planning Process.  In the meantime two parishes (Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Benoit’s Cove and Holy Family Parish in Port au Choix), as well as St. Mary’s Place of Solitude and Prayer in Codroy Valley, have sought diocesan involvement and guidance in planning for the future.  Furthermore, some other Catholic Communities have followed up their survey reflections with their own new parish initiatives for adding to the health and vibrancy of their faith communities.  All of these actions are positive indicators of the Holy Spirit at work through the faith and commitment of the people of this diocese.

It is the intent of the Advisory Committee to meet individually with each parish community to review with the community its survey (and the surveys of its missions) and to discern with the community what further actions or initiatives might follow from this review.  However, the Advisory Committee knows that, due to distances, time restraints and the variety in the makeup of the parishes of this diocese, these meetings will not be able to be done all at once, but will have to spaced out over a substantial period of time, and will have to be planned with consideration for the individual situation and circumstances of each parish.  Determining the order of these parish visitations, and discerning how best to prepare for and announce these visits, is one of the items presently being developed at the Advisory Committee’s meetings.

The scripture readings for this Sunday speak of the Glory of God made manifest to His people and of God’s call to His people to go forth proclaiming His glory to others.  In the first reading we hear Isaiah respond to God: “Here am I; send me!”  In the second reading Paul speaks to the Corinthians of the Good News that he has proclaimed to them, through which they are being saved.  And in the Gospel we hear of how Jesus attracts the attention of some fishermen by providing them with a miraculous catch of fish and then calls them to leave their fishing and begin “catching people” instead.  This Lent, in this Year of Mercy, is an especially blessed time for us to reflect on the glory God has shown us in His Son Jesus Christ.  It is also an excellent time for us to reflect on our call, both as individuals and as vibrant and healthy faith communities, to proclaim His glory and “catch” others for him by our lived goodness and love.

Thank you for the prayers you have been offering for our Diocesan Pastoral Planning Process and please continue to pray for God’s blessings upon this work.   May this Lent be one in which we grow both in our awareness of God’s great mercy, and in our enthusiasm to respond to it like Isaiah: “Here am I; send me!”

Yours in Christ,
+Peter Hundt
Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador