2018 Diocesan Lenten Message

Dear People of the Diocese,

In today`s Gospel reading we hear of a man with leprosy begging Jesus: “If you choose, you can make me clean.”  Jesus, moved with pity stretches out his hand, touches him and says: “I do choose.  Be made clean!”  Not only is this a very fitting scripture passage to be proclaimed on this day when we annually celebrate the World Day for the Sick, but it is also a wonderful scripture passage to inspire us in our preparations for the Liturgical Season of Lent which will begin this coming Wednesday.

In his Lenten Message this year Pope Francis wrote: “… God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a ‘sacramental sign of our conversion’.”   “Above all,” the Pope wrote, “I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer.”

Lent is a blessed opportunity for us to be reminded of how we have been “made clean” by the Lord, and to renew our efforts through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving to be worthy of this wonderful gift of God’s love.  That we may live a “holy Lent” this year, we should each take time to discern with our Lord what penances, prayer practises and good works would give Him glory and make us better  “sacramental signs” of His love and peace.  To help you in this “conversation of discernment” with God regarding possible Lenten practises and commitments, I would like to high light the following dates, celebrations, collections and practises for your consideration:

Ash Wednesday Feb. 14th:

-     Universal day of fasting and abstinence from meat;

-      Annual diocesan wide collection for Catholic Missions In Canada.

 

Fri. Feb. 23rd:

- Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in the Democratic Republic                                                                        of Congo, South Sudan and in the whole world (proposed by Pope                                                                    Francis at Angelus Feb. 4, 2018).

 

Fri. Mar. 9th to Sat. Mar. 10th:

-    24 Hours for the Lord Initiative (at the request of Pope Francis, a                                                                     special time for offering Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament                                                                    of Reconciliation in our parishes).

 

Sun. Mar. 18th:

-   Annual diocesan wide collection for Share Lent.

 

Wed. Mar. 21st:

-   The annual Diocesan Chrism Mass at 7:00 pm in the Cathedral in                                                                     Corner Brook.

 

Good Friday Mar. 30th:

-   Universal day of fasting and abstinence from meat;

-      Annual diocesan wide collection for the Holy Land.

 

In today`s second reading, St. Paul instructed the Corinthians: “Brothers and sisters: Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”  Asking you to join with me in praying that God will give each of us the grace we need to take up this year`s Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer, I remain,

 

Yours in Christ,

+Peter Hundt,

Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador