Bishop Hundt's Lenten Message

2012 Diocesan Lenten Message

Dear People of the Diocese,

This coming Wednesday we will once again begin the liturgical season of Lent.  Traditionally this is a time when by prayer, fasting and almsgiving we seek to purify ourselves of our sins and weaknesses and, to live more fully as the followers of Christ that we first became and were professed to be in baptism.

This work of purification can have external and social dimensions as well as internal and individual ones.  Our Lenten prayers, penances and acts of self-sacrifice can be offered up to God not only for our own sins and offences, but also for those of our brothers and sisters and of our broader Church and civil community.  Our Lenten observances can be an incredible source of blessing and of healing grace.

Our Church is very much in need of such blessings and healing.  We are a Church that has been wounded by scandals of the worst kind and that continues to bleed and suffer from these betrayals of trust.  We condemn the sins committed, give comfort to the victims who were abused and put into place protections and protocols that will help to prevent such offences from occurring in the future.  However, none of these actions takes away the pain that has been inflicted or gives back the innocence that has been destroyed.  This type and depth of healing can only come through prayer and an openness to the grace and mercy of God.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I ask all the Catholic faithful of the Diocese to join with me in making this Lenten season one specifically offered to God, in reparation for sins committed against the young and the vulnerable and, in petition for healing and peace for all who have been wounded by the sin and scandal of sexual abuse.

As a minimum, during the season of Lent, I ask that each of us:

1. pray one Hail Mary daily for the intention of reparation and healing;

2. offer a special fast or good work for the intention of all those who have been hurt by this scandal (i.e. abstain from some favourite food or drink, or take on some special good work or devotion);

3. make a personal monetary donation toward the care and healing of victimized and vulnerable youth ( the donation may be made to the charity of your choice, or may be placed in the parish collection in an envelope on which you have written: “My Special Lenten Alms” -  in which case it will be forwarded through the diocese to Covenant House, a home that responds to the needs of troubled youth).

As a part of this diocesan Lenten focus I have sent to all of our parishes a special set of General Intercessions to be used at the Masses on Ash Wednesday.  I have also provided them with one specific intercession to be included in the Sunday General Intercessions through-out Lent.

For as long as we continue to live in this “valley of tears” we will be confronted by, and have to deal with, the pain, the hurt, the shame and the anger caused by our personal sin and the sins of those around us.

Jesus came to save us from our sin and to heal us with His love.  Please join with me in making this Lent one in which we not only open ourselves to healing power of His love, but also commit ourselves to being instruments of it for our families, our parishes and our diocese.

 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Peter Hundt, Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador.