The National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples is celebrated annually on December 12, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas. The Canadian Catholic Indigenous Council celebrates this day of prayer, solidarity and reconciliation by issuing an annual message. This year, the reflection by the Council draws on theme of the United Nations 2019 year of Indigenous Languages. "We all like to be spoken to in our mother tongue. So too in the faith, we like to be spoken to in our "mother culture", our native language (cf. 2 Maccabees 7:21,27), and as a result our hearts become better disposed to hear the Word of God."

Parishioners throughout the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador are invited to the Mass of Ordination and Installation of Bishop-elect Bart Van Roijen, taking place on Thursday, December 12, 2019, at 7:00 pm at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and the Immaculate Conception. Parishioners are also invited to meet the new Bishop of the Diocese at a public reception following the Mass, at the Corner Brook Civic Centre. You are encouraged to make every effort to attend this important event.

On Sunday, November 17, Roman Catholics observed  the third annual World Day of the Poor, instituted by Pope Francis in June, 2017, and observed annually on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. The theme this year is “The hope of the poor shall not perish forever (Ps 9:19).The CCCB released a document in October in anticipation of this World Day of the Poor, entitled “Poverty in Canada: Ensuring Safe, Secure and Affordable Housing”. The celebration of this day is an excellent opportunity for us to support our local St. Vincent de Paul and/or local Food Bank.

On Sunday October 13th 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and the Immaculate Conception in Corner Brook, Archbishop Peter Hundt will preside at a special Mass of Thanksgiving and prayer for the newly appointed Ordinary of the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador, Bishop-elect Bart van Roijen.  All are welcome to attend and join in this special celebration.

Personal Statement

I am honoured, and a bit surprised, by the confidence that Pope Francis has placed in me in appointing me Bishop of the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador.

This appointment has led me to reflect on God’s faithfulness, patience and tender care in my life.  I look back to my formative years under the tutelage of my parents and the joy of Christian family life.  I think of the priests and the many faithful people whom I have admired and of the ways I was involved and included in parish life.  I think of the support and encouragement I received when I first began my vocation discernment process and of the many classmates, priests, religious and lay people who were part of the journey.  I think of the brotherhood among priests, of the people who welcomed me into their lives and of the friendships that have been formed since ordination.  I think of three bishops in particular: Bishops Noel Delaquis, Eugene Cooney and John Corriveau, OFM Cap., under whose paternal care I was given the opportunity to flourish.  The Lord has been good to me, my heart is filled with joy and gratitude

As I set out on this next step in God’s Call in my life, I would like to thank His Holiness Pope Francis for the confidence he has placed in me, Bishop Gregory Bittman, Bishop of Nelson, for his fraternal support and affection and Archbishop Peter Hundt, Administrator of the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador, for his help, guidance and welcome during this time of transition.

From the beginning, I have been struck by the responsibility associated with this appointment.  It has the power to overwhelm.  I draw comfort from two things: God’s abiding presence and that the mission is not mine alone.

I thank you for your signs of welcome and support.  Please pray for me, as I will for you.

Pope Francis appoints Rev. Bart van Roijen Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador

It is with great joy that the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador received the official announcement earlier today that Pope Francis has appointed Reverend Bart van Roijen, a priest of the Diocese of Nelson, British Columbia, the Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador.

Bishop-elect Bart van Roijen was born in Diemen, The Netherlands, on August 4, 1965.  With his family, he immigrated to Canada in the Spring of 1973.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Nelson on April 25th 1997 and has served in pastoral ministry in a number of the parishes of that diocese.  Presently he is the Pastor of St Charles Garnier Parish in Kelowna and is the Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program, the Diocesan Vocation Director and the Vicar General of that Diocese.

His episcopal ordination and installation as Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador will be celebrated at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Redeemer and of the Immaculate Conception in Corner Brook on Thursday December 12th 2019.

We join with Archbishop Peter Hundt, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese, in welcoming Bishop-elect Bart van Roijen to Newfoundland and to the Diocese of Corner Brook, and we join with him in making the Bishop-elect welcome and in praying for God’s blessings upon him and his ministry as the Successor of the Apostles in this diocese.

On October 1 the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. St. Therese is one of two patron saints  of the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador. She was the patron saint of the former Diocese of Labrador and, upon the amalgamation of that Diocese and the former Diocese of St. George's, it was decided that she would become the principle patron saint of the newly created Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador. This decision was based in large part upon the great devotion to the Little Flower shown by parishioners of both former Dioceses.

The Church celebrates the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on Sunday, September 29, 2019.The date has been changed from the second Sunday after Epiphany to the last Sunday of September. . This day is an annual commemoration by the Church that seeks to raise awareness of the migration phenomenon. It is especially appropriate given the unprecedented number of refugees and displaced persons now present in our world.  The theme of Pope Francis’ message for this year’s World Day is “It is not just about migrants.”

October 2019 has been designated as Extraordinary Mission Month. Iinstituted by Pope Francis in October 2017, this month marks the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud on missionary activity. The theme of Extraordinary Mission Month is “Baptized and Sent: Christ’s Church on Mission in the World”.

Every year, the Bishops of Canada make an appeal for financial assistance to support its work through the Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is the national assembly of Catholic Bishops in Canada, including the Eastern Catholic Churches of Canada.

Each diocese participates in financing the regional assemblies and the national Conference by a contribution based on its Catholic population. The annual Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada invites all the faithful to participate in this financing by helping their diocese meet its financial obligations to the regional assemblies and to the national Conference. Any additional revenues raised help the diocese support its own diocesan pastoral programs and other activities.

The Collection for the Needs of the Church in Canada will be taken up in Dioceses across Canada on the weekend of September 288-29, 2019.

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