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Each year, on the Sunday before Pentecost, the Church celebrates World Communications Day. This year’s theme is “Fear not, for I am with you” (Is 43:5): Communicating Hope and Trust in Our Time. The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and journalists, observed annually on January 24th.

World Communications Day was established by Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council in order to draw attention to “the vast and complex phenomenon of the modern means of social communication.” One of the documents produced by the Second Vatican Council, Inter Mirifica (Decree on the Media of Social Communication), was devoted entirely to communications media and it initiated the only worldwide annual celebration commissioned by the Council – World Communications Day – which was first celebrated in 1967 and continues to be observed annually.

On Sunday, May 28th, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension. The Bible tells us that Jesus ascended into heaven on the 40th day after the Resurrection, so the Ascension falls on the Thursday of the sixth week of Easter.  However, in Canada, as in a number of other countries, the observance of this feast day has been transferred to the following Sunday, the seventh Sunday of Easter.

On the weekend of May 6-7, more clergy appointments and retirements were announced in those parishes affected by the moves. Bishop Hundt expressed his gratitude to each of the priests for their generosity of spirit in accepting new appointments, as well as to the retiring priest for his years of faithful service. Please join with Bishop Hundt in praying that God blesses all of these priests and their parishioners during this time of transition and change.

On Saturday, May 7, the Diocese will host its annual catechetical conference at the Civic Centre in Corner Brook. At this conference, catechetical coordinators and catechists will be reviewing and evaluating the new resource used in family catechesis as well as the new Confirmation Year 1 resource, both of which were introduced in September 2016.   Conference participants will also be introduced to the new resource to be used in Confirmation Year 2. Fifty-five people from all parishes of the Diocese are expected to attend the conference.

On Sunday, May 7, the Church marks the 54th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The theme this year is Led by the Spirit for Mission.

In 1963, Pope Paul VI designated Good Shepherd Sunday as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Good Shepherd Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Easter; that is, the Sunday three weeks after Easter Sunday. The name comes from the Gospel reading for this day which in all three lectionary years is taken from the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John. In this reading, Jesus is described as the Good Shepherd, who protects us as his flock and promises us the gift of eternal life.

The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord`s instruction to, ‘Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest’(Mt 9:38: Lk 10:2). While the Church appreciates the vocation of all Christians given at Baptism, it concentrates its attention this day on vocations to ordained ministries, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.

Please join in praying that young men and women may hear and respond generously to God`s call to consecrated life.

On the weekend of April 29-30, clergy appointments and retirements were announced in the parishes affected by the moves. Bishop Hundt expressed his gratitude to each of the priests for their generosity of spirit in accepting new appointments, as well as to the retiring priests for their dedicated ministry and prays that God will bless them with long and joy-filled retirements. Please join with Bishop Hundt in praying that God blesses all the priests and their parishioners during this time of transition and change.

The Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has signed a joint interfaith letter released as an op-ed in The Hill Times, a weekly newspaper covering government and federal politics on Parliament Hill. This letter, which was co-signed by other religious leaders in Canada – Jewish, Muslim and Christian, advocates a well-funded, national initiative both to improve the quality and availability of palliative care in Canada and to ensure that palliative care excludes any practices which intend to kill a patient.

On Wednesday April 12, the CCCB released a statement on Canada’s Opioid Crisis and Drug Addiction, which speaks of the causes of the crisis in Canada and references some ways in which Canadian Catholics can better respond to this issue.

On Monday, April 17th, the memorial of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the Protectress of Canada, the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), issued a message marking the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

Please click here to read Bishop Crosby’s message in its entirety.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter!

Today, throughout the world, the Church echoes once more the astonishing message of the first disciples: “Jesus is risen!” – “He is truly risen, as he said!”

The ancient feast of Passover, the commemoration of the liberation of the Hebrew people from slavery, here finds fulfilment. By his resurrection, Jesus Christ has set us free from the slavery of sin and death, and has opened before us the way to eternal life.

All of us, when we let ourselves be mastered by sin, lose the right way and end up straying like lost sheep. But God himself, our shepherd, has come in search of us. To save us, he lowered himself even to accepting death on the cross. Today we can proclaim: “The Good Shepherd has risen, who laid down his life for his sheep, and willingly died for his flock, alleluia” (Roman Missal, IV Sunday of Easter, Communion antiphon).

In every age, the Risen Shepherd tirelessly seeks us, his brothers and sisters, wandering in the deserts of this world. With the marks of the passion – the wounds of his merciful love – he draws us to follow him on his way, the way of life. Today too, he places upon his shoulders so many of our brothers and sisters crushed by evil in all its varied forms.

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