In a message to the diocesan faithful, the Archbishop of Montreal invites everyone to come and pray for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
Dear Faithful of the Archdiocese of Montreal,
We are all painfully aware of the situation that the persecuted Christians in the Middle East face.
We are asked to direct our efforts toward achieving two goals at the same time: to show our solidarity with the Christians in the Middle East so that they may remain in their homeland; the other, to welcome refugees.
- A Meeting for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees will be held on Sunday, January 17, at 2 p.m., at SAINT-SAUVEUR MELKITE CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, with Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim
- A Mass for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East will be held on Friday, January 22, at 7:30 p.m., at MARY QUEEN OF THE WORLD CATHEDRAL, at which I will preside. It is jointly sponsored by the Archdiocese of Montreal and Aid to the Church in Need.
This is, thus, a twofold appeal to become informed, to pray, and to show our solidarity. We must think of the families driven to despair by the violent and relentless extremism. They need to know that we haven't forgotten them and that we carry them in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.
I invite you to turn out for these two events in great numbers. Let us take the time to pray together to God to end the violence and show us the ways to foster peace, which at this time seems out of reach.
I also encourage you to offer a simple gesture of solidarity to the Christians in the Middle East, by accompanying your prayer with a financial donation, either through a special collection or by sending your donation directly to the Archdiocese of Montreal¹, payable to the CACRM², indicating that it is for the "Christians of the Middle East." We will provide a tax receipt to all those who request one, and the fruit of your generosity will be sent to "Aid to the Church in Need Canada," which has contacts and people with ties to the churches on location to ensure that the spiritual and human needs of the individuals and families in distress are met.
May Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, help us believe that Divine Love can conquer, in us and through us, pain, suffering and death. May he guide us on the path toward love and truth, forgiveness and reconciliation, justice and peace.
† Christian Lépine
Archbishop of Montreal
¹ 2000 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, H3H 1G4
² Corporation archiépiscopale catholique romaine de Montréal