In a letter adressed to the faithful of the diocese, Archbishop Christian Lépine invites us to join Develpment and Peace's Share Lent campaign.
Dear Parishes and Missions,
Dear Faithful in Christ,
During this Jubilee of Mercy, inaugurated by Pope Francis, we are called to recommit ourselves to practising the works of mercy. Jesus himself, who revealed Divine Mercy to us, brought to the world's attention the love for the poor, with whom he identified so closely that he said, "as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40).
The poor are in our city, including on our doorstep. There are areas of poverty in the world, and there are the poor on our country's doorstep. Regardless of where the poor may be - here at home or on another continent - we are called to show solidarity both locally and internationally. The time of Advent and Christmas is often devoted to sharing and being generous to the poor around us. On the other hand, the time of Lent is usually dedicated to showing compassion for the poor who live in other countries and regions of the world. Solidarity must exist year-round, and the five Sundays of Lent are essential to collect the necessary funds to finance various support projects: to alleviate hunger and thirst, and in support of health and family, youth and education, adults and employment.
I thus invite all parishes to continue and to reaffirm your longstanding commitment to support the work of Development and Peace, by appealing to people's generosity, from February 14, the 1st Sunday of Lent, to March 13, the 5th Sunday of Lent. Please visit their website for information regarding the numerous Share Lent resources available. There, you will find material I feel could be very effective in reaching people of all ages: comic books, material for children's reflection for each Sunday, a solidarity calendar, a solidarity Way of the Cross, a campaign guide, plus liturgical resources. These tools and others can help sensitize people in ways that vary from one Sunday to the next.
We all need God's Mercy, but at the same time, we are all called to be merciful like the Father. Let's use this time of Lent to practise the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, while thinking of all our brothers and sisters who live in situations of poverty throughout the world. We cannot be involved everywhere, but thanks to Development and Peace, we can be present on the global stage and humbly do our part in building a world that is forged in justice, solidarity and peace.
May God, who is full of mercy, bless you and keep you in his peace,
+ Christian Lépine
Archbishop of Montreal