Archbishop Christian Lépine encourages all parishes, missions and the faithful of the diocese to participate in the Development and Peace – Caritas Canada Share Lent campaign.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
"This Lent, let’s share love." Let us deepen our sense of fraternity and social friendships, not only among ourselves, but globally as well. This love, emanating from the love of the Blessed Trinity, instils within us a concern for other members of the great human family, especially for those who are suffering. As we enter Lent and journey toward Holy Week, we keep our eyes focused on Jesus Christ, who gave his life for all humanity, for every human being in every place and time.
It is Lent during a pandemic, let us ensure it is a Lent of solidarity, a Lent of sharing. Development and Peace - Caritas Canada, an organization of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, asks us to share love both through our donations and our prayers, as a sign of our love for Jesus Christ. Yes, Development and Peace is fulfilling its vision of humankind gathered in harmony, embracing a preferential option for the poor.
The world is in need of your compassion. Dear parishes and missions, the future is uncertain and the economic situation is precarious, but we are called upon to live in solidarity with one another at all times, in spite of financial difficulties. Love of the poor urges us – let us use this gift of the Lenten season to express that solidarity through concrete gestures of giving and prayer. Your efforts to raise awareness about this campaign are central.
Apart from liturgical gatherings, which are very limited, Development and Peace offers tools that are particularly adapted to the current situation. This campaign is the first that has been designed for digital participation: group meetings with partners in the Global South, proposals for donating online, banners, weekly messages and solutions for encouraging others to donate... all of these are available to you, in addition to posters and envelopes. I encourage you to include them in your various means of communication.
Perhaps you could name a member of your parish/mission to take on the challenge of establishing a liaison with Development and Peace? By doing so, your community will reap the benefits of having a better awareness of the Church's social teaching. If there is already such a person in your community, do not hesitate to give him or her some time to speak during Sunday gatherings, whether virtual or in person.
Last year, there were no in-person liturgical gatherings for most of Lent. In spite of this, $328,365 was raised in the diocese for the Share Lent campaign, which represents 82% of the 2019 total. The portion raised by parishes and missions was $14,483, which was 15% of last year's total. Increased donations from individuals and religious communities helped compensate for this decrease. Given the closure of places of worship, your ongoing generosity touches me deeply. Thanks to you, the living conditions of hundreds of communities in some 30 countries in the Global South have been improved.
Pope Francis invites us to build a culture characterized by encounter, fraternity and social friendship (Fratelli Tutti). This Lent, do not be afraid to find innovative ways to share love. Thank you for your dedication!
May Jesus Christ guide us and make us instruments of solidarity and peace.
• verify corresponding English-language web page is https://www.devp.org/fr/donate/sharelent
• *Share Lent website makes reference to ‘Global South’