On the Feast of Pentecost this year, I published a pastoral letter presenting the challenge of the New Evangelization. I expect that the question: “What must we do?” surfaces in many peoples’ hearts, as it did among those who received the Good News preached by St. Peter on the first Pentecost. This practical question certainly rings in my ears and urgently demands an answer from the disciples of Christ who presently constitute the Church of Halifax and Yarmouth. To take up this challenge both inside and outside the Church requires prayerful attention, realistic thinking and pastoral wisdom so we can begin to own the vision of the New Evangelization and identify the practical steps necessary to make it a reality for our Church here and now.
This New Evangelization must begin and grow in all the parish communities where people daily live their faith and where their life in Christ is supported and fed every Sunday. You are one of those people, and you have received the Pentecost letter. What does it say to you? How do you receive the challenge to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a new way to the people who make up your family, your parish, your neighbourhood? Do you feel drawn to do your part in this apostolic missionary effort?
One of the ways that I, as your bishop, feel drawn to do my part in this apostolic mission is to visit with you in your parish. I will be establishing a calendar for these parish visits, so that I may share with you my hopes and expectations as well as my understanding of where we ought to go as a Church at this time. When I am with you, I hope you will tell me about who you are and what the New Evangelization means for your community of faith. I want to hear what you and your parish are thinking and how you plan to translate “New in ardour, New in methods, New in experience” into concrete pastoral actions in your community over the next three years. It will be my joy to celebrate with you our united dreams and goals as we place them before the Lord.
Today, on August 15th, the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption and our diocesan feast day, I am identifying some of the initial challenges that I see to be addressed in each parish, in each region and throughout the diocese. I intend that our plans and our actions will deal with these areas of pastoral life which require care and attention. They will form the basis for our performance review in three years.
Please Download the Full Pastoral Letter by clicking here: What Must We Do ?
Please Download the Archbishop's Letter for Pentecost by clicking here: Pentecost Letter
Archbishop of Halifax and
Apostolic Administrator of Yarmouth