Lenten Message 2006

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has reminded us that lent is a privileged time of interior pilgrimage towards Him Who is the fount of mercy.

Like Jesus we are tempted by the power of evil. Jesus could have used his divine power to become rich and powerful and to alleviate the poverty of the world but he knew this was not enough. To do this would be the devils work and not Gods. A magic elimination of poverty does not address its causes and dispenses us from the exercise of our full potential as sons and daughters of God

In his recent Encyclical, Pope Benedict XVI has reminded us that God is Love and that if we are Christians we must love one another. Charity, exercising the love of God, for all is the responsibility of the whole Church. In our own diocese our history has been enriched by many models of charity. The religious orders came to Ottawa and founded the first hospitals, the first orphanages, the first homes for the mentally ill and the first homes for the aged. Our lay people also contributed with the religious in the development of the social structures of our diocese and our city. In this way the Church has contributed to the creation of a just society.

Today we are faced with an alarming disparity between the wealth of the western nations and the poverty of the Global South. In 1967 the Canadian Conference of Bishops established the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace with two missions. One was to financially support organizations in the South who pursue alternatives to unjust social, political and economical structures. The second was to educate the Canadian population about the causes of poverty in the South and mobilize actions for change. Since its inception this organization has contributed to 14,315 development projects which represents 459 million dollars. But we cannot rest on our past accomplishments. The needs today continue to call us to a ministry of mercy. I urge you once again to be generous and to support this organization during the Lenten campaign.

The local address of Development and Peace is:

Development and Peace
Att:Pauline Leduc
1247 Kilborn Place
Ottawa, On. K1H 6K9
Tel: (613) 738-9644
Fax: (613) 738-0130
E-mail : [email protected]

May this lent be a time of growth and joy for all of you,

+ Archbishop Marcel Gervais