News & Events
Mar 11, 2016
Share Lent Pastoral Letter
"Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life."
~ Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus 2
Dear Friends in Christ,
Creating a Climate of Change is the theme of this year’s Share Lent Campaign, run by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (‘Development and Peace’). This campaign contains a number of aspects of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on care for our common home, Laudato Si’, and also his intentions for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Development and Peace is the Canadian Church’s organization that offers concrete ways to respond to the Pope’s invitations to take care of our common home, our sisters, and brothers. Only by working together can we build a world that is more just and more in keeping with human dignity. Share Lent provides an opportunity to assist, with grace and compassion, in the corporal works of mercy with which Jesus Christ explicitly charged us, his people. Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless. Give drink to the thirsty. Visit the sick. Clothe the naked. Bury the dead. Visit the imprisoned—which includes those swept up in unjust economic structures and situations of great need, and those on the margins and peripheries of this world we call home.
When we respond in love to the corporal works of mercy, we create a climate of change. We are Christ’s feet and hands: it is he who commands and we who willingly carry comfort and assistance to our fellow pilgrims, and to this marvellous earth that houses and sustains us. Our brothers and sisters in the Global South are experiencing droughts and terrible storms; Development and Peace are providing support to communities and families in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East who are courageously battling catastrophic events.
In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year, Pope Francis calls us to be mercy for others; and it is through this grace of connection, of accompaniment, that we can help others—and find ourselves gifted by grace in return. It is in Christ’s love and with his strength that we offer what we can to those most in need: our hearts, our love, our mercy and our support.
I encourage you to participate in the Share Lent campaign to help create a climate of change in the ways you are best able. Please also continue to pray for those who provide relief in dangerous situations; for those who work behind the scenes to support them; and for those for whom life is a daily struggle.
May the Holy Spirit fill your Lenten journey with joy as we accompany each other with hope and mercy, transforming lives and hearts as we walk together in love.
Most Reverend Gary Gordon
Bishop of Victoria
For more information about Share Lent, visit your parish office or www.devp.org.