Did you know that Pope Francis has a different prayer intention for every month of the year? During this month of October, our Holy Father has asked us to pray that by the virtue of baptism, the laity, especially women, may participate more in areas of responsibility in the Church.
Did you know that my predecessor Archbishop Richard Gagnon, now Archbishop of Winnipeg, and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, approximately ten years ago appointed two women (our Chief Financial Officer and our Chancellor) who continue to serve in key leadership positions in the Diocese of Victoria? Since that time, our Superintendent of Island Catholic Schools, and four of our five Catholic school Principals have been added to our team of women in leadership.
I am truly blessed with an outstanding senior leadership team to share with me the Apostolic Office of Teaching, Sanctifying, and Governing the Diocese of Victoria, along with good Pastors, Administrators, Deacons and many committed lay leaders in every parish and school. The Bishop’s Advisory Council (BAC) is comprised of Rev. John Laszczyk (Vicar General), Rev. William Hann (Episcopal Vicar), Cynthia Bouchard (Chancellor), Leah MacKenzie (Chief Financial Officer) and Bev Pulyk (Superintendent).
Woman in key leadership positions have vital responsibilities and real authority to carry out their ecclesial calling. The grace of women in real leadership is at the heart of significant collaborative decision making, for which I am grateful. These leadership positions have real canonical and ecclesial responsibility, with authority to oversee almost 400 employees (in addition to countless other missionary disciples), to support the well-being and ministry of the local Church to equip the whole people of God in ministry and shared leadership on many levels.
The Pope’s prayer intention is close to a lived reality in the Diocese of Victoria, and together we can thank God for giving such significant vocations of leadership in the Church and its Mission in our times. May we unite with our Holy Father Francis, to pray that lay and ordained, female and male, with all the beautiful diversity of races and cultures in our Diocese, may be truly Catholic (universal), witnessing to the joy of the Gospel.
To see the Pope’s short prayer video intention for October, click on the link below: https://youtu.be/757xZuDEtHA