Message from Bishop Noël Simard - Lent 2020










In the context of a surprising winter, of catastrophes and events that seriously threaten our earth, such as the coronavirus that is stirring and mobilizing the whole planet, Lent returns to us with its call to conversion and renewal.  Indeed, Lent and Easter remind us that we are baptized and called to live as missionary disciples; they invite us to let the Risen Christ transform us, to change us, to make something new in our lives, which too often becomes dull or bogged down, habitual, superficial or useless.  This is the time to resolutely take the path of conversion in order to grow in faith, hope and especially in charity, as our pastoral theme "We’re stepping out in charity" urges us. »

Together, let us ask the Lord to give us back the joy of being saved. Yes, Lord, give me back the joy of being saved by the gift of your Son, who in turn, asks for my gift to others.  Give me back the joy of being saved from indifference, from withdrawal, from carelessness, from selfishness.  Give me back the desire to grow in faith and trust.  Give me back the desire for you, Lord, and the taste for prayer and for your presence.

Give me back the joy of being saved by fasting.  As Pope Francis wrote so well in his Lenten message 2019, "Fasting is learning to change our attitude towards others and towards creatures: from the temptation to 'devour' everything to satisfy our greed, to the capacity to suffer for love, which is capable of filling the emptiness of our heart".  Help me, Lord, to enter into this vast effort to preserve our common home, our land, and especially the Amazon region which is one of the lungs of our planet.

Give me back the joy of almsgiving by sharing my material and spiritual goods with my needy brothers and sisters.  At the invitation of Development and Peace, Caritas Canada, let us make Share Lent a source of hope for the world's poor, and especially for all the vulnerable people in the Amazon and the countries of the South who are striving to care for creation.  Let us act in solidarity by giving wholeheartedly! 

Let us mobilize so that with God's help we may together know how to implement a path of true conversion, which requires us to turn to the Lord, to turn away from sin and to fight against evil in ourselves and in the world.   In this way we will participate in the victory of Jesus over evil and death and find the joy of being saved.

+ Bishop Noel