Message from Bishop Noël for the New Year 2022

"To create happiness, I have a giving heart" is the theme of our 2021-2022 pastoral year. In the context of a virus that never stops changing and transforming, in the face of a pandemic that never stops sowing fear, desolation and enormous economic and social problems, our hope is being undermined and the practice of charity and solidarity is running out of steam. Our temptation is great to solve first the problems that affect our parishes and our Quebec milieu, thus forgetting the enormous parts of humanity that are struggling with poverty, unemployment, migration, violence, the deterioration of health care and services essential to a decent life worthy of the human being.

We cannot forget the difficulties that our Church is going through. That is why Pope Francis has invited all the dioceses of the world to enter into a synodal process, that is to say, into a process of consultation, listening and dialogue in order to walk alongside our brothers and sisters in humanity, to listen to the questions that inhabit and stir their hearts, and to join them on the often arduous paths of life. This synodal journey is also intended to bring about discernment and change in our Church in order to invent new ways of proclaiming the message of Jesus and of building the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of peace, justice, truth and love. Indeed, if we undertake this journey together, it is above all to commit ourselves more fully to a culture of care, thus fighting against the culture of indifference, rejection and confrontation. It is to work towards this common mission of building a better world, based on solidarity, sharing and mutual aid. This can only happen if our heart is a heart that gives, and that gives not only to those who are close to us, but also to those who, everywhere in the world, cry out their misery and their distress. To this end, in his message for the 2022 World Day of Peace, Pope Francis proposes three highly topical contexts for reflection and action: education, work and inter-generational dialogue.

May Jesus, our Divine Messiah, who constantly comes to meet us, watch over our world and our Church, over the Bishop of Rome and our parishes, over our families and our sick, over those who live in destitution and misery! May He accompany us and help us to live in a spirit of giving, fraternity and solidarity! May He make us people who are happy to believe and walk together towards horizons of hope! May Mary our Mother sustain us throughout this year 2022!

Happy and Holy New Year!

+ Noël Simard
Évêque de Valleyfield