The 2012 Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Bishops’ conference concluded in Sainte-Adele, Quebec, yesterday. Among a host of issues discussed during the weeklong gathering, the Bishops’ turned their attention to the New Evangelisation; the canonisation of Bd Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint; social justice initiatives; and concerns about freedom of conscience and religion.
In an interview with Vatican Radio at the close of the Plenary Assembly, the President of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Richard Smith talked about the Bishops’ message for Catholics ““What the Bishops want to say is that — and I don’t mean this to sound trite in any way, because really it’s the message at the heart of everything we do – it’s beautiful to be a Catholic! Our Faith is a wondrous gift that has been handed down to us through the ages.”
Archbishop Smith noted the Bishops’ appreciation for the upcoming Year of Faith: “A common theme among the bishops was the recognition that the initiative of the Holy Father to establish the Year of Faith is a great, great help to us in embracing the New Evangelisation.”
At the heart of the New Evanelisation, he said, “is the announcement of Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ as Person, Jesus Christ as Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ as Saviour, Jesus Christ as the revealer of God the Father, but also Jesus Christ as the one who came to reveal God’s truth.”
The Year of Faith marks an exciting new time for the Church: “It is a time in the Church to embrace this gift of Faith anew, in service of the New Evangelisation.” Archbishop Smith concluded his remarks with a call for Canadian Catholics to embrace the Faith anew: “For the Church to be fully vibrant, alive for the mission of the new evangelisation, for the initiative of the Year of Faith to be fully engaged and embraced we need the involvement of all. So our message is: Receive the faith, love the faith, be engaged anew by the faith, and find ever new ways to share that with others.”
Listen to the complete interview of Archbishop Richard Smith with Christopher Wells: