Diocese Newsletter - February 1st, 2021

From the Bishop's Office

Bishop's Residence
Office of the Bishop
Diocese of Bathurst


Bathurst, February 2nd, 2021

 Dear religious brothers and sisters,
On this February 2nd, World Day for Consecrated Life, I sincerely wanted to write you these few words. You know, I am starting to miss not being able to visit you in the flesh or, if you prefer the new vocabulary, to be together "face-to-face"! These visits, both impromptu and planned, have always been strong moments of fraternity and sharing for me. That is why I miss them so much now.
Initially, we thought that these visitation bans would only be a matter of a few weeks, at worst a few months. However, this pandemic "never stops ending" and health measures are still well in place. Let us wait patiently for the arrival of these vaccines, which we hope will finally allow us to reconnect in the near future!
In 1997, on the first day of consecrated life, Saint Pope John Paul II said: “It is beautiful and just to thank the Lord for the great gift of consecrated life, which enriches and rejoices the Church through multiplicities of charisms and the dedication of so many lives totally given to the Lord as well as to our brothers and sisters ”. Yes, it is truly beautiful to thank the Lord for this gift made to the Church of consecrated life and the Holy Father is right to affirm it, but it is even more important for me to thank you personally, each and every one of you because you embody this precious gift of consecrated life in our midst! I especially want to give thanks for all that you have accomplished and continue to accomplish among us, even in this time of pandemic!
We owe all of this to that "yes" you once said with confidence and abandonment, a "yes" to giving your life totally to the Lord and to his Church. This gift of self now colors your whole life and forms the roots of your being. That "yes" undoubtedly asked you for certain sacrifices (and still today, I am convinced of it) but it is the source of your happiness and generates so much joy around you.
Pope Francis affirmed in Patris Corde, his apostolic letter for the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as patron of the Universal Church: ”Fathers are not born. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another...  Being a father entails introducing children to life and reality… Joseph is traditionally called a “most chaste” father. Chastity is freedom from possessiveness in every sphere of one’s life. Only when love is chaste, is it truly love… The logic of love is always the logic of freedom, and Joseph knew how to love with extraordinary freedom. He never made himself the center of things. He did not think of himself, but focused instead on the lives of Mary and Jesus.”

I could echo this text by telling you that we are not born a religious brother of sister, spiritual mother or father, we become so over the years! We become so with the grace of God, with the example and support of the saints (our founders) as well as with the help of the sisters and brothers we meet in life. What you are now, you owe mainly to all those people, big or small, young or old, rich or poor, believer or non-believer, sick, suffering, destitute or dependent, whom you have put with chaste love at the center of your life, just as Saint Joseph put Mary and Jesus at the center of his. This is how you have become, over time, consecrated persons, spiritual mothers and fathers who guide and advise, care for and console, and who, in short, never cease to protect and give life.
Dear religious brothers and sisters, thank you for continuing to grow as consecrated persons, always placing the poorest and most suffering among us at the center of your life with love! Have no fear; we thrive at any age because we never stop loving!
In closing, this day dedicated to you, is also the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the light of the world. You are therefore also sources of light for us all. Not as stars in the sky (we will reserve this for saints already in heaven with the Lord!) but rather as lighthouses firmly anchored on our shores in order to always guide us, the baptized of this Acadian land, on the path of holiness and self-giving..
Have a good Day of Consecrated Life, and a happy Feast of The Presentation of the Lord. I look forward to meeting soon...
Fraternally yours in Jesus Christ,
+ Daniel Jodoin, your Bishop

International Day of Human Fraternity
In December 2020, the United Nations General Assembly declared February 4 as the International Day of Human Fraternity.
Pope Francis will participate in his first celebration at a virtual event hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, with the participation of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb; the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres; and other personalities.
"This celebration responds to a clear call that Pope Francis has been making to all humanity to build a present of peace in the encounter with the other," stressed Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot MCCJ, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
"In October 2020, that invitation became even more vivid with the Encyclical Fratelli tutti. These meetings are a way to achieve true social friendship, as the Holy Father asks of us," he added.
By participating in this day, the Holy Father wants to emphasize the importance of focusing on what is essential to the faith of all religions, namely the adoration of God and the love of neighbor: “Fraternity brings us to to open ourselves to the Father of all and to see in the other a brother, a sister, to share life, or to support each other, to love, to know ”.
Let us be united in prayer with the Holy Father on February 4th.
The Pope establishes a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
At the end of last Sunday's Angelus, the Holy Father announced the institution of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be celebrated by the whole Church on the 4th Sunday in July, around of the liturgical memory of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents of Jesus, celebrated on July 26.
"Old age is a gift"
Recalling the upcoming feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple – when the elderly Simeon and Anna encountered the child Jesus and recognized Him as the Messiah – Pope Francis said, “the Holy Spirit even today stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly.” The voice of the elderly “is precious,” he said, “because it sings the praises of God and preserves the roots of the peoples.”
The elderly, he continued, “remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between the different generations, to pass on to the young the experience of life.” The Holy Father said he instituted the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly because “grandparents are often forgotten, and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on” what the elderly have received. He emphasized the importance of grandparents and grandchildren getting to know one another, because “as the prophet Joel says, grandparents seeing their grandchildren dream,” while “young people, drawing strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy.” (Vatican News)

News of our priests
The passing of Father Jean-Gille Haché’s brother
Mr Jean-Guy Haché passed away on Thursday, January 28th 2021 at the age of 79. He was Father Jean-Gilles Haché’s brother and lived in Shippagan. Due to the pandemic, the funeral service will be held at a later date.
Birthdays in February

  • Father Levi Arseneau
  • Father Blaise Wito
  • Father Damian Nwachukwu
  • Father Émile Godin
  • Father Keith Goldrup

News of our religious orders
No news
In our parishes... on our bulletins
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On December 31st, 2020, we collected an amount totaling $ 14 304.50 in pre-authorized donations that we distributed accordingly to the participating parishes.
On January 31st, 2021, we collected an amount totaling $ 16 399.50 in pre-authorized donations that we distributed accordingly to the participating parishes.