This fall Catholics and Lutherans in Canada are holding joint services to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the reformation as well as 50 years of Lutheran-Catholic dialogue. Bishop Michael Pryse, the Lutheran bishop of the Eastern Synod of ELCIC will co-preside with local Catholic bishops at services in Toronto, Kitchener, Ottawa, Sudbury, Lunenburg and Montreal. These services of common prayer prepared by the Liturgical Task Force of the Lutheran-Catholic Commission on Unity mark a very special moment in our journey from conflict to communion. They offer an opportunity to look back in thanksgiving and confession, and to look ahead, committing ourselves to common witness and continuing our journey.
Pope Francis has designated November 19 the first ever World Day of the Poor. As Catholics we are called to care for the poor and marginalized. The Holy Father has made this preferential option for the poor a hallmark of his pontificate. Earlier this fall Archbishop Mancini invited our pastors to mark the World Day of the Poor in some intentional way. In his letter, Archbishop Mancini wrote:
Pope Francis has declared Sunday November 19, 2017 as the first World Day of the Poor. In his message regarding this day, the Holy Father says "If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor, as a response to the sacramental communion bestowed in the Eucharist." We can all experience being poor at some point in our lives in different ways - materially, spiritually, or through loneliness. And when we share with each other in our poverty, we experience the presence of Christ in His divine mercy.