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World Day of the Sick – 11 February 2024

Earlier this year, the Vatican published Pope Francis’ message for the 32nd World Day of the Sick, celebrated each year on February 11. The Holy Father’s message for this year is entitled: “It is not good that man should be alone” – Caring for the sick by caring for relationships. Echoing the Holy Father’s message, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) renews its commitment to prayer and accompaniment of the sick. Pope Francis reminds us of the fundamental importance of human relationships in the process of healing and comforting the sick.

The Holy Father refers to the biblical passage from the Book of Genesis, emphasizing that God created man by endowing him with vital relationships, and that loneliness, the result of sin, can lead to suffering and isolation. Pope Francis’ message urges us to care for relationships with compassion and tenderness, while recalling the example of the Good Samaritan who approached his neighbor with deep compassion. The Holy Father also stresses that the sick, the fragile and the poor must be at the heart of the Church and at the center of our pastoral concerns.

The World Day of the Sick offers us another opportunity to pray for all those who suffer, and to reflect on our commitment to them.


Source: Text:    Image: Vatican News

World Youth Day – 26 July 2023

“This is an opportunity for young people to celebrate their faith, meet other youth from around the world and to have a special encounter with Pope Francis,” said Isabel Correa, National Coordinator of the Canadian delegation to the World Youth Day 2023. “Over time, we have heard and seen the powerful experience that World Youth Day has been in the lives of so many Canadian youth and we expect that this year’s pilgrimage will be no different. It is a transformative and inspiring moment that they will cherish for years to come.”

Michelle Pacheco, a 26-year-old Canadian delegate from Toronto, currently works as a missionary with the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Youth Office and says that she has devoted all her preparation time to prayer. “Above all else, I have been asking people to pray for me and have also asked them how I can pray for them during my pilgrimage to World Youth Day,” she said.

“Since this is my first World Youth Day, it is difficult to say exactly what I will be able to take away from it,” said Justin Nguyen, a 28-year-old Canadian from Vancouver. “But what I do know is that it is a journey of faith – it is my first time attending WYD, my first time in Portugal and in Spain. I just hope and pray that it will be a time that allows me to focus on my relationship with God, then return home, and continue the mission that God has entrusted to me in service to my local community.”

World Youth Day is an opportunity to hear talks from leading Catholic speakers, and notably, including Bishops from every continent. In addition to catechetical sessions, there are opportunities for prayer and divine worship. A special element of World Youth Day also includes a cultural festival with music, dance, and creative expression, drawing on talented young people from around the world.

Pope Francis will spend five days in Portugal, most of them in Lisbon, where he will meet university students, enjoy lunch with young people, pray with them and preside at Mass, while also making a stop in Fatima, one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the world.

Source: Text:
Image: Archeparchy of Winnipeg


World Day of Prayer – 3 March 2023


World Day of Prayer logoThe World Day of Prayer is a global ecumenical movement which brings Christians of many traditions together to observe a common day of prayer each year. Through preparation and participation in the worship service, we can learn how our sisters of other countries, languages and cultures understand the Biblical passages in their context.

We can hear their concerns and needs and can join in solidarity with them as we pray with and for them. In this way, it is possible to enrich our Christian faith as it grows deeper and broader in an international, ecumenical expression.

The motto of the World Day of Prayer movement is Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action. Through our participation in the World Day of Prayer, we affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and that both have immeasurable influence on the world.

World Day of Prayer in Canada

The World Day of Prayer traces its roots to the 19th century when Christian women of Canada and the United States became involved in missions at home and worldwide. Since 1812, women have encouraged one another to engage in personal prayer and lead communal prayer within their mission groups. Presbyterian women in the United States then called for a national day of prayer in 1887, and Anglican women in Canada established a national day of corporate intercessions for mission in 1895.

On October 19, 1918, Presbyterian women in Canada called together representatives of five Women’s Missionary Boards – Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian – “to promote the spreading of Christ’s kingdom through united prayer and action.” That first inter-church meeting gave birth to the Interim Committee on the Federation of the Women’s Missionary Society Boards of Canada, which organized a national and inter denominational day of prayer on January 9, 1920.

In 1922, the Canadian and U.S. committees agreed to use the same theme and day for the Day of Prayer as U.S. women. This annual event became the Women’s World Day of Prayer in 1927. The Canadian committee changed its name to become the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada and now includes representatives from 11 church partners. This council continues to coordinate the World Day of Prayer in Canada and to speak to issues that concern women of faith across the country.


Source: Text:    Image: YouTube

International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking – 8 February 2023

“Journeying in dignity” is the theme of the 9th Edition of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, celebrated around Feb. 8, 2023.

In 2022, we have experienced major changes as well as the aggravation of crises. In this context, the number of both at-risk groups and people suffering from trafficking violence
has increased. This can be explained by the exploitation of vulnerabilities caused by instability due to armed conflicts, generalized violence, and climate-environmental and economic crises.

Those attempting to flee in hope of safety or employment find themselves at the mercy of inadequate laws to protect migrants and find themselves more easily entangled in the webs woven by traffickers. In addition, traffickers have increased their use of information technology for recruitment and exploitation, luring victims on social media and posting false job ads on the Internet.

In this context, we are called to keep hope and the values that guide our being and acting alive. This is the meaning of the theme of the 9th International Day of Prayer, chosen by an international group of 10 young representatives of partner organizationsi and 4 young communication experts:

 Journeying in dignity against human trafficking. Our commitment has as a horizon: the dignity of every person, leaving no one behind. This is our journey.

• Walking with open eyes to recognize the processes that lead millions of people, especially young people, to exploitation and human trafficking;

• Walking with an attentive heart to discover the daily paths of thousands of people in search of freedom and dignity, paths of care, inclusion, and empowerment;

• Walking with hope guiding our feet to promote anti-trafficking actions that make us rediscover dignity, reawaken the joy of living and release hope, letting ourselves be inspired by young people’s creativity and spiritual strength;

• Walking together hand in hand to build a culture of encounter that leads to the conversion of hearts and inclusive societies, capable of unmasking stereotypes and protecting the rights of every person.


Source: Text:       Image: Unsplash

29th Sunday of Year C – 2022

The texts of the gospel come to us in different ways.
They reach us under different expressions and translations.
And they can provoke in us different reactions…

The last verse of today’s gospel text (Luke 18:1-8) does precisely this:
it awakens in us thoughts and questions.

Jesus has been teaching about prayer and about the need to persevere in prayer. 
Obviously, this requires faith.
The text goes on to quote Jesus’ last words on the matter:

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

An astonishing statement!
Is it not amazing that Jesus himself would ask this?
It is a question that is not addressed to anyone but is possibly a reflection on Jesus’ part.

I should perhaps correct this statement…
The question of Jesus not addressed to anyone IS ADDRESSED to EVERYONE, everyone of us.
It is from each one that he expects FAITH.
It is with each one that he hopes to enter a special relationship…

A relationship

  • not based only on the acceptation of some truths,
  • not concerned solely on the following of some principles,
  • not attentive purely to follow traditions, no matter how sacred.

A relationship where one is

  • relying on him in all situations,
  • trusting his love and care, no matter what,
  • never doubting his presence,
  • sure that he is concerned about all that touches us,
  • daring to confide to him our life… and death!

It may be was Jesus’ surprising question, his seemingly strange reflection is all about…


Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:


Source: Image:

6th Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2022

Among us, people, we often exchange services of different kinds.
We go to a neighbor, a friend, a doctor, a teacher, a builder, asking them to provide us with whatever we need at any given time.
And, we do the same… with God!

Very often, our prayer to God takes the form of a petition –
We bring to him all kinds of requests for ourselves and for people dear to us, or people we see in need.
We trust that he will answer our needs, our dreams, our hopes.
And he does so, very often.

But have you realized that, often, God gives us things that we never asked for?
He pours into our lives blessings and gifts that we would have never thought – or dared – to ask him for!

The text of today’s gospel is an obvious example of this (John 14:23-29).
On the eve of his death, Jesus assures his apostles:

“Anyone who loves me… my Father will love them,
and we will come to them
and make our home with them…
the Advocate, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things 
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you.”

Amazing promises indeed!
Gifts we would not have dreamt of!
Relationships we would never have dared to imagine possible!

All this is given freely to “Anyone who loves me…” says Jesus.
Given with no conditions attached other than… our readiness to receive!


Note: And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at:


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2nd Sunday of Easter, Year C – 2022

Repeating things – speaking again the words already said – we do it very often.
To remind someone of something, to explain something voiced before, to make sure people have understood.
We do it with people and for people, and we do it also… with God!

Yes, it is something that is often part of our relating to God.
Is it that we fear he has forgotten some of our requests?
Is it that we think he likes to be reminded?
Is it that we like to make sure that we have asked properly?

Returning to God again and again, for whatever reason, is not bad.
He may indeed be happy with our coming again to be in his presence!

But… there may be a danger in repeating…
The danger is that we, ourselves, may no longer be very attentive to what we say.
We may be used to the words our lips pronounce again and again and…
our mind and heart may be busy somewhere else!

I think especially of some of our prayers.
And today, I think more specifically of the words of Thomas, the apostle, in today’s gospel (John 20:19-31) –
the words he spoke to Jesus when seeing his wounds:

“My Lord and my God!”

It is a very meaningful expression of faith and we do well to repeat it.
But, as the words come to our lips, is our mind really present, is our heart expressing itself personally?

Jesus is indeed the Risen LORD and he is truly GOD, we are convinced of this.
But what about the small word ‘MY’?
Is Jesus-the-Lord-God really ‘MY’ Lord and ‘MY’ God?

When he had risen, Jesus met Mary Magdalen in the garden, he told her:
“Go to my brothers and say to them,
‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’.” (John 20:17)

When Jesus spoke these words, he may have had something in mind…
he obviously stressed that God is OUR Father and OUR God.

It may be good to… REPEAT our reflection on this so as to appropriate Jesus’ message…
to appropriate especially… God as OUR God
as truly as Thomas did on that night as he met the Risen Lord –
not as a remote Being, but as a very personal God
who wants to be present to our daily experience whatever it may be.

Note: In a video presentation, Thomas, the apostle (personified by Arnold Rodriguez) tells us of his experience with the Man of Nazareth:

And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at:


Source: Images: The Better Fundraising Company

22nd Sunday of Year B – 2021

GOD… High above?… Far away?…
Unreachable?… Unconcerned?…
Some believe this… the opposite – the reality – is so extraordinary!

The leader of God’s people, Moses, assures them that God is very near to them whenever they pray to him.
In the text of today’s 1st reading (Dt.4:1-2,6-8), he states this as a fact:

“The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him.”
This was more than 12 centuries before Jesus came to live among us.
I ask myself, are we today as convinced as Moses was that God is indeed near to us
whenever we turn to him in prayer?

I say ‘when WE turn to him’ –
we do not need to ask him to come near us, he is always with us, but…
Are we convinced of his nearness?
Are we sure that he listens to us and is concerned about us?
no matter what situation we are in,
no matter what we feel like,
no matter how long we may have been away from him,
no matter how weak, sinful, desperate, we may judge ourselves to be…

Moses’ words are still valid to this day:
“The Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him.
And, if ever we feel we do not have the faith to trust these words…
He can give even that faith!


Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:



Source: Image:  

27th Sunday of Year A – 2020

At times, when reading a text from Scripture, you may stop short and ask yourself: ‘Is this really possible?’

The 2nd reading of this Sunday (Ph.4:6-9) could provoke such a reaction.
Writing to the Philippians, the apostle Paul tells them:       

“Do not be anxious about anything.”
The question cannot fail to come to our minds: ‘Is this really possible?’
God knows how many things make us worry and how many situations bring anxiety to us.
Problems and difficulties are sometimes too many, too heavy, and we experience insecurity and fear.
We feel that what we have to face is just too much for us.

Paul tells the first Christians what they should do to overcome their anxiety:
“In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
THE problem might be that… we try to manage on our own… while God’s help is there at hand.
God’s strength, God’s comfort, God’s assistance, GOD is there… waiting that we turn to him –
turn to him with our requests for all that we are in need of.

The result of such relying on him can be astonishing.
Paul assures us:
“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

It is worth trying…


Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at:


Source: Image: Inspirational Bible Verse Images – Knowing Jesus

19th Sunday of Year A – 2020

The people we live with from day to day, we claim to know them, of course.
Their ways of doing, their habits, their mannerisms.

It was the same for the apostles who were living with Jesus, travelling with him, listening to his teaching.
They knew his accent when he spoke to the crowds, they were familiar with his attitude to people.
They had observed him in all kinds of situations and learned how he reacted in different circumstances.
They knew him, at least… they thought so.

But that night on the lake when they were struggling against the storm, the mighty wind, and the waves threatening to sink their boat…
they were not so sure.
He was coming to them, walking on the water – but… this could not be him, it was a ghost, for sure.
He had to make himself known to them again, known in a new way –
a way that would bring them to recognize in him more than they had perceived up to now.
They could then say: “Truly, you are the Son of God.”  (Mt.14:22-33)

Knowing – Doubting – Recognizing.
Is this not the experience that is ours in so many ways and at different times in our lives?

We know God, at least we think so:
we have read about him and his message, we have been taught prayers and dogmas, we have learned much about him, yet…

It is a long pilgrimage, that of knowing God – not only knowing about him but knowing him, personally, truly.
Not an image of him, not stories about him, but the REAL God, as he wants to be known by us.
A life-long endeavour…

Note: Another reflection on a different theme in French can be found at:

Another presentation in blog format is offered on this theme in French at:


Source: Image: The Heart Beat