Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It has been about 20 months since the Archdiocese of Vancouver adopted the motto “the Church Never Stops” in response to the challenges that faced us during the first year of the pandemic. As we approach the end of the second year of this crisis, I remain grateful that our local Church has indeed never stopped. Our mission of evangelization has continued without faltering.
The trials of this past year in some ways proved more challenging than those of last year: added restrictions on religious worship, increasing attacks on the sanctity of life, widening divisions in our society, and yet another painful reminder of the legacy of the Catholic Church’s involvement in operating government-established residential schools for Indigenous Peoples.
Amid these crosses and challenges, however, the Church never stopped. We continued to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world. We witnessed the providence of God working in the Church in Vancouver in numerous ways:
- We are thankful that our churches and schools are now fully open to worship and education.
- New opportunities have arisen for bringing healing to the longstanding pain of residential school survivors through the Archdiocese’s formal commitment to those who have suffered.
- Our Men’s Shelter now operates from its new location at St. Paul’s Hospital. It is working closely with its partners BC Housing and Providence Health Care to shelter and care for transient or destitute men in downtown Vancouver.
- We experienced a year of blessings as Pope Francis declared the Year of St. Joseph and the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. These celebrations remind us that our country’s patron saint accompanies us in our trials, and that in the face of a throwaway culture that marginalizes the elderly we should honour our older generations.