Bishop’s Pastoral Letter
To all Clergy, Religious and Faithful of our Diocese,
At the end of this year we shall conclude the year dedicated to our beloved Apostle St. Joseph Vaz. It has been a grace-filled year with many programmes in our Diocese focusing on the heroic sanctity and burning missionary zeal of St. Joseph Vaz. We all have been deeply inspired by the manner in which St. Joseph Vaz toiled relentlessly to rebuild the faith of a persecuted flock.
In order to deepen our knowledge of the missionary efforts of St. Joseph Vaz and thereby to respond to the pastoral challenges of our times, we have decided to declare the year 2018 on a related theme namely, “Deepening our faith in view of becoming powerful witnesses to the Lord Jesus and to the Gospel in the model of St.Joseph Vaz”. Therefore, we shall have to, in consultation with the Religious and faithful in our parishes and institutions, formulate concrete programmes to deepen the faith of our people and to become spirit filled -witnesses to Jesus, the Redeemer and the Gospel in our own situations. For this purpose, kindly note the following points in view of specific programmes to be carried out in our Diocese.
01. Make our people aware that our faith is an invaluable gift that must be handed down to the future generations
02.Families have to be animated to become domestic churches where there will be an atmosphere of, faith, family prayer, love and understanding.
03.All our catechetical programmes should be oriented towards the deepening of the faith commitment of our children.
04.All our Apostolates will formulate programmes to make the year meaningful and coordinate their activities for this purpose.
05.The Baptismal call of all the faithful including Clergy and Religious to mission, namely to witness to one’s faith has to be touched upon in all our homilies throughout the year.
06.The prayer that we have been saying is still meaningful for 2018, and therefore, it is to be recited by all the faithful at the end of Sunday Mass and if possible also on weekdays.
07.The singing of the popular hymn to St. Jospeh Vaz will be a constant reminder of the objectives of this year’s theme.
All parishes and institutions will, through a participatory process plan out definite pastoral programmes to be carried out throughout the year.
We shall evaluate these programmes at our monthly recollection days. Therefore, please announce to all our faithful including the Religious that the year 2018 is being dedicated to “Deepening our faith in view of becoming powerful witnesses to the Lord Jesus and to the Gospel in the model of St. Joseph Vaz”. Please read out this Pastoral letter at all the Masses on the 1st January, Solemnity of the Mother of God and the subsequent Sunday Masses explaining the purpose of the theme of the year.
Bishop Vianney Fernando,
Bishop of Kandy