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Together We Serve

Making a Difference 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we enter the season of Lent 2021, we embark also on our annual Together We Serve appeal. It may be tempting to think sometimes that we as individuals have little power to make positive change in the world, but in fact, when we are united together in Christ, we can indeed make a great deal of difference.

That’s what Together We Serve is all about. When we open our hearts to the Word of God, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us how we may more faithfully put it into practice, we encounter these challenging questions, posed by St. Paul: "What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?" (1 Corinthians 4:7)

All is God's gift. Everything good that we have and are comes from God. Sacred Scripture also shows us the purpose for which God bestows gifts on his children: "Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received." (1 Peter 4:10) By our generous sharing of the gifts, talents and resources with which we are blessed, we participate in the mission of the Church and reach out in loving service to others.

During Lent, let us focus on living in a spirit of gratitude and expressing that gratitude through our actions. Remember that whatever we do, whatever we share, our actions are that much stronger when practised in community with our family and members of our parish. As you reflect on the example of Jesus and how best to address his call to serve others in charity, I ask that you consider the needs of the parish, the Archdiocese, our institutions and the community in general, and to respond generously. Your gifts through Together We Serve enable us to make a greater difference as a family than we ever could as individuals.

You may be providing help and creating hope for women and children escaping domestic violence. You may be helping our brothers and sisters in The Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith, with which our Archdiocese is twinned in a relationship of mutual sharing. You may be helping to form a new priest who will go on to serve your family. You may be giving a young woman the education she needs to teach our precious faith or to serve as a chaplain or parish pastoral assistant. You may be helping our Holy Father Pope Francis assist refugees on the island of Lesbos, or supporting our retired priests here in the Archdiocese. You may never know the precise difference you have made, but you will know that it mattered to someone.

I am extremely grateful for the continuing support you have shown through your gifts to Together We Serve. As St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

May God continue to bless you and your families with his abundant grace and mercy.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton

February 2020

La lettre en français (PDF, 1 page)

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