Baptized and Sent
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we enter the season of Lent 2019, we embark also on our annual Together We Serve appeal. This year, I invite you to reflect on the theme “Baptized and Sent,” a reminder that with Baptism, each of us is given a mission to serve others.
Pope Francis puts it this way: “Every man and woman is a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 273). In other words, each of us is sent “into the world” in service so that it may be transformed with the power of the Gospel of our Lord. But just what is the Lord asking of us?
During Lent, we focus on three particular ways of growing in our faith so that we might better answer that question and thus fulfill our baptismal mission: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving (Charity). All these things are that much stronger when practised in community with our family and members of our parish.
One way we can act on our mission as a community of believers is by supporting Together We Serve, our annual outreach of charity to many who need our help. I ask everyone, as we heed the call to embrace our Baptism, to 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.
Through Catholic Social Services, you may be providing help and creating hope for women and children escaping domestic violence. Through Caritas Canada – Development and Peace, you might be helping people in Haiti recover and rebuild after a devastating earthquake. Through the Pope’s Pastoral Works, you may be helping the Holy Father respond to global emergencies. You may be helping to spread the light of Christ far and wide through the Evangelization of Peoples, Needs of the Church in the Holy Land, or our northern twin Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.
Through St. Joseph Seminary, you may be helping to form a new priest who will go on to serve your family. Through Newman Theological College, 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. Your gifts will also help our bishops in their ministry to the dioceses of Canada and support our retired priests here in the Archdiocese. And if your parish exceeds its goal for Together We Serve, any extra funds are returned to your parish for specific local projects.
I am grateful for the support you have shown through your gifts to Together We Serve. You may never know the precise difference you have made, but you will know that it mattered to someone. Like the ripples in the baptismal water, the effects of your generosity reach ever outward.
Let us together, as one family in Christ, share joyfully in our baptismal mission to serve. May God continue to bless you with His abundant mercy.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
✠ Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton