Dear Friends in Christ,
“Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” With these simple, yet profound words, Pope Francis opened the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Elsewhere, he noted that “mercy is in reality the core of the Gospel message; it is the name of God himself, the face with which he reveals himself in the Old Testament and fully in Jesus Christ.” Mercy is the kind of love that restores relationships, gives strength for living, and offers sustaining hope. We need mercy, and so does our world.
Pope Francis also expresses the hope that, “we will dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us” (MV #14). Mercy is at the heart of the many important ministries supported by your gift to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. Your gift ensures that our diocesan church is reaching out in love – bringing comfort to those in hospitals, shining light into the darkness of prisons, strengthening families, walking with those who mourn, welcoming newcomers to a place of safety.
Diocesan ministries are also building up the church by forming disciples who are able to hear and embrace the good news of God’s mercy, and to respond to it by being God’s face of mercy to others. Your gift supports Justice & Peace initiatives, Christian Initiation and Catechetics, Youth Ministry, Lay Formation, Vocations, and the new Justice and Outreach Year (JOY) program, which build missionary disciples who will transform the world in love and mercy.
As you know, my ministry as the Bishop of the diocese is coming to an end – this year the BAA is without the ‘B’ - but the Bishop’s Appeal has never been about the Bishop. The work of mercy will continue, thanks to your ongoing generosity, to gifted diocesan staff, and to many excellent programs and initiatives.
May you know God’s mercy as you share the face of mercy with others. Grace and peace,
Yours in Christ,
Diocese of Saskatoon