As sisters and brothers, let us communicate 3rd stage

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Pastoral Letter:

 As sisters and brothers, let us communicate…

 3rd Stage (March April 2007)

 AS SISTERS AND BROTHERS,

 HOW DO WE IMPROVE OUR COMMUNICATION?

 

REFLECTION: When we return from a trip, people automatically ask us: “Did you have a good trip?” If we take a little too much time to reply, it might seem that there have been a few problems somewhere…Even if we get to our destination, there are so many other elements to consider when we talk about a ‘good’ trip! There is: the welcome, the respect, the food, the atmosphere and especially our fellow travellers.

As sisters and brothers, we are on a journey, ‘on a pilgrimage’, as St. Peter describes it (1P.2:11). In the final analysis, what would it take for us to be able to say that we had a “good” trip, a ‘good’ pilgrimage? I want to stress three elements:

 A. Consider ourselves as a blessing for one another.  When we speak of blessing, we first of all think of a prayer that we address to God, asking Him to show us his loving presence. But doesn’t God already show us his loving presence in the people around us? Stan Rougier writes:“I don’t accidentally meet you. We are made by one another for one another.”(L’avenir est à la tendresse”, Salvador, 2005, p. 70).  We will communicate with all the more confidence because we will know how to discover the gift from God that we are for one another. In his “Book on the Constitutions”, that he wrote for his community, St. Benedict insists that the youngest be heard and listened to in community gatherings and that they be considered as full members. Everyone is competent in their own way and ‘blessing’ for the group. This is the spirit in which we will build ever more vibrant Christian communities.

B. Underlying everything, there is love.  St. Paul says: “Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love” (Rom 13:8). We know that there is always room to be more loving. This is why a reflection on communication remains so important and often leads us further than we would have thought at the start. It questions us on the quality of the love we have as ‘sisters and brothers’ and makes us discover where we can make daily improvements.

C.  Finally, the more our communication improves, the better we work. As sisters and brothers, we have work to do, a mission to accomplish. The quality of the communication among us will give a new momentum to our daily tasks and a desire to put our gifts and charisms at the service of others. Here we have arrived at the end of the process proposed by the members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council for the 2006-2007 pastoral year. Thank you for your participation. We are expecting a summary of your reflections from now until the beginning of May.

†Paul Marchand, S.M.M.

Bishop of Timmins

 

QUESTIONS

1. At the end of our process, name two or three ways, in your opinion, that communication in your parish could be improved?

 

2. Which of these seems to you to be the most urgent?

 

3. What word(s) would you use to evaluate the process for the 2006-2007 pastoral year on the theme: “ As sisters and brothers, let us communicate”?