“(The common good…) It means
protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially
children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think
Pope Francis encourages us to
show loving concern for each other, and in so doing care for those who are
often forgotten. As a Catholic community, how does the challenge to show this love for
our neighbour manifest itself across our archdiocese? The story of Jamie, a client from Les Centres d’Accueil Héritage, is one of
many that are made possible with the support of our annual ShareLife appeal.
recently experiencing the death of his wife, 96 year old Jamie has adjusted his
life once again by moving to Les Centres d’Accueil Héritage (CAH). As this is
the only French-speaking retirement home in Toronto, Jamie is drawn by the
camaraderie of other francophone friends. The activities and friendship of the
residents and staff at CAH gives Jamie the caring love and support he needs. He
may be alone in his final years, but Jamie is able to live life happily as he
freely shares his personal stories with those around him.
When Archbishop Philip Pocock
established the ShareLife campaign in the Archdiocese of Toronto, he was continuing a tradition of Catholic outreach that began over a hundred and twenty years earlier with
the establishment of the Houses of Providence. Over a century later, we
continue to provide for the needs of the marginalized both here in our
archdiocese and in many countries around the world. I am grateful for the generosity that our
parishioners have shown for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and I invite
you to join me once again during this Lenten season by making a sacrificial
gift to the 2015 ShareLife campaign.
Last year, ShareLife’s 42 agencies and
grant recipients provided over 381,000 services to over 114,000 people here in
our archdiocese, and assisted countless others in developing countries around
the world. In 42 municipalities, and in more than 20 languages, those in
need received support and care as a result of our generosity. Our goal in 2015
is to raise $12.95 million through our ShareLife parish campaign in order to
sustain the vital work of these agencies. While this may appear to be an
ambitious goal, we know that it can be achieved with all Catholic parishioners
supporting the important work of our agencies through our annual appeal.
year, the Family of Faith campaign is taking place across the Archdiocese of Toronto. While parishioners
are being asked to support the work of the Pastoral Plan, it is important that
we maintain our financial support for
the ShareLife campaign. There is no duplication of effort – ShareLife remains
responsible for providing funding to our agencies and international programs.
are all called to “show
loving concern to each and every person” and care for those who are vulnerable in
our community. As in the story I shared about Jamie, we see the face of the
Lord to be served and are challenged to live out that call each day. The
ShareLife parish campaign gives us an opportunity to reach out in justice and
love. My prayer is that you will join me as together we work wonders to
lovingly care for those who are in need around us.
Yours sincerely in the Lord
Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto