Jubilee 2000 Search


Preparation intensifies

In Canada the preparation for the Great Jubilee has developed until now on three levels: national, diocesan and in particular with ecumenical initiatives, extremely important, the latter, given the composition of Christian communities in the country. The National Committee, appointed by the Permanent Council of Catholic Bishops (PCCB), is composed of four Bishops, by those in charge of the Offices for Ecumenism, Liturgy, Social Affairs and Theology of the Episcopal Conference and by the General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Religious.
It has met seven times from March 1996 and has carried out functions of co-ordination and as an information centre for all the dioceses in the country. It obtained exclusive rights for the use for the jubilee "logo" in Canada, it has published until now three issues of the information bulletin on the Jubilee, using articles also provided by the Central Committee, and it has circulated information using the Internet site of the Canadian Episcopal Conference.

The Committee gave specific attention to the ecumenical dimension of the preparatory phase. And from this point of view, in June 1997 the Episcopal Conference of Canadian Catholic Bishops has permanently joined the Canadian Council of Churches, which in turn asked the Bishops to study forms of specific collaboration in view of the Jubilee, planning a general assembly on the theme of the Jubilee for the year 2000.
Every diocese in the country appointed a co-ordinator of initiatives at a local level, with functions also of co-ordination with the national Committee. Preparation is intensifying and has become an integral part of ordinary pastoral activities. Many Bishops have published letters or pastoral messages on the significance of the Great Jubilee and on the theme of the first year of preparation: «Jesus Christ, only Saviour of the world, yesterday, today and always». Other documents are being prepared on the year of the Holy Spirit and on the third year of preparation which will be dedicated to God Father…

The preparatory phase envisages days of prayer, conferences, spiritual retreats, courses of catechesis, Eucharistic Congresses in preparation for the Year 2000. During 1998, numerous dioceses are planning particular initiatives to be held during the Pascal time, intended as the «ascension towards Pentecost»: to celebrate the active presence of the Spirit in every Christian community. The faithful are invited to distinguish the signs of the presence of the Spirit in their communities and in the world. At an ecumenical level, to be noted is the common celebration in the Anglican Cathedral of Quebec, held to mark the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Irish, while a common Jubilee celebration is being planned with the Anglicans, Lutherans and other Christian groups in a city still to be decided.
Inter-religious dialogue will find impulse in two annual encounters which have already been planned; in addition the application of Catholic-Anglican directives on mixed marriages will be developed, while common messages are under studied on the different social problems, and other on-going initiatives will also be intensified such as the Food Bank and other charitable works.