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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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Pastoral Letter: Bishop Mark Davies declares 2017 to be ‘Year of Mission’ for the Diocese of Shrewsbury



The Bishop of Shrewsbury has declared 2017 to be a “Year of Mission” for the Diocese.

In an Advent pastoral letter, the Rt Rev. Mark Davies said the most important factor in the future flourishing of the Church was a “renewed encounter with Christ”.

“On my visits to parishes, I rarely speak to you of problems with finances, diocesan re-structuring, or numbers,” the Bishop said in the letter read out in churches and chapels across the weekend of the First Sunday of Advent.

“All these practical questions have their importance, but they are not how the Shrewsbury Diocese lives,” he said.

“I always want to speak of Christ, and of our need to meet Him anew in the Holy Eucharist and in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.

“It is from this renewed encounter with Jesus Christ that the whole mission of the Church flows.  That mission is entrusted to each one of us personally in the celebration of every Mass.

“It is expressed explicitly in those final words of the Liturgy when we are commissioned to “Go forth!” in the strength and light of the Eucharist.  The very word ‘Mass’ comes from the Latin ‘missa’, meaning ‘to be sent’ with a mission.

“This is why I want us to make 2017, a ‘Year for Mission’ – a year for us to be renewed in this sense of mission.  I would like us to begin by reflecting on the mission entrusted to us personally at the beginning of each week.”

Bishop Davies reminded the faithful that mission is lived principally in the places where people live and work.

“It is a mission rarely fulfilled in great and dramatic events,” he said. “Most often it is accomplished in the ordinary duties of each day.”

The Bishop also reminded Catholics that although Advent recalls the first coming of Our Lord, it is a time which celebrates how Jesus Christ comes to us now “in the Sacraments, above all in the Holy Eucharist” and will finally return in glory

He added: “This is the context in which we have met the challenges of history and have always looked confidently to the future.”


(Photo by Simon Caldwell)