The Directory for Bishops stipulates that the diocesan pastor should make a pastoral visit of his parishes every five years. I made such a visit shortly after my arrival in Gatineau in 2011. I had intended to do a second one a few years ago, but our diocesan synodal process and the subsequent pandemic forced me to postpone that project. I believe the time has come to put my good intentions into action. I am therefore announcing an episcopal pastoral visit of the parishes of the archdiocese beginning this October.
I propose to proceed by zones. The tentative schedule is as follows:
For each of these zones, I would like to form a team of priests and some lay leaders to prepare, animate and evaluate the visit. Among the proposed activities: a regional retreat, workshops on the priorities identified during the synodal consultation (living liturgies, welcoming parishes, sharing the Word), sessions on evangelization, etc.
Each parish will be invited to make an analysis of its vitality, based on guidelines that will be provided to them in preparation for the visit. This will allow us to look together at the future of Christian life in the area and the paths to follow to ensure the spread of the Gospel in the community.
I ask all the faithful of the diocese to hold this visit in their prayers starting today. Together, let us live this time as a moment of celebration, discernment and communion.
+ Paul-André Durocher