Pastoral Vision continues in Winnipeg
By James Buchok
WINNIPEG — In 2005, Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber presented his Pastoral Vision, Building a Church of Communion, establishing four priorities for the archdiocesan church over the next 10 years: liturgy, education, stewardship and community building.
The celebration will feature sacred music and song, reflections on the vision of the Second Vatican Council and a visit by Manitoba-born Bishop Remi De Roo who, as Bishop of Victoria, B.C., attended all four sessions of the council, one of 104 Canadian bishops who participated.
“I can think of no better way to mark this anniversary than to gather as church to celebrate our journey together of these last 50 years,” said Deacon Ted Wood, director of Pastoral Services for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. Wood said the Second Vatican Council called the church a pilgrim people. “The joys and sorrows, the hopes and disappointments of the journey are all worthy of celebration because we have lived them together with Christ our Lord and fellow pilgrim.”
Wood said ever since the council, which opened on Oct. 11, 1962, Catholics have been on a journey, “seeking to discover anew the rich heritage of our Catholic faith and to make it known in our contemporary world.”
Wood said Weisgerber’s Pastoral Vision is drawn from a central teaching of the council, “that the church is not primarily an institution but a relationship of communion with one another and with God.”
In his Pastoral Vision, Weisgerber states that “understanding the church as communion means that we are called to reflect the life of the Trinity. The persons of the trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, are integral to one another and exist in self-giving love. If we are to live church as communion we are called to reflect the life of the Trinity; each of us is called to live in relationship, not only with God, but also with one another.”
Wood said the Pastoral Vision “calls us to build community in our homes, parishes and church organizations. Over the next two years we will seek to better appreciate the gift of community God has given us and to find ways to build it up and share it with others. The journey of the pilgrim people continues.”
The Friday evening of the celebration will feature a journey through 50 years of Catholic sacred music, followed by De Roo sharing his experiences as a newly ordained bishop participating in the council and recalling the essential features of the council’s vision for the church.
De Roo was born in Swan Lake, Man., attended elementary school there and completed his first university degree at Collège de Saint-Boniface (University of Manitoba) in 1946. He retired as bishop in 1999 at the mandatory age of 75 but continues lecturing as one of the few surviving council fathers.
Saturday will begin with morning prayer giving thanks for the journey, followed by reflections on “the journey today” with a panel of witnesses sharing their experience of church in light of the council’s vision and other individuals telling their stories. To conclude there will be an introduction to the community building phase of the Pastoral Vision, followed by Food for the Journey, a lunch celebrating cultural diversity.