As we turn the calendar on a New Year, we look back and give thanks for the many blessings enjoyed in 2010 and remember those challenging moments both in our own lives and for those around the world.
May 2011 be an opportunity for each one of us to be agents of change, peacemakers, people of faith committed to fostering communities of love, peace and joy.
You can view the Holy Father's message for the 2011 World Day of Peace here. A brief excerpt appears below:
Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, in as much as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family.
We remember in a special way Christians of the Middle East who have been persecuted in a particularly violent way in 2010. Our Archdiocese is also working extensively through our parishes to sponsor both Christian and non-Christian families fleeing the region looking to call Canada home.
We pray for peace in the world in 2011, especially in places that aren't always front page stories - whether it be parts of Africa still engulfed in civil war, communist countries where personal and religious freedoms have paralyzed the people for decades or even the conflicts within our own communities; from longtime family squabbles, friendships gone sour or personal relationships filled with violence and abuse, let's pledge to do all that we can to offer our prayers and personal commitment to follow the example of Christ in all that we do.
May this New Year be filled with hope, faith, love and peace! Happy 2011 to one and all!