[Europe.justus] Your Bishop's Lenten message

Bishop bishop at tec-europe.org
Wed Feb 25 10:14:31 GMT 2009

Dear People and Clergy of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in  

I write you this as I leave the island of Réunion, a French  
département in the Indian Ocean. The Province of the Indian Ocean  
asked me to come and help re-launch a mission church on the island, as  
I am the Bishop in France and can easily launch a new association  
cultuelle with my Paris address. This helps enormously with various  
concerns and procedures of the French government in the founding of  
worship communities. This visit, with its joint liturgy,  
Confirmations, and meetings with the mission planting team and the  
Catholic Bishop, has been in the works for six years now. Archbishop  
Ernest Ian of the Indian Ocean, who is also president of the Council  
of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), has expressed his pleasure  
with this cooperative mission. For it is a cooperation between  
Anglican provinces, at a time when we all need to be able to  
demonstrate that being the Anglican Communion means above all that we  
realize and act upon the common mission that we share in Europe, the  
Indian Ocean, and "away to the ends of the earth" (Act 1:8).

I would ask your prayers for God's blessing upon the new Église  
Épiscopale de l'Île de la Réunion, and upon their bishop in charge,  
the Rt. Rev. Roger Po Chung Joamalaza, and their vicar, the Rev. Emile  
Victor Rakotoarivelo.

Moreover, for us in Europe, as we begin this season of Lent, the new  
start can symbolize what the theme of Lent is all about—reconciliation  
and yes, reunion with God the Holy Trinity and with one another.

For many centuries, the Church has asked us to observe a season of  
reflection before celebrating the mighty acts of God in the passion,  
death and resurrection of Jesus. As the days lengthen (hence the name  
"Lent") toward Easter, we have this opportunity starting tomorrow, Ash  
Wednesday, to consider deeply what our faith actually means to us in  
the living of our daily lives. The mission of the Church, to which I  
allude above, is "to restore all people to unity with God and each  
other in Christ." This mission is accomplished through all of us, in  
our prayers, worship, and acts of justice, peacemaking and love,  
according to our Catechism (BCP 856).

Therefore these days of Lent are meant for us to reflect and act  
individually, especially upon reconciliation and reunion.

How am I reconciled with God? What is the unfinished business between  

With whom am I not reconciled among those I know? Why not? What can I  

Consider accepting these disciplines for Lent 2009:

As a Lenten discipline, work on your relationship with God in Jesus  
Christ. Speaking to a priest can help (it is what we are here for),  
and I recommend that you consider the sacrament of Reconciliation.

As a Lenten discipline, pick one person with whom you are  
unreconciled, and work on that relationship (again, your priest can be  
helpful here).

As a Lenten discipline, choose something from which to fast that is  
not something to put in your mouth (as well as something that is, if  
you find it helpful). Find new ways to reduce your carbon footprint— 
the amount of carbon dioxide each of us puts in the air through our  
use of technology—and thus work on being reconciled with "this fragile  
Earth, our island home."

The poet George Herbert ends his poem entitled, "Lent" thus:

Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone,
Is much more sure to meet with him, than one
		                     That travelleth by-ways:
Perhaps my God, though he be far before,
May turn, and take me by the hand, and more
		                     May strengthen my decays.

Yet Lord instruct us to improve our fast
By starving sin and taking such repast
		                     As may our faults control:
That ev'ry man may revel at his door,
Not in his parlor; banqueting the poor,
		                     And among those his soul.
(the whole can be found at http://www.ccel.org/h/herbert/temple/Lent.html)

A blessed Lent to each one of you. And please pray for me.

Bishop Pierre

Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
23, avenue George V
75008 Paris France
+33 1 53 23 84 06  (tel)
+33 1 49 52 96 85 (fax)
office at tec-europe.org

Bishop (Mgr) Pierre Whalon
Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe
23, avenue George V
75008 Paris France
+33 1 53 23 84 06  (tel)
+33 1 49 52 96 85 (fax)
office at tec-europe.org

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