Dear People of the Archdiocese of St. John’s:
As you know our Archdiocese is actively working to address the claims of abuse at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, for which the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal has held us vicariously liable.
As a Catholic community, we are called to provide an environment of compassion to victims who have experienced abuse and to do all we can to bring healing to the victims, their loved ones and the entire community of faith.
Presently, we are working with a team of advisors on a major restructuring plan to provide a resolution of the victims’ claims. This plan will involve consolidation and downsizing at both the diocesan and the parish levels. While the resolution of these claims will have significant implications for the parishes and parishioners of our Archdiocese, we must remember that the Catholic faith is not based on bricks and mortar. It is a faith based on a belief in a God of love and mercy who invites us to trust in Him and to share His love with one another. If we remain firm in this belief in God’s goodness, and if we seek to reflect it in how we deal with our present situation, we can be assured that God will be with us in our efforts and that the final result will be a blessing to us all.
Over the coming weeks you may expect to see some properties listed on the real estate market. There may also be discussions at a parish level around potential changes that may come. We ask you to have patience throughout this process. We are still very much in an information gathering stage and when decisions are made we will communicate those directly. For now, we must do the necessary work to evaluate all aspects of our archdiocese.
I am convinced that if we journey together through this process with trust, patience and goodwill, we can help address the pain of the past and lay the foundation of hope for the future.
As we move forward with this process, I ask that you please join with me in praying for God’s guidance, healing for the victims, and understanding, compassion and patience for us all.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop of St. John’s