Catholic Vancouver Oct. 5, 2017

Archbishop announces plan to visit all 77 parishes

By Agnieszka Ruck

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, meets a family at Holy Rosary Cathedral. (BCC file photo)

VANCOUVER—Catholics in the Lower Mainland may soon be seeing more of their archbishop.

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, has announced he will be paying visits to all 77 parishes in his archdiocese to get to know, and encourage, parishioners starting Oct. 19.

“Since the early days of the Church, it has been a privilege, as well as an expectation, for bishops to pay regular visits to their parishes,” he wrote in a letter to Father Bruce-John Hamilton, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, which will be the first to host him Oct. 19-22.

Parish visits “will allow me to invite parishioners to embrace the priorities and goals established for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, to encourage the faithful’s participation in the life of the parish, and for them to respond to God’s call with greater fervour,” Archbishop Miller said.

In the letter, he goes on to say that he looks forward to meeting the people in the pews, listening to their concerns, encouraging them, and sharing some advice about spiritual life and evangelization.

“The parish visit will enable us to celebrate with one another, as well as to learn from and inspire one another.”

Archbishop Miller plans to visit all 77 parishes. He admits that in an archdiocese that spans more than 100,000 square kilometers and includes 437,000 Catholics, this is a “daunting task.” He will start by visiting six parishes, one in each deanery, about one a month.

Initial parish visit schedule:
Oct. 19-22: Corpus Christi
Nov. 23-26: St. Matthew’s
Jan. 25-28: Holy Trinity
Feb. 22-25: St. Andrew’s
March 15-18: Holy Spirit
May 3-6: Sts. Joachim and Ann

If all goes well, he’ll continue visiting one parish each month, from Squamish to South Delta to Hope. After each visit, the archbishop will share his observations in a report for the pastor and congregation.

“Let us keep each other in prayer, asking the Lord to bless this visit so that it may be a fruitful celebration of what he is accomplishing in your parish family.”