faith | service | social justice

2019 Annual Report – National Spiritual Advisor

Jun 22, 2020 | Annual Reports, National

Bishop Stephen Jensen
National Spiritual Advisor

Throughout the first full year during my term as national spiritual advisor, I was pleased to offer some thoughts on what I had observed, experienced and learned as I worked with the national executive/board and staff.

First, on behalf of the bishops of Canada, I expressed appreciation for the League’s solidarity with us in promoting the life of faith and service in the parishes of the dioceses. The League was a strong partner for pastors in their efforts to build parish communities. The League’s initiatives to address moral issues that affected everyone in Canada strengthened the church’s witness and changed many lives for the better. I commended the national leadership for understanding and supporting the bishops’ efforts to strengthen the Catholic identity of Development and Peace—Caritas Canada, a work that would continue.

I attended the meetings of the board and, in the summer, the meeting of the resolutions committee that carefully reviewed proposals from the provincial level. I was very impressed by the dedication, professionalism and wisdom evident in the League’s national leadership. Its commitment to the highest standards of policy development ensured the League’s voice would be taken seriously in the councils of government.

As the implementation phase of the strategic plan unrolled, the need for effective communication of the plan to spiritual advisors and parish priests would be paramount. I would suggest that provincial presidents share the PowerPoint presentation with diocesan presidents, who could ask their bishops for time at a clergy study day or in deanery meetings to present the plan to pastors.

The job description for the national spiritual advisor listed three primary goals: he should be accessible to the national executive and, in particular, the national president, provide advice and guidance for spiritual programs and participate in meetings and conventions. I enjoyed working with an impressive group of women who guided the League at the national level, and I look forward to another year of service together.