Prayer 2024

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Today we begin the Year of Prayer; that is, a year dedicated to rediscovering the great value and absolute need for prayer in personal life, in the life of the church and in the world” (Pope Francis Angelus, January 21, 2024).

With these words, Pope Francis invites us all to embark on a journey of rediscovering the profound importance of prayer. The year dedicated to prayer is a stepping stone in preparation for the approaching Jubilee Year in 2025.

Every twenty-five years, the Church celebrates a Jubilee – a “Holy Year”.  The Jubilee is a celebration “characterized by the forgiveness of sins and in particular by the indulgence, which is a full expression of the mercy of God” (Pope Francis Letter for the Jubilee, February 11, 2022). The Jubilee is a time of special graces.  The year 2025 marks the next Jubilee, and the theme is Pilgrims of Hope. The coming months will lead us to the opening of the Holy Door on December 24, 2024, with which we will begin the Jubilee. 

The invitation to renew and deepen our experience of prayer goes hand in hand with the season of Lent.  We know that the three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  We fast or give something up to make more space in our lives for God’s grace.  Lent is a time to fast from things or habits that might act as roadblocks in our relationship with Jesus.  Almsgiving is an ancient practice.  By responding to the Lenten invitation to almsgiving, we make the needs of others our own and grow in compassion.  In addition to sharing material goods, we are also invited to share our time and talents with others, and we sow the seeds of compassion and solidarity with those in need.

Prayer is the source of grace and the path through which we can fast and give alms.  I echo Pope Francis’ desire that we dedicate this year “to a great symphony” of prayer. “Prayer, above all else, is to renew our desire to be in the presence of the Lord, to listen to him and to adore him. Prayer, moreover, to thank God for the many gifts of His love for us and to praise His work in creation, which summons everyone to respect it and to take concrete and responsible steps to protect it. Prayer as the expression of a single “heart and soul” (cf. Acts 4:32), which then translates into solidarity and the sharing of our daily bread. Prayer that makes it possible for every man and woman in this world to turn to the one God and to reveal to Him what lies hidden in the depths of their heart. Prayer as the royal road to holiness, which enables us to be contemplative even in the midst of activity. In a word, may it be an intense year of prayer in which hearts are opened to receive the outpouring of God’s grace and to make the “Our Father,” the prayer Jesus taught us, the life programme of each of his disciples.” (Pope Francis, February 11, 2022)  Prayer, indeed, is essential to our spiritual life, and there are so many beautiful ways parish communities, groups, and individuals pray. We are blessed to be enriched by different cultures, languages, charisms, gifts, styles of prayer, and beautiful devotions in our diocese.

As we begin this Lent, let us seize this precious opportunity to delve into the profound richness of prayer.

May this Year of Prayer be a transformative journey, opening our hearts to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our diocese, parishes, families, and communities.

United in prayer,

+ Joseph Dabrowski CSMA

Bishop of Charlottetown

Hello priests and parish staff,

Pope Francis has announced that 2025 is a Jubilee Year, with the theme: Pilgrims of Hope. In preparation he has asked that 2024 be a Year of Prayer so that we may enter fully into the celebrations of the Jubilee Year. In particular, the Holy Father has asked us to focus our reflection on the ‘Our Father’.

Diocesan staff are working on several initiatives related to the Year of Prayer, and more details will be forthcoming. For now, we are inviting parishes across the Diocese to join in using a monthly/seasonal intercessory prayer during the Prayers of the Faithful. These will be based on the seven petitions in the Our Father. The first one can be used throughout Lent, every week or as frequently as you like. 

The petition is:

“For the members of our parish community: that through our Lenten observances of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we will deepen our reverence for God’s work in our lives individually, and as a community.”


Lauren and the diocesan Year of Prayer Team

During Covid Pope Francis’ Wednesday Catechesis Sessions were on Prayer. His 39 talks are below in 3 PDF documents provide a rich and encouraging teaching on this essential part of human life.