They Still Bring Forth Fruit in Old Age

July 15, 2020

Dear Father,

Please find attached a Message issued by the CCCB Executive Committee entitled They Still Bring Forth Fruit in Old Age: A Lesson on Caring in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic / Vieillissant, il fructifie encore : Prendre soin des autres : une leçon à apprendre au milieu de la pandémie de la COVID-19.

Officially dated 1 July 2020, it raises the urgent need for in-depth discussion and crucial changes in order to respond to the very difficult conditions experienced during the COVID‑19 pandemic by many of the elderly across Canada and other persons who are marginalized by society.  

+Bishop Richard

Message by the Executive Committee of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great suffering and enormous difficulties for many people who are already vulnerable. This is a cause for great alarm and concern for us as Catholic Bishops, and for the Catholic faithful of our country.

The pandemic has inflicted unique difficulties and exceptional hardships on many, especially those in long-term institutional care, single-parent families, the unemployed, migrant farm workers, the homeless, Indigenous communities, those who are imprisoned, and many who were already experiencing different illnesses of body and mind.

Yet the weeks and months of confinement have also provided many with opportunities for renewing relationships, finding creative ways of sharing the burden, and promoting activities which are more spiritual and meaningful in daily living. Furthermore, the elusive and unhealthy lack of balance in our lives between faith and prayer, work, family duties, community engagement, sports and hobbies has also become a reality.

While the pandemic has been experienced in different ways according to one’s situation, it has also brought a new awareness of the limitations we face as a society and the challenges of the conditions of those who are vulnerable.

Perhaps we have also gained a new appreciation for the basic human rights of health, social security, essential work and employment, education, health and religion which all contribute to the authentic dignity of the human person and the necessary fabric that promotes the common good.

The inter-connectedness of our human experience during the pandemic lends itself to an array of possibilities and opportunities, but also of threats and temptations that need to be looked at honestly and frequently.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that the common good and human dignity are linked to “the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard … privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion,” as well as access to “food, clothing, health, work, education and culture, suitable information, the right to establish a family” (1907-08).

To read the full message in English click here:

To read the full message in French click here: