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In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, this collection, which is held annually on the third Sunday of January in support of the Holy Father in his manifold services to the universal Church, is postponed until further notice.


In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the coming Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, originally scheduled to be held from 18 January to 25 January 2021, will be postponed to 18-25 May 2021.  Details will be announced in due course.


Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Letter, Aperuit Illis (30 September 2019), instituted the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time of every year as the Sunday of the Word of God, to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God.  On this occasion, the proper liturgical texts of the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time are to be adopted.

In the Apostolic Letter, the Holy Father highlighted the following points —

  • 1. Just as Jesus, our Risen Lord, had accompanied two disciples on their way to Emmaus, “opening their minds to understand the Scriptures” and nourishing them with His Body as the “Bread of Life” (cf. Lk 24: 13-35), so he will accompany the faithful on their pilgrimage to their heavenly goal and sustain them with the same spiritual nourishments.

  • 2. Being incorporated into the liturgy of the Church (especially the Eucharist), the Word of God has an intimate link with the liturgy. “The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the Body of the Lord.” (Dei Verbum, 21)

  • 3. The Scriptures, as written records of the Word of God, and the sacred Tradition (witness to the faith under different circumstances) of the Church handed down from one generation to the next, make up one single source of God’s Revelation (cf. Dei Verbum, 9-10). “The Scriptures and the sacred Tradition of the Church are the supreme rule of her faith” (Dei Verbum, 21) and the foundations of Christian spirituality (cf. 2Tim 3:16).

  • 4. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, had taught us: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”. Without the Scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of His Church would remain incomprehensible.   

  • 5. By setting aside “a Sunday given over entirely to the Word of God”, we can better appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant, day-to-day dialogue between the Lord and His People” during their earthly pilgrimage.

  • 6. It is fitting for the faithful to spare some time every day to mediate on the Scriptures with the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. They should also give importance to the readings of daily Masses and promote the Lectio Divina.  The Word of God has relevance for all ages and circumstances; a Christian can always receive enlightenment from the Word of God.

  • 7. It is fitting to set aside the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time every year for a special celebration focusing in the Word of God, since it is the time when the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities pray in a special way for Christian unity, and since it is also a time when the Catholic Church strengthens her bonds with the Jewish people. The Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity.

         Given at the Chancery Office,

28 December 2020.

Rev. Lawrence LEE


  • By: davc