Bishop McGrattan made the following announcements on Friday, February 23, 2018:
- Very Rev. John Schuster has announced his retirement from the position of Moderator of the Curia, which will become effective at the time of the pastoral moves in August, 2018. Fr. Schuster will continue to serve the Diocese of Calgary as Vicar General. Fr. Schuster has worked at the Catholic Pastoral Centre as Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General since 1989. Fr. Schuster was born in Cliftonville, Saskatchewan and ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1965 by Archbishop Jordan. Fr. Schuster has served at the Catholic Pastoral Centre and several parishes of the Calgary Diocese as Pastor and Assistant Pastor. Additionally, his brother priests have elected him to the positions of Dean and Vice Dean. Fr. Schuster is a respected priest in the Diocese whose ministry has supported the growth of the Diocese and its faithfulness. He is a well-loved presence at the Catholic Pastoral Centre known for his empathy, quick wit, and short meetings. Fr. Schuster says, “I have happily and obediently served five Bishops and seen the growth of the Diocese over that time. It is a blessing in my life to have had the opportunity to serve as Moderator of the Curia and I will continue to support Bishop McGrattan and Fr. Wilbert Chin Jon in my role as Vicar General.” Bishop McGrattan expressed his deep appreciation for Fr. Schuster’s work saying, “Fr. Schuster has been a constant and faithful servant for the Diocese of Calgary. I am personally grateful for his support in my transition to the Diocese of Calgary and I thank Fr. Schuster for his willingness to continue sharing his knowledge of the Diocese and experience as Vicar General.”
- Rev. Wilbert Chin Jon will be appointed as Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Calgary effective August 1, 2018. Fr. Chin Jon was born in the Philippines and ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Calgary in 2004. He has an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from the Ateneo de Davao University, a Jesuit university in the Philippines, and a Master of Divinity degree from St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario. Fr. Chin Jon has fourteen years of experience in parish ministry as Associate, Administrator and Pastor. Fr. Chin Jon was Pastor of Our Lady of the Rockies in Canmore from 2015 until the present. As of April 13, 2018, Fr. Chin Jon will reside at St. Bernard’s/Our Lady of the Assumption in Calgary and administrate the parish until the time of the pastoral moves when he will assume the full-time role of Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Calgary. He will also begin a period of orientation at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre under the direction of Bishop William McGrattan and Fr. John Schuster.
- Fr. Nathan Siray is appointed as Pastor at Our Lady of the Rockies in Canmore effective April 13, 2018. Fr. Siray was born in Calgary and ordained to the priesthood in 2011. He received his Master of Divinity degree from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. Most recently since 2015, Fr. Siray served as Pastor at St. Bernard’s/Our Lady of the Assumption in Calgary. On December 3, 2017, Bishop McGrattan announced the designation of the new church, Our Lady of the Rockies, as a Diocesan Marian Shrine, taking effect on the consecration of the new church building. Fr. Siray will pastorally lead this vision for the new church in his appointment at Our Lady of the Rockies Parish.
- Lenten Mission with Fr. Eugene O'Reilly at St. Pius X Parish, Calgary
When: Monday, February 26 to Thursday, March 1, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: St. Pius X Parish, 2424 - 24 AVE NW, Calgary
Speaker: Father Eugene O’Reilly, CSsR
- Lenten Mission with Peter Thompson at St. Joseph, Calgary
When: Monday to Wednesday (March 5, 6 & 7) at 7 pm (Holy Mass at teach night).
Where: St. Joseph's Parish, 640 19th Ave NW, Calgary
Speaker: Peter Thompson
- Divine Mercy Lenten Mission at St. Michael Catholic Community, Calgary
When: Tuesdays March 6, 13, and 20, beginning with Mass at 7 pm each night
Where: St. Michael's Church at 800 85 St SW, Calgary, AB
Speakers: Fr. Jerome Lavigne, Fr. Cristino Bouvette, and Sharon van der Sloot.
- Lenten Mission with Fr. Julian Studden at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish, Calgary
When: Sunday, March 11 (begins with Mass at 11 AM), and Monday to Wednesday (March 12, 13, 14) at 7 pm each night.
Where: Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church at 1714 14 Ave NE, Calgary
Speaker: Father Julian Studden
If you would like to share your Lenten Mission information with us, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 11, 2018
World Day of the Sick
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Catholic health care has been an integral part of the Church’s pioneering and evangelizing ministry in southern Alberta that precedes the founding of the province. Inspired by the charisms of religious congregations, many of these Catholic health ministries continue to enrich the lives of Albertans today bringing important spiritual and ethical dimensions to our health care system.
Our Catholic ministries are a vital part of the Church’s response to the needs of our aging population, providing healthy environments and services to help seniors flourish as active and vibrant contributors to our community, as well as care for those who face the difficult challenges that come with declining health. I am extremely grateful for the work of our parish pastoral care volunteers and the Catholic organizations such as Father Lacombe Nursing Home and the Covenant family of providers – Covenant Health, Covenant Care and Covenant Living.
As providers of hospital care, seniors’ care, outreach services and palliative care, our Catholic health providers continue the healing ministry of Jesus upholding the sacredness of life and honoring the vital link between spirituality and healing as women and men follow their calling to serve each other with compassion and respect.
In recent years, Covenant Care and Covenant Living’s service to our Diocese has grown. Since 2013, Covenant Care has expanded its supportive living and hospice care to three sites in Calgary—Holy Cross and St. Marguerite Manors located in the Evanston neighborhood, and St. Teresa Place in the Redstone neighborhood. In the past year, Covenant Living has also established a retirement living community in Calgary at Evanston Summit with suites and apartments for seniors. These are welcome additions to our Catholic community.
Pope Francis in his message for the 26th World Day of the Sick writes, “… the work of Catholic religious congregations and dioceses and their hospitals is aimed not only at providing quality medical care, but also at putting the human person at the centre of the healing process…”
I encourage you to visit and learn more about these caring communities that live out our Catholic faith and tradition with fidelity and compassion. Let us keep healthcare leaders, caregivers, and the people they serve in our prayers.
Yours in Christ,
† Most Reverend William T. McGrattan, D.D.
Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary
In his Message for this year’s World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis looks to the Cross of Christ for redemption from suffering and to Mary as Mother of the Church, a mother who looks out for all her children. The Pope’s example of practical accompaniment of the sick, the dying and the elderly is shown in his frequent visits to hospitals, seniors’ homes and in his loving attention to the sick and people with disabilities who come to his weekly audiences. Accompanying and encountering the sick are watchwords of his ministry of mercy, and an example of how Mary looks after her children. We, too, can support the sick through many different organizations and in many varied ways:
- We can work politically to ensure that our health care and social service systems will focus on not only direct medical services, but will also strive to improve the social determinants of health.
- In order to optimize infant and child healthcare and to be intentional about disease prevention as life begins, we can make political demands in their interests.
- We can also support the claims of those employed in health care and social services who are overworked or underpaid.
From the Catholic viewpoint of improving the common good, we must ask whether our national budgetary provisions for health care are sufficient? If not, are those who are more financially secure willing to pay more so that others may benefit, beyond accepting an already somewhat heavy tax burden?
We are becoming more aware of regional injustices, even at the level of not having clean water available – in Canada! In 2018! We know this need not be, so we are challenged to respond.
- Some will be called to take political and social action to improve our health systems on behalf of the sick, as above.
- Some are called to be of great practical assistance to the sick, the frail and the elderly. volunteering in hospices, in hospitals and long-term care homes.
- Some participate in athletic and other events to raise awareness for specific charities and causes, at the same time persuading other people to support those causes financially.
- Many people are involved professionally in responding to the needs of the poor, the homeless, the elderly, those with addictions and so on, and many give their time and talents in other ways – financially, personally and spiritually through donating, volunteering, praying and raising awareness through their personal witness and commitment.
At an international level, Canada contributes large amounts in government aid to many countries and organizations, and many of us do so in a smaller way, through financial support of organizations that help medically and socially.
- Instead of birthday gifts, we can ask for a well (or part of one!) to be built in a developing country; we can ‘send’ friends some goats, pigs or chickens – redirected, of course, to a family who will benefit directly from them.
- We can send medical supplies and educational materials through organizations such as Chalice, based in Nova Scotia, while many hospitals such as St. Joseph’s in Hamilton send medical teams with suitable supplies to help in countries in need, in this case, Haiti
We can be inspired by many local examples of accompanying and encountering the sick in the spirit of Pope Francis. Here are a few examples that have struck me recently:
- In the Archdiocese of Québec, teams of two are going out to visit the sick, the lonely and the vulnerable – all people who need our special care and attention, even more so in today’s world.
- I have a priest friend who started to visit the psychiatric ward of a local hospital, making himself available for conversation to anyone who would like to chat. Being ‘listened to’ is a great gift, and another form of accompanying the sick.
- I just heard recently from two sisters I know who have left their full-time careers to look after their other sister with early signs of dementia, in order to keep her at home in her own surroundings and involved in family life as long as possible.
We all know parish nurses who look after the elderly, the housebound and the sick in their local areas and who include prayer, a spiritual dimension and parish ‘talk’ in their visits, which many homebound people miss.
I am sure there are countless examples we can all give of how we accompany and encounter the sick, and Pope Francis reminds us that the prime example is Mary. She stood at the foot of the Cross, sorrowing no doubt, but she was THERE, accompanying Jesus to the end. Aware of this, it is natural that we should turn to her for encouragement in our accompanying and encountering those who need it support!
Mary, Help of the Sick, pray for us!
Moira McQueen, LLB, MDiv, PhD
Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute
Here is a possible option that Catholic parishes, ministries, schools or organizations may wish to consider if applying for the Canada Summer Jobs program:
- Print out the application form
- Strike out the following clause which is currently the third bullet point in the Attestation: “Both the job and my organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression”
- Insert the following clause (which would become the fourth and final bullet point in the Attestation: “I attest my organization will abide by the law in our hiring practices and all our other activities.”
- With the new bullet point having been added, check the box “I attest”.
- Mail or fax the completed application form by the deadline 2 February 2018.
This should highlight well how faith groups and media are questioning the government’s approach, especially in view of the Charter’s protections for the fundamental freedoms of religion, conscience, thought, belief, opinion and expression which are at stake.