Our guests, donors and sponsors showed incredible generosity and more than $80,000 was raised for our beneficiaries!
More than 800 guests including over 100 youth and representatives from 35 parishes, all 5 school boards, 16 Knights of Columbus and Catholic Women's League Councils, and 11 businesses, community partners and lay organizations attended this year's event at the Commonwealth Centre on October 19, 2017.
Guests enjoyed being entertained by singer & songwriter Janelle and the Bishop Carroll High School Choir before being inspired by the words of Michael Chiasson and Bishop William McGrattan.
Click the photo below to browse through the 2017 Bishop's Dinner Album
If the slideshow does not play in your browser, please view directly in the FLICKR PHOTO ALBUM HERE.
If you make a donation to the Diocese this year, you will notice your tax receipt speaks to the integral part of stewardship to our faith.
Biblical stewardship is more than giving of time, talent and treasure. “True generosity has no limits. When we say that mature disciples are to answer the call of Jesus Christ regardless of the cost, we are inviting good stewards to embody this type of generosity. We can be the person who does not respond to the call, be the person who responds and gives what is required, or finally, be the person who seeks to give above and beyond what is required. God doesn’t just give us what we need, but He gives us more than we need. Made in His image, we are called to do the same. If we try to live in this manner every day, then we might just succeed on leaving this world a little better than the way we found it” [Tracy Earl Welliver, Catholic Stewardship Coach].
At the core of all the charitable work we as Catholics engage in is a desire to live Christian stewardship in all we do, striving to make the world a better place. Each parish has elements of community outreach; many parishioners volunteer with or donate to their favourite charity. At a diocesan level, the Together in Action (TIA) Granting Program is one very tangible way in which our efforts to make the world a little better can be measured. We wanted to share a story with you in celebration of your generous giving to TIA and to encourage all of us to find other ways to make a difference in our communities around southern Alberta.
This year, Catholic Family Service (CFS) is celebrating 60 years of providing for the needs of people in Calgary and the surrounding area. The Diocese is honoured to partner with this amazing organization through the TIA granting program and this year marks 20 years of support of CFS’s Family & Schools Together (F&ST) program. This ground-breaking program, recognized by the United Nations, has connected families with their schools and communities since 1996. Recognizing that feeling connected and being part of a community has a big impact on our quality of life, the program works to give parents the support they need to be positive role models within their family and the community. Parents are empowered through education, group sessions and mentoring to: be leaders and role models for their family; be involved in their child’s school; and ensure their children are healthy and thriving both socially and academically.
We know that the ties that bind and make us strong go beyond just our immediate families. Relationships with friends and neighbours, schools, teachers, coaches, etc. are just as important to our health and well-being. Knowing we are not alone in our life journey can make all the difference. As one program parent explained it:
Our family enjoys every component of F&ST! My husband and I especially like being in Parent Group and find it very helpful to talk with other parents who are facing the same challenges as us. Each week our family is becoming more and more connected through F&ST. Our house is calmer after the program, my stress levels are reduced and we have started opening up our communication at home.
We all have gifts and talents that we can share by volunteering in our local communities with organizations like CFS. And by supporting TIA with your contributions, you are helping CFS and more than 40 other charities locally and internationally help make the world a better place! Thank you for working Together in Action with your fellow Catholics.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary is honoured to partner with Blue Sea Philanthropy, KAIROS Calgary and the Mustard Seed to host Coldest Night of the Year.
The Coldest Night of the Year is a non-competitive 2, 5, and 10km winter-walk happening in more than 90 communities across Canada. Charities in each community raise funds and awareness in support of individuals experiencing hunger, homelessness and hurt.
In this current economic climate, trying to raise funds through events has become a worrisome endeavour. Everyone’s dollars, both personal and corporate, are being stretched a little farther. As part of my job I recently spent the day out at the stunningly beautiful Silvertip Golf Resort in Canmore, Alberta hosting a very generous group of people golfing in support of the Diocese’s Feed the Hungry Golf Tournament. I spent a lot of the day monitoring the bottom line of our event, praying for success.
Despite our tournament not selling out for the first time in four years and the cancellation of our silent auction we raised $55,000! These funds will help Feed the Hungry continue its mission: to create a different type of Sunday for Calgary’s impoverished. We do that by serving a family-style sit-down dinner to almost 500 of our neighbours most Sundays in Mission at St. Mary’s Hall. How did we raise that $55,000? Because God provided for us. Whenever I was worried about how the event was going to turn out, I prayed. And He answered. First by giving me peace about the event, but then also with financial provision, including $38,000 in corporate sponsorships!
As I pondered how to share the story of our success, Matthew 6:28b came to mind, and I realized the story isn’t just about our event. It’s about the lesson learned. “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.” This whole passage of St. Matthew’s Gospel exhorts us not to worry. That as God cares for the creatures and the earth, so much more abundantly does He care for us, His children. If you are worried about a situation in your life, I encourage you to read this scripture and rest in His peace. If you are feeling called to reach out and help those in need, we can help connect you. Visit the Charities & Development website page at www.calgarydiocese.ca. Thank you to all our supporters who continue to give of their resources. We appreciate you so much.
For the last three years, hundreds of people have come together to raise funds for charities serving the vulnerable, displaced, and exploited at a little event with a big heart called Ride for Refuge. The diocesan Elizabeth House program is one of about 20 charitable beneficiaries supported by this event.
As I was reviewing the route map, I was struck by the perseverance it takes to ride a bike for 10 km, especially on the hilly sections! That is the cycling distance chosen by most of the participants in Ride for Refuge. It’s an even greater commitment for the participants who ride the 25 or 50 km options! These dedicated people make a big difference with their commitment. Elizabeth House has received more than $32,000 through the efforts of the devoted riders. For those seeking something a little less challenging, a 5 km cycling/walking route appropriate for all ages is also an option.
Commitment to a cause is not the only “race” we can run. The Epistle to the Hebrews calls us as believers to a different type of race: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” [Hebrews 12:1-2, RSVCE].
Often our “Christian” race sets us apart, with trials and pain. We carry on in obedience to our Lord for receiving salvation and grace.
Single motherhood is also a race of perseverance. Choosing to carry an unplanned pregnancy to term in a crisis situation often subjects a woman to shame, hostility, and rejection. If her life has been complicated by brokenness at home or in relationships, carrying her baby to term can be an even more daunting decision. During this Year of Mercy, we are called to assist in healing the wounds of those who are struggling. We cannot make the choice to carry the child for a young woman. We can, however, assist her healing journey to parental wholeness by making sure Elizabeth House exists. We can “race” alongside the women we serve by providing a safe place in which to complete their pregnancy and access programs to seek out a desired life change, healthy parenting tools, and life skill education. Ride for Refuge is one way to raise the necessary funds needed to run the Elizabeth House “race.”
We’d love to have you and your team of friends and family join us on Saturday, October 1 to participate! Volunteers are needed as well! See Diocesan Dates on page 21 of the September edition of the Carillon for details.