Let’s Teach Our Children: Life is Special

Every year in October we are invited to publicly demonstrate our pro-life values. On the first Sunday of the month we celebrate Respect Life Sunday. In some areas in the Diocese, including Calgary, we have the opportunity to participate in the “Life Chain” where people stand on both sides of a busy street holding pro-life signs. Throughout the month we are particularly encouraged to pray for the safety of the unborn and for their mothers. We also pray for those who contemplate assisted suicide and for their doctors that they may have a change of heart and honour life from conception until natural death. At the same time we pray for doctors who do not want to participate in the killing of others, that they may not be forced to take part in such acts; and we pray for those who had or were involved in an abortion, that they may find healing and reconciliation.

Being pro-life means advocating for the protection of all human life. The teaching of pro-life values begins at a very early age. Parents are most influential when it comes to preventing their young children from making harmful and morally wrong choices. Focusing on the value of human life, no child is too young to understand that they are loved. Kisses, hugs, words of encouragement and affirmation are perfect ways to make a child feel loved and special. As the child gets older parents can explain the value of human life by pointing out the differences in people’s appearances and telling them that each person is unique and special. Then there comes a day when a child asks the question, “Where do babies come from?” In today’s society, parents expect this question to be asked by their young children, but when it is actually presented to them they often feel put on the spot and struggle with the appropriate answer. Luckily, there are a number of good books available to children and their parents that can be of helpful assistance.

Here are two books for pre-school to third grade children.

Both are available at many libraries and bookstores:

  • Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss: It tells the story of Horton, the kind-hearted elephant who rescues the citizens of Whoville. Horton’s philosophy is “a person’s a person no matter how small.” It is a gentle lead into the humanity and dignity of the unborn.
  • Before You Were Born by Jennifer Davis: It is short and easy to understand for children of preschool age to third grade and includes a simple approach to the unborn baby’s development. There are interactive pages that children can peek into and look at.
    Some suggested family pro-life activities:
  • Look for books similar to the ones mentioned above (for smaller children and for older children and youth).
  • Participate in the pro-life awareness and fund raising activities in your area.
  • Arrange for a visit to a family member or to a family from your church that has a newborn baby.
  • Take the children to visit people in a home for seniors. Contact your parish if you don’t know how to go about it.
  • Collect and donate funds to Elizabeth House, the home for the less fortunate young women and their babies supported by the Calgary Diocese.
  • Discuss the cycle of life with your older children and teenagers.
  • Add your own pro-life activities to the list.

Prayer :
Heavenly Father, the beauty and dignity of human life
was the crowning of your creation.
Help us to realize the sacredness of human life
and to respect it from the moment of conception
until the last moment of life.
Give us courage to speak out in defense of life.
Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy
and forgiveness to those who do not
reverence this precious gift.
We ask this in Jesus’ Name.

Related Offices Life & Family Resource Centre (LFRC)
Related Themes Children Life Issues Prolife Family

Diocesan Liturgical Calendar

  • Below is the list of diocesan liturgical calendar of Bishop William T. McGrattan. Unless otherwise noted, the liturgies or prayers are led by Bishop McGrattan. Note that the schedule is subject to change. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Liturgy at 403-218-5511 or 403-218-5524, or e-mail 

January 2018

  • January 18 - Week of Prayer of Christian Unity - Ambrose University at 11 AM. 
  • January 19 - School Blessing - Guardian Angels School (CCSD). Fr. Jerome Lavigne presiding.
  • January 21 - Relic Pilgrimage of St. Francis Xavier - Mass and Sung Vespers at St. Albert the Great.
  • January 22 - School Blessing - Apostles of Jesus (CCSD). Fr. Jerome Lavigne presiding.
  • January 25 - School Blessing - Holy Child (CCSD). Fr. Jerome Lavigne presiding.
  • January 25 - Week of Prayer of Christian Unity - St. Joseph's Church, Calgary at 7 PM. Fr. Yaroslaw Dziuba presiding.
  • January 28 - Parish Closing - Our Lady of the Rockies, Canmore.

February 2018 

  • February 17 - Rite of Election - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary at 7:30 PM
  • February 18 - Mass for Mark Drapal's Admission to the Ministry of Acolyte, St. Cecilia, Calgary at 9 AM.
  • February 18 - Rite of Election - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary at 3:30 PM 
  • February 20 - Faith Day - Christ the Redeemer School Disrict

March 2018

  • March 20 - 20th Anniversary of St. Albert the Great, Calgary
  • March 24 - Mass for the Acies Legion of Mary - St. Patrick, Calgary
  • March 25 - Palm Sunday Mass - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 26 - Chrism Mass at 7:30 PM - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 27 - Mass for Noli Timere Youth Group at St. Mary's University, Calgary
  • March 29 - Holy Thursday at 7 PM - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 30 - The Outdoor Way of the Cross at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary 
  • March 30 - Good Friday at 3 PM - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • March 31 - Easter Vigil at 8 PM - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary

April 2018

  • April 1 - Easter Sunday at St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • April 3 - L'Arche Easter Prayer Service, Calgary
  • April 4 - Mass at the Man of the Shroud Exhibition - St. Peter's Church, Calgary
  • April 7 - Confirmation Mass - St. Augustine/St. Joseph (Taber/Vauxhall)
  • April 8 - Divine Mercy Sunday Mass - Holy Spirit Parish, Calgary
  • April 11 - Mass - St. Mary's University, Calgary
  • April 12 - Institution of Acolyte for Permanent Deacons - St. Albert the Great, Calgary
  • April 14 - Confirmation Mass - St. Albert the Great, Calgary
  • April 14 - Confirmation Mass - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • April 15 - Confirmation Mass - Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Calgary
  • April 15 - Confirmation Mass - St. Albert the Great, Calgary
  • April 17 - Confirmation Mass - Ascension, Calgary (at St. Luke's Calgary)
  • April 20 - Confrmation Mass - St. Joseph's, Calgary
  • April 21 - Confirmation Mass - St. Peter's, Calgary
  • April 22 - Confirmation Mass - St. Mary's, Cochrane
  • April 25 - Confirmation Mass - St. Bonaventure, Calgary
  • April 27 - Confirmation Mass - All Saints Parish, Lethbridge
  • April 28 - Confirmation Mass - Sacred Heart Parish, Strathmore
  • April 28 - Confirmation Mass - St. Paul's, Airdrie & St. Agnes, Carstairs
  • April 29 - Confirmation Mass - Sacred Heart, Calgary
  • April 29 - Confirmation Mass - St. Thomas More, Calgary
  • April 30 - Mass for CCSSA

May 2018

  • May 3 - Confirmation Mass - St. Pius X & Ascension Parishes, Calgary
  • May 4 - Confirmation Mass - St. James, Okotoks
  • May 5 - Cconfirmation Mass - St. Mary's Parish, Banff
  • May 6 - Confirmation Mass - St. Cecilia, Calgary
  • May 6 - Confirmation Mass - St. Michael's, Calgary
  • May 8 - Confirmation Mass - Holy Trinity, Calgary
  • May 10 - Confirmation Mass - Holy Spirit, Calgary
  • May 11 - St. Mary's University Convocation - St. Albert the Great, Calgary
  • May 11 - Confirmation Mass - Corpus Christi, Calgary
  • May 12 - Confirmation Mass - St. James, Okotoks
  • May 12 - Confirmation Mass - St. Vincent Liem, Calgary
  • May 13 - Confirmation Mass - Immaculate Conception, Standoff
  • May 13 - Confirmation Mass - St. Luke, Calgary
  • May 18 - Confirmation Mass - St. Rita's, Rockyford
  • May 19 - Confirmation Mass - St. Gabriel the Archangel, Chestermere
  • May 20 - Confirmation Mass - Holy Family & St. Patrick Parishes, Medicine Hat
  • May 25 - Bishop Kidd School's 50th Anniversary Mass, Calgary
  • May 25 - Confirmation Mass - Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, Calgary
  • May 26 - Confirmation Mass - St. Gerard, Calgary
  • May 26 - Feed the Hungry Blessing - Feed the Hungry Garden in Glenmore, Calgary
  • May 27 - Confirmation Mass - Our Lady of Fatima, Calgary
  • May 27 - Confirmation Mass - Our Lady Queen of Peace, Calgary
  • May 30 - Confirmation Mass - St. Mary's, Brooks
  • May 31 - Confirmation Mass - Holy Name, Calgary

JUNE 2018

  • June 1 - Provincial CWL Convention - St. James, Okotoks
  • June 1 - Closing Mass for the Homeschool Community - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • June 1 - Confirmation - St. Mark, Calgary
  • June 2 - Confirmation - Our Lady of M. Bistrica, Calgary
  • June 2 - Confirmation - St. Martha, Lethbridge
  • June 10 - Renewal of Promises - Permanent Diaconate - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • June 13 - Cemetery Mass - St. Mary's Cemetery, Calgary
  • June 14 - Cemetery Mass - Holy Family Cemetery, Calgary
  • June 16 - 100th Anniversary of St. Rita's, Rockyford
  • June 17 - Confirmation - Canadian Martyrs, Calgary
  • June 23 - Anniversary Mass of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, Calgary
  • June 24 - Mass & Picnic - St. Patrick's Parish, Medicine Hat
  • June 26 - Mass for the Feast of St. Josemaria Escriva - Assumption Church, Calgary
  • June 29 - Ordination of Derek Remus to the Priesthood at 7 PM - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • June 30 - Opening Prayer and Blessing - Sandwich Foundation, Our Lady of Fatima, Calgary

JULY 2018

  • July 1 - Consecration of Canada (All Parishes)


  • TBD - CRSD Opening - St. James, Okotoks
  • Aug 30 - CCSD Opening - BMO Centre, Calgary


  • TBD  - Franco Sud Opening - FCJ Centre
  • TBD  - Priests' Jubilee - St. Anthony
  • September 12 - StMUC Opening - St. Mary's University
  • TBD - UofC Opening - St. Pius X
  • Sep 28 - One Rock - St. Michael's, Calgary
  • Sep 29 - One Rock - St. Micahel's, Calgary


  • Oct 10 - Red Mass - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary.
  • TBD - White Mass - St. Anthony, Calgary
  • TBD - Blue Mass - St. Cecilia, Calgary


  • Nov 1 - CCSD Faith Day - BMO Centre
  • Nov 17 - Ordination to the Permanent Diaconate - 7:30 PM at St. Mary's Cathedral
  • Nov 23 - Miscarriage Liturgy - 7 PM at Sacred Heart, Calgary
  • TBD - KofC Memorial - St. Luke's, Calgary
  • TBD - Red Mass - St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary
  • TBD - CWL 75th Anniversary - St. James, Okotoks
  • Rejoice in God's Mercy - each Wednesday of Advent 2018


  • Dec 5- StMUC Patron Day Mass - St. Mary's University
  • Dec 24 - Christmas Mass - St. Mary's Cathedral


  • Jan 13 - Migrant & Refugee Mass - Holy Spirit Parish (to be confirmed) and all parishes


MARCH 2019

  • Rejoice in God's Mercy - each Wednesday of Lent 2018
  • Mar 6 - Ash Wednesday - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • Mar 9 - Rite of Election - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • Mar 10 - Rite of Election - St. Mary's Cathedral

APRIL 2019

  • TBD - StMUC end of term Mass - St. Mary's University
  • Apr 15 - Chrism Mass - 7:30 PM St. Mary's Cathedral
  • April 18- Holy Thursday - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • April 19 - Good Friday  - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • April 20 - Easter Vigil  - St. Mary's Cathedral
  • April 21 - Easter Sunday - St. Mary's Cathedral 
Related Offices Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Diocesan Event Diocesan Celebration

Women at the Heart of Peace

As part of Development and Peace Jubilee campaign celebrating our 50 years, Caritas Canada is now looking to the future. After highlighting the role of women at the heart of change in the Share Lent campaign, the Fall education campaign focuses on women’s role in building peace.

Women and peace: a historical relationship 

Women have long been associated with peace and reconciliation around the world. Women have made vital contributions to peacebuilding and peace processes in diverse places such as Colombia, Guatemala, Liberia, Northern Ireland and the Philippines, just to name a few. There are countless examples and studies of women’s organizations engaging in the process of peace and reconciliation, whether at the national or international level, going as far back as World War I. 

The impact of women peacebuilders was publicly recognized and rewarded in 2011, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three inspiring women for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work: Ellen John¬son Sirleaf (Liberia), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) and Tawakkul Karman (Yemen). This decision by the Nobel Committee reaffirmed the importance of women’s contribution to peace.  

We are all invited to learn more about the vital role women play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. All around the world, courageous women are working for a more peaceful world.  

Together, let’s take action for peace!

LET’S COMMIT to standing alongside women and organizations that strive to build a more just and peaceful world. Because women play a vital role in conflict prevention and in building just, sustainable and inclusive peace.

Your action counts! We suggest different ways of acting, so you can do it your own way. Support our campaign by filling out our online Action Card, or by spreading it on social networks.  


  • Poster | Give your campaign visibility with this beautiful poster.
  • Action Sheet | The Action Sheet summarizes the key thematic issues of our campaign and calls for action to recognize the importance of including women in peace processes.
  • Action Card | The Action Card is our main mobilization tool. Please distribute Action Cards in large numbers in order to send a strong message to the Canadian government: supporting women is supporting peace!
  • Faith Based Reflection | This short reflection explores how our faith calls on us to recognize and support the work done by women working for peace.
  • Backgrounder | In this backgrounder, you’ll find a detailed analysis of women and peace process, as well as examples of our partners’ work on these issues.
  • Campaign Guide | The Campaign Guide was included in the Campaign Ordering Kit and will also be included with each order.
Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Development and Peace

Emergency Relief Aid for flood victims in Texas and Asia

The current hurricane season in the US and the monsoon season in SE Asia have brought much destruction due to flooding. Hurricane Harvey has caused thousands of homes to be destroyed and people evacuated to shelters. Devastating floods across SE Asia have displaced 41 million people. When natural disaster happens, the resulting death and destruction becomes a shared experience wherever it strikes.

Outreach efforts by the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston have included 25 parishes serving as shelters and/or donation centres. Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will be providing direct long-term assistance and case management services to victims as they begin to rebuild.

Meanwhile, Caritas organizations are responding to the needs in India, Nepal and Bangladesh by providing food, clean drinking water, and shelter. Emergency relief is also focused on preventing the spread of waterborne disease by delivering health, hygiene and sanitation support.

Let us pray for the victims of these disasters, standing in solidarity with them as they continue with recovery efforts and start to rebuild from such devastation. Just as the Diocese mobilized together when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, let us once again do so to help the millions impacted by these natural disasters.

Donations made to help with Hurricane Harvey will be sent to the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston/Houston. Donations made to assist with the emergency relief in SE Asia will be sent through Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada to help with humanitarian aid for Caritas India, Caritas Bangladesh and Caritas Nepal. Donations can be made online through the Diocese of Calgary website or mailed to the Catholic Pastoral Centre.

Please forward all funds collected to the Pastoral Centre. 

  • Send a cheque to Catholic Pastoral Centre (120 17th Ave SW, Calgary T2S-2T2) and mark cheques with a note – Hurricane Harvey or South Asia Floods.

☩ William McGrattan
Bishop of Calgary

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Social Justice Giving Emergency Appeal Donation

One Rock: Summer Festival of Faith

The word that most comes to mind, following the One Rock Festival of Faith, is joy. This makes sense, when you look at the weekend. What is there not to be joyful about? The musicians were phenomenal, the speakers were thought-provoking, and the Masses were breathtaking. But the joy that was felt at One Rock comes from a deeper place, from more than just an experience, or an event, or a talk. The joy that was palpable among attendees at One Rock can only come from One – from God.

Similar to Mary, during the One Rock weekend, I realized how much God has done for me, how truly blessed I am and how tremendous His love is for me. I think that many people realized the same for themselves. We had the opportunity to spend an entire weekend praising God, attending Mass, hearing about conversion experiences, learning about the love that God has for each of us. What an incredibly blessed way to spend a weekend!

Someone asked how we judge the success of an event such as One Rock. My mind instantly thought about the number of tickets sold, the number of people in attendance, number of volunteers… By these criteria, One Rock was truly a success! But pondering this later, I came to realize that the success of a large event like this one is to be judged by something else, something greater. Was there joy? Did even one person come to experience the love of God in their lives, and did that in turn lead them to the joy of the Gospel, the joy that we, as Catholics, live and seek? If one person had an experience of their faith that led them closer to Christ, the “One Rock” of our lives, then the festival was an overwhelming success.

If joy is an accurate criterion, then the joy felt throughout the Festival of Faith speaks for itself. There were so many smiles and so much laughter and fun during the music events. You could have heard a pin drop during the talks as everyone listened intently. The beautiful Adoration Chapel always had people inside, visiting with Our Lord, present in the Blessed Sacrament. The beautiful play, in celebration of Our Lady of Fatima, left many people in awe. The many acts, performances, and activities throughout One Rock are too many to mention, but each one played a part in making One Rock an unforgettable, and truly joyous, experience.

“For the Mighty One has done great things for me, and Holy is His Name.” The Mighty One indeed did a many great things at One Rock. Only by trusting in Him did we host this festival, and only with His grace could the immense joy be felt throughout the weekend. What is left now is for us to praise God, and be grateful for the many gifts he bestowed upon us.

Related Offices Youth & Young Adult Related Programs One Rock
Related Themes Youth and Young Adults Diocesan Event Youth Coordinator Youth Ministry Worship Diocesan Celebration
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