Reconciling the Art of the Possible

Learn to do good and seek justice. –Isaiah 1:17

In July 2016 Pope Francis declared, “I want to be a spokesperson for the deepest longings of Indigenous peoples. And I want you to add your voice to mine.” In the video announcing his prayer intention, an Indian woman is shown approaching a podium and pleading for the plight of indigenous peoples to be heard. When the camera pans out, however, the auditorium is empty, a metaphor, perhaps, for the deafness of the world to the plight of oppressed people.

It reminded me of a similar moment many years ago in Australia at a conference on listening to the Aboriginal voice, when a young Indigenous scholar appeared before a large crowd of sympathetic white academics and played a video of an activist reading protest poetry. The sound was muted and the video was allowed to play, silently, for a full 15 minutes. All the while the presenter stared at the increasingly uncomfortable crowd. Then he turned off the TV and announced, before he stormed from the room, “This is what you’ve heard from Indigenous peoples at this conference.” Horrified organizers realized, in that moment, that no Aboriginal guests had been invited to discuss the issue of Indigenous voices. It was a blunder that was not soon repeated.

the greatest antidote
to silence is dialogue

I use the latter example because it occurred in the context of incredibly well-meaning, learned and completely supportive academics at a conference specifically called to address acknowledged silence. Despite this, they still neglected to invite the people at the heart of the concern. It is a lesson that I have never forgotten: that the greatest antidote to silence is dialogue, not speeches – action not intentions. Even the most well meaning will be deaf to change unless we learn to listen.

In the context of the United Nations’ declaration for Indigenous peoples — the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee just completed, the announced inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls, and the most recent controversy over the Canadian Catholic Church’s handling of reparations owed over the handling of the Residential Schools debacle — it seems more important than ever that conversations increase, not decrease.

For St. Mary’s University here in Calgary, this meant the development of an Aboriginal Strategic Plan some three years ago, one that led to the establishment of an Elders on Campus program, an Indigenous Advisory Board, an experiential learning program at Ghost River for staff, faculty and students, and the incorporation of a blanket exercise modeling the devastating impact of colonialism, held at a university retreat where 98% of the institution participated. And in mid-January the University was chosen to host the 3-day National Truth & Reconciliation roundtable.

Needless to say, there is still much to do. What is heartening, however, is how fully the university as a whole has embraced this dialogue, and more importantly, how generously Indigenous communities have welcomed St. Mary’s into the dialogue, sharing their knowledge, their talents and their generosity of spirit. Dialogue together with action is the first step towards reconciliation and healing. Our hope is that this journey towards reconciliation becomes widespread and all pervasive.

As Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations recently pointed out, “Make room in your heart, your soul and your spirit.” Or as Pope Francis put it at a ceremony in Chiapas, Mexico: “How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to say, ‘Forgive me!’”

Related Offices Carillon
Related Themes Catholic Education

Some of the least of these

This is a time of change in our diocese, but also of celebration, for the Protection of Minors Diocesan Committee. We say farewell to Bishop Henry and welcome Bishop McGrattan. We also say goodbye to and thank Dave Wilson, our committee chair, who has provided outstanding leadership over the years.

It has been gratifying to have national and local newspapers recognize Bishop Henry’s care for the poor, and in particular, his leadership in founding programs for the homeless in our city.

Our particular cause for celebration is the success of the Protection of Minors initiative in the Diocese. This work has amply reflected Bishop Henry’s identification with those who particularly need our care and concern. Bishop Henry has consistently acknowledged that we must take action to restore the confidence of the world in our Church, as we are the face of Christ’s mission.

In February 2011, he launched our program to protect minors and vulnerable adults, under the diocesan banner of Strengthening Our Parish Communities. He has supported the transformation of how we run all of our diocesan programs. At the same time, the value of those in ministry has been enhanced to reflect their roles in keeping the vulnerable safe. In so many areas, great strides have been made to provide measures to protect the vulnerable:

  • Screening of all, whether volunteers, staff or clergy, who serve the vulnerable
  • Training in both child abuse prevention and elder abuse prevention
  • Supporting pastoral care, especially of the elderly
  • Ongoing efforts to end homelessness and provide affordable housing, such as Acadia Place and
  • Offering strong programs like Elizabeth House, Feed the Hungry and Youth Ministry.

On the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis addressed the bishops of the world directly, “To contemplate the manger also means to be attentive and open to the pain of our neighbours, especially where children are involved. The same thing is asked of us pastors today: to protect from the Herods of our own time, those who devour the innocence of our children. Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures and to protect in every way the lives of our children.”

The challenge for our committee has been that of educating parishioners with respect to the need to protect young people and vulnerable adults from any kind of abuse. We can safely rejoice in the development of awareness and success of the program. Today we can say with confidence that our leader has had that courage called for by Pope Francis. Again, we thank Bishop Henry!

For more information about the initiatives, including the online abuse prevention training, please contact your parish volunteer screening coordinator or call Deacon Stephen Robinson or Barbara Raleigh-Smith at (403) 218-5549 or email

Related Offices Carillon Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults
Related Themes Safe Environment Protection

Catechetical Certificate Program 2016-2017

This Certificate Program is designed to give lay people the necessary Catechetical background in order to feel more confident in the following areas of Parish Ministry:

  • Sacramental Preparation
  • RCIA
  • Youth Ministry
  • Parish-based Catechesis

This program, offered in three levels covering various topics, is also invaluable to anyone seeking to know more about their Catholic Faith.

Course Registration Fee is $100 for each Level.

Location: Holy Spirit Parish, 10827 24 St. SW, Calgary, AB T2W 2Z2

For more information and to register, please call 403-218-5501, or email

Catechetical Certificate Program

Topic Order is subject to change

    Level 1

  1. World Day for Catechists Mass and Presentation with Michael Chiasson: Sept. 24
  2. Scriptural Foundations (Hebrew Scriptures) : Oct. 1
  3. Scriptural Foundations (New Testament): Oct. 15
  4. General Directory for Catechesis: Oct. 29
  5. How to be and Effective Catechist: Nov. 5
  6. Prayer and Spirituality: Nov. 26

    Level 2

  1. Scriptural Foundations (Old Testament) Jan. 14
  2. Scriptural Foundations (New Testament) Jan. 28
  3. Sacramental Life of the Church Feb. 11
  4. Prayer & Spirituality Feb. 25
  5. Vatican II Mar. 11
  6. Sacraments Mar. 18

    Level 3

  1. Session 1: Apr. 8
  2. Session 2: Apr. 22
  3. Session 3: May 6
  4. Session 4: May 13
  5. Session 5: May 27
  6. Session 6: June 3
Related Offices Religious Education
Related Themes RCIA Catechist Formation Religious Education Catholic Schools Courses and Workshops Catholic Teachings Adult Formation Sacramental Preparation

Former Bishops

Most Rev. John T McNally: First Bishop of Calgary, 1913 – 1924.
Later Bishop of Hamilton and Archbishop of Halifax.

Most Rev. John T Kidd: Second Bishop of Calgary, 1925 – 1931.
The former rector of St. Augustine's Seminary. Later Bishop of London.

Most Rev. Peter J Monahan: Third Bishop of Calgary. 1932 – 1935.
Later Bishop of Regina.

Most Rev. Francis P. Carroll: Fourth Bishop of Calgary. 1935 – 1967.
Former rector of St. Augustine's Seminary.

Most Rev. Francis J. Klein: Fifth Bishop of Calgary. 1967 – Early 1968.

Most Rev. Paul J. O'Byrne: Sixth Bishop of Calgary. 1968 - 1998.

Most Rev. Frederick B. Henry: Seventh Bishop of Calgary. 1998-2017.

Related Offices Bishop's
Related Themes Diocesan History History

Parish Bulletin Insert

Youth Rally 2017

The Youth Office invites all youth ages 12 - 18 to participate in this year's Youth Rally on April 22, 2017 in St. James Parish in Okotoks. Come and join Michael Chiasson, Fr. Daniel Gurnick OFM and the Panic Squad for a day filled with music, awesome talks and great fun. For more information and to register please visit: or ask your Youth Group Coordinator or your Parish Priest. Youth Rally Volunteers Needed: Volunteers for this year's Youth Rally are needed. If you are over 18 years of age and screened through your parish or the diocese, please consider volunteering on April 22nd at St. James Parish in Okotoks. For more information please contact Harriett in the Youth Office at 403-218-5507 or

Development & Peace Retreat and Assembly

The woman Christ meets at the well is excluded from her community and lives her life on the margins. Too often, many people are excluded and unable to have a voice in political processes. Participation is an important teaching in Catholic Social Thought. Development and Peace has been working with the Congolese Catholic Church to encourage citizen participation and ensure a fair electoral process since the first democratic elections in the DRC in 2006. Go online to to find out more or join us for the 2017 Development & Peace Retreat and Assembly on April 28-30, 2017 at the FCJ Centre, 219, 19 Avenue SW. Bishop McGrattan will give the opening address. Other speakers include Dr. Peter Baltutis, St. Mary's University and Lance Dixon, CCSD. To register, contact

Planned Giving Seminar Invitation

You are invited to learn how to minimize the impact the Canada Revenue Agency has on your family's net worth. You are welcome to join our upcoming Planting a Future Seminar at the Catholic Pastoral Centre 120 - 17 Ave SW Wednesday, April 5 – Registration 1:30, Presentation 2:00 - 3:30pm. Limited seating; registration required. Contact Doreen 403-218-5522 or to register.

Diocesan Palliative Care Education Program

The Spring 2017 Diocesan Palliative Care Education Program Part 1 and Part 2 will take place at St. Bonaventure Parish, 1600 Acadia Drive SE, on April 28 & 29, and May 5 & 6, 2017. The Program is on the two Friday evenings and all day both Saturdays. Registration fee: $50. For more information or to register, please call 403- 218-5501, Email:, or online at

Diocesan Pastoral Care Course

The Spring 2017 Diocesan Pastoral Care Training Program will begin on Thursday May 4, 2017 and run for 7 consecutive Thursday evenings from 6:30pm - 9:30pm until June 15, 2017. The program will be held at St. Bernadette's Parish, 7103 - 20A St. SE. This course will introduce you to the basic visiting skills required for Pastoral Care Ministry in the health care facilities or parish. Registration fee: $50. For more information and to register, call: 403-218-5501, Email:, or online at

Effective Co-Parenting

Putting Kids First

An educational 5-week program for separated and divorced parents to help raise their children through this difficult time and increase the understanding of needs of children for developing self- esteem and security. It will offer skills about managing diverse shared parenting situations and provide strategies for improving communication, resolving conflict, and managing day to day children’s issues between parenting partners. Parents are encouraged to attend separately. The next program will run 7:00pm - 9:00pm on Wednesdays, May 3-31. For more information or registration contact the Life & Family Resource Centre at 403-218-5505 or email

34th Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross

Volunteers needed

We need your help with this year's Outdoor Way of the Cross. We are especially in need of volunteers with First Aid or those interested in helping out with Lost Persons. Volunteers for these positions will need to have a security clearance, which we can help facilitate. If you are able to assist, please register at Any questions please contact or call 403-218-5519.

Marriage Preparation

"For Better & For Ever"

“For Better & For Ever…” Marriage Preparation, accepts all couples preparing for marriage. Due to the small group setting it allows us to focus on couples in one or more of the following circumstances: living together, previously married, beginning marriage with children, couples 45+, or those who wish to have their marriage blessed in the Church. Upcoming Dates: April 10/28 and 29, May 15, June 9 and 10, June 5, 23 and 24. For more dates, registration or information, contact 403-218-5505 or email

Basic Understanding of Mental Health Issues and Illness and Spirituality and Mental Health

The Health Care office is providing a one-day workshop on Basic Understanding of Mental Health Issues and Spirituality and Mental Health, Saturday April 22, 2017 at St. Martha's Parish, 355 Columbia Blvd., Lethbridge, AB. The workshop is 9:00am - 3:00pm. Registration is $25. For more information, and to register please call Norma 403-381-3688 or the Parish Office 403-381-8891.

Feed the Hungry Cook Team

You and your friends can start a Feed the Hungry cook team! Do you have past experience cooking such as INN from the Cold? As part of our recruitment strategy, we will be holding a food safety training course on May 6th 2017 at the Catholic Pastoral Centre. Cook teams have one lead and approximately three to four other volunteers. They are ideally scheduled one Sunday every six weeks. If you are interested, please contact, Sartre Jean-Gilles at or 403-218-5532.

Catholic Speed Dating Event

Are you looking for a good Catholic man or woman? Visit or call Rose 587-333-1099 for more info and to REGISTER for our upcoming Events: Friday, April 21st Easter Event at St. Anthony's Church in Calgary (Age Range: Women: 24 to 32 & Men: 27 to 35). and) -&- Two Events on Friday, May 5th at St. Paul's Church in Airdrie (Age Range: Women: 33 to 41 & Men: 36 to 44) -&- (Women and Men age 45+).

The Creighton Model FertilityCare System (CrMS) Practitioner education program

The program will be held in Calgary with Phase I in April 2017 and Phase II in October 2017. This allied health profession teaches women to monitor and maintain their gynecologic and reproductive health. The CrMS is the first standardized system of the menstrual and fertility cycle biomarkers, which strongly links and networks the ability to achieve or avoid pregnancy successfully. Post-secondary program completion is a pre-requisite to train as a FertilityCare Practitioner. For more information on applying and tuition costs, please contact the FertilityCare Center of Calgary at 403-473-1522 or

APCA’s 49th Annual Conference & 2017 AGM

The Alberta Pastoral Care Association (APCA) will host its 2017 conference on Friday, April 21, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 40 Holmes St, AB T4N 6L6, Red Deer, AB. It is open to any pastoral caregivers/spiritual care practitioners who would like to explore new ways to engage patients and caregivers in sharing their stories, as well as grief & bereavement counselors who might like to use Narrative Therapy in their counseling. Our feature speaker is Dr. Arthur Frank, Professor Emeritus in Sociology, University of Calgary. For more information and to register please visit


Parish Communications Coordinator - 1 year Contract at St. Michael Parish in SW Calgary. Competition closes on April 7, 2017.

For more see the Diocesan website at

For more information about this publication email or contact Jane-Rose Ediau or Carol Hollywood, Library & Archives, 403-218-5510; Fax: 403-264-0526 Address: Catholic Pastoral Centre, 120 - 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB, T2S 2T2

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Newsletter
Items 16 - 20 of 403  Previous12345678910Next

Article Filters

Associated Office:
Associated Program:
Associated Theme:

Looking for a Parish or Mass and Reconciliation Times?

Search the Parish Finder