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2017 Parish Communication Workshop - Feedback & Resources

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WORKSHOP FEEDBACK PLEASE

Please give us your feedback and help us make better decisions for future workshops.
- ONLINE EVALUATION SURVEY

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KEYNOTE RESOURCES

- Fr. Thomas Rosica's keynote presentation on Living in Digital World

- Fr. Thomas Rosica's Keynote in Catholic Media Convention

- Lincoln Ho presentation on Archdiocese of Edmonton's Social Media Best Practices

- Lincoln Ho's Equipment List of Apps & Equipments

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BREAKOUT SESSIONS RESOURCES

- Writing for Social Media - Prezi (Lincoln Ho)

- No Photoshop, No Problem - Session Notes (Lia O'Hara)

- Social Media Video on a Budget - Please contact Ryan Factura

- Make Memorable Impressions - Please contact Fr. Wilbert Chin Jon

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DIOCESE OF CALGARY RESOURCES

- Social Media Best Practice for the Diocese of Calgary 

- Communication Planning Sheet

- Diocese of Calgary Announcements - or you can find it updated regularly on CalgaryDiocese.ca frontpage, under NEWS

- Diocesan Social Media Policy (Coming Soon)

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FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

- Facebook

- Twitter

- Instagram

- Youtube

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CONTACT US

If we could be helpful in any way, or if you have any questions, please contact Lia O’Hara at lia.ohara@calgarydiocese or call 403-218-5511. 

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INVITATION FOR THE 2017 PARISH COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP

Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church; today the social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ. In the area of communications, too, we need a Church capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts. (Pope Francis, 48th World Communications Day, 2014)

We invited you to come to the 2017 Parish Communication Workshop exclusively for clergy, parish and religious communities staff or volunteers responsible for both offline and online communication.  This year’s focus will be on social media as it has fundamentally changed how people communicate nowadays.  As Catholics, we need to bring the Church’s teachings into what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called the “digital continent.” 

Our guest speaker this year are Fr. Thomas Rosica, the CEO of Salt & Light TV and Lincoln Ho (Social Media specialist from Archdiocese of Edmonton).  

Workshop Information

  • Date: Monday, November 13, 2017 | From 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    At the Catholic Pastoral Centre (120-17th Ave SW, Calgary)
  • Parking: Please park at the FCJ Centre parkade (219-19th Ave SW) or St. Mary's Cathedral Parkade.

Timetable

  • Note that schedule is subject to change without notice.
  • 08:00 - 09:00  Registration
    09:00 - 09:30  Prayer & Greetings (Bishop William McGrattan)
    09:30 - 10:15  Keynote address (Fr. Thomas Rosica)
    10:30 - 11:15  The Epic Guide to Social Media 101 (Lincoln Ho)
    11:30 - 12:15  Breakout Sessions A, B, C, D (see below)
    12:15 - 13:15  Lunch
    13:15 - 14:00  Breakout Sessions A, B, C, D (see below)
    14:15 - 15:30  Putting into Practice
    15:30 - 16:00  Intro to Diocesan Best Practices

Sessions Information

  • Keynote address: COMMUNICATIONS AND MERCY (Fr. Thomas Rosica)
    Be inspired by Pope Francis, who yearns for the church to be an instrument of reconciliation and welcome, a church capable of warming hearts, a church that is not bent over on herself but always seeking those on the periphery and those who are lost, a church capable of leading people home. Pope Francis has indeed rebranded Catholicsm. How do we follow in his footsteps?
  • General Session: THE EPIC GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA 101 (Lincoln Ho)
    In the beginning, it was just 1s and 0s. Today social media is a sensory overload. How to be salt and light in a world that's overflowing with bursts of flavour. 
  • Breakout Sessions:
    • 1.  OVER HERE!! I’M WRITING IN BOLD!!: Writing for Social Media (Lincoln Ho)
      The digital revolution has created a sense of fear to text posts, blogs, and traditional journalism. When text is the least popular medium, how do we create content to draw the audience to the ultimate Word?
    • 2.  MAKE IMPRESSIONS MEMORABLE: Branding and Consistencies (Fr. Wilbert Chin Jon)
      What is your parish all about, and why is that a big deal? How are you different from the rest? How will you show this on social media every time, and at a glance?  How do you make impressions memorable? It’s all about branding! Know who you are and flaunt it. Learn how.
    • 3.  SOCIAL MEDIA VIDEO ON A BUDGET: Videography Tools for a Beginner (Ryan Factura)
      Video is the king of content on social media.  As a parish, how are you able to jump on this trend without having expensive camera equipment? In this workshop, we'll show you how you can get started with social video using the camera you already have in your hand: your smartphone!
    • 4.  NO PHOTOSHOP, NO PROBLEM: Graphic Tools for Parish Communication (Lia O'Hara)
      Not a graphic designer? No access to Photoshop? No problem! The internet comes to the rescue. Learn how to make great looking posters, bulletin and social media graphics in a matter of minutes. Get to know easy-to-use graphical tools online and other resources that will help you deliver quality imagery while saving time and money.

Registration

  • This workshop is only available for Parish Staff, Communications staff and/or volunteers, and those who are currently managing the bulletin and/or their parish online presence.
  • Limit to only 4 participants per parish. Limited seats.
  • Please register each person separately. Choose one AM breakout session and one PM breakout session.
  • Lunch will be provided. If you have strict dietary restrictions, kindly bring your bagged lunch from home.

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Social Media

Best Practices

SOCIAL MEDIA BEST PRACTICES FOR PARISHES

Online communications have significantly shaped the way people interact with each other, and continue to influence how and where people look for information. Among various forms of online communications, social media continues to be a significant tool that could be used for the Church’s mission of evangelization. 

As a Church, we have the opportunity to use social media for the twofold purpose of information and formation:

  1. Information – to update parishioners with Mass and reconciliation schedules, liturgies they could participate in, ministries they could help in, parish events they could join, and other information relevant to them as members of their parish community. 
  2. Formation – to help parishioners in their faith journey through curated Catholic content (videos, blogs, articles, etc.).

Also, the Church has the opportunity to use social media as a platform of influence. In a day and age where hundreds of millions of people are active online, social media can be effectively used to reach not only those in the pews, but also those who are not. Building an active, welcoming and friendly parish social media presence could foster engagement even among those who are not in the Church.

The goal of this Best Practices and Guidelines is to help parishes that are not on social media create and maintain an active and engaging social media presence. Additionally, offer tips and insights from the experiences of the Diocese of Calgary Social Media Committee. Consequently, the aim of establishing a parish social media presence is not only to share your weekly Parish bulletin, nor is it only to post Mass times. Since we share in the life and mission of the Catholic Church, our ultimate aim is to engage our parishioners (information), help them in their faith journey (formation), and to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ online (platform of influence/evangelization). 

Facebook

Among all other social media platforms, Facebook is the largest by number of monthly active users (1+ billion). Considering its prominence and the level of detail and information one can put, it is fair to say that you can treat your Facebook page as your secondary source of information online — next only to your official parish website. Click here for Facebook’s official Getting Started with Pages how-to guide.

How to use Facebook

  • Populate your Facebook Page’s About section with all the important and relevant details about your parish (e.g. Parish’s street address, website, parish office telephone number, contact email, Mass and Reconciliation times, etc.)
  • Take advantage of Facebook’s Events feature. By creating one for each of your parish events, you can share it to your followers, on which there is a feature where they can RSVP. In turn, your followers can share your event with their friends.
  • Share opportunities where parishioners can volunteer in the different parish ministries.
  • Share links to Catholic news.
  • Follow the Facebook Pages of other Catholic organizations, ministries, parishes, and Dioceses – this makes curating Catholic content easier.
  • Create a Page: some people make the mistake of creating a Facebook profile for their parish instead of a Facebook Page. The difference? A Facebook profile is for a personal user (i.e. you as an individual), while a Facebook Page is for an organization/business. As a parish, a Facebook Page is what you need. Note that a Facebook Page is different than a Facebook Group. Don't choose Group, choose Page. 
  • Assign roles: In your Facebook Page’s settings, you can assign other Facebook Users a role in managing your Page (Admin, moderator, editor, etc.), with each role having varied accessibilities and rights. This will make maintaining your Facebook presence easier.2
  • Live Video: want to broadcast an event, live? While Facebook Live started out only for personal profiles and only from a mobile device, it is now available for Pages and from a computer. Click here for more.

Twitter

Twitter is another social media platform where users can post and respond to short messages called Tweets. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and can be about virtually anything. You can post a tweet, reply to one, share a tweet you like (called a re-tweet or RT). You can also attach images, video, or links to every tweet you post. There’s a huge Catholic “population” on Twitter, collectively known by the moniker Catholic Twitter. And who exactly makes up Catholic Twitter? A lot. Priests, nuns, bishops, catholic bloggers, and yes – even Pope Francis. Don’t forget to follow him at @Pontifex! Click here for Twitter’s official getting started guide.

How to use Twitter

  • The details we’ve listed above on Facebook generally applies to all of social media, Twitter included. So populate your Twitter profile with the necessary information (a short bio of who you are, your parish website, etc.)
  • Twitter pioneered the use of Hashtags. Not sure what a hashtag is? Click here. You can use this to create a unique identity for your parish’s social media presence. For example, the Diocese of Calgary uses #CatholicYYC in its posts online. Our Lady of the Rockies in Canmore, Alberta, uses #OurLadyRocks. Be creative, and share it with your parishioners! Use this handy guide for creating your hashtags.
  • You can share on Twitter what you also share on Facebook: links to Catholic news, curated Catholic content, your own parish news, and volunteer opportunities. 
  • Follow other Catholic users and see what they tweet about! As with Facebook, this also helps make curating Catholic content much easier. 
  • Keep it active. If Facebook has a Timeline where you can see others’ posts, Twitter has a Feed. This feed is constantly updated; so don’t hesitate to tweet multiple times a day.

Instagram

Instagram is a popular photo-sharing social media platform where users can post images, video, as well as live-video. Unfortunately, content can only be posted on Instagram from a mobile device — meaning no computers. 

Tips: You can link Instagram posts to automatically share in Facebook. Use this feature with discretion. 

Other Social Media Platforms

There are several other social media platforms that may be useful for your parish’s needs that are not included in this guideline. Below is a list of other platforms at your disposal that you could use, and a brief description of what they are for.

  • Youtube: video hosting and sharing
  • Vimeo: video hosting and sharing
  • Flickr: hosting and sharing images
  • Pinterest: a virtual board on which users can pin and visually share interesting finds on the internet
  • Google+: Google’s own social media network, useful to boost your website’s SEO (search engine optimization)
  • Snapchat: a mobile-only social media platform where users can send visual (e.g. image and video) messages — hence, snap-chat.

OTHER Important Tips

  • Be visual
    Social media is largely visual, and having a visual element to your posts will help you get more Impressions (social media term for the number of times your post is displayed) and Engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.). Thus instead of posting your Pastor’s Easter message on Facebook in plain text, why not create a short video?
  • Keep your Identity Consistent
    Keep your social media handle/username consistent on all social media platforms so people can find you easily. For example, the Diocese of Calgary’s handle on all social media accounts is @calgarydiocese. 
  • Be Active
    If you do decide on creating multiple social media accounts on different platforms for your parish, you must commit keep it active and updated constantly. Also do not just post content – be sure to engage with your followers by replying to comments and tweets. This makes your presence personable. 
  • Respect Intellectual Property
    Obey the law. Understand the copyrights accompanying any online content, whether they be images, music, videos, etc. Content posted online are to be treated similarly with content in other publications. 
  • Account Access & Credentials
    Login credentials for the parish’s social media accounts such as usernames, emails, and passwords must be constantly updated. Also, this document must be accessible by the social media administrator and the Pastor, or whomever the social media administrator reports directly to. This file must be treated as highly confidential. Regarding passwords: complexity is good, but length is also important (8-10 characters).
  • Privacy and Safe Environments
    Do not disclose information that is to be held in confidence. Also, any individual involved in managing social media accounts must not engage in private online conversations with children. A good rule of thumb is to keep all forms of engagement public (through comments, replies to tweets), instead of Direct Messages, commonly called DM’s.
  • Photography
    Permission to photograph children cannot be assumed, and neither is posting their pictures on social media. Photographs of children shouldn’t be posted on social media sites without the prior approval of the child’s parents or legal guardian. Also, take great care to avoid including identifying details or information with an image posted online. For a sample photo release form, see Page 6 of the Diocesan Social Media Policy.

Creating a Social Media Team

Creating and curating content for social media, as well as the overall maintenance of the parish’s social media accounts, can be challenging. Having a social media team of about 3-4 people that handles all these tasks is very valuable. There are a few things to consider when selecting the right people for this team.

Members must be carefully selected, screened, and have references and background checks obtained, just as with other parish ministries. Remember that just because someone is social media savvy does not mean that they are perfectly fit for the task. Social media admins represent the Church on every single post and comment that they write — these individuals must have good moral character, well-formed in the Catholic faith, and have the ability to think through the implications of what they are about to write.  It is important that the team works closely with their parish priest and office. In addition, it would be significantly beneficial if members of the social media team have a sense of brand consistency when creating content. 

Social Media Team Email

It is also worth considering creating a special email account for use by the social media team. This email account will then be the one used when creating social media accounts, instead of having to use someone else’s personal email. For example, the Calgary Diocese Social Media Committee uses a Gmail account that members use when logging in, signing up, and as backup email.

Scheduling and Creating Content

Social media administrators do not always need to be on a computer or mobile device in order to post content. Free resources, such as Facebook’s own Scheduling tool, HootSuite or the Buffer App account give social media administrators the ability to queue posts to be released on a certain date and time.     

Each tool may have unique features of their own, but essentially they all allow you to schedule social media posts in advance and monitor your accounts when someone mentions you or leave a comment. 

PROMOTING your Social Media Presence

Don't forget to promote your social media presence. Start engaging with your parishioners to ensure effective communication and build a loyal parishioners base.

Tips: Include social media buttons on your bulletin, website and provide accurate links to your parish social media networks. Integrate your social media information with your other Parish communications channels such as the: 

  • Bulletin
  • Email (in the signature)
  • Bulletin Board
  • Stationery - Letterhead, Business Cards
  • Website & other social media presence


Compiled by the Diocesan Social Media Committee, November 2017.

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Communications Social Media

Announcements


POPE FRANCIS NEW APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE 

  • Read Pope Francis' newest Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be glad - Mat 5:12) on the call to holiness in today's world. Click here for English text. 

Announcements from Office of the Bishop

CANADA SUMMER JOBS PROGRAM CHANGES - UPDATES

A number of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities across Canada submitted to Minister Hadju a statement and proposed rewording of the Summer Job Program attestation, which she did not accept.

VATICAN MESSAGE fOR THE FEAST OF VESAKH "CHRISTIAN AND BUDDHISTS: PREVENTING AND COMBATING CORRUPTION TOGETHER"

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released its 2018 Message to Buddhists for their feast of Vesakh, on the theme “Christians and Buddhists: Preventing and Combating Corruption Together”. This Buddhist holy day commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha who, according to tradition, was born, achieved enlightenment, and died during the full moon of the month of May. The feast of Vesakh is usually observed on the day of the full moon in May, which in Canada this year falls on 29 May.

  • The 2018 Message for the feast of Vesakh will be posted on the CCCB website and can also be found on the website of the Holy See: ENGLISH | FRENCH 

UPCOMING EVENTS

THE ALBERTA KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS FUNDRAISING DINNER - APRIL 21

The Alberta Knights of Columbus Fundraising Dinner will be to be held on April 21, 2018 at the Polish Canadian Cultural Centre, 3015-15st NE, Calgary AB. Cocktails at 6 pm and Dinner at 7 pm. Business Attire.

  • For reservations or to donate auction items, please call 403-271-2500 or email: winteraw@telus.net

Sing the Liturgy: Music for Weddings - April 28 & May 5

If you work with couples to prepare music for weddings or if you cantor or accompany for weddings, this workshop is for you! Priests, deacons, and lay associates involved with preparing couples for marriage would also benefit from attending even if they are not themselves music ministers. This spirited day of learning, singing, and community will address all the musical changes in the new Order of Celebrating Matrimony. The workshop will take place twice:  

  • Upcoming sessions dates:
    • Saturday April 28, 2018, St. Bonaventure Church, Calgary, 9am – 3pm. 
    • Saturday May 5, 2018, Our Lady of the Assumption Church (All Saints Parish), Lethbridge, 9am – 3pm. 
  • Register Online: http://events.calgarydiocese.ca

NEW EVANGELIZATION SUMMIT - APRIL 27-28 

Live from Ottawa April 27-28, this webcast will be streamed to sites across North America including Calgary at St. Mary's University, 14500 Bannister Rd. SE. Speakers include George Weigel, Curtis Martin, Michael Dopp, Sr. Ann Shields, and Patrick Madrid.

A SONG FOR RACHEL CONCERT - APRIL 27

Mark your calendar for “A Song for Rachel” concert, a fun-filled, family fundraising concert and silent auction to support Project Rachel, which is a post-abortion healing, and reconciliation ministry supported by the Diocese of Calgary. Everyone is invited to attend this event.

  • Silent auction opens at 6:00 pm and concert begins at 7:00 pm, Friday April 27 at St. Michael's Parish, 800 - 85 St. SW. 
  • Tickets on sale at $15/person or $35/family. Get online tickets here.
  • Contact the Life & Family Resource Centre at 403-218-5505 for tickets or to donate silent auction items.

SING THE LITURGY: WEDDING MUSIC WORKSHOP - APRIL 28 & MAY 5

If you work with couples to prepare music for weddings or if you cantor or accompany for weddings, this workshop is for you! Priests, deacons, and lay associates involved with preparing couples for marriage would also benefit from attending even if they are not themselves music ministers. This spirited day of learning, singing, and community will introduce the musical changes in the new Order of Celebrating Matrimony as well as common issues that arise in helping couples select music for their marriage liturgy. The workshop will take place twice:  

  •  Saturday April 28, 2018, St. Bonaventure Church, Calgary, 10 am - 3pm. Register here
  • Saturday May 5, 2018, Our Lady of the Assumption Church (All Saints Parish), Lethbridge, 10 am – 3pm.  Register here
  • For more information, please contact the Office of Liturgy at 403-218-5511 or 403-218-5524

THE BIBLE AND THE VIRGIN MARY - MAY 1

The Bible and the Virgin Mary, unveils the mystery of Our Lady that is woven into the fabric of Sacred Scripture. Do you fully understand the vital role she plays in your life? Can you explain her role in God's plan for the world? While Catholics know that Mary is important, many never fully grasp how essential she really is. This 12-weeks study begins on Tuesday May 1st to July 17th at 7pm (optional Mass at 6:30pm). All are welcome! Location: Our Lady of Fatima Church - 4747 30 St. SE, Calgary. For registration and information call Linda at 403-289-7124 or cell 403-700-7124. Cost is $20 for the textbook and $25 for the optional journal.

DIOCESAN PASTORAL CARE COURSE - MAY 3

The Health Care Apostolate will be hosting the Spring Diocesan Pastoral Care Course Thursday evenings May 3 - June 14, 2018 from 6:30am - 9:30pm. The program will be held at St. Cecilia's Parish, 321 - 90 Ave 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.

DAY OF COMPASSION - MAY 5

Come celebrate a "Day of Compassion" on Saturday May 5, from 9 AM to 3 PM with Fr. Glenn Zimmer, Director of Qu'Appelle House of Prayer. Join in the festivities of this one day event that includes presentations on the topic of Compassion and great food prepared by the ladies of St. Stephen's Ukrainian Catholic Church, Calgary. Pope Francis continually invites and urges us to become a source of true mercy and compassion in this world. This day is dedicated to this cause! Look for our poster on your Parish bulletin board!

LAY ASSOCATIONS SPRING SEMINAR WITH BISHOP MCGRATTAN - MAY 5

We have a vocation by the virtue of our baptism, and no one is excluded because we are called to a life of holiness through different paths. God calls each and every one of us individually to a special vocation. How should we foster vocations within our young people so to live their life in complete service for the Lord? How do we work together as Lay Associations for this important task?

Join Bishop McGrattan in the Spring Seminar for the Lay Associations in the Diocese of Calgary with theme: Vocations & Youth Apostolates. There is a limit of 5 attendees per organization. Date: May 5, 2018, from 10 am to 2 pm. Cost: $10 including bbq lunch. You can also pay at the door, but please still register online so we can manage our numbers.
Location: Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church, Calgary. Hosted by God Squad. 

  • To register for the Spring Seminar, click here. (even if you are paying at the door)
  • If you haven't already, register your Lay Association with the Diocese: click here
  • For more information, contact Fr. Adrian Martens at chancellor@calgarydiocese.ca or call 403-218-5528.

THEOLOGY OF DATING: DISCERNING THE VOCATION OF MARIAGE - MAY 8

Discern the Vocation of Marriage with Fr. Cristino Bouvette & Jocelyn Boissonneault on Tuesday, May 8, at 7:15 pm at China Rose, 228-28th Street SE, Calgary. Event is free. Please come early and patronize.

PENTECOST NOVENA AT THE DIVINE MERCY CENTRE - MAY 11-19

The Pentecost Novena will take place May 11-19 at the Divine Mercy Centre, 15206 Township Road 262 Calgary, AB, T3P-1A.

HIKE FOR LIFE - MAY 12

Join the 38th Annual Hike for Life at Prince's Island Park from 8:30 am to Noon. 

CHILDREN'S RETREAT AT THE DIVINE MERCY CENTRE - MAY 26

The Pentecost Novena will take place May 11-19 at the Divine Mercy Centre, 15206 Township Road 262 Calgary, AB, T3P-1A.

DIOCESAN SENIORS CONFERENCE - JUNE 2

A special Conference to celebrate and explore creative initiatives for quality of life in Body, Mind  & Soul for those in their senior years of life! The Conference will be held on Saturday, June 2. More information to come! 

  • If you have any questions, please call the Office of Pastoral Care at 403-218-5500.

PLANNED GIVING SESSIONS - JUNE 5

Be inspired to make a difference! Learn how to maximize your legacy for family and charity in your will. Join our upcoming Planned Giving Seminar:

  • Next sessions dates:
    • June 5, Holy Family Parish (1451 Strachan Road, SE, Medicine Hat). Register here.
    • September 26, Catholic Pastoral Centre (120 - 17th Ave SW, Calgary). Register here.
    • November 7, Catholic Pastoral Centre (120 - 17th Ave SW, Calgary). Register here.
  • Contact Doreen (403) 218-5522 or charities@calgarydiocese.ca if you need more information.

ALZHEIMER WORKSHOP - June 9

This workshop will provide participants with an understanding of Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. Learn about the stages of the disease, tools and strategies for interaction with persons with dementia and their caregivers. Join our workshop on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish (1714 14 Ave NE, Calgary, AB)

ORDINATION OF DEACON DEREK REMUS TO PRIESTHOOD - JUNE 29

Bishop William McGrattan is pleased to announce that he has called Rev. Mr. Derek Remus to be ordained to the priesthood on Friday, 29 June at 7:00 pm in St. Mary's Cathedral, Calgary. We give thanks to God for the gift of Deacon Derek's call to the priesthood, and we invite and encourage the faithful of the diocese to come and join in the celebration! 

BISHOP'S GOLF TOURNAMENT - AUGUST 27

Each year, sponsorship teams contribute the cost of dinner and 100 volunteers to make each dinner happen in what seems effortlessly and seamlessly. However, not all Sundays are sponsored and therefore, your participation in this tournament collectively sponsors those dinners to keep the program viable all year.  Feed the Hungry’s Garden Program is in its second year and is an honoured recipient of Birdies for Kids presented by AltaLink (BFK).  All proceeds from the day of activities (on-course activities, heads and tails, and general donations) will be matched up to 50% giving your donation an even bigger impact!  BFK is a non-profit program run under the Calgary Shaw Charity Classic Foundation. The 28th Bishop's Golf Tournament will be on Monday, August 27, 2018 at the Silvertip Resort, Canmore. 

RETROUVAILLE RETREAT: A LIFELINE FOR MARRIAGE - SEP 7-9

Retrouvaille provides a ‘road map’ to help married couple find their way again by teaching communication skills and providing the tools to improve our relationships. 

ONE ROCK 2.0 - SEP 29

Building from the legacy of the past eight years, One Rock 2.0 is the new and reimagined One Rock Festival of Faith. With solid formation, engaging speakers, and powerful liturgies, this whole-day event for young adults ages 18-35 will be a moving encounter with our Lord that will inspire and empower them to be missionary disciples.

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.  

PROJECT RACHEL POST ABORTION COUNSELLING

The ministry offers a journey of healing and reconciliation for women and men who are suffering distress from a past abortion experience. Clients will be referred to a professional counselor who specializes in dealing with the trauma associated with this experience.  

OUR LADY OF THE ROCKIES - DIOCESAN MARIAN SHRINE

Our Lady of the Rockies Parish in Canmore is now designated as a Diocesan Marian Shrine. This will take effect on the day of the consecration of the new church building in the spring 2019.

SPECIAL NEEDS MINISTRY AND MASS AT ST. PATRICK'S PARISH

St. Patrick’s Parish is forming a new ministry whose mission is: “To create a loving, supportive and compassionate church community that renews and restores faith and hope to families and children living with special needs.” St. Patrick’s Special Needs Mass will be a place of understanding, acceptance and welcome for those who live with special needs as well as those who care for them. All are invited to come and to be a part of this special liturgy.

  • St.Patricks will be having the Special Needs Mass on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the Month.
  • For more information, please contact Brenda-Lee Kearney at 403-835-2749, or check http://stpatrickcalgary.com  under Calendar.

CATHOLIC SPEED DATING

CONSECRATION OF CANADA TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Parishes are invited to hold a parish celebration on one or more Saturdays within the anniversary year (July 1 2017 to July 1 2018). 

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL IN CANADA

In 2018, we are marking the 50th anniversary of the Charismatic Renewal in Canada. Over these years, this movement of the Holy Spirit has left a discernible impression on the Church. As a Church, we give thanks to the Lord for the blessings of God which Catholic charismatics have brought our dioceses and parishes. 

30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MORGENTALER DECISION

"Exactly thirty years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that existing abortion provisions in our nation's Criminal Code violated a woman's Charter rights to the security of person and were thus unconstitutional... Over the course of the last decades, many of our fellow Christians, members of other faiths, and those of no faith at all, have worked tirelessly with members of our own communities to uphold the value of human life from the first moment of conception." ~ Bishop Lionel Gendron. 

WORLD YOUTH DAY IN PANAMA 2019 

OUTDOOR WAY OF THE CROSS - MEDIA COVERAGE

Follow the Diocese of Calgary on Social Media:

Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Newsletter

Sr. Cecily Graves' Funeral Homily

Funeral for Sr. Cecily Graves | 2017 - All Souls Day

By Bishop Emeritus Frederick Henry

For a Catholic, with the Feasts of All Saints/Souls it would be hard to pick a better time for a funeral.

For some time now, scientists have been sending signals into the cosmos, hoping for a response from some intelligent being on some lost planet.Even if inhabitants outside of the solar system existed, communication with them would be impossible, because between the question and the answer, millions of years would pass.

The Church has always maintained a dialogue with the inhabitants of another world -- the saints. That is what we proclaim when we say, "I believe in the communion of the saints." Here, though, the answer is immediate because there is a common centre of communication and encounter, and that is the risen Christ.

We are like the embryo in the womb of a mother yearning to be born. The saints have been "born" - the liturgy refers to the day of death as "the day of birth." To contemplate the saints is to contemplate our destiny. All around us, nature strips itself and the leaves fall, but meanwhile, the feasts of the saints/souls invite us to gaze on high; it reminds us that we are not destined to wither on this earth forever, like the leaves, or to be covered up by snow.

Sr. Cecily’s Funeral reminds us that our bodies will one day give out. Somewhere, sometime, sooner or later, we will experience the startling reality of death. Then what? Is it all over for the individual? Nothing but extinction, absolute silence, darkness? Will there be no more love, no more joy, no more laughter?

Jesus assures us that there is a future for us. He has personally walked ahead of us through the doors of death and came back and say there is light, love and laughter and rejoicing in the presence of God.

Our funeral liturgy reminds us of Job:  “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, ....”

Listen again to the consoling words of Scripture:
Paul to the Corinthians: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died... and then at his coming those who belong in Christ”.

John 12:26: “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am. There will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.”

Instead of looking back at Sr. Cecily’s life, we all bring to this celebration so many memories of her, and various experiences and events, and it would be easy to fall into a nostalgia-like experience but I tried to imagine what she would say to us today and here is what I came up with. 

Sr. Cecily might very well say: The first thing to do would to overcome our indifference and insensitivity to the poor. What we are to do for them in practice can be summed up in three words: love,  help, and evangelize.

  1. Love the poor. Loving the poor means first of all respecting them and recognizing their dignity. Francis of Assisi would remind us that they are not simply our "fellow men" or our "neighbours": they are our brothers and sisters!
  2. The duty of loving and respecting the poor is followed by that of helping them. It is not about getting angry with God in face of the misery of the world, but angry with ourselves."Oh God, where are you? Why don't you do something for that innocent creature?" But an inner voice replies: "I have done something -I created you!"  Sr. Cecily, from time to time, would came to my office with a tale of woe from near or far and say : “Bishop, what are you going to do about it?” I would say - good issue, bad question - “What are we going to do about it?”
  3. Finally, evangelize the poor. This was the mission that Jesus recognized as his own par excellence - reading from the scroll of Isaiah:”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor." The poor man does not live on bread alone but also on hope, and on every word that comes from God's mouth.

Her imagined words are not surprising as they are based in the Franciscan tradition: Quote from a letter of St Francis of Assisi  - the Office of Readings for October 4. “Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance. Let us also love our neighbours as ourselves. Let us have charity and humility. Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin. Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve. We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end. He will permanently dwell in them. They will be the Father's children who do his work. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Praying for those who have died should be a quiet fondness for them before the Lord. We pray for Cecily today with a quiet fondness.

Remembering our departed loved ones like that, praying for them, keeps us in ongoing communion with them. We believe that they are with the Lord, who is also with us in this life.

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