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Project Rachel - Post Abortion Healing

Project Rachel is an ecumenical ministry of healing and reconciliation for people of all ages who are suffering distress from a past abortion experience.

The ministry was launched throughout southern Alberta in November 1998

Project Rachel is a sensitive, private and confidential program. We offer support to anyone, regardless of gender, age, or faith. Not only women who have had the abortion, but also men and family members who experience post-abortion grief are welcome to contact us. Our counsellors recognize abortion as a traumatic experience, and address its psychological and physical symptoms. In addition, they offer the unique opportunity to integrate spirituality into the healing process.

  • Teams of trained therapists or clergy are available to see clients on an individual basis. Our counselors are readily available; there are no long waiting times.
  • This is a confidential and ecumenical ministry.

For more information, click here

Project Rachel Brochure

Upcoming Events

Project Weekend Retreats are available. This is an opportunity to journey with others who are also seeking healing from a past abortion experience - under the guidance of two professional counselors. For more information or to register, contact the Project Rachel office at 403-218-5506 or (Toll Free) 1-877-597-3223 or email at info@projectrachelsa.ca

A Song For Rachel

'A Song For Rachel' is held annually as a fun-filled, family fundraising concert that has been established in 1999. A silent auction was added in 2003.

The next Song for Rachel concert will be held on Friday, May 12, 2017 at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, 1600 Acadia Drive SE. The silent auction will open at 6:00 pm and the concert begins at 7:00 pm. The price is $15.00/person and $35.00/family.

Call now to reserve: 403-218-5505.

Contact us!

Related Websites

Related Offices Life & Family Resource Centre (LFRC) Related Programs Project Rachel
Related Themes Abortion Contraception Life Issues Prolife Family

The Most Humbling Act

Mandatum novum do vobis: I give you a new commandment.– John 13:34

One of my favourite words is Maundy. Growing up I never knew what Maundy Thursday meant. I just knew that it was a pretty serious time during Easter. For a while I used the word interchangeably with maudlin, and came to think of the maundies as relating to sadness and gloom. So it was with some surprise that I eventually learned that it meant commandment, from the Old French mandé, and from the Latin, mandatum. Its connection to church practice comes from Christ’s own words: “Mandātum novum dō vōbīs,” or “I give you a new commandment.”

We celebrate Maundy Thursday during Holy Week, during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. It was there that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. You will remember the dramatic retelling of this episode in John 13 when Jesus not only identifies Judas as his betrayer, but also humbles himself to wash the feet of his disciples. Peter appears to bristle at the intent, but Jesus explains: “If I do not wash you, you can have nothing in common with me.” The point of the gesture, and one that Jesus insists on, is that this is a moment of communion with the other that must be passed on through all our relationships. “I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.”

The obvious contemporary parallel to this behavior has been modeled by Pope Francis, who time and again has chosen to wash the feet of the other, first at a youth detention centre, then prisoners and then women. More than his decision to live outside the Papal palace or to eschew luxury vehicles, the Pope’s washing of the feet is a deeply symbolic connection to Christ’s demonstrated ministry. It is also an example of servant leadership, where the most humbling act brings the highest and lowest to the place of common bond where God first placed us.

It is perhaps because of this that Maundy Thursday matters so much, but also that we need to move past the bristling that Peter showed, especially when we look at those who are not like us: the outsider, the marginal, the struggling and the lost. Our need to look beyond formal rules and regulations and reach out, despite whatever fear or strangeness separates us, is not only important, but mandated. Christ did not come to make us comfortable; he came to make us grow. So when He calls, who are we to turn away?


The Carillon

In the May 2017 edition of The Carillon, an icon of Our Lady of Fatima was featured on the front page. The painter, sacred art artist Vivian Imbruglia, offers us an explanation of the icon and its symbols. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Related Offices Carillon
Related Themes Lent Catholic Education

One Rock: Celebrating Life in Christ

The blessings that have been born out of the One Rock Festival of Faith would not be possible if it were not for the donors and sponsors who back the festival on a yearly basis. In the Diocese of Calgary we have a lot to be thankful for, and particularly for the diverse and ever expanding programs for our youth and young adults. Over the last eight years our programs have expanded from 24 youth programs to more than 37, and young adult ministries encompassed either within these programs or attached to universities, and other post-secondary education facilities, and groups. Every year One Rock strives to reach those who are not only within these existing programs, but also those in the universities, who are not affiliated with a church community on a weekly basis, and to the wider community as well.

The number of Roman Catholics in the Diocese of Calgary has doubled in size over the last 19 years. This is exciting news, but it also means that it costs more to run the programs, and we need you to help us. Will you share of the abundance of what you have received as gift from God? Come and hear what your generosity does for young people, and how the festival has made a difference in their lives.


Bishop McGrattan and the One Rock team invite you to a Wine and Cheese event to hear of the great things that God has done for us, and to encourage you to step out in faith to share of your treasure.

Related Offices Youth & Young Adult Carillon
Related Themes Youth and Young Adults Youth

The Celebration of the Chrism Mass

On the evening of April 10, 2017 Bishop William T. McGrattan will celebrate one of the most significant liturgical events of the church year. Bishop McGrattan will gather with the priests, deacons, and laity of the Diocese at the Cathedral for the Chrism Mass. The gathering of a diocesan community around its bishop is the preeminent manifestation of the local church. The local church is one body made up of many parts with Christ as its head. The body is united with the crucified and risen Jesus — God’s anointed one — through baptism and as a community shares in the riches and consolation of Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit through the sacramental ministry of its bishop and priests.

The Chrism Mass highlights the manifestation of the priests’ communion with the bishop.  Here also, the bishop acknowledges the services of the priests and deacons, often recognizing significant anniversaries of ordination. As a sign of loyalty and obedience, the priests renew their commitment to their vocation and ministerial service, promising fidelity in fulfilling their office in the Church and to the bishop. In the Diocese of Calgary, the deacons similarly renew their commitment. The bishop asks the faithful of the Diocese to continue to support him, as well as the priests and deacons through their ongoing prayers and love.

According to the Early Church Fathers, the olive tree was an image of God, the Father. The fruits that sprout from that tree are seen as the image of God, the Son. The image of God, the Holy Spirit is the oil that flows out in every direction as the purest extract of both the tree and the fruit.

In earlier times, oil was used in cooking, particularly in the making of bread, as a fuel for lamps, and as a healing agent in medicine. Moreover, the Jews anointed the head of a guest with oil as a sign of welcome. Oil beautified one’s appearance, and oil was used to prepare a body for burial. When the Church uses the blessed oil in its sacramental celebrations, it represents the outward sign of the power of salvation, which comes from the Trinity. At the Chrism Mass, three different oils are prepared. Two are blessed and one is consecrated, following traditions that have existed from very early in the Church’s history.

The oil of the catechumens is used to anoint those to be baptized as a reminder of the ancient athletes who once fought in the arena with their bodies covered in oil so that their enemies were unable to grab hold and hurl them to the ground. The catechumens are anointed with this oil to remind them that the Christian life is full of struggle, most especially a struggle with Satan and sin.

The oil of the sick is prepared to fulfill the instruction from St. James who wrote, “Is there anyone sick among you? He should ask for the priests of the Church. They in turn are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. This prayer uttered in faith will reclaim the one who is ill, and the Lord will restore him to health. If he has committed any sins, forgiveness will be his” [Jas 5:14-15]. When administering the sacrament of the sick, the priest, anointing the forehead of the person, says, “Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in His love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit,” and then anointing his hands, says, “May the Lord who frees you from sin, save you and raise you up.”

The Sacred Chrism is prepared in a special way. Chrism is a mixture of ­olive oil and balsam, an aromatic resin. In Old Testament times, the priest, prophets, and kings of the Jewish people were said to have been anointed. The biblical word for one who was anointed was Messiah. Translated into Greek, the language of the New Testament, Messiah becomes Christos, or Christ, who was anointed by the Holy Spirit. Being anointed means one is set apart, chosen, and directed to carry out the will of God. Therefore, this oil is used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests and bishops, and the dedication of churches to set them apart for a special mission and purpose for God. During the consecration of the chrism the concelebrants at the Chrism Mass extend their right hands toward the chrism as the bishop says the consecratory prayer, signifying that in union with their bishop they share “in the authority by which Christ Himself builds up and sanctifies and rules His Body,” the Church [Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1563].

At the end of the Chrism Mass, the oils that were blessed and the Chrism that was consecrated are distributed to representatives from every parish in the diocese for use in the celebration of the sacraments throughout the year. Individual parishes typically receive the holy oils in a procession at the beginning of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper later the same week.

In our spiritual journey, we have become joined to Christ through the celebration of the sacraments and are called, challenged, blessed, and anointed with the oils of gladness so that we too may become heralds of the good news by proclaiming glad tidings to the lowly, healing to the broken, liberty to those held captive, and comfort to the sorrowful.

Related Offices Carillon Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Diocesan Event

About Growth, Differences, and Responsibility

When we think of Easter, we think about spring that brings new life, new beginnings, and new growth. For Christians this does not only mean that the days are getting longer, the trees are leafing and all of nature transforms itself into an uplifting colourful panorama. The Easter season also lifts up our hearts and spirits to the wonders of God, who through His death and resurrection, saved us from eternal punishment. Through this act of love for His people, Jesus invites us “to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” [2 Peter 3:18]. What better time than Lent and Easter to renew our commitment to the Lord by using it as a time of spiritual awakening, nurturing and growing.

Reflection:

  1. What am I currently doing to nurture my spirituality and my faith?
  2. What are we doing as a family to nurture our spirituality and our faith?
  3. How can we grow more in our faith?
  4. How do we recognize God’s love in the awakening of nature?
  5. How do we recognize God’s love in other people?
  6. How can we help somebody else to grow closer to God?

Fill in the missing words to complete the sentences:
(the answers may be different for each family member)

  1. Acknowledging differences means

  2. Taking responsibility means

  3. The word growth or growing means

  4. Growing in faith means

  5. My love for God’s creation means

  6. Lent is a time of

  7. Easter is

  8. I recognize growth mostly in

  9. I nurture growth by

Family Activity:

Easter! Spring! A time to look toward the season for planting: Have each family member select a plant seed, each different from that of the other family members. Each seed will be planted in its own pot, and whoever planted that particular seed is responsible for its growth. Encourage each family member to become knowledgeable about their planted seed. When the family gets together once a week they will report on what they have learned. The younger children might need some help with their task. At each gathering begin with a prayer thanking God for the gift of life and growth.

As the plants get bigger you will notice that they are all different, yet they are all plants. This is the time to talk about differences. Every plant looks different, yet they are all plants. People look different, yet they are all humans. Like the plants, humans were created by God. God entrusted plants, animals and the entire world into our care. That includes our children, the elderly, the homeless, and all who need that little extra help to live their life in dignity. How do we recognize their needs and what can we do to help?

Related Offices Carillon Life & Family Resource Centre (LFRC)
Related Themes Prayer Life Family
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