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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.  

2017 CAMPAIGN RESOURCES

  • 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. 

  • DONATE ONLINE or
  • 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

Christians Celebrate the Season of Creation

It has been a busy summer. Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home celebrated its second anniversary this past June. To reiterate our Holy Father’s call to action, the Social Justice Office has been promoting the Laudato Si’ Pledge. The pledge asks that we do three things: Pray for and with creation; Live more simply; Advocate to protect our common home.

We were at One Rock this year promoting the campaign. Archbishop Pettipas stopped by and made the pledge. Bishop McGrattan, after his Mass on Saturday, not only endorsed the pledge, but encouraged everyone to do the same. After taking the pledge, many had their photos taken with Pope Francis in the selfie booth. It was tons of fun but more importantly, the signed pledges were added with others from around the world. It was a great act of solidarity!

The Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign continues throughout the upcoming Season of Creation which begins with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1. This special prayer day was instituted by Pope Francis for our Church back in 2015 because he shares the concern of Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, who initiated a similar day of prayer back in 1989. Pope Francis has called this day to be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live” [Letter, August 2015]. Pope Francis wished this day of prayer to be celebrated “with the participation of the entire People of God:  priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful and should become a significant occasion for prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate lifestyles.”

But we don’t have just this day to celebrate and pray for Creation. In the Pope’s 2016 letter, he endorsed celebrating the Time for Creation. During these five weeks, we can join Christians from every continent who are leading prayer services and symbolic actions to protect creation. There will be a Blessing of the Animals at St. Joseph’s Parish on September 23, at 10:30 a.m. Bring the whole family, along with your beloved pets and animals for a special blessing. St. Patrick’s Parish will have a Live Laudato Si’ workshop on September 25 and 29. There are many prayer service resources available. Please contact the Social Justice Office for more details. By participating in events or symbolic actions, big or small, we can all make a difference.

Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Christian Life Environment Family

St. Cecilia’s Church in Nanton - 110th Anniversary

On Sunday June 4, a special celebration was held to honor the 110th Anniversary of St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Nanton Alberta.

Construction of the church was completed on June 3, 1907. On this day Bishop Légal from St. Albert consecrated the new church and gave it the name of St. Cecilia, the patroness of church music and musicians. On this occasion we sang the last two verses of the hymn Pange Lingua in Latin as would have been heard in 1907. Certainly voices would have been raised in song; sung with joy to praise the Lord and to celebrate their new permanent place to worship.

A lovely potluck meal was enjoyed after Mass. Fr. Tim raised a glass and was joined by all to toast the 110th anniversary. A special part of the festivities was the recognition of nine longtime parishioners present that have attended this church for more than 50 years. A joyous Happy Birthday was sung and delicious cake was served.

Conversations shared this day are the reminiscing of years gone by; speaking of the present and looking forward to the future. In these busy, modern times, St. Cecilia’s is our blessing. Its longevity is visible; its architectural and spiritual character being preserved.
Over its 110-year history St. Cecilia’s has been served faithfully. Fr. Hughes from Prince Edward Island served the church and people from 1918-1933 celebrating Mass every two weeks. Fr. Rouleau, the first ordained priest from the Calgary Diocese came from 1933-1936. From 1936-1941 Rev. A. Tennant served both Stavely and Nanton. During the following six years, Fr. Murphy C.SS.R and Fr. Coyne C.SS.R, (Redemptorists) served this area and the Claresholm Air Force Base. After May 1947 the diocesan priests served. They included Fr. Pat O’Byrne, Fr. Frank Mackay and Fr. Mongeau. Fr. T. O’Riordan attended until 1977, when he was replaced by Fr. Van Tigham. From 1977 until 1998 Fr. Greg Coupal, Fr. T. Connelly, Fr. Dominic Hung Nguyen and Fr. Jim de Los Angeles were serving. For one year the church had no priest. Fr. Benedicto Marino was here from 1999-2006. Fr. Malcolm D’Souza arrived and stayed until 2010. Fr. Angelo D’Costa was present from 2010-2012. His replacement was Fr. Tim Boyle who resides in Claresholm. Currently, he oversees three parishes: Claresholm, Champion and Nanton.

An addition of a hall with seating for 100 people was completed in 1984. Now a modern, well-equipped kitchen adds many more opportunities for using our church hall. In the early 1990s, new parishioners, Ed and Francis Southgate presented the idea of having “toast and coffee” after Sunday Mass. This ritual still continues. Many parishioners linger on Sundays to share moments of togetherness, speak of current and past events, be supportive of one another and share laughter and discussions.

Skip ahead to 2017. Our church has been generously enriched throughout the years with the dedicated services of long-standing parishioners. Today, we are blessed with the arrival of new parishioners who add refreshment to St. Cecilia’s parish community. We remain very thankful to the pioneers of St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church who not only built the building, but also built the faith.

St. Cecilia’s • A Poem by Lydia Dillman

This little church for you and me
How blessed we are to practice our faith in thee
One hundred and ten years, a testament to time; this little church steadfast
The visionary pioneers from yesteryear built it to withstand and last
St. Cecilia’s devoted parishioners provide time and loving care
To ensure that this little church will always be here for prayer
Envision the last one hundred years and ten; take time to wonder
The celebrations, the challenges, and the changes; ours to ponder
Present day we celebrate this little church; its past and present
Personally each of us reflect; what St. Cecilia’s to us has meant
St. Cecilia’s; the gift of time and endurance we celebrate today
Let us be forever thankful; to God we give our praise

Related Offices Carillon
Related Themes Diocesan History Parish Life

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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