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Rejoice in God's Mercy: Resources

This initiative consists of all parishes in the diocese offering the sacrament of Reconciliation on all the Wednesdays of Advent and Lent from 7:30-8:30pm in addition to other scheduled times for Reconciliation at your parish.

Below are bulletin reflections for Rejoice in God’s Mercy, the diocesan renewal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please insert these reflections into your parish bulletin on November 26, December 3, 10, 17, and 24. 

  • Note that Some parishes may need to extend the time to accommodate the number of penitents or speak about the initiative in advance to encourage parishioners to take advantage of the earlier dates. Make Reconciliation available at your parish on Wednesdays December 6, 13, and 20 from 7:30 – 8:30pm.

You might like to use this paragraph to advertise the initiative in your parish bulletin:

The Diocese of Calgary invites you to experience the peace, love, and joy brought by participating in the sacrament of reconciliation. In addition to the regular parish schedule, the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at parishes throughout the Diocese of Calgary all the Wednesdays of Advent from 7:30 – 8:30pm.

Electronic materials will also come to your parish by email and are available below.

In Christ,

The Office of Liturgy
The Diocesan Liturgical Commission


Bulletin Reflection:

In addition to the regular parish schedule, the sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at parishes throughout the Diocese of Calgary all the Wednesdays of Advent from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

November 26, Christ the King

Catholics celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation because we recognise that sometimes we fail to do as we ought and because we believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness. The priest can help you and you can trust the Holy Spirit to guide you. Even if you don’t know how you can change your life, showing up makes you open to the grace that the sacrament brings.  The Diocese of Calgary invites you to experience the peace, love, and joy brought by participating in the sacrament of Reconciliation.  Action: If you are afraid to go to Reconciliation, speak about your reservations with a priest or someone you know who does participate in the sacrament. If you celebrate the sacrament regularly, speak about it as a witness to others.

December 3, Advent I

It is easy to become complacent, doing things the way we have always done them and making excuses for the things we do not want to change. Life is hard and we can become rigid and obstinate out of self-defense. Yet, in the loving creative hand of God, we are to be like clay is to the potter. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a safe place to put aside the armour of our stubbornness and be strengthened by the grace of God given in Christ Jesus. Action Item: Each evening this week identify three ways God has shown you kindness and gentleness.

December 10, Advent II

St. Augustine knew what sort of person he ought to be when as a youth he prayed for purity “but not yet!” Some changes happen overnight while others unfold gradually. In the confessional we can admit our failings and struggles confident that the Lord is patient and wants us to come to repentance. Action Item: Find an opportunity each day to extend God’s patience to others and to yourself. 

December 17, Advent III

We were created in the image of God and so our lives should continually give glory to God. It is human nature to take pride in doing good work but when we start to do it for our own glory, we have lost sight of God’s gift to us. The sacrament of Reconciliation is an opportunity to re-orient everything we do to God’s glory.  Action Item: Learn and pray the canticle of Mary, (Luke 1.46-55).

December 24, Advent IV: no Wednesday confession to follow

The time of our Saviour’s birth is upon us. Though we are not always prepared God is always ready for us! When we are tempted to feel like our failings are insurmountable, let us remember that nothing is impossible with God.  Action Item: Encourage others who are hard on themselves by sharing with them the love and mercy of Christ. For yourself, know that the sacrament of Reconciliation is available at your parish year-round as scheduled or by appointment. 

Graphic Resources:

For a link to a Facebook Banner, click here

For a link to the poster, click here

For a link to bulletin image 1, click HERE

For a link to bulletin image 2, click HERE

Related Offices Office of Liturgy Related Programs Rejoice in God's Mercy
Related Themes Reconciliation Advent Parish Life

Liturgy Planning Forms

Please see below the documents you need to submit for liturgies celebrated by Bishop William McGrattan.

  1. Liturgical Planning Form
    Please fill and return this form to the Office of Liturgy no later than two weeks prior to the celebration. Submit via e-mail to liturgy@calgarydiocese.ca
  2. Prayers of the Faithful Template 

Do not hesitate to contact Simone (403-218-5524)  or Lia (403-218-5511)  in the Office of Liturgy if you have any questions regarding your upcoming liturgy or about completing the form. 

Related Offices Office of Liturgy
Related Themes Liturgy Liturgical Celebration

2017 Parish Communications Workshop

WORKSHOP IS FULL - NO REGISTRATION AT THE DOOR.

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 invite 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.
  • REGISTER ONLINE HERE
Related Offices Social Media & Website
Related Themes Communications

Catholic Family Services Celebrates 60 Years

Catholic Family Service was founded in 1957 with five staff members. Today, more than 100 employees deliver affordable counselling and a wide range of community programs aimed at building strong families.

Catholic Family Service has faithfully upheld Fr. Pat O’Byrne’s legacy of professional and compassionate service to vulnerable Calgarians for 60 years. Fr. Pat was one of the first trained social workers in Calgary. In 1957, he founded Catholic Family Service, employing five staff members to provide pre-marital and individual counselling, adoption services and financial assistance to all faiths and cultures. Fr. Pat had a hand in establishing several interdenominational social agencies in those years, including the Calgary Drop-in Centre.

Within a few years, satellite offices were established in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. These offices closed in the late 1960s, as we evolved to meet changing priorities. Joining the United Way (then called Community Chest) in the 1960s led to a greater focus on community-wide needs. Today, Catholic Family Service employs 100 professionals who deliver affordable counselling and a wide range of community programs aimed at building strong families.

A succession of dedicated CEOs — only five in 60 years — has ensured that Fr. Pat’s legacy lives on. Frank Bach was CEO from 1964 to 1968. During his tenure, we became recognized for the professionalism of our staff and our willingness to work cooperatively with other agencies in the community. Under Jack Kirley’s leadership from 1968 to 1984, we formed a partnership with the Calgary Board of Education to provide services to “unwed mothers.” This successful collaboration continues today at the Louise Dean Centre, where we provide counselling, life skills training, on-site child care and financial support to pregnant and parenting teenagers while they complete their high school education.

Greg Campbell was appointed CEO in 1984, serving for the next 27 years. Greg worked with staff to develop programs that connect families within their communities. Under Greg’s leadership, innovative programs were launched such as Crew (formerly Athletes Mentoring), matching youth aged 10 – 14 with student-athlete mentors, and Never Too Late, an academic and social support program for adult learners as they prepare to write their high school equivalency exams. Motherhood Matters (formerly named Volunteers Teaching Important Parent Skills (V-TIPS) and Teen Parent Friend) continues today, as does the Family & Schools Together Program (F&ST), an international school-based family skills program that we brought to Calgary 21 years ago. Under Greg Campbell, volunteers were welcomed as valued partners into the organization (now 400 strong!) We also launched our fundraising arm, the Unlocking Potential (UP) Foundation, during that time. Greg handed the reins to Patricia Jones in 2011. Patricia has championed greater involvement of all fathers, regardless of age, in our services, including the research-based Fathers Moving Forward program which supports the fathers of babies born to young mothers attending Louise Dean Centre. Collaborative approaches continue today through our innovative finance model for students at Louise Dean Centre (a partnership with Terra Centre, Edmonton and the Alberta Government) and our partnership with Carya offering Functional Family Therapy to the community.

Catholic Family Service has never strayed from its original goal to strengthen families through marriage preparation. In partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary, we offer a Marriage Preparation Weekend to couples planning the sacrament of marriage. Grounded in Catholic values, this weekend is open to couples of all faiths and cultural backgrounds.

Among the many funders, partners and donors — far too many to list here — supporting Fr. Pat’s vision over the years, one in particular stands out in our 60th anniversary year. Alberta Teachers’ Association Local 55, Catholic Teachers Charities invites teachers in the Calgary Catholic School District to allocate a donation from each pay cheque for distribution among local charities. Since Catholic Family Service started benefiting from these donations in 2000, we have received more than one million dollars from Catholic teachers. Thank you so much for this amazing support!

A lot may change in six decades, but some things never change. As we celebrate, we are eternally grateful for the vision and leadership of Fr. Pat O’Byrne, our staff and volunteers, and the thousands of Calgarians who have stood beside us to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to live the life they want.

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

Season of Creation: On Taking Care of Each Other

Beginning last September, Pope Francis designated September as the Season of Creation. This expands the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation that started in 2015. Joining a movement created by our Lutheran brothers and sisters in 2000, the Church now celebrates this month as a time to contemplate our care of creation and to celebrate its wonders.

With these thoughts, we consider Thanksgiving during this month of October. As we hear the increasingly alarming news of natural disasters around the world, and we try to respond however we can, the bigger questions are inevitably asked. How do we respond to the needs around us? Are the acts of nature this year worse than previous years? If so, why? And what can I, as one single person, do to make a difference amongst all the big, global, issues that follow?

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave us six points to ponder as we decide how to engage with our environment on a personal level:

  • All human beings are affected, and everything in nature too, by the crises of climate change, misuse of natural resources, waste and pollution, and attendant poverty and dislocation.
  • Everything is interconnected; we cannot understand the social or natural world or their parts in isolation.
  • Everyone must act responsibly to save our world – from individuals who recycle and use energy sparingly, to enterprises reducing their ecological footprints, to world leaders setting and enforcing ambitious targets to reduce the use of carbon.
  • We must be truthful; let no one hide or distort facts in order to gain selfish advantage.
  • We must engage in constructive dialogue; genuine, trusting and trustworthy engagement of all parties is required to succeed where all is at risk.
  • Beyond the industrial age’s short-sighted confidence in technology and finance, we must transcend ourselves in prayer, simplicity and solidarity.

And so, the adage of “reduce, reuse, recycle” comes to mind as a follow up to these points of conversation. But, as Cardinal Turkson mentions, nothing happens in isolation. The care of creation is not just about the earth, but also about its inhabitants. We especially, as human beings, have the biggest impact on our home. By caring for each other as individuals, we can create an upswell of attitude change that will impact the broader world and thus, decisions that impact the environment and our earth. Out of thankfulness for our blessings, we must look for ways to bless each other Here are some examples to consider:

  • Do you like to comment on social media? Do you enjoy the anonymity of sharing your thoughts on the Internet without care for how they may impact who or what you are commenting on? In a world where social media rants and comments are the latest form of bullying, it is a virtue to show care and intention for what you say, how you say and where you say your opinions.
  • Is there a family in your parish who comes to Mass looking a little worse for wear? Do you ponder why they can’t dress up and why their child is particularly disruptive? Maybe the clothes are their best, and maybe that child did not have enough to eat for breakfast and is acting out of hunger. Perhaps ask your pastor if they need help. Can you donate a grocery store gift card to them?
  • Do you know a woman who recently suffered a miscarriage and you don’t know what to say? Just tell her you love her; and that you’re sorry it happened. Those words will be a healing balm to her soul.
  • In the hustle and bustle of juggling work, life, money, kids, marriage and our faith, we often lose sight of those that are most precious: the people around us. So let us make the time to think of ways to reduce our anger, judgement and condescension; reuse words of kindness, over and over, in as many situations as possible; and recycle our negativity into positivity and spread it around by offering a smile to the stranger on the street or by letting the car beside us ease in front of us, so the driver does not have to wait longer to merge into our lane.

    Spreading joy and happiness gives the recipients room to contemplate other things. Those “other things” might simply include: considering how to make their home more environmentally friendly; seeing trash on the ground and having the patience to pick it up; or finding a reservoir of energy to ride their bike to the corner store instead of driving. If we can’t do the basics of caring for each other, how can we do the bigger job of caring for creation?

    Let’s all try to see how big of a ripple we can create, and we might be surprised at the change it brings forth in each one of us too!

    Related Offices
    Related Themes
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