International Mission 2016 Report
Mission Council chose 7 projects to help people in need in five different countries
- Darjeeling Jesuit Province for direct involvement in evangelization
- Save Trust for mining children in Magara, Guntur
- Vellore Diocese - for carpentry tools for the vocational training of young boys
- Multipurpose Social Service Society of the Cuddapah Diocese - for vocational skill training in tailoring and embroidery
- Eritrea: To finish off the Church in Hamedey
- Democratic Republic of Congo: For furniture in the chapel of Notre-Dame University of Kayasi
- Sri Lanka: Happy Life for drug prevention and awareness program, and practical leadership skills in Mirigama
- Nepal: Aid to rescue young women from prostitution through Servants Anonymous in Calgary
The loss of something or someone often involves a time of grieving. It is difficult to let go of things that we are familiar with and cherish. It is even more difficult to let go of people who are important to us. However, no matter how much we try to hang on to the here and now, change is unavoidable. Change is something we tend to fear and become anxious about because we do not feel in control. The good news is that God has a plan for our life. If we trust in God and allow the change to help us grow to become more like Jesus Christ in how we respond and act, then we are promised that everything will fall into place. In the book of Deuteronomy [31:6] it says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread (of them), for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” As we are presently in the process of a change of leadership in the Diocese of Calgary by welcoming Bishop William McGrattan, we are looking back thanking Bishop Henry for being a courageous example of a leader who was never afraid to “tell it as it is.” At the same time, we are looking forward in joyful expectation to Bishop McGrattan’s contribution to our diocese and welcome him with open hearts, arms and minds.
- The bishop of a diocese has many responsibilities. List at least five.
- What are my expectations of the new bishop?
- What can I do to support the bishop?
- How can I get involved in a diocesan ministry:
- through my parish?
- in other ways?
Fill in the missing words to complete the following sentences:
- List all of the parishes of the Calgary Diocese by name (e.g. St. Anthony’s Parish, Calgary).
- Obtain a travel map and trace the boundaries of the Calgary Diocese.
- Name three churches that are closest to yours.
- Draw a picture of your own church.
- Pray that our diocese may continue to prosper.
May the Lord continue to bless our diocese and its many ministries and projects
The 34th Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross took place on Good Friday, April 14, 2017.
What is the Outdoor Way of the Cross About?
We come to walk along the inner city and stop at 14 Stations to listen to scripture readings, and to reflect on the suffering, passion and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross is a two-and-a-half hour procession through the inner City of Calgary that starts and ends at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral on 18th Avenue and 2nd Street S.W.
As Jesus shared in our human suffering, and even death itself, so many of us come to walk with Jesus in his suffering and share his pain. We also see our own life hardships reflected in the burden of carrying the cross. We contemplate the great love that Jesus showed when he gave his life for all people in the world, so that they may have life.
The Way of the Cross is more than just a personal journey, Jesus' death is redemptive and in his dying we are reconciled with God, healed and redeemed. Through our participation in the walk, we ask that Jesus forgive our sins, heal our wounds, and transform us more into the image and likeness of God.
At the heart of the Outdoor Way of the Cross practice is also the idea and practice of Solidarity. We all share the common experience of seeing a loved one or someone close to us suffer. We wish that we could take on their burden. It is this idea of loving someone so much that we would like to take away his or her suffering by sharing in this person's experience. In the case of Jesus, God loved us so much that he allowed Jesus to share in humanly life and suffering, even in death, except for sin. As we participate in the Outdoor Way of the Cross, we are also in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters who are thirsting for compassion and justice in the world today.
To register as a volunteer or for more information about this year's Outdoor Way of the Cross, visit www.wayofthecross.ca
I was away from home and from my husband when my miscarriage happened during my summer pastoral studies in Chicago. I remember answering the door to welcome a colleague during the first few days after the miscarriage. I was not keen for a visit since my pain was still raw, so we both just fell into a long silence after she told me how sorry she was for my loss. When I finally looked up and saw the gleam of tears in her eyes, I broke down and cried with her. Until today I still think of it as the day God wept with me.
When parents experience a pregnancy loss, frequently the grief goes unspoken because secrecy often accompanies the early stages of pregnancy. Support from the community can be rare, as most of the time most friends and family do not know anything about the loss. Even when the grieving parents do share their loss, the many kind comments and sentiments they receive often fail to alleviate the sorrow and guilt parents feel.
Surrounded by ministers who had been shaped by their life experiences and ministries, I was blessed to have been able to confide in those who understood and knew what I had been through. My experience as a liturgical minister did not help in preparing a ritual for my own child. The sorrow was very numbing and I was simply unable to be resourceful.
Looking back, words cannot express my gratitude for my thoughtful colleagues who prepared and organized a Liturgy of the Word to commemorate our loss. It is difficult to put pain adequately into words but rituals speak beyond words alone because they consist of symbolic actions and language. It allowed me to give voice to my pain through prayers and lamentations. It sanctified my experience as I was entrusted to God’s loving care and compassion.
It is truly a humbling experience to be at the receiving end of so much love and support, and to encounter Christ in the face of friends and family. As God’s people, we are not meant to grieve alone. God weeps with us. In the embrace of the community, grieving parents allow themselves to be sustained and cared for as they put the pieces of their lives back together. Our grieving should naturally unite us with the community, a place where both have something to give and receive.
The Diocese of Calgary invites parents, their families and friends to join us in a prayer gathering by attending the Memorial Liturgy for Miscarried and Stillborn Infants on Friday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 1307 - 14th Street SW. For more information or to RSVP, please visit our website at www.miscarriageliturgy.ca.
Jesus reminded us that “the poor will always be among us” [Deuteronomy 15:11].
Frederic Ozanam (1813 - 1853) — a student in Paris, France — recognized that to carry out the mission to alleviate the plight of the poor and marginalized in society is a challenge that is more manageable through an organization. Shortly thereafter, he formed the Conference of Charity in 1833 on the evening of his 20th birthday. Two years later, the name was changed to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP). The organization grew, and 13 years later the first SSVP conference was established in Canada.
Now, 170 years later, 871 conferences of SSVP can be found across Canada thriving on the generous dedication of more than 14,000 volunteers. In Calgary, there are more than 20 conferences involving 365 volunteers.
If successes of an army depend on its generals, so do SSVP’s achievements depend on the pastors of the parishes in which they operate. The St. Peter’s parish SSVP conference is thriving because of the pastoral leadership of Frs. Jerome Lavigne and Jonathan Gibson. Their call into action is heeded by the congregation and as such SSVP has been able to grow and receive outstanding support from parishioners, and the parish councils of the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Women’s League.
Because of the new extension to the church, SSVP has moved from using a broom-closet-sized hamper room to an operative food storage area the size of a two-car garage! More than 75 volunteers in our parish purchase, sort and collect food; deliver hampers; visit families; assess needs and seek solutions by contacting other organizations. Shelves are filled regularly by parish donations and generous school drives.
We are grateful to all of the presidents, secretaries, treasurers and other volunteers who dedicate their time and stretch each and every donation to the maximum extent in favour of the recipients.