The Vatican named the following two Saints to be the Patron Saints of the Universal Missions
October 1 – St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Thérèse of Lisieux born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin
(January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897), or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus"
A Morning Prayer written by St. Thérèse
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.
O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.
December 3rd – Saint Francis Xavier
Saint Francis Xavier, born Francisco de Jaso y Azpilicueta
(7 April 1506, Javier, Navarre – 3 December, 1552, Shangchuan Island,China) was a pioneering Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre (Spain) and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He was a colleague of Saint Ignatius Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who dedicated themselves to the service of God at Montmarte in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Asian Portuguese Empire of the time. He was influential in the spreading and upkeep of Catholicism most notably in India (in Goa), but also ventured into Japan, Borneo, the Moluccas, and other areas which had thus far not been visited by Christian missionaries.
Prayer written by Saint Francis Xavier
Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that You alone have created the souls of unbelievers, which You have made according to Your Image and Likeness. Behold, O Lord, how to Your dishonor many of them are falling into Hell. Remember, O Lord, Your Son Jesus Christ, Who so generously shed His Blood and suffered for them. Do not permit that Your Son, Our Lord, remain unknown by unbelievers, but, with the help of Your Saints and the Church, the Bride of Your Son, remember Your mercy, forget their idolatry and infidelity, and make them know Him, Who You have sent, Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, Who is our salvation, our life, and our resurrection, through Whom we have been saved and redeemed, and to Whom is due glory forever. Amen.
The Holy Father has appealed international efforts to assist Syrian refugees fleeing Syria and to encourage peace efforts in this region. Our Diocese is accepting financial donations to assist Syrian refugee victims and all funds will be forwarded to CNEWA-Canada.
The Holy Father has appealed international efforts to assist Syrian refugees fleeing Syria and to encourage peace efforts in this region. The Holy Father's most recent appeal can be found on the Vatican website here.
CNEWA - Canada, the Canadian Catholic Near East Welfare Association is collecting funds to assist refugees fleeing Syria. Our Diocese is accepting financial donations to assist Syrian refugee victims and all funds will be forwarded to CNEWA-Canada. Donations can be made as follows:
- by sending a cheque payable to your parish earmarked "Syrian Relief Effort"
- by sending a cheque payable to the Diocese earmarked "Syrian Relief Effort" and sent to the Pastoral Centre, 120 17th Ave S.W., Calgary AB T2S 2T2.
Furthermore, the CCCB has recently released a Holy Land Coordination Final Communique 2013 from the Annual Meeting of International Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land. From January 5 to 13, 2013, the Most Reverend Richard Smith participated in this annual meeting that involves representatives from Conferences of Bishops in Europe and North America, who meet with the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS). Archbishop Smith was accompanied by Mr. Carl Hétu, National Secretary of CNEWA-Canada. The theme for the 2013 annual meeting was "Suffering and vulnerable people in the Holy Land".
The Final Communique can be found on the CCCB website: here
Photo from www.cccb.ca website!
Below is a selection of Outreach Opportunities supported and promoted by the Diocese of Calgary.
Together in Action (formerly ABA)
"Above all preserve an intense love for each other since love covers a multitude of sins" 1 Peter 4:8
"Do things out of LOVE"
Visit the Together in Action webpage.
Catholic Missions in Canada (formerly Catholic Church Extension Society)
"Catholic Missions promotes national awareness on the needs of our Canadian missions and raises funds to sustain the work of evangelization."
St. Mary's University College
"Is a Catholic post-secondary institution which offers liberal arts studies and is the only B.Ed. degree in Canada specifically designed for the formation of Catholic teachers."
Website : www.stmu.ab.ca
"We are inclusive. And that's not just talk. We live that philosophy by welcoming children and youth regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status. Camp Cadicasu is committed to coeducation, providing opportunities for boys and girls age 8 – 17 to grow together."
Catholic Charismatic Renewal
"The Calgary Catholic Charismatic Renewal Society is at work in and through the Holy Spirit evangelizing, teaching and ministering to fan the flames of renewal in our Diocese."
Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ Christian Life Centre)
In companionship with Christ and one another, and in an atmosphere of openness and hospitality, our mission is to share God's vision for a peaceful, joy-filled and just world through enabling and fostering wolistic growth in all who search for meaning and direction in their lives.
Franciscan and Friends
"The Franciscan and Friends Mission effectively utilizes the universal language of music to build community, evangelize and minister not just to the poor but the broader human family, a smart Christian initiative with good ecumenical participation."
Bishop FB Henry
Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary
Mount Saint Francis Retreat Centre
"Mount St. Francis is a peace-filled retreat centre where the spirituality of communion, the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling within us, and whose light we must also see shining on the face of our brothers and sisters around us, is taught and nurtured."
Catholic Bishop of Calgary
The Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC)
Is a national council of representatives from 10 church partners, focusing on four main concerns of social justice, women's issues, ecumenism, and the growth of women's spirituality.
The annual World Day of Prayer and the Fellowship of the Least Coin movement for peace and reconciliation are both coordinated by WICC in Canada.
University of Calgary Catholic Community (U.C.C.C.)
"Provides a presence within the University setting intended to enable students, faculty and staff, and the community at large to share their faith and to foster a lived commitment to their Roman Catholic Christian heritage."
Martha Retreat Centre
"Everybody has their own particular gifts from God, one with a gift for one thing and another with a gift for the opposite." (1 Corinthians 7:7)
At this time of the year, it can seem like we are bombarded with the idea of gifting – both receiving and giving. Suggestions abound on someone else's idea of what you would like to receive or what someone else would like to receive from you.
Upon reflecting on this idea of gifting, I was reminded of a story that Fr. John Shea shares in his book The Legend of the Bells and Other Tales. It is the story of a person who was a teacher for many years, and at Christmas, as was the custom at the school where he taught, students would bring gifts. After about the third year he could guess what the gift was by the size of the gift box. For example, long flat boxes would contain handkerchiefs (it was in the day when handkerchiefs were being used). He developed a habit, and that was to throw the box in the closet unopened until he needed a handkerchief. Only then, would he go to the closet and open the box. On one such day he opened such a box and much to his surprise he discovered an antique pocket watch! Imagine, all the time he possessed an antique watch and didn't know it.
This story is a reminder that we all have God-given gifts and qualities that make each one of us, children and adults alike, unique. It is our purpose to discover, unwrap and use these gifts to help ourselves, others, and to bring about God's kingdom on earth. As we age, mature, and grow in wisdom our gifts will be expressed in different ways for different tasks. An added benefit is that we will discover new gifts!
During these seasons of Advent and Christmas, and during the whole year, let us become aware of our many gifts; let us go beyond the outer package. Who knows what we may discover… perhaps an antique pocket watch?
Let us see the evidence of God's gift of love which is so plentiful to each one of us. May God's blessings and gifts be with you and your family in a special way during this holy time.
Written by Norline Johnson, Religious Education Secretariat, Senior's Corner Coordinator.
As an only child caught by the travelling bug early in life, and ferociously independent, I left home young and spent most of my life away, though always in touch with my wonderful parents. I always felt guilty that I did not live nearby to help them as they aged, and it was always my goal to return to them in my thirties to provide the support they needed when they retired. By then I was in Australia, as far away, it seems, as I could get, and beginning to think about returning. As I prepared for a rare visit to celebrate Christmas one year I received a frantic call from my mother that my Dad had had a heart attack, and so began a desperate effort to book flights during the busiest holiday season. In the middle of my return my progress was interrupted by one of the worst snowstorms Canada has ever experienced, and after a fifty-six hour journey I finally limped up to the Sacreacute; Coeur Hospital in Montreal, in the middle of the night, too late to say goodbye.