An Appeal to Assist Christian Iraqis

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.

Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Charities Discipleship Giving Donation

God-given Gifts

"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.

Related Offices Stewardship Religious Education
Related Themes Charities Stewardship Discipleship Giving Christmas Advent Seniors

Planned Giving

How much should I give?

Planned giving is a faith response.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary can help you make your gift planned, proportionate and sacrificial through the establishment of an endowment, the purchase of a life insurance policy or a bequest within your will.

There are many diocesan programs and initiatives in need of financial assistance.

These include continuing education of priests, family life programs, education of seminarians, support for retired priests, youth ministry, health care for the aged, missionary work, Catholic Charities, Elizabeth House, Feed the Hungry and capital projects such as land acquisition for new parishes.

Getting started is the most difficult part about making a will.

For a more detailed overview of the Diocese's planned giving program visit our Planting a Future site

If you have additional questions, please contact your professional advisor (lawyer, financial planner etc.) or contact our Director of Charities & Development, Joann Churchill at (403) 218-5531 or

Related Offices Charities & Development
Related Themes Charities Giving Donation

Aid to Nepal

The world has heard, with deep concern, the news of the terrible earthquake, 7.8 on the Richter scale, that hit Nepal during the night of Friday April 24. The epicenter of the quake was only 80 km from the capital, Katmandou. It appears that the destruction was widespread. It is being reported that over 4,000 people have died and even more have been injured. The number of victims is expected to increase significantly in the followi ng days. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its infrastructure simply cannot withstand an earthquake of this magnitude.

Since Saturday, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) has been in constant communication with the General Secretariat of (aritas lnternationa/is. Information received from Caritas Nepal, Caritas India and the Catholic Relief Services office in India, indicates that the country is experiencing a major crisis. CCODP has informed us that it has launched an appeal for donations to help in this humanitarian emergency. In fact, it has already posted a banner on the home page of its website and has activated a donation option for the earthquake in Nepal that you can find at the following links:

Donate here

You may also contribute to this humanitarian relief outreach by sending your cheques through the office of the Diocese to CCODP - simply mark "Nepal."

Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Charities Discipleship Giving Donation
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