Today’s blog will offer you a brief peek into my last 3 working days.
Jan. 15, 2013
7:30 to 9am—I was up early to attend a breakfast meeting hosted by Regina Catholic Separate School Trustees.The breakfast was a time to hear from various groups about the meaningful contributions their organizations will be making to Catholic education. Among the many gathered were representatives from CWL, Kof C, Visitation House,and Campion College. I attended to introduce the newly formed ‘Reverence for Life’ Archdiocesan Commission and provide insight about the activities of this group.
10:15 to 11:00 am--I'm on the road heading to my second meeting of the morning which will be at the office of Ralph Goodale, Liberal MP. Judy Corkery, the Regina and area Development and Peace representative, and I have come to discuss our concerns regarding the declining funding of Church groups who want to provide assistance to developing countries. We asked Ralph a straight forward question: “What strategy would you recommend we use to deal with the non-listening Federal Government who has radically changed the direction of support to developing countries?" We left his office encouraged by the radically new plan the three of us devised; we would contact Molly Kane, Advocacy and Research Officer for D&P to ask her if she would connect with different Church and other ‘justice’ groups—KAIROS, PWRDF, Mennonite Outreach, Oxfam, SCIC etc to create a policy for foreign development aid. In drafting a policy that reflected the participating groups' values,the groups would thus be positioned to enter dialogue should the government change after the next election…
7:15 to 9:00pm-- It is after supper and I am off to yet another meeting. This time it is KAIROS-Regina members meeting to ponder and report activities relating to Indigenous concerns, the environment, food security, and foreign aid policy. Since KAIROS nominated Dr. Jim Harding, author and environmental activist, as candidate for the SCIC Global Citizen award. Dan Beveridge, chairman of Kairos will introduce Jim to the Feb 2nd gathering in a way that explains why he fittingly represents the values Kairos embraces.
9:00-11:00 am.—It's Jan. 16th and I'm at Oskana Centre for another meeting. About one dozen Church and Community service representatives are attending the COSA (Circles of Support and Accountability) Steering meeting. The discussion revolves around reports of progress by core members of the 12 COSA circles in Regina and area. Each core member has committed a sex crime, but is now out of jail and intent on trying to successfully reintegrate into the community. Volunteers that form a circle of friendship around the core member were eager to report progress made.
· Noontime--I'm now driving south on Albert Street and it's time to see how the 'Idle No More' movement is developing. I notice a small group of participants drumming, dancing and chanting their way down Albert Street and across the Albert Street bridge. Unfortunately, I see that the group is relatively small and therefore may not make a strong statement about how pervasive the movement is. Later, when I spoke with Dan Beveridge, he reported, that numbers had swelled to over 100 people, mostly aboriginal, at the Legislative Building for speeches, prayers, drumming, etc
7:00-8:15 pm.-- I'm a bit tired but I'm off to yet another evening meeting. This one is a meeting of our Reverence for Life Commission to continue the work of preparing a package for parishes and Catholic groups to be ready for the Celebration of Life month, Oct. 2013. We will take initiatives that will provide new thought and hope for a topic most Catholics do not want to discuss—ending the life of an unborn child. The Commission is guided by three criteria--doing nothing is unacceptable; action must be well thought out; and effectiveness lies in touching consciences.
·7:45 am.I've arrived at the office and my computer tells me that the Iraqi refugee committee wants to knnow when our next Archdiocesan-wide sponsorship will begin? Is the Blended Program on? (Government will pay part of the sponsorship, the constituent group pays the rest). This also means that I will also have to meet with Christina Attard, the Archdiocesan Development Officer, to call another meeting with the refugee committee, and ask input from Abdul Ali, our very worthy refugee field worker.
Today is Thursday, meaning that tonight 7:00—9pm is the FOTO meeting. (Friends on the Outside) During the usual coffee encounter we will likely discuss when the next book- club reading will start.
And then, I’m presently writing a blog, and you are reading it! Soon I must focus my attention on preparing a vocation/social justice presentation for the first year students in the Lay Ministry Formation Program.
As I sign off from this brief peek into my life as social justice coordinator, I think it fitting to ask you to read Pope Benedict’s New Year’s peace message,Blessed are the Peacemakers. Very briefly, the message of the Pope is that the deepest meaning of any person is shown when he responds to his calling of being peacemaker. http://vietcatholic.net/News/Html/101965.htm