“Development, the New Name for Peace” is the title of a short section in a Vatican II document called Populorum Progressio (p. 76). It is also what gave our Canadian Catholic development agency its name. That was back in 1967. Some of us remember this time in our church history; when St. John XXIII called on the Second Vatican Council to “throw open the windows of the church and let the fresh air of the spirit blow through”. On Oct. 20th, 1967, in the year that Canada turned 100 years old, the Canadian bishops officially founded the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
This is a jubilee year for us. It is a year of thanksgiving and of celebration. As archbishop of Regina, I would like to express my gratitude to you, along with my encouragement to continue building God’s reign through our own Church’s development agency. While the CCCB founded this organization, it has been all of you who have breathed life into it; faithfully supporting D&P through the Share Lent campaigns and monthly giving. Each Autumn, you have taken time to learn and speak out about how our own actions and policies can be transformed to create a better world.
As part of the evolution of Development & Peace, it also became the Canadian branch of Caritas Internationalis; a world-wide network of Catholic organizations for development and emergency relief; present in over 160 countries. Hence we are now also known as Caritas Canada. This has made it possible to more quickly and effectively channel financial support in times of emergency and disaster.
The theme of this year’s Share Lent campaign is Women at the Heart of Change. In the materials, we are introduced to women who, through great sacrifice, have given new life to their communities. They can also inspire us in our Lenten journey to work for the betterment of communities near and far; and to welcome the less fortunate into our midst. Let us keep in mind that the Canadian church has been a part of these women’s stories as well because of our past donations. In this jubilee year, I would encourage you to give generously to this year’s Share Lent collection on April 2nd.
Grace and peace, ✠Donald J. Bolen, Archbishop of Regina