Social Justice

The following are the primary ways in which the Social Justice Department attempts to respond to the call to be prophetic and witness to transformative action in a highly disillusioned culture, according to the demands of the Social Teachings of the Church as presented in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:

  • Offers various presentations and workshops.
  • Works creatively in ecumenical groups and committees, including Kairos and Restorative Justice circles.
  • Provides the leadership required to shape ‘A Deanery’s Spotlight on Social Justice’, an approach designed to assist the Implementation of the Vision of the Archdiocese of Regina. A ‘Deanery’s Spotlight on Social Justice’ replaces the ‘Social Justice in Motion’ conferences.
  • Joins various advocacy and action groups that it might be informed by and give support to secular groups and coalitions who work out of concern for the environment and on behalf of persons who are in need of better support.
  • Participates in the Annual Western Social Justice Conference, a weekend gathering of many representatives from the 18 dioceses in Western Canada, enabling it to work in wider regional social justice forums.
  • Hosts and chairs the three or four commission meetings that take place each year. The Archdiocesan Social Justice Commission is a body made up of two representatives from each deanery. The work of the commission is to pray, offer support and challenge to the Coordinator, provide a two-way line of communication, discuss any current justice issues of regional concern, and assist the department in developing and promoting an annual Archdiocesan or deanery wide Social Justice event.

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What's New

The Catholic community in Canada has a decentralized structure.  Each Diocesan Bishop is autonomous in his diocese and, although relating to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, is not responsible to it.

Approximately 16 out of 70 Catholic dioceses in Canada were associated with the former Indian Residential Schools, in addition to about three dozen religious communities.  Each diocese and religious community is legally responsible for its own actions. The Catholic Church as a whole was not associated with the Residential Schools, nor was the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

These are the reasons why an apology on Residential Schools has not been made by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops or in the name of the Catholic Church in Canada.

However, in a brief submitted to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in November 1993, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops did acknowledge that "various types of abuse experienced at some...

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As you study the response given by the Social Justice Department, you will notice that Listening, engaging in dialogue, and seeking justice and reconciliation lies at the heart of each of its endeavors.

What needs to happen to improve life on earth? In his Encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls everyone to make heart-felt and fitting life-style changes. Nothing less will do if we want to reinvigorate our environment and create the institutions needed to address the injustices that alienate and exploit billions in our human family. Accordingly, the Social Justice Department has been active in forming parish discussion groups motivated to embrace the Laudato Si Dialogue Guide that the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice prepared. The guide helps participants to focus thoughts, encouraging them to tell personal stories related to themes selected from Pope Francis’ Encyclical. The idea is that those who are part of such a dialogue experience will be better motivated and...

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Urban New CEO of Catholic Family Services

Last updated on March 6, 2018

By Frank Flegel

Catholic Family Services Society of Regina CEO Sandi Urban, is feeling quite comfortable in her role; she moved into the position 11 months ago. Urban became Executive Director of CFSS April 1, 2017 after the retirement of David Sax.  Sax had 34 years of service with the agency, 21 of those as Executive Director.

Urban is a mother of four who spent 15 years at Sasktel after obtaining a B.A. English from the University of Saskatchewan. She accepted a voluntary retirement package from SaskTel to become a stay-at home mom when the crown corporation went through a downsizing exercise.  She was elected a Trustee with the Prairie Valley School Division and during her time there was elected to the executive committee of the Saskatchewan School Board Association and served as president of the provincial organization, followed by a year as President of the Canadian School Board Trustees Association.

She describes herself as a policy wonk and began...

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Visitation House is Growing

Last updated on March 6, 2018

By Frank Flegel

Theresa Hilbig is breathing a little easier these days. She is Executive Director of Visitation House, a drop-in centre for women established by the Regina Archdiocese in 2000. In the 17 years she has occupied the position she has seen material donations, everything from bedding to more recently a kitchen and dining room set, take up more and more space in the small rooms that make up Visitation House. “It was at the point where I had to clear a path from our open space to my office.” 

The new space is adjacent to the space Visitation House has been occupying and now they have the entire main floor of the building. The additional space will be used to house donated goods which includes children toys, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, various cosmetic products, paper products and many other goods women might use for themselves or in their homes. The Knights of Columbus council of Resurrection Parish offered to build shelves in the additional space to...

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Cuernavaca Reconstruction Post Earthquake

Last updated on February 13, 2018

“It looks like Fred Flintstone's house!  This was the comment heard when we (15 Canadians) arrived for the blessing of the first Super adobe house built after the earthquake.  Thanks to friends, and the generous contribution from the Archdiocese of Regina, a family of five were about to move from a pile of rubble that once was their home to this beautiful solid new structure.  The Madrinas (godmother's of the house) arrived in procession with flowers, wreaths, and carrying the cross.  The new owners met them and blessed the cross with flower petals and incense.  All of this was placed on an alter, from which the corners of the house were blessed and then, a rosary, litany and various other prayers were recited by the crowd. 

There were many moving moments in the afternoon.  When the mother of the architect and the grandmother of the house met and hugged there was an audible sigh went through the people.  The architect's mother turned to the crowd and said “She has asked me...

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February 23-Pray and Fast For Peace

Last updated on February 8, 2018

Pope Francis has invited Roman Catholics, all Christians and members of other religions to observe Feb. 23 as a day of prayer, fasting and initiatives for peace.

On Sunday Pope Francis while addressing tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly blessing, urged everyone to ‘say no’ to violence and conflict. The appeal is because of the “tragic prolonging” of conflicts around the world.

Feb. 23 is a Friday in the first full week of season of Lent, during which fasting from food and extra acts of charity are encouraged as a sign of penitence. Pope Francis said “everyone, in their own consciences, before God, should ask ‘what can I do for peace?’”
“Surely, we can pray but not only: each one of us can say ‘no’ to violence in their own way, because victories obtained through violence are false victories while working for peace benefits all,” he said.  He specifically invited non-Catholics and non-Christians to join the initiative in any way they...

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“The state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn”
Statement on the 30th anniversary of the Morgentaler Decision

 

Exactly thirty years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that existing abortion provisions in our nation’s Criminal Code violated a woman’s Charter rights to the security of person, and were thus unconstitutional. Since that ruling, there has been no criminal law regulating abortion in Canada. Yet, Mr. Justice Gerard Mitchell, retired Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, has noted that at the time of the 1988 Morgentaler decision, “none of the seven judges held that there was a constitutional right to abortion on demand”. In fact, “all of the judges acknowledged [that] the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn”.

[1]

Despite the heroic efforts of countless Canadian citizens and organizations to secure in law that full protection for the unborn, a succession of federal governments has failed...

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Reverence for Life

Last updated on October 3, 2017

Before we begin the official part of today’s proceedings with a prayer, I want to welcome each one of you and thank you for coming. We expect to do great things together—great things are needed from us.

I will also take 5 minutes to give a short history of Conferencing in the Archdiocese.

Today’s conference does not just stand by itself, it stands in line with 11 other conferences that have been hosted throughout the Archdiocese of Regina over the past 15 years. Collectively they are known as ‘the Archdiocesan Social Justice in Motion Conferences’. The first one was held in Moose Jaw 2002. Since then other cities and towns within the Archdiocese have taken their turns to host a conference on an annual basis.

In 2003 it was in Swift Current, then it moved to Esterhazy (2004), Estevan (2005), Fort Qu’Appelle (2006), Weyburn (2007), Melville (2008), Windthorst (2009),

2010 was a misstep(Shaunavon), Assiniboia (2011),then for different reasons there were...

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Statement on Canada's Opiod Crisis

Last updated on April 13, 2017

Statement on Canada’s Opioid Crisis and Drug Addiction by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

12 April 2017

It has become increasingly clear in recent years that Canada is facing a serious substance abuse crisis. Although this problem has existed in various forms for some time, the recent deaths of so many Canadians due to overdoses – particularly through the use of new potent opioids like fentanyl and carfentanyl – is alarming. In British Columbia, for example, 914 deaths resulted from street drug overdoses in 2016, almost twice as many as in the previous year. The majority of these deaths are connected to fentanyl use. Opioid overdose deaths are also on the rise across the country, posing a serious problem for health authorities.

The Catholic Bishops of Canada are deeply troubled by the devastating effects of these drugs, in particular their ability to extinguish human life in an instant. Even when they do not kill directly, their addictive power...

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