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.

The Social Justice Department of the Archdiocese of Regina is staffed by the Social Justice Coordinator, Bert Pitzel, and part time secretary Jo-Ann Selinger.

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Saskatchewan Budget

Last updated on March 27, 2017

SASKATCHEWAN BUDGET

MARCH 22 2017

The March 22 Saskatchewan 2017-2018 budget has some not so obvious impacts that will be felt not too far down the road. Social Services and Health each received more money but some programs within those budgets will be cut or diminished when the legislation enabling the government to implement the budget is introduced in the future.

Education, the third of the big three in the budget, took some big hits with K-12 education dropping 1.2% and post-secondary institutions getting a five per cent cut in their operating budgets.  Post-secondary institutions will likely see tuition increases and possibly some programs may have to be dropped in order to cope with the reduction in their grants. School board boundaries won’t change and elected trustees will remain but the government intends to limit the number of trustees in each school division and compensation packages for trustees and education administrators may be capped at a yet-...

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Nash Memorial Lecture

Last updated on March 24, 2017

NASH MEMORIAL LECTURE, CAMPION COLLEGE

MARCH 21 2017

You don’t hear much about Omar Khadr these days, but he is alive and well, living in Edmonton with the intent of pursuing a career in nursing. At one time, in the early 2000s, he and his Canadian family were the subjects of much diplomatic activity between the United States and Canada as various groups in both countries advocated for and against his release from prison.

His journey from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay Prison to Edmonton, was the subject of this year’s Campion College Nash Memorial Lecture held March 21 in the University of Regina’s Education auditorium.  Lecturer Dr. Arlette Zinck is an Associate Professor of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Edmonton’s The King’s University. The title of the lecture was, Discerning a Path Toward hope: A Liberal Arts University’s Journey with Omar Khadr.

Khadr was 15 years old when he joined his father fighting with the Taliban against the...

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Helping Gang Members to Change Their Lives

Last updated on March 21, 2017

Forward Together Lecture Series of March 17, 2017

Barking to the Choir: Now Entering the Kinship of God

by Jesuit Father Gregory J. Boyle

HELPING GANG MEMBERS TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES

Reverend Greg Boyle, S.J. could be described as an individual who goes where others fear to tread. He is founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries of Los Angeles, California, the largest and most successful gang intervention and rehabilitation program in the world.

Boyle was the guest speaker at the ninth annual Forward Together lecture series sponsored by the University of Regina and its three federated colleges, Campion and Luther, and the First Nations University of Canada.   

He begins his talks with the phrase, “It’s the privilege of my life to have worked with gang members and it will never come when I have more courage or be any more noble or be closer to God than the thousands and thousands of men and women who have walked through our doors...

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Laudato Si Walk, 6 of 6

Last updated on March 20, 2017

This final segment of the walk will be followed by, on March 30, two weeks from now, one more blog, given to offer an ‘epilogue’, or an ‘aftermath--it has been about 4 months since the completion of the reflection on the walk.   

Station #5- I leave the First Nations University of Canada to head home, via the University of Regina, a thirty minute journey for giving careful thought to ways in which my behavior could change. How can I turn painful awareness into personal discomfort so that I might discover what can be done about what is happening to, our common home?  I take to heart the direction found in Pope Francis’ framework for change. Change means coming to see things differently, think differently, develop new processes of education and ways of worshipping that are more life-giving. The search is on—what new habits does the current situation call for? I need to be a part of that dynamic which eventually will help to bring about new policies that will address the...

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FRESH LEAFY GREENS NOW AVAILABLE YEAR-ROUND FOR REGINA FOOD BANK CLIENTS

MARCH 13, 2017

“There’s a continuous food supply that goes through here so we’re not tied to the summer season,” said Food Bank CEO Steve Compton. He was speaking with the Prairie Messenger in what was a storage shed and is now called the Four Seasons Agriculture Centre.

It was minus 15 Celsius on March 8, but warm and humid inside the well-insulated hard shell building that resembles a circus tent. Compton explained that the building was onsite when the Food Bank moved to their present location and had been used as a non-food storage facility, and for some training programs.

Inside there are 48 “growing towers,” each containing 70 growing pods peeking out the side of a circular multi-tiered structure.  “An irrigation system is connected to each tower. “Plants are watered for one minute every day, so it’s very efficient,” said Compton. “The centre of each tower is a compost, with...

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Prime Minister,

On 8 March 2017 the Government of Canada announced $650 million over three years for "sexual and reproductive health and rights". According to a backgrounder provided to the media, a major part of the funding will be toward removing "judicial and legal barriers to the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights". As cited by the Globe and Mail on 9 March 2017, a federal official has confirmed "these barriers include the anti-abortion laws in many countries."

 Such a policy is a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism and an attempt to impose misplaced but so-called Canadian "values" on other nations and people. It exploits women when they are most in need of care and support, and tragically subverts true prenatal health care. It negates our country's laudable efforts to welcome refugees and offer protection to the world's homeless, when the youngest of human lives will instead be exterminated and the most vulnerable of human...

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Laudato Si Walk Station 5 of 6

Last updated on March 2, 2017

I think it necessary, before beginning station #4, to give a short review of the four blogs I have submitted thus far. The introduction suggested that Tanis’ struggle echoes the struggle of the earth and world. It also explained how and why the walk was developed. Station #1, called for self-examination because ‘the emptier the heart, the more it turns to buying, possessing and consuming’ and also that ‘our lifestyles are a prescription for ecological disaster.’ Station #2 tries to place us in the experience of St. Francis of Assisi--nature is a book that speaks of God’s power and goodness. Also in our pondering we open ourselves up to seeing creation as gift, something we must not destroy because of ignorance and pettiness. Station #3 reminds us of the basics of our Faith Tradition--and indeed of every Faith Tradition, that each one of us has been created out of love, to love, for love, even as we are shaped by love or by our failure to do so....

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Laudato Si Walk 4 of 6

Last updated on March 2, 2017

Station #3 I make a right turn and head for Campion College. I know that this is a place to address the unquenchable thirst for answers, for happiness.

As I became aware that Tanis was experiencing every assault that the disease multiple myeloma could throw at her I went through my own journey of anguish and bewilderment. Where could I go to deal with this? My prayer turned into a more intense struggle, a time of conversion bringing me face-to-face with underlying truths. The first to surface was simple--God has no grandchildren—only children. As loving Father, he cares about what is going on. Moreover He can make everything work for enrichment, especially in Tanis’ unique and formidable journey. At certain times Tanis’ Father has to tell me, “Sit still, dad. This lies outside your competence. I’ve got this covered!” Just recently Tanis had to tell me, “Dad, quit trying to fix things. My family and I accept what my situation is. We put ourselves in the hands of medical...

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Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are now legal in Canada.

On Feb. 6, 2017 the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan issued four texts related to the issue.  the documents include:

Introduction A pastoral letter - Living Through Our Dying A pastoral reflection - Jesus: the Word Who is Life  A set of guidelines for priests, deacons and laity providing pastoral care to the sick and dying - Care for the Dying: Pastoral Directives 

The three texts were released Feb. 6, 2017 – exactly two years after the Supreme Court decision that struck down the ban on physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. The new reality came into effect across the country when Bill C-14 received royal assent in June 2016. The documents from the Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan were released to mark the World Day of the Sick, Feb. 11.

Laudato Si Walk 3 of 6

Last updated on March 2, 2017

Station #2--is an attempt at a having a heart and mind rinse, hoping to meet and be more deeply attracted to a refreshing, uplifting and unmistakable Power. In fact the prophets invited listeners to find renewed strength in their times of trial by contemplating the all-powerful Creator of the universe. My goal in this station, a 15 minute walk along the shore of Wascana Lake, is to try to see creation through the eyes of a mystic, like St. Francis of Assisi. My approach is to become more keenly aware of the realities, yes the mysteries that lie above and below the water, the land, and any existing clouds. My intention is to go on a binge, to become intoxicated by the sights, sounds and images of creation! This will go beyond the mere study and appreciation of nature. As I walk, I allow myself to think only within the bounds of: 1) Would you look at that…listen to that…smell that…feel that…!  and   2) What? How big is that? How can all this be? Why is this here and who can make such...

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