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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Jesuit Volunteers Canada

Last updated on January 26, 2016

Jesuit Volunteers Canada Now Accepting Applications for the 2016/2017 Program

Jesuit Volunteers Canada (JVC) is a year or two of service, where young adults live out the values of Christian spirituality, social and eco justice, community, and simple living. Current placement opportunities include working in First Nations communities, youth programing, community development and outreach, education, food justice, and working with those who experience urban poverty. Jesuit Volunteers Canada is currently accepting applications for September 2016 with possible communities and work placements in northern Ontario, Toronto and Regina. For more information visit www.jesuitvolunteers.ca or call 519-820-8204. JVC is part of a 50-year movement dedicated to inspiring young adults!

Archbishop Daniel Bohan

Last updated on January 27, 2016

His passing brought about these reflections, memories of how I was able to work with his style of shepherding. The time I spent with Bishop Dan was as Social Justice Coordinator, 11 years of opportunity in a ministry that calls all to focus on the welfare of the least, the lost and the lowest.   

What stays with me is the power and ultimate purpose that some of the Archbishop's ‘small’ words and decisions had on me and the social Justice Ministry.

For example, after Bishop Dan had met with a group of Prolife advocates, he looked at me, then said “Bert, we have to do something about this.” His words stuck to me, and three years later, after a series of unlikely events, they became the reason why the Reverence for Life Commission was established and October was declared Reverence for Life Month.

…or when he asked me to attend a Catholic Conference on Refugees, held in Pickering Ontario. I wondered aloud about the cost of attending such an event and whether...

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Earth Connections for January 2016

Last updated on December 29, 2015
Earthcare Connections Intentions – January 2016        January 1 — Mary, Mother of God        1. As we enter this New Year, the Holy Year of Mercy, may we direct our energy and insight into care for the Earth.   We pray to the Lord.      2. Teach us compassion for those countries suffering most from human induced climate change and stir us into action to help them. We pray to the Lord.   January 3 — Epiphany of the Lord   1. Like the sages from the East, may we see God’s revelation in the signs of the times and act wisely as we care for the earth.   We pray to the Lord. 2. As we send donations to help the poor in other countries, may we remember and help the hungry and needy who are our neighbors here at home. We pray to the Lord.   January 10 — Baptism of the Lord – First Sunday in Ordinary Time   1. May all people have access to abundant and clean water. We pray to the Lord.      2. May the Spirit given us in baptism help us see God’s goodness in all created things.   We pray to the... Read More

The Holy Year of Mercy

Last updated on December 21, 2015

I remember reading, a number of years ago, a short piece by Andre Auw. His short story still carries much meaning for me. While I don’t have his exact words, I can still give you the story’s message. It goes something like this.    

One day, Andre, feeling a bit hungry, made his way over to a nearby candy machine. He placed the right change in the machine, made his selection and waited for his favorite chocolate bar to drop. Nothing came out. He tried again but still no chocolate bar. Now Andre, instead of dwelling in the frustration that goes along with this kind of irritation, shifted into creative thinking. “This machine”, he thought, “reminds me of me!” Andre finished off his story with a small prayer. “Sometimes Lord”, the prayer went, “I’m like this machine. I know there is something in me which people need and which I really want to give, but I just can’t seem to bring it out. ”

I used the above story a few weeks ago when our Restorative Justice team gave a...

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Syrian Crisis Update

Last updated on December 11, 2015
December 31, 2015, is the deadline by the Government of Canada to match contributions made toward assisting Syrian refugees. Because of the Christmas holidays we are recommending that your diocese / eparchy: 1) inform the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCOPD), Aid to the Church in Need Canada (ACN) and/or CNEWA Canada by Friday, December 18, of the amounts that have been collected, and 2) forward the contributions to the respective agency no later than Friday, January 15, 2016.   As you will recall, during the 2015 Plenary Assembly, the Conference announced that it was collaborating with CCODP, ACN and CNEWA Canada in a joint fundraising campaign for Syrian refugees. The three Canadian Catholic aid and development agencies are cooperating so as to respond as effectively as possible to the complex and overwhelming Syrian emergency. Donations can be made to any or all three of the organizations. Each will continue working with its respective partners in the... Read More

Attached is an “open letter to the Catholics of Canada” by Archbishop Paul-André Durocher on responding to the refugee crisis. The open letter will be published later today by the CCCB offices.

To download the English version click here

To download the French version click here

Follow Ups on Calls for Climate Change

Last updated on November 19, 2015

Your Eminences, Your Excellencies,

Our offices have received calls from some of you regarding possible follow-up in your dioceses on the various calls for climate change.

As I had promised you in my email this past October 27, I am attaching a copy of the signed and official text (in English) of the appeal by representatives of the world’s regional groupings of Episcopal Conferences to the negotiators who will be part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this coming November. The text was signed by the Presidents of the Episcopal Councils which bring together the Episcopal Conferences in each geographical region. Since there is not an equivalent Council for North America, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and our own President, Bishop Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., were also invited to be signatories.

The text of the above appeal, without the signatures, is available in English and French on the website of the...

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Convention on Climate Change

Last updated on November 19, 2015

As announced in the October 26 news report by Vatican Information Service (VIS), a 10-point appeal to the negotiators at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the Convention on Climate Change has been launched by the world’s regional groupings of Episcopal Conferences. The appeal urges the negotiators to work toward a fair, legally binding and truly transformational climate agreement.

The joint appeal has been signed by the Presidents of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE), the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM); the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), and the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO), together with our President Bishop Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., and the President of the United States Conference...

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Our Second Iraqi Family Arrives!

Last updated on November 10, 2015

On October 8, the family of Raheem Mansor Shamay and Noryia Roofa Toma arrived in Regina along with their three sons, Roni, Rami and Johni and their daughter Myriam.  The family are refugees originally from Iraq and have spent the last 5 years in Turkey, awaiting an opportunity to be sponsored and accepted in a new land. 

With the assistance of different parishes from the Archdiocese and a committee of volunteers, including members of the Iraqi community of Regina, the Archdiocese of Regina was able to offer sponsorship for the family and help them get settled.  The family is busy learning English along with getting adjusted to the weather and cultural differences.  Myriam has started classes at O’Neill High School and the sons have already started working to help the family with living expenses. 

As submitted by Agnes and Marian 

Welcoming a new Iraqi Family To Regina

Last updated on November 5, 2015

For more than 30 years, many parishes of the Archdiocese of Regina have been diligent in their duty to sponsor refugees. Over the past 4 years, about 75 refugee-sponsorships have arrived in Regina. However, 100 are still to arrive, explained by the fact that the processing time is now between 4 to 5 years.  

Over the past number of years, the desire to sponsor refugees has been severely constrained by new policies instituted by the federal government. Because of the large unprocessed backlog, new sponsorships across Canada were held to less than 2,000 sponsorships this year.

In view of  the current crisis there now seems to be willingness to bring Syrian refugees to Canada; we will let you know more about opportunities to sponsor Syrian refugees once that information is made available.  

In the meantime, there are other ways to respond to the Syrian tragedy. Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the CCCB gives 5 ways you can offer your help:

Donate (... Read More

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