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.
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
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...
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...
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.
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:
About 200 pro-life supporters showed up Sunday October 4, for the annual life chain in support of the unborn. It was cold, windy and wet but it didn’t stop the supporters from lining up on both sides of Albert Street one of Regina’s major arteries carrying signs supporting life from conception to natural death. The abortion issue and support for life is rarely raised among politicians but in the latter stages of this year’s federal election campaign it has garnered some coverage in local and national media. Terri Bergen, President of Regina Pro Life said she’s pleased at the turnout and pleased that the issue is getting more play in mainstream media.
What isn’t being discussed in political campaigns or in mainstream media...
Canada and 11 other Pacific Rim nations have agreed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- the largest and potentially most damaging regional trade accord in history, that would tie together 40 percent of the world’s economy. Fortunately, the battle isn't over. The TPP must still pass Parliament. That's where you can come in. If you don’t like where this is headed, please call your Member of Parliament and voice your concerns to it.
The deal is slanted to increase inequality. Global banks and corporations headquartered in the U.S. as well as their executives and biggest shareholders would be the big winners; most other Americans would lose. The deal would:
1. Expand protections for the foreign property of big global corporations.
2. Extend intellectual-property protections for big global pharmaceutical companies, although not as many extra years as Big Pharma had in the first draft...
The earth ‘cries out because of the harm we have inflicted on her.’ As a consequence, and by our own hand, once predictable and favorable weather patterns take deadly aim at us. This is a new experience, is it not? What was formerly a pretty benign exchange of work and fruit, has become a kind of wrath delivered at the hands of an ‘upset’ nature. It is as if we have fashioned an earthly gun which we now point at ourselves.
What can be done to confront the alliance of arrogance and greed that have conspired to reshape our common home?
The Church understands that her mission must embrace all of human reality, thus she claims the freedom to express moral judgement on this reality, whenever it may be required to defend the fundamental rights of persons and the salvation of souls. (Catholic Catechism #426).
It is not surprising then that Pope Francis found it necessary to deliver the strong message we find in his Encyclical, Laudato Si. His message speaks to the...