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.

Sow Much Love

What's New

Parish Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Last updated on September 16, 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. Please note...

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Open letter to Canadian Catholics

By Archbishop Paul-André Durocher

President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

A drowned Syrian child washed up on a beach. A mother and daughter forbidden to board a train, their savings spent on a now useless ticket. Razor-sharp barbed-wire fences to keep refugees out. Miles and miles of homeless trudging along Europe’s roads. Millions of refugees in makeshift shelters throughout the Middle East, in Africa and other regions.

 

My dear brothers and sisters,

 

These past weeks all of us have been haunted by the images of refugees flooding into Europe from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. Since his pontificate began, Pope Francis has repeatedly reminded us of their need for help, and appealed to the world not to turn our hearts away when homeless masses seek shelter, protection and a better life. Shortly after his election as Bishop of Rome, the Holy Father...

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Encyclical Walk

Last updated on September 7, 2015

Pope Francis’ Encyclical LaudatoSi: On Care for Our Common Home has inspired the world to become more aware of the environment and the changes occurring to the Earth. 

Some 32 people including Winnipeg Archbishop Emeritus James Weisgerber and Reverend John Meehan S.J. President of Campion College, August 29, took a four Kilometer hike around the Qu’Appelle Valley’s Echo Lake to contemplate Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter. The seven member organizing committee took turns giving a short reflection on several of the themes contained in the Encyclical. Besides discussing what the Pope had written they also talked local issues specifically those affecting the Calling Lakes of the Qu’Appelle Valley. “We talked about the sewage thing from Regina,” said Marian Grady a member of the organizing committee and one of the walkers, “and some of the issues effecting First Nations people in the valley.” 

It was a warm day with the temperature in the low plus 30’s but walkers carried...

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It’s time to Create a Climate of Change!  

Development and Peace launches new campaign as part of  

World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation  

  

Montreal, August 27th, 2015 – The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is launching a new campaign called “Create a Climate of Change” on September 1st, which is World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, to bring attention to the devastating impacts of climate change on some of the poorest countries in the world - and to ask Canada to do more to reduce the world’s carbon emissions.  

  

Development and Peace works in Ethiopia, Honduras and the Philippines, and many other countries in the Global South that are experiencing droughts, typhoons and other extreme weather due to rising temperatures. These countries, however, contribute the least to climate change and lack the means to deal with the ensuing catastrophes, whose worst impacts are felt by the poorest.   ...

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September 6 — Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time 

 

1. Let us pray for the care of the earth, as Pope Francis has asked. We pray to the Lord. 

2.On this Labour Day weekend, may we joyfully share the earth’s bounty and inspire others to care for God’s creation. We pray to the Lord. 

 

September 13 — Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

 

1. During this harvest season and always, may we remember to help those without land, food or home. We pray to the Lord.  

2.Help us accept any sufferings that come with standing up for what is best for the environment. We pray to the Lord. 

 

September 20 — Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

 

1. May our concern for creation include and extend beyond our nation to the whole world .   We pray to the Lord.  

2.May we live wisely, so we will be good ancestors for our descendants.    We pray to the Lord. 

 

...

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The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) was represented at a recent meeting organized by the Holy See on mining activities. The two CCCB representatives were Dr. Ernest Martin Kroeker from the Diocese of Kamloops, on behalf of the Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation community near Williams Lake, B.C., and Mr. Kyle Ferguson, CCCB advisor for ecclesial and interfaith relations who also assists the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council. The meeting, held this past July 17-19 in Rome, concerned communities from across the globe which are affected by mining activities. It was organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Titled "In Union with God We Hear a Plea," the meeting brought together representatives from Latin America, Africa, India, the Philippines, North America as well as Non-Governmental Organizations and Episcopal Conferences.

In preparation for the meeting, Pope Francis wrote to the gathering, "You come from difficult situations and in various...

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Iranian Refugees Arrive in Regina

Last updated on August 10, 2015

It was a long journey but an Iranian family of four, father, mother 13-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter were happy to be in Canada after living two years in a Turkey refugee camp. The family did not want their photo or names used, “they have ways of finding you,” they said. They arrived in Regina July 29 and were met by members of the St. Cecilia Parish Social Justice Committee and Pastor Reverend John Weckend. The Parish will be responsible for them for a year. Looking tired after their long journey, the two-year-old daughter hanging tightly to her mother, the family looked relieved and a little confused. With the help of committee members, luggage was retrieved and the family taken to their apartment.

The four left their home in southern Iran fearful for their safety after the father took part in a demonstration in support of an individual who had been persecuted because of his religion. The family belongs to a faith community known as Alxaque. Through interpreter...

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Consultation on Euthenasia

Last updated on August 8, 2015

On July 17, 2015, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Peter MacKay, and Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, announced the establishment of an External Panel of experts who will consult with stakeholders and with all Canadians on options for dealing with the Supreme Court of Canada's lifting of the prohibition against physician-assisted suicide.

The External Panel has created a website, in English and in French, by which it plans to coordinate its consultation efforts with Canadians. The website explains that two levels of consultation will occur: (1) Bilateral or multilateral discussions with interveners in the Carter v. Canada case and relevant medical authorities; (2) Online consultations open to all Canadians and other stakeholders. The online consultation will have an interactive questionnaire to be launched in the coming weeks.

The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic...

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Join The Archdiocesan Encyclical Walk

Last updated on August 5, 2015

What is happening to our common home? Join the Archdiocesan Encyclical Walk on August 29, 2015 from 12:30 - 3:00 pm!

Trevor Herriott, Bert Pitzel, Michael Murphy, Marian Grady, Stephanie Molloy, Katherine Arbuthnott , and Joshua Campbell, your encyclical and ecological guides will meet with Father Glenn Zimmer, at the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer  to begin the pilgrimage walk. 

We will be reflecting on the state of the earth... our common home, as we walk through the Qu’Appelle valley. 

The pilgrimage will last for two hours and have seven stops each with a short reflection on different themes of Pope Francis’ Letter on the Environment. Topics will also be suggested for those who wish to further the discusson along the way. An excellent preparation for this pilgrimage-walk will be to read Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si (just google Holy See—official website to find it). You can also read the overview created by Bert Pitzel. See Blog http...

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Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment

Last updated on August 5, 2015

My overview of Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato S:

The earth, our common home, now “cries out because of the harm we have inflicted on her”.  These startling words are taken from Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si; they tell us why the Pontiff felt compelled to call humankind to new levels of discussion and dialogue concerning the welfare of our earthly home.    

Unfortunately, according to the Pope, the ecological crisis we now face is generally met with “obstructionist attitudes of denial, indifference, nonchalant resignation and blind confidence in technical solutions.”

This evasiveness is not surprising, given the state of the mindset at work; “we see ourselves as the earth’s Lord and Master, entitled to plunder her at will.”

Perhaps such irrational behavior can make sense if we consider that “we have forgotten that our bodies are made up of her elements, that we breathe her air and receive life and refreshment from...

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