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

Dear Minister,

Further to the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada this past February 6, the Catholic Bishops of Canada welcomed the announcement you made in media interviews last month when you said that the federal government will soon reveal details of its public consultations regarding new legislation on assisted suicide. More recently, my brother Bishops and I also noted media reports a few weeks ago which quoted you as saying that the consultation, "while not formally announced, has begun."

Our Church and our Conference are deeply concerned about the implications of the Court's ruling. The classic words of the Hippocratic Oath bind medical practitioners to keep patients "from harm and injustice", and not to "give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it" nor to "make a suggestion to this effect". The Court's ruling not only erodes society's appreciation for human life, but also the trust and confidence all people, particularly those most vulnerable, should...

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Regina Pro-Life Rally

Last updated on May 12, 2015

It was cloudy, cold and windy Thursday, May 7,  but it did not deter more than 200 who showed their pro life support at a rally and March that began in front of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building and trekked up and down Albert Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares.

“Given the weather, we’re very pleased with the support we had,” said Terri Bergen, President of Regina Pro Life.

It was a full day of activity for the Regina Pro-Life group that began at 7 a.m. with a crew that planted 10,000, small pink and blue flags each representing ten abortions (100,000) performed each year in Canada, in front of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. The Museum is located at the intersection of Albert Street and College Avenue two of the city’s main arteries and attracted a lot of attention. A mass at 10:00 a.m. at Christ the King Church celebrated by Vicar General Reverend Lorne Crozon attracted about 100 people some of whom marched to the Legislative Building carrying signs...

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May 3 — Fifth Sunday of Easter

May we live in God so that all we do may bear abundant fruit.  We pray to the Lord. May our relationship with God be reflected in our relationship with creation.  We pray to the Lord.

May 10 — Sixth Sunday of Easter

1.   May our every word and action be transformed by the way we respond to the resurrection.  We pray to the Lord.

2.   May we care lovingly for the earth which provides us with food.  We pray to the Lord.

May 17 — Ascension of the Lord

1.   May we live a life worthy of our Christian calling as we reverence God’s gift of creation. We pray to the Lord.

2.   May we trust in our giftedness and God-given ability to make a difference in caring for the earth.  We pray to the Lord.

May 24 — Pentecost Sunday

May the Spirit help us in individual and communal ways to restore health to the earth.  We pray to the Lord. ... Read More

Assisted Suicide - Dr. Brett Salkeld

Last updated on April 11, 2015

Assisted suicide as an end-of-life option may end the suffering of an individual but that choice has social and ethical consequences for society, said Dr. Brett Salkeld, in a March, 31 address held at the University of Regina’s Student Union bar.

Salkeld is the Regina Archdiocesan Theologian and at the Invitation of the Campion College, University of Regina Knights of Columbus delivered his analysis of the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision to strike down the criminal law against assisted suicide.

Salkeld began with two premises. “First it is our duty to limit suffering as much as possible and second, eliminating suffering is impossible.” He continued. “If our legitimate zeal to limit suffering fails to recognize suffering cannot be limited, we will cause a great deal more suffering.”

His presentation contained no references to biblical or Catholic Church teaching. He stayed in the secular world to show the impact a legalized assisted suicide regime would...

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ISIL, Bill C-51

Last updated on April 14, 2015

There are the many, politicians and academics included, who will tell you that Anti-Terrorism Bill C-51 is really about next October’s election. By ramping up fear, so the explanation goes, Canadian thinking will be paralyzed to the point that voters will focus on electing a sheriff-like Prime Minister, supported by a host of badged MPs. If security of Canada is the real issue, it is hard to understand why the current Federal Government is not tackling the real threats to Canada-- child poverty and the world-wide crisis of climate change. Surely the latter threaten Canadians more than terrorist wickedness running amok, which is less likely to take a Canadian life than would a bolt of lightning or a freak bathroom accident.

The State and the Church, though going about it in different ways, are obliged to work for the same purpose; each must be intent on promoting the integral development of the people in their care. The Church, for its part, must remind and demonstrate to...

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April 2 — Holy Thursday

1.   May we follow Jesus’ example of service by caring for others and for the earth.  We pray to the Lord.

 

April 4 — Easter Vigil

1. We light the Easter candle and share the flame with others; may our care of creation light the path for others to follow.    We pray to the Lord.

 

April 5 — Easter Sunday

1. May we recognize the Lord’s presence in all our food and drink which earth provides. We pray to the Lord.

2.   Help us care for water which gives us life; may every person ever be baptized with clean water.  We pray to the Lord.

 

April 12 — Second Sunday of Easter

May we recognize resurrection in the resurgence of nature and in our own spirits.  We pray to the Lord.  May we learn to share our earthly possessions, so everyone may have enough.    We pray to the Lord.

 

April 19 — Third Sunday of...

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Capital Punishment Must End

Last updated on March 10, 2015

The editorial boards of four prominent and politically diverse Catholic news publications came together to call for the abolition of capital punishment in the United States of America.

We, the editors of four Catholic journals — America, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor — urge the readers of our diverse publications and the whole U.S. Catholic community and all people of faith to stand with us and say, “Capital punishment must end.”

The Catholic Church in this country has fought against the death penalty for decades. Pope St. John Paul II amended the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church to include a de facto prohibition against capital punishment.

Last year, Pope Francis called on all Catholics “to fight … for the abolition of the death penalty.” The practice is abhorrent and unnecessary. It is also insanely expensive as court battles soak up resources better deployed in preventing crime in the first place and...

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Dead Man Walking's Sister Helen

Last updated on March 10, 2015

Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, did not experience poverty as a child or young adult but she now spends most of her time living and working among the poor in New Orleans and as a spiritual advisor to inmates on death row. It was in this latter capacity that she came to Regina, March 5, as this year’s Nash Lecturer, named after the first President of Campion College, University of Regina, Reverend Peter Nash S.J.

Resting an elbow lightly on the lectern in the University of Regina Education Auditorium, Prejean described her journey as a nun with the Congregation of St. Joseph (CSJ), first as an elementary and high school teacher in New Orleans and her transformation to her current ministry as an internationally recognized voice against the death penalty. Her book, Dead Man Walking which describes her experience accompanying inmates to their execution, was made into a movie, stage play and opera. The movie, starring Sean Penn as inmate Patrick
Sonnnier and Susan Sarandon as...

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March 1 — Second Sunday of Lent

 

1.       God’s covenant includes all creation; may our actions and attitudes toward creation be life-giving.   We pray to the Lord.

2.       May our awareness of God’s presence in all creatures lead us to be respectful toward                                                    rather than inconsiderate of all creation.  We pray to the Lord.

 

March 8 — Third Sunday of Lent

 

1.       May personal and universal suffering draw us closer to rather than distancing us from God.   We pray to the Lord.

2.       In these uncertain times, may we be ready to live within Earth’s means, reduce our consumption and develop simpler lifestyles.  We pray to the Lord.

 

March 15 — Fourth Sunday of Lent

 

1.       Help us seek justice and compassion for all creation.  We pray to the Lord.

2.       Bless the...

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Catholics are called by their faith to assist all those in need, particularly the poor, the suffering and the dying. Comforting the dying and accompanying them in love and solidarity has been considered by the Church since its beginning a principal expression of Christian mercy.

Helping someone commit suicide, however, is neither an act of justice or mercy, nor is it part of palliative care. The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada today does not change Catholic teaching. "[A]n act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, our Creator." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2277).

The Bishops of our country invite Canadians, especially Catholics, to do all they can to bring comfort and support for all those who are dying and for their loved ones, so that no one, because of loneliness, vulnerability, loss of...

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