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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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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Religious terror is not new and it’s intrinsic to religious practice and belief and you have to listen beyond the violent actions to understand what is going on. That is one of the themes in a presentation to the  North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) held here July 19-22 at Luther College a Federated College of the University of Regina. “You have to listen to the other,” said Dr. Volker Greifenhagen professor of Religious, Studies Luther College, “instead of only to your anger. Dive deep for root causes.” Professor David Goa, Augustana Campus University of Alberta, Camrose said something similar in his presentation; “You need to try and hear what is going on in the human heart underneath all of that.” 

Their presentation was titled Listening in the Face of Religious Terror. It was one of several workshops available to about 150 people who attended the four-day NAIN gathering. (See other NAIN stories) 

Greifenhagen gave a history lesson on violence in religion...

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North American Interfaith Network in Regina

Last updated on July 31, 2015

There were 150 of them, they represented most of the world’s major faiths and they were in Regina for the first time.  

The North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) call their gathering Connect, an apt name, as many new connections were made and old connections renewed.  

Nain was established in 1988 to be a bridge builder said its current chair Rob Hankinson of Edmonton; “To bring interfaith organizations in Canada, the United States and Mexico together on an annual basis to share best practices, common concerns and networking and fellowship.” That’s something other organizations claim as well, but Hankinson said in 1988 there was nothing. “We were one of a kind. There was nothing like it. We predate the parliament of the world’s religions by five years,” he said in an interview with the PM. 

Hankinson said NAIN has 17 identifiable groups member organizations. “This year for the very first time there are people here who would probably say ‘I don’t...

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Catholic Family Services Annual Meeting

Last updated on June 29, 2015

Catholic Family Services Society (CFSS) is considering a change in a bylaw which would accommodate non-Catholics on the Board of Directors. Executive Director David Sax, in an interview with the PM said the majority of people who contact the service are not Catholic. “You’re trying to be responsive to the community; you’re trying to be relevant to the community.”

Sax said it’s just at the stage of exploring the issue and he noted that Saskatoon Catholic Family Services bylaw states 51% of the board have to come from the Catholic community. The issue was discussed at the June 11 CFSS Annual General Meeting but left for further study. The Board also reviewed and passed an updated job description for the Executive Director anticipating an executive search following Sax’s announced retirement date in early 2017. 

The meeting elected a new slate of officers with Adrian Fuchs taking over as President from Wayne Ingljaldson who remains on the board as Past-President. Terrie ...

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TRC, FOTO

Last updated on June 15, 2015

The words offered by Justice Murray Sinclair, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, are purposefully hard hitting. What follows is a taste of what he wrote. Sit with his words for a while and you will feel their impact. 

 “In the period from Confederation until the decision to close residential schools was taken in this country in 1969, Canada clearly participated in a period of cultural genocide.”

“They (those attending residential schools) were stripped of their self-respect and they were stripped of their identity. Their stories — more than 6,750 of them in number — will now become part of a permanent historical archive never to be forgotten or ignored.”

 “The promise of reconciliation, which seemed so imminent back in 2008 when the prime minister, on behalf of all Canadians, apologized to survivors, has faded,” it says. “Without truth, justice and healing, there can be no genuine reconciliation.”

“to the commission, reconciliation is...

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 June 6 —Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

May we care for the earth which provides everyone with food.  We pray to the Lord. 2.    Help us remember that most of what we eat has given its life for our nourishment. We pray to the Lord.

 

June 14 — 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

1.   As we raise food crops to sustain our bodies, may the wonders of the earth nourish our spirits.  We pray to the Lord.

2.   For the safety of farmers and all who work to provide food for others.  We pray to the Lord.

 

June 21 — 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

1.   Help those who work for the development of the world’s resources, that the human family may live in justice and security. We pray to the Lord.

2.   May Farmland Legacies be supported in its efforts to feed the hungry in our society.  We pray to the Lord.

 

June 28 — 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time...

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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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