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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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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In a letter dated February 2, 2015 and addressed to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences and Superiors of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Pope Francis reaffirms the need for the Church at all levels "to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults, and to respond to their needs with fairness and mercy." In his letter, the Holy Father recalls the mandate of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, formally established in March 2014, as well as the Circular Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith published on May 3, 2011. "This document was issued to assist Episcopal Conferences in drawing up guidelines for handling cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics," the Pope notes.

"Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children," Pope Francis says in his letter. "They should also know that they have every right to turn to the...

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A Vision for Social Justice Committees

Last updated on February 6, 2015

Injustices and environmental degradation make it abundantly clear that society is in serious need of reconstruction. What is the dream?  How about a vision of personal fulfillment and peace for all instead of visions of power and profit for a few? Here is the big surprise--good campaigns for the transformation of the world can be run by a few committed people, functioning in the basements of churches throughout the Archdiocese, seeking to be a catalyst for the change.

The Church’s Social Doctrine will be the Committee’s best mentor, its best companion, just as it is the most dangerous enemy for those who are satisfied with the world just the way it is. The Social Doctrine proposes to everyone--bishops, priests, laity--and anyone else willing to examine it, a new kind of citizen, one who will stay close to certain principles for reflection, criteria for judgment and guidelines for action, as he/she embraces his/her daily duties. The Social Doctrine is not a dead thing—but a...

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Clare Parker Homes Inc. 2014 Annual Report

Last updated on January 27, 2015

Garrity and Kramer Houses, were group homes led by the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions.  In the Archdiocese of Regina. In 2009 these homes joined with Clare Parker Home Inc., operated by the United Church community. Several members of the RC community came on as board members to the  amalgamated "Clare Parker Homes Inc." Here is their annual report for 2014.         

For Clare Parker Homes 2014 can be characterized as a year of "new beginnings".  The agency has been blessed with a new leadership team that instantly embraced their roles.   Stable staffing has brought renewed energy and focus, resulting in agency-wide rejuvenation.  The leadership team, directed by a very skilled executive director, has redesigned and implemented staff training programs that focus on person-centered care, thus ensuring that our residents are able to manage their life decisions to the best of their abilities, thereby enhancing their lives. 

This...

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February 1 — Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

1.       Open our ears to heed the prophets of our day who call us to live in peace, justice and reverence for creation.  We pray to the Lord.

2.       May we balance our concern for our own security with that of others and our earth.   We pray to the Lord.

 

February 8 — Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

1.       Help us, as Jesus did, to build a strong foundation for our good works by spending time in prayer.   We pray to the Lord.

2.       By an awareness of our own suffering, may we also see that of others and of the earth, and strive to alleviate it.   We pray to the Lord.

 

February 15 — Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

1.       May we, like Jesus, touch with healing the suffering places of Mother Earth.     We pray to the Lord.

2.       Help us remember that...

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