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.

Click here to download the conference brochure

What's New

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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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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January is Alzheimer Awareness Month.

Last updated on January 15, 2015

It is not easy to tackle the silence and public indifference that surrounds the condition of dementia. Yet Matthew Dineen has been doing just that since June of 2013.

The widespread interest garnered by his family story gave him the privilege of speaking at the Global Dementia Legacy Event in Ottawa, Sept 2014, and at the International Conference on Frontotemporal Degeneration, Vancouver, Oct, 2014. 

Now Matthew is asking the Church to throw its weight behind Private Bill C-356, a legislative initiative of MP Claude Gravelle that will ensure

Increased funding for research into all aspects of dementia Promotion of earlier diagnosis and intervention Strengthening the integration of primary, home and community care Enhancing skills and training of the dementia workforce Recognizing the needs and improving supports for caregivers

This is why Matthew is asking that we learn about Bill C-356, which will be before the House for debate this February. Matthew’s hope and...

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Restorative Justice Moose Jaw

Last updated on January 8, 2015

 There are a significant number of people who will tell  you that the mindset that drives the current criminal justice system is in need of a serious make-over. They will say that the system, with its punishment mentality, its 'one size fits all' and 'get tough on crime' calls for transformative action.

Therefore it's not surpising that you can find professionals and volunteers, both in and outside the criminal justice system, who dedicate themselves to helping those who bear extra weight caused by it's deficiencies. The vast majority see the wide range of benefits that is offered by a form of justice called 'Restorative Justice'. Restorative Justice is an approach to justice that seeks the participation of all affected by a particular crime in order to find healing, reparation, and protection for victims, and hope for the offender.

Underpinning Restorative Justice is the vision that sees each person belonging to and an important member of the one human ...

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Iraqi Refugee Sponsorship Update.

Last updated on December 2, 2014

After attending the Catholic Refugee conference in Pickering, Ontario in  2010, I became much more aware of  the persecutions that were being inflicted on Iraqi Christians,  as well as the cry for help that they were sending  out to the Pope and Catholic Bishops of the world. In discussions with Bishop Dan, upon returning to Regina, we decided to form a group of concerned parishioners who would be interested in helping to decide what the Archdiocese of Regina might be able to do to respond to the Iraqi cry for help.

Seventeen parishioners met several times at Holy Trinity, Regina, concluding that the best approach for the Archdiocese would be to begin, in a special archdiocesan wide project, the process of sponsoring up to 6 Iraqi families, families which would be invited to make Regina their new home. The Hirmiz family, our first Iraqi sponsorship, arrived in Dec of 2012. After the conclusion of this sponsorship, the Iraqi Sponsorship Committee decided to sent out a request...

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On Saturday 18 October 2014 the Archdiocese held an Archdiocesan Social Justice Conference in Moose Jaw. Here is a link to recordings made of the Archbishop's Keynote Address and of some of the presentations, as well as of opening and closing remarks.

I begin this blog by reviewing material that can be found circulating in Regina, material which has been the subject of different conversations.

Starting in February 2015, Regina high schools, both public and Catholic, will be offering an army training program. The program has 2 course components: a) Canadian Studies 30, a required course for graduation; and b) Basic Military Qualifications 30L, an elective. Students who take Basic Military Qualifications 30L must take Canadian Studies 30, but not vice versa. Both courses will be taught at the Regina Armouries. A qualified teacher will teach Canadian Studies 30. This teacher will collaborate with the Army Reserve staff regarding the teaching of Basic Military Qualifications 30L. Students will earn 2 credits for taking the program and will also be paid $2,000. The army training program is the only course on the curriculum that students will be paid to take.

Sometime earlier this year, Col. Ross Ermel, the man...

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A Missing Table

Last updated on September 3, 2014

As I wandered through the Labour Day Family Picnic held in the west lawns of the legislative building, Sept 1st, 2014, I wasn’t able to detect any kind of Provincial Government’s presence. It would have been heartening had there been one, considering the good will that would have been generated when unionized workers and their families were told of the protection that their government’s watchfulness over the common good had brought them.

A quick walk around the tents and tables yielded some important finds. At one table a briefly traced history of the development of Canada’s unions was given, stretching from 1931 to 2008, in which 16 land mark events were highlighted, some of which described hard fought victories of workers, others that described actions of different governments that either backed or undermined the cause of workers. The pamphlet also identified and refuted common myths of collective bargaining, myths intended to challenge the very existence of unions. The...

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