Communique #03 – Education and Health

February 21, 2019

National Chairperson of Education and Health Faith Anderson, February 19, 2019

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The national theme Care for our Common Home indeed speaks to this standing committee. The Constitution & Bylaws lists wellness and sickness/disease, environment and genetics as areas to address. When members are not well, then care for the environment or concern and awareness of genetics issues becomes limited.

In support of the national theme and the 2019 focus on water, please encourage parish councils to study part II The Issue of Water (Section 27-31) of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’. Visit w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html for more information or to download a copy.

World Water Day, March 22, 2019 is sponsored by the United Nations. The 2019 theme Leaving No One Behind concerns the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind. Members are invited whether in a single family home or multiple living dwelling to find ways to conserve water.

Encourage parish councils to review and act on the following national resolutions relating to water:
 2004.07 Water Use in Canada
 2001.04 Water Quality in Canada
 1999.09 Bulk Fresh Water Resources
 1990.07 Environmental Concerns (the pollution of our oceans, rivers and lakes)

Earth Day April 22, 2019 is an annual event celebrated worldwide coordinated by Earth Day Network (EDN) to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in the United States in 1970, the idea for a national day to focus on the environment and protest the negative impact of many years of industrial development expanded globally. EDN states, “Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.” For more information please visit www.earthday.org/about/.

Catholic Education Week May 5-10, 2019 is sponsored by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association and has a theme of Living as Joyful Disciples. Resources and the Catholic Education Week prayer are available at ocsta.on.ca/resources/catholic-education-week-resources/. In a 2017 address to members of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Pope Francis said, “Future generations who are ‘educated in a Christian way for dialogue, will come out of the classroom motivated to build bridges and, therefore, to find new answers to the many challenges of our times.’”

12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care May 5-11, 2019 was chosen to run simultaneously with National Hospice Palliative Care Week of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. A palliative care kit will be available on the national website to download. Encourage parish councils to select one day during the designated week for this initiative and request a mass intention to recognize the ongoing need for palliative care.

Mental Health Week May 6–12, 2019 has been sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association for the past 66 years. Some contributing factors of mental illness include but are not limited to genetics (family history), early life experiences (abuse, trauma), stressful life events (financial problems, death of a loved one, divorce), environmental influences on a fetus (exposure to drugs or alcohol) or social, economic and educational status. For more information visit mentalhealthweek.ca/ or
canada.ca/en/public-health/services/about-mental-illness.html.

The National Bursary Fund application deadline is May 31, 2019. Criteria and guidelines are available at cwl.ca. The bursary fund offers financial support to members furthering their education in a variety of ministries. Donations may be made through national voluntary fund contributions and are encouraged to sustain the fund for future years.

Coady International Institute has been educating leaders from around the world since 1959 and places particular emphasis on education programming for women, youth and Indigenous peoples, focusing on community-based leadership. The League has supported Coady International Institute since 1961 with a first donation of $1000. The League’s donation of $27,719.82 in 2018 assisted six women with scholarships. For more information visit coady.stfx.ca/.

Canada’s Food Guide has recently undergone a revision with availability in several languages including English, Inuktitut, Ojibwe, Plains Cree and Woods Cree. Information to assist members on food choices, eating habits, recipes, tips and resources such as a promotional poster are available at food-guide.canada.ca/en/.

I look forward to hearing what initiatives have been taken in each province to embrace the national theme and focus for 2019.