Communique #06 – Community Life
National Chairperson of Community Life Marie Rackley – June 27, 2019
School is out and those hazy, lazy days of summer are here. I cannot believe we are in the last week of June and will soon start the second half of 2019. Time waits for no one.
Welcome to all newly elected chairpersons of community life beginning your term. I am here to serve you and help you on your journey. I am attending the national convention in Calgary in August and would love to meet those of you who are also attending. Please do not hesitate to introduce yourself.
This is an update on several items from previous communiqués.
Canada Summer Jobs
Despite changes made to the 2019 funding application for the Canada Summer Jobs program, the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) reported several member applications were refused. Barry Bussey, director of legal affairs for the CCCC stated, “the federal government continues to discriminate against religious organizations that do not support its ideological commitment” (The Catholic Register).
BCM International (Canada) Inc. (BCM) had operated two summer camps—Mount Traber Bible Camp and Retreat Centre northeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Mill Stream Bible Camp and Retreat Centre near Peterborough, Ontario, for a decade when funding was refused in 2018.
BCM fully completed the 2019 application form—including the revised attestation; however, were refused again and have since responded to Service Canada’s additional inquiries. BCM has been left without any clarity as to why its application was rejected and is seeking a court order to approve its application for summer student grants and quash the original decision.
“Jobs funding faces more legal challenges,” by Deborah Gyapong of the Canadian Catholic News service, names other organizations that filed legal action against the federal government. The article appeared in The Catholic Register and The New Freeman the week of June 13, 2019. For more information, visit www.catholicregister.org.
Previously, information was given that KAIROS is working, through its Indigenous Rights Circle, to better understand the needs of Indigenous, Inuit and Metis peoples. Recently, KAIROS urged the passing of Bill C-262 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in The Catholic Register and has launched an e-mail campaign to communicate the urgency for the bill’s passage to senators. For more information on the June 12, 2019 article by Deborah Gyapong, visit www.catholicregister.org.
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)
In June 2019, an insert was placed in Catholic newspapers throughout Canada as an urgent plea for help for Christians in the Middle East, “We can’t survive without you.” The League is a strong supporter of CNEWA and funds “Velma’s Dream,” a voluntary fund supporting Holy Land Christians.
CNEWA Executive Director Carl Hetu stated, “People really do care… more and more about the fate of Christians in the Middle East” and “An attack on a Catholic (in the Middle East) is an attack on us here” (The Catholic Register). With so much going on, the biggest challenge CNEWA faces is deciding where need is greatest.
We must help keep Christianity alive. There are challenges in Palestine, Egypt, Iraq and Syria and we must help our brothers and sisters. For further information visit www.cnewa.ca or call (866) 322-4441.
Enjoy your summer with family and friends and renew your spirit in the beauty surrounding you. We have so much to be thankful for—living in this great country called Canada, being able to express our opinion and have our voices heard as we continue to support the people of our communities, “For God and Canada.”
Blessings on each of you!