Communique #10 – Education and Health
National Chairperson of Education and Health Faith Anderson, February 20, 2020.
There is still much to learn in order to contribute to protecting and preserving the earth’s resources. Equally important is to become aware and take action on mental health and palliative care. As provincial chairpersons of education and health, you are urged to ensure this information is shared with your diocesan counterparts and ultimately reaching the parish councils, who are the grassroots of the League and have the ability to act on the various activities and projects offered.
“Water is a universal common good, a common good of the entire human family. Its benefits are meant for all and not only for those who live in countries where water is abundant, well managed and well distributed. This natural resource must be equitably at the disposal of the entire human family” (Water, An Essential Element for Life: An Update, A Contribution of the Holy See to the Fourth World Water Forum, 2006).
The focus for the first year of the national theme, Care for Our Common Home, was water. Councils and members have become more aware of the earth’s water resources. Members are grateful for this prompt to become more aware of how water is managed and used at home and abroad. It is an ongoing concern, and each year, the World Day of Water is celebrated on March 22nd. “World Water Day 2020… is about water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked. Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives. Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases. We cannot afford to wait. Everyone has a role to play” (worldwaterday.org). A short prayer service is available at chausa.org/prayers/cha-prayer-library/prayer/world-water-day-march-22-(2013). Several posters are available to promote water and climate change at worldwaterday.org/2020-home/share/campaign-posters/#english.
In National Chairperson of Community Life Marie Rackley’s December 5, 2019 communique, she outlines the focus for the second year of the national theme, indicating the League is partnering with Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) to support the Pieta Bhavan (House of Mercy) Project, with a need for a drinking water well. She states in her communique, “… all councils are asked to take part in the Pieta Bhavan Project and donate to this worthy cause. Cheques should be made payable to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and sent directly to the attention of Melodie Gabriel, CNEWA Development Officer, 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6K9.”
Another important annual date is April 22nd—Earth Day. In its 50th year, the theme for 2020 is Climate Action. “Earth Day 2020 will be far more than a day. It must be a historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future” (earthday.org/earth-day-2020/). Encourage councils to organize an event in their area or participate in already organized events. Make Earth Day every day!
Mental Health Week in Canada will be held May 4-10th. The Canadian Mental Health Association states, “Mental health is not only the avoidance of serious mental illness. Your mental health is affected by numerous factors from your daily life, including the stress of balancing work with your health and relationships.” Councils are encouraged to use the Mental Health Postcard available for downloading on the national website (cwl.ca), particularly during this week. Send the postcards to the prime minister, federal and provincial ministers of health and meet personally with local members of parliament and legislative assembly. Councils may want to include information in the church bulletin to create awareness about mental health.
Councils are encouraged to participate in the 12 Hours of Prayer for Palliative Care initiative during National Hospice Palliative Care Week, May 3-9, 2020 and call on the power of prayer to make hospice and palliative care available to all Canadians. A Palliative Care Kit will be available on the national website (cwl.ca) to download for use by councils. Consider selecting one day during this week for this initiative and request a mass intention to recognize the ongoing need for palliative care. Use the Palliative Care Postcard during prayer services. Send postcards to the prime minister, federal and provincial ministers of health and/or meet personally with local members of parliament and legislative assembly.
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association indicates, “The first full week of May marks National Hospice Palliative Care Week in Canada. National Hospice Palliative Care Week is a time to celebrate and share achievements of hospice palliative care throughout the nation, but it also provides a platform to look at shortcomings and create bridges for these gaps.”
The Canadian Directory of Hospice Palliative Care Services is available on the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association website at chpca.ca/listings/. This online directory provides information on the availability of hospice palliative care services across Canada with listings of programs, services and contact information.