Communique #12 – Education and Health
National Chairperson of Education and Health Faith Anderson, November 10, 2020
“Lost time is never found again” (Benjamin Franklin).
In this unprecedented time, as members deal with COVID-19 either alone or with family members, there is a need to be mindful of the isolation that many feel today. The number one priority of members is their health and safety. Being active and feeling productive can be a big part of staying healthy in mind and body. Take this time as a gift and when the new normal is reached, chairpersons can look back and feel this time was well spent.
As provincial chairperson of education and health, you are asked to keep the League alive and connected. Please communicate with your diocesan counterparts and encourage them to keep their parish counterparts informed. There is still much that can be done even with COVID-19 restrictions.
Last year’s annual report survey indicated councils and members were looking for more information on several items, including the National Bursary Fund, Coady International Institute, Catholic Bioethics Institute and Canadian Blood Services ‘Partners for Life’ program. Your assistance in expanding their knowledge is greatly appreciated. Share the following information with your diocesan counterparts.
National Bursary Fund: Members can use this opportunity to take online courses, workshops, etc. One thousand dollars can be awarded per year to a maximum of $4,000 in a member’s lifetime. Refer to item #552 on the League website for criteria and application information.
Coady International Institute: The League has been a supporter of Coady since 1969. Ongoing support from councils is still needed. Due to COVID-19, Coady is offering online courses open to anyone, not just international participants. For course information, visit coady.stfx.ca/education/.
Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute: Current information is available regularly on its website at ccbi-utoronto.ca/. Complete the contact information and request to be placed on the mailing list.
Canadian Blood Services ‘Partners for Life’ Program: There is an ongoing need for blood donations even during this pandemic. Ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to provide family and friends with the League’s unique Partner ID (CATH011269) to record the donations. Donations can be directed to more than one group. Communicate with your diocesan counterparts the suggestion that councils provide members with a card detailing this information.
Dr. Donna Orsuto, co-founder and director of The Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas, Rome, indicated during her Summer Speaker Series presentation that Laudato Si’ is more relevant in light of COVID-19 and that the League is more needed today than ever. She indicated people cannot leave it to someone else to save the planet—they need to make a personal connection. Members across Canada have the means to make a difference. Take time to study Laudato Si’ and encourage your diocesan counterparts to ask members to do the same.
During the Laudato Si’ Special Anniversary Year (May 24, 2020-May 24, 2021), various resources are available at www.humandevelopment.va/en/news/laudato-si-special-anniversary-year-plan.html for the public and various institutions to begin the seven-year journey to total sustainability in the spirit of Laudato Si’.
In the discussion paper, “A proposed integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution,” Environment and Climate Change Canada states, “…collection rates are low: only 25% of plastics are collected and sent to a sorting facility (e.g., through curbside collection, recycling depots, or deposit-refund systems), and only a fraction of collected plastics is recycled because of contamination, infrastructure deficiencies, and lack of markets….” The report indicated six single-use plastic items are under consideration for a ban or a restriction—plastic checkout bags, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery, straws and food service ware made from problematic plastics. The paper states, “… all Canadians can do their part by reducing the amount of plastic waste they create, correctly sorting and binning recyclable plastics, and avoiding littering.”
Due to COVID-19, the Care for Our Common Home initiative has been extended to June 30, 2021. Some of the initiatives can be promoted now, while others like cleaning up an area or planting a tree may need to be left to spring. Please encourage councils and members to participate. The results can be recorded on the national website, cwl.ca.
Dr. Cory Andrew Labrecque, associate professor of bioethics and theological ethics at the University of Laval and speaker at the League’s Summer Speakers Series, indicated that recycling is important; however, there is a need to focus more on reducing and reusing items. It is important for members to be actively involved in protecting the environment and actively understanding climate change. Encourage your diocesan counterparts to ask members what they can do to reduce the waste in their community and country.
Thank you for taking the time to consider the messages offered in this communique and relaying the information forward. The League has made a difference in the past 100 years and will continue to do so going forward.
National Chairperson of Education and Health