Communique #18 – Community Life

January 19, 2021

National Chairperson of Community Life Marie Rackley, January 19, 2021

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“God and silence are great friends. We need to listen to God, because it’s not what we say,
but what He says to us and through us that matters.”
(Mother Teresa, Do Something Beautiful for God)

My dear sisters, January is half completed, and Christmas seems so long ago. During 2020, chairpersons found themselves separated from members as meetings and activities were cancelled. So far this year, it seems this may continue for a while longer. It is essential to not forget about members—keep in contact with them through telephone calls, mail and e-mail. The community has felt the loss of services performed by members as they have been unable to circulate freely and give of their time and talents. However, the power of prayer has been with all of us during this time. I want to share some of the great things that have happened within the League under community life.

Development and Peace: The League can now resume supporting the good works of Development and Peace through the national voluntary fund and the 1% Program. This year, please ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage parish councils to support the Share Lent program. In five weeks, on February 17th, the Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday.

Care for Our Common Home–Year Two Project: (sub-committee chairperson Irene Gallant) Last year, the League joined with Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and launched two projects in support of the national theme. The first was the Pieta Bhavan project in India, replacing the roof on its primary water well in the community. The total cost was $7,500. Half-way through the year, the required funds had been collected. The League then supported children in the Diocese of Adigrat (Ethiopia) with the remaining funds by providing lunches for students attending school. A total of $10,434 was collected for this project, resulting in a grand total of $l7,934 donated directly through CNEWA. The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop these projects from succeeding in their goals.

Additionally, a cheque for $15,003.13 was sent to CNEWA in August for funds collected through the national voluntary fund from July 2019-June 2020. From July to December 2020, the League collected $5,332 for the voluntary fund. I am sure parish councils will continue to support this fund.

Canada’s National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking: (sub-committee chairperson Dorothy Johansen)
The federal government released the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2019-2024) (publicsafety.gc.ca) in 2019 that builds on the previous strategy. “The National Strategy sets out Canada’s enhanced approach to counter human trafficking that is guided by a framework of empowerment, prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnership-based initiatives that are adaptable to address the changing environment in which this crime occurs.”

Kindly ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to read the document. It will help members understand what human trafficking is and where it occurs in Canada and gain an awareness of what the strategy entails and where they might be able to act to combat human trafficking.

One area where members can easily participate is in prevention. Encourage your diocesan counterparts to suggest that parish councils participate in the national public campaign to raise their awareness of human trafficking and inform others this crime occurs throughout Canada. Another way to help is through protection—sharing the available supports and the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline with people who may need it. The telephone number is (833) 900-1010.

Canada Summer Jobs: The federal government has released its electronic application for those interested in applying for funding to support students during the summer. The deadline for applications is January 29th. Keep your eye on this application, as in previous years, applicants with Christian beliefs were ineligible. Further information about the program can be found at canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/funding/canada-summer-jobs.html.

Thank you so much for all the good work that is being done by the membership. Jesus and His mother Mary have been beside you each day as you reached out to serve and support those in need of help during this difficult time. I am proud to be a member with you.

Love and prayers,

Marie Rackley
National Chairperson of Community Life