Communique #3 – Education and Health

November 08, 2021

National Chairperson of Education and Health Margaret Schwab, November 8, 2021.


As November begins, members are reminded of those who have died, especially those who have given up their lives to fight for the freedom Canadians now enjoy daily. I hope all members will take time on November 11th to observe a Remembrance Day service, be it in-person or online. As time takes us further from the wars of our parents’ time, it is easy to forget what sacrifices were made and are still being made by members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Today, the CAF is helping fight a different war against an invisible but destructive enemy in the COVID-19 pandemic. CAF members are standing ready to be sent to provinces where the virus has a stronghold to assist wherever they are needed. “Lest we forget” is not a catchphrase; it is a phrase that should be repeated often, with gratitude.

Horizons of Hope: A Toolkit for Catholic Parishes on Palliative Care will launch November 15-16, 2021. The development of this kit has been a four-year project by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in partnership with experts from the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Canada, Dominican University College and Pallium Canada. The high-level resource will assist parishioners in growing in their understanding of palliative care and church teaching on end-of-life questions.

Please encourage your diocesan counterparts to share with their parish councils the promotional video found at

An expert panel will introduce the toolkit via a Zoom presentation on Monday, November 15th from 9:00-10:30 a.m. CST. Register at:

Please ask your diocesan counterparts to share this open invitation with their parish councils.

Several other interesting online events are happening this month.

November 24th: St. Paul University (Ottawa) is offering a free workshop on dementia and spirituality presented by Rev. Dr. Elizabeth MacKinlay. The workshop runs from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. CST, and registration is free at

Dr. MacKinlay is a registered nurse and a priest with the Anglican Church of Australia. She has conducted extensive research on issues of spirituality, wellbeing, frailty and dementia. She has also written two books on dementia entitled: Finding Meaning in the Experience of Dementia and Facilitating Spiritual Reminiscence for People with Dementia: A Learning Guide.

November 25th: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, sponsored by the United Nations. Coady Institute is offering a free webinar entitled “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back? Addressing Gender-Based Violence in 2021” beginning at 9:00 a.m. CST.

According to the United Nations, one in three females will experience sexual violence from partners, non-partners or both. Females face potential violence in their homes, workplaces, schools and communities as well as online. This webinar will host several speakers from around the world talking about their work on addressing gender-based violence in 2021. Register at

As world leaders gather in Scotland at the United Nations climate change conference, please ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to pray for a successful discussion, one not based entirely on political views but that will have the necessary good effects to sustain God’s creation. Members can take this opportunity to think about how they live and what they can do to avoid pollution and damage to the earth. I believe 70,000 plus women can have a very positive effect in caring for our common home.

Margaret Schwab
National Chairperson of Education and Health