Communique #3 – Spiritual Development

October 09, 2019

National Chairperson of Spiritual Development Shari Guinta, October 9, 2019

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“…the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12)

Autumn in my neck of the woods is upon us. Chill is in the air, sweaters are out, socks are on! This is my favourite season—God’s beauty is on display.

Extraordinary Missionary Month
Pope Francis named October 2019 the inaugural Extraordinary Missionary Month, which commenced on October 1st, the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, patroness of missions. The League has a permanent national voluntary fund for Catholic Missions In Canada (CMIC) and you may have noticed on the CMIC website a note indicating various dioceses will have awareness and celebration activities for the Annual Day of Prayer for Canadian Home Missions.

Mission work is extremely important. Urge parish councils to do something special to promote this work within parishes, dioceses and provinces, particularly for the missions in Canada. CMIC funds the work of missionaries as they proclaim the word of God throughout the nation, often in the most remote and in-need areas.

“Mission activity was the first action of the Apostles. When the Canadas began, French missionaries, accompanying explorers, continued that action in North America. Four hundred years later, some areas [are] yet to be fully established. Encouraged by Pope Francis, our home missions need our attention. The ‘Day of Prayer for Canadian Home Missions’ hopes to achieve this goal by asking God’s blessing on our mission areas. Our Canadian missionaries and the Catholics they serve need our prayers. Each Canadian Diocese is choosing its own time to celebrate our Canadian missions. Please join the initiative” (cmic.info/day-of-prayer/).

Please check with the dioceses in your province to see what is planned and/or plan a special function or prayer service in your parish council for Canadian missions. Visit cmic.info or contact CMIC at info@cmic.ca for more information.

A resource for parish councils called Belong has been created to help encourage youth and young adults into the church. Members may wish to look at Baptized and Sent: Resources for the Church of Christ on Mission in the World for activities found at belongresource.com.

At the annual national convention in Calgary in August 2019 a motion was carried that the League establish a Day of Prayer for Canadian Home Missions. The day of prayer and further plans will be communicated in a future communiqué.

Protecting Minors
Last year, National President Anne-Marie Gorman asked national executive/board members to read the first 76 pages of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) document, Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A call to the Catholic Faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation, and Transformation. An ad hoc committee was formed to study the document and make recommendations as to possible initiatives for councils to participate in. I reported to the board recommendations from the committee at the pre-convention meeting. There were initiatives for the board, and provincial, diocesan and parish councils. Per one of the ad hoc committee’s suggestions, a letter was sent from the national convention supporting the CCCB for the document and offering the League’s assistance in initiatives. A workshop on this issue is also being developed and is to be presented to the board in winter 2020.

Encourage parish councils to read the document and participate in some of the following:

  • Have a guest speaker knowledgeable about the issue. Check with the local diocesan office for suggestions of those qualified to speak/present on the issue.
  • Develop a prayer for the victims and abusers.
  • Talk to pastors and spiritual advisors about any program that might welcome victims who left the church and may venture back.

The 400th anniversary of the birth of Canadian saint, Marguerite Bourgeoys is April 17, 2020. Please refer to the article in the fall issue of The Canadian League magazine written by Sr. Norma Gallant, CND and National Chairperson of Communications Doreen Gowans. Celebrating a Canadian saint in the same year as the League’s 100th anniversary is somewhat special!