Communique #5 – Community Life
National Chairperson of Community Life Faith Anderson, December 8, 2021.
From time to time, information will be provided by the community life sub-committee members Nancy Simms, Evelyn Rigby and Mary Nordick. I am pleased these women have agreed to share their gifts and talents for the next two years.
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) – Mary Nordick
The League has supported CCODP since its beginnings. CCODP hosts two main events each year—an action campaign in the fall and Share Lent, a push for donations during Lent. This year’s fall campaign is People and Planet First, which seeks to educate people about conditions and activists in many countries and call people to action in their country. The action called for is a petition to the House of Commons to adopt human rights and due diligence legislation. What could be simpler than to sign a petition (either online or perhaps your parish will have a campaign)? Consider downloading the petition and encouraging others to sign if you want to do more. The petition can then be submitted to members of parliament (ensure the petition meets League requirements as shown in the Resolutions Supplement to the Executive Handbook). Canadians are blessed in that such actions are deemed part of their rights. In some other countries, simply signing or promoting a petition to government can lead to imprisonment or worse. To learn more about the People and Planet First campaign visit devp.org. Check out the videos available to put a human face on the campaign, learn about activists who bravely fight against great odds in their countries and lend your support in prayer and action.
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)
To learn more about CNEWA’s work supporting Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East, you are invited to watch a Christmas television special that CNEWA is creating in partnership with Salt + Light Media that will air this month. CNEWA also created another excellent television program last year called “Witnesses of Hope.” View the program at youtube.com/watch?v=Qne2ZjRnhms&ab_channel=CNEWACanada.
The National Human Trafficking Education Centre (NHTEC), “…a unique online hub offering educational resources to help Canadians understand and fight human trafficking,” was launched October 28th by the Joy Smith Foundation. The launch can be viewed at joysmithfoundation.com/national-human-trafficking-education-centre/. NHTEC resources include a host of free and for-fee courses with some led by professional instructors. The Catholic Register on October 31st outlined two core aims for the NHTEC. “The first is arming Canadian citizens with the knowledge and resources so they can play a role in preventing and intervening in human trafficking. The second is providing support so survivors and their families can heal.” Please ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage parish councils to become educated and informed on the sex trade and human trafficking.
Thursdays in Black Campaign is a global movement for a world without rape and violence. The campaign is simple—wear black on Thursdays to show your respect for women who are resilient in the face of violence and injustice. The colour black is often associated with negative racial connotations; however, in this case, it is used to represent resistance and resilience. More information and videos can be found on the following link oikoumene.org/what-we-do/thursdays-in-black.
National Truth and Reconciliation
A Canadian delegation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders was scheduled to meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican from December 17-20; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting has been postponed until 2022. Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action report at gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/indigenous-people/aboriginal-peoples-documents/calls_to_action_english2.pdf. Please pray for the success of the dialogues when the delegation meets with Pope Francis in the New Year.
The church in Canada celebrates the National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples on December 12th, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This year, Catholics are asked to reflect on the theme We are called to Healing, forgiveness, Reconciliation. Most Rev. Don Bolen (Regina) invited “Canadians to journey with them [delegations to the Vatican] spiritually” (The Catholic Register). The archbishop is presenting five Sunday homilies through Advent, which will be available on the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ YouTube channel and at cccb.ca/evangelization-catechesis-catholic-education/video-resources/journey-through-advent/.
During this Advent season, Christians are reminded of the many marginalized people not only in Canada but also globally. Please encourage your diocesan counterparts to invite parish councils to support the National Voluntary Funds under this standing committee to enable them to continue to work for the betterment of all people. The League prayer says, “share with others at home and abroad the good things you have given us.”
National Chairperson of Community Life