Communique #5 – Education and Health
National Chairperson of Education and Health Faith Anderson, September 17, 2019
“Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.”
– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home), 49, 91
Following a fruitful and rewarding annual national convention in Calgary, it is time to concentrate on the goals for the remainder of 2019. The focus for 2019 is water and more than 2,000 members explored how to save water through the “Water Challenge Pledge.” Encourage members to become aware of water quality and accessibility within the provinces. Are rivers, streams and lakes becoming polluted? Members can learn of the chemicals used in and around their home that might be hazardous to the environment. Many safe alternatives are available on the market.
A special welcome to new chairpersons of education and health, June Gorgchuck, Karen McDonald, RoseAnn Hetherington, Susan Kaller, Paula Hutchings and Gerda Hazenberg. Sincere appreciation to Brenda Pitre, Louise Ongo and Kathy Weswick for their work this past year and their continued efforts. It is important to share information. I ask your assistance in sharing communiques with each other, including myself. Together we can grow in our combined knowledge. Have a great year, and if I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Blue Flag—Environmental Defence: “The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, [and] marinas… In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained” (blueflag.global/). In Canada, blue flags fly at 12 marinas and 28 beaches (https://environmentaldefence.ca/blue-flag/). Are the waterways in your province becoming polluted and unsafe? What can you do?
Canadian Blood Services—Partners for Life: The League is a proud supporter of the Canadian Blood Services Partners for Life program. There is a need to generate awareness of the Partners for Life program. Has your provincial council registered with the Partners for Life program and designated a specific number of donations for the year? Do members know they can allocate blood donations to more than one organization? Donating blood saves lives! Encourage councils to register for the program under the League’s unique partner ID (CATH011269). Provincial chairpersons will be asked to provide information on the goals set in your province. Visit www.blood.ca/joinpartnersforlife for more details.
Catholic Health Alliance of Canada: “Inspired by the Gospel and grounded in shared beliefs and values, the Alliance is a forum for Catholic health and social services Sponsors in Canada, to exchange ideas and develop shared strategic initiatives that support their ability to strengthen the healing ministry of Jesus. The alliance is comprised of 12 sponsor organizations. Together, these organizations sponsor approximately 100 Catholic hospitals, community health centres, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities throughout Canada” (chac.ca). Several publications dealing with health and dying are listed at chac.ca. “Awaken” is a program providing and affirming Catholic health care in Canada. More than five million Canadians each year are served by Catholic health care. Refer to chac.ca for more information.
Environment: Published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) for small group discussion, is a colourful guide to Laudato Si’ that brings to life in photos, cartoons and stories the ground-breaking and challenging encyclical from Pope Francis. On care for our common home: A dialogue guide for Laudato Si’ offers a way to engage in the dialogue the pope calls for. Comprising key quotes from the encyclical, exploration of the content and questions for groups to foster deeper engagement, the cost of the booklet is $16.25 and can be ordered from cccb.ca.
Food Loss and Waste: “The environment must be seen as God’s gift to all people, and the use we make of it entails a shared responsibility for all humanity, especially the poor and future generations…seeing creation as God’s gift to humanity helps us understand our vocation and worth as human beings” (Pope Benedict XVI, For the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, #2).
Globally, there is growing consensus action must be taken to address food loss and waste. Food that is produced but not eaten ends up in landfills and creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. When food is wasted, all the resources that went into producing the food are also wasted. By reducing food loss and waste in Canada, members also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. An inspiring video, Measuring and Mitigating Food Loss and Waste is available at www.cec.org/flwm/index.php.
Encourage members to follow the 5R’s of zero waste—Refuse (say no to things you do not need); Reduce (consume less); Reuse (say no to single-use products); Recycle (Glass, metal, paper) and Rot (Compost kitchen scraps).
National Chairperson of Education and Health