During its last National Council meeting, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) elected the members of its Executive Committee, as well as of its Standing Liaison Committee which regularly meets with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). The newly elected CCODP President is Mr. Ray Temmerman from Manitoba. He succeeds Mr. Pat Kennedy from Newfoundland/Labrador.
Link to the CCODP media release
Following a symposium in August 2014, co-hosted by the Archdiocese of Toronto and St. Augustine's Seminary on the theme "Faith in the Public Square", a new Website has been launched at www.faithinthepublicsquare.com. The new Website includes the video archives of the symposium's key guest speakers, as well as written testimonies from the participants. The symposium was part of a year-long series of celebrations marking the centenary of St. Augustine's Seminary, Toronto.
On December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Church in Canada celebrates the National Day of Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples. This project, with the approval of the Bishops of Canada, has been coordinated since 2002 by the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council (CCAC). "This year and next, as we join our Bishops in reflecting on the pastoral challenges for the family and its needs and role in evangelization, the members of the CCAC wish to honour elders who helped them develop their own faith."
Link to the 2014 Message
Today, December 10, 2014, the Holy See released the Holy Father's Message for the 48th World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated on January 1, 2015. The theme chosen by Pope Francis is "No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters".
Link to the Message
Vatican City, 9 December 2014 (VIS) – The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops today issued a press release on the publication of the Lineamenta for the next Ordinary General Synod of Bishops, to take place 4 to 25 October, 2015, on the theme "The vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world".
Link to Vatican Information Service
Link to the document
As I write this Christmas message, barely a week has gone by since Remembrance Day, a day marked by the still fresh memory of the recent assassinations of two members of the Canadian Armed Forces. This year, Christmas in Canada will take on a different shading, muted and somber, because of these events which have saddened our hearts and our spirits. Many voices proclaimed that Canada "lost its innocence" in October 2014. I understand and sympathize with that feeling. However, we should remember that our country's history has been scarred by many episodes of sporadic violence: the kidnapping of Chief Donnacona by Jacques Cartier, the assassination of Member of Parliament Thomas D'Arcy McGee, the violent death of demonstrators during the Winnipeg general strike, the assault on the Quebec National Assembly, the Montreal massacre at the École Polytechnique. These examples, among many, should dispel our illusions. And it's not just our past. Our present also confronts us with gang crimes, sexual assaults, family violence and workplace harassment. All of this convinces me that, sadly, we are not as innocent as we like to believe.
Pope Francis has sent a message to the participants of the recent international conference on human trafficking which took place December 5-6, 2014, in London, UK. The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), was there to represent the Bishops of Canada.
Link to the report on News.va
Calling on help again from the international community, the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land on December 5, 2014, expressed concern about the impact the proposed security wall will have on the mainly Christian community of the Beit Jala municipality, near Bethlehem.
(CCCB – Ottawa)... The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a new document entitled "The Missionary Dynamic of the Parish Today". Written from the current Canadian context, the text emphasizes that "spreading faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of humanity, is the Church's fundamental and primary mission" (no. 1). The reflection is primarily for pastors and those who serve in parishes, but also for all Catholics who wish to understand better the role of the parish in the Church's mission. The Commission notes that "it is through the parish that most Canadians experience the Catholic Church."
His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, spoke to Members of Parliament on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, on December 2, 2014, at the All Party Interfaith National Breakfast on the theme "Faith in Times of Crisis". The full text of his address is available on the blog of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Link to his address
The Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), will be representing the Bishops of Canada at the third International Conference on Human Trafficking which will take place December 5-6, 2014, in London, UK. This conference follows one that took place in Rome this past April, responding to the invitation of Pope Francis. The CCCB President will be accompanied by Sister Sue Wilson, C.S.J., from London, Ontario. Together with other Canadian women religious across the country, she is actively engaged on the local level in efforts to combat human trafficking. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have also delegated a representative. The London meeting is being organized by the Santa Marta international consortium, and will gather Church authorities, representatives of police services and victim organizations from 27 countries. Among the organizers is His Eminence Vincent Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The recent Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Turkey, November 28-30, 2014, was the occasion for the Holy Father to deliver important statements on interreligious and ecumenical dialogue.