On July 17, 2015, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Peter MacKay, and Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, announced the establishment of an External Panel of experts who will consult with stakeholders and with all Canadians on options for dealing with the Supreme Court of Canada's lifting of the prohibition against physician-assisted suicide.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) continues to post possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the Sunday liturgy with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. The proposed texts for the month of August 2015 include suggestions from the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 2, to the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 30. As usual, the suggestions for homilies and prayers can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of August are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section "Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB".
On August 5, the Church in Canada celebrates the life and witness of Blessed Frederic Janssoone. Born in 1838 in the North of France, he entered the novitiate of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in 1864 in Amiens and was ordained a priest in 1870. In 1881, Father Frederic made his first trip to Canada to establish an annual collection for the Holy Places and to submit to the Bishops a plan for the Commissariat for the Holy Land in Canada. He paved the way for the reestablishment in Canada of the Order of Friars Minor, which had ceased to exist with the death of the last Recollet in 1812. Father Frederic travelled from one parish to another in several Quebec dioceses, and went door-to-door selling his works. The profit from his sales went toward the establishment of several communities of consecrated life: the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the Poor Clares, the Franciscans of Trois-Rivières, and the Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood of Joliette. He died of stomach cancer in Montreal on August 4, 1916. Father Frederic is buried in Trois-Rivières. He was beatified by Saint John Paul II on September 25, 1988.
Father Fernand Tanguay, O.P., died in the Philippines on May 29, 2015, at the age of 82. The funeral took place on June 4, 2015 at the Santo Domingo Convent in Manilla. Father Tanguay was Assistant General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops between 1993 and 1997. After being Ambassador of Canada to the Holy See, he became a Dominican in the Philippines and was ordained priest on June 11, 2011.
(CCCB – Ottawa)... The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through its Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue, has published a new resource to coincide with the conclusion of the month of Ramadan (Id al-Fitr, July 18), entitled: A Church in Dialogue: Catholics and Muslims in Canada : Believers and Citizens in Society. In a letter introducing the document, the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and President of the CCCB, explains that "the pamphlet is meant to help Canadian Catholics better understand their Muslim neighbours." This is the first time the CCCB has published a resource on relations between Catholics and Muslims in Canada.
The 2015 World Tourism Day will be celebrated this September 27. The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples has released its annual Message, on the theme One billion tourists, one billion opportunities. The Pontifical Council states that "we are in a phase of change in which the way of moving is changing and consequently the experience of traveling as well. Those who go to countries different from their own do so with the more or less conscious desire to reawaken the most hidden part of themselves through encounter, sharing and confrontation. More and more, a tourist is in search of direct contact with what is different in its extra-ordinariness."
Link to the Message (PDF)
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) Standing Liaison Committee and the Standing Committee for Development and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) held their latest joint meeting on June 18, 2015, at the CCCB Offices in Ottawa, ON. The CCCB Standing Committee advises the Conference on Development and Peace plans and activities, as well as facilitates communication and collaboration between the CCCB and CCODP.
On June 27, 2015, the Holy Father appointed His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, as a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Cardinal Collins is also a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Commission of Cardinals overseeing the Institute for the Works of Religion.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) continues to post possible homily ideas and prayers of the faithful to help link the Sunday liturgy with the national pastoral initiative for life and family. The proposed texts for the month of July 2015 include suggestions from the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 5, to the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 26. As usual, the suggestions for homilies and prayers can be easily adapted for family prayer, as well as for personal prayer or for use with other groups or organizations. The texts for the month of July are available on the special Life and Family webpage, under the section "Documents and activities proposed by the CCCB".
The Ad Hoc Committee on the Year of Consecrated Life has released the Prayer for our Sisters and Brothers in Consecrated Life. The text was approved by the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), as well as by the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC). The Ad hoc Committee includes Bishops, as well as representatives from the CRC, new ecclesial communities and secular institutes.
Link to the Prayer (PDF)
To mark the month of Ramadan and its conclusion (Id al-Fitr), the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Muslims a message entitled Christians and Muslims: Together to counter violence perpetrated in the name of religion. The message is intended to be shared with Muslims or those working in interfaith conversations. The celebration of Ramadan started this year in Canada on June 18 and will continue for 30 days until it concludes with the Muslim feast of Id al-Fitr which will be celebrated this July 17, 2015.
Link to the message
On June 27, the Church in Canada celebrates the life and witness of Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky. Born in 1903 in Stanyslaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk), in Eastern Galicia, today's Western Ukraine, Bishop Velychkovsky was ordained a priest by the Most Reverend Josyf Botsian, Bishop of Lutsk. In 1959, the Apostolic See appointed Father Velychkovsky a Bishop of the underground Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. He was ordained a Bishop in 1963 in a Moscow hotel room by Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj, who had just been released from prison and was on his way to the Second Vatican Council. Metropolitan Slipyj made him the locum tenens, the person in charge of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine during his absence. Bishop Velychkovsky worked to strengthen the underground Church. In 1969, he was arrested after writing a book on Our Mother of Perpetual Help. Following the invitation of the Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop of Winnipeg, Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk, who was also a Redemptorist, Bishop Velychkovsky came to live in Canada. He gave retreats to clergy, but his visit among the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada did not last long. On June 30, 1973, Bishop Velychkovsky died at the age of 70 in Winnipeg, where he was buried. His relics, a fully intact body, are now enshrined in Saint Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg.