For a second year, the St. Kateri Native Ministry of Ottawa, in partnership with the Centre for Pastoral Formation and Spirituality of Saint Paul University, Ottawa, has offered a weeklong program, May 13-17, 2013, to support and form Indigenous lay leaders for pastoral ministry in their communities. The Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), sent a message. Archbishop Smith assured the participants that the Bishops of Canada wish “to support and strengthen your ministerial capacities so that, together, we may respond more effectively to the spiritual and pastoral needs of the First Nations people.”
Link to President’s message (PDF)
(CCCB – Ottawa)… The leaders of all the 24 member Churches of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), including the Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), have signed a joint letter to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper about the ongoing crises in the Middle East. In their letter, the Church leaders express their concerns about the humanitarian tragedy in Syria, the efforts toward a democratic transition in Egypt, the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and rising tensions within and among the countries in the region.
Yesterday, May 16, 2013, the Holy Father received the credentials of four new ambassadors to the Holy See from Kyrgyzstan, Antigua and Barbuda, Luxembourg, and Botswana. Pope Francis used this opportunity to speak about “the duty, in Christ’s name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them. The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centred ethics in the world of finance and economics.” Pope Francis also emphasized that “the ultimate origin” of the financial crisis is found in a “profound human crisis … the denial of the primacy of human beings”. He points out that “The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”
Link to the Pope’s message
The recent national bilingual conference on New Evangelization and Communications featured a panel with the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau and Vice President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), and Mr. Pierre Maisonneuve, former journalist with Radio-Canada (the French network of CBC). The panel was broadcast by Salt+Light TV and is now available on YouTube. Three other Bishops were among the principal speakers for the two-day conference: the Most Reverend Brian Dunn, Bishop of Antigonish, the Most Reverend François Lapierre, P.M.É., Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe, and the Most Reverend Thomas Dowd, Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal. The conference, organized by the Association of Roman Catholic Communicators of Canada (ARCCC) and the Quebec Catholic organization Communications et Société, took place May 8-10, 2013, in Montreal.
Link to the Video Archives
Link to the report of The Catholic Register
During the recent plenary assembly of the International Union of Superiors General, Pope Francis received the delegates in an audience on May 8, 2013. In his address to the representatives of superiors of 1,900 communities of women religious around the world, the Holy Father said “May you always know how to exercise authority by accompanying, understanding, helping and loving; by embracing every man and every woman, especially people who feel alone, excluded, barren, on the existential margins of the human heart. Let us keep our gaze fixed on the Cross: there is found any authority in the Church, where the One who is the Lord becomes a servant to the point of the total gift of himself.”
Link to the Pope’s message
The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, following a consultation with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Father Alex Osei, C.S.Sp., as Director of the Canadian English Sector of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS). He succeeds Mr. Robert Gutcher, who was Interim Director after the former PMS Director, Mrs. Marie Deans, had been obliged to discontinue work in 2012 because of serious illness. Since November 2008, Father Osei was director of Brottier House Spiritan Refugee Centre in Toronto.
The Standing Committee for Relations with Movements and Associations of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has sent its annual Pentecost message to the Catholic movements and associations of Canada. The Bishops on the committee extend to the groups and their members “heartfelt appreciation for your ongoing participation in the mission of the Church, a true share in the life of Christ”. In its message, the Standing Committee highlights a speech by Blessed John Paul II on Pentecost 1998, in which the Pope expressed his conviction that ecclesial movements and new communities are “the fruit of a new Pentecost”. The members of the Standing Committee also focus on what Pope Francis in his first homily to the College of Cardinals described as three essential dimensions of discipleship: “walking, building, and witnessing”.
Link to the message
A working group of clergy and laity from Europe, North America and South America has been meeting this May in Brukhovitsi / Lviv, Ukraine, to assist Ukrainian Catholic Bishops implement a pastoral plan to the year 2020. The plan is based on a December 2011 pastoral letter by the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, "The Vibrant Parish, the place to encounter the Living Christ". The Working Group for the Strategic Development of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is under the leadership of the Most Reverend Ken Nowakowski, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchial Bishop of New Westminster, B.C., and the Most Reverend Bohdan Dzyurakh, Secretary General of the Synod of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops.
Link to the Pastoral letter
Dioceses throughout Canada are celebrating the first National Week for Life and the Family, which the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has proposed be held May 12-19, 2013. Each diocese decides whether and how to celebrate this CCCB initiative. Among the celebrations taking place are Quebec Family Week and diocesan gatherings across the country. A number of dioceses have prepared special resources for their parishes and movements. These regional and diocesan materials on life and the family include a pastoral letter by the Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, a pastoral letter by the Bishops of Manitoba, and materials published by individual dioceses -- Edmonton, Halifax-Yarmouth, Hamilton, Quebec City, Saint Boniface, Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.
Link to suggestions and options on the CCCB Website
The Rassemblement québécois contre l'euthanasie is planning a march May 18, 2013, on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City to oppose euthanasia. The Collectif de médicins du refus médical de l’euthanasie and the organization Living with Dignity have also launched a Quebec media campaign, Tuer n'est pas un soin ("Killing is not health care"). The campaign’s video is available in English at
Vision TV this evening, May 13, 2013, at 10:00 p.m., Eastern Time, will carry a round table discussion on religious persecution throughout the world as part of a special program, The War on Faith: Religious Persecution around the World. His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, will be one of the special guest commentators.
Link to the Vision TV website
The Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has received a thank-you letter from the Most Reverend Joe Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, in response to the CCCB letter of solidarity and prayer that had been sent last month following the devastating explosion in the town of West, Texas.
Link to the Letter (PDF)