Fr Bob Writes – Feb 18, 2018

A Message from Development and Peace:

Share Lent 2018 Address

Sisters and brothers, may peace be with you! It is with a similar greeting that millions of our sisters and brothers greet each other every day on our Earth, our common home.

These greetings invite us to cultivate peace. They express that we recognize the presence of the other by our side and that we welcome them; that we wish to live in peace and that we choose dialogue as our means of communication.

Together for Peace is the theme of this year’s Share Lent campaign, which really speaks to people. Why? Because we all wish for peace to reign in the world, our world. Because it is an appeal that resonates with the events happening in our world today and is a rallying cry that brings hope to the generations of today and tomorrow.

Together for Peace invites us to promote dialogue as the primary way to build peace; dialogue between you and me and between peoples. Intergenerational, intercommunal, and interreligious dialogue. Dialogue for conflict prevention and resolution. Dialogue for forgiveness, reconciliation, and to live more harmoniously together.

We all need to ask ourselves this question: How am I, on a daily basis, an instrument of peace for myself, for the people I’m in contact with, whether it be those in my family, my community, or my workplace, and for my sisters and brothers in the Global South? This question is especially relevant during the Lenten season, a time of preparation for Easter; a time for introspection, for getting in touch with others and with God; a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

We rightly say, that we are “Happy to be artisans of peace!” This declaration makes us realize that peace is an endeavour that must be built from our own hands. It is a vocation that requires commitment, passion, patience, and perseverance, and must be lived out daily through our gestures of welcome, compassion, service, dialogue, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Peace on a global scale begins by first growing in our hearts, minds, and attitudes. It is through our small everyday actions that world peace is made possible. Development and Peace partners take such

fruitful actions. They are instruments of peace and beacons of hope in our world. These partnerships and the work achieved through them are made possible thanks to our solidarity, our donations, and our generosity.  The following examples testify to this rich collaboration:

In Lebanon, our partner Adyan contributes to peace in the Middle East. The organization helps foster cultural and religious tolerance by offering conferences, training sessions, and workshops on peace, reconciliation, and coexistence. Adyan’s work is essential in this part of the world, wounded by past and present wars.

In Cambodia, the Indigenous Community Support Organization (ICSO) is a partner organization that works with the country’s minority Indigenous communities to help them have their rights recognized by the government, defend their land from corporate interests, and develop economic activities that are sustainable and allow them to live in dignity.

In Peru, the Bartolomé de Las Casas Institute runs the Hugo Echegaray leadership school, which trains community leaders. Students strengthen their capacity for creating dialogue, consensus, participation, and consultation so they can exercise ethical and responsible grassroots leadership in their communities.

In Nigeria, Development and Peace partner SERAC, (the Social and Economic Rights Action Center), works with communities that are victims of forced evictions. They train community leaders from some of the most marginalized communities on human rights and political issues so they have the knowledge and tools to engage in effective dialogue with the government and political authorities.

The Share Lent campaign Together for Peace invites us to show solidarity with our sisters and brothers who, like us, participate in building peace in the world.

So that Development and Peace and its partners can continue to be artisans of peace in the world, we appeal to your generosity.

I thank you, on their behalf, for your donation. Together, let us support Development and Peace partners.  Together, let us be proud to be artisans of peace!

 

Peru Mission Fundraiser – Saturday March 3rd

On Saturday March 3rd, parish council will be having our annual Peru Mission Fundraiser to help the people in Peru who live in the poorest regions of the country.  We will be serving a spaghetti dinner starting at 5:30.  Entertainment from 6:30-8pm. Tickets $25 for a family or a single ticket. Where else can you have a wonderful dinner, visiting with friends for this price?  Can’t make it?  We accept donations of any amount.  Contact:  Janet Seward at 838-5864.

Fr. Bob Writes – February 11, 2018

Lent is almost upon us once again. Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, when we receive ashes on our foreheads as a sign to God that we wish to regard our past sins as “dust and ashes” and rise, “like Phoenix from the ashes” from the death of sin into new life in Christ.

It means recognizing that sin, like the disease of leprosy, which corrupts the body and causes us to become “unclean” and separated from community, has corrupted our souls and caused us to become unclean in the sight of God, and separated from the community of the Holy Trinity.

The only one remedy is to turn, like the leper in our gospel story, to Jesus for healing from the leprosy of our sin, and, like the Psalmist in today’s Responsorial Psalm, to no longer “hide my Iniquity” but to “acknowledge my sin” to the Lord.

There will be ample opportunity during the Lenten season to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation. Let us turn to the Lord at this time and say, with the leper in the gospel, “if you choose, you can make me clean” and hear him say to us “I do choose.  Be made clean.”

Fr. Bob Writes – Feb 4, 2018

You have probably seen in the last couple of weeks the growing furore over the federal government’s attempt to change the rules for applying for summer jobs grants.  Many churches and other faith organizations rely on these grants to enable students to help with their summer youth and children programs.  But henceforth, these grants will only be available to those who agree to the government’s stances on abortion, same-sex marriage and transgenderism.  This new policy is one that officially discriminates on the basis of expression, conscience and religion, rights protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

LifeCanada strongly encourages us to join the growing campaign against this policy change by writing respectfully to the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and to Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and expressing your opinions to them.  The following are talking points that can be used in your letter:

-I want to express my great dismay at this discriminatory application process

-It is the government, not these charitable organizations, who are contravening the Charter

-There is no Charter right to abortion, but there is a Charter right to freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion

-If you believe in a pluralistic society in which all views are respected, you need to respect the right of millions of Canadians who object implicitly to abortion

-Law abiding citizens of all stripes who pay taxes, work hard and who individually and collectively contribute to our society should not be forced to think as the government does on these important matters of conscience.  Mandated belief is draconian and an affront to democracy

-I urge you to reconsider this policy.  It is anti-democratic.  It flies in the face of pluralism.  You are marginalizing your own citizens for daring to think for themselves

-I would appreciate a response

There is no postage required in writing to Ministers at the Houses of Parliament

For further lines of possible action, go online to LifeCanada’s website: www.lifecanada.org