Memo from Archbishop Gagnon - March 17, 2022


Updated June 22, 2022

Winnipeg Refugee - Newcomers Assistance Group Appeals for Volunteers

Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg - As more and more refugees arrive in Winnipeg from war-torn Ukraine, the local Manitoba Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress needs more volunteers. They are asking for more people to come forward and help the newcomers settle in and "learn the ropes" and be a friend or contact to help explain and guide them through the challenging nuances of life in a new land.

If you can spare some time or wish to inquire if this is right for you, contact the U.C.C. volunteer office now: 204-942-9348. 

Ukrainian-speaking volunteers who can act as "language assistants" to those coming to the UCC-MPC Reception Hub at the Best Western Airport Hotel (Wellington Ave) to help provide a warm welcome to newcomers. The Reception Hub is open 6 days per week (Monday-Saturday) and hours vary day to day and go into the evening on some days. 

Please fill out this short survey (Click Here) to indicate your interest. Once your information is received, orientation information will be sent to you along with the signup link.

CNEWA’s Ukraine campaign tops $4 million

The Universal Church, July 9, 2022 - PRESS RELEASE The Canadian office of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) has surpassed its matching campaign of $500,000 CAD, reaching a historic $4 million within the course of 100 days. CNEWA Canada reports its national office continues to be overwhelmed by the generosity of Canadians from coast to coast.

Launched in the early weeks of February, the fundraising effort is part of an ongoing response by Canadians to help the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. This comes as the full-scale Russian invasion continues into its fourth month.

“Canadians care deeply about peace and humanitarian relief,” said Anna Dombrovska, Project Officer for Ukraine. “I’m continually inspired by the generosity and engagement of our Canadian donors and assure them we’re expending every effort to ensure that our collective contributions are used effectively in key areas of humanitarian relief, but also spiritual support during this great time of need.”

“The needs in Ukraine run deep and Canadians have stepped up and trusted us with their prayers and financial support,” added Msgr. Peter Vaccari, president of CNEWA.

“We’re working quickly to direct this aid to those who need it most through our partners on the ground in Ukraine as transparently and securely as possible.”

Even before the invasion, CNEWA began sending aid — upwards of $1.2 million — to its local partners in Ukraine such as Ukrainian Catholic University, Caritas Ukraine and its local branches, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and its eparchies, hospitals and congregations.

These church-based partners provide emergency, humanitarian and pastoral support to Ukrainians from all walks of life through activities that include care for the displaced, elderly and sick, provisions of medical supplies, food, clothing and shelter, educational programs and support of local priests.

Donations can continue to be made online at or by phone at 1-866-322-4441. Cheques can be mailed to CNEWA Canada at 223 Main Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 1C4, marked “Ukraine”. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.

Learn more about CNEWA Canada’s efforts in Ukraine by visiting or following the organization on Facebook (CNEWACanada).

The Universal Church, April 20, 2022 - In solidarity with the Ukrainian Bishops of Canada we invite you to join with The Canadian Council of Churches on April 24, which is Pascha (Easter Sunday on the Julian calendar), to proclaim together that Christ is Risen, that love overcomes fear, and that life overcomes death and destruction.

We invite all worshipping communities to pray for peace and to ring your church bells at 12 noon your time (or offer some other liturgical action appropriate in your community) as a sign and celebration of hope.

Click here to learn more.

Mariupol, Ukraine, April 19, 2022 - "With Mariupol, Ukraine, just starting to become accessible, news emerged yesterday of a devastating tank attack on the Caritas centre there, on March 15, 2022. Seven people, including two staff members, are known to have lost their lives and the building has sustained significant damage.

Strongly condemning this latest atrocity, Carl Hétu, executive director of Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada, said, “We are united in sorrow with the entire Caritas family. Our grief and outrage only strengthen our conviction in peace and redouble our solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”"

Read the full statement from Development and Peace - Caritas Canada.



Memo from Archbishop Richard Gagnon

Click here to read Archbishop Gagnon's pastoral instruction regarding Medical Assistance in Dying.

Article from the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute


The tack taken in a recent book on public health aspects of palliative care resonated with me on the level of Catholic teaching and on the important concept of supporting the common good. It struck me that many secular arguments are quite 'Catholic' in outlook and purpose, and fit Catholic ideals very well. If true human values are pursued, we can work with many other groups in society, reserving of course, the duty to observe Catholic teaching when proposals veer off that path. The contributors to "The Oxford Textbook of Public Health Palliative Care" make many sensible proposals which Catholics could take into consideration.

The first is that palliative care 'includes a social, relationship paradigm.' This is framed in the context of social ecology: "... in our workplaces, our educational institutions, our places of worship, our public spaces as well as our communities and neighbourhoods, these are all places of support, where good relationships can be developed." Since we all undergo death, dying, loss and caregiving, Dr Julian Abel, one of the contributors, reminds us that the public health dimension of healthcare means that it is everyone’s responsibility to develop and maximize these relationships to make a difference in improving palliative (and other) care. He makes an insightful statement that aligns well with Catholic sensibilities and with Pope Francis' teaching on joy: "This difference is not just about symptom control, it is about love and laughter, about courage and resilience, about the positive things that make life good and can arise out of the difficult circumstances found at end of life."

Dr Abel's second observation is that public health is population based, but 'one size fits all' solutions are impractical and fundamentally inadequate for pluralistic societies based on varying cultures, ethnic groups, implications for language, preferred foods, pastimes and even entertainment, all of them necessary for the comfort and wellbeing of the elderly and the dying. For example, during the pandemic, CCBI reported on some families' attempts to ensure their loved ones were being provided with food appropriate to their culture and with care workers who spoke their language during the long period when family could not visit in person. They wanted to ensure that their parents' final days were as peaceful and comfortable as possible. Among other matters, the pandemic highlighted the fact that if we want people to 'die well,' we have to put in motion the means to do so. Dr Fisher's articles, such as the one above, aim to educate us about actual possibilities for improving palliative care that are already in place in other countries. There's much to learn, not only for Catholic facilities.

Dr Abel's third main observation is: "Every place has possibilities of love and support, integral to any care given." This is an extremely positive view of working with what's already in place in communities and provides a model whereby the relationships between community, local political provisions and both specialist and generalist care interact for mutual benefit. "It is not that symptom control is not important, but end of life incorporates life as a whole, both the positive and the negative, meaning and value, all in the context of the culture in which people live." This is similar to Catholic teaching in palliative care which emphasizes 'whole life care,' including the spiritual aspect, too often ignored or glossed over these days. Pope Francis draws our attention to this stage of life as offering opportunities for growing in acceptance of God's will and in surrender to that will. This can sometimes sound abstract and is often overly spiritualized, but writers such as Fr Ron Rolheiser also stress that this type of surrender is not weak or negative but is a sign of maturity in the spiritual journey. Hospices, palliative care units and home visitors who share these approaches are of immense 'whole person' value and consolation to the dying, giving meaning to death and helping people live life to the end, as Pope John Paul II encouraged in his Letter to the Elderly. Accepting death as the opening to the life to come makes a 'good' death possible for the dying and relieves somewhat the anxiety and concern of their families. We hear this expressed often in words such as: "My mother / father was ready to go...' and what a difference that makes to all concerned!



Human Trafficking And Why It's So Important To Get More Youths Involved

Contact Us:

Patti Fitzmaurice
Social Justice Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg


Justony Vasquez
Life Culture Program Director


Jason Cegayle
Animator for Development & Peace - Manitoba & Thunder Bay