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Synod focus commission reports

New Evangelization and missionary outreach

From the Report:

"The Commission on the New Evangelization and Missionary Outreach came from listening to
the people of God during the initial phase of the Synod process. From them we heard the
challenge of the Prophet Micah (6:8) “He told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the
Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”.
St. Paul, by example, notes: “I have become all things to all people, so that I might by any
means save some. I do all for the sake of the Gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
(Corinthians 9:22-23), and no matter how I present “…if I do not have love, I gain nothing” (1
Corinthians 13:1-3).

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Catechetics and faith formation

From the Report:

"In so many situations within the Archdiocese of Winnipeg we hear the constant call for catechetics and faith formation to deepen our knowledge and love of Christ; that is, to build a foundation to ensure that the various generations of the people of God within the Archdiocese of Winnipeg are able to live their faith, expand their understanding, and reflect this knowledge and love in word, action and prayer. We can only go forward with this when we are truly and faithfully a disciple of Christ, one who has heard the call and responded to the words “Come, follow me” (Matthew 4:19) As the disciples followed Jesus he taught them about a merciful God, who loves humanity and wants only the best for them, so much so that he sent his Son, so that through whose words, actions and sacred prayer the generations are inspired to hear the call to follow and to respond to it with joy."

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Indigenous Peoples

From the Report:

"Indigenous Christians who live and practice, their cultural values, both religious and
social, within the Catholic tradition are called to express 'a Native Catholic Spirituality and a
Native expression of Catholicism,' that leads to a deeper encounter with the Creator, in order
to foster a local church with indigenous faces, hearts, minds, thoughts, and spirits, thus participating in the transformation of the whole Church into an inclusive “missionary Church.”

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Youth and Young Adult Ministry

From the Report:

"The Focus Commission on Youth and Young Adults states categorically that this area is
critical for the life of the Church in Canada and in Winnipeg. Unless we can find ways to
maintain and develop the relationship with young people beyond the age of
Confirmation, there is no future for the Church.

Youth and Young Adult Ministry cannot be understood as an adjunct to the mission of
the Archdiocese. It is integral to that mission and needs to be blended into all that the
Archdiocese does in the service of its people."

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Marriage and Family Life

From the Report:

"In today's society, families are surrounded by many challenges. The mere definition of it is diluted and altered to accommodate situations whether in convenience or a means to cope with circumstances beyond control. The emergence of cyber technology, concept of minimalism and independence pose both opportunity and threat to the stability of the Christian family. We believe that more than ever, families are confused and forced to keep in pace in this changing world and are in dire need of guidance, support and love. The institution that has been mandated to protect, strengthen and nourish this fundamental unit society is the CHURCH. Would it not be that the ultimate reflection of the communion of Jesus and His Bride be the family - witnessing faith, hope and love in their daily lives?"

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Sacramental Preparation, Prayer, and devotional life

From the Report:

"Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, the faithful become Disciples of Christ, part of the Church, a prophetic, priestly and royal people called to worship God in spirit and in truth (cf. John 4.23). The Church exercises this task through Christ in the Holy Spirit, not only in the Sacred Liturgy, especially in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and all the other sacraments, but also in other forms of Christian life, among which are numbered various form of prayer, piety and devotional life. Anointed by the Holy Spirit, disciples are given the ability to offer sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to God, to offer prayer and entreaty to God, so as to make of one’s life 'a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God' (Romans 12.1, cf. Hebrews 12.28)."

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Vocations and leadership

From the Report:

"The clergy’s role is to build up the body of Christ through teaching, preaching and
the celebration of the Church’s sacraments so that the laity might faithfully and
effectively carry out their unique sharing in the common apostolate in the world. 

The synod process has recognized a tremendous need to make priority the ongoing
formation of the laity so that they might: more effectively fulfill their mission in the
world, live out their rightful vocation and carry out true leadership. As the laity
assume greater ownership of their role in the church they will inspire and motivate
men and women to serve as religious and ordained ministers."

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Church Governance

From the Report:

"The significance of Church governance cannot be overemphasized. We are therefore
humbled to have been chosen to serve in this Focus Commission for the Archdiocesan Synod.
God, in His wisdom, has always appointed leaders for his people. This is obvious as we
read through the Old Testament where we find the call of Moses and many others like Saul and
David. We also find the same in the New Testament where Jesus, the anointed Son of God,
chose Peter and the other apostles and disciples to lead the Church after Him. This ministry
continues in the Church today through the Pope, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and lay faithful who
serve in various capacities as leaders of institutions and as leaders of pastoral councils."

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Social Outreach

From the Report:

"We are called to deliberate on the pastoral needs of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg as
those needs relate to social outreach. We are a community of Disciples established and
anointed in the Lord. As disclosed in the listening sessions, we seek to be more conformed to
the ministry and person of Jesus Christ. Through social outreach we can achieve that
conformity and more fully become a Church of Missionary Disciples."

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Focus commission co-chairs

New Evangelization and Missionary Outreach

Fr. Gerald Langevin
Helena Fitzgerald

Catechetics and Faith Formation

Fr. Mark Tarrant
Judith Vasquez

Indigenous Peoples

Fr. Nicanor Sarmiento, O.M.I.
Barb Sutherland

Youth and Young Adults

Fr. Leonard Altilia, S.J.
Christian Martinez

Marriage and Family Life

Msgr. Maurice Comeault
Rachel Suarez-Banmann

Sacramental Preparation, Prayer, and Devotional Life

Fr. Robert Polz
Alma Sevilla

Vocations and Leadership

Fr. Darrin Gurr
Sr. Mary Coswin, O.S.B.

Church Governance

Fr. Sam Argenziano
Susan Cosens

Social Outreach

Deacon Robert Gate
Patti Fitzmaurice