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Recent News

Welcome to our News Page! Here you will find news stories from the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, the Church in Canada, and beyond! We also invite you to submit your own articles to our Communication Services Office. Selected articles may be included here, as well as our Weekly News Bulletin sent to all parishes in the Archdiocese. Questions and submissions may be sent to communications@archwinnipeg.caGod bless!

Note: Click on the small arrow beside each news heading to expand to the entire article. 

Archdiocese of Winnipeg Section

Your kind prayers - Rev. Gary Killen
Oct 30, 2019

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Your kind prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Reverend Gary R. Killen, a priest of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. Fr. Killen passed away last week at the age of 78.

Fr. Killen was born in Winnipeg on July 26, 1941 and was ordained to the Priesthood at St. Mary's Cathedral on May 10, 1969. Fr. Killen served as the Parochial Vicar of St. Augustine's Parish in Brandon (June - August 1969), and Immaculate Conception Parish in Winnipeg (1969-1972). He served as Chaplain to the Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg (1972-1982) and as Parochial Administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Parish (1979-1982). Fr. Killen served as Pastor of St. Charles' Parish in Winnipeg (1982-1983) and for a few months as Parochial Vicar of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Winnipeg (1983). From 1985-1997, Fr. Gary served as District Chaplain - Veteran Affairs Canada (including Deer Lodge Winnipeg). From 1997 until his retirement he served as Chaplain of St. Boniface Hospital. Fr. Gary also served as a Navy Reserve Chaplain and for over 30 years celebrated the 4:00 pm Sunday Mass at Holy Rosary Parish in Winnipeg.

May he rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements are pending. A further announcement will follow.

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Taken from the memorandum from Reverend W. Richard Arsenault.

Father Sam encourages us all to use our gifts for the benefit of the Church and the world
Oct 28, 2019

Caboto Centre, Winnipeg - "Staten Island is the home of the past. Winnipeg is now my home." These were Reverend Samuel Argenziano's concluding words when he spoke before hundreds at the Annual Dinner of the Serra Club of Winnipeg, held October 24, 2019. Father Sam, as he is known throughout the Archdiocese, was the keynote speaker at the yearly fundraising banquet supporting vocations to religious and priestly life in our local church. 

The Most Reverend Richard Gagnon was present at the dinner and was asked to say grace. Before the prayer, Archbishop Gagnon thanked the Serra Club for their tireless service, and said, "We are blessed to have you in Brandon and in Winnipeg." The national council of the Serra Club presented the Archbishop with a one-thousand dollar cheque, over and above the proceeds of the banquet. 

Reverend Peter Nemcek, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Vocations Director, gave an update on vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese. "We currently have two seminarians: Oliver Omega and Christopher Pugh. I ask you to keep them in your prayers." Father Nemcek continued, "We live in difficult times today. I believe there is a greater need than ever for Catholic priests... There is a tension that I hear, sometimes, about why we focus on priests and religious. Let us not forget that we are in this together. We are in this mission of evangelization together." 

After the delicious dinner, Father Sam was called up to give his keynote. He traced his story from the childhood days in Staten Island, New York, to his early years of formation with the Scalabrini Fathers, to visiting Winnipeg on a pilgrimage - which was, for Father Sam, an eye-opening experience. "Throughout the various parts of my life, I realized that God was moulding me. He was moulding me to love outsiders. To love refugees and immigrants." Father Sam was eventually tasked with caring for the Holy Rosary Parish community - a community that has welcomed and loved him in return. 

He said, "All of you, continue to answer your baptismal call. Let us use our gifts to be a gift to the Church and the world."

"I am grateful for the gift of the priesthood in my life," said Father Sam. "I was blessed by God through the people of the Archdiocese." 

Ste. Rose Hospital's 80th Anniversary
Oct 22, 2019

Ste Rose Hospital, Ste Rose du Lac - On Saturday, October 5, 2019, the Ste Rose General Hospital celebrated its 80th Anniversary with a Mass and formal presentation. The Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg, presided over the Mass. Seven Grey Nuns, some who had previously served in Ste Rose, were present. The Ste Rose Hospital is owned by the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba, an affiliate of Manitoba Health.

The Ste Rose Hospital was opened in 1939 by the Grey Nuns of Montreal, with Dr. Lionel Gendreau as its only attending physician. Dr. Gendreau’s practise was large, geographically and in number, and the hospital contained 19 adult beds and 14 infant/children beds, although the hospital averaged over 40 patients a day. Dr. Gendreau’s expertise, compassion, energy and ground-breaking techniques made him one of the founding physicians in Manitoba. The current hospital was built in 1957, attached to the original, which is still in use as an administration and housing facility. The hospital was Manitoba’s original training facility for LPN training, facilitated by the Grey Nuns.

The formal presentation was well attended with speeches from the Grey Nuns, Dr. David O’Hagan, Executive Director, Michelle Quennelle and local clergy and politicians. A display of pictures, old hospital equipment and Dr. Gendreau’s personal medical supplies were available. It was a day of memories and a message of gratitude and hope. 

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We sincerely thank Melanie Ironstand, the spiritual care director of Ste Rose Hospital, for this article contribution!

Parishes in the Archdiocese Section

The Season of Creation - What a blessing!
Oct 14, 2019

St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, Winnipeg - This has been the second year that St. Kateri Tekakwitha Aboriginal Catholic Church celebrates the “Season of Creation.” What a blessing! For us, as Catholics, it is like an open door to our becoming more familiar with Pope Francis’s letter to the world, “Laudato Si”.

In planning for this year's Season of Creation, our main resource was the “Global Catholic Climate Movement”. Through their website we could read and see what is happening all over the world in terms of the care of creation. It is heartwarming to feel our connections with all our brothers and sisters of all continents. The enthusiasm and energy helped us feel these connections – and we celebrated with “all our relations”, as our elders would say. We also could hear and see the struggles that are caused by our negligence towards all of God‘s creation. As St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth …”(8:22) – the melting icebergs, the destruction of rain forests, the commercialisation of water, the pollution in the air, the waterways, the soil.

Last year, we looked at the issues caused by the plastics that become huge piles of rubbish, entering into the whole ecosystem – the oceans, lakes and rivers. Our community became more conscious and more pro-active by sewing shopping bags. These bags were distributed at the end of the season as part of our closing ceremony on the fourth of October. As we looked at the lifestyle of our own faith community, we knew we needed to make some changes. One of these decisions was to no longer use plastic utensils and styrofoam dishes. Our cupboards are now filled with “real” dishes which were donated or bought at second-hand stores.


During our Sunday Eucharist the Season was underlined through the choir's choice of hymns, the prayer of the faithful and the prayer of Creation composed by Pope Francis. The environment also served in making our catechesis on Creation more experiential. Our Sunday bulletins also kept the “season” in our consciousness.

The theme this year was “The web of life: biodiversity, a gift from God”.  Again our liturgy communicated the beauty and sacredness of the various elements: water, air, fire, and earth. Our “sister water” and “brother fire” were honoured in a special way through traditional ceremonies at the opening of our Eucharistic celebration. The texts for the “Laudato Si” Mass were used at the collect and closing prayer. The choir chose hymns and honour drum songs that were appropriate for the Season.

We had many areas from which to choose for our “action”. Many of our members who had gone to the Ste. Anne du Lac pilgrimage were very disappointed to find the lake so polluted with algae that they were warned to not go into the lake (some went anyway). Ste. Anne is a sacred place in Alberta where for centuries the Indigenous people found healing and courage. The lake is being poisoned by the use of pesticides on farmlands. Also, here in Manitoba, people could not swim in the lakes because of the growth of blue algae. The other issue around water is that of the many communities that do not have clean water to drink. Our reflections and activities would pertain to water. We invited Sr. Johanna Jonker, snjm, as a guest speaker for one evening. This has pushed us into continuing our efforts to keep water issues in the forefront of our activities.

For the 27th of September, we had a “bee” to make posters and a banner for the Global Climate strike. A number of our parishioners participated in the interfaith prayer service at the All Saints' Anglican Church and then proceeded to the Legislative Building and joined the thousands marching for the care of our beautiful gift from God, our Planet Earth – our Mother Earth.

The group of Religious who have been working for a number of years bringing Reconciliation and Conversation between the Indigenous Community and the Church joined us to receive, on October 2nd, the “Red Threads of Peace Playback Theatre”. The actors treated us to a delightful evening full of joy and laughter, drawing our attention to our connection to Creation, including each other. Members of the Home Street Mennonite Church joined us in this event. The evening ended with a snack and continued conversations. 

The Feast Day of St. Francis is the official closure of the Season of Creation. We had adoration followed by Mass. We will now be keeping the devotion of Adoration followed by the Celebration of the Eucharist each 1st Friday of each month. We still have much work to do.

We want to thank Archbishop Gagnon for encouraging us to observe this special time. 

Pope Francis tells us: “Every member of the human family can act as a thin yet unique and indispensable thread in weaving a network of life that embraces everyone”.

He ended his message with a challenge to all to have “the courage to do good without waiting for someone else to begin, or until it is too late”.

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This article was submitted by Margot Lavoie from St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish. It is through contributions like these that faith stories from throughout the Archdiocese are told. From the bottom of our hearts - Thank you, Margot!  

The Archbishop Section

Archbishop elected head of national body
Oct 28, 2019

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - For Winnipeg Archbishop Richard Gagnon, being elected president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is a "great honour and privilege." Gagnon, who leads the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, was elected to the top position during the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) annual meeting in Cornwall, Ont., last month. "It’s a big responsibility," he said, adding he’s humbled that his colleagues "have placed their confidence and trust in me." Click here for the Winnipeg Free Press article.

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This article was penned by John Longhurst and was published in the Winnipeg Free Press.

The Church in Canada Section

CCCB releases statement on Poverty in Canada
Oct 28, 2019
Ottawa, Ontario On October 23, 2019, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through the Commission for Justice and Peace, is releasing a statement entitled Poverty in Canada: Ensuring Safe, Secure and Affordable Housing in anticipation of the Third World Day of the Poor to be held on 17 November 2019. Poverty is a serious issue not only in developing countries, but also in Canada. The statement presents a brief overview of poverty in Canada today, with a focus on the current housing crisis, and provides a short list of some key Catholic organizations engaged in the alleviation of poverty in our country. Through this statement, the Catholic Bishops of Canada call for collaboration between charitable organizations, all levels of government, and dioceses/eparchies, as well as local parishes, to support individuals who are in need.

Catholic Education Section

A new Institute at St. Paul's College!
Oct 22, 2019

St. Paul's College - We are pleased to announce that the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace & Justice at St. Paul’s College is now the Arthur V. Mauro Institute for Peace & Justice at St. Paul’s College.

This change in name and scope is made possible by the continued financial support and future funding commitments of donors, principally from our founding benefactor, Dr. Arthur Mauro. We are grateful to Dr. Mauro and his family for the ongoing commitment and support. A renewed emphasis on supporting research, while still pursuing education and other outreach programs will remain a hallmark of the Mauro Institute into the future!

In preparation and planning for the change, the 2019 edition of the annual Sol Kanee Lecture on Peace and Justice will not occur this fall, but will be back again in the fall of 2020. This fall and into the Winter Term, the Mauro Institute will feature a variety of Brown Bag Lectures, the 2020 MLT Aikins St. Paul’s College University Affiliation Lecture, and support for various Storytelling events and activities, culminating in the 15th Annual Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival in spring 2020.

We look forward to continued outreach, partnership and community events. Thank you for your support and interest!

 

In the Community Section

Winnipeg Free Press breaks trend and increases faith coverage
Nov 12, 2019

Winnipeg, Manitoba - Did you know that news about the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, and other faith groups in Winnipeg, can be found on a regular basis in the Winnipeg Free Press—and for free on the Free Press website? It’s true! We are part of a unique project that supports increased faith coverage in the Free Press. Since the project started last March, over 150 articles about faith have appeared in the newspaper and on its website. These articles appear all week and all through the paper, not just on Saturdays on the faith page.

At a time when no other daily newspaper in Canada has kept up its local faith coverage, the Free Press is doing something remarkable. We are glad to be part of it, and encourage you to check it out—in print and online at https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/faith/

The Power of Many - the Winnipeg Life Hike
Nov 4, 2019

Winnipeg, Manitoba - "For many years, Life’s Vision has partnered with other Pro-Life organizations in bringing a peaceful, public awareness and support for life through their annual Life Hike – a walk for life, hope and love. Every fall, a different church hosts the Life Hike in Winnipeg. The Life Hike has two main purposes: to raise funds for pro-life educational projects and to serve as a community public witness to remind others about the pro-life message.Click here to view the rest of Nadine Fetherston's blog post, found on the National Week for Life and the Family website.

Riverbank greenspace pays tribute to the Grey Nuns
Oct 22, 2019

Taché Avenue and Despins Street - On October 16th a renovated greenspace, art piece, and monument were unveiled at 10:15 a.m. to pay tribute to the foundresses of Manitoba’s health and human service systems, the Grey Nuns, on the bank of the Red River at the intersection of Taché Avenue and Despins Street. This renovated space also completes another section of the pedestrian loop between The Forks and the St. Boniface Hospital.

“On this Feast Day of Saint Marguerite d’Youville, in this very special year that celebrates the 175th arrival of the Grey Nuns at the Red River Settlement, we are honouring the legacy of their contributions in education, health, and human services. It is also forward-looking and speaks to the mission of tomorrow that is now in the hands of the many women and men who have taken on the challenge and responsibility for what comes next”, states Léo Charrière, chair of the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba. 

“This greenspace and artwork are meant to be serene and contemplative in nature. The elongated, slender horizontal band of stainless steel which tapers at its center as it twists upon itself is in the shape of a bridge-like arc. The meeting of both extremities in the center is meant to represent the connections the nuns made with people, thus creating bridges of caring. It conveys the transfer of the nun’s works over to the lay communities as it relates to their services in the community, while maintaining the spirit of their work as it carries into the future.  The bronze figure representing a nun is meant to be contemplative, thinking what is in store for tomorrow”, explains the artist Madeleine Vrignon.

The City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba contributed to this project through their Community Incentive and Historic Resources grant programs to support the reconstruction of the greenspace and development of new stainless-steel interpretive panels.  Other contributors are the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba and the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

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We sincerely thank Julie Turenne-Maynard for this article contribution!

2019 Serra Club of Brandon Dinner
Oct 22, 2019

St. Augustine of Canterbury, Brandon - On October 16, 2019, Serra Club Brandon held its annual Clergy and religious Appreciation Dinner with the Celebration of Vespers (Evening Prayer) at St. Augustine’s Church in Brandon, Manitoba. Clergy, religious and people of God from Parkland and Westman deanery gathered to pray, appreciate and reflect. This year’s speaker was Most Rev. Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg who reflected on the topic, “Lectio Divina, Fostering Vocations through family prayer.”

Two points stood out for me: Firstly, the importance of listening and secondly, evangelization. Through the practice of Lectio Divina, an ancient practice of praying with the Scriptures, one learns to be more attuned to the “voice” of God in one’s life. We hear many things but listening is a skill that engages one on a deeper level. The practice of prayerfully listening to the Word opens one to vocation, starting with our fundamental vocation to holiness.

 The second point was the idea of evangelization. Evangelization is a two-way street: I’m being evangelized and I evangelize others or as people, we are evangelized and we evangelize. We are evangelized through Sacraments, Scripture, faith sharing. We could also be “evangelized” (influenced) by the world in the negative sense of the word; often through popular entertainment. Why not turn the TV off and instead pray with the Scripture (Lectio Divina) as a family and be evangelized by the Word of God? Let’s build our lives on God’s word as families, parishes and parish groups and individuals through the practice of Lectio Divina.

I would like to express my gratitude to Serra Club Brandon and St. Augustine’s Parish for hosting this event and for continuing their monthly Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations.

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We sincerely thank Father Peter Nemcek, Vocations Director, for this article contribution!

The Universal Church Section

In His Name: CCCB Statement on the Persecution of Christians
Nov 4, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario - November 4, 2019, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through the Commission for Justice and Peace, and in consultation with Aid to the Church in Need Canada, is releasing a statement entitled In His Name: Statement on the Persecution of Christians in advance of Red Wednesday (20 November 2019), which is a day of solidarity and prayer dedicated to raising awareness about the persecution of Christians throughout the world. The information presented in the statement outlines various types of persecution experienced and the reality of individuals and communities who suffer because of their faith in Christ, most notably in countries where Christians are in the minority. Understanding that all Catholic faithful have a role to help alleviate the suffering of others, this statement offers possible suggestions of spiritual and material support for the millions of men, women and children for whom persecution is a daily reality.