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 firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless!
Note: Click on the small arrow beside each news heading to expand to the entire article.
Archdiocese of Winnipeg – Three priests from the West African nations of Togo and Benin recently visited the Catholic Centre before beginning ministry in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg in August.
Reverend Anani Efoe, also known as Father Emmanuel, is from the Diocese of Aneho in Togo. He will serve as Parochial Vicar of St. Peter’s Parish in Winnipeg beginning on August 15, 2019. When asked about his hobbies, Father Emmanuel said he enjoys reading.
Reverend Alate Komi Seho, or Father Abel, is also from the Diocese of Aneho in Togo. Asked about his first impressions of Winnipeg, he said that the people here are “warm and friendly. It’s just like home.” He will serve as Parochial Vicar of St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Winnipeg beginning August 1, 2019.
Reverend Moise Adossou recently arrived from the Archdiocese of Cotonou in Benin and will begin his ministry as Parochial Vicar of St. Vital Parish in Winnipeg on August 1, 2019. He has never experienced a Canadian winter and looks forward to it – this, he said with a smile.
Caption: From the left, Reverend Moise Adossou, Reverend Eric Zadji (Pastor of Our Lady of Victory, accompanying the three new priests in their visit to the Catholic Centre), Reverend Anani Efoe, and Reverend Alate Komi Seho
Archdiocese of Winnipeg - A book review of "Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America From the Culture of Contempt" by Arthur C. Brooks
We, in Manitoba, are facing two elections this fall. Several issues will be raised and platforms presented. Inevitably we will enter into a discussion with someone during this time about the issues presented. How we discuss those issues with each other is our choice.
Last year I attended a meeting of certain individuals of a particular party and in the course of the meeting there was a discussion of positions taken by the federal party in power now. I was sadly not surprised when some individuals responded by saying they hated the Prime Minister and then vilified him and his party for the position they were taking. I accepted that their opinion differed but questioned the need to attack the person.
So it was with great interest that I picked up this book by Arthur Brooks. Arthur Brooks is a social scientist and the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a leading policy research organization in Washington, D.C. He is also a Catholic who stated in a recent interview that “My Catholic faith has always been at the core of my interest in policy and public life……. I believe that efforts to overcome acrimony and polarization in American politics can be catalyzed by turning to the example and teachings of Christ.”
His main premise is that we are living in a culture of contempt. We have a tendency to treat those with different points of view with anger, disgust and complete disdain. The idea that people who have a different perspective must hate our country and be destroyed is what drives us apart. So, what overcomes this divide? We have to treat each other with civility and tolerance but more than this with love. That “we listen with our hearts but think clearly, look at the facts and do difficult things when necessary to truly lift people up and bring them together”.
Arthur Brooks has written a book that reminds us that we are called to treat each other with love, a love that reflects God’s love for us. We can still disagree but when we reject another’s views, we must do so with respect. We must really listen to one another with empathy, trying to understand their point of view and not listening just to rebut. We must never treat another person with contempt and if we should begin to feel contempt then our main thought should be to practice warm-heartedness. Furthermore, we should not reject the need for love and warm-heartedness as a weakness, for it is not.
This book offers a way to get out of the knee-jerk reaction to treat others of a different point of view with contempt and is, in my opinion, a necessary read in this election season.
To get a copy of the book, go to your local bookstore or click here.
Thank you, Patti Fitzmaurice, for this excellent book review! Patti is the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Social Justice Coordinator. You may contact her at email@example.com.
Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Twelve (12) albs with white cinctures ...FREE....ranging in sizes 5-6 yrs....18 yrs. May need slight repair. Must take all. If interested contact Marianne Ostermann @ 204-757-2382.
St. Joseph Parish, Boissevain - St. Joseph Parish in Boissevain is looking for an old candle stand. If you have one from an old or closed church could you please contact St. Antoninus parish at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Father Darius Biliran at 1-204-747-2195. Thank you.
Montréal, Québec – Out of great tragedy has arisen hope. In April of 2015, the country of Nepal experienced suffering when at 11:56 a.m., Nepal Standard Time, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the Gorkha District of Barpak. Almost 9,000 people died and nearly 22,000 were injured. How did the Church in Canada respond? Generously. And the people of Nepal say Dhanyavad! (thank you!).
Archbishop Richard Gagnon recently received a letter from Serge Langlois, who is the Executive Director of Development and Peace. D&P, as many know, is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada and the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. Langlois expressed his thanks for the generosity of the people of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, who donated $7,584.26 when an emergency aid collection was taken up in 2015. This does not include the contributions of parishes, and individual donors, who sent aid directly to Development and Peace.
“Thank you for your invaluable support”, says Langlois. Through it, “Development and Peace reached nearly 643,000 people through programming that paid particular attention to marginalized populations and aimed to reinforce community resilience and trust.
In 2013, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg collected $187,358 for the People of the Philippines when an earthquake and major typhoon struck the country.
We wish to thank the people of the Archdiocese for their generous spirit. Through our prayers and contributions, we give flesh to the mission our Lord Jesus Christ entrusted to us – to love one another as he loved us.
To view Development and Peace’s full Nepal Earthquakes End of Program Report, please click here.
St. Paul's College, Winnipeg - Have you signed up for your St. Paul’s College membership yet? Join the 1000+ University of Manitoba students who have chosen to become a Paulinian by becoming a member of St. Paul’s College. The College offers a unique, small community experience within the larger University of Manitoba community and is a hub for your academic, social and spiritual needs.
Benefits of a St. Paul’s College membership includes:
How do YOU to become a St. Paul’s College Member?
Log onto your Aurora Student account and follow the steps below:
Congratulations, you are now a member of St. Paul's College!
International Peace Garden - The Knights of Columbus of Manitoba and North Dakota have been celebrating mass at the Peace Gardens for 57 years. This year, the Mass was held on July 14, 2019. Members of Council 1435 Brandon have a large part to play in the organization of this mass. They organize a bus to take parishioners of St. Augustine’s to the Peace Gardens, gratis.
Bishop David Kagan of the Diocese of Bismarck was the celebrant. The Gospel from Luke 10 was about Parable of the Good Samaritan. The lawyer asked Jesus what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus then went on to tell him the parable. Bishop Kagan in his homily said that “This parable is about the lawyer who is really you and me. If we say that we love the Lord with all our heart and soul and strength and mind, then we must love everyone. God has an intimate love for us and we must respond to that love unconditionally, by not choosing who we are going to love. Our first and lifelong vocation is to be holy and virtuous people.” Bishop Kagan said ‘let us truly love one another as the Lord loves each of us’.
Members of St. Augustine’s music ministry, under the leadership of Laura Bohrn and with Knight Michael Malazdrewich playing the keyboard, led the congregation in worship. Following mass, the 100 plus people in attendance enjoyed a delicious meal provided by St. Augustine’s Knights Bill Pugh, Jim Dyck, Andrew Krynski, and Tony Simard. Our visit ended with the traditional trip to the Cactus House at the Peace Gardens and an ice cream stop in Boissevain.
Thank you, Carol MacKenzie-Gruber, for this beautiful article submission! We rely on your help of community contributions to ensure faith stories are told throughout our local church.
Serra Club of Brandon - On June 27, St. Augustine’s School held their annual awards day for Grades 5 to 8. Ken and Dianne Fox of The Serra Club of Brandon presented Serra’s annual Vocation Essay Award to 14-year-old Ava Kerslake. The Serra Club has been offering this award to a Grade 8 student since 2011. The student must write an essay on the topic ‘What Vocations Means to Me’.
Following is a quote from Ava’s essay: “When you think about a vocation, it is a special thing because God is calling on YOU to help others learn about Him and his kingdom. A vocation is serving God by using the gifts He gave you… Being a 14-year-old, it is not an easy thing to comprehend, but it’s important that we at least try to. How can we tell what God is asking us to do? Personally, I believe whatever our passion is, that’s what we are called to act on…And if you don’t act on your vocation, it is disrespectful to our God, as He gave us these gifts for a reason, so it is important that we try our best to do so…God made us for a reason; we all have a purpose.”
We wish to thank Carol MacKenzie-Gruber for this article submission. It is through contributions like yours, Carol, that we are able to celebrate beautiful faith stories such as this one!
Winnipeg, Manitoba - A young adult parishioner of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Winnipeg penned a response to Jen Zoratti's opinion piece on the film Unplanned, published in the Winnipeg Free Press on July 15. Zoratti's article was titled, "Anti-abortion film more propaganda than art".
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to see Unplanned at Scotiabank Theatre. Ultimately it was a provocative, moving film that featured middling acting of characters who managed to land just shy of a caricature. But I did not watch the movie expecting great art: I watched it because it has sparked an emotional conversation in our society that is full of controversy, and I feel it important to be informed of what it is we are discussing.
Unplanned deeply struck my heart and I found myself weeping at several points, in sympathy with the main character’s grief and with thoughts of my own beautiful baby daughter. This fictionalized testimony of Abby Johnson’s true life story is that humans are human from the moment they are conceived, and thus deserve the same protection and love that we show their mothers and other vulnerable people in our societies. Whether you agree or not, Unplanned requires that the question be confronted.
I have much I’d like to say to Jen Zoratti’s opinion article on the film, but what struck me most was her dismissal of Abby’s story. Abby had two abortions, so how could she be anti-abortion? Later, Zoratti lifts up the stories of “real women” who have had abortions and are pro-choice. Why is one woman’s story valid, where another’s is not, based on their perspective? It is certainly very difficult to listen when one perspective feels threatening. Yet it is my understanding that a basic tenet of feminism is to permit self-identification - and many women today self-identify as pro-life. Either we commit to listening to all women's truth, or we admit that we have decided what is the truth, and we only want to listen to certain types of stories. Some women feel relief after an abortion; others feel regret. Abby Johnson’s is a story of regret. It is worth listening to, whether or not you share her conclusions.
This opinion piece was written by Teresa Prokopanko, who is a parishioner of St. Paul the Apostle in Winnipeg. Thank you, Teresa, for sharing your views with our archdiocesan community! It is through contributions like yours that we hear stories of faith in our local church.
Thompson, Manitoba - CWL members from across Manitoba travelled to Thompson, Manitoba to celebrate the 71st Annual Convention of the Manitoba Provincial Council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada on June 8 & 9, 2019, hosted by St. Lawrence Parish Council and Keewatin-The Pas Diocesan Council.
While some travelled by car, a number of delegates, including Fran Lucas, National President-Elect and Fr. Diosdado Parrenas, Winnipeg Diocesan Spiritual Advisor, travelled the eight hours by charter bus from Winnipeg to Thompson on Friday, June 7, with a sightseeing stopover at Pisew Falls.
Saturday morning found the provincial executive hard at work at their pre-convention meeting. Those with free time enjoyed the morning outing by charter bus, taking in the Spirit Way Tour, led by Volker Beckmann. A bracelet making workshop facilitated by Jeannette Ali, member of St. John Brebeuf Parish Council, was the afternoon activity.
Delegates, guests and dignitaries gathered for Mass at St. Lawrence Church, presided by the Most Reverend Murray Chatlain, Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas, and concelebrated by the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg, along with Fr. Gunasekhar Pothula, Pastor of St Lawrence Parish, Fr. Shantha Gandamalla, Keewatin-The Pas Diocesan Spiritual Advisor, Fr. Diosdado Parrenas. Deacon Clarence Fisher, Snow Lake Parish Council Spiritual Advisor, also served in the liturgy. Archbishop Murray wove the history of the Keewatin-Le Pas diocese throughout his homily as he spoke of our need for security, affirmation and control that get in the way of receiving the peace of the Holy Spirit.
Banquet greetings that evening were brought by Fran Lucas on behalf of national president Anne-Marie Gorman; Rolande Chernichan, president, Manitoba Provincial Council, both archbishops; Colleen Smook, Mayor of Thompson; Kelly Bindle, MLA for Thompson; and Thomas Kraemer, State Secretary, Manitoba State Council, Knights of Columbus.
Convention opened Sunday morning with the colour party as flags and banners were processed in, O Canada was sung and an inspirational spiritual program was led by Marielle Rigaux, Community Life Chairperson and Fr. Paul Bringleson, Manitoba Provincial Spiritual Advisor. Complementing the spiritual program with its focus on water, the convention display spoke to the League’s national theme: "Care for Our Common Home", and included a variety of items relating to the theme. Convention business was called to order by President, Rolande Chernichan.
Convention guest speaker Jims Alackel, Keewatin-Le Pas Youth Ministry Coordinator, spoke of God’s call that brought him to work with the youth of the North. Assisted by NET Canada Missionaries team, he has travelled throughout the diocese, meeting with and being present to the youth, giving retreats and workshops as invited.
Guest speaker Archbishop Richard Gagnon spoke on the history, structure and workings of the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCCB) and he provided insight on subjects of particular interest to the League.
The afternoon opened with the Prayer Service for Deceased Members. Three red roses representing deceased members of each diocese were placed in a vase by diocesan presidents: Lucille Rossington (Keewatin-The Pas), Paulette Chase (St. Boniface), and Pat Ward (Winnipeg). A single white rose representing deceased spiritual advisors was placed by Rolande Chernichan.
Business included oral reports from each of the executive and saw adoption of the resolution titled: Establishment of refundable deposits and return depots for recyclable beverage containers. The resolution will be presented by the CWL Provincial executive to the Manitoba Premier and cabinet when they meet.
Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to St. Lawrence CWL Parish Council and Keewatin-The Pas Diocesan Council for hosting the provincial convention.
Certificates of Merit were awarded to national convention planning committee members: Susan Bernier, Chair; Suzanne Moore, Co-Chair; and Eva Arsenault, Public Relations and Photography, for their work in helping Manitoba Provincial Council host the national convention in Winnipeg in August 2018.
Convention attendees brought with them religious books, articles and rosaries for northern missions in response to a special request by Fr. Guna, pastor of St. Lawrence Parish. In response to the CWL National Centenary Committee HUG Project (Helping, Understanding, Giving), members brought items to be donated to women’s shelters in the North. Also brought were containers filled with drink can tabs to be donated to the Tabs for Wheelchairs program, as well as plastic bags that will be recycled through the Bag-Up Manitoba program and remanufactured into benches, bird houses, bird feeders and planter boxes.
St. Lawrence CWL members were joyfully assisted by members of their parish in providing generous northern hospitality, served with love. Delegates were treated to warm bannock, a delicious lunch and brown paper bag lunches for those who had a long road trip home following the convention.
The convention day wrapped up with elections and the installation of officers. Congratulations to Janet Brunger, President, Crystal Reiter, President-Elect, Con Marks, 1st Vice President and other officers of the new Manitoba Provincial Council executive. CWL members across Manitoba look forward to the next two years under their very capable leadership!
This faith story was brought to our community by Susan Bernier. Thank you for this valuable insight into the CWL convention, Susan!
St. John XXIII Parish - The Winnipeg Diocesan Council of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada held its 98th Annual Convention on April 26th and 27th, 2019. It was hosted by the St. James Assiniboia Council at St. John XXIII Parish. There were 95 registrants for the two days, representing 19 councils. Archbishop Richard Gagnon presided at the opening Mass, and the banquet was held at the Holiday Inn West.
In keeping with the League’s theme over the next two years, ‘Care for Our Common Home’, several initiatives were undertaken:
One hundred and twenty-one pounds of baby food and a cash donation of $115.00 were collected to be taken to Winnipeg Harvest.
Members brought in rosaries and other religious items to go to the Provincial Convention being held in Thompson in June. These items will be given to the northern missions.
The collection of $1,110.00 taken at the opening mass will be sent to Fr. Jorge Mante, pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish on Ebb and Flow Reserve. The church burned to the ground last August, and this money will go to help in the re-building of the church.
We signed a petition in favour of a private member’s ‘Bill C-418—The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act’.
All these activities are very much in keeping with Pope Francis’ social justice thrust and with the League’s motto ‘For God and Canada.’
Provincial President Rolande Chernichan made an informative presentation regarding the National Council’s ‘5 Year Strategic Plan.’
The convention ended with elections and installation of the new Diocesan Executive Council for the next two year term.
Our sincerest thanks go out to Carol MacKenzie-Gruber for this article submission. Through contributions like yours, we are able to share Faith Stories with our entire archdiocesan community.