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!
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Archdiocese of Winnipeg - The Archbishop is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Chiupka, as the Coordinator of Synod Implementation for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. The appointment will be effective August 1, 2019.
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 - The Archbishop's Office recently announced the personnel appointments in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. The appointments take effect on August 1, 2019, unless otherwise indicated.
Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Pentecost Sunday marked another milestone in the history of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. On June 9, 2019, Archbishop Richard Gagnon promulgated his post-synodal pastoral letter entitled, Disciples on the Way. The document provides a clear history of the Archdiocese’s two-year Synod process (2016-2018), the fruits that have resulted from it, and the basic principles of implementation that will unfold over the next five years. Disciples on the Way is an official proclamation coming out of this historic Synod (the Archdiocese’s first and only), and we are all encouraged to read, pray, and have conversations about it in our communities as we carefully reflect on its teachings.
Solemn Evening Prayer was celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral on June 7, 2019, to mark the occasion. In his homily, Archbishop Gagnon said, “Speaking with young people, I emphasize to them that we are people born of the Spirit. St. Paul stresses the importance of not only receiving the Holy Spirit, but also living our lives in the Holy Spirit, and that’s key. He’s clearly indicating the way of being Church, a way of life, and a way of living in community. We are Disciples on the Way.” He continues, “We will be challenged in the years to come – and it will be a challenge – to live in the Spirit both individually as Christians, as well as in our communities. Prayer roots us in this reality.”
Adopting a synodal attitude means paying close attention to, and then participating in, the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. It involves listening to the voice of God together with the community. This is why everyone in the Archdiocese is encouraged to practice lectio divina. All groups are encouraged to open or close a gathering by “breaking open the Word,” through this ancient practice of the Church.
After the homily, Archbishop Gagnon signed an official decree stating “that the faithful of the Archdiocese accept all these proposals [from the Synod] as desirable for the good of the local Church and, as circumstances permit, work together towards their implementation.” Upon the decree’s presentation, the gathered Assembly responded with enthusiastic applause.
Sharon Camier of St. John XXIII Parish, where the General Sessions of the Synod were held, said, “It’s a wonderful opportunity to see the fruits of the Synod. My hope is to see the Catholic Church refresh, renew, and get out there with the people. I think for so many years we’ve mostly been to our own, and I think it’s time that Catholics got out there and had a voice.” Deacon Richard Ludwick of St. Ann’s Parish said that through the Synod, he hopes “to reach out to all people. To welcome all people. To find a way to look at our transgressions and to reconcile with the people the Catholics, the Church, have hurt. And we need to do that in a welcoming way.”
“In many ways, this implementation phase can be the most challenging one, as we are now called to put the Synod into practice over the next five years, step, by step, by step, by step. It will be up to our parishes to develop pastoral plans based on the Synod findings,” said Archbishop Gagnon. “The Synod is all about the challenge to live a new life for God, building on what came before, but to be challenged in new ways of discipleship. The comfortable pew is easy. But moving out of the comfortable pew and trying new things, with the Spirit with us, is what we – including myself - are all challenged to do.”
Finally, the Archbishop reminds that, “The Holy Spirit will work it out. We must not lose the gift of grace that the Synod has gained for us. We must learn, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be a more synodal Church, not fearing the challenge placed before us by the 42 proposals but to go forward with the Spirit guiding us.”
Visit our Archdiocesan website at www.archwinnipeg.ca to get your copy of Disciples on the Way, and for more Synod Implementation news.
Archdiocese of Winnipeg - During the Vespers celebrated at St. Mary's Cathedral on June 7, 2019, Archbishop Gagnon signed a decree accepting the 42 proposals made by the Archdiocesan Synod.
Canadian Mennonite University - Ordinary Catholics will be meeting with ordinary Mennonites in Manitoba this summer. They will be talking with Indigenous people about how we can move together toward reconciliation with Indigenous people.
The 5-day conference is organized by Bridgefolk, an international movement of Mennonites and Catholics who work together for Christian unity, by creating bonds of friendship. The Winnipeg gathering will be held on July 25 to 28, 2019, at the Canadian Mennonite University – only the second time in Canada since Bridgefolk’s founding in 2002.
The theme of the conference will be “Toward a Just Peace: Indigenous-Settler Reconciliation through Friendship”. There will be a rich mixture of teaching, prayer, Christian ritual and indigenous ceremony. But the heart of the gathering will be the personal sharing of the participants, indigenous and settlers.
Bridgefolk has often been described as “a community of peace-minded Catholics and sacramentally-minded Mennonites”. Over the years, their gatherings have explored practises such as baptism or how we read scripture. One year the conference reflected on the Communion of Saints, following the apparent healing of a Japanese Mennonite through the intercession of the founder of a Catholic religious order that began in northern Italy, but now has monasteries as far away as Japan.
For the past several years, the focus has been “Building a Just Peace”, which has led the participants to examine questions of racism and inequality. This year’s theme of Indigenous-Settler Reconciliation was inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the release, in 2015, of its 94 Calls to Action.
The Catholic keynote speaker will be Sr. Eva Solomon, an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) woman and a sister of St. Joseph. For many years Sr. Eva has been part of a movement to develop an indigenous Catholic church in which First Nations and Métis people can feel more at home. The Mennonite keynote speaker will be Steve Henrichs, director of Indigenous-Settler Relations for Mennonite Church Canada.
Canadian Mennonites have taken seriously the work of reconciliation with their indigenous neighbours and have been leaders in finding ways to make reparation. For many years, the Mennonite Central Committee and many Mennonite families would donate the equivalent of 10% of their monthly Hydro bill to a community trust of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation, whose territories were ruined by northern hydro development in the 1970s. In Laird, Saskatchewan, Mennonite and Lutheran farmers realized that the land they live on was the territory of the Young Chippewayan First Nation, which had been illegally seized by the federal government at the end of the 19th century. In 1977, Laird residents signed a covenant with the descendants of the band, committing to work together to obtain a land claims settlement for the Young Chippewayan Nation. (Reserve 107, an inspiring film about the development of this friendship, can be viewed on YouTube.)
The conference will open on the evening of July 25 with a staging of a play called, Discovery: A Comic Lament. As the title suggests, the play finds unexpected humour as it explores the “Doctrine of Discovery” and the oppression of Indigenous Peoples that the Doctrine made possible. The play asks, “How did the land we live on come to be under our feet?” and “How do people of faith respond when we acknowledge that the land we live on was unjustly and sometimes even violently emptied of indigenous peoples?” The performance is open to the general public. It will be held in the Chapel of the Canadian Mennonite University. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at www.eventbrite.ca/e/discovery-a-comic-lament-tickets-56829521629. Parishes are encouraged to purchase rows of 5 or 10 seats.
The first annual Bridgefolk conference was held in 2002, at St John’s Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. The monks of St. John or the sisters of the nearby St. Benedict’s monastery in St. Joseph continues to host the conference every second year. Given that southern Manitoba is home to the world’s largest concentration of Mennonites, it was inevitable that Bridgefolk would find its way to our province.
Newcomers to the dialogue are always welcome and people of all faiths may attend. Registration information may be found at www.bridgefolk.net/conferences/bridgefolk-2019/.
What is the Doctrine of Discovery
In 1493, one year after Christopher Columbus landed in the lands we now call the Americas, the King and Queen of Spain persuaded Pope Alexander VI to issue a series of proclamations to give legal justification to Spain and Portugal’s invasion of those far-away lands and the exploitation of the people who were “discovered” there. The pope wrote,
“…That in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself. ...[W]e ... assign to you and your heirs and successors, kings of Castile and Leon, ... all islands and mainlands found and to be found, discovered and to be discovered towards the west and south...”
These papal bulls were the first in a long line of laws and court decisions that monarchs and settler governments would write, establishing in European law the rights of European colonizers over lands and peoples from Africa to the Philippines to the Americas. For example, in 1823, in a unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court decided "that the principle of discovery gave European nations an absolute right to New World lands." They further determined that the indigenous people of those lands had only a right of occupancy, which could be abolished.
The effects of these laws are still felt today. When Canadian governments and corporations construct hydro dams or pipeline without the consent of the indigenous peoples on whose territory the project will be built, the Doctrine of Discovery is still in play. The recent decision of the Manitoba government to construct a power line to the United States without compensating or even negotiating with the Métis, through whose traditional lands the line will run, is an example of how the mindset that gave rise to the Doctrine of Discovery still influences the decisions of corporations and governments today.
This article is written by Brother Thomas Novak, O.M.I., serving out of St. Kateri Catholic Church in Winnipeg.
St. Maurice School, Winnipeg - Aayush Vij recently graduated at St. Maurice Catholic School. At the June 25, 2019 convocation ceremony, Aayush received the Chown Centennial Scholarship. In the photo below, Robert Praznik, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, presents Aayush with the scholarship.
Canada - Abby Johnson’s incredible journey from Planned Parenthood clinic director to pro-life advocate comes to life in this moving film about abortion. Let’s pack the theatres! Unplanned will be in theatres in Winnipeg (Polo Park), Brandon (Landmark Cinemas 9), Roblin (Roblin Theatre), Steinbach (Keystone Cinema) and Winkler (Landmark Cinemas 5). Rated PG. To view the poster, click here.
For parishes and groups wanting to book a theatre buyout, information on how to proceed is available at www.unplannedfilm.com/canada or contact Life’s Vision Manitoba at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will direct you in the next steps.
Daniel Bahuaud, Communications Coordinator for the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, wrote a review of the film. You can view it here.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights - “Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who flee death from war and hunger, and who have begun a journey moved by hope for survival, the Gospel calls us to be 'neighbours' of the smallest and the abandoned, and to give them concrete hope”. Inspired by these words of Pope Francis, Development and Peace was a leader in arranging an event to provide an opportunity for organizations to gather together to show their solidarity with migrants and refugees.
On Saturday, June 15, approximately 250 people gathered in front of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to begin a walk to the Manitoba Legislature. The purpose was to show solidarity with migrants and refugees in Winnipeg and around the world. This was in conjunction with the solidarity walks which have been organized across Canada as part of the Development and Peace Share the Journey campaign. More than 6,000 people have taken part in over one hundred walks from coast to coast.
Co-organizers of the walk were: Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Migrant Worker Solidarity Network and Migrante Manitoba. Supporting groups were IRCOM (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organizations of Manitoba), Mennonite Central Committee, and Independent Jewish Voices Winnipeg. Also participating were representatives from Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council and Accueil Francophone.
“I was incredibly inspired by the different organizations coming together to Share the Journey”, said Janelle Delorme the Development and Peace Animator for Manitoba and Thunder Bay. “We wanted to amplify the voices of refugees and were fortunate to have Damber, Nejma and Dora share theirs. I was brought to tears as we were leading the walk to see so many individuals participating. This is the true meaning of solidarity”.
This article was brought to you by one of our Community Contributors, Eva Arsenault. Thank you, Eva, for sharing this faith story with us through your gift of time, talent, and treasure!
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. Francis de Sales Church of the Deaf - St. Francis de Sales Manitoba Catholic Church of the Deaf received a generous donation from the 2019 Chrism Mass, held at St. Mary's Cathedral on April 15, 2019. The collection at the annual Eucharistic celebration is traditionally given to a worthy cause or organization. This year, $3,478.65 was sent to St. Francis de Sales, which Elena Martin, a.m.o., says is "a big help" to the community. Martin is a pastoral assistant and coordinator at the church.
See the letter of gratitude below from the St. Francis de Sales community.