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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

What does a just Canada look like?
Sep 16, 2019

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - "What does a just Canada look like? That’s the question that will be asked Wednesday, when Citizens for Public Justice brings its fall election tour to Winnipeg." Click here to view the rest of John Longhurst's article published in the Winnipeg Free Press. 

Breaking Trail - A Synod Implementation Update
Sep 16, 2019

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Anyone who has ever done any serious hiking knows the value of keeping an eye on the person in front of you, and ensuring you are always on 'the trail'. In rocky terrain, it is recommended that you visually locate the next rock cairn before the one closest to you is out of sight. Staying on an established path is critical, for all but the most seasoned backpackers, to ensure they reach their destination safely and when expected. 

Humans are not the only creatures who know the value of a well-beaten path. In fact, many people who lose their way when hiking find themselves on a wildlife spur, which reveals itself in the fact that it invariably leads downhill and to a source of water. Once a trail has been established it is uncommon for a person, or an animal, to forge a new one even though there may be a better way. The same is true of habits. Once we have become accustomed to doing things a certain way, it becomes difficult to do something new - even when that is our intention - and easy to slip back into the familiar. "Old habits," as they say, "die hard". This reality was made clear to me at an event I recently attended in my new role as Synod Implementation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. 

On September 11, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending my first meeting of the Synod Implementation Commission, held at the Catholic Centre in Winnipeg. The Commission comprises individuals who have, for the most part, been involved in the Synod from the very beginning. As such, they are very familiar with the concepts of 'holy listening' and 'synodality'. Holy listening is the practice of paying attention to the promptings of the Spirit, as one engages in conversation, while synodality recognizes that the Church is, at its core, a community of believers guided by the Holy Spirit. These two concepts were what Jesus intended as the framework within which the Church would operate when he breathed on the apostles and commissioned them to make disciples (Mt. 28:16-20; Jn. 20:22). We can see these two principles at work in the early Church by the manner in which Matthias was chosen to replace Judas (Acts 1: 12-26), and as they wrestled with the question of whether Mosaic Law should apply to the new Christian Gentiles (Acts. 15:1-21).

The purpose of our meeting in Winnipeg that night was to discuss how to best help parishes prepare to implement the Synod recommendations in their own communities. One suggestion was to hold a gathering of priests, parish pastoral council members, and Synod delegates to remind them of the findings of the Synod, update them as to what progress has been made since it closed, and to present them with information on tools being developed that they might find useful. During our discussion, it became clear that although our intent was to promote synodality, the meeting being proposed sounded very much like one of information dissemination. Although we were intellectually committed to a new manner of doing business - to forging a new way of being 'Church' in the Archdiocese - we had inadvertently fallen into the familiar way we knew of hosting a meeting. Our feet had found the safest and surest 'tried and true' path and we had all dutifully fallen into line. This realization led to a new discussion. If our intention was to encourage parishes to adopt a Spirit-led, synodal approach, we should be modelling such an approach at every opportunity. What would such a meeting look like when there remains a necessity for a certain amount of information to be dispensed? Our experience that night will, hopefully, serve as both a caution and a source of comfort as parishes begin to incorporate the new mandate of synodality in their own congregations. Despite our best intentions, there will be times - likely many times- that we fall into our old ways of conducting business. This is not to say that our previous efforts were not fruitful, but only that there is a better way - one that Christ intended - that calls us to intentionally follow the One, who is the Way, in everything we do.

The parable of the rich young man, gives us an example of one who followed the established route (Mk. 10:17-22). The Gospel makes it clear that the young man was committed to upholding all of God's laws, that had been handed down to him from his ancestors, and that he strived, in every way, to live a virtuous life. Despite this, something was telling him that he should do more. Seeing his desire, Christ challenged the man to go beyond the basic requirements by choosing to follow him as one of his disciples. It is the same offer he has made to each of us. But to follow Christ means that we must be willing to let go of our own control and allow him to navigate us on a path of his own choosing.

Breaking a new trail is risky. It invites criticism from others who are more cautious. It means that we may be asked to forge through thick undergrowth, circumnavigate gorges and other obstacles, cross deep waters, and climb rocky terrain over which we do not want to go. Following Christ requires that we restrain an enthusiastic zeal that would have us run on ahead, thinking we know the better way, and that we, instead, put our full trust in Jesus, who is our true 'Compass," even when fear, discomfort, or discouragement leads us to be tempted to turn back. True discipleship requires that we continually conform our own will to that of Jesus, just as he conformed his will to that of the Father.

Unlike the rich young man, we have the advantage of having received the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides us internally. But to be useful that gift must be accepted and applied. Discerning the Spirit takes effort and is a skill that grows and develops over the course of a lifetime. As we apply this process of discernment to parish life there will undoubtedly be times that we forget to listen to the Spirit's promptings as we undertake tasks in a routine manner. When our failing comes to light we should remember to be kind to ourselves and others who do the same. Our attitude should always be one of gratitude; gratitude that we live in the time and place in which God has positioned us, that he chose us to be his instruments of salvation in the world, and that he has given us, as  a guide, his Holy Spirit whose witness to us permits us to witness to others. With our eyes focused on Jesus and our ears trained to listen for guidance from the Holy Spirit, we can be confident that we are truly disciples on the way to the Father.

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Linda Chiupka is the Synod Implementation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg and a former employee of a national wilderness park.

Personnel Announcement
Sep 16, 2019

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - The following appointments will be effective as indicated:

1. Reverend John Legitimas will be returning home, for personal matters, to the Diocese of Tagbilaran. We are grateful to Fr. John for his seven years of service to the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, more recently in Dauphin and Winnipegosis. (September 16, 2019)

2. Reverend Michel Nault becomes Pastor of St. Viator's Parish in Dauphin and Corpus Christi Parish in Winnipegosis. (September 23, 2019)

A further announcement with regard to the pastoral care of Elie, St. Eustache and St. François will be announced in the coming days.

In the Community Section

Catholic Health Association of Manitoba - Newsletter
Sep 16, 2019

Manitoba The Catholic Health Association of Manitoba (CHAM) is a voluntary, provincial association dedicated to the healing ministry of the church. Affiliated with the Bishops of Manitoba and the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay, Northwest Territories, CHAM serves as a link between Catholic Health care facilities, agencies, parishes and individuals. CHAM serves as a provincial resource for its members and all those interested in its mission. Click here to view the latest CHAM Newsletter.

Catholic nun honoured for humanitarian work
Sep 16, 2019

Winnipeg, Manitoba - "Months after her death at age 94, the humanitarian legacy of Sister Aileen Gleason of Winnipeg will be publicly recognized in Ottawa by Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette. On Thursday, the Roman Catholic nun will be posthumously honoured with a Meritorious Service Decoration for sponsoring thousands of refugees through Hospitality House Refugee Ministry, which she co-founded in 1992."

Click here to view Brenda Suderman's full article published in the Winnipeg Free Press, September 9, 2019.

Holy Trinity House looking for a Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue
Sep 4, 2019

Holy Trinity HouseA Christian place of rest, retreat & prayer, currently being formed, is developing an outdoor prayer garden. Do you, or do you know of an organization which may have an outdoor, approximately life-size, “Sacred Heart of Jesus” statue, which may be donated? Please contact, Deacon Darin Douglas or Carlene, Holy Trinity House, at 204-532-2157 or e-mail, douglasdarin@hotmail.com.

New this Fall on Salt + Light TV!
Sep 4, 2019

Toronto, Ontario - Canada’s Catholic television network invites you to watch these featured series and other new and returning programs this Fall.

-          Our new documentary style program behold will feature Catholic stories of beauty, truth and goodness on a variety of intriguing topics.

-          Featuring different dioceses across Canada, This Place: Real People. Real Faith, is a new upbeat, fresh and joy filled TV series about Catholics who share us the faith of their local community.

We strive to provide a variety of live event coverage, masses and devotions, as well as programs and documentaries that focus on spreading the joy of the Gospel message and the light of Christ to the world.

You can to subscribe to Salt + Light TV from cable and satellite carriers throughout Canada. Check your local provider or visit www.saltandlighttv.org/subscribe for more details.  Don’t miss out and become a subscriber today!

Opportunity to advertise Fall Suppers
Aug 27, 2019

Archdiocese of Winnipeg - Donald McKenzie annually posts a list of Fall Suppers in Winnipeg and beyond. If you would like to promote your parish fall supper for free, contact Donald at macbubs13@gmail.com.

The Universal Church Section

Pope Francis invites whole Church to celebrate Extraordinary Mission Month
Sep 9, 2019

The Universal Church - In 2019, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019.

Click here for the Website

 Pope Francis has invited the Universal Church to celebrate an Extraordinary Missionary Month with the theme “Baptized and Sent”

 There are four dimensions, specified by the Pope, to live more intensely the journey of preparation for and implementation of the Extraordinary Missionary  Month – October 2019:

1. A personal encounter with Jesus Christ living in his Church: in the Eucharist, in the Word of God, and in personal and communal prayer.
2. Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs, and confessors of the faith as an expression of the Church scattered throughout the world.
3. Missionary formation: biblical, catechetical, spiritual, and theological.
4. Missionary charity.

Annual 'Season of Creation' celebration begins on September 1st
Aug 27, 2019

The Universal Church - The Season of Creation is an annual celebration to protect creation that starts on September 1st and ends on the Feast of St. Francis on October 4th. In 2015, Pope Francis wrote “Laudato Si”, an Encyclical letter pleading with us to take responsibility in the care of our world. His Holiness proclaimed September 1st, the first day of the “Season of Creation”, to be the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.” He invites us to “weep with the earth, our common home” and to do something concrete in the healing of creation according to Creator’s dream for all people and all creation. It is a day and a season to reaffirm our shared vocation as stewards of creation. Click here to find ways that you can mark this year's Season of Creation.

D&P Report: Out of great tragedy has arisen hope
Aug 13, 2019

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.

Catholic Education Section

Jed Borillo, a Holy Cross School alumnus (2019) to join prestigious exposition
Sep 9, 2019

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - We are very pleased to announce that Jed Borillo, a Holy Cross School alumnus (2019) will join Team Canada in the Mouvement International pour le Loisir Scientifique Et Technique – Expo-Sciences International 2019 (MILSET ESI 2019). 

ESI is an international science exhibition that showcases STEAM projects by young budding scientists from all over the world.  Jed, mentored by our science teacher, Dr. Anju Bajaj now attends St. Paul's High School.  The purpose of ESI is to address global STEAM issues while also providing participants cultural and scientific visits, workshops, and leisure activities, and network internationally.  MILSET ESI takes place every two years in locations all around the globe; this year, it will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on September 22-28, 2019.

 This International Science Expo is a lifetime opportunity for 2,000 or so scientists attending ESI from all over the globe.  Youth Science Canada's team of 47, budding scientists, is selected from all ten provinces and two territories. Students and their projects were among the best selected through Canada-Wide Science Fairs as well as scientific exhibitions organized by Youth Science Canada during 2018 and 2019. These young scientists will have the opportunity to represent Canada on a global scale, and showcase Canada's best STEAM projects on the world stage.  At Holy Cross School, we are very proud of Jed’s achievements.

Events at Newman Theological College
Sep 9, 2019

Edmonton, Alberta - Newman Theological College is hosting two events that may be of interest to those who are involved in Academia. 

Click here to get more information on: "Conscience, naming its rights and duties"

Click here to get more information on: "St. John Henry Newman: A Conference Celebrating His Life and Legacy"

Picnic at St. Mary's Academy to celebrate 150th birthday blessed with joy - and good weather!
Sep 4, 2019

St. Mary's Academy - One could feel the joy and excitement in the air at St. Mary's Academy's 150th Birthday Picnic, held August 28, 2019. On-site were food trucks, historical displays, performers, the Academy's teachers and staff, students new and old, and of course - the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. "God really blessed us with beautiful weather today," said Gina Borkofski, who is St. Mary's Academy's Director of Communications and Marketing.

"We have over 50 volunteers helping us today," said Kerri Moore. Kerri is the Academy's Director of Advancement and Admissions. "They are eager to help, and are all smiles to make sure our guests feel welcome."

There was a beautiful sense of community at the picnic. One could walk around the Academy grounds, get snacks from one of the handful of participating food trucks, enjoy performances, and chat with the Sisters who are always a treasure trove of stories.

Part of the programme was the unveiling of the Legacy Rose Garden. On the Academy's website, it says:

The Legacy Rose Garden is a tribute to the 150 year legacy of learning, faith, service and leadership that has taken place at St. Mary's Academy. This garden honours the contributions of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, faculty, staff, students, parents, alumnae and friends. 

Sister Cathy Laviolette, s.n.j.m. said, "This is a neat idea. A good way to celebrate the Academy's Birthday". 

The 150th Birthday celebrations began on May 1, 2019, and continues to the end of the year. The next event is the 150th Birthday Gala Dinner, to be held on September 27, 2019. For more information about the 150th Birthday Celebrations, go to smamb.ca. 

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We'd like to thank Vincent Ocampo for sending us photos.

Sign up for a St. Paul's College Membership
Sep 4, 2019

St. Paul's College - Parents and Guardians, if your child is one of the many students attending the University of Manitoba this Fall please encourage them to sign up for a St. Paul’s College membership. With numerous leadership and scholarship opportunities, St. Paul’s College is the smaller community within the larger University of Manitoba where your children can feel at home and flourish into people for others. 

Here how you sign up:

• Log onto your Aurora student account and “Enter Secure Area”

• Type your 7-digit Student Number

• Type your Personal Identification Number (PIN)

• Select “Login”

• Select “Enrollment and Academic Records”

• Select “Declarations” 

• Select “Declare College Membership”

• Select “Add” to add new membership

• Select "St. Paul’s College" as your college of choice and click “Submit” 

Congratulations, you are now a member of St. Paul's College!

The Archbishop Section

Archbishop Gagnon's homily at Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Carberry
Sep 4, 2019

Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Carberry - Below are homily notes preached by Archbishop Richard Gagnon at Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Carberry on the occasion of the parish feast day (August 15th).

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 38:4-10; Psalm 40; Hebrews 12: 1-4; Luke 12:49-53

The prophet Jeremiah is certainly one of the most interesting of the Old Testament major prophets and one that I personally find very fascinating. His is often seen to be a kind of forerunner to Christ himself due to his great difficulty in calling the Chosen People to reform their lives. Basically he called the people to return back to God and leave the idols of their lives – idols of all kinds, those taken from the religious practices of the people surrounding them, but also the worship of money and worldly power without reference to God in their lives.

Our Synod in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg is meant to be much like this. There is always a great challenge in changing our ways. There is a challenge in making an effort to deepen our discipleship. And there is a challenge in seeking true conversion in our lives.

Our Archdiocesan Synod was based on three general areas of outreach:

1. Disciples of Jesus build up the Church of active believers: This applies directly to your own parish of the Assumption of Our Lady. Each person in this community is important and is meant to play a part in this. Our Synod Implementation contains suggestions on how and what to implement in your parish community. One of the overall suggestions has to do with prayer when you gather in your groups, namely Lectio Divina. It’s very easy to simply say a prayer before meetings in order to get it done! But what we are talking about here is to spend time with Scripture and share your reflections with your brothers and sisters. Often Catholics are hesitant to talk about their faith. Let us begin the call to change and conversion starting in our own parish community.

2. Disciples outreach to those less active in their faith: This is a very large group of people and we are called to be good examples of Christian living in our own lives through word and action. We must not be afraid to witness to Christ and not be embarrassed to talk about our faith. In a sense we are called, as the Bible says, to give witness to the cause of our joy. Finally, we must all be ministers of hospitality in our willingness to invite other Catholic to Church and Church events and to provide a true environment of Christian hospitality in our parishes.

3. Disciples are open to building relationships with other Christians and people of other religions: This is what we refer to as ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue respectively. We must remember that Jesus prayed fervently for all followers of the Way to be one just as Jesus was one with the Father. Because of this, ecumenism is more than a simple outreach to others but is indeed a duty for disciples of Jesus. Personally, I have found that ecumenical activities and cooperation with other Christians are important and inspiring activities that I am sure, please our Father in heaven. Our parishes need to be connected to ecumenical endeavours. In regards to inter-faith dialogue, let us remember that Our Lord had particular praise for certain Roman soldiers who displayed hearts of good will and even faith. Inter-faith dialogue can contain many new experiences that teach us that the Holy Spirit is active in mysterious ways among mankind. We begin this by having a certain openness first of all towards people of the Abrahamic faiths like ourselves, namely the Jews and the Muslims. But the Church has taught us through the years that aspects of truth can be found in all world religions. In short, we want to be a credible witness to our God to others just as Jesus was in the minds of certain Roman soldiers. As the saying goes, we just might be the only Gospel that many people will read – we are to be walking Gospels of Jesus Christ.

 

Our Synod’s theme is: Disciples: Established, Anointed and Sent in Christ. This implies being missionary disciples who have the spirit of Jeremiah with a willingness to live in the truth and proclaim the things of God to others. We should consider that the times in which we are living are not entirely different than those during Jeremiah’s lifetime. There are many idols today to which we give worship and much false religion. There is often a temptation to a lifestyle that has no reference to the true God. Faith is often rejected and pushed aside as in Jeremiah’s day. But the message we learn from Jeremiah is that we must remain faithful and strive with all our hearts to live the Joy of the Gospel as Pope Francis would say. In the Second Reading for today we hear these words from Hebrews: “Brothers and Sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight of sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance, the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…”

In the Gospel today, Jesus outlines very clearly what he intends to do and how he will suffer in carrying out. In fact, he says that he came to light a fire on earth: “How I wish it were already kindled”. We know that such words have a long Biblical resonance referring to purification and holiness – in other words, conversion to God and the courage to change.

Consider that this fire still burns. It burns even yet in our hearts does it not? But sadly in the hearts of many today this fire is turning to ashes through indifference, complacency and the love of idols. This gives Christ much sorrow as he wishes that all be saved! We know that he will grant a full pardon to the most harden of hearts but this depends on the willingness to change and repent. The division that Jesus talks about in the Gospel today can very clearly be the result of hearts not willing to change and turn away from sin. And this is precisely why there are disciples –missionary disciples! We are to be Christ’s hands, feet, eyes, mouth, and heart to others.

Hebrews has the final word on this: “Consider Jesus who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you might not grow weary or lose heart”.

The Church in Canada Section

Voting as Catholics: 2019 Federal Election Guide
Sep 16, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario - The 2019 Federal Election Guide, prepared by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB) Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace and published in the name of the Permanent Council, has been formatted for online sharing and includes hyperlinks directing the reader to further resources on various issues important to Catholics. The Guide's content offers a reflection on key ethical and moral issues that voters, especially Catholics, may want to consider.

Click here to view the guide.

 

Annual Plenary Assembly of the CCCB to be held in Cornwall, Ontario
Sep 10, 2019

Ottawa, Ontario - The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly at the NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, 23-27 September, 2019. The Plenary Assembly is a gathering of approximately 90 Bishops from across Canada. The Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and CCCB President, will preside over the meeting.



The 2019 Plenary keynote address will be delivered by Archbishop Giampetro Dal Toso, President of the Pontifical Mission Societies. Established in 1922, the Pontifical Mission Societies are the official missionary arm of the Catholic Church responsible for evangelization and charitable works throughout the world. As part of his address, Archbishop Dal Toso will speak to the Bishops of Canada on the upcoming Extraordinary Missionary Month (October 2019) and its chosen theme: "Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on a Mission in the World." 

'Phishy' scam targeting Catholics across Canada
Aug 27, 2019

Archdiocese of Vancouver, B.C. "A recent email and text message scam is devastating pastors and cheating B.C. churchgoers out of thousands of dollars. This summer, Catholics across the province have received electronic messages asking for money transfers or gift cards from someone posing as their local priest. The request is always urgent, always by email or text, and always fake." We include this article from the B.C. Catholic's Agnieszka Ruck as a public service announcement to our entire community in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. Click here for the article.