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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Catholic Centre, Winnipeg - The most recent Synod Implementation Commission meeting was held on December 4 at the Catholic Centre in Winnipeg. Consistent with our desire to be a synodal Church, the meeting began with lectio divina centred on Isaiah 25:6-10a. I am always impressed with how scripture passages chosen for lectio speak uniquely to each individual present. After this prayerful introduction, the Commission shared feedback on the November 23rd gathering in Portage la Prairie with Linda Chiupka, our Synod Implementation Coordinator.
Parishes are currently ‘hearing the call’ which includes incorporating lectio divina into parish life and holding a Listening Session to discern which Synod Proposals should be addressed as a priority by the parish. At our meeting, the Commission began discussing Phase 2, ‘discerning God’s will’, which will follow the listening sessions in the parishes. This phase will analyze the results of the listening session and rely on parish leadership to identify strengths and challenges in the parish community.
In parallel with parish activity, the Archdiocese is working on initiatives based on the governance priorities identified in the Synod. The review and revision of Parish Pastoral Council norms will begin in January. Cooperation with the Archdiocese of St. Boniface is developing. Our diocesan pastoral service offices are also being updated to reflect the priorities of the Synod. The whole of our diocesan community is at work.
Communication, collaboration and support are the keys to implementing the Synod. Our Communication Services Office has already produced resources for parishes to use to introduce lectio divina. These are posted on the Archdiocesan website. The Commission recognizes that communication throughout the diocese, among and within parishes, will be crucial. Parishes, each with their own character, will implement the Synod in their own way with support from the Archdiocese. Throughout this process of becoming better disciples of Christ, we must rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit who already knows what we need.
We thank Susan Cosens for this article contribution! Susan is a member of the Synod Implementation Commission and a parishioner of St. John Vianney Church in Teulon.
Archdiocese of Winnipeg - The Archbishop announces the following Personnel appointments, via a memorandum from Reverend W. Richard Arsenault. Click here to view the memo.
Archdiocese of Winnipeg - "The reason why our Archdiocesan Synod was successful was because of prayer, and docility to the Spirit," said Archbishop Richard Gagnon in his opening remarks at the Synod Implementation Workshop, the latest milestone in the Archdiocese's ongoing efforts to unfold the work of God in the local Church of southwestern Manitoba. The event was held on a sunny Saturday, November 23, at Good Shepherd Parish in Portage la Prairie.
But the journey doesn't end at the General Sessions of the First Synod of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, held Pentecost of 2016 to Pentecost of 2018. Archbishop Gagnon said that "when we speak of a synodal Church, of synodality, we make it part of the way we operate as Church. We're talking about changing our way of life as a community, changing our culture in fundamental ways."
Over two hundred people from across the Archdiocese were in attendance, surpassing the expectations of the organizers. The clergy of the Archdiocese, religious, Synod delegates and alternates, and Parish Pastoral Council chairs were invited in the half-day workshop intended to recapture the spirit of the 2016-18 Synod, as well as train parish leaders in Phase One of the Synod implementation process.
Phase One of Synod Implementation is called, "Hearing the Call", and has three goals: (1) unpacking Archbishop Gagnon's post-Synodal letter, Disciples on the Way, as a parish community, (2) incorporating lectio divina as a regular part of parish life, and hosting a Listening Session or alternate means of consultation in the parish.
A prayerful way of listening is the heart of synodality. As Deacon Ted Wood, Director of Pastoral Services, said, echoing the words of Pope Francis, the synodal approach has three parts: Listening to the Word of God, Listening to one another, and then together, developing a plan to boldly move forward to announce the Gospel. In Phase One, Hearing the Call, all parishes will host a Listening Session or alternate means of consultation as a starting point of the implementation process.
Archbishop Gagnon introduced Linda Chiupka to the attendees. Chiupka was recently appointed as the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Synod Implementation Coordinator. She unpacked the implementation Parish Guide with the participants, and led them through a Group Exercise, showing how synodality might look like at the parish level. "The participants' level of participation was amazing," said Linda Chiupka. "Their conversations, the participation at tables, the energy in the room, all indicate to me that 'this (workshop) is working'. It was a great, great day."
"Our Synod is an exciting reality," said Archbishop Gagnon. "We are talking about a change of culture here. If we're not seeing a change of culture in our parishes, we're not doing something that the Holy Spirit is asking us to do."
For more information on the Archdiocese of Winnipeg's Synod Implementation process, go to the "Our Synod" section of our website.
Vatican City - Every December there is a CCCB Presidency Visit to the Holy See. This year there are 23 meetings over twelve days in which the President, Vice-President and General Secretary visit many Vatican Offices (Congregations and Dicasteries). There is a formal agenda for each of these meetings where information about the Church in Canada and the Church universal are exchanged. This also includes a visit to the Embassy to the Holy See as well as to the Office of the Quebec delegation to Italy. See below a photo update from Archbishop Richard Gagnon.
This photo is taken within the offices of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Having been here before, I had never seen this ancient library which served as the library for the original Propaganda Fidei for the missions around the world. St. John Henry Cardinal Newman used to do research here.
A number of old volumes in the library, some of which date to the 16th century.
The humble chapel where John Henry Newman was ordained a priest in the Catholic Church. It would seat maybe 75 people and this tells us something about Newman's life. He was a famous Anglican, theologian, poet and intellectual who had an international reputation. When he entered the Catholic Church he was separated from friends, fellow clergy in the Anglican Church and a familiar way of life. In Rome where he went to be received into the Catholic Church he was very much isolated from his former life and culture. He was ordained a priest in this little Chapel of the Three Magi with a small number of people present. Later Pope Leo XIII made him a Cardinal without first being a bishop. This past October he was canonized by Pope Francis.
In the chapel of St. John Henry Newman's ordination. From left: Bishop Raymond Poisson, Vice-President, Archbishop Richard Gagnon, CCCB President, and Monsignor Frank Leo, General Secretary.
Rome - Archbishop Richard Gagnon is currently in Rome for the CCCB Presidency's annual visit to the Holy See. The highlight of the visit is a private audience with Pope Francis, along with meetings with the various dicasteries (or departments) of the Holy See. Below are glimpses of the visit "from the Archbishop's eyes" - the photos and captions are by Archbishop Gagnon.
The photo above was taken during a concert in a Roman Parish Church to celebrate Advent. Every year the Canadian Embassy to the Holy See and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem sponsor an Advent and Christmas concert in a Roman Church. Classical seasonal music from a great variety of composers is featured. The Cappella Musicale dell'Oratorio di San Filippo Neri and the Accademia Musicale San Pietro performed the pieces. All proceeds are donated to a charity in Bethlehem for abandoned and disabled children, supported by the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
St. Paul Church, Starbuck - St. Paul Church in Starbuck, Manitoba, is looking for a donation of a metal votive candle stand. The parish has 20 small candle holders - they are only in need of the stand. If you can help, contact Kathy Rathert at (204) 735-3054 or (204) 223-4702.
Winnipeg, Manitoba - This year let’s be more aware and take aim at social isolation among MB. Seniors during the festive season. The “Gift of Time” Awareness is being promoted by the Catholic Health Association of Manitoba (CHAM) as a way to raise awareness of the loneliness and social isolation many seniors face, during a time when many families and friends are celebrating.
The Awareness Campaign reminds members of the public to reach out to seniors living in a care residence or living alone at home. The best gift you can give during the festive season is the "gift of time".
“There is no easy solution when it comes to the challenge of social isolation among seniors, but raising awareness is a vital first step,” says CHAM’s ED Julie Turenne-Maynard. “This is an important conversation. When people are celebrating the festive season with loved ones, this is the best time to remind the public to reach out to a senior.”
Social isolation among seniors has been the subject of prominent public inquiries such as by Canada’s National Seniors Council, and the U.S. Senate Aging Committee. A widely-cited study determines that the negative health impact of social isolation is equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day. Both urban and rural communities across the continent have struggled on what to do about social isolation among seniors.
“There is indeed a growing awareness among our political leaders of the cost of social isolation on our public healthcare system,” says Turenne-Maynard. “However, we have to convince governments of the benefit of investing in initiatives that enhance quality of life among frail and elderly seniors.”
CHAM’s Gift of Time campaign will be promoted online and through social media during the holidays.
Additional information and resources on the subject of social isolation among seniors can be accessed at https://www.ltcam.mb.ca/options_socialization.htm
If you would like to arrange to visit a senior in a personal care home click here https://www.ltcam.mb.ca/pch-about.htm for a list with phone numbers. You must make arrangements in advance of a visit.
About CHAM: Incorporated in 1943, 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.
This article was submitted by Julie Turenne-Maynard, the Executive Director of the Catholic Health Association of Manitoba. Thank you, Julie!
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/.
St. Paul's College, Winnipeg - The St. Paul’s College Refugee Committee and Partners (St. Ignatius Church, Holy Rosary Parish, and St. Paul’s High School) recently welcomed a new Syrian Refugee family to Winnipeg. There are still a number of important household items that need to be acquired. Please go to: https://www.spcandme.com/.
Ottawa - The annual visit of the Presidency of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) to the Holy See will take place from 9-20 December 2019. This year's delegation includes the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and CCCB President, the Most Reverend Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and CCCB Vice President, and Monsignor Frank Leo, Jr., CCCB General Secretary. A highlight of their visit will be a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis on 12 December.
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.