Catholic Women's League of Saskatchewan

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PAST COMMUNITY LIFE COMMUNIQUÉS

  

Provincial Community Life

Community Life Communiqué #3 - July 2010

Provincial Community Life - July 2011

Community Life Communiqué - August 2012

Community Life Communiqué - #1 June 2013

Community Life Communiqué - #2 September 2013

Community Life Communiqué - July 2014

 

Community Life Communiqué - July 2014

 

Monica Beavis, Provincial Community Life Chairperson

 

Warm weather is upon us and perhaps we can take time to sit back and enjoy the summer! We can start to plan for the fall activities by reviewing what projects or presentations may be of interest in your diocese. There are different priorities in the various communities and it is our responsibility to initiate, make contacts and organize various activities for the coming year.

 

Dignity and Rights of Persons

 

In Quebec the Euthanasia Bill -52 was passed on June 5.It allows doctors to kill their patients if they request it under the so-called “Medical Aid in Dying “. It treats euthanasia under health care that is under Provincial jurisdiction.

ACTION:

  • support the Physicians Alliance Against Euthanasia
  • Promote members to seek knowledge in regarding end of life issues, and what members of the health care team can offer in palliative care.
  • Be an advocate for people struggling with end of life issues. Promote the dignity of the person and be aware of the advanced health care directives. The catholic diocese has guidelines to assist people in making ethical decisions.
  • Be aware of how the Sask. Government is addressing this issue.

Doctor Margret Somerville a well know Ethicist states that this bill is giving a referral to kill a patient which is material and formal cooperation with evil.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING –BillC-36 –[The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act] is receiving a lot of press these days .The aim is to criminalize the purchase of sex, targeting johns as well as pimps and traffickers. The application of the Nordic Model does no criminalize the prostitutes themselves who are considered the victims and it offers programs to help them leave the sex trade business. It also aims to encourage those who engage in prostitution to report violence and to leave the trade.

 

Prostitution has an impact on family especially the children. Issues such as addiction and abuse that can lead to death of the women are a major concern.

 

Some girls enter the sex trade as young as 11years of age. Gail Dines a Boston Sociology professor states that areas of concern are the media and pornographers because youth today are skilled in accessing information through the social media. We must provide education to assist them in dealing with this material.

 

HOMELESS PERSONS –This is a major challenge for the Prairie Provinces. For example 40 people died in Edmonton alone last winter.

 

Why are they there? — They may suffer from Abuse and. Neglect, as a result of a dysfunctional family environment. Employment opportunities and education is limited. This may lead to addiction and, social issues, they are at the mercy of society and vulnerable to the violence on the streets. They loose their dignity and self respect.

 

Action- CWL members can lobby for government and private money to establish a residence for these people and provide support and opportunities for education to help them break the cycle.

 

Social and Economic Justice

 

2013 -01 RESOLUTION –Building Relationships and Partnerships with Indigenous People. Building community with the aboriginal people is a process that impacts all of society. We are encouraged to attend aboriginal activities and to introduce ourselves to the Elders.

 

Volunteering in the schools enables us to appreciate the challenges that children and parents face as they struggle to integrate into the community. They have to adapt to the changes in the culture and way of life and still retain their own traditions This is also a major concern for the refugees and immigrants that come from other countries. They need our support and encouragement.

 

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

 

Christians in war torn countries need assistance. There are people fleeing from their homelands, going to refugee camps for safetyand assistance. Let us be generous in supporting CCODP in their work. Let us pray for peace. and for those families affected by the fighting in their homeland.

 

May you have a wonderful summer with family and friends!

 

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Community Life Communiqué - September 2013

 

Monica Beavis, Provincial Community Life Chairperson

 

The fall season is upon us, with the activity of the CWL Councils planning for the months ahead. I hope that many of you were able to attend the National Convention in Regina.

 

Dignity and rights of persons

  • Human trafficking remains a major concern for women who may be marginalized or new to this country. Many are desperate for money and are lured into prostitution as a means of supporting themselves. Fran Lucas the National Chair Person for Community Life will be focusing on one area of trafficking and provide us with guidelines to follow .In the mean time, members may familiarize what is happening close to home or invite people who are knowledgeable about this topic in your community.
  • Many First Nations People and immigrants are members of a parish community, as CWL members let us reach out to them and explore how we may support them in their adjustment to changes in their life.
 

Social and Economic Justice

  • We recognize that not all people are equal or have a standard of living that sustains all their needs.
  • In the fall there are programs such as Children’s Food Program in schools, collecting winter clothes for those in need ‘ and the extra garden produce may be given to the food bank.
  • The people in the third world countries must not be forgotten either Sponsoring a child to attend school is one way of helping the children .The family members who toil in the fields may be supported by purchasing their product or provide money to assist them in their farming operation.
  • The Canadian government issued a statement that “Canada stands behind the Syrian people, who deserved the freedom to practice their respective faiths without being persecuted.” Let us pray for justice, peace and healing for the people of Syria.
  • Government is monitoring the Quebec Government plans to move forward with a controversial bill to ban religious headgear for public employees. Here is an opportunity to write letters to Employment Minister Jason Kenny supporting his concern.

MARTYS DREAM –Former National Spiritual Advisor Archbishop Currie who spoke at the Prov. CWL meeting in June has a project he is promoting. The dream is for construction of a hostel for girls and guardians of ST. Michael’s Parish in GHANA. This project is organized and supervised through Chalice

 

Refugees, immigration and citizenship

  • Councils can promote education regarding the guidelines for processing the requirements for immigrants and refugees to enter Canada and become a citizen of Canada. Job opportunities are available but difficult to access.
 

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

  • June 21 D&P launched an urgent appeal for support for the victims of Syria They are currently partnering with Caritas in Syria to provide basic needs of food, water medical care, and shelter. They are fleeing to Jordon Turkey and Lebanon

Please keep them in your prayers for justice, peace and healing. People can make financial donation through D&P.

 

This completes my communiqué, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Enjoy the fall season, your sister in the League.

 

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Community Life Communiqué - June 2013

 

Monica Beavis, Provincial Community Life Chairperson

 

Welcome all readers to the Standing Committee communiqué for Community Life! The focus of this committee is: the dignity and rights of the person, social and economic justice, also this committee outlines the needs of the people who may be refugees, a recent Immigrant to our province, or striving to obtain Canadian citizenship. The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) works nationally and through CARTAS internationally working to support the poor in their struggle for social and economic justice.

 

DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE:

 

CCODP is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada (http://www.cccb.ca) and the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalist. Their work is in the area of agriculture, education, and community action as well as the consolidation of peace and advocacy for human rights in 70 countries.

 

Currently the CCCB-OTTAWA and CCODP are launching a joint campaign to raise emergency aid for Syrian refugees This campaign began Sunday June 30 and will continue till September 14-2013 .CWL Members please support this project in your parish or community.

 

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE

 

Prior to the G-8 Leaders Conference, Most Reverend Richard Smith-President of the CCCB wrote a letter to Prime Minister Harper stressing that it is necessary to ensure that the political and economic discussions would reference the human dignity of the poor and vulnerable.

 

Pope Francis poses the following question, are we truly cultivating and protecting God’s creation? He states that human life –the person are no longer felt to be primary values to be respected and especially when it comes to the poor and marginalized. When it comes to the environment and waste, we have become a throw away culture and a name brand mentality. There is no thought of the children who go hungry or lack proper clothes.

 

The ”LIGHTHOUSE HOUSING PROJECT" in Saskatoon is an example of a project dedicated to offering shelter, independence, education in management of coping skills and Hope for the future. People who are referred to this program are the homeless, the abused the emotionally unstable and those suffering from addictions.

 

There is light at the end of the tunnel, they have an opportunity to have a sense of family and be a member of a community .The staff and volunteers are reaching out to the person of Christ.

 

Refugees, Immigration and Citizenship

 

World Refugee Day took place on June 20.The current country of concern is SYRIA. There are 1.4 million refugees that have left Syria because of the war. Half of these people are children Please support these people by prayer, financial support and by considering sponsoring a family in your community or parish .You may obtain more information by contacting a government designated refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holder. The Diocesan Offices may be able to direct parishes to (SAH)-Sponsorship Agreement Holder or Diocesan Refugee Committee. There is a critical need for advocacy and for an understanding of the challenges currently facing refugees today.

 

This completes my Community Life Communiqué. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

 

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Community Life Communiqué - August 2012

 

Erna Day, Provincial Community Life Chairperson

 

The guidelines for this directive are:
Dignity and rights of the persons. Where is there more loss of dignity and rights of children than in the streets of our country. Missing persons, especially young Aboriginal women. Let us try and do something on this issue.

 

Social and economic justice. Quote from The Prairie Messenger June 20, 2012 “Politicians across party lines in both the House of Commons and Senate launched the all-party anti-poverty caucus (APC) June 12 to examine ways to fight poverty across Canada.” We can each help out in our own way and as a group of CWL women.

 

Refugees, immigration and citizenship. Quote from the Prairie Messenger June 27, 2012 “Worldwide, more people were forced to flee other countries than any time since 2000, according to a June 18th report by the High Commisioner for refugees, which total 15.2 million”. Can we do anything to help alleviate the problem even though we are so far away?

 

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. This organization has lost 5 million dollars of federal funding a year. That is about 25% of the total budget. The members of this organization have to work hard even with the cutbacks.

 

Developing countries. Quote from Prairie Messenger June 27, 2012 “ Sister Placida Lihikaduwa a Sri Lanka member of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary is an example of how one person can make a difference in the lives of many” She has started a project to get families out of the largest slums in Colomobo, Sri Lanka. She is getting them onto small farms where they can become self sufficient. If one of us can do this so can more.

 

Just a few guidelines to help us really think about who can help and what we can help with. Let us focus on one topic we know there are so many.

 

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Community Life Communiqué - July 2011

 

Erna Day, Provincial Community Life Chairperson

 

This communiqué is a little late due to moving to the lake for the summer months and lots of grandkids. Today is a quiet and beautiful day therefore an ideal time to get this done. All the birds are singing and everything is so peaceful. A time to think of other people less fortunate, yes it is!

 

Archbishop Martin W. Currie, our National Spiritual Advisor, has stated in the League magazine, Winter 2011, his explanation of faith and justice as being “justice is giving a pratical expression to my faith – it is putting legs, feet , hands and heart to my faith. Justice is practical love.”

 

Vianne Timmons was in our city of North Battleford April 18th as part of a community consultation co-hosted by the University of Regina’s Faculty and Poverty Free Saskatchewan. This is a network of individuals, organizations, governments and businesses all working together to try and eliminate poverty. This was part of the outreach effort started by the University three years ago, the role being to facilitate the discussion and bring together poverty groups to look at all the issues and find potential solutions.

 

Timmons defined poverty as “when people do not have the resources to meet the needs of everyday living”.

 

She said “there are a multitude of ramifications when people live in poverty”. Reduced health, and lower life expectancy as well as challenges in education are some of these ramifications.

 

We as people in our communities can try to sit at these tables of discussions and see what we can do as people of Saskatchewan.

 

Barbara Dowding encourages all of us that it is our responsibility to take good care of the many gifts and blessings we have received, to detach ourselves from material goods and possessions and to share our abundance with others. With poverty as the national focus it is fitting that we continue to support initiatives which are focused on eliminating the many forms of poverty in our world.

 

The 1% program encourages members “to contribute one percent of all personal and luxury items as well as 1% of funds raised by C.W.L. councils to Development and Peace programs that empower women.

 

Dowding also says to “join with Catholic women across Canada to enhance the role of women in church and society and to recognize the human dignity of all people everywhere”. As members of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada we must also be strong women.

 

By this time next year let us challenge ourselves and others to see what one percent really is!

 

A quote by Mother Theresa sums this all up: “We can do no great things – only small things with great love”.

 

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Community Life Communiqué #3 - July 2010

 

Marlene Schnell, Provincial Community Life Chairperson

 

This communiqué is a little late due to my husband being in the hospital for 4 weeks and passing away on June 14 and then arranging for the funeral and all the paper work after. We have been blessed with 36 years of marriage, four wonderful children, a special step-daughter, ten beautiful grandchildren and special memories. I have my moments of tears but am doing okay. Three of my daughters live within a 5 minute drive and I see one of three and the grandkids almost every day and that has been a big help along with the love and support of many family members and friends. I feel truly blessed.

 

The G20 Summit seemed to get more publicity on the demonstrations and protests than on what they actually accomplished. In the June 30th issue of the Prairie Messenger it stated that on paper the G20 and the Catholic church want a lot of the same things but that they’re not necessarily talking the same language. A $7.3 billion pledge - $5 billion from G8 countries and another from foundations and non-G8 countries is not enough to stop millions of needless deaths among pregnant women and children under five and not enough for the G8 countries to say they’ve lived up to their responsibilities say Catholic aid groups. Development and Peace believes the G20 took a backward step on food security by trying to solve the world’s climate change problems with investments in agrofuels such as biodiesel. A Jesuit missionary on a visit to Canada from Zambia said “right now we have enough food in the world to feed everybody, but we have so many people who are hungry and malnourished because people can’t afford the food”. Brother Desmarais didn’t think these issues were addressed.

 

World Religious Summit was held June 21-23 in Winnipeg prior to the G20 summit to lobby politicians to end poverty and promote peace. Archbishop Weisgerber of Winnipeg said the meeting of international faith leaders was valuable because they simply listened to each other. “We need to rescue the earth, we need to rescue those in extreme poverty, we need to rescue the children who are dying,” say Bill Francis, territorial commander of the Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda and co-chair of the Canadian Delegation. In their statement handed directly to federal cabinet minister Stephen Fletcher the faith leaders asked politicians to close the growing gap between rich and poor, take bold and decisive action on climate change and military spending. Both these summit meetings emphasised poverty and we as Catholic members of the church must be aware and concerned about these issues as well.

 

In Mary Nordick’s January communiqué she asked How can we help as League members in Africa [or other countries] to cultivate a society of peace, justice and hope? She said join then in faith through prayer, donate to Canadian Catholic Organization of Development & Peace, encourage members and councils to participate and promote the Share Lent campaign. A brochure is available on order from National office entitled Women Changing the World [item #205]. It outlines the 1% program and describes the National Voluntary Fund.

 

Mary also mentioned on December 8 a report entitled In From the Margins; A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing & Homelessness was tabled in the Senate. The report is 290 pages and contains 78 recommendations. The issues addressed are certainly of interest to Community Life. The report may prove to be fertile ground for resolutions and is worth closer examination.

 

Chalice, a Catholic Sponsorship programme where you can sponsor a child or buy a goat, cow for a family is a great organization. They can be contacted toll free at 1 800 766-6855 or on line at www.chalice.ca as well Save a Family Plan you can sponsor a family in India and 100% of your donation reaches the poor. Their website is www.safp.org Brochures can be ordered from both these organizations. When these countries are so far away these suggestions may seem more doable for us here. As well in Saskatchewan in the last few months we have certainly seen disasters in flooding and tornadoes where aid has been needed. Many have responded in donations and help for these communities. Volunteering at drop in centers, food banks, hospitals or visiting the elderly or someone in your community that may not have family or friends can mean a lot. I was so blessed after my husband died to have the love and support of church family, neighbours and friends who called, sent cards, brought food, visited and were there with a hug, I was overwhelmed by this expression of support and so grateful for it.

 

In my oral report given at the Provincial convention I mentioned Fair Trade products, which are produced under fair labour and ecological conditions in countries around the world and the workers who produced it, are paid decent wages. By purchasing Fair Trade and locally produced goods, Canadians are showing their support for their communities and for farming families globally. Buying Fair Trade certified products helps to make the world a better place. When going on the website SCIS Fair Trade Project it will give a list of restaurants, stores and local farmers who sell their products under this name. In the May 19 issue of the Prairie Messenger under ‘Responsible consumers buy fair trade products” it mentions that dozens of stores and restaurants in Edmonton have already gone the fair trade route, at least with some products. The list includes Ten Thousand Villages, Superstore, Safeway, Save-On-Foods and Wal-Mart. Let us inquire who sells fair trade products and support them.

 

The Prairie Messenger is a wonderful resource for most of this information. I highly recommend you subscribe to this paper, especially as a Community Life chairperson. I wish you all a wonderful rest of the summer with a little less rain. The good thing is I haven’t used my sprinklers once and the garden and lawn is doing well. The Lord provides.

 

A quote from Mother Theresa “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

 

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Provincial Community Life

 

Provincial Community Life Chairperson

 

Community Life covers many areas and overlaps on other committees.

 

Organic Foods: An online provincial directory of local organic foods could be one. In the October 14 issue of the Prairie Messenger there was an article on an organic directory available listing over 1,100 organic producers in the province of Saskatchewan. It is a great opportunity for us to launch the directory and let Saskatchewan consumers know that they now have an online avenue to search out organic products such as lamb and pork or carrots and raspberries, noted Elaine Sukava, Food Miles Campaign co-ordinator. “This directory is the answer to many producers’ frustrations of not being able to source certified seed for spring planting,” observed Pat Godhe of SOD [Saskatchewan Organic Directorate] website. Organic producers say that their seed search is just a click away. Their website is www.saskorganic.com

 

Nuclear Energy: The debate is still on towards the use of nuclear energy in our province. Meetings and rallies have been held since spring. In a rally sponsored and promoted by the Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan held in Saskatoon in October there was concern that the energy created by a proposed nuclear plant in Saskatchewan would be used to power the oil sands and corporations up north and in Alberta and not to power our homes. There is also a concern of a nuclear waste dump in the province. Nuclear energy must be carefully studied and as residents we too must keep informed.

 

Climate Change: There is concern Canada is not showing leadership on climate change voiced by the general secretary of CIDSE [Consolidated Integrated Development Support Environment]. Climate change is exacerbating the food crisis and creating hunger in low lying countries like Bangladesh where sea water is coming into fields. The CIDSE is organizing an international petition that can be accessed through their website at CIDSE.org under “Create a climate for justice.” The petitions and postcards will be forwarded to world leaders. CIDSE has sessions with Canadian Organization for Development & Peace and Caritas International.

 

Poverty: In an article written by Jim Harding in the November 25 issue of the Prairie Messenger he stated Parliament pledged to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000 when the percentage of children living in poverty was under 12 percent. It’s now over 15 percent. The promise among all political parties was that poverty would decline with economic growth, yet the opposite has happened.
Harding reported that 13 percent of women and 9 percent of men in Saskatchewan live in poverty. We have the 3rd highest rate of child poverty in Canada and Indigenous families are very over represented. He reports that the Regina Food Bank now serves 1,000 persons a day and asks “Are food banks really the way to create Dignity For All”? Harding suggests reducing poverty by better paying jobs, increased minimum wage, comprehensive child care and better training programs.

 

Human Trafficking: As we get closer to the Winter Olympics we again have concerns. Bill C-268, had its 1st reading October 1st that would impose mandatory sentence of 5 years on those who traffic children under 18 years of age. This Bill however will not be passed by February. Letters to the Olympic Committee asking that prostitution be discouraged may have some influence. When going on the website “Human trafficking at the 2010 Winter Olympics”? states the Canadian Religious Conference which represents superiors of Canadian Catholic congregation believes so and is weighing in with an educational kit it wants to distribute to Canadian schools to teach students about the root causes of trafficking. The victims of human trafficking are usually from Eastern Europe, China, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Going on the website gives much information.

 

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