Regional news

 — June 30, 200230 juin 2002


Representatives of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches recently renewed their agreement to continue running St. Michael’s Retreat House in Lumsden, SK for another three years. It is unique in North America to have three religious traditions working together as the governing board of a retreat house. When a retired doctor in Texas contacted the World Council of Churches for ways to get several traditions to work together on a retreat house, he was told to check with the people in Lumsden, Saskatchewan. The original agreement was signed three years ago as an experiment. It has worked wonderfully well, according to Friar Kevin Lynch, OFM, chair of the board of St. Michael’s Retreat House in Lumsden. Since the first agreement was signed, Lynch reported, attendance at St. Michael’s has increased and the retreat house has paid its own way through fee-for-service, with some support from the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. Representatives of three communions as well as the Franciscan friars who own the retreat house all lauded the agreement and declared the first three years an unqualified success, a guide for the future and practical example of how ecumenism can work.

An interfaith meditation conference was held at the Vancouver School of Theology June 14 to 16. The “Inner Peace for Global Peace” event included workshops and presentations by such notable authors and spiritual practitioners as Sylvia Boorstein, Dom Laurence Freeman, Amir Peter O’Loughlin, Lynn Greenhough, and Swami Hridayananda. The aim of the conference was to promote universal spirituality by bringing together outstanding teachers and practitioners in meditation and interfaith dialogue. The unbreakable link between the dignity of the individual and the integrity of the community was affirmed as well as the conviction that promoting a shared inner peace among believers of all creeds, we can begin to make a contribution toward global peace. For more information contact Dr. Helen Mayoh (604-263-9675) or Kaye McMahon []


The first bilateral symposium of Roman Catholic and Lutheran charismatic leaders, Ride the River, was held at All Saints Lutheran Church and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Parish in Ottawa, May 13-15. The symposium addressed ways of helping people experience more of the Holy Spirit in their everyday lives and in the life of their church communities. For more information: Rev. Greg Kjos, pastor of All Saints, 1061 Pinecrest Road, Ottawa, ON, K2B 6B7. Phone 1-613-829-0879 or email [].

The Markham Interchurch Committee on Affordable Housing (MICAH) is supporting the erection of the first Habitat for Humanity home in York Region which will be built in Newmarket. Habitat MICAH had originally been concerned with stimulating low-cost rental housing in the area, but studies have shown that low-cost homes which families can purchase are also needed. With future purchasers of a home required to work a minimum of 500 hours in its construction, with volunteer help, monetary donations and donations “in kind” of construction materials etc., Habitat is able to build a house in which the sweat equity is considered as the down payment, and where a 20-25 year mortgage with no interest is extended to the family who will own it. Habitat spokesperson, Jane Kennedy, said that 10 % of all funds raised for any Habitat project go to Third World housing, so that for every house built here one can be built in an underdeveloped country at the same time. Since its founding in Americus, Georgia, 25 years ago, Habitat has built housing for 100,000 families and works in more than 76 countries. Canada, with Habitat headquarters in Waterloo, ON, has 56 affiliates across the nation and more than 450 homes built to date. Contact [] for information or [].


“Will Medicare be there for you?” was the theme of a workshop on the future of health care in Canada held April 21 at the Grand Séminaire of Montréal. Dennis Howlett of the national Kairos coalition of Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives was the main speaker. A video, “Keeping the Vision Alive,” addressed the fundamental values of the Canadian health care system: concern for all, justice, equity, fairness. The workshop was sponsored by Kairos, the Interfaith Council of Montreal, and the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism.

The program of studies in Orthodox theology at the University of Sherbrooke began its fifth year in January. Programs of study in Catholicism and Protestantism have been in place for a good number of years in Quebec universities. To keep abreast of this development of Canadian society, the University’s Faculty of Theology, Ethics and Philosophy established a Certificate in Orthodox Theology in 1998. The next step would be for the faculty to offer a B.A. in Orthodox theology. The Certificate in Orthodox theology at undergraduate level gives Orthodox students a solid foundation from which they can pursue masters and doctoral degrees and enables non-Orthodox students to acquire a better knowledge of Orthodox theology and history. The over 20,000 Orthodox faithful in Quebec come from Greek, Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian, Arabic, Serbian, Bulgarian and also Quebec roots. There are some twenty-five Orthodox parishes in the Montreal area and some 550 in Canada as a whole.

Beginning with Anglican matins and winding up with Roman Catholic vespers, Toronto’s Anglican and Catholic bishops met, talked and prayed together at Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga April 4. At the end of the day, they planned to meet every year for at least the next three years. The day of talks between Anglican and Catholic bishops builds on already warm relations between Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, Catholic archbishop of Toronto, and Anglican Archbishop Terrence Finlay. It also follows on an historic meeting of Anglican and Catholic bishops from around the world in Mississauga two years ago. Last fall more than 300 Catholic priests in the archdiocese of Toronto spent their annual retreat studying the most recent theological documents of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.


A Kairos workshop taking place in Saint John on May 9. The workshop will focus on four issues that should be addressed by the G8 Summit in June in Kananaskis, Alberta. Should aboriginal land and treaty disputes global warming; the burden of debt in developing nations and the new economic order which is increasing the gap between the rich and the poor. KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives is a new interdenominational partnership which works with ten other organizations for justice, peace and human development. The Saint John-based group consists of members of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Pentecostal and Presbyterian churches as well as the Salvation Army community. The group meets once a month at 12 noon in the Diocesan Centre and welcomes new members. If you are having a workshop which informs people of the social injustice taking place somewhere in our global village, please contact: [] or the New Freeman Catholic newspaper in St. John, NB.

A workshop on “Making Peace — Local Approach” invited people from churches, schools and community groups to explore ways of fostering a culture of peace. It was held March 22-24 at the Tatamagouche Centre in Nova Scotia and was led by David Mangle, Thomas Mark Turay, and Rose Adams. For more information call 1-800-218-2220 or e-mail: []. A workshop on “Nourishing Cross-Cultural Relations with First Nations” June 14-16 presented aspects of Mik’maq culture, explored some of the underlying causes of polarization between whites and natives and looked at a variety of cross-cultural and solidarity initiatives as food for thought, reconciliation and future actions. The workshop was led by the Wabanaki Cultural Resource Centre of Esgenoopetitj/Burnt Church NB. For more information, visit the website at [].

Posted: June 30, 2002 • Permanent link:
Categories: CCEIn this article: Centre Canadien d’œcuménisme
Transmis : 30 juin 2002 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : CCEDans cet article : Centre Canadien d’œcuménisme

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