National news

 — Dec. 31, 200331 déc. 2003

The Canadian Islamic Congress honoured Sen. Douglas Roche with it’s 2003 Peace Award for his efforts on behalf of social justice in Canada and peace world-wide. The award from Canada’s largest Muslim organization was handed out at a gala dinner in Ottawa Oct. 20. Roche frequently speaks about the obligation of politicians to bring their faith to bear on their work. His latest book, The Human Right to Peace, was published this fall.

The Dali Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader living in exile in India, will pay a visit to Toronto at the end of April and the beginning of May, 2004. He will speak on religious matters and share his spiritual insights. He last visited Canada in 1993.

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a centralized grain banking and distribution system that targets world hunger, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The organization, which partners with thirteen Canadian churches, was set up as a practical way for Canadian farmers to share their abundant harvests. CFB collects grain and other resources from farmers, the church community, and the Canadian public, enabling its member agencies to support projects that address both short-and-long term problems of hunger in countries around the world. Donations to CFB are matched four to one by the Canadian government.

“Our role is to provide spiritual leadership to the men and women of the Canadian Forces (CF) and their families,” said Brigadier General Ronald Bourque, a Catholic priest who was installed September 28 as the new Chaplain General of the CF for the next two years. The office of the Chaplain General alternates between a Roman Catholic and a Protestant chaplain every two years. Bourque replaced Commodore Timothy Maindonald, an Anglican chaplain. Bourque said that during this past year the members of the Interfaith Committee on the Canadian Military Chaplaincy made an “historic” decision to endorse a Muslim chaplain, who is now a member of the basic chaplain’s course. “Do the numbers of Muslims serving in the CF justify their decision? Probably not,” he said, “but it was the right decision.”

Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives is holding meetings in five regions of the country to build support for its campaign entitled “Cultivating Just Peace.” The peace we long for is not to be won by tightening our borders, nor by increasing our military might, but rather by building a world of justice where all can enjoy freedom from want and freedom from fear. Kairos has five regions and a francophone partnership based in Quebec.

The 40 years of service of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism were celebrated in an ecumenical thanksgiving worship service on October 29, 2003 at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal. The theme “One Body, One Spirit, One Hope” lent itself at one and the same time to thanksgiving and praise for the road travelled in ecumenism and for contemplation of the path ahead as well as prayers for a future characterized by dialogue and reconciliation. Reflections on the past, the present and the future of the Centre’s work were part of the meditation. Representatives of the different churches in Montreal lit a candle as a sign of the living faith in their churches. After listening again to the call of Christ for unity among all his disciples, a bigger candle was lit symbolizing the communion we are all hoping for. A large radio audience followed the live broadcast of the 40th anniversary ceremony on Radio Ville-Marie.

Posted: Dec. 31, 2003 • Permanent link:
Categories: CCEIn this article: Centre Canadien d’œcuménisme
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