Archive for 2008

Archive pour 2008

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A source of joy: Sacramental sharing in Saskatoon

It is a source of joy that Catholic pastors may, in particular circumstances, administer the sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Anointing of the Sick to Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church. On such occasions, we acknowledge the importance of the sacrament as a source of grace for all the baptized.

On December 16, 2007, Bishop Albert LeGatt of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon announced the release of Pastoral Directives for Sacramental Sharing between Catholics and Baptized Christians of Other Denominations. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has reviewed the Directives and found them worthy.

The Pastoral Directives were created to bring awareness to both clergy and laypeople of the occasions when sacramental sharing is possible. Bishop LeGatt desires a sound pastoral and consistent response across the diocese to requests for sacramental sharing.

Saskatoon Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism

For further reading and understanding of the Pastoral Directives, please review the following resources:

• Bishop Albert LeGatt’s letter (December 16, 2007)
• Pastoral Directives (revised February 13, 2007) [PDF 99 Kb]
• Directives Pastorales (13 février 2007) [PDF 94 Kb]
• Pastoral Notes (January 31, 2005) [PDF 67 Kb]
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Posted: February 2, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: DocumentsIn this article: Catholic, eucharist, Saskatoon
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Catégorie : DocumentsDans cet article : Catholic, eucharist, Saskatoon

Anglican Covenant Group issues 2nd draft

Communion distributes second draft of proposed ‘covenant’
Design group tries to uphold autonomy of provinces

[Marites N. Sison • Anglican Journal] Addressing concerns raised by several provinces, including Canada, about granting more authority to primates and other Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion, an international group has released a second draft of the proposed Anglican Covenant that maintains the body’s current structures.

The St. Andrew’s draft, so-called because the Covenant Design Group met Jan. 28 to Feb. 2 at St. Andrew’s House in London, also offers “a much more carefully-drawn emphasis on provincial autonomy,” said Eileen Scully, co-ordinator for ministry and worship of the Anglican Church of Canada‘s faith, worship and ministry department. Ms. Scully represented the Canadian church in the meeting of the group, which the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams appointed in 2007 in response to a request of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates’ Meeting and of the Anglican Consultative Council.

But while underscoring the independence of provinces, a key section of the draft asks provinces to commit to a process by which they can settle disputes over matters that “threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission.”

It states that provinces must be “willing to receive from the Instruments of Communion a request to adopt a particular course of action in respect of the matter under dispute.”

(The Anglican Communion is served by four “instruments of communion”: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference of bishops, Primates Meetings and the Anglican Consultative Council.)

The draft notes that, “While the Instruments of Communion have no legislative, executive or judicial authority in our provinces … we recognize them as those bodies by which our common life in Christ is articulated and sustained, and which therefore carry a moral authority which commands our respect.” But it adds, “Any such request would not be binding on a church unless recognized as such by that church.”

The covenant stops short of saying what the consequences might be for a church that refuses to adopt any request, stating only that it constitutes “a relinquishment by that church of the force and meaning of the Covenant’s purpose.”

Ms. Scully acknowledged that this is “really difficult stuff because here is where we’re trying to uphold provincial autonomy and saying that we’re autonomous in Communion … What we set out to do is to offer processes with proper checks and balances that respect the realities of provinces and the Anglican Consultative Council and the limited powers of the primates as a collective, not corporate, body.”

During its meeting, the group reviewed submissions from 13 out of 38 provinces and six extra-provincial churches, plus “a large number of responses” from groups and individuals across the Communion.

The draft will be offered for reflection to the Lambeth Conference, the decennial meeting of bishops scheduled July 16 to Aug. 3 in Canterbury, England, and to the broader Communion, after which the design group will meet anew to prepare another draft. That version will then be sent to the Anglican Consultative Council and the primates’ meeting in March 2009 as well as the provinces. It could take more meetings and more drafts, a process that could take years, before a final document can be presented to provinces for approval, said Ms. Scully.

The establishment of a covenant was one of the key recommendations of the 2004 Windsor Report, a document published by the Lambeth Commission on Communion which was created by the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to contain a schism in the Anglican Communion over the issue of sexuality.

The latest draft of the covenant “really reflects a movement away from creating new structures,” said Ms. Scully.

In a commentary, the group noted that since “some comments indicated that the covenant was somehow ‘canonizing’ (the) four instruments of communion that have evolved in a somewhat haphazard way” it amended the text of the first draft “to allow both for the evolution of the Instruments, and to acknowledge the existence of other informal instruments and links.”

The group noted that while the covenant “does not preclude or even seek to limit the possible development of these and other Instruments, we nonetheless believe that the Instruments as now working represent a special means of faithfully maintaining our common life, and ones that need to remain at the center of our common commitments.”

The draft emphasizes that there is no intention to create a “centralized jurisdiction” and that the Instruments of Communion “cannot dictate with juridical force on the internal affairs of any province.”

Ms. Scully also said that several provinces of the Communion, including Canada, “were very key in saying, ‘we are committed to the covenant process if such a covenant enhances our mission; we need to know that this isn’t just going to be something about institutional cohesion.'”

In a commentary on the draft, the group noted the “lack of formal discursive responses from other provinces,” and expressed the hope that it “does not necessarily signal disapproval.” The group, headed by Archbishop Drexel Gomez, primate (national archbishop) of the West Indies, cited the lack of translations of text as a possible factor in the low turnout of responses from provinces.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Covenant Response Group is scheduled to meet in Winnipeg Feb. 7 to 8, to discuss how the Canadian church will respond to this latest draft.

The St. Andrew’s draft is available at
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Posted: February 6, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Anglican JournalIn this article: Anglican
Transmis : 6 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Anglican JournalDans cet article : Anglican

Remembering the Children

Remembering the Children: Aboriginal and Church Leaders prepare for Truth and Reconciliation

Cross-Canada Promotion Tour
Saskatchewan stop is March 9, 2008

Senior aboriginal and church leaders are crossing Canada this March to promote the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which is being set up as part of the healing process set out in the Indian Residential Schools Agreement.

The tour seeks to bring awareness of the TRC to the general public and especially the people of the churches. At the invitation of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, Saskatoon will be one of the 4 stops on the tour. The PCE organizing committee is made up of representatives of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, and Presbyterian churches and the Mennonite Central Committee. Other stops are Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver. We asked for the tour to have a Saskatchewan stop because the residential schools issue is so important in our province.

The Saskatoon event is Sunday, March 9 at the Western Development Museum, starting at 3.00 pm, concluding with a feast & round dance.

Assembly of First Nations leaders and Regional Chiefs are part of the tour, along with senior staff from the Office of the Interim Director of the TRC. The other members include the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican National Indigenous Bishop, the Moderator of the United Church of Canada and the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Local church and political leaders will offer a word of welcome to the national tour team at the event. The AFN will be in touch with chiefs in the region about this, and the FSIN have been invited to be present

We are excited that this important event is coming to Saskatchewan. This is a public event. We hope you can be there and will tell others about it. There is no charge for the event. A donations basket is available. Pre-registration is strongly advised to help us plan seating, and is ESSENTIAL if you will be staying for the feast. Register by phone (306-653-1633) or email or write to the PCE at 600-45th Street West, Saskatoon, S7L 5W9.

Yours sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Jan Bigland-Pritchard
Executive Director,
Prairie Centre for Ecumenism (for the Restorative Justice Committee)

For background on the TRC go to
The tour website is
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Posted: February 7, 2008 • Permanent link: In this article: Canada, events, restorative justice, Saskatoon, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Transmis : 7 février 2008 • Lien permanente : Dans cet article : Canada, events, restorative justice, Saskatoon, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Catholic Church in Poland reports sharp drop in vocations

Catholic Church in Poland reports sharp drop in vocations
by Jonathan Luxmoore

[Warsaw • ENI] The bishop in charge of recruitment for Poland’s Roman Catholic clergy says he does not believe recent scandals are to blame for a sharp fall in vocations, after the church noted a 24 percent reduction in admissions to the country’s 84 Catholic seminaries.

“Decisions about vocations aren’t taken under the influence of short-term events,” said Bishop Wojciech Polak, who heads the church’s National Council for Vocations Ministry. “Today’s culture discourages firm life-long commitments. But we’re not yet seeing any radical, drastic drain in priestly callings, or feeling any tangible shortage of clergy.”

The church statement announcing the fall in seminary admissions also reported that the total number of seminaries in Poland had fallen by one tenth.

In an interview with Ecumenical News International on 31 January, Bishop Polak said the church would be unable to draw “competent conclusions” until longer-term trends became clear. He said, however, there was no evidence to support some media claims that the fall in seminarians reflected negative publicity about the alleged infiltration of the church by the former communist secret police, or about the alleged nationalism of the Catholic broadcaster, Radio Maryja.

“Poland is affected by Europe-wide demographic changes, and the number of potential priesthood candidates is falling anyway,” said Polak, who also chairs the European vocations service of the Council of European (Catholic) Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE).

“We should get used to having less impressive numbers than in the past,” the bishop added. “But our bishops’ conference is working hard to improve its pastoral outreach to young people and find new ways of fostering interest in the priesthood and consecrated life.”

Catholic vocations doubled in Poland after the 1978 election of Polish-born Pope John Paul II, peaking in the mid-1980s. Polish vocations are said to currently account for about a fifth of the European total, and 7 percent at the world level.

In its statement, the church said total seminary numbers dropped from 4612 in 2006 to 4257 in 2007, while 786 students started studies in October, compared to 1029 the previous year. The church also said that admissions had dropped to both male and female religious orders.
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Posted: February 11, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: ENIIn this article: Catholic
Transmis : 11 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : ENIDans cet article : Catholic

PWRDF staff says yes to union

[Anglican Journal] By a vote of 13 in favour and four against, staff at the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada, voted on Feb. 8 to unionize and become part of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

One staff member, who asked not to be named, said the union was formed “as a mechanism to facilitate staff-management relations.” All 17 staff who were eligible to vote did so.

This is the first attempt to form a union by employees at PWRDF, which in 2001 became separately incorporated from General Synod (the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada). An earlier attempt by all General Synod employees to unionize failed in 1997.

Staff said the formation of a union by a group associated with a church should not be seen as unusual since similar organizations like Kairos, an ecumenical peace and justice group of which the Anglican Church of Canada is a member, are themselves unionized.

They added that the PWRDF’s work involves working with unions and unionized workers. “In a way, we’re putting our money where our mouth is. We’ve always believed in the rights of workers to organize themselves,” said the staffer in an interview.

PWRDF management did not raise any objections when a notice came from the Ontario Labour Relations Board that employees had made an application to form a union.

Under labour law, an employer is allowed to raise any questions or objections about plans to form a union five days before employees cast their votes.

The quiet campaign to unionize began in mid-fall. “Having looked at various options, it was thought that unionizing was the best,” the staffer added.

CUPE, which has more than 500,000 members across Canada, represents workers in various sectors including healthcare, education, libraries, social services, transportation, and municipalities.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and president of PWRDF’s board of directors, said that he would consult with board members and the fund’s executive director, Cheryl Curtis, before making any comment.

Ms. Curtis was not available for comment.
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Posted: February 11, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Anglican JournalIn this article: Anglican
Transmis : 11 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Anglican JournalDans cet article : Anglican

Winter Refresher: This Sacred Earth

St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon presents: Winter Refresher from February 10th to 13th, 2008. The theme this year is This Sacred Earth: the ecological challenge to religion with the theme speaker Dr. Heather Eaton.

For registration and information regarding Winter Refresher 2008. For additional information contact St. Andrew’s College: toll free: 877-644-8970; or

Join us for Great Music, Engaging Theology, Stimulating Conversation, and Celebration.
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Posted: February 13, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: environment, events, Saskatoon, St. Andrew's College, study
Transmis : 13 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : environment, events, Saskatoon, St. Andrew's College, study

Call for true peace process in Afghanistan

[CCCB press release] In a message published today, Archbishop V. James Weisgerber, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for a serious debate on the Canadian presence and mission in Afghanistan. This debate, he said, should focus on the key issues facing the Afghan people.

As spokesperson for the Bishops of Canada, Archbishop Weisgerber said Canadian members of Parliament should remember that, most of all, the people of Afghanistan want peace. “Political and electoral considerations must take second place when it is a question of human lives and a people’s future,” he said. “We would invite the members of Parliament to put aside any predetermined stances, recognizing that the truth will involve concerted efforts. Diverse points of view need to be welcomed as contributions toward developing a detailed and constructive action plan, with peace as the ultimate goal.”

Referring to the Manley Report, Archbishop Weisgerber added that the Canadian government needs to show greater transparency on the Afghanistan conflict. “More complete and reliable information from the government will help Canadian citizens better understand the objective, the questions and the conditions involved in the Afghanistan conflict, and also how to evaluate the engagement there of Canadian armed forces and humanitarian agencies,” the CCCB President stated. “This information is essential if all Canadians are to be involved in making decisions that can lead to real and lasting peace in that country.”

Although admitting the situation is complex, Archbishop Weisgerber cites Pope Benedict XVI in observing “that war is the worst solution for all sides. It brings no good to anyone, not even to the apparent victors.”

The CCCB President indicated the Bishops want the social teaching of the Catholic Church to be heard, and went on to note three points based on this teaching: peace negotiations, carried out in good faith and involving all the parties concerned; a clear distinction between military operations and humanitarian aid; and safeguarding the human dignity of Canadian soldiers.

Archbishop Weisgerber concludes his message by inviting every person of faith to join him in prayer “that the Afghan people find peace and security; that the families of soldiers who gave their lives find consolation; and that our political leaders engage in a serious debate that will help Canadians decide on Canada’s role in Afghanistan.”

• Message of Archbishop V. James Weisgerber: “Call for true peace process in Afghanistan”
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Posted: February 13, 2008 • Permanent link: Transmis : 13 février 2008 • Lien permanente :

Appel pour un réel processus de paix en Afghanistan

[CECC Communiqués] Dans un message rendu public aujourd’hui, Mgr V. James Weisgerber, président de la Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada, se fait le porte-parole de ses confères évêques en réclamant qu’un réel débat porte sur la présence et la mission canadiennes. Il souhaite que ce débat se concentre sur les enjeux fondamentaux qui affligent le peuple afghan.

Selon lui, les membres du parlement du Canada, au moment de leurs délibérations, devraient toujours garder en tête le souhait le plus cher des Afghans et de toute population : la paix. « Les considérations d’ordre politique ou électoral sont secondaires lorsqu’il s’agit de l’avenir d’un peuple et de vies humaines. Nous invitons les parlementaires à mettre de côté leurs positions préétablies et à reconnaître que la vérité est à rechercher ensemble. La diversité des points de vue doit être accueillie comme une richesse possible pour l’élaboration d’un plan d’action concret et positif, mais dont le but ultime est l’établissement de la paix », a-t-il déclaré.

Se référant au Rapport Manley, le Président de la CECC affirme que les autorités gouvernementales doivent faire preuve d’une plus grande transparence auprès de la population. « Une information plus complète et de meilleure qualité de la part de notre gouvernement permettrait aux citoyens et citoyennes de notre pays de mieux comprendre le but, les enjeux, les modalités du conflit en Afghanistan et de mieux évaluer l’engagement de nos forces armées et des organismes humanitaires canadiens. Cette information est essentielle si l’on veut ensemble prendre des décisions qui permettront de faire progresser une paix réelle et durable dans ce pays. »

S’il avoue que la situation est très complexe, Mgr Weisgerber reprend les propos du pape Benoît XVI afin d’étayer son argumentation : « La guerre est la pire des solutions pour tous. Elle n’apporte rien de bon, pour personne, pas même pour ses apparents vainqueurs. »

Pour le Président de la CECC, la voix que les évêques font entendre aujourd’hui s’appuie sur un riche enseignement de l’Église catholique en matière de doctrine sociale. Il en souligne particulièrement trois éléments : des négociations de paix, réalisées de bonne foi et qui impliquent toutes les parties en présence; une nette distinction entre les opérations militaires et l’aide humanitaire; et, une protection de la dignité humaine des soldats canadiens.

Enfin, c’est aussi par la prière que Mgr Weisgerber enjoint les croyants à se joindre à lui afin « que le peuple afghan retrouve la paix et la sécurité; que les familles des soldats qui ont donné leur vie trouvent la consolation; que nos soldats et leurs familles se retrouvent bientôt rassemblés; que nos dirigeants politiques tiennent un débat sérieux qui permettra aux Canadiens et aux Canadiennes de décider du rôle du Canada en Afghanistan. »

• Message de Mgr V. James Weisegerber « Appel pour un réel processus de paix en Afghanistan »,frc/
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Posted: February 13, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Communiqué
Transmis : 13 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Communiqué

Bossey totem pole returned to the earth

Bossey totem pole returned to the earth
[WCC News] After 25 years standing vigil at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, a totem pole was returned to the soils of the earth Sunday at a ceremony attended by many of those taking part in this week’s Central Committee meetings.

The totem was presented as a gift of the churches of Canada at the WCC’s Sixth Assembly, held in Vancouver, as a way to raise the profile of indigenous people. Time and weather took its toll on the nearly 50 foot-tall totem since its placement at Bossey, and it had become unstable.

Following advice from the First Nations of Canada, the WCC decided to hold a respectful ceremony to remember the gift and the work of those who carved it. Rev. Carmen Lansdowne, a Central Committee member from the United Church of Canada and member of the indigenous people of western Canada, was asked to lead the ceremony. A small, permanent display will continue to tell the totem’s story.
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Posted: February 18, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Indigenous peoples, WCC
Transmis : 18 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Indigenous peoples, WCC

Le totem de Bossey retourne à la terre

Le totem de Bossey retourne à la terre
[Nouvelles de COE] La 6ème Assemblée du COE s’était tenue en 1983 au Canada, à Vancouver. A cette occasion les Églises du Canada avaient offert un totem de 15 mètres de haut, non seulement comme souvenir de cette Assemblée en Amérique du Nord, mais aussi pour promouvoir la voix des peuples indigènes du Canada.

Ramené en Europe, ce totem de cèdre sculpté par les peuples indigènes du Canada avait trouvé sa place dans le parc verdoyant de l’institut œcuménique de Bossey. Avec les intempéries suisses, ce totem avait vieilli et menaçait ces derniers mois de tomber.

Le COE a donc décidé, en concertation avec les donateurs du totem, de le faire reposer désormais à l’horizontal. Cette pratique est en accord avec les traditions indiennes, pour qui un totem n’est évidemment pas considéré comme éternel et doit donc pouvoir retourner à la terre, pour compléter le cycle de la vie.

Dimanche 17 février, un temps de commémoration a été organisé à l’institut de Bossey, durant le comité central du COE, pour marquer ce moment de la “descente du totem” de Vancouver.
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Posted: February 18, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Indigenous peoples, WCC
Transmis : 18 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Indigenous peoples, WCC

Exodus. Numbers. Judges

Exodus. Numbers. Judges
Perhaps this is a sign of how long the struggles over human sexuality have monopolised our attention. The following note was posted on our blog in 2004. It is still a helpful contribution.

“Exodus. Numbers. Judges. As conservative parishes leave the liberal Episcopal Church, who shall inherit the real estate?”

This is an excellent article from LegalAffairs by Elizabeth Austin. It provides some insight into the role of bishops, hierarchy, and conciliar government in the Episcopal Church. It is a little different in every Anglican province, but Canada will have some similarities. The legal precedents will also be different. In Canada, many of the major legal precedents regarding church property were established following the 1925 church union that resulted in the United Church of Canada.
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Posted: February 22, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: OpinionIn this article: Anglican, human sexuality, schism
Transmis : 22 février 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, human sexuality, schism

Foundations: Exploring our Faith together

Foundations, “Exploring Our Faith Together” is a faith enrichment program for adults offered by the parishes in Saskatoon’s Roman Catholic diocese during the fall and spring of each year. The cost of each course is $5 per person, per two hour session. High school students: no charge. Anyone is welcome to attend sessions — it is not necessary to be member of the parish organizing the event. Pre-registration is required. A minimum of 15 people is required for the course to run. A partial selection of topics is included below. The complete Foundations schedule for Spring 2008 and contact information is available on the RC diocesan website.

“Zombie Jesus or Resurrected Christ” with Blake Sittler
Holy Spirit Parish, Saskatoon, Monday, March 3, 7:30 pm
Every Sunday we proclaim that we believe in the resurrection of the dead but do we really understand what the resurrection is? Blake will investigate the scriptural, theological, historical and practical aspects of our hoped for glorification.

“Theology of Johnny Cash” with Blake Sittler
St. Patrick Parish Centre, Saskatoon, Wednesday, March 5, 7 pm
Visiting different aspects of Catholic theology using the lyrics of Johnny Cash.

“Spirituality & Social Justice” with Gertrude Rompré
Holy Spirit Parish, Saskatoon, Tuesday, March 11, 7:30 pm
How do we develop a balanced spirituality that includes a commitment to justice? How do we create a balanced activism that remains gospel-centered? This session explores these questions and how we can develop a “faith that does justice”.

“A Funny Thing Happened on my Way Through the Bible” with Blake Sittler
Assumption of Our Lady Parish, Kerrobert, Wednesday, March 12, 7:30 pm
A search for the use of humour in the Old and New Testament and a discussion about the importance of making the Word relevant to people today.

“Interchurch Families” with Shirley & Bernie Karstad
St. Anne Parish, Saskatoon, Wednesday, April 16, 7:30
Interchurch marriages are a particular life situation for many Christians that require special pastoral sensitivity. We will explore the realities of these families which share a baptismal and marital oneness.
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Posted: March 3, 2008 • Permanent link: In this article: education, events, Saskatoon Transmis : 3 mars 2008 • Lien permanente : Dans cet article : education, events, Saskatoon

Women, Theatre and Religion in the Western Tradition

The Friends of Sophia winter programme continues with a presentation by Dr. Moira Day, Associate Professor, U of S Drama Department. Moira will present a talk entitled “Women, Theatre and Religion in the Western Tradition: From Antiquity to 1700”.

Wed. March 5, 2008 @ 7:30 pm in the Chelsea Commons, rm 231, St Thomas More College.

The Friends of Sophia is an interdenominational group of women, based at the University of Saskatchewan, dedicated to nurturing Christian feminist spirituality through educational opportunities, shared experience and liturgical celebration. For more information see the Friends of Sophia website.
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Posted: March 5, 2008 • Permanent link: In this article: events, Friends of Sophia, Saskatoon, women Transmis : 5 mars 2008 • Lien permanente : Dans cet article : events, Friends of Sophia, Saskatoon, women

Aboriginal, church leaders’ tour aims to aid residential school healing process

from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix Aboriginal and church leaders are joining together on a cross-country tour aimed at helping the healing process related to residential schools. The event, Remembering the Children, will make a stop in Saskatoon Sunday. The city is one of four being visited, along with Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The purpose of
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Posted: March 7, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Indigenous peoples, Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Transmis : 7 mars 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Indigenous peoples, Residential Schools, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Canadian Catholic Bishops pastoral letter on environment

Canadian Catholic Bishops pastoral letter on environment

(CCCB – Ottawa) – As part of the United Nations’ International Year of Planet Earth, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has published a pastoral letter which calls for a collective consciousness to face critical environmental problems affecting the earth.

Produced by the Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs, the pastoral letter is titled “Our Relationship with the Environment: The Need for Conversion.”

The Commission asserts that despite important commitments at summits held in Rio, Kyoto, Johannesburg and Bali, Canada represents “an extreme case” of non-compliance.

“After signing the Kyoto Protocol [in 1997], in which we agreed to decrease our greenhouse gases to six per cent less than those of 1990, we have instead increased them by approximately 25 per cent,” the letter explains.

The Bishops state that Canadians are not sufficiently conscious of the impoverished inheritance they are leaving for the generations to come. As a result, the Commission for Social Affairs calls for immediate adjustments to improve the current situation, particularly for the well-being of future generations and the Global South.

In order to restore humanity’s bonds with nature and lessen the effects of ecological breakdown, the pastoral letter proposes several ways Canadians can change, including:

• Regaining a sense of limit and adjusting our way of life to the planet’s available resources
• Freeing ourselves of an “obsession to possess and consume” and instead choosing “joyful austerity” or voluntary simplicity
• Making personal efforts in favour of the environment

The Bishops insist that responsibility for restoring a healthy relationship with nature falls on each individual, who must re-examine his or her perceptions about possessions and personal comfort. This will demand greater solidarity and new forms of sharing among all Canadians, they said.

In October 2003, the CCCB Social Affairs Commission published an earlier letter on the environment entitled “The Christian Ecological Imperative.” This text, as well as the recent pastoral letter which has just been published, is available on the CCCB website Printed copies may be ordered from
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Posted: March 12, 2008 • Permanent link: In this article: Canada, Catholic, CCCB, environment Transmis : 12 mars 2008 • Lien permanente : Dans cet article : Canada, Catholic, CCCB, environment

CECC : une lettre pastorale sur l’environnement

CECC : une lettre pastorale sur l’environnement

(CECC – Ottawa) – Dans le cadre de l’Année de la planète terre, telle que proclamée par les Nations Unies, la Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada (CECC) vient de publier une lettre pastorale dans laquelle elle en appelle à la conscience collective face aux graves problèmes environnementaux qui frappent la planète.

Produite par la Commission épiscopale des affaires sociales, la lettre pastorale a comme titre : « Notre rapport à l’environnement : le besoin d’une conversion ».

Les auteurs de la lettre ne manquent de souligner qu’en dépit des importants engagements pris lors des rencontres de Rio, Kyoto, Johannesburg et Bali, le Canada représente un « cas extrême » de non-respect de ses engagements.

« Après avoir signé le protocole de Kyoto [en 1997], dans lequel nous nous engagions à diminuer nos émissions de gaz à effet de serre à 6 pour cent de moins que celles de 1990, nous les avons plutôt augmentées d’environ 25 pour cent », peut-on lire dans la lettre.

Les évêques notent que la société canadienne n’est pas suffisamment consciente de l’héritage appauvri qu’elle léguera aux générations à venir. Ils souhaitent donc que des ajustements soient apportés dès maintenant afin d’améliorer la situation actuelle, pour le mieux-être des prochaines générations et des populations de l’hémisphère sud.

En vue de rétablir les liens avec la nature, la lettre pastorale identifie un certain nombre d’actions qui pourraient être entreprises afin d’atténuer les effets de cette crise écologique, y compris :

• retrouver le sens de la limite et ajuster notre mode de vie aux ressources planétaires disponibles;
• se libérer de l’obsession de posséder et de consommer et opter plutôt pour « une austérité joyeuse » ou une simplicité volontaire; et
• consentir des efforts personnels en faveur de l’environnement.

Au dire des évêques, il incombe à chaque personne de rétablir les liens qui ont été détériorés avec la nature, de revoir sa conception de la possession et du confort personnels. C’est donc à une solidarité accrue et à de nouvelles formes de partage que sont invités tous les citoyens du Canada.

Déjà, en octobre 2003, la CECC avait publié une première lettre sur l’environnement intitulée : « L’impératif écologique chrétien ». Ce texte, de même que celui qui vient d’être publié, est disponible sur le site Web de la CECC. Des copies imprimées peuvent également être obtenues en s’adressant à
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Posted: March 12, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Documents, NewsIn this article: Canada, Catholic, CCCB, environment
Transmis : 12 mars 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Documents, NewsDans cet article : Canada, Catholic, CCCB, environment

We are Remembering the Children

by the Rev. Dr. Jan Bigland-Pritchard,
Director of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism

It all began in the middle of the night, sometime in December. The previous day I had email to say that very senior aboriginal and church leaders were going to cross the country together to promote the work of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This was exciting. The TRC struck me as a courageous way to help heal this wound in our national soul.

My heart sank, however, when I read the proposed itinerary. No mention of Saskatchewan. “How typical”, I thought, the chip on my prairie-girl shoulder well in place. I thought: it doesn’t matter to those people ‘down east’ that Saskatchewan has a very large native population, that many residential schools were located here. With a fatalistic sigh, I went to bed.

And woke up in the middle of the night. There was no question: I had to write to the organizers and urge them to come to Saskatchewan. A few minutes on the internet brought up the email address. I wrote at once, urging our case and offering the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism as the local partner.

How could I make such a commitment in the middle of the night, with no hesitation and no consultation? It was simple: the amazing PCE network. 24 years of building inter-church partnerships paid off. The PCE’s Restorative Justice Committee usually just do one workshop in November, but 2007 was different. Our focus was the continuing racial divide in our region. The question we asked was how can we, as native and non-native people, walk together to heal our communities? It was clear that this would not be a one-off event, but a process. We began to seek aboriginal partners and found them. There was a growing sense that God was taking us somewhere, well out of our comfort zones. The stage was set.

On January 11 we got word that the national tour, impressed by the strength of our invitation, was coming to Saskatoon on March 9. Hastily the Restorative Justice committee assembled, and others were invited on board — including Ethel Ahenakew of the Saskatoon Native Ministry, Alan Jacques, who ministers on the Dakota Whitecap First Nation, Mary Ann Assailly, of the Anglican diocesan outreach network.

We were excited. Someone asked how many people will come. I said I wasn’t sure, but we should prepare for up to 400. There was incredulous laughter. (We are used to disappointment.) But we persuaded ourselves to think big, and got to work — especially Carol Zubiak our chair, and Carol Penner, our office manager. We were delighted when FaithLife Financial stepped up to the plate and gave us $1,000 to help.

Four churches ran residential schools on behalf of the federal government — Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and United. Their local church leaders were enthusiastic about the March 9 visit, and promoted the event among their people. Chief Lawrence Joseph, head of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, flew to Ottawa to check out the national launch of the tour. That convinced him that the churches were sincere. He agreed to speak in Saskatoon, and promoted the event with Saskatchewan native leaders.

Invitations went out far and wide — oh the wonders of email. The press releases went out. We held our breath.

Then the phone began to ring. The computer went crazy. Media said they were coming. By the week of the tour, we were arranging overflow seating and urging the Western Development Museum to squeeze in more seats and stand by with extra food.

On the day we counted 471 going past the registration desk. People were streaming in, white and native, old and young. There was a line-up of those wanting to smudge. The perfume of sweetgrass filled the air. People sat at round and long, tables, filling the hall. Expectant and a little nervous.

On stage the national tour’s display featured a young native boy’s face, with a very institutional haircut. His face appeared on the podium as well. When Ted Quewezance, residential school survivor and head of the survivor’s society, stood at the podium and told his story. I felt I was time travelling, for Ted — a man in his fifties or sixties — bore an uncanny resemblance to that little boy.

Each church leader spoke well, with words of clear apology for a very serious wrong. Chief Joseph had called it a ‘holocaust’. The uncomfortable truth, new to me, was that many children never came home from those residential schools. Many died or disappeared. We must remember. There is so much that most non-native people don’t know.

The program ran long, but the audience stayed with it. There were tissues placed on each table. They were needed. Many were touched — the audience, the museum serving staff, the media people, the local sound technician. A young Métis prison worked shared her sense of delight about the event. A school survivor in her sixties told me about the great sense of lightness and peace that had come upon her as the afternoon unfolded.

We finished with a meal and a round dance. When I went to the microphone and asked “Who’s ready for some singing and dancing?” there were whoops and shouts and applause. As ‘Young Thunder’ drummed and sang, a circle of people formed, holding hands, dancing around the edge of the hall. Native and white together, moving to the drum, a ring reaching not just once around the hall, but in places two lines thick. A moment of declaration. A moment of hope.

People asked me, “Are you coming back next year?” The question was about whether the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, when it shapes its itinerary for the major city events, will remember to come to Saskatchewan. We need them to come.

At the PCE, we’ll be standing by for the phone call.

• For background on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission go to
• The tour website is
• A Most Holy Day – The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, reflects on the Saskatoon stop of the tour.
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Posted: March 13, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Canada, healing, Indigenous peoples, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Transmis : 13 mars 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Canada, healing, Indigenous peoples, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

New Anglican coordinator for ethics & inter-faith relations

New Anglican coordinator for ethics & inter-faith relations

[Anglican Journal] Rev. Isaac Kawuki-Mukasa, who serves as a consultant in congregational development for the diocese of Toronto, has been named co-ordinator for dialogue: ethics, congregational development and inter-faith relations, for the Anglican Church of Canada‘s faith, worship and ministry department.

One of Mr. Kawuki-Mukasa’s responsibilities will be to staff conversations about the issue of sexuality as mandated in 2007 by General Synod, the national governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada. He will also staff the human life task force, which looks at issues of ethics, and will represent the Canadian Anglican church at inter-faith dialogues and “foster the network of practitioners of congregational development,” according to the announcement.

Ordained a priest in the Church of Uganda in 1985, Mr. Kawuki-Mukasa has been exercising his ministry in Canada since 1992. He has served in the ecumenical shared ministry parishes of Lynn Lake and Snow Lake, Man., diocese of Brandon. He was also a member of the faculty of the Centre for Christian Studies and a consultant for ethnic ministries for the United Church of Canada.

Mr. Kawuki-Mukasa completed a PhD in theology and interdisciplinary studies from the Toronto School of Theology in 2005. He has a masters degree from the University of Zimbabwe, a master of divinity from the Nairobi School of Theology, and a bachelor of arts in political science from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Recently, he has been helping the diocese of Toronto develop relations with Anglican dioceses in Africa, said Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan in a notice announcing Mr. Kawuki-Mukasa’s appointment. “He has written extensively and participated in many events discussing issues in the Anglican Communion today. He will bring an important perspective into the work of the General Synod at this time,” she added.

Mr. Mukasa will assume his new portfolio on June 1. He succeeds Linda Nicholls, who was elected a suffragan bishop of Toronto last November.
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Posted: March 19, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: Anglican Journal, DialogueIn this article: Anglican, Canada, human sexuality, interfaith
Transmis : 19 mars 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Anglican Journal, DialogueDans cet article : Anglican, Canada, human sexuality, interfaith

Justice & Peace Outdoor Way of the Cross

10 a.m. Good Friday, March 21

This prayerful walk through the streets of Saskatoon features a reflection on the Way of the Cross focusing on justice and peace issues in the world today. For information, contact Tony Haynes at the Roman Catholic diocesan Justice and Peace office, 306-242-1500 or toll-free 1-877-661-5005.
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Posted: March 21, 2008 • Permanent link: In this article: events, justice, peace, prayer, Saskatoon Transmis : 21 mars 2008 • Lien permanente : Dans cet article : events, justice, peace, prayer, Saskatoon

March 29 is a Carbon Sabbath

March 29 is a Carbon Sabbath

KAIROS wants you to turn off your lights for an hour at 8 pm on Saturday, March 29!

Why? Because our use of fossil fuels -symbolized here by a light bulb- is contributing to global climate change. In 2007, the people of Sydney, Australia, decided that they could send a powerful message for change by turning off all their lights at the same time. More than 2 million citizens and businesses did so. Now, the World Wildlife Fund is taking Sydney’s history-making moment global by encouraging people, businesses, and communities all over the world to turn off their lights and demand action on climate change.

KAIROS asks you, your church, and your community to join in this global effort as part of your commitment to the Re-Energize: Time For A Carbon Sabbath campaign. Use this time to reflect on your use of fossil fuels and their connections not just to climate change but to human rights and conflict as well. Build community around these issues. Advocate with local and federal governments to change their policies and practices related to fossil fuels.
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Posted: March 21, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: ResourcesIn this article: Canada, climate change, ecology, environment, events
Transmis : 21 mars 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : ResourcesDans cet article : Canada, climate change, ecology, environment, events

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