Social Justice Resources

Catholic Social Principals

  1. Dignity of the Human Person
  2. Call to Family, Community and Participation
  3. Rights and Responsibilities
  4. Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
  5. The Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
  6. Solidarity
  7. Care for God's Creation

Encyclicals and Documents


  • The Human Experience (2008), by Grassroots Films, Director is Charles Kinnane, Genre: Documentary (90 mins)This film is suitable for highschool grades and up. Deals with the Catholic Social Principles of Human Dignity and Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.
    Link to official website:
    It is available in the Pastoral Centre Library
  • For Greater Glory (2012), NewLand Films, by Director Dean Wright, Genre: Drama (145mins) This film is suitable for higher highschool grades and up. Deals with Religious Freedom and the Principle of Rights and Responsibilities.
    Link to official website:
    It is available in the Pastoral Centre Library


Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Resources

Permission for Outside Speakers

Policy for inviting Bishops, Priests, Deacons or Lay Speakers into the Diocese of Calgary

It has been happening with increasing frequency that groups within the Diocese invite Bishops, Priests and Deacons from outside the Diocese of Calgary for ministry here as resource persons, animators, directors, homilists, etc. Lay persons have also been asked to lead retreats, talks etc. There is a definite procedure to be followed in these cases. All groups within the Diocese are asked to abide by this policy.

  1. No Bishop, Priest, Deacon or Lay Speaker is to be invited into the Diocese without the express permission of the Bishop of the Diocese or the Chancellor having been granted.

    The first step in the procedure, therefore, is to write to the Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary addressed to the "Chancellor" requesting permission to bring in such a person. In addition to the letter or email to the Chancellor, a reference form must be filled out for the particular person you are inviting under one of the following categories: Catholic Clerical Faculties, Permission for Lay Catholics or Religious, or Permission for other Christians and non-Christians (see "Resources"). When applying for this approval it is expected that some information will be given on your part concerning the person whom you desire to invite into the Diocese. Your letter should give information as to what ministry such a person will be engaged in and the relevant dates. A short biography of the person and his qualifications would be helpful.
  2. Once the permission is received from the Chancellor to invite the person into the Diocese you may then approach that person and invite them to come into the Diocese.
  3. When all arrangements between the group concerned and the person being invited have been completed a Letter will be issued from the Chancellor acknowledging faculties or giving permission for the said person.
  4. Such a procedure takes time and application should be made well in advance of any definite planning. Requests must be made by letter and not by word of mouth or telephone.
Related Offices Chancellor
Related Themes

Marriage Preparation

The Life and Family Resource Centre offers “For Better and For Ever” marriage preparation programs.  These small group sessions are available for all couples including those in one or more of the following special circumstances, such as couples who are marrying after extended cohabitation, beginning marriage with children, have been previously married, are age 45+, or preparing for convalidation (blessings of their marriage).

Contact your local parish to make an appointment with your pastor or his associate regarding all other preparations.

Course Information

  • Registration
    • Registration fee: 200.00 (includes all materials, refreshments at all sessions and lunch on Saturday). The registration fee is due prior to attending the program. 
    • Register and pay online or  
    • Register by phone. Please call 403-218-5505. We accept cash, cheque, Visa and MasterCard. 
      • Payment via cheque can be made to: 
        Life and Family Resource Centre
        120-17th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S-2T2 
    • Cancellation Policy: An administration fee of $50 will be charged for cancellations prior to the orientation night.  No refunds will be issued for no shows or cancellations after the orientation night.
  • Upcoming Sessions
    • Couples are required to attend one orientation evening at least two weeks prior to the weekend session. 
    • The Orientation Evening is held on Mondays from 7 to 9 PM. The Weekend Sessions are held on Friday evening (7 to 9 PM) and Saturday (9 AM to 4 PM). 
    • View the list of Upcoming Courses

For more information, please contact: 
Life and Family Resource Centre
403-218-5505 or e-mail

Related Offices Life & Family Resource Centre (LFRC) Related Programs Marriage Preparation
Related Themes Sacraments Marriage Preparation

How to Plan, Promote and Implement a “Believe”, Study Group in your Parish

Running a Believe, Study Group will be a rewarding experience for you and the participants in your group. Believe is an excellent opportunity to rediscover “….the reason for our hope..” and to be able to find the words to share our faith with others. We believe your efforts will bear great fruit in your own life and the lives of those who join you on this grand discovery.

The following pages provide a quick overview of the main points that will be covered at the Leadership/Facilitator Training Session offered to your Deanery. We will highlight the starting, promoting, and facilitating of your Believe study group in your parish. Although the training you will receive and the information that follows should suffice in helping you plan, promote, and coordinate your study group, if you have any questions along the way, please feel free to contact us for assistance:

Michael Soentgerath: (403) 218-5515
Norline Johnson: (403) 218-5503

Preliminary Work

1) Select a team of people (the “Study Group Team”) to handle the various positions needed to plan, promote and facilitate each session successfully. The list of persons/positions is as follows (depending on the size of your parish and team, one person may hold more than one position):

  • Coordinator/facilitator will likely be the liaison with the parish and also conduct the large group discussions.
  • Small Group Facilitators are responsible for leading the small group discussions. Depending on the turnout, you may need several small group facilitators. The Coordinator should work with the small group facilitators in advance, including viewing the DVDs and discussing all the small group questions found in the workbook.
  • Publicity Coordinator is responsible for the promotion of the study.
  • Hospitality Coordinator is responsible for greeters, as well as refreshments, if they are planned.
  • Facilities Coordinator is responsible for handling opening and closing of the venue at which you will meet, arranging for tables, chairs, TV/DVD player, etc.
  • Prayer Coordinator is responsible for planning a prayer effort that will provide the necessary spiritual support for the study group.

2) The following tasks will need to be done:

  1. Set the dates and times of the program study. Believe is a six-part study consisting of 45 to 55 minute DVD presentations. You could, for example, run the study over a period of six consecutive weeks with each session approximately two hours long.

    Here is one sample format:
    • Arrival 7:00 p.m.
    • Break 8:00 to 8:10 p.m.
    • Social/welcome 7:00 to 7:10 p.m.
    • Group discussion 8:10 to 8:45 p.m.
    • DVD presentation 7:10 to 8:00 p.m.
    • Closing prayer/petitions 8:45 to 9:00 p.m.

    Others might choose six consecutive evenings or perhaps a Lent retreat weekend.
  2. Confirm the facility you will use by contacting the appropriate parish staff member.
  3. Create the budget, if any, that will be needed to pay for advertising, refreshments, etc. The Diocese of Nelson wants every parish to be able to participate. No one is to be denied. If a parish needs financial assistance please Contact Sister Elaine Biollo and funding will be made available. For those parishes that are able you should determine at this time if you will charge a modest fee to participants to help cover the costs related to the program, or if the parish or other sponsor will cover the expenses. One option is to have a free-will collection or donation basket at one or more of the meetings.

    The Cost of the Believe program kit is $125.00. The booklets to go along with the study are $2.00 per participant.
  4. Set dates to train your small group facilitators, if necessary.
  5. Advertise with flyers, posters, and bulletin ads.
  6. Arrange for appropriate TV equipment and DVD player. Confirm that the other facility items (tables, chairs, etc.) are ready to go.
  7. Determine if you will have snacks, coffee, nametags, and other items of hospitality. If so, arrange for these.
  8. Pray (and have others pray) for the success of the Believe Study Group series. Suggested prayers are included in the Facilitators Workshop notes with a prayer that could be said in parishes each week at the Prayers of the Faithful.
  9. Order Believe Program Kit and Participant booklets. For ordering information, see end of document.

Facilitating Group Discussion

Study Questions are provided at the end of each session. To help facilitate group discussion, suggested answers to the questions are included in the Facilitators notes.

  1. Understanding the Questions and Responses
    Some of the questions have actual, expected answers. Others may have a number of potential answers and are designed to draw participants in and help them interact with what they have learned. Often a great richness of response comes out in the group discussion, where each person brings a different perspective. Everyone benefits from this. The “answers” you will find in the Facilitators notes are not exhaustive but are offered as a guide. Consider them “Food for Thought” (FFT).
  2. The Goal of Group Discussion
    The primary goal of group discussion is to help participants appropriately, “digest,” and/or apply the main teaching points of each session: to make the specific points of the Believe practical
  3. The Role of the Facilitator
    Though not absolutely necessary, it would be helpful for the leader to have some experience or training in group facilitation. The role of the facilitator is not to teach – and it is not even so much to get people to answer questions correctly. Rather, it is to help draw out of the participants what they have learned from the presentations.
  4. Keeping Time
    The amount of time available for group discussion will vary from group to group. We recommend that you allow plenty of time to get through the study questions and for group discussion. You may find it helpful to assign one person to assist the facilitator by keeping track of the time. Please be respectful of the participant’s time by making sure to start each session on time and end on time. For those who wish to stay and visit after the designated time a coffee social is a great idea.
  5. Keeping Focused
    Often the questions provided will lead people into related areas that, however interesting, are off the subject and steal time from the point at hand. One way to handle this is to keep a log of these questions. When one comes up, simply write it down and delay discussion until the end of the session.

Advertising/Promoting the Study

Within your parish
It goes without saying that effectively advertising your study is a key component to its success. Perhaps you want to present this study the adults in your parish and offer a second session time for your youth, and young adult groups within your parish. If that is the case, we suggest you communicate with posters, flyers, bulletin announcements (several weeks prior to the first day of registration), and pulpit announcements (during the registration weekends). We have posters and invitations available in your marketing kits for you to customize.


It is important that the registration process be informative and efficient, since this will be your first contact with participants. When beginning a new study, consider taking registrations after weekend Masses at least several weeks prior to the start of the study. Be sure to advertise in your bulletin and/or from the pulpit when registrations will be taken.

In some parishes registration cards, along with a letter from the pastor could be included in the bulletin announcing the study. The cards can serve as an invitation to the youth or adult members of your parish to participate and informing them of the details of the study.

Cut-off dates and late registrations depend entirely on your preference, but we recommend you communicate a cut-off date to encourage sign-up. This also helps you determine how many Participant booklets you need to order.

Setting up Your Discussion Groups

You are now ready to set up your discussion groups. Set a date for your core team to meet. When you meet, we recommend you first spend some time in prayer, asking God’s blessing on all those who have registered for the study, and that His will be done concerning the dynamics of the individual discussion groups that will now be formed. Sample prayers will be provided in your Facilitators notes.

When you break into your discussion groups they can be formed in several different ways: men only, women only, married couples, singles, or they can just naturally form etc. We have had positive feedback about each of these group arrangements.

Ordering Materials

To order your Believe program kit and participant booklets please contact: (403) 218-5501

When we share our faith, it grows, it deepens and we gift one another with the Spirit that lives within us. Like the disciples on the way Emmaus, who were sharing their faith, we too can experience the presence of Jesus in our lives.
Related Offices Religious Education
Related Themes Education Faith Discipleship Lay Ministry
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