As part of the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation the Bishops of Canada will be consecrating our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Diocesan Prayer Service on July 1, 2017
- Parishes are also invited to hold a parish celebration on one or more Saturdays within the anniversary year (July 1 2017 – July 1 2018).
- Download Prayer Service Templates
- Download Rosary Intentions Booklet
- Catechetical Materials.
Bishop McGrattan consecrated the Diocese of Calgary on 1 July, 2017 (St. Mary’s Cathedral at 10am for a service of Adoration, Scripture, rosary, and the consecration followed by a BBQ).
All parishes in the diocese are invited to pray the consecration prayer at the Vigil Mass on Saturday July 1st. Click here to download the prayer.
The CCCB has provided catechetical materials. Check out resources here.
Please read the attached documents concerning two timely issues of special importance to Indigenous People where Catholic parishes, missions and organizations can offer practical assistance.
- Suggestions on residential school burial sites (PDF – English and French)
- Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls ( In English)
- Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls ( In French)
Please consider how your parish can help.
This year, the Church celebrates the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three children in Fatima, Portugal. According to the witnesses in 1917, Our Lady appeared to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia on the 13th of each month, from May to October of the same year, except in August when she appeared on August 19. The Fatima Apparitions are special in that their universal message of salvation is strongly connected to the Gospel. The message of Our Lady of Fatima calls us to prayer, reparation, penance and sacrifice.
In his Introduction to The Message of Fatima published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus) points out, “These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel.” Cardinal Ratzinger also said that, “Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions.”
By decree of the Bishop of Calgary and in honour of the Centennial Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, the faithful who visit Our Lady of Fatima Church in Calgary and who devotedly pray before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, invoking her intercession from May 13, 2017 to December 31, 2017 will receive a partial indulgence provided that they are “baptized, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace at least at the end of the prescribed works” [CIC 996 §1].
By decree of Pope Francis, a plenary indulgence is also available to the faithful who meet the ordinary conditions — go to Confession and Communion, be interiorly detached from sin and in a state of grace, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father — and “who visit with devotion an image of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly displayed for public veneration in any temple, oratory or adequate place, during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions (the 13th of each month from May to October 2017), and devotedly participate there in any celebration or prayer in honour of the Virgin Mary, pray the Our Father, recite the symbol of faith (Creed) and invoke Our Lady of Fatima” [ Jubilee Year of Fatima, Concession of Plenary Indulgence ].
The Church of Our Lady of Fatima will hold a mass and rosary the 13th day of each month at 6:30 p.m. After the mass and rosary, the chapel will be open for those desiring to further fulfill the conditions of the plenary indulgence.
An indulgence is a remission of sin before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. According to Saint John Paul II, through an indulgence, God grants the prayer of the Church that the temporal penalty for sin be remitted. By God’s grace, participation in a prayer or action that has an indulgence attached to it brings about restoration and reparation with God. “The Church has a treasury, then, which is ‘dispensed’ as it were through indulgences. This ‘distribution’ should not be understood as a sort of automatic transfer, as if we were speaking of ‘things’. It is instead the expression of the Church’s full confidence of being heard by the Father when, in view of Christ’s merits and, by his gift, she asks him to mitigate or cancel the painful aspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through other channels of Grace” [ St. John Paul II, General Audience, Wednesday, 29 September 1999, 4 ].
By celebrating the Centennial year of Fatima, we give thanks to God for all the blessings He spread over us. Our Lady of Fatima parish had its genesis in 1970. For many years Fr. Vozza of Holy Trinity Parish offered monthly masses for Calgary’s Portuguese Catholics. Then, Bishop O’Byrne appointed a priest to assist the Portuguese community. Fr. Franklin E. Trudeau was sent to Portugal to learn the language of the people. He was the first pastor of the Portuguese Catholic Mission and the masses were offered at the Croatian church. The mission continued to flourish in the 1980s, with St. John’s Parish extending assistance from 1979 to 1984 when the congregation acquired its own makeshift church. With the enthusiastic guidance of Fr. Valentino de Freitas, parish pastor from 1987 to 1995, the Portuguese community built Our Lady of Fatima Church. The Portuguese faithful of Our Lady of Fatima parish have kept the message of Fatima burning in their hearts and embodied in their worship since the earliest days. The event of Fatima has provided a spiritual compass that guides the faithful to Jesus through Mary.
(Our Lady of Fatima Church is open to the public from May 13 on every Tuesday 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday 1:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for those desiring the obtain the above partial indulgence or simply to pray)
In the May 2017 edition of The Carillon, an icon of Our Lady of Fatima was featured on the front page. The painter, sacred art artist Vivian Imbruglia, offers us an explanation of the icon and its symbols. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
When our loved ones turn from God
It can be extremely distressing to see our sons, daughters and loved ones make life choices that take them away from God. The secular world often tempts people of all ages to put material possessions, relationships, careers, pleasure, or addictions ahead of a relationship with God. Many pray in anguish for their children or loved ones to re-find their faith. Years may pass without improvement and some may feel that God is not listening or wonder if they are doing something wrong.
What can we do?
Jesus tells us to persevere in prayer and that whatever we ask in His name, He will do. Jesus desires that we are in a “right place” with respect to our relationship with Him. In other words, we need to be aligned with God’s will for us and develop a heart that is forgiving, full of love and at peace. Recognizing the needs of parents and grandparents to learn to pray more effectively, a popular seminar called “How to Pray for Your Sons, Daughters and Loved Ones” has been taught over the past 20 years by Vernon Robertson, a Catholic evangelist.
The impact on lives
Vernon and his wife Maureen went through a very difficult phase of their life when their teenage son became a real prodigal. After an intense period of prayer over many years, they had a surprise call one day from their son who was living and working far away. He apologized for how he had treated them, asked their forgiveness, and told them he had re-found his faith.
Hundreds and hundreds of people have attended this Seminar of Hope over the past 20 years or watched it on EWTN. Feedback from previous participants includes:
- “Absolutely transformational for me and my prayer life…”
- “Vernon is a very powerful speaker. I’ve never attended anything quite like this and it touched me deeply.”
- “I thought it was wonderful … God definitely spoke to me at this seminar.”
- “I now have hope and peace in my heart about my children; I did not have this feeling before.”
- “I felt God telling me: I love you and will take care of you and your loved ones … trust me.”
Upcoming seminar on May 26 and 27, 2017
St. Michael Catholic Community is pleased to sponsor this two-part seminar starting on Friday, May 26 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and concluding on Saturday, May 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. To receive a free participant’s manual and reserve a seat, please register in advance by email to email@example.com or phone the parish receptionist at (403) 249-0423 ext. 101. The church is located at 800 - 85th Street SW in Calgary. There is no charge for this seminar and a free will offering will be taken to cover the speaker’s costs. For the lunch break on Saturday, please bring a brown bag lunch or eat out at a nearby restaurant; coffee/tea will be provided.
About the speaker
Vernon Robertson is a Vancouver based Catholic evangelist, father of three and grandfather of eleven. He has led this seminar for 20 years and has spoken on this and related faith topics across Canada and in other countries. Vernon is currently a board member of Renewal Ministries of Canada. Previously, Vernon was National Catholic Advisor to the Alpha Board of Directors of Canada and served on the Vancouver Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. In October 2010, Vernon was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (for Church and Pope) Cross by Pope Benedict the XVI. For more information, see www.seminarofhope.org.
About the writer
Mark Richards is a father of four adult children and a member of St. Michael Catholic Community. Mark has personally experienced how God uses this seminar to work in his own life and in the lives of his children. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (403) 836-0545.
Without a doubt, the Holy Spirit powerfully uses the Seminar of Hope as a channel of healing and reconciliation for people from all walks of life. - Fr. Jerome Lavigne, St. Peter’s Calgary
By 1884, the CPR was bringing more settlers to the Calgary region. Unable to obtain homestead grants yet from the government, due to the lack of completed surveys, many newcomers were simply squatting on whatever piece of open land they could find. Fr. Lacombe was concerned about the proximity of settlers to his mission and the future of Our Lady of Peace. Without waiting for approval from Bishop Grandin he took passage on a CPR construction train and made his way cross-country to Ottawa. Visiting the office of the Minister of the Interior, David MacPherson, Fr. Lacombe announced he was there to obtain a homestead grant for the property around the mission. MacPherson, unmoved, told the priest that he would put in a request to the department in due time.
Local historian David Mittel-stadt, commenting on the creation of one of Calgary’s earliest communities, records Lacombe’s legendary response:
“Non, monsieur, I cannot go until I receive that settlement of our land. I came hundreds of miles to you just for this. I will wait here with your permission. I am used to camping on the prairie… I will just camp here until I get my papers.”
Well, with the prospect of having Fr. Lacombe sleeping on the floor by his office door, MacPherson lost no time in arranging the land grant!
In fact, Fr. Lacombe registered two homesteads, one for himself and one for his colleague, Fr. Leduc, in order to double the size of the property he was claiming for the Oblates and the Diocese of St. Albert.
The location of St. Mary’s Cathedral is well known to Calgarians, and it is surrounded by St. Mary’s High School, St. Mary’s Hall, the original St. Mary’s Hall, St. Monica School, the Sacred Heart Convent of the FCJ Sisters, Our Lady of Lourdes School, and, further south, the old Holy Cross Hospital site. This is the community of Mission, appropriately named, and it included St. Mary’s Cemetery on the hill across the river. It is all part of the original Lacombe-Leduc homestead area.
Fr. Lacombe had the Mission Bridge built over the Elbow River and he contracted the grading of the Mission Road, as a shortcut to and from Macleod Trail. It still is a useful shortcut!
Many Calgarians enjoy the 4th Street Lilac Festival every Spring. All the buildings, condos, and houses on the east side of 4th Street SW, south of 17th Avenue, are on sub-divided lots that Fr. Lacombe sold. Yes, he was a real estate magnate! But, honouring his vow of poverty, all proceeds were directed towards the needs of the Church, of course. Today historical signage indicates the original street names: 17th Avenue was Notre Dame Road; 18th Avenue (St. Joseph Street); 19th Avenue (St. Mary’s); 20th Avenue (Oblate); 21st Avenue (Lacombe); 22nd Avenue (Doucet); 23rd Avenue (Rouleau) - for the two French Canadian brothers who settled there; 24th Avenue (Grandin), 25th Avenue (Scollen), and 26th Avenue (Legal).
In that same year, 1884, Fr. Lacombe arranged for the construction of the St. Joseph Industrial School south of Calgary at Dunbow. With Canadian Government funding and policies in place, the Residential School was run by the Oblates and Grey Nuns. It was “meant” to serve the children of the Blackfoot Confederacy by teaching them skills to cope with the inevitable changes to their traditional lifestyle. Fr. Lacombe was the Principal and primary recruiter for the school in its first year of operation and Crowfoot approved of the plan.