This year, Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary of confederation. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) invites every bishop of every diocese or eparchy to consecrate the country to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 1. Families are also invited to commemorate this important event. We can do this by engaging the family in an active and communicative way!
To begin this journey with your family you need a Bible (and, if possible, a Children’s Bible) and the colouring page on page 6, and some colouring pencils. Prepare for the activity by reflecting on your relationship with your parents or with your children, so that you can share an example of your special relationship with your loved ones. Read the scripture passage, John 19:25-27.
- Have copies of the colouring page ready (1 per child). Click Here.
- Ask the children to describe something that they really like to do as a family, something that makes them feel special. For example, “each night before bed, Daddy reads to me and then we say our prayers together,” or “when Mommy makes my lunch she puts a special treat in the bag – something that she knows I will really like,” or “Mommy always knows what to say when I am feeling sad,” or “Daddy and I play outdoor hockey together on the weekends.”
- What makes these moments special? Is it because it is one-on-one time just between the parent and child?
- After everybody has had a chance to talk about their special times with mom or dad, read the scripture passage – John 19:25-27. If you don’t have a children’s Bible, you can paraphrase the passage in words that the children understand. It is important to mention that when children get older, they want to care for their parents, just as their parents cared for them when they were younger. Jesus wanted to make sure that his mother would be looked after. He wanted to make sure that his mother and John would take care of each other.
- Jesus also has a special relationship with his mother, and he wants us to care for her, and for her to care for us. That is why we pray through Mary that she will ask God to help us when we need it. We are comforted in the knowledge that Mary loves us and cares for us just as our parents do.
- This year Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary. As Jesus entrusted the disciple John to his mother Mary, and his mother Mary to John, we, as Catholics, are marking this special occasion by entrusting our country to the care of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By doing so, the Blessed Virgin, Mary, the mother of Jesus, will ask God to help us live together in peace and harmony.
Ask the children to colour the image of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Pray the Hail Mary together:
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
You might remember that some time ago, all parishioners of the Calgary Diocese were invited to participate in a survey on family life. This survey was distributed to all Catholics throughout the universal Church. The completed survey questionnaires were collected by each diocese. In Canada, each diocese forwarded results to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The survey results were then sent to Vatican City in Rome.
The fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, also referred to as the Synod on the Family, took place from October 4 to October 25, 2015. The topics of this gathering were the vocation and mission of the family in the church and in the contemporary world.
The 2015 Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family was preceded by the Extraordinary General Assembly in 2014. The result of both assemblies was publicly released by Pope Francis on April 8, 2016 in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, entitled Amoris Laetitia. The document features nine chapters beginning with In the Light of The Word and ending with The Spirituality of Marriage. It deals with the experiences and challenges of families, love in marriage, pastoral perspectives, the education of children and more.
I challenge you to read this document in its entirety. The materials including a study guide can be obtained on the Internet (Google: “Amoris Laetitia” and “Study Guide to Amoris Laetitia”) or through the Life & Family Resource Centre of the Calgary Catholic Diocese. We also offer the document in book form. Phone Gabriele Kalincak at (403) 218-5504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested Family or Parish Activities
(best practice to study this document is one chapter at a time – weekly or bi-weekly)
- Attend a study group.
- Initiate a study group.
- Join a ministry that reflects what you have learned from this document.
- Many couples choose the reading from St. Paul to the Corinthians [1 Cor 13:4-7] to be read at their wedding. You can meditate on it in chapter 4.
- Make a list of one or more changes you want to implement after reading each chapter.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Help us to understand the true meaning of the teachings that Amoris Laetitia provides. May we grow in love and understanding of our faith, values and traditions. This we ask through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen. LFRC, Carillon
Project Rachel is an ecumenical ministry of healing and reconciliation for people of all ages who are suffering distress from a past abortion experience.
The ministry was launched throughout southern Alberta in November 1998
Project Rachel is a sensitive, private and confidential program. We offer support to anyone, regardless of gender, age, or faith. Not only women who have had the abortion, but also men and family members who experience post-abortion grief are welcome to contact us. Our counsellors recognize abortion as a traumatic experience, and address its psychological and physical symptoms. In addition, they offer the unique opportunity to integrate spirituality into the healing process.
- Teams of trained therapists or clergy are available to see clients on an individual basis. Our counselors are readily available; there are no long waiting times.
- This is a confidential and ecumenical ministry.
For more information, click here
Project Weekend Retreats are available. This is an opportunity to journey with others who are also seeking healing from a past abortion experience - under the guidance of two professional counselors. For more information or to register, contact the Project Rachel office at 403-218-5506 or (Toll Free) 1-877-597-3223 or email at email@example.com
A Song For Rachel
'A Song For Rachel' is held annually as a fun-filled, family fundraising concert that has been established in 1999. A silent auction was added in 2003.
The next Song for Rachel concert will be held on Friday, May 12, 2017 at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, 1600 Acadia Drive SE. The silent auction will open at 6:00 pm and the concert begins at 7:00 pm. The price is $15.00/person and $35.00/family.
Call now to reserve: 403-218-5505.
- Gabriele Kalincak, Director
- Confidential Phone Line: (403) 218-5506 or (Toll Free) 1-877-597-3223
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectRachel
When we think of Easter, we think about spring that brings new life, new beginnings, and new growth. For Christians this does not only mean that the days are getting longer, the trees are leafing and all of nature transforms itself into an uplifting colourful panorama. The Easter season also lifts up our hearts and spirits to the wonders of God, who through His death and resurrection, saved us from eternal punishment. Through this act of love for His people, Jesus invites us “to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” [2 Peter 3:18]. What better time than Lent and Easter to renew our commitment to the Lord by using it as a time of spiritual awakening, nurturing and growing.
- What am I currently doing to nurture my spirituality and my faith?
- What are we doing as a family to nurture our spirituality and our faith?
- How can we grow more in our faith?
- How do we recognize God’s love in the awakening of nature?
- How do we recognize God’s love in other people?
- How can we help somebody else to grow closer to God?
Fill in the missing words to complete the sentences:
(the answers may be different for each family member)
- Acknowledging differences means
- Taking responsibility means
- The word growth or growing means
- Growing in faith means
- My love for God’s creation means
- Lent is a time of
- Easter is
- I recognize growth mostly in
- I nurture growth by
Easter! Spring! A time to look toward the season for planting: Have each family member select a plant seed, each different from that of the other family members. Each seed will be planted in its own pot, and whoever planted that particular seed is responsible for its growth. Encourage each family member to become knowledgeable about their planted seed. When the family gets together once a week they will report on what they have learned. The younger children might need some help with their task. At each gathering begin with a prayer thanking God for the gift of life and growth.
As the plants get bigger you will notice that they are all different, yet they are all plants. This is the time to talk about differences. Every plant looks different, yet they are all plants. People look different, yet they are all humans. Like the plants, humans were created by God. God entrusted plants, animals and the entire world into our care. That includes our children, the elderly, the homeless, and all who need that little extra help to live their life in dignity. How do we recognize their needs and what can we do to help?
Support for adults and children who are experiencing separation/divorce in their family and a program helping separated/divorced parents improve their co-parenting relationship.
A 15-week non-denominational, peer support program for those who are separated / divorced. Participants meet once a week to reflect on and discuss topics outlined in a handbook. Individuals have the opportunity, if they wish, to share their story with others. Issues presented by participants during the meetings are held in confidence.
Topics of discussion include: “The Process of Divorce”; “Self Image/Self Esteem”; “Dealing with Stress, Anger, Guilt, Blame & Loneliness”; “Forgiveness”; “Fractured Families Can Be Whole”; “Growth after Divorce”; “Single Again—But Still a Parent”; “Children in Blended Families”; “The Declaration of Nullity” (annulment process). Transitions is offered twice a year, beginning in September and in February. The group size is limited to 20 participants and 4 facilitators.
Our next program will begin in the Fall of 2017 at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 120 - 17th Avenue SW.
Registration is required. Please phone 403-218-5505 or 403-218-5504 or email email@example.com.
A non-denominational, educational program for separated and divorced parents to help raise their children through this difficult time and increase the understanding of needs of children for developing self-esteem and security. It will offer skills about managing diverse shared parenting situations and provide strategies for improving communication, resolving conflict, and managing day to day children’s issues between parenting partners.
Parents are encouraged to attend separately.
The next 5-week program will be offered 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm on Wednesdays, May 3-31, 2017 at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 120 - 17th Avenue SW, Calgary.
For more information or registration contact the Life & Family Resource Centre at 403-218-5505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.