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Women at the Heart of Peace

As part of Development and Peace Jubilee campaign celebrating our 50 years, Caritas Canada is now looking to the future. After highlighting the role of women at the heart of change in the Share Lent campaign, the Fall education campaign focuses on women’s role in building peace.

Women and peace: a historical relationship 

Women have long been associated with peace and reconciliation around the world. Women have made vital contributions to peacebuilding and peace processes in diverse places such as Colombia, Guatemala, Liberia, Northern Ireland and the Philippines, just to name a few. There are countless examples and studies of women’s organizations engaging in the process of peace and reconciliation, whether at the national or international level, going as far back as World War I. 

The impact of women peacebuilders was publicly recognized and rewarded in 2011, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three inspiring women for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work: Ellen John¬son Sirleaf (Liberia), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) and Tawakkul Karman (Yemen). This decision by the Nobel Committee reaffirmed the importance of women’s contribution to peace.  

We are all invited to learn more about the vital role women play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. All around the world, courageous women are working for a more peaceful world.  

Together, let’s take action for peace!

LET’S COMMIT to standing alongside women and organizations that strive to build a more just and peaceful world. Because women play a vital role in conflict prevention and in building just, sustainable and inclusive peace.

Your action counts! We suggest different ways of acting, so you can do it your own way. Support our campaign by filling out our online Action Card, or by spreading it on social networks.  

2017 CAMPAIGN RESOURCES

  • Poster | Give your campaign visibility with this beautiful poster.
  • Action Sheet | The Action Sheet summarizes the key thematic issues of our campaign and calls for action to recognize the importance of including women in peace processes.
  • Action Card | The Action Card is our main mobilization tool. Please distribute Action Cards in large numbers in order to send a strong message to the Canadian government: supporting women is supporting peace!
  • Faith Based Reflection | This short reflection explores how our faith calls on us to recognize and support the work done by women working for peace.
  • Backgrounder | In this backgrounder, you’ll find a detailed analysis of women and peace process, as well as examples of our partners’ work on these issues.
  • Campaign Guide | The Campaign Guide was included in the Campaign Ordering Kit and will also be included with each order.
Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Development and Peace

Christians Celebrate the Season of Creation

It has been a busy summer. Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home celebrated its second anniversary this past June. To reiterate our Holy Father’s call to action, the Social Justice Office has been promoting the Laudato Si’ Pledge. The pledge asks that we do three things: Pray for and with creation; Live more simply; Advocate to protect our common home.

We were at One Rock this year promoting the campaign. Archbishop Pettipas stopped by and made the pledge. Bishop McGrattan, after his Mass on Saturday, not only endorsed the pledge, but encouraged everyone to do the same. After taking the pledge, many had their photos taken with Pope Francis in the selfie booth. It was tons of fun but more importantly, the signed pledges were added with others from around the world. It was a great act of solidarity!

The Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign continues throughout the upcoming Season of Creation which begins with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1. This special prayer day was instituted by Pope Francis for our Church back in 2015 because he shares the concern of Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, who initiated a similar day of prayer back in 1989. Pope Francis has called this day to be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live” [Letter, August 2015]. Pope Francis wished this day of prayer to be celebrated “with the participation of the entire People of God:  priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful and should become a significant occasion for prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate lifestyles.”

But we don’t have just this day to celebrate and pray for Creation. In the Pope’s 2016 letter, he endorsed celebrating the Time for Creation. During these five weeks, we can join Christians from every continent who are leading prayer services and symbolic actions to protect creation. There will be a Blessing of the Animals at St. Joseph’s Parish on September 23, at 10:30 a.m. Bring the whole family, along with your beloved pets and animals for a special blessing. St. Patrick’s Parish will have a Live Laudato Si’ workshop on September 25 and 29. There are many prayer service resources available. Please contact the Social Justice Office for more details. By participating in events or symbolic actions, big or small, we can all make a difference.

Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Social Justice Christian Life Environment Family

Famine Relief for South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen

The CCCB, along with other faith leaders in Canada, has launched a national appeal to help address the famines and extreme food shortages in these four countries.

The threefold response is:

Related Offices Social Justice Bishop's
Related Themes Social Justice Donation

Celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Migration has been a reality of our world since ancient times. It has always been a sign of the strength of the human spirit to overcome adversity and strive for a better life. Today, a great number of people move to other places, some by choice and others not. No matter the circumstances, all share the desire to live a safe, peaceful life.

The Church has been celebrating World Day of Migrants and Refugees each year since 1914. World Refugee Day has been marked by the UN on June 20 since 2000. This year, join us on June 29, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, for a special mass to celebrate World Day of Migrants. This is an opportunity for the faith community to reflect upon the role migration has played in our history and tradition, pray for migrants and refugees around the world, and raise awareness about the causes, challenges, and opportunities involved with migration.

Recent tragedies around the world have lead to a dramatic increase in global migrants and refugees, putting a great many men, women, and children in danger. As Christians, we are called to share the burden of those suffering hardship, to open our doors and hearts to the weary and marginalized. The Church recognizes in migrants the image of Christ who said, “I was a stranger and you made me welcome” [Mt 25:35]. As Pope Francis says, “The phenomenon of migration is not unrelated to salvation history, but rather a part of that history. One of God’s commandments is connected to it: “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” [Ex 22:21]; “Love the sojourner therefore; for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” [Deut. 10:19]” [Pope Francis, September 8, 2016].

On World Day of Migrants, we remember Mary and Joseph, migrants of their time – the hardships they faced, the importance of their journey, and God’s greater plan for them. We can see these same elements in every migration story, and must take the opportunity to reflect on shared human experiences and how we can be a part of the solution to a global challenge. After all, “no one is a stranger in the Christian community, which embraces ‘every nation, tribe, people and tongue’ [Rev 7:9]. Each person is precious; persons are more important than things, and the worth of an institution is measured by the way it treats the life and dignity of human beings, particularly when they are vulnerable” [Pope Francis, September 8, 2016].


Join Bishop William McGrattan on June 29, 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral to celebrate World Day of Migrants and live the words of Pope Benedict: “The Church is God’s family on earth” [Deus Caritas Est].

Related Offices Social Justice Carillon
Related Themes Immigration Refugees

Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross

The 34th Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross took place on Good Friday, April 14, 2017.

What is the Outdoor Way of the Cross About?

We come to walk along the inner city and stop at 14 Stations to listen to scripture readings, and to reflect on the suffering, passion and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross is a two-and-a-half hour procession through the inner City of Calgary that starts and ends at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral on 18th Avenue and 2nd Street S.W.

As Jesus shared in our human suffering, and even death itself, so many of us come to walk with Jesus in his suffering and share his pain. We also see our own life hardships reflected in the burden of carrying the cross. We contemplate the great love that Jesus showed when he gave his life for all people in the world, so that they may have life.

The Way of the Cross is more than just a personal journey, Jesus' death is redemptive and in his dying we are reconciled with God, healed and redeemed. Through our participation in the walk, we ask that Jesus forgive our sins, heal our wounds, and transform us more into the image and likeness of God.

At the heart of the Outdoor Way of the Cross practice is also the idea and practice of Solidarity. We all share the common experience of seeing a loved one or someone close to us suffer. We wish that we could take on their burden. It is this idea of loving someone so much that we would like to take away his or her suffering by sharing in this person's experience. In the case of Jesus, God loved us so much that he allowed Jesus to share in humanly life and suffering, even in death, except for sin. As we participate in the Outdoor Way of the Cross, we are also in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters who are thirsting for compassion and justice in the world today.

To register as a volunteer or for more information about this year's Outdoor Way of the Cross, visit www.wayofthecross.ca

Related Offices Social Justice
Related Themes Pilgrimage Prayers Lent Diocesan Event
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