Every year in October we are invited to publicly demonstrate our pro-life values. On the first Sunday of the month we celebrate Respect Life Sunday. In some areas in the Diocese, including Calgary, we have the opportunity to participate in the “Life Chain” where people stand on both sides of a busy street holding pro-life signs. Throughout the month we are particularly encouraged to pray for the safety of the unborn and for their mothers. We also pray for those who contemplate assisted suicide and for their doctors that they may have a change of heart and honour life from conception until natural death. At the same time we pray for doctors who do not want to participate in the killing of others, that they may not be forced to take part in such acts; and we pray for those who had or were involved in an abortion, that they may find healing and reconciliation.
Being pro-life means advocating for the protection of all human life. The teaching of pro-life values begins at a very early age. Parents are most influential when it comes to preventing their young children from making harmful and morally wrong choices. Focusing on the value of human life, no child is too young to understand that they are loved. Kisses, hugs, words of encouragement and affirmation are perfect ways to make a child feel loved and special. As the child gets older parents can explain the value of human life by pointing out the differences in people’s appearances and telling them that each person is unique and special. Then there comes a day when a child asks the question, “Where do babies come from?” In today’s society, parents expect this question to be asked by their young children, but when it is actually presented to them they often feel put on the spot and struggle with the appropriate answer. Luckily, there are a number of good books available to children and their parents that can be of helpful assistance.
Here are two books for pre-school to third grade children.
Both are available at many libraries and bookstores:
- Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss: It tells the story of Horton, the kind-hearted elephant who rescues the citizens of Whoville. Horton’s philosophy is “a person’s a person no matter how small.” It is a gentle lead into the humanity and dignity of the unborn.
- Before You Were Born by Jennifer Davis: It is short and easy to understand for children of preschool age to third grade and includes a simple approach to the unborn baby’s development. There are interactive pages that children can peek into and look at.
Some suggested family pro-life activities:
- Look for books similar to the ones mentioned above (for smaller children and for older children and youth).
- Participate in the pro-life awareness and fund raising activities in your area.
- Arrange for a visit to a family member or to a family from your church that has a newborn baby.
- Take the children to visit people in a home for seniors. Contact your parish if you don’t know how to go about it.
- Collect and donate funds to Elizabeth House, the home for the less fortunate young women and their babies supported by the Calgary Diocese.
- Discuss the cycle of life with your older children and teenagers.
- Add your own pro-life activities to the list.
Heavenly Father, the beauty and dignity of human life
was the crowning of your creation.
Help us to realize the sacredness of human life
and to respect it from the moment of conception
until the last moment of life.
Give us courage to speak out in defense of life.
Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy
and forgiveness to those who do not
reverence this precious gift.
We ask this in Jesus’ Name.
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 April 27, 2018 at St. Michael's Parish, 800 - 85 St. SW, Calgary. 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
It’s very difficult to think of a more charged conversation than one about terminating a pregnancy. I’ve recently found myself in this situation, where understanding where I stood and being able to defend my opinion, became a harmful confusion.
Elective abortion unjustly takes the life of a defenseless human being. Who are we to decide whether somebody lives or dies? Personally, I disagree with pro-choice advocates who claim that it is a “woman’s body, and she has the right to do what she wants with it.” And though not all, but many abortion supporters, blame religion for all those who oppose pro-life, allow me to give you a few reasons as to why abortion is morally wrong without speaking of God.
First, abortion goes against Natural Law. This is the law of preservation that we have as individuals, to instinctively nurture and maintain our existence under any circumstance. Intentional extermination of a baby who is still in the womb is murder, and therefore contrary to nature.
Scientifically, we know that the unborn are substantial, unique, and living beings. A child who is still in the womb has its own DNA, its own heartbeat at 18 days, and its own blood type. Although many claim that unborn children are not “human beings” or are not yet “people,” there is proof that the moment of conception marks the beginning of a new life. Human life starts as an embryo, a zygote, and is a human being in development. We all began life this way.
When abortion is legal, an unborn child is deprived of her most basic civil right – the right to life! Any person who is a victim of violation has the right to speak up and defend themselves. However, due to location and development status, an unborn baby cannot defend himself. So who will speak up for the baby?
There are different situations and circumstances and uncontrolled factors that must be considered. Many talk about the right to abort if the woman is raped, or perhaps if the baby has been diagnosed with a major illness. To all this, I argue that a tragedy is not erased by another tragedy. You cannot relieve and forget the memories of a rape with abortion. And you cannot cure a child by killing him or her. Women who have been raped must be loved, and compassionately cared for; and if they are pregnant, compassionate care does not include execution of their children.
There is no criminal law against abortion in Canada and since 1988, the number of reported abortions has exceeded 2.5 million. Because abortions are funded by taxpayers – we are paying for the killing of unborn children.
Many women suffer from Post Abortion Stress (PAS) syndrome, which is a form of post-traumatic stress, and can potentially affect everyone around them. Experiencing an abortion, and living with the pain, grief and regret, is traumatic. So before a woman ultimately makes a decision to have an abortion, it’s crucial that she understands everything that’s at stake, and the lifelong consequences.
I am not trying to convince, or offend anyone, I’m simply speaking from my perspective in hopes of helping women who feel pressured to choose abortion. I am aware that abortion is never an easy decision for a pregnant woman to make, but knowing that there is help available for choosing to give life to the unborn, is also encouraging.
It’s not often that we find ourselves absorbed deeply in a conversation about abortion and therefore, we may not be very educated on the subject. After exploring more on this topic, I have become more convinced of the preciousness of life, and the urgent need to preserve it. Maria Ruiz is currently a grade 12 student attending St. Mary’s High School. Maria speaks three languages and plans to attend university and become a teacher. Born and raised in a Catholic family, she has a twin sister and is the second oldest of five children. Maria is actively involved as co-editor in her school’s newsletter as well as the anchor of her school’s TV channel.
Maria Ruiz is currently a grade 12 student attending St. Mary’s High School. Maria speaks three languages and plans to attend university and become a teacher. Born and raised in a Catholic family, she has a twin sister and is the second oldest of five children. Maria is actively involved as co-editor in her school’s newsletter as well as the anchor of her school’s TV channel.
The billings Ovulation Method is based on awareness of the woman's natural cycles of fertility and infertility, unmodified by any chemical, mechanical, or other artifical means. It takes advantage of the biological fact that women are infertile more often than fertile throughout their procreative years. The fertile phase, that time when conception may occur, is recognized by physical signs accompanying ovulation. This knowledge, together with planned abstinence, can be used either to achieve or to postpone pregnancy.
For more information please contact:
Diocesan Marriage Ministry Committee
The Calgary Diocesan Marriage Ministry Team is committed to collaborate on the shared vision of Christian marriage, exchange experiences and share resources.
Presently this ministry enjoys representatives of:
- Calgary Diocesan Marriage Enrichment Presenters
- Catholic Engaged Encounter
- Catholic Family Services Marriage Preparation
- Couples for Christ
- For Better and For Ever Lead Sponsor Couples
- Marriage Encounter
- Spousal Encounter Movement
- Life & Family Resource Centre
Feel free to contact the Life & Family Resource Centre at 403-218-5504 if you are:
- involved in the ministry of marriage preparation or marriage enrichment
- want to join the diocesan team
- have questions about how you can get the ministry started in your parish
- have questions on any aspects of the ministry of marriage preparation
- would like to attend a marriage enrichment workshop.
Life Education Committee
Strengthens and coordinates pro-life educational initiatives in the Diocese of Calgary.
The Diocesan Life Education Committee coordinates and supports initiatives that educate on the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death.
The Diocesan Life Education Committee consists of representatives of various agencies and organizations involved in public education on the life issues. The Chairperson of the Diocesan Life Education Committee is the Director of the Life and Family Resource Centre. It is the responsibility of the Chairperson to approve membership on the Diocesan Life Education Committee.
Presently this ministry enjoys representatives of:
- Father Lucas Drapal, Chaplain
- 40 Days for Life
- Calgary Catholic Medical Association
- Calgary Life chain
- Calgary Pro Life
- Couples for Christ
- Diocesan Catholic Women's League
- NFP Billings
- NFP Serena
- Pastoral Care workers
- Life & Family Resource Centre
- Maintain working relationships with local pro-life groups and agencies
- Taking action to raise awareness of the issues that compromise respect for life and marriage in the Diocese of Calgary
- Provide educational opportunities and time for sharing program information among committee members
- Support local programs that counsel and assist women with problems related to pregnancy
- Support Project Rachel as the Diocesan post abortion ministry
- Encourage and support local programs that provide care for the dying
- Promote prayer and formation for the protection of human life from conception until natural death
The Diocesan Life Education Committee will meet no less than three and no more than six times a year for the purpose of facilitating the committee objectives. Members are expected to attend regularly scheduled meetings. A member who misses two consecutive meetings without excuse will be contacted to inquire about their ongoing participation.
Calgary Catholic Medical Association
For Catholic Health Care Professionals (Physicians, Dentists, Nurses, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Physiotherapists, Respiratory Therapists, Chiropractors, Chaplains, Pastoral Care Workers, etc.).
The committee meets on the first Saturday of each month at the Catholic Pastoral Centre. An annual general meeting for all members takes place in the spring.
The mission of the Society is to promote and foster Health Care Professionals’ personal and professional growth in the Spirit of Christ and to bring that Spirit to all those under their care.
Presently this ministry enjoys representatives of:
- Father Michael Storey, Chaplain
- Other related health professionals
- Life & Family Resource Centre
Societal goals include the provision of a forum for Catholic Health Care Professions within which they can examine the provision of care in our society. Through personal formation, they can bring the Spirit of Christ into the context of their practices and build a framework of care. This framework will incorporate the teaching of the Catholic Church into daily professional practice.
The CCMA is open to and inclusive of all Health Care Professionals including physicians, nurses, clinical counsellors, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, clergy especially hospital chaplains, as well as lay persons dedicated to hospital pastoral care.
The goals of the society are promoted through regular monthly meetings as well as special events, conferences which highlight bioethical and other formative topics.
The society encourages a liaison with other Catholic medical and healthcare organizations such as the Catholic Medical Association and participation in meetings and periodicals, as well as links with other similarly orientated organizations in Canada and the United States.
The CCMA functions within the Diocese of Calgary with the Bishop’s support through the Life and Family Resource Center.
The CCMA is represented on the Diocesan Life Education Committee.
Calendar of Events:
CCMA meetings are held once a month (except July and August) on a Saturday morning from 9:45-11:30 am at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 120-17 Avenue SW. For more information contact 403-218-5504.
Upcoming CCMA Meetings and Events:
- CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
- CCMA meetings are held once a month at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 120-17 Avenue SW. For more information contact 403-218-5504.
Upcoming CCMA Meetings and Events: The Calgary Catholic Medical Association invites all health care workers to attend a talk by Dr. David Sabapathy, BSc (Eng), MSc, MBA, MD, FRCPC on The Unexamined Life of Public Health on Tuesday May 1, 2018, 7pm at the Catholic Pastoral Centre. This talk will discuss the Christian Worldview as a Foundation for Public Health Practice. This is a free event. Contact Alida.Allen@calgarydiocese.ca or 403-218-5505 to register.
The Unexamined Life of Public Health: The Christian Worldview as a Foundation for Public Health Practice. Dr. David Sabapathy, BSc (Eng), MSc, MBA, MD, FRCPC.
Personal faith and its incumbent worldview, shapes our career choices, trajectory and accomplishments. Individually and as a collective, it has a significant impact on society. The Unexamined Life of Public Health is a thoughtful and engaging examination by Dr. David Sabapathy, of how his faith as a Roman Catholic has provided not only a guiding foundation for his practice as a specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, but also a means of making sense of it.
This presentation is one product of a pilot collaboration of two passionate young professionals who perceived the need for a platform to discuss faith in public life as a means of fostering inclusive dialogue in a society that is increasingly diverse both from religious and secular perspectives. Dr. Sabapathy and his friend and colleague who is an Associate Professor in Religious Studies at St. Dunstain’s University Institute for Christianity and Culture at the University of Prince Edward Island, have begun this 18 month project as a proof of concept, by each preparing an essay and public presentation on their own reflection on faith at work. Video versions of their presentations and a web platform for discussion are to come next.
Dr. Sabapathy was first trained as an electrical engineer, which he followed up a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Health Service Research before undertaking his medical education, including specialist training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and a Clinical Fellowship in Applied Public Health Research. A common thread through his career has been a focus on risk assessment, quality improvement and strategic management. Dr. Sabapathy currently serves as the Deputy Chief Public Health Office in his home province of PEI.
- Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada: www.ccbi-utoronto.ca
- The National Catholic Bioethics Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA: www.ncbcenter.org
- The Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies: www.canadiancatholicphysicians.com
- Canadian Physicians for Life: www.physiciansforlife.ca
- Catholic Medical Association (USA): www.cathmed.org
- Psychologists Association of Alberta (PAA): www.psychologistsassociation.ab.ca
For more information or to join, please contact the Life & Family Resource Centre by calling 403-218-5504.