“BUILDING THE FUTURE WITH MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES”
On September 25th, the Church will mark the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. It is an occasion to express our concern for the many vulnerable people on the move, to pray for them as they face many challenges, and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.
The theme announced by His Holiness Pope Francis for this year’s event is “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees”. In his message, Pope Francis reminds us that “the arrival of Catholic migrants and refugees can energize the ecclesial life of the communities that welcome them”. Click here to see Pope Francis’ entire message.
Refugee Sponsorship in Canada
The Catholic Church in Canada has participated in Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program since its inception in 1979, resettling tens of thousands of refugees who were forced to flee their home countries because of war, violence or persecution. Since 1979, private sponsors have resettled over 350,000 refugees to Canada. This is a remarkable accomplishment for Canadians.
Eighteen Catholic organizations (Dioceses, Religious congregations, and other groups) across Canada currently work as Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs). As a SAH, they are allowed to name the refugees that they wish to sponsor. Once Immigration Canada approves the refugee sponsorship application, SAHs work with parishioners and parish communities to welcome, journey and support their sponsored refugee families. Each SAH commits to financially supporting their refugee family for a period of one year, which can be a significant financial commitment.
Our Situation Today
It is estimated that there are currently over 89 million people who have been forced from their homes, of which over 36 million have fled their homelands. This terrible situation is made even worse in recent months with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, forcing millions of Ukrainians to flee their home country. The Canadian Government has responded by creating a special program for Ukrainians displaced by war. Over 496,000 Ukrainian nationals have already applied to travel to Canada under a special visitor visa program. Over 74,000 have already arrived in Canada. Those without family links in Canada experience difficulty in securing a place to live. Thankfully, many groups are involved in addressing their plight.
As Pope Francis has said, “In turbulent times we are to re-commit to the journey of building the kingdom”.
Click here for a series of pastoral suggestions from the Catholic Refugee Sponsors’ Council (CRSC), as well as a resource list which includes bulletin announcements and prayers of the faithful.
Social media is a way for the Church to be among the people, and work toward the common good, not about compromising the truth to gain followers or 'likes,' says Dr Paolo Ruffini. The Prefect of the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication was speaking with Vatican News after presenting the Dicastery’s new theological and pastoral document reflection on social media, titled “Towards Full Presence. A Pastoral Reflection on Engagement with Social Media."
In January 2023, Pope Francis published his latest annual message for the 57th World Day of Social Communications, which will take place on Sunday, May 21, 2023. The theme of this year’s edition is Speaking from the heart. “Speaking the truth in love.” Quoting Saint Paul the Apostle’s Letter to the Ephesians, the Holy Father mentions that “We should not be afraid of proclaiming the truth, even if it is at times uncomfortable, but of doing so without charity, without heart.”
In the context of the National Week for Family and Life, the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued both an Open Letter to the Government of Canada and a Message to the Catholic Faithful on federal legislation which, by 17 March 2024, will permit persons living with mental illness to access euthanasia.
Rising prices are hitting hard at families and individuals who are already in difficult socio-economic situations. In its annual message for May 1st, the Church and Society Council of the Assembly of Québec Catholic Bishops invites solidarity in the face of this phenomenon...
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) have issued the North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.
Begun in late 2022, the Continental Stage of the Synod was the second stage of the three-year process initiated by Pope Francis in October 2021. For the North American Continental Stage, the United States and Canada held twelve virtual assemblies: seven in English, three in Spanish, and two in French between December 2022 and January 2023. In total, 931 delegates and 146 bishops from Canada and the United States were appointed to participate in one of these twelve assemblies to share their reflections and responses to the Document for the Continental Stage (DCS) issued by the Holy See’s General Secretariat of the Synod in October 2022. Those reflections were brought together by the North American Writing Team to create the Final Document.
How I wish I could experience Easter without having to endure Good Friday!
How pleasant it would be to lose weight without dieting or exercising, to master an art without practising for hours, or to succeed in a project without devoting so much energy and resources to it! It would be wonderful to be loved without having to give of myself to another, to be forgiven without having to ask for forgiveness, to be reconciled without having to overcome my pride.
Father Normand Carpentier passed on March 26, 2023 in Gatineau. Born in Buckingham on December 6, 1940, he was the son of the late René Carpentier and the late Alice Mallette and brother of Paul, Louis, Pierre, Richard, Luc, Yolaine, Jean d'Arc, Madeleine, Louise and the late Claudette.
Bill 11, the Act modifying the Act Respecting End-of-Life Care, along with other legislative provisions presented February 16, 2023, by Quebec Health and Seniors Minister Sonia Bélanger, obliges us as Quebec citizens and Catholic bishops practising our ministries throughout this province to speak out today on this question which is of the utmost importance.
Trois-Rivières – March 10, 2023 | The Bishops of Quebec concluded their Plenary Assembly today, which had begun on March 6. The meeting was greatly inspired by the synodal process and provided an opportunity for many fruitful and stimulating exchanges...
Archidiocèse de Gatineau
180, boulevard du Mont-Bleu,
Gatineau (Québec) J8Z 3J5
Téléphone: 819 771-8391
Télécopieur: 819 778-8969
© 2021 Archdiocese of Gatineau. All rights reserved.