Over 127 countries have banned or regulated single-use plastic bags around the world. But how much better are the reusable options? The answer is... it's complicated. From green bags to degradable bags, hessian bags to cotton totes — are these plastic bag alternatives any better? We need to consider how the bags are produced, how many times we will use it, and how you can dispose of it.* Watch the video below.
The solution for this mass problem starts with an awareness and the lessening of the impact of our choices on others and the world around us. Small decisions contribute to the mass problem. Don't think that your small contribution to a global problem is meaningless
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What's your "shepherd's bag" made of?
Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine."
*Source: ABC News In-depth
Often our "privatized" and individualistic mentality or lifestyle can make us believe that we live in isolation, and that our lifestyle choices only affect ourselves individually, "My choices, my life." But we belong to one another and no matter how private our actions are, they affect others through a ripple effect either directly or indirectly. If we believe that our life and all of creation are gifts from God, we owe it to God to care for one another by caring and preserving our biodiversity.
Fundamentally, we depend entirely on the planet’s living systems for survival. We’re a part of these systems and we cannot exist without them. The better we understand how the systems of life work, the more sustainably we can live. The less we know, the more likely we’re going to continue causing irreparable damage to Earth’s ecosystems. (Source: Dr. Peter Raven).
Ecological destruction and the loss of biodiversity obscure our ability to see and experience God, and are an affront to the Creator. The fate of the natural world and human life are fully intertwined. Ecological destruction harms human life, and human social injustice inevitably has ecological consequences. Source:Celebrate Life: Care of Creation, 1998, The Bishops of Alberta and NWT.
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Canadian Bishops invite Residential School Survivors, Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Youth to meet with Pope Francis in December
OTTAWA, November 10, 2021 – The Catholic Bishops of Canada are pleased to announce that 25-30 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Elders, knowledge keepers, residential school survivors, and youth will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican from December 17-20, 2021, accompanied by a small group of Canadian Bishops.
“The journey towards healing and reconciliation is a long one, but we believe this will be a significant milestone in the Catholic Church’s commitment to renewing, strengthening and reconciling relationships with Indigenous Peoples across the land,” said CCCB President, the Most Rev. Raymond Poisson. “With this delegation, we hope to walk together in a new way, to listen with humility, and to discern the next steps that the Church can take to support residential school survivors, their families, and their communities.”
The delegation has been planned through ongoing dialogue with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and other Indigenous leaders. While specific travel plans and itineraries are being coordinated with the delegates directly, representatives from the Vatican have confirmed that the Holy Father will participate in private meetings with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis delegates respectively to hear their personal stories of the lasting legacy of residential schools. Delegates will also have the opportunity to speak with the Holy Father about their hopes and expectations for his eventual pilgrimage to Canada.
In addition to this group of delegates, additional Indigenous Peoples have been invited to participate in the journey, including for a final audience with the Holy Father. Centred around the principles of mutual trust, respect, and a shared desire to move forward for a more hopeful future, the Canadian Bishops and Indigenous Partners have agreed upon the theme, “Indigenous Peoples and the Church: Walking Together Toward Healing and Reconciliation”.
Collectively, the delegation includes participants from across the country, representing multiple faith and linguistic backgrounds. Every delegate brings their own perspective on the history of colonialism and residential schools.
Travel and hospitality costs for the delegation will be covered by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Mental health workers will travel with the group, in recognition of the painful sentiments that may be experienced by many delegates.
Additional information on media accreditation and availabilities will be communicated in short order. Information about the delegates themselves will also be shared in the coming weeks, subject to their consent.
Download News Release (PDF)
In 2018, the Diocese hosted over 75 per cent of the national events for Red Wednesday. Aside from the churches, some Catholic schools, religious communities and community organizations will show their solidarity on Wednesday. Since 2015, the Diocese of Calgary, through its partnership with Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, has sponsored over 2,263 refugees without regard for religiosity or creed. Many of these refugees have either experienced religious persecution themselves or borne witness to hatred against religious groups. See photos below.
Do you know that Christian-themed Christmas stamps are an example of successful resolutions by the Catholic Women's League (CWL) of Canada?
National CWL Resolution 1959.12 resolved "that The Catholic Women's League of Canada in 39th annual national convention assembled at Saint John, N.B., request the federal government to plan a Christmas stamp depicting a “Nativity Scene” to be issued in Canada annually during the month of December."
This was followed by their Resolution 1980.11 which resolved that "The national council of The Catholic Women's League of Canada, in 60th annual national convention assembled, do commend Canada Post for the issues of postage stamps with religious themes and do recommend that each year one or more of the Christmas stamps issued have such a theme." Resolution 2005.01 resolved "that the national council of The Catholic Women's League of Canada, in 85th annual national convention assembled, urge Canada Post to include a Nativity-related theme in its future Christmas stamp issues." All of these resolutions were archived in 2016 because the action requested has been accomplished. Canadians have had a Christmas-themed stamp for several years now and deeply grateful for the effort of CWL in the process.
Canada Post began the tradition of featuring Nativity art on stamps in 1965, with an issue featuring the Gifts of the Magi. In the years since, the Nativity Scene has been portrayed in children’s illustrations (1970, 1975) stained glass windows (1976, 1997), gouache illustrations (1977), early Renaissance paintings (1978), icons (1988), Aboriginal art (2002), and more. The stamps have provided excellent opportunities to celebrate the birth of Jesus through Canadian art.
Booklets of the 2020 Nativity stamp, the 2019 The Magi, the 2017 Adoration of the Shepherds and 2018 "Away in a Manger" are still available on the Canada Post website.
2021 Nativity Stamps
Celebrate Christmas with this booklet of 12 permanent domestic rate stamps from the 2021 Christmas (Angels) stamp issue. This year’s Christmas issue is inspired by the angels who served as messengers in the Nativity story. The stamp features a simple line depiction of a Christmas angel on a serene white background.
Montréal-based artist Stéphane Huot and illustrator Luc Melanson, who resides near Montréal, produced simple line drawings on a crisp white background, evoking purity and peace through the Christmas season. Beloved symbols at Christmas, angels played an integral part in the Nativity story. In the Bible, these celestial beings, whose name derives from the Greek word for messenger, often serve as benevolent intermediaries between God and humanity. According to the Gospel of Luke, it was the archangel Gabriel who told Mary she would give birth to Jesus, “Son of the Most High,” and when the day arrived, it was an angel who announced the good news to shepherds tending their flocks in the region. A choir of angels singing God’s praise appeared around the messenger angel, and then the awed shepherds departed for Bethlehem to worship the newborn king. (Source: Canada Post)
These stamps are available in outlets as well as through the Canada Post website. Some nativity stamps from previous years are still available through the Canada Post website.
One major contributor to the world's waste problem is fast fashion and textile waste. An average person throws away 37 kg of textiles annually and North American send over 10 million tonnes of clothing to landfill every year. Globally, new garments produced annually now exceeds 100 billion, double the amount compared to the year 2000. (Source: WCWRCanada)
This infographic tells the story of textiles in Canada, from the first shoemaker to what it will take for our circular textile future.
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Canadians pause in silence on November 11 to remember those who died from war, and to pray for the victims of aggression and inhumanity throughout the world. This is a day to pray for peace, to consider what we are doing as individuals, as a community, and as a nation to bring God's peace into the world. (Source: ORDO)
A shrine to Our Lady of Lavang in the parish of St. Vincent Liem, Calgary has recently been built and blessed, and is the pride and joy of the Vietnamese community in the city.
Fr. Joseph Canh Vu, pastor of St. Francis Assisi parish and former pastor of St. Vincent Liem parish (2009-2017), says the Blessed Virgin Mary is an important part of the Vietnamese Catholic culture and the shrine has become popular for those who want to pray and honour the Holy Mother of God.
The shrine is devoted to the story of Our Lady who is said to have appeared many times in Lavang, Vietnam in 1798.
“The Vietnamese people are fond of the devotion of the Virgin Mary in Vietnam. Families say the Rosary often before going to bed,” said Father Joseph. “In Vietnam, it’s a tradition to devote ourselves to the Virgin Mary.
“The community is very excited. When people come to Mass, or even weekday Mass, they go to say a prayer in front of the shrine.”
St. Vincent Liem Church, which is located in the Forest Lawn neighbourhood, was formerly in Inglewood. After years of growth in Inglewood, the Church made the bold move to build a new Church where it is located today at 2412 48th Street SE. The current pastor of the church is Fr. Nguyễn Đức Vượng. The associate pastor is Fr. Phạm Công Liêm.
The new church was dedicated on July 11, 2015 by Bishop Emeritus Frederick Henry of the Calgary Diocese. It is known for its grandeur and modern architecture, featuring an open concept, natural lighting, and the versatile design with a touch of the Vietnamese heritage.
In the years 2009-2010, the St. Vincent Liem parish in Inglewood began to seriously contemplate building a new Church. The number of people attending Mass was increasing. Parking for the weekend was increasingly becoming more difficult.
From 2011 to 2013, the parish began planning the construction of a new Church. On June 15, 2013, the first broken stone officially opened the construction of a new Church in the Forest Lawn area. After the new Church was built, on May 16, 2015, the statue of Our Lady was moved and temporarily placed at the back area of the Church as a place for parishioners to pray.
On March 25, the parish held a Mass for the laying of the first stone to inaugurate the construction of the shrine. The project was completed in early October. On Oct. 10, Bishop William McGrattan officially blessed the shrine of Our Lady of Lavang.
Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers