by Tina Hanlon, Community Life Chairperson
We begin our new year with disturbing news from the Government of Canada in Ottawa. Our National Community Life Chairperson, Betty Colaneri, states in her 7th Communique that as a Catholic business owner applying to the Summer Jobs Program to hire students is no longer an option. She quotes the National Post who reported Canada’s Employment Minister, Patty Hajdu, stated, “churches and other religious groups are eligible for a federal grant to hire summer students as long as their core mandate agrees with access to abortion.”
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement stating the attestation “seriously undermines the right to religious freedom since the Government of Canada is directly limiting the right of religious tradition to hold, teach and practice their principles and values in public. Furthermore, the recently announced policy represents an attempt to restrict the voices of faith communities in Canadian democracy and to limit their participation in the pubic square.”
I add my voice to Betty's, asking you to contact your local MP and Minister of Employment to voice your concerns.
On another note, I would like to inform you that there will be a Lent Campaign Workshop held at St. Peter’s Church in Nanaimo on February 10, 2018, from 9:30 am – 3 pm, sponsored by Development and Peace. If you or your League sisters are free to attend, I am sure they would love to see you there. I unfortunately already have a commitment for that day, but I pray for a successful attendance. This is another tool we are given to show Our Lady of Good Counsel how we are trying to follow the teachings of her Son by looking out for the less fortunate.
This winter has been very hard on the homeless in our communities, with the snow, cold, rain and winds and the wracking colds and flus that are going around. I know your Councils are already working hard to support the food banks and homeless shelters, soup kitchens and school lunch programs. Please keep up this important work and remind your fellow parishioners — that this is not just a job for the CWL, but for the whole Christian Community.
Our council lost an avid Community Life promoter on Friday, February 26, 2018, when Rose Marie Hague who served our council in that chair for two terms, died. She lived to promote healing relationships with First Nations, the poor and suffering, the homeless and also lead Adult Faith Formation groups. As I finish my term as your Community Life Chair for Diocesan, I can feel Rose Marie pushing me, telling me how I have to “get the people out to listen!” May she rest in peace.
Thank you so much for your work with Community Life. As always, you can’t do it all, but if each of us does a little bit, we will make a difference.
God bless you all in the upcoming Lenten season, and may Our Lady of Good Counsel continue to guide us, her workers, for Jesus her Son.