New encyclical, stewardship, and voting Catholic

Sacristy - Madonna in prayer
Sacristy – Madonna in prayer

“Brothers and sisters, all”

Dear friends,

We have something to celebrate this coming October—news that Pope Francis is finishing a new encyclical, Frutelli tutti, which will be released for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 3rd.

This Pope always has something important to tell us about the way we relate to and love our neighbours—including (and perhaps especially!) those who do not share our Catholic faith. In the Holy Father’s uniquely warm yet realistically paternal spirit, Frutelli tutti (“Brothers and sisters, all” in English) will address the theme of human fraternity, that is recognizing each other as brothers and sisters, and the importance of this in the contemporary world for the promotion of peace, harmony and solidarity between individuals and nations.”

We look forward to reading the full encyclical and sharing with you the ways it can be applied to your own unique charism as a Catholic leader, witness, and citizen here in Canada. This is the purpose of this newsletter, and all of Catholic Conscience’s work: to help you love your neighbours through practical and realistic works in the community, civic, and political life.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter—and we always welcome feedback and ideas for what can be included in future additions! You can reach us at matthew@catholicconscience.org or brendan@catholicconscience.org.

As always, you’re in our prayers—may you remain safe and healthy in these challenging times.

With love,
Matthew Marquardt & Brendan Steven

Upcoming Events

WE’RE EXCITED TO BRING THE CATHOLIC ACTION CAMPAIGN TO SASKATCHEWAN IN 2020

Saskatchewan is set to hold a provincial election this fall, and we’re proud to be offering Saskatchewan Catholic voters a localized version of our Catholic Action campaign in partnership with Saskatchewan’s Catholic community. We first launched the Catholic Action campaign for the 2019 provincial election—a non-partisan, get-out-the-vote and voter education initiative. Catholic Action is centered on educating Catholic voters about Catholic social teaching and how they relate to relevant political issues; and mobilizing the Catholic community to go out and vote. Our first Catholic Action campaign was for the 2019 federal election, an unprecedented effort that reached thousands of Catholic voters in the GTA. It included our popular Conscience Cards, one-page briefs on themes of Catholic social teaching and its relation to relevant election issues. We’re excited to be bringing Catholic Action to Saskatchewan, to help Saskatchewan Catholic voters prayerfully and thoughtfully discern their vote in this provincial election.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR 2020 SASKATCHEWAN CATHOLIC ACTION CAMPAIGN 

Works of Mercy In Out Community

HELP TORONTO KIDS RETURN TO SCHOOL WITH THE ANGEL FOUNDATION FOR LEARNING

As students across Canada begin a new school year and return to classrooms, there’s a great deal of anxiety among parents, teachers, and kids about the reality of education during COVID-19.

We can help support students returning to class through our donations. For example: here in Toronto, the Angel Foundation for Learning—the official charity of the Toronto Catholic District School Board—works to ensure every student has an equal opportunity to succeed, through special support programs for kids who need them.

Consider a donation to the Angel Foundation this year, in solidarity and support of students returning to class under difficult circumstances.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ANGEL FOUNDATION

AND CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW!

Conscience Conversations

Bigger is not always better, says the B.C. Catholic

In a recent article for the B.C. Catholic, writer Paul Schratz reviewed the too-little known Catholic social teaching principle of subsidiarity—and why it’s a vital principle to keep in mind when thinking about politics from a Catholic perspective. Paul quoted at length from our recent Conscience Conversation on the topic of subsidiarity:

“[Subsidiarity] stands between the twin monsters of collectivism – the idea that all decision-making should be made by larger aggregations of distant governing bodies – and individualism, the idea that all power should be invested in individuals and that only individual interests should drive societal decision-making.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM THE B.C. CATHOLIC

OR CLICK HERE TO READ OUR CONSCIENCE CONVERSATION ON SUBSIDIARITY

Serving Your Community

ARCHDIOCESE OF TORONTO LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY

On September 20, the Archdiocese of Toronto launched its first-ever Stewardship Sunday—a celebration and call to stewardship. Stewardship is a critical theme for us here at Catholic Conscience. Everything we have and everything we are—our time, talents, and treasures—do not belong to us, but rather, are loaned to us by God. In turn, we are called to use those gifts for the benefit of all—to multiply God’s gifts through good works. Our mission at Catholic Conscience is to inspire a sense of stewardship among Catholics, to offer their gifts in civic and political life. We hope you enjoy the Stewardship Sunday resources as much as we did.
 
Click here to watch Cardinal Collins’ homily for Stewardship Sunday.
 
To mark Stewardship Sunday, the Archdiocese also produced this wonderful video thanking all those who have worked so hard and volunteered to support the re-opening of parishes. Click here to watch.
 
Last but not least, read Cardinal Collins’ pastoral letter Stewardship, which reflects on these critical themes at length:
 
Cardinal Collins’ pastoral letter, “Stewardship”, is both a reflective guide and an urgent exhortation for Catholics to be aware of God’s gracious gifts and to live fully, gratefully, in service to others through sharing of time, talent, and treasure. He begins by unpacking the meaning of stewardship in Christian life. In this section, he offers the context for stewardship: the acknowledgement that we have received everything from God, and are “asked to make good use of what has been entrusted to us.” We are called to live as stewards with “creativity and boldness” and to regularly examine how we use the gifts that we have been given.

From The Holy Father

Read in the National Catholic Reporter more details about Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical, clearly inspired by the life and ministry of St. Francis of Assisi:

Pope Francis will travel to Assisi Oct. 3 to sign an encyclical on the social, political and economic obligations that flow from a belief that all people are children of God and therefore brothers and sisters to one another.

The Vatican press office, confirming the pope’s trip, said the document will be titled “Fratelli Tutti” in Italian or “Brothers and Sisters All.”

Conventual Franciscan Fr. Mauro Gambetti, custodian of the Assisi convent, said the document “will indicate to the world a style for the future and will give the church and people of goodwill the responsibility for building it together.”

“The pope is clearly inspired by Francis of Assisi who, in following Jesus, recognized in fraternity, lived under the sign of mutual and loving service, the horizon of a fulfilled and happy humanity,” Gambetti added.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE BY CLICKING HERE

What We’re Watching

HOW TO VOTE CATHOLIC

We greatly enjoyed this video produced by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on “how to vote Catholic.” It’s a great, short video resource on how any Catholic can prayerfully and thoughtfully reflect on their vote through Scripture and Catholic social teaching, to discern and form your conscience and cast your vote with the dignity of all in mind.

“By voting we help to determine and structure the common good. One of the core teachings of Christ is love your neighbour. This [voting] is a way of expressing our love for neighbour—by looking at our Christian principles and teachings of Christ and raising the question, who is best addressing the needs of my neighbours?”

With elections underway in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and a federal election possible at any time, it’s a great introduction for Catholics who want to learn about the process of determining their vote through formation of conscience and Catholic faith.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

Prayer

STRONG IN TRIBULATION: PRAYERS FOR PANDEMICS

Earlier this year, the Vatican published a special book of prayers specially for pandemics. You can click here to read the entire book. Consider saying these prayers that God might deliver us from COVID-19, which has taken too many lives and caused such extraordinary harm to the world.

As you pray these prayers, please keep in your heart our brothers and sisters in British Columbia and Saskatchewan—that despite these circumstances, each citizen in those provinces discern their vote thoughtfully, by educating themselves on the party platforms and a positive vision for their community’s future.

Prayer for Liberation from the Epidemic to Our Lady of Divine Love

O Mary, You shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who, at the cross, united with Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.

You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need, and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us. He who took our sufferings upon Himself and burdened Himself with our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of Resurrection.

Amen.

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