Serving on a board, voting as a Catholic, politics between elections, and more

An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory
An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory.

One more way of bringing Gospel values to our neighbours: On a board or committee

Dear brothers and sisters,

We hope you’re safe and healthy, and that you and your loved ones are well despite the continuing pandemic. With God’s grace, hopefully our present crisis will pass soon. Until then, please continue to pray for those researching a vaccine—and for all the most vulnerable among us, who are facing the worst of the pandemic.

We’re coming up for air after two very successful Catholic Action campaigns in Saskatchewan and British Columbia! What a pleasure and privilege to collaborate with our friends in the dioceses of Saskatchewan, and the B.C. Catholic. It was exciting to share our materials outside the GTA, and to reach new audiences of fellow Catholics and people of good will across the country.

We’re excited for what’s next: a free webinar we’re hosting on November 25. The topic is a unique one: Serving and loving our neighbours as Catholics, through service on a board of directors or a committee. Whether a parish council, or a charitable board, a neighbourhood association, or even a business board, so many Catholics find themselves being invited to serve on committees. Is there anything to be afraid of?  How does our Catholic faith apply to that work? And indeed, how can we grow in our faith in such work? We’re bring together three very experienced board leaders—including two former chairs of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto—to tell us about their work and how their Catholic faith influences that work. If you’ve ever considered serving on a board or committee and wanted to learn more, don’t miss this webinar! You’ll find all the details below. And you can register by clicking here.

As always—you’re in our prayers, and we’re so grateful for your love and support.

One more thing: We’re always looking for new ideas. New programs we can undertake or events we can put together to help grow Catholic civic and political leadership in Canada. If you have an idea, send us an email! So many of our programs thus far have been inspired by the ideas of others. You can reach us at matthew@catholicconscience.org and brendan@catholicconscience.org.

With love,
Matthew Marquardt & Brendan Steven

Upcoming Events

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25 FROM 7-8 PM AND LEARN ABOUT SERVING ON A BOARD OR COMMITTEE AS A CATHOLIC

In 2020, Toronto Catholics marked the first annual Stewardship Sunday: a reminder that all our time, talent, and treasure are gifts of God’s love meant to be spent in service of others. One way we can offer our gifts to others is through serving on a board or committee whether of a charity, non-profit, business, or other institution. In this webinar, experienced Catholic board leaders will share their stories and you’ll learn:

  • Who should consider serving on a board, and why;
  • How Catholic social teaching calls us to serve our neighbours;
  • How board service can help you grow in faith, particularly in serving your neighbours and living out your Gospel values; and,
  • Explore opportunities to serve on a board.

Click here to RSVP and get all the event details!

Works of Mercy In Out Community

TORONTONIANS: HELP ST. PATRICK’S OUT OF THE COLD PROGRAM

Many Catholic Conscience supporters are parishioners at St. Patrick’s parish in downtown Toronto – in fact, Catholic Conscience can be said to have grown up there. So, we would be remiss not to share info about the winter expansion of St. Patrick’s Out of the Cold program. If you’re looking for a way help a neighbor this winter, here’s a great way to do it! Details below.

This year, with COVID-19, the programming for “Out of the Cold” has changed.  Meals are prepared for about 600 people and sent down to two downtown full-time shelters to help support their food supply, resources and mandate of care for our brothers and sisters who access their services.

Through a collaborative effort between St. Patrick’s Out of the Cold Program, Street Patrol – which normally operates in the summer months from St. Patrick’s, and Ignite Youth and Young Adult Ministry, we are offering WINTER STREET PATROL: “Into the Cold” beginning Sunday November 29th and running each Sunday until March, beginning at 4:00 pm sharp, and running until about 7:00 pm.  Gather at Neumann Hall (131 McCaul Street).  

As we cannot safely provide shelter on a weekly basis, we are taking it to the streets.

Brief Description of the Program:

  • Our Core Team (made up of experienced Out of the Cold and Street Patrol Volunteers) will assemble to prepare coffee, soup, clothing and medical supplies to go on the walks.
  • Casual Volunteers sign up for a day to join the walks.  These Volunteers bring with them a backpack with bagged lunches (sandwich, drink, fruit, sweet snack) which the Casual Volunteers will distribute on the walk.
  • Our Van with extra supplies will follow the groups and set up stations and replenish supplies onroute.
  • Casual Volunteers are accompanied on the walk by our Core Team.
  • Provide referral information for safety, shelter and support services.

Commitment of Casual Volunteers

  • Volunteers sign up for a particular day using our online registration platform. This will help with volunteer  count and contact tracing records.
  • Volunteers respect and adhere to Health Safety Protocols and Social Distancing measures during the Program.
  • Being Casual Volunteers, you commit to the days you want to participate.  If you are looking to participate on more than one occasion, you need to register for each day you will participate.
  • Groups would ensure they sign up each person individually.  
  • We can only take about 25 volunteers per walk (usually in two groups), so registration is due by the Wednesday prior to a particular Sunday, or until the week is full.
  • Volunteers bring about 8-10 bagged lunches with them in a backpack.
  • Volunteers should be prepared to walk in the weather conditions of the day, and be able to use public transport (Presto Card) should the group travel by transit to a specific destination.
  • Except for the Van with extra supplies, the groups of volunteers led by the Core Team Members travel together for safety.

 
For More Information, please visit the Parish Website:  
www.bit.ly/winterstreetpatrol-info

To Register as a Casual Volunteer, Visit the Online Portal:  www.bit.ly/winterstreetpatrol

Please share this information with anyone who might be interested in taking part in an opportunity to reach out to our brothers and sisters who call the streets their homes, and who are very much effected by the realities of COVID-19 in these winter months.

Thank you, and God Bless!

Conscience Conversations

THE ELECTION IS OVER, BUT THE POLITICS CONTINUE: OUR INTERVIEW WITH THE B.C. CATHOLIC

After working with the B.C. Catholic newspaper on delivering the Catholic Action campaign for that province’s election, our President Matthew Marquardt was interviewed about feedback the campaign received and his thoughts on the need for Catholic engagement in politics between election cycles.

I think there is wide agreement that none of the B.C. parties this election had a perfectly Catholic platform, and it’s possible, perhaps likely, that none of them ever will. But I think it’s also possible that all of them could end up having very good Catholic platforms. One of the reasons we can’t tell what impact we have in the election is that none of the parties is perfect, yet none of them is entirely opposed to all the teaching of the Church. There’s room for conversation. There’s room for respectful discourse. So I think that over time there’s certainly room for improvement.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW

Serving Your Community

READ IN THE CATHOLIC REGISTER ABOUT HOW YOU CAN PROVIDE WINTER CLOTHES FOR KIDS IN NEED

“I guess people have had more time at home to do their tidying up and cleaning,” said Louise Coutu, executive director of the St. Vincent De Paul Society. “They feel very good if the items can go to a cause where they know it’s either going to be used by someone directly or that they can use the return for the goods.”

In operation for roughly 30 years, the Bundle Up program has been a conduit between people who want to give away their surplus clothing and those that are in need. On any given weekend the organization sends vehicles to six or seven different parishes across the GTA where parishioners are able to bring their goods to Mass and just put them right on the truck.

“It has kind of eliminated the old drop box idea where there’s a lot of contamination where items are left out the door and open to the elements,” said Coutu. “This way the goods come to us in better condition and it’s still convenient for the parishioner.”

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

From The Holy Father

DR. BRETT SALKELD ON “VOTING LIKE A CATHOLIC”

We are still processing the wisdom and insights of Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Fratelli tutti—on universal fraternity and particularly the vocation of politics. During the Saskatchewan election, the diocese of Saskatoon hosted us for a virtual conversation about the encyclical and the place of Catholics in Canadian politics. We were joined in that conversation by Dr. Brett Salkeld, the theologian-in-residence at the Archdiocese of Regina. Dr. Salkeld has written in the past about Catholic political vocation. We wanted to share a recent article of his on “voting like a Catholic”, which shares so much in common with our mission at Catholic Conscience:

Consider the following: What does it mean that American Catholics who identify as Republican or Democrat typically sound more like other, non-Catholic Republicans or Democrats than we sound like one another? We are happy to point out where we believe our party comports with the Gospel, but where it does not, we far too commonly downplay the irksome bit of Church teaching instead of critiquing our party with the Gospel. (We notice this pattern quite easily, by the way, when it is done by members of the other party.) Or, like Adam hoping he could hide his own guilt by blaming Eve, we think we can excuse the evils in our own parties because the other party is ostensibly worse.

This is a scandal! It shows that our priorities are often much more easily shaped by our partisan political commitments than by our faith. This is, to put it in the stark terms of the Bible, idolatry. And this idolatry is damaging our society, our Church, and our souls.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

What We’re Watching

FREE WEBINAR: CELEBRATE THE LIVING LEGACY OF DOROTHY DAY

Our Executive Director Brendan is a great admirer of legendary American Catholic activist and servant of the poor, Dorothy Day. Her biography Long Loneliness was a critical step for his return to the church, and she is an iconic example of Catholic citizenship in action. America Magazine and the Dorothy Day Guild are co-hosting an event to mark the 40th anniversary of her death.

Join the Dorothy Day Guild and America Media as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Servant of God Dorothy Day.

PANELISTS INCLUDE:
David Brooks, Op-ed Columnist, The New York Times
Anne Snyder, Editor in Chief, Comment magazine
Paul Elie, Senior Fellow, Georgetown University

Convener: Robert Ellsberg, Publisher, Orbis Books

Interviewer: Colleen Dulle, Assistant Producer, America Media

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR

Prayer

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER TO THE CREATOR, FROM FRATELLI TUTTI

Pope Francis wrote this prayer as part of his new encyclical. Pray it in a spirit of universal solidarity, that Catholics may collectively be peacemakers in politics around the world—serving justice and human dignity wherever we serve.


Lord, Father of our human family,
you created all human beings equal in dignity:
pour forth into our hearts a fraternal spirit
and inspire in us a dream of renewed encounter,
dialogue, justice and peace.
Move us to create healthier societies
and a more dignified world,
a world without hunger, poverty, violence and war.
May our hearts be open
to all the peoples and nations of the earth.
May we recognize the goodness and beauty
that you have sown in each of us,
and thus forge bonds of unity, common projects,
and shared dreams. Amen.

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