Finding humility in Holy Week, helping our neighbours access a COVID-19 vaccine, and more

Dear friends,

In his encyclical Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis describes many of the challenges facing us in politics and civic life. Among their many causes, he draws out a common theme: our lack of social and political humility. He calls us to a greater love, born in humility and the realization that we grow closer to God by loving others as we love ourselves: “Sincere and humble worship of God bears fruit not in discrimination, hatred and violence, but in respect for the sacredness of life, respect for the dignity and freedom of others, and loving commitment to the welfare of all.

It is Holy Week. In this week before he gave himself to us in the overwhelming love of the cross, Christ suffered tremendous humiliations. He was beaten, mocked, abandoned by his disciples and the society that was meant to protect him; stripped, nailed to a cross, and left to die in front of his mother. There is no greater humility than this: God allowing himself to be subjected to the worst human cruelties, out of sheer love for all.

Let us pray this Holy Week for even a crumb of this unlimited humility—that we may apply it in our personal and social lives, and in encountering the pain and suffering around us, pose the question “What can I do to serve?” instead of “How can I avoid this?”

Almighty and ever-living God, graciously grant that we may heed Christ’s lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection—and may this spirit of humility wash over our politics, our culture, and every citizen with the power, big and small, to do something for the good of others.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

With our prayers for a meaningful Holy Week for you all,
Matthew & Brendan

Upcoming Events

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21 FOR OUR FREE WEBINAR WITH ACCLAIMED CATHOLIC AUTHOR CHARLES CAMOSY ON THROWAWAY CULTURE, AND HOW A CONSISTENT LIFE ETHIC CAN UNITE LEFT AND RIGHT

A conversation about how Catholics can transcend the left-right political divide and build a political culture of encounter and hospitality

Ours is a “throwaway culture”, in the words of Pope Francis—one in which the vulnerable are too-often discarded like trash. It doesn’t have to be this way. In his book Resisting Throwaway Culture, Fordham University professor Charles Camosy calls us to transcend the left-right political divide in favour of a Catholic culture of hospitality and encounter where “no one is useless, no one is expendable… [and includes] those on the peripheries of life.” Join us for a free webinar with Professor Camosy about how a Consistent Life Ethic can unite us and build this political culture, one rooted in love and human dignity.

In our conversation with Professor Camosy, we’ll discuss:

  • Our current state of toxic political polarization
  • How a Catholic social vision can transcend both the political left and right, and resist the forces tearing us apart
  • Pope Francis’ idea of a throwaway culture vs. a culture of encounter, and what it would be like to live in the latter
  • How do we consistently apply a Catholic life ethic across a range of issues?
  • How can we live a culture of encounter in our ordinary lives as Christian citizens? What would the consequences be for our communities?

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21ST @ 7:30-8:30 PM EDT

👉 CLICK HERE TO RSVP FOR YOUR FREE TICKET
MEET OUR GUEST, PROFESSOR CHARLES CAMOSY

Charles C. Camosy is associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University. His work on ethics and policy moves beyond stale and lazy arguments which artificially pit liberals and conservatives against each other. Instead, Camosy finds common ground by unpacking the real complexities of some of today’s most passionately debated issues.

Works of Mercy In Out Community

HELP THE SENIORS IN YOUR LIFE BOOK A COVID-19 VACCINE APPOINTMENT

At long last, Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign is under way. As Catholics, we have a duty to be vaccinated. In the words of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Catholics are invited to be vaccinated, both in keeping with the dictates of their conscience and in contributing to the common good by promoting the health and safety of others… All COVID-19 vaccines that are medically approved by the relevant health authorities may be licitly received by Catholics. Since there is currently no choice of vaccine being offered, Catholics in good conscience, may receive the vaccine that is available and offered to them.”

In many parts of Canada, COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be booked online or over the phone. For some elderly members of our Catholic community, accessing vaccinations might be difficult. They may need technical assistance in booking an appointment online or over the phone, or a drive to their appointment at a clinic or hospital. No matter the needs, we encourage you to privately reach out to the elderly people in your life and offer to help them book and attend an appointment. Those who will have the hardest time booking an appointment are often those who are most at risk from the virus. Your loving intercession could help protect their lives. Remember: When helping, be sure to strictly follow public health guidance.

Below are links to some provincial and municipal COVID-19 resources, with information on booking vaccination appointments:

City of Toronto
Ontario
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Alberta
British Columbia
Quebec
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland & Labrador

Conscience Conversations

WATCH OUR CONVERSATION WITH DR. TOD WORNER ABOUT READING OUR WAY TO GOD

In February, we were honoured to host Dr. Tod Worner, the managing editor of the Word on Fire Institute’s Evangelization & Culture journal. Who better to tell us about the power of spiritual reading in bringing us closer to God, discovering who we are in God’s eyes, and helping us love our neighbours better?

In this spiritually nourishing conversation that will especially delight the readers in our audience, Dr. Tod Worner discusses with Catholic Conscience’s volunteer animator Peter Copeland:

  • The place of great literature in the spiritual journey, and how these works can serve as “the echoes of God in the outside world”;
  • How reading inspires conversion;
  • How the beauty of great reading opens our hearts to the Holy Spirit;
  • How modern humanities education in the universities has shifted focus away from great literature and virtue ethics;
  • The essential humanity in great works of fiction, and even non-Catholic works of literature and how they help us discover who we are in God’s eyes; and,
  • How reading led Dr. Worner and others to Catholicism.

You can click below to watch the full conversation.
 👉 CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL WEBINAR

Serving Your Community

WE’RE EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY FOR OUR UPCOMING CATHOLIC LEADERS MISSION WORKSHOPS

In the vision of Catholic teaching, civic leadership is a vocation—one of the most important for nourishing the true common good of all. For Catholic civic leaders, proper formation is critical: the well-being and integrity of our communities is at stake.
The formation of such leaders is the purpose of our Catholic Leaders Mission: our two-day workshops offer spiritual and moral formation, methods of discernment, and practical skills needed for the political vocation. Our graduates emerge ready to serve their communities in a spirit of political love, through a commitment to the principles of Catholic social teaching and the enhancement of the dignity of all they serve.
When we first announced the CLM, the program was aimed at elected officials and those either campaigning for political office or discerning a campaign for office in the next two years. We have come to realize that the skills and spiritual formation offered by CLM are wider to a much wider group, of all those serving in a political vocation. These might include:

  • Catholic politicians and political candidates;
  • Catholics who work in politics, including political staff and public servants;
  • Catholics who work for or volunteer for Catholic charities and advocacy organizations; and,
  • Catholics who serve in community leadership roles, such as on a board of directors, a parish council, or a committee.

Beyond this list, we welcome all those who work in a political vocation. If your own work or volunteer service doesn’t perfectly fit the above list, we are open to discussing further with you. Simply email brendan@catholicconscience.org and we can chat!
Here are four reasons you should join the 2021 CLM cohort.

  • Grow into your calling as a servant-leader.
  • Develop the skills needed to succeed in your service.
  • Learn from top Catholic leaders and political practitioners.
  • Join a growing community of Catholics in political and civic service.

👉 CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

OR EMAIL BRENDAN@CATHOLICCONSCIENCE.ORG FOR MORE DETAILS

From The Holy Father

NEW POPE FRANCIS DOCUMENTARY OUT NOW ON DISCOVERY+

A new documentary about Pope Francis has been released, taking a closer look at the ministry of our extraordinary Holy Father and the contemporary social issues which animate his apostolate to a hurting human family. In the words of the film’s director:

“This film is a love letter to the Earth and its people and will be there as a strong reminder of what can happen when we stop ‘loving one another’. May we all follow the simple mantra and beautiful actions of this incredible man – Pope Francis. I hope that it will bring attention to the important global issues portrayed in the film; and that we can come together to effect change in the world and preserve it for the future. With Pope Francis as the central figure in the film, it is a testament to the power of one person to make a difference. And an inspiration to the viewer to do the same.”

👉CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

👉CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHERE YOU CAN WATCH THE FILM

What We’re Watching

REDEMPTORIST TV REFLECTIONS ON DIGNIFIED EMPLOYMENT, ESSENTIAL WORKERS, ENCOUNTERING THE POOR, AND MORE FOR THE YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH

Our Executive Director recently collaborated with RedemptoristTV to produce a series of video reflections in honour of the Year of St. Joseph and Pope Francis’ apostolic letter, Patris corde, extoling the virtues of this extraordinary Christian saint. Many of these reflections touch on pressing contemporary civic challenges like dignified employment, encountering the vulnerable, the heroism and danger facing essential workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, and more. St. Joseph is one of our patron saints at Catholic Conscience and is the patron of Canada. In challenging times we turn to him for strength and guidance towards his timeless virtues: humility, trust in God, diligence, fortitude, and more.

👉CLICK HERE TO WATCH A REFLECTION ON THE ORDINARY HEROES OF THE PANDEMIC

👉CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL SERIES

Prayer

REGINA ARCHBISHOP DONALD BOLEN’S PRAYER FOR CATHOLICS DURING ELECTIONS

During the 2020 provincial elections in Saskatchewan, Archbishop Donald Bolen of the Archdiocese of Regina offered this prayer for use during elections. This prayer has become a beloved one for us here at Catholic Conscience. We pray it often for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our lay apostolate, and for all Catholics serving in civic and political vocations. We share this slightly amended version with you now and ask for your prayers as well:

Lord, father of our human family,

Your son Jesus taught us in the parable of the good Samaritan that each of us is called to care for our brothers and sisters without concern for our differences, or what divides us.

Pour your spirit out upon each and every one of us. Give us, and all involved in the civic and political vocation,
A spirit of humility to acknowledge our failuresA spirit of gratitude for each of the gifts you have given usA spirit of wisdom, to guide our actions in accordance with your teachingA spirit of fraternity, so that we might have concern for the most vulnerableAnd a spirit of love, so that we might abide even more fully in You.

O God, Trinity of love, from the profound communion of your divine life grant each and every one of us a deeper sense of unity. Give to us a desire to sacrifice ourselves for our brothers and sisters. Help us to live like your family did, with simplicity in Nazareth, and as the early Christian community did, whose charity has spread throughout the world.

O Good Shepherd, Christ the King, you are our Guide. Continue to guide us then to your will in this, and in every moment of our lives.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
St Joseph, pray for us.
St Joan of Arc, pray for us.
San Juan Diego, pray for us.
St Keteri Tekakwitha, pray for us.
Ste. Marguerite Bourgeoys, pray for us.
St André Bessette, pray for us.

Amen.

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