Beauty of Creation webinar this Thursday, the Synod on synodality, and thank you for voting with a Catholic Conscience
On September 20, the 2021 federal election ended and Canadians chose their next government. Many have said that the election changed little in Canada. That this Parliament doesn’t look much different from the last one. That may be true in many ways, but for us here at Catholic Conscience, this election was a great joy. It marked our fourth Catholic Action campaign: sharing resources to share with you more about Catholic social teaching, helping you form your conscience, discern your vote through the lens of your faith, and working to increase Catholic voter turnout across our community.
We’re happy to share that over 10,000 Canadians connected with us during this election. They read our party platform comparison tool. They watched our virtual all-parties forum, where Catholic representatives from the major parties shared their vision for Canada in the context of our shared faith. They attended our webinars or other events, organized in partnership with Catholic communities across Canada. They prayed with us during our nine-day rosary novena for the people of Canada. This was by far the highest engagement we have experienced thus far during an election.
We write today to share our gratitude with you for your participation in this campaign. Whether you read our resources, attended our events, or watched our videos, we hope you found them helpful as you discerned your own conscience and voted with a Catholic heart and hope for Canada’s future. Thank you as well to the many parishes, dioceses, and Catholic organizations who shared our resources with their parishioners and supporters. Watching thousands of Catholics participate in this campaign in every part of Canada fills us with joy, that the People of God in our country continue to think about their citizenship as Catholics, to vote with a Catholic conscience, and to love and serve their neighbours in this critical way.
We once again find ourselves with a minority government, meaning another federal election could come at any time. As well, a provincial election in Ontario is coming next year. We are always looking for new ways to improve and creatively grow our election program. If you have any ideas, thoughts, or questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless you, and God bless our country. Please continue to pray for our elected officials, our leaders, the many candidates who participated in this election, and for our government: that they may make decisions for the common good and human dignity of all Canadians.
As always, we hope you enjoy this newsletter and pray that it inspires your Catholic conscience as we continue to journey together as disciples in this wonderful country of ours.
Matt & Brendan
THIS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, JOIN OUR WEBINAR ON ECOLOGICAL CONVERSION WITH SISTER DAMIEN MARIE SAVINO—PART OF OUR BEAUTY OF CREATION SERIES
In Laudato si’, Pope Francis calls us to ecological conversion, and writes that “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue.” Join us in conversation with Sister Damien Marie Savino, a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist and Dean of Science and Sustainability at Aquinas College, as we explore:
- This call to ecological conversion and its meaning;
- The Catholic idea of integral human ecology, and its synthesis with the health, environmental and ecological sciences; and,
- The way forward for integrating care for God’s creation into our daily practices of discipleship.
We will be led in this exploration by an extraordinary apostle living out her vocation as both a religious and an expert at the crossroads of theology and science.
MEET OUR GUEST
Sister Damien Marie Savino, FSE, Ph.D., is a Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist and currently serves as the Dean of Science and Sustainability at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In this position she oversees the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography and Environmental Studies departments and the college’s Center for Sustainability. Sister Damien Marie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biogeography from McGill University, her Master of Science degree in Soil and Plant Science from University of Connecticut, her Master of Arts degree in Theology from The Catholic University of America and her Ph.D. degree in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from The Catholic University of America. She has lectured and written widely on Laudato Si’ and integral ecology, as well as on themes related to ecological restoration and resilience theory, ecological health, ecology and theology, and science and faith.
Works of Mercy In Our Community
THE CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CANADA APOLOGIZE TO THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THIS LAND
Gathered in Plenary late last month, the Catholic bishops of Canada collectively issued an apology to Canadian Indigenous peoples in acknowledgment of the suffering caused by residential schools run by Catholic institutions.
Having heard the requests to engage Pope Francis in this reconciliation process, a delegation of Indigenous survivors, Elders/knowledge keepers, and youth will meet with the Holy Father in Rome in December 2021. Pope Francis will encounter and listen to the Indigenous participants, so as to discern how he can support our common desire to renew relationships and walk together along the path of hope in the coming years. We pledge to work with the Holy See and our Indigenous partners on the possibility of a pastoral visit by the Pope to Canada as part of this healing journey.
We commit ourselves to continue accompanying you, the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land. Standing in respect of your resiliency, strength and wisdom, we look forward to listening to and learning from you as we walk in solidarity.
In addition to the apology, the Canadian bishops also announced a new $30 million financial commitment over five years for Reconciliation initiatives and meaningful projects across the country.
Bishop William McGrattan, Vice President of the CCCB, articulated the importance of working together with Indigenous Peoples on local goals, timing, and distribution of funds. “The Bishops of Canada have been guided by the principle that we should not speak about Indigenous People without speaking with them. To that end, the ongoing conversations with local leadership will be instrumental in discerning the programs that are most deserving of support. There is no single step that can eliminate the pain felt by residential school survivors, but by listening, seeking relationships, and working collaboratively where we are able, we hope to learn how to walk together in a new path of hope.”
POPE FRANCIS, VIRGIL, AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY: AMERICA MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS FORMER BANK OF CANADA GOVERNOR ON BUILDING A MORE HUMANE ECONOMY
America Magazine interviewed former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney on his new book, Value(s): Building a Better World for All, his thesis on the need to build a humane economy that properly stewards resources for the future, and how Pope Francis inspired his thinking:
Value(s) may be the first book from a former central banker that not only calls for an entire re-evaluation of the underpinnings of market forces, but cites a metaphor used by Pope Francis as a central inspiration. “I was at a meeting that the Vatican had with a wide range of people about the market economy and the social market economy,” Mr. Carney said in an interview with America. “It was around the time of the Argentina-Germany World Cup match in 2014, and the pope came into a lunch we were having and surprised us all.”
The pope’s lesson, as Carney relates it in Value(s), was relatively straightforward: Wine, which was served with their meal, is many things and enlivens the senses. But grappa, which was served at the end of the meal, is but one thing: alcohol distilled. Drawing on this theme, Pope Francis likened humanity in its diversity and richness to wine, and the marketplace to grappa—humanity distilled. The job of those present, the pope said, was to turn grappa back into wine, the market back into humanity. “What I took from his parable was the question: To what extent can you turn the market back into humanity? And what are the values over time that preserve the best of the market but also more broadly serve society?” Mr. Carney said.
With over 500 pages, the book meticulously lays out Carney’s argument that the market is not fundamentally amoral but that there are existential threats that will require broad cooperation across markets, governments and societies to meet the pope’s challenge. Mr. Carney’s writing, while not explicitly invoking Pope Pius XI’s encyclical “Quadragesimo Anno,” adheres closely to the notion laid out by Pius XI that both libertarianism and collectivism are the “twin rocks of shipwreck,” the Scylla and Charybdis between which we must chart a safe passage.
Serving Your Community
HAPPY 170TH ANNIVERSARY TO THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH IN TORONTO
At Catholic Conscience, we are blessed to work with so many individuals whose lives have been transformed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. Indeed, two of our closest collaborators and friends—Vickie McNally, one of our board directors, and Sabrina Chiefari—work for the Sisters of St. Joseph, and we have worked with others in the world of the Sisters these past years. Even simply as individuals living in Toronto, our lives have been touched by the Sisters in ways we can’t even imagine. So many of the Sisters’ ministries over the years are now well-known and core Toronto institutions, like St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Michael’s Homes, and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
That’s why there are so many reasons to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the Sisters’ presence here in Toronto. We want to share in this celebration, by congratulating the Sisters and offering our gratitude for their charism and impact in our city. To mark the occasion, we encourage you to consider making a donation to one of the charities above or learn more about the Sisters and their legacy by clicking the links below.
Thank you Sisters, and we look forward to seeing where the Spirit leads your charism in the years to come!
From The Holy Father
PARTICIPATE IN OUR CHURCH’S SYNOD ON SYNODALITY
Usually, a Synod of Bishops is a one-month affair where bishops gather to discuss and discern the direction of the Holy Spirit on a particular topic of importance to the Church, so that the entire Church might move in one direction together. But during his ministry as our Holy Father, Pope Francis has emphasized synodality as the mode of being and discipleship for all the People of God. Those principles are coming to life with the Synod on Synodality, a two-year synodal process where all are invited to participate. The aim is to put synodality into practice among all the faithful, and throughout the Church.
The synodal process begins this October with conversations, consultations, and input at the local diocesan level. Catholic faithful will be invited to participate in this process—keep an eye out for how your diocese will be engaging the faithful in conversation, and please participate and contribute so the fruits of this process may benefit the whole Church!
👉 CLICK HERE TO READ A SUMMARY OF THE SYNOD ON SYNODALITY FROM SALT + LIGHT MEDIA
👉 CLICK HERE TO READ THE SYNOD’S PREPARATORY DOCUMENT
👉 CLICK HERE TO READ A PRIMER ON SYNODALITY FROM SALT + LIGHT MEDIA
If you’re interested in a longer, theologically rich read on synodality…
👉 CLICK HERE TO READ THE INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION’S SYNODALITY IN THE LIFE AND MISSION OF THE CHURCH
What We’re Watching
WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE OF OUR BEAUTY OF CREATION SERIES:
ON HUMAN UNIQUENESS WITH PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER BAGLOW
If you missed the live webinar, you can now watch on YouTube the opening discussion in our series on faith and science, called The Beauty of Creation, where we’ll be engaging with leading scientists, philosophers and theologians. We hope to learn from them as we look for new syntheses that build upon and deepen our understanding of the world from the perspectives of science and faith, which are mutually enriching. This first conversation is with Professor Christopher Baglow on the uniqueness of the human person as seen through science and our Catholic faith.
Chris Baglow, P.h.D., is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and the Director of the Science and Religion Initiative of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, where he creates and directs programming that assists Catholic leaders in bringing the Catholic faith and modern science into dialogue for the sake of the New Evangelization.
ADSUMUS, SANCTE SPIRITUS
Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus, the first word of the Latin original meaning, “We stand before You, Holy Spirit,” which has been historically used at Councils, Synods and other Church gatherings. As the Holy Father calls all of us to participate in the synodal process in the lead-up to the Synod on synodality in 2023, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to operate within us so that we may be a community and a people of grace.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.
All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.