The Common Good Catholic – February 2021
We’ve been thinking about the future lately. We’ve been looking towards a time when the pandemic has passed—when we are all vaccinated, and that blessed day when we can once again safely gather for Mass, fellowship, and celebration. We’ve been looking towards the future of our work at Catholic Conscience—we recently concluded a wonderful board retreat and have begun to formulate a five-year strategic plan for the direction of our evolving mission. We also look forward with gratitude to the opportunities for service that 2021 will bring.
In this issue of the Common Good Catholic, we’re excited to share with you one other reason we’re looking towards the future: the launch of our first-ever Catholic Leaders Mission program. You’ll find all the details below, but basically, it aims to be Canada’s first spiritual and moral formation program for Catholic political candidates—bringing together those seeking a political vocation across party lines, to grow in that vocation in light of Catholic social teaching. We’re so excited to bring CLM to life this year. If you are running for office or are interested in running for office in the next couple of years, please send us an email—we’d love to tell you more!
One theme brings together our thinking about the future. Whether considering the post-pandemic, the future of our mission, or this new and exciting program, we’re thinking about how the future can bring community. Greater community and fellowship for all Catholics and people of good will, as we together work to build the Kingdom of God on earth. We were reminded recently that just as Lent is an opportunity to reflect more critically on our own sins, to repent and turn towards Christ’s love for healing in a refreshed way, so too our community must do this same work. In Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis writes about how the early Christian community so vividly modelled this fellowship and commitment to service with each other and with their neighbours:
…we can see how the early Christian communities, living in a pagan world marked by widespread corruption and aberrations, sought to show unfailing patience, tolerance and understanding. Some texts are very clear in this regard: we are told to admonish our opponents “with gentleness” (2 Tim 2:25) and encouraged “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish” (Tit 3:2-3). The Acts of the Apostles notes that the disciples, albeit persecuted by some of the authorities, “had favour with all the people” (2:47; cf. 4:21.33; 5:13).
May this spirit of love animate us in 2021!
Matthew & Brendan
JOIN US THURSDAY, MARCH 11 FROM 7:30-8:30 PM EST FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH WORD ON FIRE’S DR. TOD WORNER ABOUT READING OUR WAY TO GOD
St. Jerome wrote, “When we pray, we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us.” Join us on Thursday, March 11 (7:30-8:30 PM EST) as we interview Dr. Tod Worner (Managing Editor of Evangelization & Culture, the Journal of the Word on Fire Institute) about the power of great literature for forming us into better Catholics, better servants of Christ—and more impactful Christian citizens. Whether you’re an avid reader or want to become one, you’ll leave our conversation feeling inspired to pursue reading as more than a hobby—you’ll learn how reading can be a prayer, and a method of spiritual formation. RSVP today for webinar login details!
MEET OUR GUEST, DR. TOD WORNER
Tod Worner is a practicing internal medicine physician who lectures and offers rotations on medicine and literature for the University of Minnesota Medical School & and teaches “The Art of Healing “ at St. John’s University. He is the Managing Editor of Evangelization & Culture, the Journal of the Word on Fire Institute. He has written for the New York Post, National Review, Word on Fire, and numerous other publications. Mostly, Tod is a proud husband & father delighted to be constantly outsmarted by his two young daughters.
Works of Mercy In Our Community
COVID-19 RESOURCES FROM THE CANADIAN CATHOLIC BIOETHICS INSTITUTE
If you’re interested in learning more about Catholic ethical perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic, we highly encourage you to follow the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute. Dr. Moira McQueen and the CCBI team have been providing regular updates on many ethical topics that have come to the fore for Catholics in this time—topics like the ethicality of certain vaccines, healthcare practices, and more. Dr. McQueen is a leading Canadian Catholic expert on bioethical issues and offers excellent, readable analysis.
WATCH OUR CONVERSATION WITH DR. BRETT SALKELD ABOUT VOTING LIKE A CATHOLIC
Last month, we had the great pleasure of hosting our friend Dr. Brett Salkeld—theologian-in-residence at the Archdiocese of Regina—about one of our favourite topics: discerning your vote as a Catholic.
In this wide-ranging conversation, we touch on a variety of topics related to voting, including:
- How the ideas of intrinsic evil and remote cooperation with evil do (and do not) apply to the act of voting;
- Common myths about voting and Catholic social teaching, like the idea that there is “only one acceptable party for a Catholic to vote for”; and,
- The importance of discerning your vote through the lens of Catholic social teaching, including important tactics for doing so—like prayer, charitably discussing the issues with others, encountering and building relationships with your candidates and politicians, and examining your conscience as a political participant.
You can click below to watch the full conversation.
Serving Your Community
ANNOUNCING THE CATHOLIC LEADERS MISSION: FORMATION FOR CATHOLIC POLITICAL CANDIDATES, PRESENTED BY CATHOLIC CONSCIENCE
Serving as an elected official is more than a job. 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 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 in seeking and properly holding office. 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 every constituent.
Are you a Catholic considering a run for elected office? 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 campaign.
- Learn from top Catholic leaders and political practitioners.
- Join a growing community of Catholics in politics.
OR EMAIL BRENDAN@CATHOLICCONSCIENCE.ORG FOR MORE DETAILS
From The Holy Father
LENT IS “A HUMBLE DESCENT BOTH INWARDS AND TOWARDS OTHERS,” POPE FRANCIS SAYS AT ASH WEDNESDAY MASS
In his homily for Ash Wednesday Mass, Pope Francis reminds us how Lent invites us to greater love of God, and in turn, love of neighbour.
Today we bow our heads to receive ashes. At the end of Lent, we will bow even lower to wash the feet of our brothers and sisters. Lent is a humble descent both inwards and towards others. It is about realizing that salvation is not an ascent to glory, but a descent in love. It is about becoming little.
What We’re Watching
ENJOY A CHILDREN’S LITURGY OF THE WORD WITH YOUR KIDS THIS LENTEN SEASON: YES, LORD! FROM SALT + LIGHT MEDIA
This Lent, Salt + Light Media has launched an exciting and unique new series: Yes, Lord!, a Liturgy of the Word designed with children in mind. New episodes are being released every Friday during Lent, featuring reflections by Deacon Pedro Guevara Mann.
A NATIONAL PRAYER FOR CANADA DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Back in March 2020, the Catholic Register wrote about a collaboration between Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka, the former co-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. Together they co-authored a National Prayer for Canada, which was collectively recited on a common day of action last March. The prayer is a beautiful invocation for God’s help in this moment of danger, and “an invitation to Canadians to pray for all in any way touched by the coronavirus” in the words of Archbishop Prendergast. We invite you to share in this prayer as we hopefully approach the end of this pandemic.
We gather together separated by life-saving distancing, but united more than ever in spirit;
We know we are in a war against COVID – 19 together, and the more together we are, the better and stronger we will emerge:
We know the challenges are enormous, yet so are the opportunities;
That whether we are in isolation with loved ones, or alone, we will have abundance of time;
We commit to using that time to the max, to help those in greater need in whatever way we can;
We know we all have the opportunity, and time, to be life savers and life enhancers;
We give thanks for those who are on the front line taking care of those who are not well;
We give thanks for the researchers who are working at breakneck speed to find cure and vaccine;
We give thanks for our leaders, federal, provincial and local, for their dedication to all of us;
We give thanks for the providers of our daily needs who go to work in spite of the risk;
We give thanks for those who have ramped up their ability to produce life-saving supplies.
We pray for the well-being of all our life savers; For those who are not well, that they recover fully;
For those enduring difficulty, that they may overcome their challenges.
We pray that a cure and vaccine will soon be available,
And that we all – family, friends, all Canadians, the entire world may be healed in body and spirit.
We ask you, O God, to bless our leaders, our front line care givers, our life savers and life enhancers.
We ask you, O God, to bless Canada, to bless the world, to bless everyone.