Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
February 8, 2010
WCR Letters to the Editor
CCCB has been generous to KAIROS
Referring in his column of Jan. 18 to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Joe Gunn states that "the bishops in 2004 cut their entire contribution of over $55,000 to KAIROS. Since then, they spend not a cent of their own money on KAIROS."
For the record, the CCCB relies for almost all its revenues on the yearly contributions it receives - from dioceses, from religious communities and from other Catholic organizations.
Since the 1970s, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has contributed each year to a social justice fund intended to assist the conference in its work.
Instead of investing the fund in its own projects, the CCCB has chosen over the years to use the fund mainly to support a number of ecumenical social justice coalitions, many of which today form KAIROS.
Whether this will continue to be possible in the future is to be seen, given the difficult economic challenges facing the CCCB and much of society.
But the fact is that the Catholic bishops of Canada have been generous in their annual support for ecumenical social justice work, even at the cost this year of giving to KAIROS more than $100,000 which would otherwise be available for the conference's own projects.
Msgr. Mario Paquette, ph
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)
Youth ministers perform invaluable work
I can relate to "Joy, frustration fill youth ministers' work" (WCR, Jan. 25). I praise youth ministry coordinators for their work.
My half century of education work in Quebec, Alberta, Central America, in urban and rural areas, from primary through senior high, university and ESL with adults and seniors, brought me many joys, frustrations and hidden or delayed results. It is a wonderful ministry!
I think Father Penna needs to review his endorsement of communication via the Internet. Young people - and adults and seniors - need and want face-to-face contact. What shaped me was the time spent around the dining table from age two to 18, with three generations, listening to what was being said.
As a teenager, I learned from the Legion of Mary. Weekly, we took part in a ministry. Often I spent several hours at an orphanage with 30 toddlers crowded in a bare room, fed with one spoon, three at once. It was hard but at the weekly meeting we could share what we felt and be heard.
One Saturday morning I went to help out a woman with the children, cleaning, whatever. She was sick in bed. Five children. No food in the fridge or cupboard. My family wasn't rich but we had way more than that.
In Central America, I participated in a Christian base community - seeing, judging, taking action. What a wonderful way to communicate! In Mexico, at a weeklong retreat with participants from Mozambique, Mexico and Canada, we shared deeply in small groups and all together.
The translation was three ways - Portuguese, Spanish, English - and we listened with all our senses. A talking stone, a sacred stone, was passed respectfully from one person to the other.
It's not always easy. Youth ministry coordinators, take courage! You have a wonderful, rewarding ministry!
Dedicated rural volunteers teach school catechism
I read with interest your article on Catholic education in Catholic schools. I was very upset and hurt no mention was given to rural areas where there is no Catholic school and catechism is taught by dedicated volunteers.
I have been teaching catechism for several years twice a week, sometimes three times a week. The same program, Born in the Spirit, is used year after year. The only support we have is from our pastor. There is no support given to small parishes from the archdiocese, no resources are available. It has been years since a catechist would come out and provide us with input and support.
Stewardship, evangelization - aren't these goals of the archdiocese? Trying to incorporate these into our young people is hard when we feel not supported.
Pastoral minister dreams of parental participation
Thank you for the articles you print about Catholic schools in the diocese and in the province.
I have the privilege of ministering at the schools in Assumption Parish - St. Brendan and St. James. I have also on occasion visited St. Kevin's and Austin O'Brien.
The dedication of the staff in the schools is very impressive. I wish more people knew the good work that is being done in our Catholic schools. And perhaps more parishes could find time to be involved with the schools in their area.
The other dream I have would be for more parents to become involved in their parish as I believe it would be a positive influence to reaffirm what is being taught in the schools.
Anne Rajotte, csj
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