Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 2, 2009
Prelates seek elders' council on enhancing native spirituality
BY RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — The Western bishops are examining how to become more effective in providing the services of the Church to First Nations, Metis and Innu Catholics.
Two years ago the assembly of bishops established a standing committee on the issue.
“Right now we are trying to find ways to dialogue with the native people,” said Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan, president of the Western Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The standing committee on aboriginal ministry is looking for ways to begin a dialogue with elders to see what they look for from the Church, Bohan said in an interview.
It would also like to see how aboriginal culture and spirituality can be reflected in the life of the Church so native people feel a part of the Church, he said.
One goal of the conference is to recruit more native priests. “We have very few (but) we would like to have dozens more,” Bohan laughed.
Another goal — provided native people are interested — “would be to establish courses at Newman College in Edmonton and other educational institutes, where we could try to get a chair of native studies, for example, or a course in native spirituality.”