Diocese of Victoria
Diocese On-line Marriage Preparation Course
March 16th - Update from the Diocese:
1) A number of free online talks are coming up which may be of interest:
** March 20 at 7:00 pm: “The Impact of Technology on Relationships: Should We Worry?”, offered by St. Mark’s College at UBC. Our daily tech choices are resulting in disintegrating conversations, distracted brains, and reduced human empathy. How should we respond? For more information and to register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-impact-of-technology-on-relationships-should-we-worry-carol-bruess-tickets-559897337007.
** March 25 at 8:30 am: The first workshop in a three-part series on “Catholic Social Teaching as a Solution to Polarization”, offered by Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Canada. We live in an increasingly polarized culture, where social media can become anti-social and social justice unjust. Challenging questions of our time are frequently reduced to ideological battlegrounds where virtue signalling is often valued over virtuous leadership, division defeats dialogue, and wokeness fails to awaken us to the dignity of all. How do we solve this? For more information and to register, please visit https://www.cappcanada.ca/activities.
** March 28 at 10:00 am: The first workshop in a three-part series on “The Call of the Catechist”, offered by the CCCB Office for Evangelization and Catechesis. This series will explore the needs of the catechist today and will be of interest to those involved in evangelization and catechesis. All webinar sessions will be recorded and released with a reflection guide after the end of the series; if you cannot attend but would like be notified when session recordings are made available, please complete the registration form. For more information and to register, please visit https://cccb-ca.zoom.us/webinar/register/1316776042871/WN_Dhjog2k8R8i626WAcmCu1Q
2) March 26 is Solidarity Sunday, a day when Development and Peace asks for your generosity to continue their transformative work in the Global South. Bishop Gary encourages us to participate in this year’s Share Lent campaign, Stand for the Land, by showing our solidarity with those who defend the lands, waters and forests that sustain them, as well as the culture, history and identity that define them. Donations for Share Lent can be made through the special collection on March 26, or online anytime at https://www.devp.org/en/campaign/people-planet-first/share-lent/
3) The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops continues to offer their Journey through Lent video series. The videos for Ash Wednesday and the first four Sundays of Lent are available online now; every Monday throughout Lent, another video will be posted for the following Sunday’s Eucharistic celebration. It is hoped that this video series will provide the faithful with additional opportunity to prepare for the Church’s celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday. To view the Journey through Lent video series, please visit https://www.cccb.ca/evangelization-catechesis-catholic-education/video-resources/journey-through-lent-2023/
New Covid Update from Bishop Gary is at the bottom of this page or can be found online at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/news/responsetocovid19-0.
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The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has released four Pastoral Letters – to the First Nations, the Métis, the Inuit, and the People of God. The Bishops of Canada decided to write these letters after being updated on discussions with Indigenous partners during their plenary meeting last September. They outline a set of specific commitments which are meant to guide local reconciliation.
These letters can be viewed at: https://www.cccb.ca/indigenous-peoples/that-we-may-walk-together-series-of-pastoral-letters-2023/
This year’s appeal theme is “Growing Together”. This appeal branches towards supporting relationships and community by focusing on providing opportunities for parishioners of all generations to come together in faith.
Reminder that 20% of all appeal donations will remain in the parish.
Starting on Monday, November 21st, the regular weeknight livestream at 7:00 pm will be livestreamed from Sacred Heart Church in Victoria (4040 Nelthorpe St), and will also be open to those who wish to attend in person.
Working Towards Freedom: Study guide on human trafficking now available
“Working Toward Freedom” is a new study guide created in response to a call to mission: to reduce the harms of human trafficking in our local communities and uphold the dignity of every child of God.
The guide was developed jointly by the Diocese of Victoria, the Archdiocese of Vancouver, and the Diocese of Saskatchewan. Based on the CCCB's recent Pastoral Letter on Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Canada, it delves deeper into the letter and animates it in each specific community's context. Through prayer and education, the guide leads participants to become more aware of the human trafficking that is occurring in our midst, and helps them learn how to bring to light situations where people may be in danger. The authors of the guide are Evelyn Vollet, Sr. Nancy Brown, Barbara Renaud, Myron Rogal and Annette Turgeon.
The guide will be launched this month with a one-hour webinar. All are invited to join and learn more about the guide, either on Thursday, November 24 at 9:00 am PST, or on Saturday, November 26 at 10:00 am PST. The webinar will provide an overview of each section and recommendations on how to use the guide. The webinar is free, but advance registration is required at https://form.jotform.com/222704961965262.
Pope Francis describes the Church’s mission as a permanent state that calls us to go to the peripheries of society. No one is exempt from being able to do something about this horrific crime taking place within our communities. For more information, please contact Annette Turgeon at email@example.com.
September 29, 2022 - Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), gathered in Plenary Assembly this week and agreed upon a series of next steps related to the painful legacy of residential schools. This work builds on previous commitments to promote access to records, educate clergy on Indigenous cultures and spirituality, and contribute $30 million to healing and reconciliation initiatives across Canada.
The text of their press release can be found online at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/indigenous/bishops-deepen-commitment-to-walk-together-with-indigenous-partners.
August 11, 2022
A new article has just been posted on the Diocesan website with Pope Francis’ reflection on his visit to Canada. It also includes a link to the Vatican website that has pictures, videos, and the words that Pope Francis spoke while he was here.
You can find it online at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/indigenous/pope-francis-reflects-on-his-visit-to-canada.
July 28, 2022
A new article has just been posted on the Diocesan website about Pope Francis’ penitential pilgrimage to Canada that’s happening this week. It includes a link for those who wish to donate towards the logistical costs of the visit. The text of the article is copied below, or you can find the article online at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/indigenous/the-popes-penitential-pilgrimage-continues.
May 13, 2022
Following the information from Rome about the Pope’s visit to Canada in July, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued a press release welcoming the announcement. The text of the press release can be read online at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/indigenous/popes-healing-and-reconciliation-visit-to-canada-scheduled-for-july
April 1, 2022
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a statement welcoming the apology made by Pope Francis today in Rome to Indigenous Peoples. The statement can be read at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/indigenous/canadas-catholic-bishops-welcome-popes-apology-to-indigenous-peoples
Diocese Update on COVID Restrictions
As announced on March 10, the Province is further easing Covid-19 restrictions. The Memo from Bishop Gary Gordon is posted below.
1. Capacity limits on attendance at worship services or other gatherings in church buildings are no longer required. It is highly recommended that parishes continue to encourage physical distancing.
2. The use of face coverings is now optional in church buildings. However, the continued use of face coverings is highly recommended as a prudent and wise choice to ensure the safety of all. This is especially true during higher-risk situations such as while singing or while distributing Communion.
A message from Pope Francis
A post has just been added to the Diocesan website about Pope Francis’ new video message urging people to get vaccinated against Covid-19:
Canadian Reporting System for Sexual Abuse or Cover-Up by a Catholic Bishop
On Thursday, May 6, 2021, the Bishops of Canada launched a national, bilingual service for reporting situations of sexual abuse either committed or covered-up by a Bishop. This service furthers their commitment to responsibility, accountability and transparency in matters of clergy sexual abuse and their commitment to facilitate healing and justice for victims-survivors.
Individuals can access the reporting system online (BishopReportingSystem.ca) or by calling toll-free 1-866-892-3737 from anywhere in Canada, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
The reporting system was developed by ClearView Strategic Partners, a Canadian provider of an independent reporting platform. ClearView’s technology benefits anyone wanting to make such a report by providing them with a secure and confidential platform, allowing them to remain anonymous if they so choose, and ensuring all communications are documented and preserved.
The Catholic Bishops of Canada condemn the sin and crime of sexual abuse in the strongest possible terms. No one should ever have to endure the pain, humiliation, and long-term suffering it causes, nor should anyone have to doubt that serious consequences await a perpetrator of sexual abuse or cover-up. With this reporting system, the Bishops make themselves accountable to live with integrity and to address reports of sexual abuse according to Church and civil law. The Church grieves with victim-survivors and profoundly regrets the tremendous harm caused. The Bishops of Canada wish to reach out and accompany victims-survivors along the path that restores justice and promotes healing.
Reports of current or historical sexual abuse by any other member of the Diocese of Victoria (clergy, religious, employees or volunteers) may be made by calling 1-800-968-3146. This number connects to an independent reporting service which can assist in contacting the appropriate authorities and help access counselling services. For more information about Responsible Ministry and Safe Environment in the Diocese of Victoria, please visit https://www.rcdvictoria.org/responsible-ministry.
Thank you for your prayers and the support you provide to victim-survivors in the ongoing work of healing.