Diocese of Victoria
Diocese On-line Marriage Preparation Course
September 21, 2023
1) September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Every year on this day, Canadians are called to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools and to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis Survivors and their families and communities. Many activities and events are planned in communities across the Diocese; in Victoria, all are invited to attend the South Island Powwow (https://www.songheesnation.ca/south-island-powwow), which the Diocese is proud to help sponsor this year. The powwow runs from 10 am – midnight at Royal Athletic Park (1014 Caledonia Ave, Victoria), and admission is free.
Online, check out the Diocesan Indigenous Relations website (https://www.rcdvictoria.org/indigenous). The website archives posts and news from our Diocese on the topic of Indigenous relations, and also includes information on the Diocese of Victoria’s responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle.
Please note that the parish offices, the Pastoral Centre, and Catholic Independent Schools of the Diocese of Victoria will be closed on Monday, October 2nd as a day in lieu of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
2) On September 30, an ecumenical prayer vigil will take place to entrust the work of Synod 2021-2024 to God. While the main gathering is happening in Rome (https://together2023.net/), vigils will be held around the world as a sign of communion. In our Diocese, all are invited to Segher’s Hall in St. Andrew’s Cathedral (740 View St, Victoria). Doors open at 7:00 am and the program will start at 7:45 am. For more information, please visithttps://www.rcdvictoria.org/events/sep-30-prayer-vigil-for-the-synod.
3) Registration is now open for the 2023 Beloved Catholic Women's Retreat, held this November 17-19, 2023 at Camp Homewood on Quadra Island. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beloved-catholic-womens-retreat-registration-718046916657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
August 31st, 2023
1) Star of the North Retreat Centre is offering three learning modules in 2023/2024 as part of its “Aurora Living: Word and Creation” program:
Fall 2023 - Good News: An Invitation to Everyone with facilitators Sr. Teresita Kambeitz, Dr. Linda Gibler, Ron Rolheiser, & more www.starofthenorth.ca/goodnews
Winter 2024 – Communion: Words for a New Community with facilitators Dr. Sylvia Keesmaat, Lewis Cardinal, Ron Rolheiser & more www.starofthenorth.ca/communion
Spring 2024 – New Creation: Hope in Troubled Times with facilitators Becky Moritz Bonham, Dr. Michel Andraos, Ron Rolheiser & more www.starofthenorth.ca/newcreation
More information and online registration can be found at the links above. Please note that the early-bird registration deadline for the Fall 2023 module is this Friday, September 1st
2) Returning to Spirit is holding a Roots of Reconciliation workshop for Indigenous people aged 18+ from September 25 – 28 in Port Alberni. Roots of Reconciliation is four-day workshop essential to the Returning to Spirit reconciliation model (https://www.returningtospirit.org/). The insights developed during the workshop create space for participants to discover how previously-held behaviours, judgment, assumptions or perceptions have kept them stuck in a disempowering story.
This workshop is for you if you:
want to explore your own assumptions, judgments and behaviours
are ready to deepen your experience with reconciliation
are curious and open minded about what reconciliation can look like on a personal level
The workshop will run from Monday, September 25 - Thursday, September 28, 2023 at Alberni Valley United Church in Port Alberni from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm each day. For more information or to register, please visit https://www.returningtospirit.org/workshopcalendar/roots-of-reconciliation-4, email email@example.com, or call 1-855-244-3963.
3) The National Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has launched its Emergency Funds Appeal to help people impacted by natural disasters in Canada. Donations will be used by their Conferences and Councils to complement the relief efforts by first responder organisations, focusing on food and clothing. Every dollar donated will be matched by the National Council, up to a limit of $25,000. To make a donation online, visit https://www.imakeanonlinedonation.org/ssvp-national/DONATION/ and select “National Emergency Fund” where it asks how to direct your donation.
August 17th, 2023
1) A post has just been added to the Diocesan website with photos from our delegation’s pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2023. The post can be viewed at https://www.rcdvictoria.org/diocesanblog/world-youth-day-2023.
2) From September 29 – October 1, Life Restoration Ministries will be holding a men’s retreat at RockRidge Canyon in Princeton, BC. Are you yearning to know the real Jesus? The Men's Retreat: Yeshua, delves deep into the heart of Christ. Join Jake Khym and Peter White for transformative talks, the Holy Mass, and space of adventure in the outdoors of Rockridge Canyon. Rediscover. Reconnect. Recommit. For more information and to register, please visit https://www.liferestoration.ca/mensretreat.
May 17, 2023
1) A new post has been added to the Diocesan website with an update on Synod 2021-2024. It includes info about the recently released “North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod”, as well as links to our diocesan, regional, and national reports that were created during the Diocesan Stage of the Synod. To read the post, please visit https://www.rcdvictoria.org/news/synod-2021-2024-the-journey-continues
2) Rachel's Vineyard will be hosting their first retreat on Vancouver Island from August 25-27, 2023 at the Bethlehem Centre in Nanaimo (2371 Arbot Rd). This ministry is a safe place for people to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release, and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal, and healing. For information please contact Nicola at firstname.lastname@example.org
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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/
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.
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
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.