Regina’s Archbishop Bolen provides keynote address
By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
At a recent Development and Peace gathering in Saskatoon, Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina provided background and context about an upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Amazon. He also challenged his listeners to consider how the ecological crisis in the Amazon has similarities and connections to what is happening in Canada.
CCN Interview with Archbishop Bolen about the upcoming Synod on the Amazon: Synod Raises Questions for Canadians
The Sept. 14 “Campaign Extravaganza” event at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon was held to launch the Development and Peace Fall Action Campaign “Care for Our Common Home,” which focuses on raising awareness about the impact of commercial activities in the Amazon rain forest on Indigenous Peoples and on the global ecosystem. The annual awareness campaign includes reflections related to Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si’, (Care of Our Common Home), and the 2019 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon.
“What do we need to be paying attention to? What are the parallel issues in Canada?” Bolen asked the crowd during his keynote address about the issues to be addressed at the upcoming Synod. Responses included: threats from mining, carbon emissions, climate change, forest fires and the issues affecting our Indigenous Peoples.
Judging by any or all of our societal indicators of health and well being, our Indigenous Peoples are “on the losing end,” stressed Bolen. “We are a society that has an embedded racism.” Canada is being challenged to face that sad reality and to work to overcome it, he said.
As with the Synod on the Amazon, part of our response to ecological challenges facing Canada and the globe in part has to be to learn from the wisdom of Indigenous brothers and sisters, he added. “They have had a healthy way of living with the land that we do not.”
Describing the ecological crisis facing the Amazon, and the impact globally of threats to creation, Bolen echoed Laudato Si’ when he stressed that when there is a “price to pay” for ecological exploitation and degradation that benefit wealthier nations and corporations, it is almost always the poor who end up paying that price.
However, “Laudato Si’ does not invite us to despair,” asserted Bolen. “It invites us as people of faith to trust that God is at work, and also to be mindful that God calls us in solidarity to walk with others who are suffering.”
The land is a gift from God that must be protected for ourselves and for future generations, he added, stressing the importance of the prophetic work of Development and Peace in raising awareness about ecological crises facing “Our Common Home.”
Bolen also pointed to those who have observed that the post-Synod period will in the long run be far more important than the pre-Synod preparations. “How are we going to live that experience deeply and well?”
Other features of the Sept. 14 “Campaign Extravaganza” at STM, organized by the Development and Peace/Caritas Canada Saskatchewan-Keewatin Le Pas region, included speakers Chris Hrynkow, Norm Lipinski, and Priva Hang’andu (a new regional animator for Development and Peace/Caritas Canada); displays; a dinner; and an evening coffee house.
Related to the Development and Peace/ Caritas Canada Fall Action Campaign, two information workshops are planned in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon. Facilitator of the workshops will be Priva Hang’andu, Regional Development and Peace/Caritas Canada animator.
Workshops will be held at:
- SASKATOON– 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at St. Anne Parish, 217 Lenore Drive, Saskatoon, SK. To RSVP or for more information contact Betty at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joanne at email@example.com or call 1-888-234-8533.
- BRUNO– 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20 at St. Bruno Parish, 700 Kirby St., Bruno, SK. To RSVP or for more information contact Victor and Lucille Granger at firstname.lastname@example.org Priva at email@example.com or call 1-888-234-8533.