Why I became involved in Development and Peace
By Candace Kloster, St. Mary Parish, Macklin, SK
Hi, I am Candace Kloster, the new Development and Peace rep for St. Mary Parish in Macklin, SK. I have taken over this position from Gwen Stang who has retired after 20 years of fulfilling this role. I want to thank her on behalf of the parish for her years of dedicated service to Development and Peace.
Social justice has always been a major interest in my life beginning when I was young. Being a victim of injustice and seeing it around me at various times in my life, I felt drawn to become part of the solution. Whenever I travelled on vacations I always wanted to find out how the locals lived, not just the tourist sites. In many places the poverty was obvious. I wondered why it existed and what was being done about it.
I had friends who had been missionaries in Peru and Jamaica and I wanted to do this myself. This idea was sealed following a presentation by nuns about their work in Peru. I felt a complete sense of peace which I was not getting from my nursing job at the time. Inspired by these ladies’ stories I began pursuing options.
Thinking I would be heading to a third-world country, I was surprised to find myself in Baltimore, Maryland, US. I entered a lay program run by the Franciscan Sisters of the city and worked as a nurse at a health clinic for the homeless. This experience gave me the opportunity to learn the reasons why people end up living on the street, i.e. fleeing abusive homes and relationships, being unable to find jobs, thus having no means to pay bills, suffering from mental illness – particularly seen in several Vietnam War veterans who had no proper support – effects of racism, etc.
My eyes were opened further to wrongs being committed. I stayed another three years working at an inner city hospital run by the Sisters of Mercy who had a charity policy – no one was turned away which did happen at other hospitals in the city. I did see however, different attitudes and care received by some patients depending on what type of medical insurance they owned if any.
Returning to Canada I have maintained my avid longing for injustice to be rectified and want to do my part through Development and Peace. Injustice should not exist here or anywhere in the world.
Share Lent 2022 – Development and Peace / Caritas Canada’s People and Planet First campaign invites us to support our sisters and brothers in the Global South in defending their rights and the planet:
- Donate online at devp.org/give or during the Solidarity Sunday collection on April 3, the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Your generosity helps support over 85 projects in 27 countries around the world.
- Learn more by reading the Share Lent mini-magazine and other resources available at devp.org/lent/resources.
- Sign the petition for strong laws to control Canadian corporations’ behaviour abroad at devp.org/act.