Reflections about Development and Peace / Caritas Canada – St. Philip Neri Parish, Saskatoon

Fr. Ken Forster, OMI, Associate Pator, and parishioners Michelle Dinter-Lipinski and Norman Lipinski (l-r) of St. Philip Neri Parish in Saskatoon pictured on Ash Wednesday 2022. (Submitted photo)

Why I became involved in Development and Peace:

By Michelle Dinter-Lipinski, St. Philip Neri Parish

I became involved with Development and Peace in the early ‘90’s. I was drawn to the social gospel and was looking for a meaningful way to serve in the Church that would take me beyond the building. Providentially, through Development and Peace, I was introduced to people who were committed to social justice but who also saw this commitment as integral to who they were as Catholics. I was hooked!

The education I have received, the experiences I have had and the people I have met – locally and globally – have confirmed for me, again and again, that Development and Peace has a core role to play in the life of the Church in Canada.

Catholic Social Teaching is employed in every aspect of the work of Development and Peace, both in the education and advocacy campaigns here in Canada and in the work D and P does in the Global South. Through our support of partnerships with grassroots organizations overseas, people experiencing struggles are allowed to become the ‘protagonists of their stories’ as they make decisions which shape their futures.

A parish commitment to Development and Peace is essential for two reasons. We, as Catholics, need to be reminded of the preferential option for the poor and our role in working for the common good. The second reason is very practical: without our financial support, Development and Peace would not be able to continue its support of grassroots partners in the Global South.

May we, especially during this season of Lent, open our hearts to realize that we are ‘our sister’s and brother’s keepers’.

Development and Peace is a “vital part of the backbone of Catholic Social Teaching”:

By Norman Lipinski, St. Philip Neri Parish

I have been aware of Development and Peace and its impact for almost five decades.  I was a young man when my parish priest announced that my parish in Regina was setting a Share Lent goal of (I believe) $3000.  This was a large sum for a parish in the mid-70’s.  He said further that the parish would take any shortfall out of reserves because it was such an important part of Catholic outreach to the world.  I still believe that to be the case.

The work of Development and Peace, in my mind, forms a vital part of the backbone of Catholic Social Teaching in Canada.  Both in its educational campaign, where Catholics are informed of injustice and empowered to do something about it, and in the overseas partnerships where we help to make a real difference in the lives of people in the global South, Development and Peace is an organization that all Catholics should be proud of


Other reflections on the “Why” of Development and Peace:


Development and Peace is a “way to reach the world with Christ’s love”:

By Fr. Ken Forster, OMI, St. Philip Neri Parish

Why is “Development and Peace” so important and integral to the life of every parish? It is an essential ministry of every Catholic community today because it has been faithful to its mandate for over 50 years.

Development and Peace was established in 1967, when I was in seminary, in response to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter Populorum Progressio, which says that “Development” is the new word for “Peace”.

We today recognize that peace is an elusive goal. We see on the news everyday stories of something we would think impossible in our “enlightened world” — the invasion of an independent country by a neighbour. Pope Francis, in his latest encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti” notes that the many wars and conflicts impact the whole world: “In today’s world, there are no longer just isolated outbreaks of war in one country or another; instead, we are experiencing a “world war fought piecemeal”, since the destinies of countries are so closely interconnected on the global scene.”

Henri Nouwen shares this challenge, “You’re sent into this world to be a people of reconciliation. You are sent to heal, to break down the walls between you and your neighbors, locally, nationally, and globally. Before all distinctions, the separations, and the walls built on foundations of fear, there was a unity in the mind and heart of God. Out of that unity, you are sent into this world for a little while to claim that you and every other human being belongs to the same God of Love who lives from eternity to eternity.”

Pope Francis elaborates, “If every human being possesses an inalienable dignity, if all people are my brothers and sisters, and if the world truly belongs to everyone, then it matters little whether my neighbour was born in my country or elsewhere.” 150

These reflections are the platform on which “Development and Peace” rest.

I do not believe the Church was established by Christ primarily for the salvation of those who belong to it. Rather Christ was about realizing the “kingdom of His Father” and he called his Church to continue his work of healing, serving, sharing, forgiving, and reconciling in our “common home.” This is the goal of Development and Peace.

In the Global South, we support partner organizations in their support of democracy and citizen participation, ecological justice, justice for women, peace and reconciliation, and humanitarian aid. I say “we”, because this is your Catholic organization, and it is my way to reach the world with Christ’s love. We are a democratic movement for international solidarity in the pursuit of alternatives to unjust social, political, and economic structures.

Join us to educate Canadians about the causes of the impoverishment of peoples and to mobilize them to act for change. In the struggle for human dignity, we unite with social change groups in the North and the South. We mobilize a movement of international solidarity. We advocate for fair and just policies and live a “preferential option for the poor.”

I have seen the south through my nine years of ministry in Kenya. I have witnessed the disparity of the world. I have always encouraged parishes where I have served in Canada, to become educated on the causes of poverty and injustice. In a small parish in Cranbrook, we decided to tithe, yes 10 per cent of our parish income, for the Lenten collection for D and P. We were the widow who gave more than any other who put into the treasury.

Let us educate ourselves. Let us financially support our partners in the global south who work for transformation of all unjust structures, that oppress.


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 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
  • Sign the petition for strong laws to control Canadian corporations’ behaviour abroad at

Solidarity Sunday collections will be held in parishes across the country on the Fifth Sunday of Lent – April 2-3, 2022.