A New Leaf (SAHEL, Africa) – March 02, 2013

In the summer of 2012, a food crisis struck West Africa in a region called the Sahel. Particularly hard-hit was Niger, a country already languishing near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index. If the international community did not intervene, the food crisis threatened to escalate into a famine. The Archdiocese of Vancouver generously donated almost $348,000 during a special collection to supply special funds to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) which allowed them to support Caritas Niger, a Catholic development organization. Salt + Light Television's Kris Dmytrenko travelled to Niger to learn about the crisis.

Many who came to watch the film screening and participated in a panel discussion led by Archbishop Michael J. Miller, CSB were moved and inspired. This was held at the The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, 6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver on March 2 from 7:30 pm – 9 pm. sponsored this event and it was free.

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World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2013 – January 20, 2013

Over 700 parishioners gathered at the Holy Rosary Cathedral to celebrate mass with Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB on Sunday January 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm. The mass was celebrated with more than 12 groups in their cultural costumes present. The mass was followed by a cultural presentation, displays and delicious foods from the different countries.

Alfredo Chu, photographer from Our Lady of Sorrows parish took many pictures and would like to share them with all of you. Feel free to share with family and friends! As well on Our Lady of Sorrows website the drama performed by the Young people of Our Lady of Sorrows is available to view. It was very well done with an impactful message for all of us.

Keep up with events of the Office of Service and Justice by visiting us frequently. The Office of Service and Justice is hosting several display tables – Migrant Ministry, Refugees and sponsorship, Fair Trade and Prison Ministry at the ONE Conference and hope you plan to attend. The speakers will provide great information and the different exhibitors a chance to learn more about the different ministries in our Archdiocese.

Click to view photos.


We Are A Migrant Church Workshop – January 12, 2013

Many of us have come from all parts of the world to the Archdiocese of Vancouver and all of us are on a journey to our eternal homeland. 

The workshops garnered interest from many parishioners who minister to Migrants. Over 60 attendees from different ethnic communities were treated to an informative talk on the “8 Challenges of Migration” by Rev. Ramiro Sanchez Chan, CS which was hosted in English in the morning and Spanish in the afternoon. Moreover, Rev. Gianantonio Baggio, CS spoke on “Church and Migration” where he quotes Blessed John B. Scalabrini saying,“Where the migrant is struggling and suffering there is the Church.” His talk started in the morning in Spanish and transitioned to English in the afternoon.

These workshops will help us look at some of the challenges faced by the Church as it seeks to form a community that is universal. Challenges are possibilities for growth both for those who have recently arrived and those who welcome them. The scriptures speak of the stranger and the foreigner and the Church has addressed the issue of migration in its teaching over the centuries. The workshops will help us to deal with many of the realities that we, as a Church encounter each day.

The workshops were sponsored by Our Lady Of Sorrows Parish, supported by the Office of Service & Justice. Father Richard Zanotti, CS Pastor comments, “The interest shown at the recent workshops is an indication that other events of this type should be organized. It is my hope that the Scalabrinian Missionaries of the Vancouver area and the office of Service and Justice will continue to cooperate in these efforts. Let us know what other issues regarding migrants and refugees you would be interested in.

Evelyn Vollet, director Office of Service & Justice, noticed that many of the participants were also members of the various ethnic groups supporting her with the “World Day of Migrants and Refugee” Mass. This really demonstrated we are ONE universal church working towards the common good of all our migrant brothers and sisters.

Upcoming event: June 1 Spiritual Retreat for all who minister to Migrants. We will send more details as they unfold. 


Catholic Social Teaching Workshops successfully conducted! – November 13 & 15, 2012

We have increased the confidence, competence and commitment of various groups and ministries! 

  • Evelyn Vollet – director of Office of Service and Justice (RCAV) hosted the Catholic Social Teaching workshops. She gave the introduction to the prized Catholic Social Teaching principles.
  • Shelley MacDonell, MRE – keynote speaker, led the participants in a discussion on the importance of Catholic Social Teachings and how they could mobilize their ministries and parish groups. See photo.
  • Patrick Gillespie – director of Office of Catechetics (RCAV) shared how the participants could advance their knowledge through Archdiocesan institutes and educational opportunities at St. Mark College.
  • Andrew Conradi – volunteer at Office of Service & Justice (RCAV) shared important information on Fair Trade and how easy it is to get started towards becoming a Fair Trade school or parish. See a Fair Trade exhibit photo during the workshop.
  • Deborah Littman – organizer of Metro Vancouver Alliance shared on Catholic parishes' involvement in working with people of faith and non faith towards the “common good’.

Thank you to Our Lady of Mercy, St Francis de Sales, and Immaculate Conception (Vancouver) parishes for hosting the workshops, and for helping out in the fellowship activity. More than forty parishioners participated.

“The more we strive to secure a common good corresponding to the real needs of our neighbors, the more effectively we love them. Every Christian is called to practice this charity, in a manner corresponding to his vocation and according to the degree of influence he wields in the pólis.” (Caritas in Veritate, 7).


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