Several members of Development and Peace are currently on a solidarity tour of Ethiopia to visit with local organizations supported by Development and Peace. Over the next few days, they will be writing about their visits and experiences.
Several members of Development and Peace are currently on a solidarity tour of Ethiopia to visit with local organizations supported by Development and Peace. Over the next few days, they will be writing about their visits and experiences. Here is their first message!
Katrina Laquian, Regional Animator for British Columbia and the Yukon
On May 9th, I entered into the beautifully decorated church hall of All Saints Parish in Coquitlam, B.C., where a sold out benefit dinner gathering over 200 Iraqi-Canadians and Catholics from across Vancouver was about to take place. Since the fall, a dedicated group of local Iraqis along with the Knights of Columbus worked diligently to organize this event aimed at bringing awareness about the crisis in Iraq that has displaced 2.5 million Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities this past year, and raising funds for aid.
On June 2, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report before an audience filled with expectation and emotion. After having collected 7,000 testimonies over a period of six years from victims and persons in charge of Indian Residential Schools, the Commission concluded that these institutions were the key element in a policy of “cultural genocide” directed against the First Nations of Canada and designed to eliminate any form of distinct Aboriginal legal, social, cultural or religious entity. Upon closing their work, the commissioners stated that only an important reengagement on the part of the State, combined with a broad public dialogue, can open up a way toward genuine reconciliation and equal opportunities for Aboriginal populations. A list of 94 recommendations was drawn up to guide the process.
Genevieve Gallant, Regional Animator for Eastern Ontario
On Sunday, May 31st, I walked for reconciliation. Alongside people from British Colombia to Halifax, young and old, with new Canadians and our First Nations, and also with many from our Canadian churches, we gathered thousands upon thousands to mark the close of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
During my short visit to El Salvador for the beatification of Oscar Romero, one of the things that left the deepest impression on me was meeting people who had known Romero personally, or whose work had been affected by him. Unsurprisingly, several of these people work for Caritas El Salvador.
Events for the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero began Friday evening with a procession of light. Unfortunately, that turned into a procession of umbrellas as it’s the rainy season in El Salvador. But the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance.
Oscar Romero was killed for denouncing violence and defending the poor. Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 to 1980, he was murdered while celebrating Mass. In the decade that followed his death, more than 60,000 Salvadorans died in the civil war.
Romero is already considered a saint by Salvadorans. On Saturday 23 May however, he will take the next step on the path to official sainthood during a beatification ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the capital San Salvador.
Brigitte Dorge, Regional Youth Intern from the Archdiocese of Winnipeg
This winter, I began an internship with Development and Peace.
What an exciting opportunity it has been for me to apply my studies outside of the classroom! Even more exciting, is that through this internship, I am able to work towards building a world of justice, which is one my passions!
Upon my recent visit to Iraq, I saw the intense psychological distress that over 500,000 Iraqi Yazidis experience every day. They have had to abandon their houses and families in order to o survive the violence of ISIS.