“Advent is an incessant call to hope: it reminds us that God is present in history to lead it to its ultimate end, which is the Lord Jesus Christ.” Pope Francis, Nov 29, 2020.
Advent is also the season of anticipation and preparation. We at GCCM Canada are filled with all of these feelings this year! But the strongest of these is hope, and that comes directly from you!
Member’s survey and planning
Many of you participated in our member’s survey. We appreciate the beautiful, encouraging words you shared. Your contributions became the basis of a 42-page evaluation of our first year. Your comments, and the thoughtful recommendations of Kathryn Norman, of Sustainable Eastern Ontario, made it very easy for our Advisory Circle to identify key ways we can enhance our commitment to you. If you selected a gift at the end of the survey, but have not yet received it, please drop me an email note, with your address and your selection, so I can mail it out to you.
In mid-November, the Advisory Circle engaged in a series of planning meetings. These are some of the areas we have decided to work on in 2021 and 2022.
- upgrade the accessibility and content of our website
- host regional round table calls with GCCM Canada members
- build greater diversity and inclusion in all we do, including but not limited to, increasing French in our resources and programming
- tell your stories
- continue to provide educational webinars with focused opportunities for action
To accomplish these things, we are asking for your help:
- to evaluate, guide, and compile upgrades to our website
- act as a zoom host facilitator of a regional roundtable call
- assistance with a French translation of website and outreach materials
- write or video your own, or someone else’s, story about striving to live Laudato Si
If working on one of these projects appeals to you, please send me an email and we’ll plan to get started!
Ecological Catholic Impact Investment Initiative
In Journeying Towards Care of Our Common Home: Five Years after Laudato Si’ it is stated that “The present economic system is unsustainable and demands that we consider many of its key aspects...It is imperative to promote a new vision of the economy capable of taking into account ecological concerns.” p159
In direct response, GCCM Canada has secured a grant from the Catherine Donnelly Foundation to begin the Ecological Catholic Impact Investment Initiative. 2021 will find us working hard to reach out to Catholic financial planners. We’ll invite them to recognize the urgency behind Pope Francis’ call to explore new ways of investing through a series of educational webinars and peer-to-peer conversations. We’ll provide information and tools to help them evaluate their investments through the lens of integral ecology. Together we’ll explore what this means for Catholic investors in Canada.
A big undertaking, but many hands make light work. GCCM Canada is seeking willing hands and minds. If helping with this project appeals to you, please send me an email.
National and International Collaborations
2020 has been a blur of changing expectations. Acknowledging that many of our challenges are intrinsically interconnected, two organizations come to mind that embodies a shift towards an integral ecology.
For the Love of Creation has completed busy autumn of programming that included their five-part Fall Online Forum. Each of the forum events is now available to view on their new website. These showcase an excellent collection of speakers, suggestions, and resources for those wanting to work on the creation of care from a perspective of faith. Three “Faithful Climate Conversations” guides have also been released. These can be used individually, or in series and can be downloaded free here. Finally, For the Love of creation asks us to call our Members of Parliament using the script provided at the bottom of this page, reminding them of our COVID recovery requests.
The Greenfaith International Network has launched Sacred People, Sacred Earth. Described as the biggest-ever grassroots, global, multi-faith, COVID-friendly climate action to take place on March 11, 2021, Faith & the Common Good is the official Canadian partner. We are invited to read their joint statement, sign-on, and join this international community in action. We’re going to make some holy noise! On Monday, Dec. 14th all are invited to register for the first of four organizing calls for the March day of action.
It is our hope that you also find abundant reasons for hope this Advent and Christmas season.
NEWS / EVENTS / ACTIONS
NOVALIS launched a revision of The Green Bible with the webinar “Redeeming Hope for a Suffering Planet”. “This Green Bible provides fragments and seeds of encounter to help everyone to care lovingly for ‘our Sister, Mother Earth’ and embrace responsible stewardship of our common home.” – Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ. The book can be purchased directly from the NOVALIS website. Enjoy a 20% discount when you use the code GREEN20 at checkout!
Faith in the Declaration is a coalition of Canadian faith houses and faith organizations working together to support the timely passing of legislation that will implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. After his re-election, the Prime Minister committed to table new legislation—co-developed with Indigenous Peoples—by the end of 2020. On December 3, 2020, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced Bill C-15, The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
To learn about Faith in the Declaration and how our communities can support their mandate visit the Take Action page of their website.
All actors in society are being called upon to rise to the challenges of our times – including investors. The SHARE Investor Summit 2021 will bring together Canadian and global investors to shift capital markets towards inclusion, justice, equity, sustainability, and resilience. The summit takes place from Feb 16 -19, 2021. Investors and financial trustees can register for all, or portions of, the summit here. Please share this news with Catholic financial planners, finance committee members, and trustees.
- The December Laudato Si’ Monthly Resource is designed to support the Laudato Si’ Animators, Circles, and other members of our GCCM network. This month, the North America network is showcased. During Advent, as people of hope, we are called not just to wait for Christ’s return but to help usher in Christ’s hope through our lives. We pray, with a beautiful Prayer for Unity, that during Advent we become people of hope through action for each other and our planet.
During Advent, reflect on the difference between the “abundant life” offered by Jesus and the “good life” promoted by society. Living an abundant life often corresponds to living gently on the earth. This Advent, with the Ignatian Solidarity Network, learn ways to live life more abundantly and also heal the earth. You can find their challenge and fun daily Advent calendar here.
- In an Update from Unist’o’ten Camp, we’re told "Coastal Gaslink now has 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Camp 9A on Unist'ot'en territory. As COVID cases surge across the north, hospitals are running out of space. Wet'suwet'en community members who have been infected with COVID-19 while working for Coastal Gaslink have been sent home to self-isolate...Since the earliest days of the pandemic, we have expressed concerns about the risk of transient workers bringing COVID 19 into our community. We continue to urge Dr. Bonnie Henry to honour the wishes of our Ts’ako ze’ (female chiefs), by shutting down industrial camps until they can operate safely. Please read and share the open letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry.”