St. Ignatius Parish News
Volume 15, Number 5 Winnipeg, Manitoba January 2013
Fiesta 2013: Social Justice in Action
By Janet Zonneveld for the El Sitio Committee
Come to the El Sitio Fiesta on February 9—a wonderful fun-filled family event! In a parish of thousands (including children) we often feel a little anonymous. This supper and dance allows people from all of our Masses to get together in solidarity and faith. We eat great food (prepared by DeLuca’s), dance, socialize, and watch the faces of unbridled happiness when the piñata breaks and the children scatter for candies. Getting to know one another, we feel we are a part of something important and loving.
The Fiesta raises funds (around $5000 yearly) for the education and formation of youth in a small rural area of El Salvador. The parish of San Bartolome in the town of Arcatao manages a student scholarship program called DHP or Popular Human Development. For the past fifteen years St. Ignatius Parish has been involved with this parish and scholarship program and helped send hundreds of students to high school and university.
Allow me to tell you a little about this program and why I believe in it so strongly. First, all of the money that we raise goes directly to the program—there are no administrative costs. Students who receive this scholarship must return to their communities every month and commit to a service to advance the functioning of the community. Some students return to help in the schools as teacher’s aids; they will eventually return as teachers, insuring the continuation of education in towns that cannot secure a teacher. Other students help out with the farming cooperatives or the bakery, putting accounts in order. Their goal is to create a more just and transparent situation for businesses and their workers. At the end of their studies each student gives back to their communities by donating a portion of their salaries (usually 10%) to the program, allowing the program to grow and become self-sufficient. So through the education of youth we affect individuals, families, and communities!
We are not alone in our endeavour to support this program—there are other churches in the United States as well as one community in Europe. Students who receive scholarships through the university are also a part of the DHP program. All students in the program live in community houses and are helped to integrate by other students and coordinators from the universities where they attend. We are part of a global effort to raise hope for this war-torn area.
Finally, I give you one more incentive to attend our Fiesta—we’ve reduced the number of seats to 200, and are now using round tables, which allows greater elbow-room and promotes a more social atmosphere. Our supper consists of a stuffed chicken breast with salad and manicotti, coffee, tea, and dessert, all for one low price of $20 for adults and $10 for children. Come and enjoy great company, live Latin music and wonderful food while helping our global community. We hope to see you there!
Youth Group for St. Ignatius Parish!
by Rina Castillo, Markel Seitz, and Nicholas Yogendran (YM Coordinators) and Cathy Seitz (Youth Advisory Council Facilitator)
Why does St. Ignatius Parish have a special ministry to our youth? Our Parish Youth Ministry offers the youth of our community valuable opportunities to grow, and to learn more about God, about Jesus, others around them, and themselves. Through different scheduled events, our youth are invited to experience Christ in fun and exciting ways. Because each person is unique and is created in the image and likeness of God, it is our hope, and prayer, that each youth develop their talents to serve God and the people around them. As youth leaders, we trust that God has a plan for each youth of the parish, and see our role to be mere instruments in allowing God’s plan to unfold for every one of them. As well, we do our very best to help them build long lasting friendships and share the love that God has given them with their friends.
The year 2012 was an eventful one for us. Our former Youth Ministry Coordinator, Chris Phippard, completed two great years of work. In July we had an awesome Bible Camp for children, run by a team of enthusiastic young people from the parish. When the Youth Minister position was advertised in the bulletin, we (Rina, Markel, and Nick) handed in our resumes.
Selecting the new Youth Ministry Coordinator was difficult, but we (Youth Advisory Council), with Fr. Gerry’s blessing, were able to hire a three-person team, who began working the 1st of September.
We (Rina, Markel, and Nick) were introduced to the parish at our wonderful parish Festival of Friends. For our debut event we took the youth group to the amazing maze in corn. Though it was the first event of the year, we had an awesome attendance, and everyone had a fantastic time. On Hallow’s Eve we fashioned the church basement to become the House of Saints and Sinners, now a tradition of St. Ignatius Youth Ministry. We ended the year with a Christmas party that had over 50 youth in attendance! To say the least, it was an awesome way to say goodbye to 2012.
In 2013 we hope to see all our youth come out to events. Our first one of the year was a Team Building exercise, in which groups of youth built towers out of various materials. We have a whole bunch of events ready for this year. An event that we are all especially excited for is Think Fast, March 16-17. At Think Fast, youth fast for 24 hours in solidarity with the hungry of our world. We are hoping to have a huge turn-out. As we fast together we’ll be watching movies, learning more about the needs of the poor of the world, playing board games and video games, praying together and getting closer to God. Hope to see you there!
Driscoll's Den, St. Ignatius Youth Headquarters, has been undergoing intense cleanup as of late, but it'll be raring and ready to go for the end of January. Then we will be starting up movie nights, and we hope to make it available for kids after 9:30am mass, on most Sundays up until the summer. We will still have the good old pool and air hockey tables along with a great donation from a few years ago: our nice large television set. We are still hoping to have some couches donated, but for the time being, we still have the cushions from our old couches to use for temporary seating. Once the den is ready, it'll be a great place to hang out, have fun and make some great new friends.
The Youth Advisory Council was established in Fr. Massie’s time to provide support and guidance to the Youth Ministers of St Ignatius Parish. It is comprised of adult St. Ignatius parishioners, who meet once per month with the Youth Ministers. Our mission is to provide a youth friendly parish. We aim to see youth involved in our parish, especially in the services the parish provides. To accomplish this, our youth ministry is trying to connect with the youth within and outside our parish. Our goals are: to develop a youth group where the youth have a sense of belonging; provide a place where youth can develop skills that are valued contributions to their community; to help all our youth to develop their sense of worth as persons; and to give our youth a group of friends whom they can have reliable and dependable relationships with. St. Ignatius Youth Ministry strives to develop the path for our youth to grow, within themselves and within the life of the Church. Current members of the Council are Cathy Seitz (facilitator), Jim Signatovich, Monica Reynoso, and Fr. Gerry.
By Fr Gerry McDougall, sj
I have much gratitude today. Our Christmas season is over, but it was amazing and from my perspective we were truly blessed as a community. Where to begin to give thanks? I think that all our gratitude must begin and end in God, Source of all being, Giver of all gifts. We give thanks to God for all of our Christmas inspiration, hope, and joy.
Thanks be to our Creator and Saviour for the treasure of those who left us for heaven around the time of our Christmas celebrations, and for the precious new gifts who were born, or are waiting to be born.
Advent ended and Christmas began in the parish with the appearance of our Christmas crèche, poinsettias blooming, trees alighted and banners unfurled. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who contributed from their time, talent and treasure in order to make our beautiful worship space so radiant for Christmas.
This season’s St. Ignatius School Christmas Concert was beautiful beyond compare. What an awesome evangelization for us to have the “angels” of our parish school sing the Good News to us! Thank you, students, teachers, and parent volunteers, for such a perfect evening. You were instruments of God’s grace for us!
We celebrated three magnificent Christmas Eve masses and four on Christmas Day. The Christmas season included our celebrations of the Holy Family, the New Year (Mary Mother of God), Epiphany, and the Baptism of Our Lord. The choirs and musicians were extraordinary, the mass coordination was exceptional, and the liturgical ministry and altar serving was prayerful. A great “Thank You” goes out to the Liturgy Committee and everyone who participated in making our masses so festive and joyful.
The Knights of Columbus receive our deepest gratitude for their exceptional service during the Christmas season, by their presence at nearly every mass, as well as orchestrating the Archbishop’s reception after our New Year’s Eve Spanish-English mass.
As well, much thanks to you, our quiet yet consistent helpers who are ready to volunteer at a moment’s notice when the need arises.
Even at celebrations of great joy, sudden urgencies arise and a few of us may need the immediate help of our neighbour. Our profound gratitude goes out to all who noticed a fellow parishioner in need and acted in the way of the Good Samaritan of the Gospel. Thanks to you, several of our parish family received the care and attention they required at a crucial moment. We are all very thankful that you stepped in and helped.
This grateful remembrance of our Christmas season is far from complete, because there are just too many of You to thank. So let us all give thanks to God – “Deo Gratias” – for every good gift of the past season – and let us continue to trust in God’s gifts throughout the New Year of 2013. A Very Blessed New Year to all.
Volume 15, Number 4 Winnipeg, Manitoba December 2012
Make the Star of Justice Shine
This Christmas, many individuals are choosing alternatives to consumer goods as gifts for loved ones. Consider making your gift to them a donation to Development and Peace. By giving to Development and Peace, you are contributing directly to building a more just world.
Your gift will increase the quality of life and human dignity of the world’s poorest by helping them ensure the right to vote, giving them the opportunity for an education, supporting communities in defending their land, and other actions for social justice. And, now that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has refocused its funding away from true support of the poor of the world to indirect support of the trading initiatives of Canadian corporations, your contribution is even more valuable to the world's poor.
An income tax receipt will automatically be sent to your e-mail address for a one-time donation. In the case of a monthly donation, a receipt for the sum of your donations during the year will be mailed to you in February of next year.
We will send you a card that you can print to give to them. We will also send you a link for an eCard if you would rather send your greetings by e-mail.
To send your Development & Peace gift to your loved ones, visit www.devp.org
Inspired by the Loving Heart of Jesus
By Sylvia Bock
I met Sr Cyril Mooney at St. Ignatius this summer when she was here to receive a Honourary Doctorate from the University of Manitoba.
During the conversation I had with Sr Cyril, as well as in the discussion she hosted at church, she described the many projects that she has undertaken to help others based on her love of Jesus. I found it hard to believe that this one person could accomplish so much in her lifetime.
In 2007, Sr Cyril launched the Sampurna Village Project to slow the flow of poor villagers to large cities, where their children – Sr Cyril calls them “The Rainbows” – often become beggars and street children. The goal of her project is to spur educational and financial change in these impoverished villages.
I told Sister Cyril that I was moved and inspired by her work, and that my local Winnipeg business would like to help these village women by buying their crafts and selling them here. When an opportunity came up with my work to go to South East Asia, I journeyed to India as well so see Sr Cyril’s work in Kolkata first-hand.
On arriving in Kolkata, I headed straight to the Loreto Day school to meet the Rainbows. Their home on the top floor, with its large windows and open spaces, is bright and inviting. There the girls share their lives like sisters; they clean up together, teach each other, and comb and braid each other’s hair.
Outside of Kolkata there are a number of villages, known as Sampurna Villages, from which the Rainbow girls and their families originate. Sr Cyril’s Sampurna Village Project provides a self-sufficient method of earning income within the village through the Empowering Women Program, which assists women with micro loans and marketing opportunities. The women produce their handicrafts in a community centre built by Sr Cyril’s friends from Ireland.
Journeying for hours by car and then by foot to one of these lush villages gave me a chance to see the women working at their crafts in the community centre. Children were playing nearby and some were in the centre with their moms. All seemed content and pleased, especially the kids.
The Sampurna Villagers are still at high risk. Many women still want to come into Kolkata to the harsh realities of living on the streets. Sr Cyril’s community of workers is doing everything they can to ensure they are successful with their handicrafts in order to make a living in their villages.
The love of Jesus Christ inspires Sr Cyril in her work of uniting classes and empowering the women. I feel blessed to have met Sr Cyril, to see the work she is doing in Kolkata and how these women's crafts can make a difference.
Mixed Marriage: Sharing Challenges and Gifts
If you are living in or preparing for a mixed marriage, you are invited to join us Tuesday evenings, 7-9 pm, in the Loyola Lounge, January 15, 22 & 29. Together we'll explore and celebrate the rich and varied ways we live the joys and difficulties of the path to Christian unity.
Facilitated by parishioners Ray and Fenella Temmerman, coordinators of the 10th International Conference of Interchurch Families (Edmonton, 2001) and active participants in the Association of Interchurch Families (see http://interchurchfamilies.org), this will be a time to share experiences, learn from each other, and come to appreciate the rich gifts of the Christian traditions we, together with our spouses, bring to the Body of Christ, the Church.
We'll turn our eyes back to the discussions we had, before marriage, on how we would live our faith together. Then we'll look at what actually happened in our marriages, either affirming our decisions or calling us to a new way of living for the wellbeing and stability of our marriages. We'll explore the different ways our churches, and we in our families, live the unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity that mark the Body of Christ and our own “domestic church,” the church of the home. We'll talk about the issues we deal with in our marriage, e.g. baptisms, confirmations, and Eucharist. Finally, we'll look at funerals, and how we may prepare in advance to faithfully celebrate our spouse's faith and our God-given unity when that spouse is no longer present to help us work our way through the structures and polity of his/her church.
Above all, this will be a time of joyous celebration of the gift of rich diversity in unity which our God has given us through our varied traditions, a gift which brings us and our churches together through love.
If you know of other mixed-marriage couples at St Ignatius or in other parishes, feel free to invite them along. Call Ray & Fenella Temmerman, 204-284-1147 to register. Please register early, as participation may have to be limited due to space restrictions.
By Fr Gerry McDougall, sj
This will be my sixth Christmas at St. Ignatius, and one of my favourite parts of this holy day is seeing and welcoming many new people: some who have come home for the holiday; or new visitors to St. Ignatius. Welcome everyone! The reality that we are all one family becomes abundantly clear as we gather to celebrate the Good News that God is with us, that Christ was born to us this Christmas Day!
For we all come home for Christmas, whether from near or afar, whether Winnipeg is the place we call “home,” or not. We have been on the journey, and our journey has its ups and downs, joys and sorrows. During these days we recall a special journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, with Mary and Joseph, their search for a resting place where Mary could give birth to her child, and the angels’ singing to poor shepherds, who then hastened to see the miraculous newborn child of God. We make an intentional stop on our journey, to rest our hearts in, and worship in awe before Emmanuel, Mary’s son and God’s Son, who comes to save us, to lead us all back to our true home.
The Christ child born that day teaches us that to love and care for each other is the best way to spend our lives. It is truly the way in which Jesus Christ leads us home. Thus, our celebration of Christmas is about giving, good will toward others, willingness to seek reconciliation, and prayers for those who suffer or grieve.
It is oft said that Christmas is for children, and it certainly inspires the child of God in each one of us. This past year has been one of joy and hope, as it began with the very special 100th anniversary of St. Ignatius School. We all know how vital St. Ignatius School has been for our whole parish community. Our 100th birthday celebrations this year were marked with moments of gratitude and inspiration. As we begin a new year in the parish, we can give thanks to God today for the blessing of our children, for the gift of education in faith, and for the countless number of people who have made this possible here, for over a century. May this special ministry of the parish continue for centuries to come.
At this time I would like to thank everyone who has made, or pledged, a contribution toward our “Raising the Roof” Campaign, as well as those who are planning to give before December 31st, 2012. Your generosity continues to make our parish community a better place for everyone. Our campaign goal is $ 750,000.00, by December 31st, 2014. This achievement will completely pay our debt owing on our new church and school roofs, and will renew our building fund as we prepare to launch further upgrades to our buildings. When you return from the Christmas holiday, I will have more information for you about this important step on our journey as a parish. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2013!
Social Justice, Home Cooking, and Whole Foods
by Laura Steiman Shofley, Founding President
Mary Jane’s Cooking School
On a Sunday we are called to reflect on the gifts of our faith as we are welcomed to share in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We then go home, nourished in spirit, strengthened to love and serve Him by serving others in our families and communities. And we sit down to dinner with those we love.
For far too many people in our city, however, the homes are empty and the tables are bare. Poverty, rejection, disability, hunger, and isolation: these are the realities faced by hundreds of all ages, races, and backgrounds. How can this be, in a land of plenty? And what can we do to feed those who hunger not only for bread but also for a welcome in our midst, for kindness, for justice?
Mary Jane’s Cooking School is based on a belief in justice as the recognition that we are all related as the children of God. We are responsible to one another when we protect and nurture God’s gifts of our shared home—the Earth—and all of its creatures. We carry out that responsibility whenever we welcome others to join us in honouring the fruits of that Earth—the gifts of whole foods.
We empower for justice by helping our participants gain basic skills in home cooking, the principles of nutrition, and the understanding of food security as a right and a responsibility. We talk about food sovereignty as the right to wholesome food and to know where and how our food is raised. We emphasize the importance of supporting the people who provide us with food—the farmers, and fishers, and those who bring the produce to market for us, as opposed to the corporate control of our food, which leads to poverty for many as well as ill health.
Native Canadians, immigrants, refugees, seniors, youth, and everyone in between have joined the community of learners and volunteers at Mary Jane’s Cooking School over the past seventeen years. Our home environment welcomes each one to a place at our table as an honoured guest.