DIOCESE of HAMILTON BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENTS

October 2021

Catechetical Correspondence Courses – Do your children attend public or private school or do you home-school?

If you are wondering how to support their ongoing formation in religious education, the Diocese of Hamilton offers Catechetical Correspondence Programs for every age and stage from Kindergarten through to High School including programs specially designed to assist children preparing for the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. Click here for more information or contact Sybil at 905-528-7988 x2339 or email:  catechesis@hamiltondiocese.com.

Online Learning for Adult Faith Formation – The Diocese of Hamilton is pleased to have The University of Dayton: Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) as a partner in adult faith formation. The VLCFF is a living adult faith community offering online learning opportunities to address the learning needs of adults in our Diocese. Whether taking courses for professional development in ministry or for personal nourishment, the VLCFF provides a breadth of opportunity for learning including full certificate programs, five-week online courses and three-week intensive online seminars. For more information check out the Hamilton Diocese learns web page or contact the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis at (905) 528-7988 x 2339 or catechesis@hamiltondiocese.com.

PARENTING TIP OF THE MONTH – Parenting Tip 133: October brings cooler air and the final harvests of the season. It is a time when we see the beauty of nature and the creative mind of God in providing this world for each of us. Children spend a lot of time wishing for things they don’t have, instead of focussing on what they do have, including love from family members, their faith community and friends and neighbours who care for them. During this month of thanksgiving, help your children focus on giving thanks for all they have by writing a daily gratitude journal. Each day they can write about the goodness’s of their day and at the end of the month they will have documentation about how much they have to be grateful for – both to God and everyone else who contributes to their lives.

MARRIAGE TIP OF THE MONTH – Marriage Tip 113: As we continue to deal with the COVID virus in our communities, people are feeling the continued burden of the unknown about its dangers and how long it will last. This causes stress which might cause couples to lash out at the one they love most. Take some time to change the pattern of your life by planning some fun activities for the two of you, communicate truthfully about how you are feeling, acknowledge that your spouse may not be at their best because they are stressed, hold hands and hug often as touch can relieve stress and pray together that God will give you strength. Feeling united will reduce stress levels for both of you and create a more peaceful environment to help you deal with the unknowns.

Unpacking UNPLANNED: Bringing Hope and Healing – Hamilton Right to Life and the Diocesan Family Ministry Office are partnering to bring you an online information session regarding UNPLANNED, the story of Abby Johnson, the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic director in the U.S., and how she changed her mind on abortion. The Zoom event will combine video, questions and discussion. Join us on Oct. 27th from 7-8:30pm as Mrs. Teresa Hartnett (MRE), Director of Family Ministry, will share how individuals and groups can spread the pro-life message. The session is free, but donations will be accepted during registration. Click here to register or call Hamilton Right to Life at 905-528-3065.

World Meeting of Families Diocesan Event – being held May 28, 2022 at Mount Mary in Ancaster. Pope Francis is urging diocesan administrators to begin preparations for the 2022 World Meeting of Families and this is exactly what the Diocese of Hamilton has begun to do! The Pope has asked that, “wherever it is possible, I would like to invite diocesan communities to plan initiatives based on the theme of the meeting, and to use the symbols being prepared by the Diocese of Rome.” More information will follow. For now, we encourage you to keep Saturday, May 28th open. As the Pope Francis reminds us, this is “a great opportunity for Catholics to renew their commitment to family ministry.”

ReStart: A Separation and Divorce Recovery Program – Feeling the need for support, healing and/or hope after a separation or divorce? The Diocesan ReStart Programs support your journey, providing you with tools to remain healthy. For more information contact Teresa at the Family Ministry Office – (905) 528-7988, ext. 2250.

Marriage Support – Is your marriage experiencing more trouble than joy, feeling stagnant or disconnected and/or causing you worries? The solution is Retrouvaille – a program for married couples facing challenges in their relationship. Retrouvaille helps couples restore their marriage and rebuild a loving partnership. It is a practical program, where sharing is only between the couple themselves, designed to improve communication, build stronger marriages, and help couples reconnect. It also works well for couples who may be considering separation or divorce. The next Retrouvaille weekend will take place via Zoom, November 4 – 7. For information call 905-664-5212 or e-mail: teamrecine@gmail.com.

SYNOD OF BISHOPS 2023

Pope Francis recently announced that the next Synod of Bishops will take place in October 2023.  The Theme of the Synod is: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.For the first time, the meeting will be the culmination of a “three-year path” involving all of the People of God at every level of the Church.  This “path” is a process rather than an event, which Pope Francis will solemnly inaugurate this October 9-10, is meant to be a manifestation of “synodality) which is a form that realizes the participation of all the people of God in mission.

The synodal path will take place in three phases.  The first phase (October 2021to April 2022) begins on October 17th under the leadership of the Bishop in each Diocese.  This stage is conceived as a broad consultation with the People of God in each Diocese.  The second phase (September 2022 to March 2023) is the “continental” phase.  This will involve the fruit of deliberations on each Continent.  For example, Canada and the United States of America will collate their responses to the questions posed by the Holy See and submit them to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in Rome by March 2023.  The final phase of the Synod will take place in October 2023 with the celebration of the Assembly of Bishops in Rome.

In the Diocese of Hamilton, a Committee has been established to guide the Diocesan Phase of the Synodal Process.  Information will be sent to the Parishes in late October and the parishioners in the Diocese of Hamilton will have an opportunity to respond to the questions to be considered by the Synod.  The actual consultation will take place beginning in November and conclude by mid-December so that our Diocesan Report can be prepared and sent to the Ontario Assembly of Catholic Bishops to be included in the Canadian report.  We pray for the success of this unique and historic synodal process:

                        We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in your name.

                        With you alone to guide us, make yourself at home in our hearts;

                        Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.

                        We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.

                        Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.

                        Let us find in you our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life

                        and not stray from the way of the truth and what is right.

                        All this we ask of you, who are at work in every place and time,

                        in the communion of the Father and the Son,

                        for ever and ever.  Amen.