NEWS AND UPDATES:
*This information is current to September 15, 2021. Please check back regularly for updates. Thank you.
Update on Masses and Gatherings in our Diocese
With the ending of the covid state of emergency government orders in Yukon (Effective August 26, 2021) and BC (Effective July 1, 2021), capacity limits and restrictions - masks, physical distancing, contact tracing, etc. - have been lifted for the celebration of Masses, Lay Communion services, and other church activities.
The virus will now be managed according to general public health measures. Keep in mind that proper handwashing and staying home when sick have always been key to ensuring good personal and public health. Also, if you test positive for covid, you are asked to follow Yukon Communicable Disease Control or BC Centre for Disease Control direction and advice for self-isolation and self-care.
Note also that Bishop Vila has reinstated the Sunday Obligation in all parishes and missions in the Diocese.
We are grateful to God for this full return to the celebration of the Eucharist whereby our relationship with Jesus may be nourished, and where we may again be in full communion with our brothers and sisters.
First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
The CCCB Standing Committee for Family and Life has produced a short video message for the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will take place on Sunday, 25 July 2021. The video message brings to life the theme chosen for this day, “I am with you always” (cf. Mt 28:20). It seeks to encourage young people, families, and communities to draw near and to spend time with grandparents and the elderly, cherishing their essential role for the Church and society.
CCCB Statement on Acts of Violence in Canada
The members of the CCCB Executive Committee have issued this statement calling for an end to religious violence in Canada.
Response to Discovery of Children's Graves
In response to the sorrowful and shocking news of the discovery of children's graves at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, Bishop Hector Vila has released a public statement, as well as a Letter to the Faithful.
Statement from Bishop Hector Vila
Letter to the Faithful of the Diocese of Whitehorse
Link to Bishop Vila's interview with CBC - June 2nd, 2021
Link to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action webpage
Diocesan Safe Environment Policy
The Diocese of Whitehorse Safe Environment Policy has been updated and is now posted on its own webpage. The purpose of the policy is to keep minors and vulnerable adults safe from harm while in the care of the Diocese of Whitehorse. It includes standards and safeguards to ensure that everyone who participates in ministry activities feel s safe and protected.
The Safe Environment webpage also has information on the procedure for reporting incidents of abuse by individuals in ministry positions, including clergy (Priests, Deacons and the Bishop), lay staff, and volunteers.
Feast of St. Joseph the Worker
The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker is celebrated every year on May 1st. Please click here for messages from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in both English and French.
Thank you to the Ex Corde Foundation
The Diocese of Whitehorse gratefully acknowledges and gives thanks to God for a generous grant received from the Ex Corde Foundation of the Diocese of Hamilton. The Foundation was established by Bishop Douglas Crosby, O.M.I. in 2012. It focuses on finding ways to help parishes, organizations and communities prosper through financial support of a range of initiatives.
The Diocese has been awarded a grant of $20,000 to upgrade the church windows and exterior doors at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Porter Creek. Being an old structure, the church is poorly insulated and has seen minimal renovations over the years. New triple-pane, high R-value rated windows will make the church more energy-efficient and will help in significantly reducing heating costs.
We extend our gratitude to the Board members of the Ex Corde Foundation who are helping us bring this project to fruition. Let us keep them in our prayers as they continue their work. You can read more about the foundation on their website at www.excordefoundation.com.
Celebrating the Year of St. Joseph
We invite you to visit the CCCB webpage for various resources in Celebration of the Year of St. Joseph. You will find Prayers, Litanies, and Devotions, Consecration to Saint Joseph, and Church documents in both French and English.
There are also seven short video presentations guided by the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde (With a Father's Heart).
As St. Joseph is the Patron Saint of the Family, we also recommend taking the time to read again Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).
Special indulgences are being granted by the Holy See for the Year of St. Joseph. Click here for more information.
CMIC Tastes of Heaven Annual Fundraiser
Catholic Missions in Canada (CMIC) is a major supporter of our missions in the Diocese of Whitehorse. We are grateful to God for their financial contributions. If you would like to help CMIC in their work, we invite you to participate in their annual gala on April 29, 2021. To register, please visit: https://cmic.info/tastes-of-heaven/
Renovations to Sacred Heart Cathedral continue
Fundraising and renovations of Sacred Heart Cathedral are on-going.
To view photos, click here.
Welcome NET Team!
The NET Team arrived safely in Whitehorse on January 7th and will be out of self-isolation on January 22nd, 2021. We look forward to them sharing the message of the love of God with our children and teens. Thank you to all who have been contributing food to the Team since they arrived. Check back for more details about their ministry.
Update on Bill C-7 Expansion of MAiD
The Senate voted to add two disturbing amendments that the House will vote to approve this week!
Please contact your Member of Parliament, even if you don't believe that the Bill can be stopped. Our voices need to be heard.
Here is an outline of what the Bill includes:
• Bill C-7 removes the requirement that death must be 'reasonably foreseeable' even for the disabled.
• Bill C-7 permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to lethally inject a person who cannot consent, if that person was previously approved for MAiD."
• Bill C-7 waives the ten-day waiting period when a person is deemed to be “terminally ill.”
• Bill C-7 reduces the number of witnesses from two to one, and one witness could be connected to the care of the person.
The Senate added two amendments:
1. To allow MDs and nurse practitioners to euthanize anyone who has made an advanced directive (pre-authorized consent) even if they do not request it presently or no longer consent. This includes those with degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
2. They introduced an 18 month ‘sunset clause’ amendment allowing for euthanasia of the mentally ill as the sole criteria.
Note: No amendments were made to protect conscience rights for physicians.
The outcry against this terrible legislation is loud. Add your voice! Here's how:
Update on Bill C-7 (Expansion of MAiD)
On 17 December 2020 the Quebec Superior Court confirmed that an additional extension had been granted to the Truchon ruling until 26 February 2021. This marks the third extension which has been granted at the request of the Government.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is continuing its advocacy work together with the groups of disability advocates, physicians, legal professionals, and religious on Bill C-7. The legislation has passed Third Reading and is currently being debated in the Senate where the efforts of the above-noted groups lay. The House of Commons is scheduled to re-convene on 25 January 2021. The Senate of Canada is scheduled to reconvene 2 February 2021.
Please watch Bishop William McGrattan's testimony to the Senate at the pre-study (25 November 2020)
We also invite you look at these links to familiarize yourself with the issue or visit our webpage for more resources.
Shalom World TV & Prayer Channels
The Diocese of Whitehorse is pleased to endorse Shalom World, a 24/7, family-friendly, commercial-free, high-definition Catholic network which appeals to young, as well as young-at-heart viewers.
What is Shalom World Media all about? Watch this short video.
You can access the Shalom World TV and Prayer Channels simply by pressing on the floating yellow Media Gallery icon on the bottom right of any page.
Pope Francis proclaims “Year of St Joseph”
With the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis recalls the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark the occasion, the Holy Father has proclaimed a “Year of Saint Joseph” from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021.
The Apostolic Penitentiary also issued a decree granting special indulgences for the duration of the special year to celebrate the anniversary and “to perpetuate the entrustment of the whole Church to the powerful patronage of the Custodian of Jesus.” Click here for an article with guidance on these special indulgences.
The Diocese of Whitehorse is now accepting online donations via our partner Canada Helps, which is equipped to issue instantaneous tax receipts. Your generosity enables us to serve our communities, care for those in need and accomplish the mission entrusted to us by the Lord.
Click on the button above to donate online.