Rolande Chernichan, National Chairperson of Faith, September 27, 2023
FOR: Chairpersons of Faith at All Levels (new structure) and Chairpersons of Spiritual Development at All Levels (old structure)
“Faith is a journey inspired by restless questioning, fraught with risk, powered by perseverance in prayer and charity, and culminating in the awe, wonder and worship of the Lord” (Pope Francis).
Greetings! The next several months on the calendar will find councils concluding their service under the previous standing committee structure of the League. In fruition of the strategic plan, you will join the national executive in its new role guided by the pillars of faith, service and social justice. The faith standing committee is entrusted to “evangelize, promote spiritual growth, and encourage all levels to
(a) pray, individually and communally
(b) uphold the sanctity of life
(c) study Catholic teachings
(d) stress the importance of the role of women in the church
(e) foster vocations
(f) advance ecumenism and interfaith endeavours”
The spiritual program of council meetings continues to be a priority for the League, endeavouring to “express the religious renewal of the people of God as envisioned by documents of Vatican II… [and] foster and advance the spiritual growth of members” (Constitution & Bylaws). At the beginning of your term, you are encouraged to be goal and project-driven. With guidance from your spiritual advisor, consider planning the year’s spiritual program in advance and include a variety of prayers in different forms, songs and videos that are educational or for reflection, Catholic teaching, group sharing about scripture, etc.
Prayers and liturgy should be varied to appeal to the senses. Councils are urged to honour Our Lady of Good Counsel in a special way. The meeting room could include a small display that visually reinforces the theme of the spiritual program. Please consider engaging one or two subchairpersons to assist in planning and presenting the various spiritual programs. Overall, establish goals for your term that are measurable and achievable and can be realized with the collaboration of other members and the spiritual advisor.
September gives launch to the 40 Days for Life campaign (September 27th to November 5th). Please remind members about this significant annual event that promotes the sanctity of life. “The visible, public centerpiece of 40 Days for Life is a focused, 40-day, non-stop, round-the-clock prayer vigil outside a single Planned Parenthood center or other abortion facility in your community. It is a peaceful and educational presence. Those who are called to stand witness during this 24-hour-a-day presence send a powerful message to the community about the tragic reality of abortion” (40 Days for Life). Councils and members are encouraged to unite themselves to the efforts of those who hold vigil at abortion facilities by joining in praying for an end to abortion and donating to pro-life charities or causes.
An invitation from Pope Francis: “I renew my invitation to participate in the ecumenical prayer vigil entitled ‘Together’, which will take place on this coming Saturday 30 September in Saint Peter’s Square, in preparation for the Synodal Assembly which will begin on 4 October.” Members are encouraged to unite themselves to the assembly and its deliberations by praying the Synodal prayer, Adsumus Sancte Spiritus,attached to this communiqué.
May the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast is celebrated on October 4th, be an inspiration as Canadians mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. May the splendour of autumn lead you to praise and thanksgiving as you continue your faith journey and to be Catholic and Living It!
National Chairperson of Faith