Community Life Communique #8

National Chairperson of Community Life Betty Colaneri, April 5, 2018


CNEWA trip poster


“…it is essential that we first free ourselves from the corruptive degeneration of worldly influences contrary to Christ and to the Gospel; and this purification never ends, it must be done continuously; it must be done every day” (Angelus, February 5, 2017 by Pope Francis).

2018 Canada Summer Jobs Program – Conflict of Religious Freedom
A recent article in The Catholic Register entitled “Motion to remove value attestation in Canada Summer Jobs application fails”, reported that a motion put forward on March 19, 2018 by Member of Parliament Karen Vecchio (Elgin—Middlesex—London, Ontario) to remove value attestation in the 2018 Canada Summer Jobs Program was defeated by a 207 to 93 vote. The program provides $223 million in grants to assist with student wages at charitable and non-profit organizations along with small businesses. The number of applications increased this year to 42,647 from 41,961 in 2017. The government has rejected 1,561 applications compared to 126 files in 2017. It is estimated that more than 1,400 were rejected because the attestation box was not checked off.

Chief Executive Officer Fr. Thomas Rosica of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation joined the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and leaders representing many faith communities and organizations in taking a firm stand against the position of the federal government. In a letter entitled “Urgent Request of our Viewers and Donors Loss of Funding – Canada Summer Jobs Program” Fr. Rosica stated, “As Catholics, our position is that no one should be forced to make application for a government grant that requires support of abortion or other issues that are clearly against the teaching and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. Due to this regrettable action on the part of the Government of Canada, Salt and Light cannot in good conscience apply for these grants. As a media foundation, Salt and Light is funded primarily by donations and the support of our benefactors. These Government grants, made available to employ and train our Canadian youth, supplement our summer internship funding and other on the job training programs at our Toronto and Montreal offices and studios. This has troubled me greatly as I know of the benefit these young people have had on our Mission.”

Consider reading an article featured in the March 7, 2018 edition of the Prairie Messenger expressing the League’s point of view on the topic entitled, “Summer Jobs attestation ‘unconstitutional’: CWL”.

Letters sent to the prime minister and the minister of employment, workforce development and labour by National President Margaret Ann Jacobs pertaining to this issue in addition to a letter from the CCCB may be found on the national website A response from B. Funes, the prime minister’s correspondence officer was received acknowledging receipt of the letter and that the prime minister “will leave the matter to be considered by Minister Hajdu.” Additionally, an unsigned form letter was received from Employment and Social Development Canada in response to the letter sent to the minister of employment, workforce, development and labour. It stated, “As you are aware, the 2018 application asks organization to confirm that both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights and labour laws and do not support discriminatory practices”. It also encouraged to consult information which includes examples of core mandates and proposed jobs at

A statement released by the CCCB in the name of the ecumenical and interfaith participants who met with the minister of employment, workforce, development and labour may be viewed on the national website. The National Post referred to this meeting in a recent article entitled “Extremely disappointed: Religious groups meet with minister on summer jobs program, but no compromise coming”. The article stated, “A coalition of Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups says a face-to-face meeting with Employment Minister Patty Hajdu in Ottawa last week ended in disappointment as they were told there will be no compromise – at least for this year – on the Canada Summer jobs attestation on abortion rights” (

Holy Land Pilgrimage for Members

Join the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) for the 5th annual Holy Land pilgrimage in Israel and Palestine from June 24-July 5, 2018. Discover the places of the bible, meet local Christians and visit projects supported by the League (also known as “Velma’s Dream”).

The cost is $3,275 and includes return airfare from Montreal, hotel (double occupancy), bus, guide, breakfast and dinner. Space is limited and the deadline to register is Monday, April 16, 2018. For more information, please visit or contact Development Officer Melodie Gabriel at (866) 322-4441 or e-mail [email protected] Feel free to forward the attached poster to spread the word.

May Our Risen Lord bless you and your families with joy, happiness and peace!
As Easter people we continue to rejoice!

Betty Colaneri
National Chairperson of Community Life