Monday, October 26, 2020
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CSJ Lenten Journey - Previous Weeks

CSJ Lenten Journey - Week Five: A New World

Easter is around the corner. Without a doubt, this year’s celebration of Jesus resurrection will look and feel different. Social distancing will disrupt annual traditions and family reunions.

Children will not play with their friends. Church masses are suspended, depriving Catholics of sharing the joy of Jesus’ rebirth. While the reality is hard to endure, we have also an opportunity to reimagine our shared future in harmony with all of Creation.

As Jesus is rising again, now is the time to give new life to our hopes for an inclusive and just society. Around the world we are witnessing social policy initiatives: Now Toronto has argued for a basic universal income; some American cities have made public transit free; Spain and Ireland have turned private hospitals into public health care facilities and Ontario has removed barriers to health care

With the slowing of the economy and decline in tourism, Mother Earth is breathing much easier. Canals in Venice are running with clear water; air pollution is plummeting over China and Italy.

A new world is possible; we just need to demand it. As we take measures to keep ourselves and everyone else safe through social and physical distancing, let us also take this Easter to rethink our approach to live and steer our collective future to a new existence.

Tips for celebrating Easter while practicing social distancing:

  • Technology provides possibilities to connect in a safe way. Talk and eat with your loved ones via Skype, Zoom and other online platforms.
  • Drop off a box of food and other supplies at your local church, food bank or community organization.
  • Celebrate mass online. Contact your local church to ask what they are planning.
  • Participate in an online egg hunt as described in The Castlegar Source.


CSJ Lenten Journey - Week Four: Rights & Responsibilities

Our right to the things we need to live comes with the responsibility to ensure exercising our rights doesn’t infringe on others’. Consumption of single use plastics meets your needs at the expense of others whose aquifers are depleted and whose homes become dumping grounds for the waste. This week, skip the single-use plastics.

Pray with us

Creating God, teach us to use carefully the good gifts of this planet, our first home. Let us be mindful of the hundreds of generations that might yet come, to minimise waste, and to recycle all that we can.

We also pray for a recycling in our personal lives. By the grace of your Christ and the rejuvenation of your Spirit, recycle in us those gifts and virtues that may have become ragged or been cast aside.

Recycle our faith, that we may run and not be weary, walk and not faint.

Recycle our hope, that we may rise up from pessimism like the flight of eagles.

Recycle our love, that justice may roll on like a flood, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Loving God, let us model our approach to recycling on your grace which regards no gift as trivial and no person as redundant.

For Christ‘s sake. Amen!

Written by Bruce Prewer and posted in a collection of “Heritage” prayers on his website, Bruce Prewer’s Homepage

Learn More

March 22 is World Water Day which highlights the importance of water as a human right and shared commons.

What more you can do this week

  • Check out the WaterDocs festival programming at

  • Talk to your MPP to permanent ban in Ontario of licenses for water extraction given to corporations such as Nestle. Learn more and support the Council of Canadians campaign to boycott Nestle by visiting  



CSJ Lenten Journey - Week Four: Participation

Participation calls us to engage in the life of wider society: to be responsible citizens engaged in the betterment of our world, including our political system. This week, we ask you to join the national campaign organized by Citizens for Public Justice, Give It Up For the Earth.

Pray with us:


We pray for those in government: our municipal leaders, our premiers and MPPs/MLAs, and those who represent us in Canada's parliament, that you might give them wisdom and courage to discern your will and your way.

We pray for government leaders from around the world, for people of faith, and for environmentalists. May they all be guided by your goodness, your wisdom, and your grace.

Lord, we ask that, with our support and encouragement, our elected leaders might pursue policies that support the well-being of the earth and all its creatures, that they will generously support those whose lives have been most profoundly impacted by climate change, and that they will contribute willingly to fund adaptation and mitigation commitments in the Global South.

Adapted from Karri Munn-Venn’s Faithful Climate Action Prayers of Intercession

Participation is Vital

  • The climate emergency is the most urgent issue of concern today. While individual choices to reduce our carbon footprint are important, without adoption of swift and comprehensive policies from all levels of government, addressing the climate emergency will simply fail.

  • In 2019, the 64 Catholic Women Religious Congregations members of the UISG sent a statement to Canadian politicians to take climate emergency as a primary goal for the upcoming parliament. Please read the Climate Emergency Statement and use it as a base to call your MP or MPP or City Councillor to talk about climate emergency. 

  • Join us! Sign the “Give it Up for the Earth” card available here on the Citizens for Public Justice website.



CSJ Lenten Journey - Week Two: Solidarity

Solidarity recognizes us as one common family, and that an offence against one harms us all.  We must stand with and for those who live on the margins. This week, we ask you to pick up a book from your local library that deals with themes of Indigenous Justice and reconciliation. We suggest Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith, and Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel. 

Pray with us:

Creator God, we acknowledge all of the gifts we have been given. We especially acknowledge the gifts of the women in our lives, our mothers, grandmothers, wives, aunties, sisters and nieces. We express our sorrow and hurt for those of our Indigenous sisters who have gone missing or have been murdered. At this time, we ask for blessings for all women, and especially for those who have experienced inexplicable violation and suffering. We ask for comfort, care, and consolation, for those family members left behind. We again acknowledge the gifts of the Spirit we have been given and we ask for these blessings in Christ. Amen.

The Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council. National Prayer in Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples in Canada, 2017.

Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls recommended, among other things:

  • Establishing a National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudsperson and a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal.

  • Developing and implementing a National Action Plan to ensure equitable access to employment, housing, education, safety, and health care. 

Learn more on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigneous Women and Girls website.

 “To put an end to this tragedy, the rightful power and place of women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people must be reinstated, which requires dismantling the structures of colonialism within Canadian society,” said Michèle Audette, one of five commissioners for Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. “This is not just a job for governments and politicians. It is incumbent on all Canadians to hold our leaders to account.”



CSJ Lenten Journey - Week One: Stewardship of Creation

Stewardship of Creation recognizes that all of Creation has intrinsic value that we are called to defend and protect. This week, we ask you to go vegan, vegetarian or consider consuming less meat or meat that has been produced with the utmost consideration for humane animal husbandry.

Pray with us

Gracious God, Creator of All,

We raise our hearts in grateful praise for all the beauty that surrounds us.

May we learn to respect all as a sacred gift and do what we can to repair the damage we have caused through our consumerism, greed and carelessness. 

Grant us an ecological conversion so that we can leave our next generation with a future full of hope where there is enough for all.

We ask this in the name of Jesus.


Prayer courtesy of Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), Prayers for Creation

Did you Know…?

  • Greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs? From

  • Eating more vegetables and less meat raised outdoors in humane and sustainable ways is the wisest individual choice for a Creation care, as described in this Guardian article.

  • Industrial meat farming is a big business for the agrochemical industry. Animals are raised indoors in crowded feedlots where they are fattened with grains often with no consideration for the animal’s welfare. Crops grown for animal feed consume vast amounts of land as well as herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, fertilisers most of which are washed into the water streams down to the sea where they create a huge amount of plankton causing massive death of the sea flora and fauna. Learn more from this other Guardian article.


CSJ Lenten Journey - Ash Wednesday: The Common Good

This year, the Sisters of St. Joseph invite you to join them on a Lenten journey that embraces elements of Catholic Social Teachings on social justice, peace, and Creation care. Let us use this time to promote the flourishing of life on Earth.

A Lord's Prayer for Justice, by Ron Rolheiser, OHM

Our Father… who always stands with the weak, the powerless, the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the aged, the very young, the unborn, and those who, by victim of circumstance, bear the heat of the day.

Who art in heaven… where everything will be reversed, where the first will be last and the last will be first, but where all will be well and every manner of being will be well.

Hallowed be thy name… may we always acknowledge your holiness, respecting that your ways are not our ways, your standards are not our standards. May the reverence we give your name pull us out of the narcissism, selfishness, and paranoia that prevents us from seeing the pain of our neighbour.

Your kingdom come… help us to create a world where, beyond our own needs and hurts, we will do justice, love tenderly, and walk humbly with you and each other.

Your will be done… open our freedom to let you in so that the complete mutuality that characterizes your life might flow through our veins and thus the life that we help generate may radiate your equal love for all and your special love for the poor.

On earth as in heaven… may the work of our hands, the temples and structures we build in this world, reflect the temple and the structure of your glory so that the joy, graciousness, tenderness, and justice of heaven will show forth within all of our structures on earth.

Give… life and love to us and help us to see always everything as gift. Help us to know that nothing comes to us by right and that we must give because we have been given to. Help us realize that we must give to the poor, not because they need it, but because our own health depends upon our giving to them.

Us… the truly plural us. Give not just to our own but to everyone, including those who are very different than the narrow us. Give your gifts to all of us equally.

This day… not tomorrow. Do not let us push things off into some indefinite future so that we can continue to live justified lives in the face of injustice because we can use present philosophical, political, economic, logistic, and practical difficulties as an excuse for inactivity.

Our daily bread… so that each person in the world my have enough food, enough clean water, enough clean air, adequate health care, and sufficient access to education so as to have the sustenance for a healthy life. Teach us to give from our sustenance and not just from our surplus.

And forgive us our trespasses… forgive us our blindness towards our neighbour, our obsessive self-preoccupation, our racism, our sexism, and our incurable propensity to worry only about ourselves and our own. Forgive us our capacity to watch the evening news and do nothing about it.

As we forgive those who trespass against us… help us to forgive those who victimize us. Help us to mellow out in spirit, to not grow bitter with age, to forgive the imperfect parents and systems that wounded, cursed, and ignored us.

And do not put us to the test… do not judge us only by whether we have fed the hungry, given clothing to the naked, visited the sick, or tried to mend the systems that victimized the poor. Spare us this test for none of us can stand before this gospel scrutiny. Give us, instead, more days to mend our ways, our selfishness, and our systems.

But deliver us from evil… that is, from the blindness that lets us continue to participate in anonymous systems within which we need not see who gets less as we get more.





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