The following paragraphs are an excerpt from: Discovering the unity of life and love: a reflection on the foundations for a theology of human love.
CCCB, 2017.

“As pastors of the Church of Canada, it is our desire to recall the deep, human reasons for the Church’s vision of human love and life. We wish to rediscover the family as a place where the essentials truths about human life and love can be discovered and embraced; the family as a place where our humanity can flourish and serve the common good; the family as a community where human wounds and vulnerability can be embraced with mercy”.

“We do not arrive at personal love overnight. The fact that love needs time to grow and mature is something we do not often consider in our day. Jean Vanier suggests that it might be more honest to speak of “growing in love” rather than “falling in love”, as the path of true love requires effort, sacrifice and time. Love remains fragile if it is not educated towards a love that sees and values the other as a good in his or her own right”.

“Human love has always held a privileged place in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Just as we believe that man and woman are created in the image and likeness of God, so too the Church believes that the reality of human love is held within the greater reality of Divine Love”.

“What the Church proposes as unified, the world invites us to consider as fragmented: for example, the unity of love and marriage, sex and fecundity, and gender and the body. All around us, we are told we can love without the stability of marriage and sexual difference, that we can have sex without the fruitfulness of children, and that our sexual identity can be asserted based on our own convictions, despite the given gender of the body”.

“And so, a new theory of sexuality and gender has been developing. Gender theory proposes that our identity as a man or woman is socially constructed rather than given in nature and willed by God. According to Pope Francis, this theory ‘denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family”.

“We believe that true and lasting joy and a meaningful existence can only be had by entering more deeply into the logic of love that we can discover in our bodies and our hearts. Looking together at our primary human experiences “with eyes of Christ”, we desire to show the reasonableness and beauty of the Church’s vision of human love”. “Love opens our eyes and enables us to see, above all else, the great worth of a human being.”

(The full text of Discovering the unity of live and love: a reflection on the foundations for a theology of human love can be found at the CCCB website under Commissions & Committees – Doctrine)

 The World Youth Day, the international gathering of youth and young adults (15 to 30 years old) for a celebration of the Catholic faith, took place in Panama City from January 22 – 27, 2019. The theme was “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; may it be do according to your word”.  Pope Francis’ message to the youth was: “You, dear young people, are not the future but the now of God. Put service and mission first and you will see that everything else will follow.” 

The next gathering will take place in 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

 New Family Catechesis: The Office for Evangelization and Catechesis recently developed a new resource on Family Catechesis. It provides insight into the value of Family Catechesis as a means to evangelization of children and of the adults who accompany them.  This resource includes 3 videos that provide a unique perspective on the benefits and challenges that some of the dioceses have experienced in their efforts to engage parents more fully in their own faith development and in the faith live of their children.

This resource is available online (in PDF format) free of charge from the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis.

Plastic Waste in Oceans: About 80% of all litter in oceans is made up of plastic. Plastic straws add up to 2,000 tons. One step of many that we can take is to eliminate the use of plastic straws at home and in our parishes.

May Our Lady of Good Counsel guide us as we grow in faith, promoting social justice through service to the church, Canada and the world.

Blanca Stead