Here we are almost at the middle of October and grateful for the bounty of good food from the lands and farms that surround us in this beautiful province of British Columbia.  We cannot take things for granted but as granted from God Our Almighty Father.  It is the time of year to acknowledge our family and friends and help our brothers and sisters that are less fortunate.

Last night I had the privilege to attend a fundraising dinner for Freedom’s Door; a not-for-profit addition recovery centre for men. (I am sure that you have similar organizations in your community).  The men prepared and served the meal, entertained us, gave wonderful testimony of their journey to recovery, and not surprisingly, several are giving back to Freedom’s door long after their program ended.  I came home a different person.  They have many volunteer opportunities in the 5 houses and administration, so we need to look at these opportunities as granted.  Can you not spare one hour with Me?

How many of you remember “The White Ribbon Against Pornography” campaign (WRAP) from many years ago?  It was supported by the Catholic Women’s League of Canada, and metres of white ribbon with signatures abound were sent to government.  If we thought pornography was serious then, it is far more serious now.  Statistics Canada reported in 2017 that child pornography increased over 200% in the last decade; this prompted a Resolution from our provincial council that was passed at national convention. 2017-02 Mandatory Age Verification for Adult Pornographic Websites. You can read it in its entirety at www.cwl.ca under the “Act On” tab at the top of the panel.  The United Kingdom and Germany have an age verification system in place, but Canada does not, and with acceleration in technology and social media coupled with computer savvy young people (you will have noticed that most minors have a smart phone now) they are very adept at navigating the web. Psychology Today reports that 30 percent of internet content is porn.  There is no question that it is time to act.  Last year the provincial council of Calgary developed a postcard that demanded action by the federal government to block access to pornographic websites to minors under the age of 18.  Enclosed with this communique is print ready artwork that you can take to your local print shop.  The postcard has been vetted and approved by the national council and will be posted on their website and I will post it on our BC & Yukon provincial website soon. Please encourage your council members, friends and fellow parishioners to complete the card, addressed to the Prime Minister or Minister of Justice, and mail it, no postage stamp required. Tip:  If you put the card in an envelope, the envelope is registered when received by the government department and they need to acknowledge it with a reply to you.  If you do receive a reply, please let me know.

For your information, the Winnipeg-based Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) have partnered together to incorporate the data from its Project Arachnid platform into D-Zone NS Firewall.   Project Arachnid is a platform to proactively detect child sexual abuse material and issue takedown notices to hosting providers requesting its immediate removal.

Following are links to both these organizations which provides information on their work.  I hope you will take time to read the material to become more informed.

https://protectchildren.ca/en/press-and-media/public-awareness/

https://protectchildren.ca/en/press-and-media/news-releases/2018/

https://cira.ca/cira-partners-canadian-centre-child-protection-protect-children-abuse

Some dates to remember:

November 2      All Souls

November 11    Remembrance Day

November 18    Second World Day of the Poor

Don’t forget to do something for yourself:

Go for a walk every day, pray the rosary on the way

Remember, coffee, red wine, and dark chocolate, are good for you

Say “hello” and smile to everyone you pass on the street; it’s contagious!

Don’t forget your flu shot!

Mail the postcard to the federal government when you go for your walk

Important:

A reminder that the bi-annual “Fall Communicator” will be published in November and I would love to have an article and photographs of what your Councils have been up to over the summer and fall.  It would be great to have news from all the councils in the province. (as of today, I only have 2 submissions).

The theme of the Fall Communicator is “Prepare the Way of the Lord” as we are getting closer to the Advent season by the day!

Please email your submissions to me at comm@bcyukoncwl.com by October 30, latest.

May Our Lady of Good Counsel pray for us,

Sylvia Jurys

Chairperson of Communications