What’s this all about? I got invited to join Catholic voices in Alberta and Northwest Territories to reflect on the pastoral letter amid the pandemic. There is a YouTube link to the panel discussion. I invite you to read a quick background on what this all about.
The Catholic Bishops of Alberta and Northwest Territories released a pastoral statement on the Impact of COVID-19 and the Call to Christian Renewal. The statement was released on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, 2020. The document was signed by Richard Smith (Archbishop of Edmonton), William McGrattan (Bishop of Calgary), Paul Terrio (Bishop of St. Paul), Gerard Pettipas CSsR (Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan), David Motiuk (Bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Edmonton) and Jon Hansen CSsR (Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith).
Grandin Media initiative
As a follow up to the pastoral letter, Grandin Media hosted a series of panel discussions for seven weeks on challenging themes and the pandemic’s impact. Grandin Media is a creative news portal telling Catholic stories of Alberta and beyond.
Bishops provided a brief reflection on each topic with specific questions for reflections and recommended resources for the people to deepen their faith journey.
Panel Discussion topics
The intention was to encourage Catholics to engage in relevant questions and take up new actions to navigate the new normal consistent with Christ’s teaching. The seven topics included:
- The inherent dignity of human life.
- The importance of family.
- Individual rights and social responsibilities.
- Vulnerability and solidarity.
- Responsibility for the common good.
- Healthy use of information technologies.
- Value of dignity of human work.
You can look at the Grandin Media website for more information on the above topics.
Archbishop Gerard Pettipas CSsR suggested that I join on a panel discussion on the healthy use of information technologies. I represented the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan to be part of the reflection on information technologies.
Panel Discussion on Information Technology
Lincoln Ho, Social Media Specialist of Grandin Media, moderated the panel. My co-panelist came from varied fields:
- Tim Spelliscy (media professional from Community Relations)
- John Wasch (Director of Catholicity, Calgary Catholic Schools )
- Constable Tuyen Nguyen (Cyber Crimes Investigation Unit, Edmonton Police Service)
The heart of the question: how to use communication technologies to better human person and community? Online communication allows us to bridge the gap and stay connected optimally during the pandemic social distancing protocol. The discussion invites to exercise caution to avoid destructive behaviors, refrain or limit specific platforms, and discern information presented to us.
Watch the entire discussion on Grandin Media
Almost forty Catholic voices from varied backgrounds spoke on the impact of COVID-19 and the Church and society, offering creative suggestions to navigate the pandemic. For me, it was more of a learning experience – the way other speakers provided insights into pressing issues of a faith lived in a community.
You can check out our Deacon Gerald and Marian Logan (Office of Life and Family, Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan), speaking on the importance of family and impact on families during the pandemic.
Something for you …
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