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Dear CLC colleagues, in this newsletter you will find

  • a reflecton from Father Charles, our national eccleastical assistant,
  • a letter from our president, Michelle Mahoney,
  • regional reports from CLC Rockies and Central,
  • two submissions from Ixthus Community, P.E.I., our National working group for the Ecology Frontier,
  • an end note,
  • a photo gallery of the National Assembly,
  • standard operating procedure (SOP) #3
Dear CLC friends across Canada,

    On February 3 rd , I took part in the breakfast launch of the International inter-faith Harmony Week in Calgary. The theme of this year is “Gratitude”. During the breakfast, about 13 different representatives of these faith traditions read a few sentences on gratitude from their beliefs. Very inspiring to hear such unanimity about gratitude in such diverse traditions. And in our table conversation with people of different faiths, I added the Ignatian “tradition” of how central gratitude is. You remember in the contemplation toward love, Ignatius says: …. realizing all the benefits we have received from God, that we may be so filled with gratitude, that we will desire to love and serve God in all things.
    It is this experience of gratitude that fills my heart these days and that I have heard from you who shared the National Assembly together. As the interim NEA this year, I was able to be part of the planning of this important event. And then to take part in it with many of you. For this, I am most grateful. It was a graced time for all of us.
     But St Ignatius tells us that gratitude leads to God’s praise and service. That’s why I ask myself, and I ask you: how is this experience of gratitude moving us forward as CLC? Gratitude comes from the Spirit moving in us as we contemplate God’s gifts. But it is this same Spirit that moves us out of gratitude and through gratitude to seeking and loving God (=service, action) in all things.
     The National Assembly was the beginning of a new stage for CLC Canada. Now we must allow the Holy Spirit guide us to implementing (=put into action) the graces of those days together, in particular, the discerned priorities for CLC Canada. How, then, will our local communities respond in gratitude and in service to move forward with God’s strengthening and empowering Spirit? The months and years ahead will tell the continuing story of the National Assembly. Let us work together in this unfolding and exciting story.
Your brother in Christ,
    Fr. Charles Pottie, National Eccleastical Assistant
Dearest Membe’rrr’s of CLC Canada
Hope you are all staying warm in the ‘heat’ of the winter! I can’t believe that we are into February already!
 I know that each of you are using the documents from our National Assembly to pray, reflect and discern as to where the Spirit might be leading you and/or your community in service to each other and to the World. I am grateful that you are all taking this call seriously.
To each person who sent in an Evaluation, we are greatly appreciative. They have been compiled into a 7 page document that will soon be sent out to those of you who asked. These evaluations will be so helpful as we learn and pass on the torch.
 In gathering the Evaluations, I was reminded that there was some disappointment that we did not focus on ‘Mission’ at the National Assembly. I re-iterate that as CLC, we are always about Mission. We are called to be ‘Apostolic’ and in service with a ‘preferential option for the poor’. The main Foci of our mission are the Frontiers that were discerned at the World Assembly in Lebanon, 2013. They are Poverty and Globalization, Ecology, Family and Youth. At our World Assembly in Buenos Aires and National Assembly in Winnipeg, the focus was not so much on ‘What’ we do but ‘How’ we do mission. The Three rounds of Spiritual Conversation are being used more and more in Ignatian practice. Not only CLC, but the Jesuits and even Pope Francis at the Synods are all using this practice of Spiritual Conversation. This seems to be an added gift of the Spirit. Spiritual Conversation, using the 3 rounds is very helpful in deepening our practice of listening and discerning as to where the Spirit is leading us in challenges we face in addressing our call to be discerning apostolic communities for Christ.
This brings me to another point. I am coming into my last year as President of CLC Canada (although I much prefer the word ‘Coordinator’) It is time to look for someone to begin the role of ‘President-elect’ who would start in September 2020. I would mentor through to June 2021. At this point, I would like for each of you to consider, in prayer, as to who you might nominate in this role. There are certain criteria that need to be met. These criteria are in SOP#3, “The Role of the President Elect”. This document is at the end of this newsletter .
As many of you are aware, if it were up to me, I would probably have said ‘no’ off the top of my head to be in this role had I not taken it into discernment with my community. I would have missed a golden opportunity to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit active in my life. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been challenging but the Graces and personal growth have far outweighed any negative experiences. God has never abandoned me in my ‘yes’.
We will also be filling other roles in the Regions. BC Rocky Region, Atlantic Region and Prairie Region are discerning new Representatives. Lastly, but VERY importantly, our Treasurer, Bill Greenwood has health issues and has asked that we find a replacement as soon as possible so that he will be able to mentor his replacement.
Please keep this need for leadership in your prayers and send any nominations for President -Elect to me, personally so that, as GC, we will ask these individuals to discern as to whether or not they will let their names stand. Please do Not ask these people yourself as to whether or not they will let their names stand as we have learned that this can unintentionally impede the discernment process and the movement of the Spirit. I should have all nominations in by March 30 th so that the letters can go out and people will have time to discern with their communities, by June 30. The announcement of our President elect will be made on July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius.
These are exciting times in our CLC history! I am so grateful that you are a part of it all! Be assured of our prayers as General Council and please keep us in yours.
rockies 4

On November 17, 2019, we organized a regional gathering in the Rockies/BC region. We started the day with the celebration of the Eucharist with commitment ceremony. Then delegates and observers shared their National Assembly experiences in Winnipeg with other members. We also prayerfully read the Writing Team document and shared in small groups using the 3-round spiritual conversations. Many members found it helpful and fruitful.  Catherine Kelly mentioned a video "Introduction to Spiritual Conversation” by Fr. John Dardis, S.J. which was shared with us by Ann Marie Brennan. Here is a link to the video.   
At the end of the gathering, we identified our region’s needs, and we also recognized we have gifts to share with CLC Canada although our region is relatively young.
As I know, the Rockies region used to have a number of local communities in Alberta. However, they no longer exist. Currently, our region has six registered local communities which are all in British Columbia. Besides the Emmaus community which registered in 1985, all other five communities (Lighthouse, Faithline, St. Mark’s, Mustard Seeds and Circle of Faith) registered less than 10 years ago (the last two registered in 2018). We also have 4 pre-CLC “come & see” groups and 2 Student CLC groups in BC.
The growth of the communities and the increasing interest in Ignatian Spirituality as well as in CLC during the past few years fascinate me. The creativity and new adaptations in our Rockies/BC region also make me wonder what the Lord is doing and what His dream is for us.
Catherine once quoted Isaiah 43:19 to me: “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” I have been pondering this. As I reflected on the National Assembly experience, the National Evaluation Discerned Priorities documents and the CLC development in the Rockies/BC region and other regions, I wonder if the Lord is inviting us to let go of our “old wineskins” and have a new one for His “new wine” (Mt 9:17). I am not sure what is God’s “new wine” for us, but one thing I know for sure is that we need to keep praying for the gifts of spiritual freedom and a discerning communal heart to respond to His call in His time.

Written and submitted by Janet Ho


After our Spirit-filled identification of Integral Ecology as our focus for the next three years, at our spring Regional Council meeting, we prepared to go forward in our Nov 30 th /19 Council meeting by looking at ‘where we are’ re Integral Ecology, ‘How we got Where we are’, ‘what is possible ‘in the next 6months and ‘where do we go from here, looking at the longer term?’. We have a few CLC ecological resources such as our Awareness Exercise of St. Ignatius of Loyola (with a focus on water) , Progressio # 57 (“24 Spiritual Exercises for the New Story of Universal Communion” ), Progressio #72 (“Care for Creation”) and our Elders’ “Prayer Exercise With Trees” given to us at the National Assembly in Winnipeg, The Jesuit Forum published ‘Living with Limits, living well!’ in 2014. We have “Laudato Si” and “Living Out Laudato Si” by our Canadian Conference of Bishops and Loyola House’s Old Growth Forest Project. A sheet of further resources in our present society, by David Suzuki, cleaning plastic from the oceans etc. was compiled and was available for groups to take and consider how they might like to be involved. Eight out of eleven groups were represented.

Looking at ‘where we are’, we determined that we are energized in CLC with a sense of urgency though still grappling with the meaning of ‘Integral Ecology’. Our world is in an unsustainable mode, there is a mixed political context but a rising global consciousness especially among youth.

Looking at ‘How we got here?’, we realized that it was from buying into consumerism, greed, destructive processes that came out of the world wars and a paralysis at the immensity of the problem. Our CLC community and Ignatian spirituality and resources, have helped us become aware and concerned.

‘What is possible now?’ Lots of ideas for the short-term were presented: using social media to engage others, continue our individual and communal ecological actions, approach our parishes concerning’ greening the parish’, collaborate with Jesuits in this area and other groups, promote our CLC ecological resources, give retreats and invite experts, prayerful reflection in our communities and clusters, and support student walks. Every effort is also being made to keep our CLC gatherings environmentally-friendly by bringing our own cup, plate and utensils, not using bottles water, minimizing use of paper etc. We believe this is a witness to others in our parishes and communities. In our local areas we can support watershed management and work to improve municipal recycling. Letters written as a region to government agencies or other can have a greater impact than as individuals.

As we looked at the long term, we tried to find the MAGIS, where we can have the greatest impact, quality versus quantity. We realized that in 2012 World CLC came up with four priorities: ecology, poverty and globalization, family and youth and that they are all contained within our concept of ‘Integral Ecology’. We are anxious to have ecology as part of our Common Apostolic Mission in Haiti and Dominican Republic (i.e. reforestation and the attendant jobs), as well as in our own communities and see collaboration with the Jesuits and other like-minded groups as essential. We recognize this will be a massive political change, and look to Catholic Social Teaching for guidance and personal change, requiring conversion. The Green Spiritual Exercises and Louis M. Savary’s adaptation from De Chardin, ‘The New Spiritual Exercises’ can help with our spiritual conversion or commitment and be tools to work with others. We can leave a legacy, teaching by example.

A regional retreat is being planned by formation to help us move spiritually forward in the spring and we are looking at May or early June for our spring council meeting possibly with an overnight, to continue moving forward. 

Submitted by Susan Rodgers Central Rep

  “We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”
Earth Charter Preamble

1.      Did you know on July 1, 2019 PEI banned single use plastic bags thus eliminating between 30-40 million pieces of waste material.
  By the way, ordinary plastic bags we use in our everyday life take anywhere from 10 to 1,000 years to decompose.
2.     Did you know the average Canadian uses 223 liters of water per day while, currently, 56 First Nations communities are under a long-term water drinking advisories?
            By the way , the Great Lakes contain 20% of the world's fresh water, it is the largest fresh water system in the world and provides fresh water to 30 million North Americans.
3.     Did you know today's average North American home produces an average of 5 tons of carbon dioxide yearly by use of electricity, natural gas, motor fuel, etc. – all these gases forming a layer of insulation over the earth trapping heat and thus warming the planet?
By the way , 2016 was the hottest year on record for planet earth.
4.     Did you know the Amazon basin also contains 20% of all the world’s fresh water and discharges approximately 219,000 cubic metres of water into the Atlantic every second?
By the way, the Amazon provides moisture as far as the Midwestern USA.
5.     Did you know 20% of the world's oxygen is produced by the Amazon Rainforest which is steadily being destroyed by setting the trees on fire for purposes of clearing the land?
By the way, in 2018 Edmonton Alberta experienced its poorest air quality due to the forest fires in British Columbia.

6.     Did you know each average Canadian throws away approximately four pounds of trash daily?
By the way , Kitchener, Ont. was the first city in the world to participate in a curb-side Blue Box program (1981) – using the Blue Box Recycling Bin created by a Canadian, Jack McGinnis.

Creator of the universe, You entrusted your world to us as gift.
     Help us to care for it and for all creatures, so we can live in right relationship;       with you, with one another, and with ourselves.
Holy Spirit, giver of wisdom, Guide us, help us to live according to your vision, so we     together can care for our common home.
  Submitted by the National CLC Canada Working Group on Ecology
(Answers to the questions can be found at the end of this newsletter.)

T he good news today is that climate change/global warming is not a best kept secret. There are many accesses to sound scientific data as well as guidelines for ethical and spiritual responses. CLC members, familiar with the discernment process, know that awareness is the first step towards choices for change.

1.      Did you know that in Canada a major negative impact of climate change is flooding year after year? Flood repair claims have quadrupled in Canada in the past ten years.
           Do you know the average cost of repairing a house in a flooded area?
a)     $10,000
b)     $43,000
c)     $26,000

2.     Did you know that the Council of Canadians, a non-profit social action organization, said bottled water is almost 2,000 times more energy intensive to produce than tap water?
Do you know how long it takes for one of the 20,000 plastic drinking bottles bought each second takes to completely biodegrade?
a)     450 years
b)     100 years
c)     25 years

3.     Did you know that 844 million live without access to safe water? In April 2002 at a meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, water was recognized as a fundamental human right meaning that the right to water would then be equal to the right to food and shelter.
Do you know how Canada voted?
a)     Yes
b)     No
c)     Abstained

4.     Did you know that air pollution can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory health problems, affects birth outcomes, brain development and function, and is linked to cancer, chronic diseases, including diabetes, and other illnesses.
Do you know which of the following actions helps to reduce air pollution emissions?
a)      adjusting the heat or air conditioner and turning off lights you are not using
b)     turning off computers, TVs and other electrical appliances when not in use
c)      replace your standard light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs.
5.     Did you know that in an effort to fight against climate change people around the world have embarked on re-forestation efforts? For instance, this year Ethiopians planted 350 million trees?
Do you know how much oxygen one tree can produce per year?
a)      enough oxygen for one person per year
b)     enough oxygen for two persons per year
c)      enough oxygen for three persons per year.
6.      Did you know that tropical forests have a larger impact on the climate than has been commonly understood?
Do you know what the emerging water from a single tree daily contributes to the cooling effect?
a)      the equivalent of two pails of crushed ice
b)     the equivalent of two domestic air conditioners
c)      the equivalent of five household fans.
I n the Second Point of the "Contemplatio", which concludes his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius asks us to " reflect how God dwells in creatures: in the elements giving them existence, in the plants giving them life, in the animals conferring upon them sensation, in (humans) bestowing understanding. So God dwells in me and gives me being, life, sensation, intelligence; and makes a temple of me... " These assertions encourage us to increase our awareness of the divine, loving,ties that bind us to all life. As you read the two paragraphs below, consider these ties to God and life, and ask: "What can I do for the greater good of Earth's life?". Do I need to change my view of world and self?


According to a February 6th CBC online article by Kayla Hounsell, "...thousands of winter ticks are increasingly being found on the bodies of Canadian moose as warmer winters and less snow cover help the parasites survive... Jean-Pierre Tremblay, a professor in the department of biology at Laval University in Quebec City and principal investigator on the moose research project, says unlike other species, such as white-tailed deer, moose tolerate the ticks until it's too late. Many moose end up weak with anemia. 
Their skin also becomes inflamed and they change their behaviour, he says, "spending more time grooming, rubbing against trees until their fur comes off and less time eating." This weakens the moose, especially the calves, and death can ensue. Hounsell reports that in nearby New Hampshire and Maine, over a three year period, scientists found 70% of calves didn't make it through their first winter due, primarily, to tick infestation.

As of 14 January 2020, Australian seasonal bushfires have burnt "an estimated 18.6 million hectares (46 million acres; 186,000 square kilometres; 72,000 square miles), destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including 2,779 homes) and killed at least 34 people." (Wikipedia) Professor Christopher Dickman of the University of Sydney, estimates the number of animals killed in bushfires in NSW to be more than 800 million animals, and more than one billion animals impacted nationally. The suffering and deaths of marspials (koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, to name a few, is a tragedy. "Close to 70% of the 334  extant  (marsupial) species occur on the  Australian continent  (the mainland,  Tasmania New Guinea  and nearby islands)."(Wikipedia) The increased intensity and breadth of these fires is related to climate change.
SUBJECT: Nalational CLC President(s) - Elect

The National President(s)-Elect, selected in accordance with the Constitution and process outlined in the Standard Operating Procedures, is a person who can fulfill the Purpose and Role of the National President (s).
Constitution for Christian Life Community (CLC) Canada 
Article Six: General Council
Article Seven: Executive Committee
Article Eight : National President(s)
A. Gifts
The President(s)-Elect will become President(s) and is expected to have the same gifts as those outlined for President(s). (See SOP 002)
B. Role and Responsibilities:
1.      Assist the National President(s) in the performance of duties by representing the President(s) in an official capacity when requested.
2.      Replace the National President(s) should he/she leave office due to unforeseen circumstances such as resignation, illness, death etc. The President(s)-Elect would then take office as Acting National President(s) for a term determined by General Council.
3.      Serve as a member of the Executive Committee and General Council.
4.      Carry out tasks and projects assigned by the National President(s).
5.      Assume responsibilities as National President(s) after serving a term as National President(s)-Elect, in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedure outlining the election process.
C. Term of Office
1.        The term of office for President(s)-Elect is normally one (1) year.
2.        The search for a President(s)-Elect begins in January of the second year of the current President’s term in accordance with the process outlined in this SOP. The President(s)-Elect begins his/her term at the first General Council meeting in the Fall of the last year of the current President’s term.
3.        In unusual or special circumstances where a President(s) - Elect resigns or leaves prior to taking office as President(s), General Council may, at its discretion, initiate the process outlined for selection of a President(s)-Elect on an adjusted timeline.
D. Eligibility and Voting
1.    Any CLC member of a formed CLC having the gifts outlined in SOP 002 may be nominated for consideration as President(s)-Elect.
2.    Any CLC in Canada which has been meeting for a minimum of one year may suggest nominees and vote as a
community for a nominee after appropriate discernment, giving due consideration to the purpose, gifts and role of the President(s)-Elect.
E. Process For Selecting the President Elect
1. Nominations
a)    In January, the current President(s) will communicate (see Appendix A1) with all communities through the
Regional Representatives in Canada to request nominations, enclosing a copy of the SOP #003 President(s) - Elect and the Nomination Form (See Appendix A2). Name(s) of nominee(s), discerned as having the necessary gifts, are to be forwarded to the current President(s) on or before the end of February. If, for any reason, the President(s) is unable to initiate this procedure, the National Executive Committee, in consultation with the General Council, will initiate the process. Communities may nominate someone from their own community or any other community in Canada. 
b)    If no nominations are received by the end of February, the outgoing President(s), with the General Council, will search for a nominee(s).
c)    All nominees will be notified (see Appendix B1) of their nomination by the current President(s) and asked to discern their availability of their candidacy, with their community. 
d)    Candidates for election will be asked to prepare and submit an Information Document (see Appendix B2) to the President(s) by April 15th.
2. Validation By General Council
a)    The name(s) of the eligible candidates will be forwarded to General Council by the current President(s) for validation. Candidates will be sent advised by letter of their validation status.
b)   The General Council of CLC Canada will complete this process (see Appendix C) by the end of May.
3. Selection
a)    The President(s) will present the names of all validated candidates to CLC Canada. Each eligible CLC is invited to discern a choice and submit the name of their candidate to the President(s) by the end of June.
b)    The General Council will take responsibility to identify the new President(s)-Elect based on the submissions of the communities. The President(s) will communicate the result to the selected candidate and to the National CLC through the Regional Representatives.
c)    The selection process should be completed by July 31st under normal circumstances. In unusual or special circumstances, General Council may approve modifications to the schedule outlined.
d)    The incoming President(s)-Elect will be commissioned by the General Council at the Fall General Council meeting.
e)    Letters of appreciation will be sent, by the current President(s), to all persons who accepted the nomination.
4. General Provisions
It is understood that any provision for meetings and other activities to implement this process can be fulfilled through standard mail, e-mail, fax, telephone or any other means determined by General Council which fulfills the spirit and intent of the process. 
  1. b) approximately $43,000 2. a) 450 years 3. b) no 4. a), b), c) all contribute to reduction,
5. c) three persons per year 6. b) two domestic air conditioners.