The local parish committee of Development & Peace was formed in 1967 and has been a strong supportive committee since then. The mandate of this committee is to support the national Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace which is the overseas partner support arm of the Canadian Catholic Bishops.
Each year there are three campaigns that are organized in the parish; The Share Lent Campaign during lent to raise funds to support the national organization in their work in Canada and with partners overseas as well as emergency aid. The Cathedral Parish is one of the most generous contributors to this annual campaign and also to special emergency aid requests.
Some 70% of funds collected by the organization is transferred to the overseas program dept. to support our over 300 partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Of this amount some 10% is used for aid in catastrophic emergencies anywhere in the world. These funds are normally contributed through Caritas Internationalist, which is the world wide Catholic church’s emergency aid organization. Development & Peace is Caritas Canada. The Canadian government, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) supports the national organization with approximately $3,000,000. per year.
The second annual campaign is in the fall at which time an educational and action campaign is promoted. This includes providing educational materials and an action component. The action is usually a petition of some description. The final annual promotion is a membership campaign. Memberships are a key to the success of advocacy campaigns by the national organization. Being able to highlight a large number of signed up members when presenting our petitions adds to their credibility. Membership cost is $5.00 per year and multiple year memberships can be purchased at reduced costs for 3 years for $10, and 5 years for $20.
In our parish the D & P Committee has ranged in size from 1 person to more than 10. Over the past 10 to 15 years this committee has had a dozen active members. Committee members are Flo & George Commandeur, Judy and Brian Deon, Ida Hanson, Marion Muth, Hugh McSheffrey, Catherine Hargraves, Yvonne Tremblay, Jacqueline and Bill Felhner and Barry Nelson.
Regular events organized by this committee along with the annual campaigns:
- Stations of the Cross.
- Monthly after Mass coffee and Fair Trade product sales each 1st weekend of the month proceeds to date used to assist youth group projects.
- Participation in Nelson wider-community Social Justice activities using the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace logo.
- Hunger meal during Lent.
- Recently organized the fund raising to provide the parish with audio visual equipment through the assistance of the CWL, K of C, Youth Group and St. Joseph’s School.
- This committee participates in the Nelson Diocesan Committee’s AGM & Winter meetings as well as the annual Social Justice Retreat.
The committee would be pleased to present at other parish groups’ meetings to provide information on the work of the D & P, simply contact any member of the Committee noted above with your request.