Coming together to envision our future as a movement

Development and Peace members with our Francophone animation team at the Quebec and Francophone New Brunswick Region’s 2022 Regional Assembly, where they discussed, among other things, the Orientation Assembly.

Under the theme Create Hope, Development and Peace — Caritas Canada’s 2022 Orientation Assembly will unfold from June 16 to 19 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We are delighted to announce that the speakers joining our delegates, National Council members and staff will include Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J., as well as Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Aloysius John, the Honourable Graydon Nicholas of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle, Sister Jean Bellini of the Pastoral Land Commission in Brazil and Dr. Isaac Asume Osuoka, Director of the Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) in Nigeria.

After two years of social-distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed this quinquennial assembly originally scheduled for 2020, we are especially looking forward to this opportunity to meet in person and envision our future together as a movement. We are also looking forward to celebrating our shared calling, and to the renewal and hope this event will bring to our movement.

How we got here

The road we have travelled since our last orientation assembly has been full of challenges and tough questions, but also successes and joys. Over the last few months, Development and Peace has held three phases of consultations with partners, allies, members, supporters and staff. During the consultations, various issues stood out, such as partnership, climate change, women’s rights, achieving structural change through social movements, and the intersection of development work, humanitarian aid and peace work (the triple nexus).

While there are many issues Development and Peace needs to address, one thing is certain: this movement is passionate about ensuring the centrality of the voice of the poor. — Danny Gillis, member of the National Council and Chair of the 2022 Orientation Assembly Planning Committee

A collage of photos taken at our 2015 Orientation Assembly, in Otterburne, Manitoba.

To ensure that the Orientation Assembly discussions are informed by all the voices we heard during the consultations, the results are being organized into thematic reports, which will be submitted to the delegates.

What’s going down in Halifax

Delegates from dioceses across Canada, eight youth delegates, members of the National Council and staff will be joined by, among others, representatives from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Caritas Internationalis, KAIROS and the Catholic Women’s League, as well as Sister Jean Bellini and Dr. Osuoka representing our partners in the Global South, and guest speakers Cardinal Czerny and Graydon Nicholas. Over the course of four days, we will reflect on issues, have real conversations, listen to each other and engage in a synodal decision-making process on the overall direction of Development and Peace as a movement.

Specifically, on Thursday, June 16, there will be a greeting with an opening prayer and an invitation to listen to the Spirit. The next two days will begin with discussions focused on how to renew our movement, to be the Church of the Poor and to be in solidarity with marginalized communities in the Global South. Then we will focus on international issues – such as women’s rights, climate change and the triple nexus – as well as on discerning the role of our movement in the work of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada. Interspersed throughout the weekend will be talks by partners, representatives and guests. Sunday morning, we will decide on our movement’s priorities over the next five years. We will thus leave the 2022 Orientation Assembly knowing who we are, what we value and where we are going.

We will provide the schedule in a separate article and post updates on our social media accounts, so stay tuned and don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

About Development and Peace

Development and Peace — Caritas Canada is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada. It works in partnership with local organizations in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East to create greater justice in the world and to act in solidarity with the most vulnerable people.

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