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Drawing of Samaritan House by Magdalena FeketeSamaritan House

Home of the Vancouver Catholic Worker

143 E Pender St

Coast Salish Territories - Vancouver, BC
V6A 1W6


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2014 DTES Way of the Cross Walk - Good Friday - April 18

poster for event April 18 2014

Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry

Please join the Vancouver Catholic Worker community for a group reading of the engaging & challenging book Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Conversations on Creation, Land Justice, and Life Together, edited by Steve Heinichs. We desire to do this in order to continue the work of truth and reconciliation with our Indigenous sisters and brothers and learn together. Please forward this invitation to anyone you think might be interested.

A bit about the book:
"more than thirty contributors in total - half of them Indigenous, from nations all around North America, half of them settlers from both the United States and Canada, coming from a diverse array of world views and spiritualities. They include traditional Indigenous practitioners, Christians (Anabaptist, anarchist, evangelical, and liberal), hybrid Christian traditionalists, post-Christians, agnostics, and animists. Together, they produced eighteen chapters and eighteen sets of reflective pieces that should stir conversation, a little controversy, and, I hope, a desire for better relations and the action that can bring this about." - Steve Heinrichs

A review by Laurel Dykstra can be read here: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/native-settler-learning-together

What we propose:
6 sessions, two weeks apart, starting January 31 and taking us to just before Easter. Although the book has 18 chapters, they are not long ones, so we can probably roughly work with it's 4 parts. We can come up with a collaborative plan at the first session.

How to get the book: we have some copies available for $16 - please let us know who wants one so we can keep track.

What: Group reading of Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry
When: 6 Fridays at 7pm - January 31, February 14, February 28, March 14, March 28, April 11
Where: 1143 E Pender St. Vancouver
Who: hosted by the Vancouver Catholic Worker community, all are welcome

Feb. 02 update:
For anyone who wants to join us but missed the first session this past Friday, here's the plan:
We read together the Introduction on Friday and discussed the questions in the Study Guide.
For Feb. 14's session, please read Part 1. You are invited to share on any one of the questions or the action responses in the Study Guide for the chapters in Part 1. Or share on one of the readings that moves you.
Here is a link to download the Study Guide (it's a PDF) - http://www.heraldpress.com/Studygds/BuffaloShoutSalmonCry/

Reconciliation in the Watershed

Homily at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 15 December 2013
Sara Stratton, KAIROS

§  Isaiah 11: 1-10
§  Luke 1: 46-55
§  Wendell Berry, Sabbaths, 2012 VIII  (Wendell Berry, This Day, p. 383.)
Since, despite the stern demands
of scientist and realist, we will always
be supposing, let us suppose
that Nature gave the world flowers
and birdsong as a language, by which
it might speak to discerning humans.
And what must we say back? Not
just thanks or praise, but acts
of kindness bespeaking kinship
with creatures and with Nature, acts
faithful as the woods that dwells in place
time out of mind, self-denying
as the parenthood of the birds, and like
the flowers humble and beautiful.

This is an excellent, thought-provoking reflection. Here is a exerpt, go here to read the entire reflection.

"But the word “watershed” is not just used by geographers. It also refers to time, as in a “watershed moment” (also known to some of us as a kairos moment!) – the time when it becomes clear that something is changing, or has to change.

We are at such a moment in Canada right now.  With the Truth and Reconciliation Commission scheduled to conclude in 2015, non-Indigenous Canadians are faced with the choice of whether we will truly choose to live a reconciled relationship with the Indigenous peoples with whom we share this land.

The history we share is violent and painful. It moved from cooperation to subjugation and assimilation, to dehumanization and cultural genocide. If you asked me personally whether I thought such a history merited any measure of forgiveness, then I would answer you honestly, as someone with a PhD in history and as someone who claims to be a Christian: No.

Luckily, there are more generous souls in the world than I, and through their wisdom and grace, we have arrived at this moment of potential reconciliation. Playing with language can be dangerous, because no word comes without baggage, but I ask you to trust my intention here when I suggest that we might twist the scripture on its head and say that, in the case of the TRC, the lamb has decided, for all that it entails, to be in the company of the wolf. The question I ask is whether the wolf will respond in requisite measure to this wholly unearned act of trust."


Human Dignity: The Cornerstone of Catholic Social Teaching

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace
February 13, 2013

by Luke Stocking, Deputy Director, In Canada Programs and John Gabor, Animator, British Columbia

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness;”

– Genesis 1:26

Scripture makes it clear that each and every person is made in the image and likeness of God. This radical claim is the source of our belief in the inherent and inviolable dignity of the human person. The dignity of the human person is the cornerstone of all Catholic social teaching.

Being made in God’s image, we are all God’s children. This is true no matter where we are born and no matter what our economic or social status. As you read this, there are seven billion living and breathing unique images of God on the face of the Earth. You are one of them.

Because it comes from God, human dignity is not something that we can bestow or take away from another person. It is intrinsic to our existence. What we can do is enter into relationships that respect our mutual human dignity. When respect for human dignity forms the basis of our relationships, God’s divine nature shines forth in a true communion of persons.

Too often we fail to do this. Too often we de-humanize our brothers and sisters or shut our ears when they cry out. Failure to recognize the human dignity of each and every person opens the door to all manner of violence and injustice. But how can we truly make human dignity the cornerstone of our relationships?

This question is especially pertinent when we reflect on our relationships with people we may never meet; people who suffer in the far corners of the world and whose names we do not know. Although we may never meet, we still share the same planet and its gifts. These gifts are not simply for our own personal use but are entrusted to us by God for the flourishing of our human family. We are increasingly aware that our actions in one part of the world can affect people who live far away from us. We are interconnected. We are in relationship with all seven billion of God’s children.

“Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone.”

– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 357

Catholic social teaching can serve as the guidepost that helps us to enter into relationships that respect human dignity. Solidarity, the option for the poor, care for creation, economic justice, and the common good are examples of values that are vital to any society built upon the dignity of the human person.

At Development and Peace, Catholic social teaching guides our relationship with the world. We are not patrons to the poor. We are partners with them. This partnership is rooted in the recognition of our common human dignity. To recognize the human dignity of the poor as equal to our own requires us to respect their freedom. This freedom includes their right to choose what development means for them. The poor must always be seen as subjects and not objects of development.

Development and Peace enters into relationship with groups of men and women who have a vision for their own development and of their liberation from poverty and injustice. Through your generous support, we are able to call them partners. It is an honour to join them in their work.



(Dec. 30/12)
If you haven't heard about the Idle No More movement yet, we encourage you to do some reading about the issues involved. It's not simple, as no grassroots movement ever is. At its heart is the life and health of the land, the earth and the historic and on-going relationship between the Aboriginal peoples of these lands and us, the settlers on these lands.

What is most uplifting about this movement to us here at the VCW is the leadership of women - the 4 women who named this movement, Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat who is now on the 20th day of her hunger strike, and all the women organizing the beautiful, sacred, spirit-filled and creative events across Canada and around the world.

There is good factual information reported and commentary and opinion found at rabble.ca including a report that refutes the Harper government's accusation that the finances of the Attawapiskat community have been mismanaged. http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/apihtawikosisan/attawapiskat-was-not-financially-mismanaged

Vancouver Catholic Worker community stands firmly as an ally of Indigenous peoples, recognizing our settler status and we're willing to do the work of decolonization.

Settlers in Solidarity with First Nations

Idle No More blog - http://idlenomore1.blogspot.ca/

From the blog of âpihtawikosisân who is Métis from the Plains Cree speaking community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.  -  http://apihtawikosisan.com/2012/12/26/idle-no-more-where-do-we-go-from-here/

Decolonization blog - http://decolonization.wordpress.com/

Thanks to Occupy Vancouver livestream for the above 3 links.

Stories from our neighbourhood:

The Power of Women group from the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre tell their stories in video through the Vancouver Media Co-op


VATICAN II… The Church in dialogue

By Gregory Baum
from the scarboromissions.ca - January/February 2012

the whole article is here - this is the final paragraqh...

The creative dialogue practiced at Vatican Council II has not been allowed to become the model for a renewed Church, as Paul VI had wanted in his Ecclesiam Suam. This is a great disappointment. Yet it reminds us that the Good News we have received is not the Church, but the Gospel. In the teaching of Jesus and in his life, death and resurrection, Christians find the newness of life, the forgiveness of sin, the rescue from despair and the power to love God and today’s deeply troubled humanity. Faith in the Gospel continues to produce vital movements in the Church, groups of Catholics committed to social justice, protecting the environment, practicing meditation, developing theological insights, working for peace, serving the weak and the sick, supporting community development—and in doing so, welcoming God’s kingdom coming into the world.

Protesters Guide to the Law of Civil Disobedience in B.C. - "Take Back Our Community" Edition - September 2011

Local lawyer Leo McGrady has updated his work since the Olympics in 2010.  He would like acknowledgment for his work but the material is available for posting, distributing and copying.


Radical tree   Be Radical, have Roots!

Events & Community Connections

What's Happening at Samaritan House

Book cover

Group reading of Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry

When: 6 Fridays at 7pm - January 31, February 14, February 28, March 14, March 28, April 11

Where: 1143 E Pender St. Vancouver

Who: hosted by the Vancouver Catholic Worker community, all are welcome

Our newsletter has returned!

PDF copy of From the Well is here for download, sharing, printing ...

Interested in contributing to another edition? Let us know what you'd like to share.

We are the birthplace and spiritual home of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community.

This growing community is based in east Vancouver gathers for worship led by Roman Catholic Womanpriest Vikki Marie.

Vision Statement

We envision and aspire to be a community that is Christ-centred, egalitarian, inclusive, and compassionate. We are a community of hope, prayer, and faith in action that welcomes everyone and embraces all who come, whoever you are and wherever you are in your journey of faith.

For more info and mass times & places:

logo of Our Lady of Guadalupe Tonantzin Community

We support Gaza's Ark


Gaza’s Ark Mission Statement

Gaza’s Ark
will build a boat in Gaza using existing resources. A crew of internationals and Palestinians will sail it out of Gaza, the only Mediterranean port closed to shipping, carrying Palestinian products to fulfill trade deals with international buyers, to challenge the illegal and inhuman Israeli blockade.

Gaza’s Ark
will be constructed in Gaza by Palestinian hands and expertise, with international assistance where requested.

Gaza’s Ark
will help revitalize the dwindling ship building industry in Gaza and help ensure the transmission of this disappearing expertise (another effect of the blockade) to the younger generations.

Through Gaza’s Ark and trade deals secured between Palestinian producers in Gaza and international businesses and NGOs, a channel will be established to export Palestinian products from Gaza that are available despite the blockade.

Gaza’s Ark
will provide training to Gaza’s sailors in the use of up-to-date electronic sailing equipment and techniques, which they have been denied for years as a result of the blockade.

Although it will help in a very limited manner to alleviate Gaza’s unemployment crisis by paying wages to the boat builders and providing business opportunities to traders, Gaza’s Ark is not an aid project. It is a peaceful action against the blockade which Israel unilaterally and illegally imposes on Gaza.

Gaza’s Ark
stands in solidarity with the Palestinian fishers in Gaza whose ability to operate in territorial waters and to derive a livelihood is threatened by the same illegal Israeli blockade which our campaign is challenging.

Gaza’s Ark
challenges the blockade by building hope on the ground in Gaza. It affirms our confidence that the Palestinians of Gaza can rebuild their economy through outbound trade that threatens no-one’s security.

Gaza's Ark

White Poppies for Peace

We have white poppies available by donation all year round. Stop by the house or give us a call. Or click the photo for link to the source, a great internet resource - The Peace Pledge Union in the UK.

At Remembrance time wear a white poppy for peace.

public witness circa 2003

Neutrality.ca It's Your Internet
Last updated on 15 April, 2014
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