Carla Freitag likes to giggle when she brushes her teeth. She enjoys listening to music when she draws and, if the mood strikes, she sets her drawing pencil down and begins to dance.
Freitag, who has Down Syndrome, is one of four core members who live in a L’Arche home in southwest Calgary. There, the core members live in a community with three live-in assistants, including Hanna Gaunt.
“Carla is largely non-verbal, but I have lived with her for almost a year, basically 24/7. We have our own way of communicating with each other. When people try to thank me for the work I do, I say, ‘No. You don’t understand. It is such a gift to be part of this community.”
Anticipating the upcoming Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop McGrattan highlights some beautiful lessons we can learn from the life and spirituality of St. Joseph, who was a constant example and witness to Jesus throughout his "hidden" life. Read more
A life-altering decision brought about a tremendous rift between Anthony Banka and his father. When their relationship seemed to have ended, Anthony shared, "My dad was given 6 months to live. It was at this point in time my father informed me of the diagnosis, and asked me to come and visit him." Read more
When Liisa's 8-year-old son died suddenly, her heart was wounded beyond measure. Instead of allowing herself to grieve, Liisa started to set expectations on herself to be joyful and kept inspiring others with faith. The result was loneliness and isolation. But God was with her. Read more
Today is the first day of the Novena to St. Joseph (March 11). The full novena can be downloaded at catholicyyc.ca/stjoseph
Right now the worth of Canadians with mental illness is being put on trial. Sara Francis shares, "I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that my people are in danger... To actively bring about my own death or the death of someone else, no matter how justified it may seem, is never the good, loving choice." Read more
Having embraced the feminist movement of her time, Karen Bout was a strong believer of "My body, my choice". But now you can find her organizing 40 Days for Life prayer vigil for St. Michael Catholic Community in Calgary, praying and fasting for the unborn near the Kensington abortion facility. Read more
Ben Galeski, a social studies teacher from Brooks, remembers a particular conversation he had while driving his school's football team home after a game. During the ride, two student players joined the conversation he was having with the coach, and asked a question about love. Read more
Tim Cusack shares that "although the pandemic has changed many of the routines in our schools and impacted how we perform our rituals, we know that our faith traditions and the gift of Catholic Education give us resiliency and the hope to persevere in times of challenge." Read more
"Last night I overheard one of our daughters apologize to a younger sister for her excessive anger earlier in the day," says Wayne Ottenbreit. Sometimes family life seems like its own ongoing Lent, but there is ample chance to practise our holiness without adding to Lent's duration. Read more
“I didn’t try to kill myself because I wanted to die. I tried to kill myself as a last-ditch effort to end my suffering… death would have been a way out, but with the right interventions and relationships, I was able to find a way forward.”
Garifalia Milousis speaks about her mental health struggles to show that there will never be enough safeguards that will be able to protect vulnerable people from accessing medically assisted death.
“If medically assisted suicide had been available when I was in university, I might have used it to end my suffering as soon as I could.” But Garifalia survived her several attempts of suicide and realized that she did not want the finality of death when she got very close to it. Now she lives to tell her story and tells others like her who have gone through similar conditions and experiences to stay.
Note: The sharing of Garifalia's story is not a political endorsement of the Offices of MP Garnett Genuis and MP Arnold Viersen that produced this video.