Fortunately, there are many groups, organizations and agencies working for the conservation and enrichment of Montreal's English-speaking Catholic community. Nevertheless, in order to maximize the effectiveness and impact of their activities, they need to be operating in close concert. To promote optimum communication and collaboration among these groups, a portion of the Campaign funds will also be used to implement a comprehensive networking program. This program will not only better allow for the identification of opportunities to reach out to, serve and enhance the community, but it will also enable organizations to more readily share ideas and resources, create and maintain stronger synergies, and foster a greater spirit of cohesiveness and cooperation.

Networking and Communication Report Oct. 31

YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS: Sustaining the Lifeblood of the Community

The 21st Century Catholic Community Campaign aims to better empower adolescents and young adults, promote their full participation in the community, and to increasingly provide for their personal, spiritual and leadership growth. Through these efforts, younger generations will become more engaged and their skills and confidence better developed to enable them to become responsible, contributing and leading members of the community. Resources generated by the Campaign will be allocated toward such initiatives as:

  • developing young people's self-identity and reinforcing their sense of belonging to the community
  • expanding Youth Ministry activities and training new youth workers at the parish and school levels
  • building upon existing school and college programs to bring young people closer to the needs of the less fortunate and inspire a lifelong commitment to community service
  • improve efforts to support and reintegrate street kids and youth at risk
  • fill the faith formation void in schools

FAMILIES: Helping to Keep it All Together

If young people constitute the lifeblood of the community, families form its backbone. In today's world, however, the challenges confronting families at all stages of their life cycle have never been more formidable. Therefore, another major aim of the Catholic Community Campaign is to better meet the formation, social and spiritual needs of this segment of the community through such targeted programs and initiatives as:

  • more adequate marriage preparation and couples counselling to ensure a fulfilling and sustained family life
  • providing opportunities for spiritual guidance
  • added resources to promote and enable effective parenting
  • greater support for parents and children to maintain or re-establish positive family relations
  • more guidance and support groups for families in transition dealing with separation, divorce, remarriage, or the need to care for aging parents under their roof

SENIORS: Remembering the Often Forgotten

For seniors, the inescapable reality is that growing older is naturally synonymous with eventually growing frailer, more vulnerable, and more dependent. Exacerbating that reality is the so-called "Age Wave" of older adults, or retiring baby-boomers. Within a few short years, some estimate that the number of people aged 65 and over will double. Others forecast the number of seniors over 85 will triple. Yet another disconcerting prediction is that some 50% of baby boom seniors are unlikely to have adequate financial reserves to enjoy a comfortable retirement. All of these factors, along with others, are giving rise to unprecedented challenges for this growing segment of Montreal's English-speaking Catholic community.

That is why one of the most central aims of the Catholic Community Campaign is to be able to allocate more resources to respond to the escalating needs of the community's seniors and elderly. These resources could be used to enhance support via such initiatives as:

  • prevention programs providing seniors with more education and tools to take proper care of themselves and avoid dependence
    on the health and social services system for as long as possible
  • increased emotional support and accompaniment in response to the growing issue of depression among the elderly
  • more home support programs for shut-ins
  • support and intervention programs to address the problem of elder abuse
  • more social, recreational and educational activities for those with reduced autonomy
  • programs that provide comfort and compassion to seniors living with debilitating conditions
    and guidance and support to their loved ones