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National Week for Life and Family, May 9 – 16, 2021. 

Visit the March for Life Schedule for up-to-date information & virtual links to the National March for Life events. EWTN is offering live coverage of March, Thurs., May 13, 11:30 – 2:30 pm and the Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral at 10:30 am, celebrated by Archbishop Damphousse with greeting from Cardinal Collins and Archbishop Lépine.

Campaign for Conscience Rights Legislation in Ontario:

During this National Week for Family and Life, and also beyond this week, Archbishop Damphousse encourages all the faithful to engage in a new communications campaign launched by the Bishops of Ontario in support of establishing conscience rights legislation to protect physicians, nurses and other health care workers in Ontario.

Please read the message below from our Archbishop. To directly access the website for sending automated letters to your local MPPs, please go to: Ontario | Canadians for Conscience.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

Healthcare professionals need our prayers and support. The federal government is about to expand assisted suicide across Canada. People with disabilities and those with chronic conditions will qualify, even if they are not dying. The bill has been amended in the Senate to allow people with mental health concerns to access it as well. If passed, this law will lead to disrespect for the dignity of human beings and put vulnerable people at risk. 

The federal legislation will have implications for healthcare in the provinces. Now, more than ever, we need doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who will ensure vulnerable patients have caring alternatives to lethal injections. But many healthcare professionals with moral convictions are being pushed out of their profession by provincial health regulators. Here in Ontario, you can support vulnerable patients by contacting the Ontario government and asking that legislation be introduced to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers. 

I invite you to visit the website for the Coalition for Health Care and Conscience where you can send an email directly to the Ontario government and learn more about this critically important issue. If your MPP ·is Conservative it will be sent to them, and if you are represented by another party it will be sent to the Premier and the Health Minister. Watch the video below of testimonies from healthcare providers. 

No one should ever be forced to participate by immoral means, for example by making an effective referral, in ending the lives of patients. This truly is an issue of life or death.  Let us continue to pray for those who are sick, vulnerable and alone. Thank you for all that you do to strengthen our faith community, especially during these challenging days. 

Sincerely in Christ, 

+Marcel Damphousse 
Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall 
April 2, 2021

National Week for Life and the Family:
Letter to Catholic Families from
The President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops


Dear Catholic families,

Every year the Church in Canada designates one week to proclaim the gift of family and life. The Week for Life and the Family will be commemorated this year from May 9 to May 16, with the theme, “Family, the Domestic Church: A Sign of Hope and Life”. Some people may ask, “How can I or my family live up to the ideal of being a domestic church?” The truth is no family is perfect; each one of us is affected by sin and therefore we all fall short of the ideal. The good news is that through our baptism we have been “incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213). In and through the power of the Holy Spirit we become missionaries to the world.

What is the mission of the Church in which we partake? It is nothing less than to proclaim the good news of God the Father’s saving love in Christ Jesus. Left to our own powers, this would be an impossible task but we are not alone. By our baptism we have been grafted into Christ. St. Paul says: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). This mission to the world is meant to be carried out not only by bishops, priests, and religious, but it is for lay people and families too. In the early Church it was not only the Apostles who spread the faith. Pope Francis reminds us that “from the very beginning, Christianity was preached by lay people.” Our Holy Father repeats this teaching of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, stating that “in order to take root in people’s land and develop actively, the commitment of these families, these spouses, these Christian communities, of these lay faithful was necessary.” So too, in our day, the family’s commitment to Christ is necessary. As St. John Paul II remarked in 1979: “Evangelization depends largely on the domestic church.” Recognizing our own limitations and weaknesses before such a lofty task we ask that the Holy Spirit be rekindled in you and your families so that you may proclaim joyfully the good news of salvation with a spirit of power and love.

With my brother Bishops, it is my prayer that during this year’s Week for Life and the Family, you and your family, through the grace of your baptism and through the intercession of the Holy Family, be able to live your lives as a domestic church. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, you will be a sign of hope and life attracting others to the beauty of God’s saving love in Christ Jesus.


Yours in Christ,
+ Richard Gagnon
Archbishop of Winnipeg
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops