A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

146 Birthdays and Counting

Posted on: July 1, 2013

The love and service of one’s country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity.

– s. 2239 of the Catechism

Today marks Canada’s 146th birthday.

My family’s not into putting on temporary maple leaf tattoos, although we did that when my son was younger. We don’t have big family barbecues. We’ll probably celebrate quietly, enjoying the day together, maybe taking in some of the Canada Day show on Parliament Hill on TV or going to see some fireworks in our area of Ottawa.

But we’re thankful to be Canadian every day.

I read today in s. 2241 of the Catechism that “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.”

my grandparents

My mom’s parents, both first-generation Canadians

My mother’s family came to Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and my father’s family came here in the mid-20th century. Whether they arrived with family, to join family, or not knowing a soul in this country, they all immigrated in search of a better life. They became part of the fabric of their communities through their jobs as factory workers, painters, firefighters, watch repairmen, and so on; through their involvement in their churches and their children’s schools; and through the connections they made with neighbours and those who ran local businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, and shoe and jewellery repair shops.

In short, they fulfilled, along with their fellow Canadians, “the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom” (s. 2239 of the Catechism).

I feel blessed to live in a nation where my son attends school with children from many different backgrounds and sees them just as kids. Where I get to experience the food, music and dance of other cultures. Where, as a woman, I can vote, attend school and fully participate in the life of my community. Where we’re at peace with our neighbouring country. Where I can worship the Lord without fear of persecution or of prosecution. Not to say this country is perfect—no country is—but I know I’m blessed to call it home.

And so I pray that God will bless this country and guide us in serving it.


1 Response to "146 Birthdays and Counting"

“A Mari Usque Ad Mare” (Ps 72:8). God bless!

Comments are closed.

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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