On May 4th, the FCJ Retreat and Conference Centre leadership and outreach team, including our FCJ sisters, had the privilege of attending the Calgary Interfaith Breakfast. It was an incredible experience to listen to the insightful and inspiring speeches delivered by Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Dr. Elder Grandmother Doreen Spence, OC.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek spoke about the power of compassion and community and the importance of faith-based communities in serving others. She noted that while special interest groups tend to ask what they can do for them, faith-based groups often ask how they can help. The mayor emphasized the need to prioritize the common bond of humanity and the dedication to serving others, which will help us through the darkness against the light. The mayor also spoke about the importance of raising strong children, teaching them faith, culture, and language.
Dr. Elder Grandmother Doreen Spence, OC is an inspiration to many in the Indigenous community and beyond. She is a Cree Elder who was born and raised on the Good Fish Lake Reservation, and is also a member of the Saddle Lake Nation through her father.
During the Interfaith breakfast, Dr Elder Doreen shared her personal story and cultural traditions. Her powerful words emphasized the importance of honoring ancestors and respecting diversity, as well as the impact of colonization on her community. She also emphasized the significance of the tipi and its meaning in their culture, not just as a physical structure, but as a symbol of their values.
Her passion for healing and wellness has made her a well-known figure among her people, and her work in reconciliatory education is helping to shape a brighter future for the next generation.
We would like to give special thanks to Alicia from our outreach team who helped organize this event. We also co-sponsored the booklet for this event. At the FCJ Centre, we value the importance of interfaith dialogue and cooperation, and we have been an active member of the Calgary Interfaith Council, attending events and meetings. We believe that fostering understanding and respect among different faiths and cultures is essential to building a more compassionate and inclusive community. We are committed to promoting these values through our work at the FCJ Centre.