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October 17, 2023

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Diocese of Peterborough,

During the plenary meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in September, I was pleased to hear a presentation about the current campaign of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada (DPCC), the official international solidarity movement of the Catholic Church in Canada. Executive Director Carl Hétu and President Brenda Arakaza shared with us the challenges of many people living along the Guapinol and San Pedro rivers in Honduras. These rivers, so crucial to the life of the communities, have been poisoned by the presence of an iron oxide mine, which has also brought violence and division to the region. Since January of this year, three people have been killed in the region.

In Honduras, an organization called Fundacion ERIC, which is sponsored by the Jesuits, is accompanying these communities. As a partner of DPCC, Fundacion ERIC has asked Canadians to help amplify the calls for justice and peace in these communities. This fall, DPCC is encouraging Catholics in Canada to collect signatures on a letter addressed to the Honduran ambassador to Canada, showing the government of Honduras that these communities are not alone, and that Canadians want to see justice, peace, and the restoration of the environment in the area.

I am encouraging parishes in the diocese of Peterborough to join this effort by going to www.devp.org, learning more about the situation, printing the letter to the ambassador, and encouraging parishioners to sign the letter after Mass. Signed letters can be mailed to DPCC’s headquarters in Montreal, the address of which is included on the letter. You can collect signatures anytime this fall, but you might consider collecting them on the Solemnity of Christ the King (Sunday, November 26) a day when we celebrate Christ’s sovereignty over all nations and His kingdom of justice.

Please address any questions about this year’s campaign to Dean Dettloff, a staff member of DPCC, at ddettloff@devp.org.

Yours in Christ,

†Most Reverend Daniel Miehm

Bishop of Peterborough