About the Diocese of Hamilton
A ready access to the people, services, and organizations that constitute the visible body of the Diocese of Hamilton. We pray that you may also find tools to assist in your faith journey with our Saviour Jesus Christ.
“God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in return. Divine mercy shines forth in our lives, inspiring each of us to love our neighbour and to devote ourselves to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.” (Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Lent 2016)
This resource challenges our readers to reflect prayerfully on the Stations of the Cross with a social justice component. This resource marries together the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy with the Suffering and Passion of our Lord. The images used are of the Stations of the Cross found in the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King in Hamilton.
To view this resource, simply use your mouse to scroll down the page or click on the Station number below to be directed to that specific Station.
Pilate sentenced Jesus to die on the cross because he was pressured by the crowds and their demand for Jesus’ death. Pilate saw no cause to kill Jesus, but he felt he needed to please his people. Jesus chose to be patient and to suffer silently, even though he was not treated justly.ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION:
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an important step in addressing wrongs that were committed against Aboriginal peoples; a key founding population of our country. As Catholics in Canada, we have an important role to play in supporting our fellow Canadians, educating ourselves on the history of our country, and better understanding the hardships experienced by the Aboriginal community.
Jesus struggled and suffered under the weight of his cross on the road to Calvary. Never once did he complain; he carried his burden wilfully for the glory of God the Father. Those who are sick carry heavy burdens each day as well. Many do so in dignified silence, gracefully accepting their crosses and offering up their suffering to God.HEALTH CARE IN
We are extremely fortunate in Canada to have access to the high standard of healthcare provided to us. That said, there are those in our communities who face challenges every day that prevent them from getting the support and care they and their families need.
From exhaustion and pain, Jesus stumbles and falls for a first time. We too stumble and fall along the path of life. We easily get distracted from God’s will due to sinfulness or selfishness and lose our way. However, God doesn’t give up on us when we fall. Just like Jesus, we are called to rise, and to carry on towards our Father in Heaven. To follow Jesus we must carry our cross, and when we see those that are straying from the path leading to God, we need to help them find their way back to the way of truth, the way to the Father.STEWARDSHIP AND CARE OF CREATION
Pope Francis has called all of us to remember that caring for the earth, and addressing climate change is a responsibility that lies with each and everyone one of us. It is time to hold ourselves and the world's governments accountable to reducing our negative impacts on the environment and taking a more proactive stance on climate change. Pope Francis has recently released his encyclical Laudato Si - click HERE for the top 10 things you need to know about it.
The pain Jesus must have felt along the way of his cross must have only been intensified in seeing the pain and the suffering of his mother, Mary. Mary hungered for something she could not have; her son to be spared, and not to suffer. Those that suffer physical hunger experience great desperation and a detachment from human dignity.COMMUNITY GARDENS
A community garden can be a way for people to come together and take an active role in food production. It is also a way to create programs that offer training and skill development, lead to community cooperatives that offer affordable food options for those living under the poverty line and can offer opportunities for education on nutrition and health.
Jesus’ burden of the cross began to be too much for his body, so the guards offer Simon of Cyrene to help Jesus carry the cross. Simon offered Jesus relief and some needed strength to continue on the path to Calvary. As ambassadors of Christ, we too need to offer courage and strength to those who doubt. We need to help others carry their crosses and offer wisdom in the face of despair or suffering.COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS
There will be moments when the challenges that face our communities seem too great to overcome. We need to remain positive and committed to resolving the problems facing our communities. One way of doing this is to remind ourselves of who our community champions are that work, day in and day out, to help feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and give drink to the thirsty. It is important to hold these examples of success close at hand so we can be reminded that we can make change happen.
Bishop Crosby, in his Christmas letter from 2015, recalls the work done through the Out of the Cold breakfast program in Hamilton - watch HERE!
Veronica, a person in the crowds felt compelled to reach out and help the Lord in his suffering. She didn’t know him, but she understood his pain, and in that, she knew she needed to do something. Veronica serves as a model of compassion. She reminds us that any act of charity, no matter great or small, is one of great love in praise of God.ACCESS TO CLEAN
Access to clean drinking water is something that we can very easily take for granted. We turn on the tap and we can wash our dishes, quench our thirst, and clean our bodies. We can even use it in the warmer months to have fun and cool off. That said, there are communities right here in Canada that are not so fortunate.
In his pain and exhaustion, Jesus refuses to quit, and rises once more under the heavy weight of the cross. It is easy to give up on those in society who make poor choices or who live recklessly without care for others. It is easy to ignore those behind bars, serving sentences for crimes committed.
The Lord challenges us to rise up from the weight of judgement and disdain to embrace those who are incarcerated. We are called to minister to these people with a spirit of forgiveness and mercy.
It is important that we take the time to understand how some of the structures in our society can lead to cycles of poverty and how some can become trapped in criminal activity and incarceration.
When Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem along the road, he does not take the opportunity to implore their sympathy for his pain and his suffering, but rather, chooses to selflessly and compassionately care for their grief at the sight of his cross. The Lord challenges us to be acutely aware of those in our lives who struggle with pain and who are in need of comfort. May we reach out and offer them the same compassion Jesus offered the women of Jerusalem.HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Human trafficking is one issue that is prevalent around the world, but also right here in Canada. Victims of human trafficking require comfort, support as well as the resources to restart their lives, and heal from the trauma of this experience.
Jesus stumbles and falls yet remarkably, to everyone’s disbelief, Jesus does not give up hope. He finds strength and he carries on; all for God’s glory. The Lord challenges us to find that same strength and perseverance when it comes to sharing the faith with others; especially those who have misconceptions about the teachings of the Church. May we always speak Christ to these persons with great love and with the same resilience our Lord embodied as he bore the weight of the cross.#WELCOMEREFUGEES
With international conflicts or tensions within communities comes the rapid spread of stereotyping, dehumanization, and discrimination. Communication breaks down, fear and misunderstanding spread, and as a result conflict and tensions are increased. In these moments it is important that we take the time to fully understand a conflict, so that we do not perpetuate discrimination toward a particular person or group of people because of race, ethnicity, religion, orientation, or gender.
With the conflicts currently happening in Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia among many others, there has been a massive increase in the number of refugees fleeing conflict zones. As the resettlement process begins to bring refugees to Canada, let us look at instances of discrimination and hate, and how we can prevent them.
The guards humiliate and defile Jesus further by stripping him of his clothing. The Lord is left without stature; as a symbol of mockery for onlookers. The Lord in his suffering challenges us to see himself in those who experience this same lack of human dignity. Those for whom proper clothing is unattainable experience a real and isolating vulnerability.ETHICAL PURCHASING
Many of us go to the mall and purchase our clothes and shoes from our favorite stores and base our decision on what is most practical for our lifestyles, what fits, what we feel comfortable in or what we feel makes us look our best. Consider what went into making the clothes that you buy, how and where they were made? By whom? Consider a person's hourly wage for their work and what kind of conditions they were working in. These are important questions to ask as consumers.
It is hard for us to imagine the pain and the agony Jesus experienced as the soldiers nailed his hands and feet to the wooden cross. And yet, in the midst of the cruelty, Jesus does not scorn or curse, but rather, he prays for forgiveness for those that hurt him. The Lord challenges us to forgive willingly, even when it hurts, for we forgive based on another’s dignity and not as how their actions or words may deserve.FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION
Forgiveness and reconciliation are an important part of social justice, especially when we do not always live in a "just" society. Forgiveness within a community that has experienced conflict and atrocity is often key in preventing further violence and hardship and to allow the healing process to begin. Watch Archbishop Desmond Tutu HERE for his take on forgiveness.
Jesus knowing that his time had come, and that he had been born into this world to save us from our sins, breathes his last. He offers his life into His Father’s hands and his suffering ends. Our Lord’s death offers us the promise of salvation. It is through his sacrifice that we all come to know the glory of eternal life.AN ISSUE THAT
We have covered a number of different social justice related topics thus far. Please pick one cause, issue, or project that you personally feel the most connected to, and that you would like to champion.
Left reeling from his death, the friends of Jesus make arrangements to take the Lord down from his cross and to offer him the protection and dignity of a proper burial. Jesus in his most vulnerable moments after death was sheltered and surrounded by the care of his friends. They protected him with their love and prayer even in their own suffering.WITHOUT A HOME
Medicine Hat, Alberta has a five-year plan to eradicate homelessness. What is so significant about their “Housing First” program? Click HERE for more information.
The suffering has ended, Jesus has breathed his last. As a sign of respect for their brother, the friends of Jesus wrap his body in linen cloth with ointment and lay him in a new tomb. As Christians, we are challenged to offer this same respect and dignity in faith to those that have died. We entrust the dead to God and pray for the repose of their souls and for their loved ones.WHAT WE
Taking time to consider how we live every day is important, and will build the legacy we leave behind. There are many people from all walks of life who have come before us that were devoted to making the world a better place. We want to remember them and their legacy, learn from it, and apply it to our own lives as we incorporate Works of Mercy and the Catholic Social Teachings into our daily lives.