Mayor Crombie speaking during the 38th Annual Cardinal’s Dinner. Photo credit: Toronto Archdiocese.

For Immediate Release | Check Against Delivery

October 27, 2017

Mayor Crombie’s Address to the Cardinal’s Dinner

The following speech was delivered by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie during the 38th Annual Cardinal’s Dinner organized and hosted by the Roman Catholic Church Archdiocese of Toronto. Mayor Crombie was invited to deliver keynote remarks on behalf of the 42 municipalities within the Archdiocese:

“Good evening. I am honoured to bring greetings on behalf of my colleagues from the 42 municipalities of the Toronto Archdiocese.

“Your Eminence, through this annual dinner, you have once again brought people together to raise funds for some of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.

“Thank you to the entire spiritual leadership, clergy, staff and laity of the Toronto Archdiocese for all you give and do each day.

“We find ourselves living in uncertain and unsettling times.

“Fortunately, it does not have to be this way.

“We do not have to look far for the comfort of certainty.

“We can draw strength, purpose and inspiration from the enduring words of scripture.

Long before there was The Municipal Act, there was The New Testament; filled with passages that speak profoundly about the purpose of community.

“From The New Testament, we are reminded to: “Love your neighbour as yourself; be devoted to one another in love; honour one another above yourselves.”

“Each day, mayors in this very room see the virtues of community in action.

“These virtues thrive in parishes, where there is no shortage of compassion.

“Now more than ever, we need an active understanding, sincere appreciation and unbreakable commitment to the mission of community and to our neighbours.

“A community has no walls; there are no borders; there are no strangers.

“It is free from jealousy; rooted in humility and gratitude.

“In a community, people of all backgrounders and opinions, are invited, accepted and encouraged to be exactly who they are and how they were born.

“God given gifts are far too precious not to be shared and celebrated.

“Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of a neighbour – either near or far – is of equal and urgent importance.

“As citizens of this community we all have a responsibility to do our part.

“Why wouldn’t we?

“In a tweet Pope Francis wrote “Joy multiplies when you share it.”

“In this day and age, that’s a Twitter account worth following.

“These six words – from the Holy Father’s one tweet – are a profound call to action.

“We are reminded that every moment in life is a blessing.

“Every word we utter; every action we take; are opportunities to live just lives; learn from one another; form one another; to make full use of what we’ve been given; and to build our neighbours up.

“We achieve this when we come together, as a community, and work heartily for the greater good.

“Each of us can point to examples of community and neighbourhood expressions of care.

“In Mississauga, families, schools and businesses shattered records by raising record amounts of money and food for The Mississauga Food Bank’s Thanksgiving food drive.

“Children should never go to bed hungry. Seniors should wake up to a nutritious meal.

“Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School collected enough food to create nearly 3,000 meals for hungry neighbours.

“My own experience as a student attending St. Clement’s Elementary School, Michael Power / St. Joseph Secondary School and the University of St. Michael’s College, has stayed with me to this day.

“Teachers instilled in us the importance of carrying other’s burdens; giving witness to faith; setting an example for others; showing leadership in our communities.

“Beyond the Thanksgiving season, each day you will find committed parishioners from churches nourishing those with no food; sacrificing for those without means; caring for the sick; guiding the lost; comforting those who are distraught; never judging; ever present; with everlasting arms.

“Arms that stretched as far as Calcutta, India, where I saw for myself the inspirational works and legacy of St. Teresa of Calcutta this past January.

“The arms of the Church stretched wide open to welcome Syrian refugees regardless of their religious affiliation.

“In doing so, you have embraced new parishioners; mayors have embraced new residents and these refugee families have embraced all of us.

“The men and women of the Toronto Archdiocese are model citizens because they live faith.

“For elected representatives, we must always remember that the Catholic Church was in the business of city-building long before government.

“As public servants, we must ensure that faith continues to guide our actions in all we do.

“We may construct roads, fund transit and plan developments but it’s the Church that builds an unbreakable sense of purpose, compassion and community in people.

“The Church will always be a partner in city-building.

“My sincerest appreciation once again to His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins and to the organizers of the 38th Annual Cardinal’s Dinner – for the opportunity to address you this evening on behalf of my municipal colleagues.”

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