Development and Peace is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada. At Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School, the Development and Peace Team gives expression to the strong commitment to educational awareness and social change that is D&P‘s vision.
Bishop Ryan students become aware of the work of D&P by participating in day-long workshops in preparation for the fall campaign in Advent and its ShareLent campaign in the spring.
At the end of October students from the Development and Peace Team go door to door collecting thousands of pounds of food for the local Food Share, as part of Hallowe‘en for Hunger.
During the THINKfast in April, Bishop Ryan students volunteer to sacrifice their hunger, time, and pledges for the causes of justice and environmental stewardship. Students stay at the school until midnight, participating in leadership activities, icebreakers, group projects, liturgy planning, games and presentations. BR has joined efforts with neighbouring schools to collect pledges and invite guest speakers from Free the Children, One Child, Me to We, Heart and Stroke, Green Venture, the McMaster University Peace Studies Department and Development and Peace youth presentations. Done within the context of prayer and culminating in a liturgy at midnight, this event develops faith as well as encourages action for justice.
Over the past several years, 600 BR students have attended the annual THINKfast and over $8000 has been raised for the D&P Peace campaign initiatives and donated to various social justice and environmental organizations in the community. The work of the Development and Peace Team in the school is connected to D&P committees in the parishes through awareness and events that support Gospel values of peace and justice. Fasting, collecting pledges, leading presentations in the community, and planning for THINKfast are all examples of Christian Service.
The presence of so many BR staff at each THINKfast event gives witness to their commitment to Catholic Social Teaching and helps students be part of the Church‘s mission peace and justice.