Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hockey talent passed on NHL to don Roman collar

Father David Bauer, CSB, created 'ecumenical councils of friendship' through years of coaching
Bob Hindmarch, the Canadian national team's general manager (left) and Father David Bauer examine Soviet skate-sharpening methods. If a Canadian player blasphemed, Hindmarch remembered, Father Bauer would quip: "I'll do the praying: you just play hockey." UBC Athletics Archives.
As the Stanley Cup playoffs loom, only one Canadian team, the Montreal Canadiens, seems to be poised to skate in the post-season. Many Canuck fans will have to be content with Team Canada's hockey victory in Sochi a month and a half ago. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis: kiss the crucifix, kiss the wounds of Jesus
A woman holds a British flag with the words "Team GB" as Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 16. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his general audience address Pope Francis spoke on the meaning of suffering and evil, explaining that it is a mystery which finds its answer in the passion and death of Jesus, Who endured it for each of us. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Euthanasia battle revives in Quebec despite election
This is the cover of "Hippocratic, Religious and Secular Medical Ethics: The Points of Conflict" by Robert M. Veatch. Many commentators say this sort of guide is being totally ignored by modern medicine. CNS.
Forces opposed to euthanasia in Quebec have expressed disappointment newly-elected Premier Philippe Couillard intends to press ahead with euthanasia legislation. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mozilla CEO resigns after uproar over donation

Brendan Eich gave $1,000 in support of traditional marriage
Brendan Eich in 2012. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Co-founder and CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich resigned in early April after he received serious pressure over a donation he made in 2008 to California's Proposition 8.

A report from Zenit, a news agency in Rome, says Catholics should be worried.
After fewer than two weeks as the company’s head, Eich was forced to resign over Silicon Valley furor regarding a $1,000 donation he made back in 2008 to California’s Proposition 8 law, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. To repeat, he was fired for holding unpopular— now socially forbidden—views.

Many news outlets are critical. A lot are supportive. Catholics should be up in arms, for at stake here is the freedom to work in a public capacity and hold orthodox views at the same time.
The Mozilla press centre released an FAQ about Eich's resignation.

Local priest gave homily in private papal chapel

Preaching at Mass with Pope John Paul II was 'one of the greatest experiences' of monsignor's life

Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo kneels to kiss the ring of Pope John Paul II. The monsignor was speechless after the Pope asked him to give the homily in the papal chapel. Photo submitted.
When the Vicar of Christ is present, he is usually the one doing the preaching, so when Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo was asked to give the homily in Pope John Paul II's private chapel in 1990, he was speechless. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Blossoming religious order in France has global impact
Buddhist women sing a religious hymn during a ceremony in Seoul, South Korea. An order of nuns founded in France has a special attraction for the people of the Asian country. CNS photo / Kim Hong-Ji, Reuters.
A missionary order founded in the middle Ages in France is sending a burgeoning number of vocations from Asia and especially South Korea to evangelize countries throughout the world. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tributes pour in for former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty

Tributes poured in for former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who died suddenly at the age of 64 on April 10, only three weeks after he had resigned his cabinet portfolio. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Salt & Light interviews Canadian apostolic nuncio

Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, sits down with Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi
Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, apostolic nuncio to Canada, was recently interviewed.
(Photo credit: Salt & Light TV)
Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of Salt and Light TV, spoke to Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, who was appointed apostolic nuncio – the papal representative to this country – earlier this year.

Watch the 30-minute interview on Salt and Light's Witness program here.

Students collect 50 jackets for third annual drive at St. Paul's Hospital

Many will be warmer and drier on wet or cold days in the coming months
Brandon Biln, one of the coordinators of volunteer resources at St. Paul's Hospital, poses at the hospital's clothing depot with children from St. Augustine's Elementary. Photo submitted.
The students and families of St. Augustine's Elementary School in Vancouver recently worked together on their third annual jacket drive, led by the Grade 6 class. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

'I can't leave my people:' Priest killed in Syria hailed as martyr
Dutch Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt sits with Sheik Abu Harith al-Khalidi, who is in charge of negotiations for civilians inside the besieged area of Homs, Syria, at the residence of the Jesuit fathers Jan. 29. CNS photo / Yazan Homsy, Reuters.
Days after Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt was murdered in Syria, a close young friend recalled his saintly life, noting both his personal holiness and extraordinary advances in Christian-Muslim relations. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Senate Speaker recalls encounters with Popes John XXIII and John Paul II
A mosaic on the wall of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome shows Blessed John XXIII, who convened the Second Vatican Council in 1962. It was there that Pope John announced he was going to call an ecumenical council. CNS photo / ANSA, EPA.
Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella has had many opportunities as a senator, academic, and former seminarian in Rome to meet both Popes John XXII and John Paul II, to be canonized on April 27. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two schools stand against hunger

More than a symbolic gesture of harmony: over $1,100 raised
St. Thomas Aquinas and Notre Dame student bands teamed up to raise funds for Catholic Charities' The Door Is Open March 12. Admission by donation brought in over $1,100. Photo submitted.
Playing music to fight hunger: this was the purpose of a band concert at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School March 12. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Greatest fruit of WYD has been vocations, organizer says
A pilgrim from New York waves a poster to welcome Pope John Paul II to World Youth Day in Toronto July 25, 2002. The Polish Pontiff inaugurated World Youth Day 30 years ago. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
At a recent gathering discussing preparations for World Youth Day in Krakow, a coordinator for the event emphasized how each year many youths receive the courage to answer their vocational call. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Pope John XXIII remembered chiefly for calling the Second Vatican Council
A tapestry bearing the likeness of Blessed John XXIII hangs from the facade of St. Peter's Basilica during his beatification ceremony at the Vatican in this Sept. 3, 2000, file photo. CNS photo / Filippo Monteforte, EPA.
Though Pope John XXIII was known as a simple, saintly man, he will be chiefly remembered for calling the Second Vatican Council, says Saint Paul University theologian Catherine Clifford. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, April 11, 2014

University professor steals pro-life sign

She faces charges of theft, vandalism, and battery
Dr. Mireille Miller-Young and two students walk off
with a sign from an abortion protest March 4.
Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, University of California Santa Barbara professor, is facing charges after stealing a pro-life group's sign and taking it to her office to destroy it. A video shows her shoving one of the protestors as she and two students take the sign from members of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.

Steve Weatherbe at calls it a surprise that the associate professor of feminist studies was charged. Her appearance in court was scheduled April 4.

Bake sale promotes tradition, church

Ukrainians to share Easter goodies
These sweet loaves are one of many of the treats for sale at Ukrainian churches this season. Photo submitted.
For Ukrainian Catholics, Easter is all about family, tradition, and church. That's why four parishes in the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster are holding bake sales again this spring. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope responds to Venezuelan peace talks invitation
Anti-government protesters pray during a rally against violence in Caracas, Venezuela, March 5. Bishops in Caracas urged both the government and protestors to resist violence amid a deepening standoff in Venezuela that has further polarized the country and left church charities struggling. CNS photo / Tomas Bravo, Reuters.
Answering an invitation from Venezuela's foreign affairs minister to participate in the country's peace talks, Pope Francis sent a letter to all parties involved, encouraging them to foster open dialogue. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Former Prime Minister Mulroney recalls Pope John Paul II
South African President Nelson Mandela assists Pope John Paul II at the Johannesburg International Airport in 1995 at the start of the pope's first official visit to the country. Mandela, who led the struggle to replace the country's apartheid regime wit h a multiracial democracy, died Dec. 5 at age 95 at his home in Johannesburg. CNS photo / Patrick De Noirmont, Reuters.
Brian Mulroney was elected prime minister only days before Pope John Paul II made his first historic visit to Canada in 1984, and he remembers his encounters with him well. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Freedom loosens the bonds of sin

Four hundred youth receive sacrament of reconciliation before Easter
Erin Labao, a member of St. Joseph the Worker's youth ministry team, performs during Freedom. The annual event for diocesan youth centres on the importance of confession. Peter Vetter / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
When hundreds of young people gather on a Friday night, one might predict big entertainment or a party involved. But when 400 youth and young adults met up March 14, their joy was boosted by something else: the sacrament of reconciliation. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Our lives should have the flavour of the Gospel, Pope observes
Pope Francis kisses a cross during his weekly audience at the Vatican April 9. The cross is made from wooden boards recovered from the wreckage of boats carrying migrants from northern Africa to Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost island. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
During his general audience April 5 Pope Francis began a new catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, drawing specific attention to wisdom and noting that it illuminates our actions and draws us closer to God. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

John Paul II Day decreed in Ontario
A large image of Blessed John Paul II is seen as a woman places a candle during a prayer vigil at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Poland, April 2. The vigil marked the ninth anniversary of the Polish Pope's death. CNS photo / Bartlomiej Zborowski, EPA.
Ontario will make celebration of the life of Pope John Paul II on annual event after the passing of legislation naming a day in his honour. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

End-of-life dialogue moves across Canada

Doctors, nurses, caregivers, and others supply varied views at Vancouver stop
In what almost seems to be becoming an outmoded view of end-of-life care, a close friend sits with a dying person with medical staff readily available. CNS photo / Nancy Phelan Wiechec.
The Canadian Medical Association is on a country-wide tour to find out what people in this country think about end of life issues like euthanasia and palliative care. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Lawyers warn of global push for 'gender identity' language
Trafficking survivor Tysheena Rhames reacts to U.S. President Barack Obama's speech about her before he signs a Violence Against Women bill. U.S. bishops said they could not support the rewritten bill because of its references to "sexual orientation" and "gender identity." Even straightforward issues manage to include unacceptable "SOGI" principles. CNS photo / Larry Downing, Reuters.
Attorneys working for human rights at the United Nations and other global organizations note a growing trend to introduce "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" language, as well as abortion rights, into international law. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Quebec Liberal victory gives reprieve from euthanasia push

Margaret Somerville, founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics, and Law at McGill University in Montreal, is pictured in an undated photo. CNS photo / courtesy McGill University.
The surprisingly strong Quebec Liberal victory April 7 means euthanasia is off the table, at least for now, and signals a greater openness to religious Quebeckers, say informed observers. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cemetery chooses a patron saint

Staff searched the Internet in search of someone to fill the role
The Gardens of Gethsemani has incorporated a number of statues like this one of Our Lady, in different areas. Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Vancouver may now have to look for a statue of St. Joseph of Arimathea. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
The devout Jew who removed the body of Jesus from the cross and surrendered his own tomb to bury Him on Good Friday is now the patron saint of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Ambassador Bennett urges Christians to engage in public sphere
Andrew Bennett, the Ambassador of Religious Freedom who is also Dean of Augustine College, addressed the college community April 4 on the importance of Christian engagement in the public square and on championing human dignity. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
Canada's Ambassador of Religious Freedom, Andrew Bennett, urged a Christian audience here April 4 to engage in the public sphere, proclaim truth and champion human dignity. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Captain George and Maria Pittendrigh led full lives

The army man's bathtub flooded Florence Nightingale's room below his

This grave marker in St. Peter's Cemetery memorializes the final resting place of the Pittendrigh family. Photo from A Sense of History Research Services Inc.
As is frequently the case, many people discovered interesting facts about Captain George Pittendrigh only after his death. Most knew only about his work as coroner, justice of the peace, and fisheries inspector. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis prays for kidnapped priests, nun
Father Georges Vandenbeusch is seen after after being freed in Yaounde, Cameroon, Dec. 31. The French priest was kidnapped by heavily armed Islamic extremists Nov. 13 in the far north of Cameroon, near the border with Nigeria. Now two more priests and a Canadian nun have been kidnapped. CNS photo / Darzee Kalend, Reuters.
Pope Francis is remembering in his prayers two Italian priests and a Canadian religious sister who were kidnapped in Cameroon Friday night. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Parish RCIA program looks toward Easter celebration

Lisa Chouinard, an RCIA candidate, says she is in the process of understanding the Catholic faith a little more. Chris Miller / Western Catholic Reporter / CCN.
A common icon of conversion is the painting of Jesus standing at a person's front door. The image illustrates Revelation 3.20: "Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with Me." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

St. Peter's Cemetery offers glimpse into rich past

Land was cleared for a public cemetery about 1861

Director of Catholic Cemeteries Peter Nobes (right) tours St. Peter's Cemetery with historians Dale (left) and Archie Miller and grounds caretaker Robert Gilmore Aug. 16. "I found the insights fascinating; the place has so much history," Nobes said. The cemetery was established in the 1880s. Jennifer Pecho / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The Catholic Church was formally established in New Westminster by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in September 1860, when Father Leon Fouquet, OMI, arrived to establish St. Peter's Parish. It was part of the St. Charles Mission that encompassed much of the Fraser Valley from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. For full story  see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

LA's 'little ambassador' to Pope recalls encounter
Jersey Vargas, 10, cries as she gives interviews after greeting her father, Mario Vargas-Lopez, at Los Angeles airport March 29. She hadn't seen him for two years. CNS photo / Lucy Nicholson, Reuters.
Jersey Vargas, a 10-year-old daughter of undocumented immigrants, who travelled from Los Angeles to the Vatican to ask the Pope's help for herself and children like her, said she is thrilled to have met him. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

MP urges Catholics to support his palliative care motion
NDP MP Charlie Angus hopes to get Catholic support for his Motion M-456 that calls for a national palliative care strategy.
NDP MP Charlie Angus hopes Catholics across Canada will put pressure on their representatives to support his motion to create a national palliative care strategy. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Website launched for Pope's Holy Land trip

Follow the Pontiff's Israel pilgrimage
Pope Francis will visit the Holy Land May 24-26. (Photo: Paul Haring / CNS)
Pope Francis will visit the Holy Land in May to mark 50 years since Pope Paul VI and Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras shook hands in Jerusalem.

The program for his three-day trip is available on the new official website dedicated to the trip. Created in seven languages, it also provides various resources and background information about Catholics in the Holy Land.

Statues from Spain land in Gardens of Gethsemani

Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Andrew Kim join other saints in newly-renovated grounds
Stefan Vukovic of Stonemarks in Surrey watches as Our Lady of Perpetual Help is moved into place. Photo submitted.
Two statues crafted in Spain have come to rest on the grounds at the Gardens of Gethsemani. St. Andrew Kim and Our Lady of Perpetual Help are the newest saint statues at the Surrey cemetery. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis: married couples are an icon of God's love
Pope Francis gives a thumbs up as he leaves his general audience on the 9th anniversary of his predecessor's death. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his weekly general audience Pope Francis closed his catechesis on the sacraments by reflecting on the vocation of marriage, noting that the married couple is a unique example of divine love in the world. For full story  see The B.C. Catholic website.

Mint releases John Paul II coins to mark canonization

The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled gold and silver coins of Pope John Paul II March 27 in Saguenay, Que.; Mississauga, Ont.; and Warsaw, Poland; to mark the Pontiff's canonization April 28. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New York woman skips chemotherapy to save baby

Mother dies two months after daughter's birth
Elizabeth Joice and daughter Lily not long after the birth. (Photo: Joice Family)
When New York City resident Elizabeth Joice, 36, found out she was pregnant, she put the life of her baby before cancer treatments.
“Having a kid was one of the most important things in the world to her,” her husband Max told The New York Post. “She said, ‘If we terminate the pregnancy and it turns out I can’t have a baby [later], I’ll be devastated.’ She knew this might be her only chance.”
Elizabeth refused abortion and chemotherapy. Lily was born by C-section this January and her courageous mom died two months later.

Read the full story here.

Sister to receive honorary doctorate

St. Mark's College recognizes ecumenical and interfaith work
A congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity – Halifax will receive an honorary doctorate for her tireless efforts in ecumenism and interfaith relations. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Nigerian Catholics risk violence, lives to attend Mass
A woman leaves Kawuri, Nigeria, with her family and belongings in January after suspected Islamist Boko Haram insurgents had killed 85 people. Bishop Stephen Mamza of Yola asked President Goodluck Jonathan to give newly appointed military chiefs the constitutional support to flush out the militants. CNS photo / Reuters.
Catholics in a northern Nigerian city are risking their lives to attend Sunday Mass, as their community has fallen prey to violence from radical extremists. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Artist glorifies God with digital art
Moses sits in front of the burning bush. Ramon Gonzalez / Western Catholic Reporter.
Ted Larson evangelizes through his artwork. The Seattle digital artist said most of his artwork is inspired by the Bible, which he has read from beginning to end many times. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Conservative MP introduces assisted suicide bills

Stephen Fletcher, quadriplegic, calls for debate in parliament
Dying with Dignity executive director Wanda Morris and Conservative MP Stephen Fletcher
introduce two private member's bills relating to assisted suicide. (Deborah Gyapong / CCN)
Conservative MP Stephen Fletcher sees physician assisted suicide in Canada as "inevitable" and introduced two private member's bills for it March 27. The CBC reports:
One of the two bills deals specifically with the Criminal Code of Canada and would allow doctors to help patients end their lives under very strict circumstances.

The other piece of legislation would set up a commission to monitor a system of physician-assisted suicide across the country. According to Fletcher, it would collect data to create profiles of the people who file requests so that "hopefully we can have better public policy as we go forward."
Anti-euthanasia groups, like the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the Campaign Life Coalition, are voicing their opposition. EPC executive director Alex Schadenberg:
“The polling we’ve done indicates that the more facts Canadians have about euthanasia and assisted suicide, the more Canadians will oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide."
Read more about what these groups are saying on The B.C. Catholic website.

Sierra Leonean recalls Vicar of Christ 'always smiling'

She still prays for his canonization

When Marie Lomas visited the Vatican for the second time in September 1962, she had an once-in-a-lifetime experience: a meeting with the Vicar of Christ. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

UK fetal incineration scandal prompts calls to respect life
Pope Francis holds a replica of a fetus presented by a couple wearing T-shirts with the message in Portuguese, "Stop Abortion," during the Offertory at the Mass at the end of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro July 28, 2013. The Pope had met the couple, who have a baby girl with anencephaly (missing part of her brain), the previous day and invited them to participate in the Mass. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano.
Revelations that National Health Service hospitals in the U.K. have disposed of the bodies of miscarried or aborted children by incineration as clinical waste show the need to reject abortion and to respect life, pro-life leaders said. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Homeschoolers teach what is important to them
Bonnie Landry. Chris Miller / Western Catholic Reporter.
For 22 years, homeschooling has been a way of life for Bonnie Landry in the little hamlet of Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. With seven children, aged 7 to 26, she still has a few more years to go. For

full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Vancouverite recalls outdoor excursion with Pope

Pope John Paul II continued hiking and skiing in Italy despite assassination attempt in 1981
Mary Ostrowka, a member of St. Casimir's Parish, meets Pope John Paul II in the summer of 1984. Photo submitted.
A young priest known for taking students on hiking and kayaking trips didn't lose his love for the outdoors when he became St. Peter's successor. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Women rally outside U.S. Supreme Court for religious liberty
The Supreme Court building in Washington is reflected in a pro-life protester's sunglasses as he prays during the third and final day of legal arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the high court in this 2012 photo. CNS photo / Jonathan Ernst, Reuters.
Women supporting employers challenging the government's contraception mandate spoke out in support of a vision of women's equality that supports fertility and women's role as employers, as the case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCO shows Church how to evangelize according to Pope's vision
CCO co-founder Angele Regnier and Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver at the CCO Meet the Movement fundraising dinner March 23. Archbishop Miller was the keynote speaker. Deborah Gyapong / (CCN).
The Church in Canada needs a "serious, sustained commitment" to evangelization, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver told a Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) fundraiser here March 23. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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