Thursday, February 26, 2015

German archdiocese is richer than Vatican

Archdiocese of Cologne reveals it is worth 3.35 billion euros
Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims on the Rhine River near the cathedral
in Cologne, Germany, in 2005. (Photo: Catholic Press Photo / CNS)
According to figures released on Ash Wednesday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne revealed it is worth 3.35 billion euros. This makes it richer than the Vatican, which Cardinal George Pell said has assets of 2.64 billion euros.
"The archdiocese doesn't sell products or earn profits from its services so it has to finance itself mostly from its assets," said financial director Hermann Schon.
The Cologne cathedral is listed as worth 27 euros. Find out why here.

Ukraine, poverty, G7 discussed by Pope, German chancellor

Angela Merkel helped negotiate cease-fire with rebels

Pope Francis shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting at the Vatican Feb. 21. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine was among the topics covered by Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in their Feb. 21 meeting at the Vatican. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.



Also newly posted:


During 40 days for life many will be fasting for the unborn

Vancouver 40 Days for Life director Carmela Cruz (third from right) leads a prayer vigil outside B.C. Women's Hospital in 2014. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Local pro-lifers are asking Catholics to consider the unborn as they fast and pray this Lent. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Speed-dating model tried at Vocations Fair
Sister Nisrine of the Antonin Sisters tells how their six sisters in Ottawa run a French Catholic elementary school. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Organizers of a vocations fair here Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, decided to try a speed-dating model to introduce seekers to various religious communities. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bikers hand out Bibles to Hell's Angels

Evangelists describe their efforts at the annual Missions Fest
Wayne Bertness and Fred Sawatzky, members of the Christian Motorcycle Association, run a booth at the Vancouver Convention Centre Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Tens of thousands of Christians gathered in Vancouver to talk about missionary work and evangelization. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Supreme Court ruling repeats original sin, archbishop says
Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, Alta., shown in October 2010, when he was elected the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
The Supreme Court decision Feb. 6 legalizing assisted suicide in Canada is a repeat of the original sin in which men and women believed they can be like gods, said Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Pupils recreate Sistine Chapel, give tours

St. Francis Xavier students bring the artistic genius of Michelangelo into their classroom
Grade 6 children admire their copies of Michelangelo's artwork after it was taped to the ceiling of their classroom in St. Francis Xavier School. Natalie Lake / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Natalie Lake's Grade 6 class at St. Francis Xavier School did a massive project based on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.



Also newly posted:

Consecrated life a witness that shows the Church is attractive, says priest
Father Denis Lemieux, a Madonna House priest, is the author of The I-Choice and Going Home. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Consecrated life provides a witness that makes the Church attractive, a Madonna House priest told a Vocations Fair here Feb. 14. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thomas Aquinas Study Circle: March 7

Thomas Aquinas Study Circle: March 7
The Thomas Aquinas Study Circle (free admission — all welcome) meets next in Vancouver on March 7 at 10am at St. Mark's College / Corpus Christi College.

Highlights will include Margherita Oberti, Ph.D., speaking on "Thomas Aquinas and the Stoics on Natural Law," with respondents and questions from the audience.

Please contact David Klassen at Corpus Christi for more information.

Conference to consider "spirituality of communion"

Focolare members will describe the call to unity
Local members of Focolare, an international Catholic movement, are inviting the faithful to learn more about their spirituality and the importance of living in community. The one-day conference, Called to be Community, will be held at St. Patrick's Parish in Vancouver Feb. 28.

Highlights will include Mass with Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, and activities for toddlers, children, and teens. More information is available by email at ffvancouver@shaw.ca or by phone at 604-931-7211 or 604-468-2871.

Good Shepherd faithful pray nonstop for 10 years

South Surrey church has a vibrant community, thanks to perpetual adoration, parishioner says
A woman prays in the adoration chapel at Good Shepherd Church Feb. 8, during the 10th anniversary celebration of full-time prayer. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Prayer warriors have been sending their petitions to heaven from the adoration chapel at Good Shepherd Church nonstop for 10 years. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.
Also newly posted:

Journeying with a friend to death can be life-giving
Jo-Anne Paquette. Photo by Lasha Morningstar, Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
Jo-Anne Paquette's three-month journey with Martha Shephard as she died from a brain tumour was both physically draining and a spiritual gift for Paquette. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, February 20, 2015

San Francisco archdiocese updates teachers' handbook

Lawmakers take issue with 'morality clauses'
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco addresses participants in the
March for Marriage in Washington June 19, 2014. (Photo: Tyler Orsburn / CNS)
The archdiocese of San Francisco has released a revised teachers' handbook asking high school faculty to avoid publicly challenging Church teachings:
"Archdiocesan officials said the statement represents the religious beliefs formally affirmed by the schools, but individual teachers will not be required to sign documents that attest to their own beliefs in these doctrinal teachings.
That said, the statement calls on teachers to 'avoid fostering confusion among the faithful and any dilution of the schools' primary Catholic mission.'"
But lawmakers are urging the archbishop to withdraw the handbook's "morality clauses," which are largely to do with Church teaching on sexual morality.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pope & Archbishop Miller mourn murdered Copts

'We are united in profound sorrow': archbishop
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB
(Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic)

Both Pope Francis and the archbishop of Vancouver have sent condolences to the Coptic Christian community after the horrific beheading of 21 Copts by ISIS militants in Libya.

Read the papal message here.

Meanwhile, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, sent a letter to St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey.

Here is an excerpt:

"Following the heartless massacre of the Egyptian Copts … we are united in profound sorrow with our brothers and sisters," the archbishop wrote.

"Together, let us pray that God will grant them the reward of eternal life in His Kingdom."


Pope approves three new saints

Canonizations of three religious set for May 17
Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy (1846-1878) will be a saint later this year.
(Photo credit: Carmelite Sisters of Ireland website)
The Pontiff has added another three names to the saintly list Feb. 14. Here are the names, courtesy of Vatican Radio:

  1. Blessed Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve was born in France, in Toulouse in 1811. She founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception for the education of poor girls and children, for the sick and for missions in faraway lands. She died of cholera on October 2nd 1854. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

  2. Blessed Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas was born in Jerusalem in 1843. When she was 15 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition. She worked tirelessly to help young people and Christian mothers. She had a special mystic affinity with the Mother of God. She founded the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, to which she belonged. She died in 1927 and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

  3. Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy was born Maria Baouardy in Abellin, a village in Upper Galilee, near Nazareth, in 1846 of Arab parents. She was baptized in the Melchite Greek Catholic Church. From early youth she experienced many sufferings together with extraordinary mystic phenomena. In France, she entered the Carmel of Pau. She was sent to India to found new Carmels, and then to Bethlehem, where she died in 1878. She was beatified by St John Paul II in 1983.

Christine Jones launches Catholic Pacific College

Small institution connected to Trinity Western University announces name change, new plans
Archbishop Miller and Christine Jones cut a cake Feb. 4 to celebrate Catholic Pacific College's new look. Christophe Potworowski / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The Catholic college affiliated with Trinity Western University has rebranded itself. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Siblings help you keep your eyes off yourself, Pope says
Pope Francis looks at a guide dog as he arrives to give his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / Giampiero Sposito, Reuters.
In this week's general audience Pope Francis spoke on the role of siblings in family life, saying the fraternity we learn from them teaches us how to overcome barriers and leads to greater freedom. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCODP volunteers share strategy for Share Lent campaign
Diane Groniger and Carroll Woods show the stamps Woods collected for CCODP at her parish. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
When Carroll Woods came to an information session this year's Share Lent campaign Feb. 11 she brought a shopping bag full of cancelled postage stamps. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Handbook guides volunteers in challenging ministry

Information sessions help with difficulties of leading ministry to farm workers
Farm workers gather around Sacred Heart parishioner Rosario Musso (second from left), who unintentionally started an outreach to nearby farmers when two brothers (on her left and right) asked her to help them receive first Communion. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
It was probably foreigners working to support their families who picked the locally grown vegetables on your dinner table, said the director of migrant ministry in the archdiocese. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope condemns beheading of Egyptian Christians
Muslim scholars and leaders of Eastern churches attend the conference on terrorism and extremism in Cairo in December. Their worst fears have come true. CNS photo / Al Youm Al Saabi, Reuters.
On Sunday Pope Francis mourned the 21 Egyptian Christians beheaded by the Islamic State, calling them martyrs that "belong to all Christians." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB issues synod questionnaire but will keep results private
Pope Francis greets speaks to an audience in St. Peter's Square about last October's extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. There is to be an ordinary synod on the family next October. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released a revised set of questions Feb. 10 for the upcoming synod on the family, but the consultations' results will stay private. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ugandan nun shuns revenge, would forgive warlord

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe pleads for assistance to sow hope for abused women and children
Sophie Lui, a Global News anchor (left), moderates a question-and-answer session with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Feb. 3. The nun has taught 2,000 women to sew "away their pains" from a brutal civil war. Karen Tregillas / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
When a Ugandan nun confronted an armed rebel soldier from the Lord's Resistance Army in her school's kitchen, her act of kindness saved her life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope Francis creates new cardinals
Cardinals Vincent Nichols of Westminster, centre, and Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, talk with an unidentified person before a consistory at which Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 14. At left is Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis welcomed the Catholic Church's newest cardinals on Feb. 14, encouraging them to centre themselves in Jesus Christ as they lead the faithful in patience, justice, and docility to the Holy Spirit. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Speculation mounts about government response to euthanasia decision
The supreme court building in Ottawa. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Speculation is mounting on the tack the federal government will take in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's Carter decision striking down the law against assisted suicide. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Consecrated people renew their vows

Year for Consecrated Life honours vows of service
Sisters from at least 18 religious congregations, as well as 11 priests and 10 consecrated lay women, hold candles as they recommit to poverty, chastity, and obedience at Holy Name of Jesus Church Feb. 2. Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, celebrated Mass as part of the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Consecrated priests, sisters, and lay people renewed lifelong vows during a joyful celebration in Holy Name of Jesus Church. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

'A dark day for Australia'
A refugee family from Myanmar. The Australian bishops welcomed a High Court decision in 2011 that granted a permanent injunction against the deportation of 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia. Now the dark side of refugee life is coming to light. CNS photo/Bazuki Muhammad, Reuters.
A report detailing the profoundly negative effects of the long-term detention of children seeking asylum in Australia has led Church leaders there to call the government's policy "barbaric." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Responding to the many synod questions
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, greets a family. BCC file photo.
Pope Francis has announced an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for October 2015 on topics related to the family and evangelization. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bishop gives Ash Wednesday dispensation

Locals celebrating the Year of the Sheep may fast and abstain another day
In this photo from 2007, children take part in the liturgy at Canadian Martyrs Parish in Richmond during Chinese New Year celebrations. BCC file photo.
The Lunar New Year and Ash Wednesday collide this year. The solemn first day of the Lenten fast will fall on Feb. 18, and according to the lunar calendar, the Year of the Sheep will begin Feb. 19. Many people celebrate the new year over several days. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Why a former altar girl changed her mind about boy-only servers
Pope Francis greets an altar server as he arrives for Mass with bishops, priests, religious, and seminarians at the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
When she was a young girl, Logan Crotty dreamed of becoming a Catholic priest. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Make poverty an election issue, group says
The All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus chaired by Senator Art Eggleton hosted a breakfast Feb. 3 at which the Dignity for All Campaign launched its national anti-poverty strategy. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The Dignity for All Campaign launched its national anti-poverty plan Feb. 3, urging politicians to make eliminating poverty a federal election issue. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Parishioner complaints led to unique 'bilingual' bells

Originally cast in France, tuneless peal was sent to England in 1906 for recasting and tuning
In 1914, Vancouver Archbishop Timothy Casey unveiled this board that marked "the first peal ever rung in the Dominion of Canada." Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
In 1900, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in B.C. lent the money for a chime of seven bells, also known as a peal or a ring of bells, to Holy Rosary Cathedral. The bells were bought from Paccard et Freres, a bell foundry in Annecy-Le-Vieux, Savoie, France. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Number of church-goers in Germany waning
Auxiliary Bishop Matthias Heinrich of Berlin makes remarks during a Jan. 13 vigil in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The vigil was organized by Muslim groups for the victims of the Jan. 7 shootings at the offices of newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Bishops are also speaking out against individuals trying to opt out of paying the church tax. CNS photo / Fabrizio Bensch, Reuters.
While numbers of church attendees dwindle in Germany, questions have arisen once again over the controversial state-imposed church tax, and whether it's time for the country's bishops to address concerns around it. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholic mom walks to Ottawa to raise autism awareness
Dee Gordon, a Catholic mother of three, walked to Ottawa from her home in Etobicoke North outside Toronto in the dead of winter to raise awareness of the autism crisis. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yes, Archbishop Romero was a martyr: Pope

Beatification process of Salvadoran prelate is underway
Devotees carry a banner of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador,
El Salvador, March 22, 2014. (Photo: Roberto Escobar, EPA / CNS)

An archbishop who was gunned down while celebrating Mass in San Salvador in 1980 has been declared a martyr. Pope Francis's announcement Feb. 3 ends the debate about whether Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed for religious or political reasons.
"For me, Romero is a man of God," the Holy Father has said. "The process must go ahead, and God must give his sign."
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the chief promoter of the sainthood cause, has suggested that the martyr could be beatified within a few months.

Society bonds under Holy Rosary's belfry

Dedicated change ringers perform at cathedral
Members of the Vancouver Society of Change Ringers gather in the Holy Rosary Cathedral ringing chamber. Clockwise: Alan Ellis, Pam Cooper, Valerie Belcher, Eve Munns, and Helen Leffelaar, during a Saturday morning practice. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
When the century-old bells are rung at Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouverites hear a close-knit society of people of various faiths hard at work. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

'Surrounded by children': Pope Francis's take on a thriving society
A young girl touches Pope Francis' face during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 11. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his general audience address Pope Francis said that children are gifts to parents and society, and that there is no future for a civilization which views them as merely an inconvenience. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Proposed policy of the physicians college opposed
Constitutional lawyer Gerry Chipeur, who acted as legal counsel for the Christian Legal Fellowship, said the CPSO and CPSS policies would not withstand a legal challenge. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Pro-family and pro-life groups are warning a proposed policy of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) will seriously infringe on physicians' conscience rights. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Carmelites balance prayer and missionary work

Statue of Pope Francis's new saint could be kicked out of U.S. capitol
A statue of Blessed Junipero Serra is seen in 2012 outside Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. CNS photo / Bob Mullen.
Just weeks after Pope Francis announced his intention to canonize missionary Father Junipero Serra during his upcoming visit to the United States, a California legislator has proposed replacing the soon-to-be-saint's statue in the U.S. Capitol. Critics of the move are beginning to speak out. For
full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Disappointment greets Supreme Court decision
Amy Hasbrouck, spokeswoman for the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and Toujours Vivant / Not Dead Yet expressed disappointment in the decision on physician assisted suicide. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Disappointment, sadness and calls to invoke the notwithstanding clause greeted the Supreme Court of Canada's Feb. 6 decision striking down laws against physician assisted suicide. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Two nuns from the Philippines help serve hundreds of meals at Downtown Eastside centre
Carmelite sisters in the Downtown Eastside say the largest trial they face is balancing prayer time with an often-exhausting mission. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Prohibition against physician-assisted suicide struck down

Prohibition against physician-assisted suicide struck down
John Peyton and his wife, Patricia, are surrounded by family members at their home in Seattle in July 2008. John, like Gloria Taylor, the subject of the Supreme Court's case, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, CNS photo / Mike Penney.
In a unanimous decision in Lee Carter et al. Feb. 6, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the criminal code provisions against physician assisted suicide (PAS). For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Father Darrin Gurr gives comprehensive lecture on stewardship at Star of the Sea
Father Joseph Nguyen, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, sits with his former parishioners at Our Lady of Mercy Parish at the Stewarding God's Gifts conference Jan. 24. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
A Winnipeg priest offered Catholics of the Vancouver archdiocese the key to changing the world with one word: stewardship. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tech-savvy Pope shares laughter, advice, with special-needs kids
Pope Francis video-chats with a Salvadoran student in the gang-infested neighbourhood of La Campanera, San Salvador, during his first Google Hangout in September. The Pope said all of society needs to help children and young people who are homeless, exploited, victims of violence, or without any prospects. CNS photo / Jose Cabezas, Reuters.
Pope Francis virtually joined seven young people with disabilities and special needs in his second Google Hangout as Pontiff, sharing jokes, advice, and encouragement. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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