Friday, August 28, 2015

Historian speaks out against assisted suicide

Winnipeg-born Kevin Yuill says death does not happen in a vacuum, warns about dangers of legalization
U.K. historian Kevin Yuill, who faced a friend's suicide in his teens, is now a vocal opponent of helping people take their lives. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Are Vatican officials involved in the Ashley Madison leak? Nope.
Cardinals pray the Lord's Prayer during Mass. It appears none of them have any link to the Ashley Madison website. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
A leak of personal data from millions of users of Ashley Madison, a website designed to arrange extramarital affairs, wreaked havoc on and off the Internet. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Homosexual parade rerouted to pass St. Patrick's Basilica
St. Patrick's Basilica Pastor Bosco Wong asks John Pacheco and others intending to pray the rosary with their backs to the homosexual parade to come inside rather than find themselves involved in a confrontation. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
A rerouting of Ottawa's homosexual parade Aug. 23 took marchers past the front of St. Patrick's Basilica, prompting some Catholics to mount a protest. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Seminar to study Gospel of St. John

Father Jim Nisbet to lecture at Holy Trinity Church
A local seminar by Father Jim Nisbet, a retired diocesan priest from California, will assist lay Catholics to better understand the Gospel according to St. John. The Centre for Catholic Bible Studies will host the three-day seminar Sept. 11-13 at Holy Trinity Church in North Vancouver.  For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

'Teach your children to pray!' Pope tells parents
Pope Francis holds a sports ball that was given to him as he arrives for his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square Aug. 26. CNS photo / Ettore Ferrari, EPA.
Pope Francis continued his weekly catecheses on the family Aug. 26, stressing the importance of teaching children how to show love for God through prayer. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Program helps train aboriginal pastoral leaders
John "Cle-Alls" Kelly and his wife Darlene Gilson, representing Kateri Native Ministries, with Tom Dearhouse (right) of the Kahnawake Mohawk Reserve, who was among 24 graduates of the Indigenous Pastoral Ministry Leadership Program. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The Indigenous Pastoral Ministry Leadership Program offered certificates to 24 graduates Aug. 20, after preparing them for Catholic pastoral ministry among aboriginal peoples. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

TWU law school is in court this week

Court studies decision to refuse accreditation
Proposed law school at TWU.

Lawyers are presenting arguments right now about whether or not the Law Society of British Columbia was right in refusing accreditation to Trinity Western University's law school.
"A court ruling against TWU's freedom of association would undermine the freedom of association of every other group in Canada as well," said John Carpay, lawyer and president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which is arguing for TWU to open a law school.

"For a free society to remain free, its citizens must accept that other people can and do have radically different conceptions of reality, including unpopular ideas about sexuality."
The university has recently faced much criticism due to a statement in its Community Covenant, which asks students to abstain from sex outside of marriage while they study there.

The week-long hearings, set Aug. 24 to Aug. 28, are held at the courthouse at 800 Smithe Street in Vancouver.

God's love casts out fear: speaker

Josephine Lombardi urges CWL members to act with courage
Jenny Shaw (second from right), past president of the Vancouver diocesan council, listens to speeches. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A St. Augustine's Seminary professor challenged an audience of more than 900 to dig deeper into their personal and public lives. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Tens of thousands protest at Planned Parenthood clinics across U.S.A.
Amy Borges holds her son as she speaks during an Aug. 6 protest in San Antonio on a sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood clinic that performs abortions. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Hundreds of demonstrations were held outside Planned Parenthood clinics across the U.S. Aug. 21 and 22, with protesters calling on the federal government to stop funding the abortion giant. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholic bishops issue federal election guide
A nun marks her ballot. CNS photo / Kacper Pempel, Reuters.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued an election guide for the Oct. 19 federal election. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Christians in the Middle East faced with dire situation

"Is this the end of Christianity?"
A statue destroyed by ISIS last summer in a 13th-century church in Telskuf, Iraq. (Photo Credit: Peter van Agtmael/Magnum)
Violence against Christians in the Middle East has been escalating, with no end in sight. An article on the deafening silence of the international community on this issue was published July 26 in The New York Times Magazine.
The article reported that extremist groups "are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in sight."In the article, which was featured on the magazine's cover, author Eliza Griswold reported that, "according to a Pew study, Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history."
The Knights of Columbus will expand its efforts to raise funds and foster awareness of the terrible suffering of Christians and others in the Middle East. A commercial raising awareness can be viewed here, and donations can be made online here. 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the programs in the field, as the Order will absorb all administrative costs.

Council creates Catholic guide to Election

Federal election prompts guide to moral voting
Little Sisters of the Poor voting in 1976 (Photo Credit: LA Times)
Canadian Catholics are called to their responsibility as citizens to exercise their right to vote, but in this day and age it is hard to realize who to vote for. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has issued a guide inviting Catholics to vote with discernment.
The purpose of the political community is the common good. What is the common good? It is "the sum of those conditions of... social life whereby people, families and associations more adequately and readily may attain their own perfection."
The guide can be found here on the CCCB's website. The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace and the Canadian Council of Churches have also released election guides.

Thousands gather at Mission grotto

Pilgrims trek to Marian shrine
The Blessed Sacrament and a statue of Mary are carried up the hill as thousands of pilgrims make their way to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.  Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Thousands of pilgrims prayed the rosary on the hills of Fraser Valley Heritage Park during the annual pilgrimage in Mission. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Islamic State destroys ancient Catholic monastery in Syria
A young Syrian refugee girl cries after arriving at the Turkish-border city of Sanliurfa in June. CNS photo / Sedat Suna, EPA.
Islamic State militants have bulldozed Mar Elian Monastery, an ancient structure located just outside a Syrian town captured by the group earlier this month. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Anti-euthanasia group warns of bias in 'assisted death' consultation
Toronto constitutional lawyer and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition legal counsel Hugh Scher at the Supreme Court of Canada during arguments in the Carter case in October 2014. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) says a new provincial/territorial expert panel now consulting on "assisted dying" is "premature" and potentially biased. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Vancouver hosts CWL national convention

More than 900 members from across the country attend
Catholic Women's League national president Barbara Dowding (second from left) leaves St. Francis Xavier Church after Mass with first Vice President Anne Gorman (right) and past national presidents Lorette Noble (left) and Velma Harasen. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
St. Francis Xavier Church was filled to the rafters at the opening ceremony of the Catholic Women's League's 95th annual convention. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Africans counter Obama's 'ideological colonization'
U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he arrives to deliver remarks at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 28. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters / CNS.
U.S. president Barack Obama has come under fire from African politicians and Church leaders after advocating for gay rights in Kenya, a practice Pope Francis has referred to as "ideological colonization." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Steubenville rocks Toronto
Downtown Toronto witnessed more than 1,600 youth in prayer and celebration at the second annual Steubenville Toronto conference. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Students serve in Northwest Territories

Second annual trip strengthens ties with native communities
Participants in Corpus Christi College's Service Learning Trip celebrate after painting the exterior of Sacred Heart Church in Wrigley, 846 km northwest of Yellowknife. Photo submitted to BCC.
In June a group of Corpus Christi College students and faculty travelled to the Northwest Territories as part of the second annual mission of friendship and encounter with local native groups. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Remarriage after divorce contradicts sacrament: Pope Francis
A man makes a selfie as Pope Francis blesses a pilgrim during his weekly audience in Paul VI Hall. CNS photo / Remo Casilli, Reuters.

Echoing his predecessors on the need to care for divorced and remarried persons, Pope Francis said Christians should help these persons integrate into the community rather than treating them as though they are excommunicated. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Harper renews pledge to support religious freedom
Pope Francis meets with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a private audience in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican June 11. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Prime Minister Harper has announced continued support for religious freedom, promising $9 million to help persecuted religious minorities. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sisters pack up after 12 years in northern parish

Bishop Mark Hagemoen thanks retiring pair for the deep impression they made on the diocese
Sister Joan Liss (left) and Sister Pauline Girodat (second from right) say goodbye to parishioners in Fort Good Hope during a spring retreat. "If they had any need of any sort, they knew we were there for them," said Sister Liss. Photo submitted.
Bishop Mark Hagemoen praised two sisters for their great efforts in serving an isolated community in Canada's far north. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Tolerating prostitution called dangerous
Romanian prostitutes pose in a brothel in Schoenefeld, Germany, in this 2009 file photo. CNS photo / Hannibal Hanschke, Reuters.
In a controversial new policy move, global human rights organization Amnesty International has announced that they support the worldwide decriminalization of consensual prostitution and sex work. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Lack of Christian unity harms Gospel witness, says priest
Father Dmitri Sala.
In order to win the world for Jesus Christ, Christians must overcome divisions among themselves, Franciscan priest Father Dmitri Sala told the Fire and Fusion Conference in Ottawa Aug. 6. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Solemn High Mass for saint's Feast

An older form of Mass will be celebrated at the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vancouver
The insides of Holy Rosary Cathedral. (Photo Credit: Tyler Huston)













A Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will occur at Holy Rosary Cathedral this August. 
"An extraordinary form of the Roman Rite" is used in a document issued by Pope Benedict XVI's to describe the older liturgy of the 1962 Roman Missal, also referred to as the Tridentine Mass. 
The main celebrant will be Father William Ashley, and he will celebrate the Feast of St. Augustine. The Mass will be celebrated Aug. 28 7:30-9:30 p.m. For more information, email carlwolkenstein@telus.net or call 604-264-1210.















Salt mine church exposes Poland's Catholic roots

Guides tell the story of St. Kinga, a Hungarian princess who became the patron saint of mines
St. Kinga's Chapel is 101 metres below ground level. Its altars house relics of St. Kinga, the patron saint of salt miners, and St. John Paul II, who visited the mine before he became Pope. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Signs of Catholic faith are everywhere in Poland. Go shopping in the busy capital, Warszawa, and you'll see nuns at the train station. Climb the Tatra Mountains and you'll take in the view next to a looming black cross. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Shortages in Venezuela include a shortage of Hosts
Hosts are pictured next to a donation box marked with Japanese lettering that indicates it is for earthquake-tsunami disaster relief March 13 at the Catholic church in Nasu, Japan. CNS photo / Junko Ito, Catholic Weekly.
Venezuela's ongoing economic crisis has hit the Church in a unique way: the production of hosts fell 60 per cent during the past month, affecting three states in the South American country. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Iraqi Christians still need massive help
Caliphate soldiers, members of a group linked to Islamic State militants, are shown in a video they posted on the Internet, Sept. 22, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of Herve Gourdel of Nice, France. The group carried out its threat to kill Gourdel. CNS photo / Reuters via Reuters TV.
August 6 marked the first anniversary of the Islamic State's invasion of Iraq that forced more than 120,000 Iraqi Christians to flee ancient homelands with little except their clothes. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Catholic folk musicians to rock cathedral

Band of two to create echoing voices of praise

Joanna Grennan and Emma Fradd carrying shoes and a drum. (Photo Credit: Interior Castle)
Emma Fradd and Joanna Grennan, who perform under the band name Interior Castle, will be playing in the Holy Rosary Cathedral's Hall.
Interior Castle’s Jo & Emma produce an engaging mix of harmonious guitar with warm vocals delivering careful, deliberate poetry of a pleasingly infectious quality. This Australian and English duo met in Canada in 2013 and were instantly excited by their complimentary writing styles and the sounds they created. 
The duo are devout Catholics who show their faith in the lyrics of the very music they create. With three singles under their belt, the women perform with a mixture of alt-folk and indie rock. Canadian folk artist, Sarah Farthing, will feature in the concert.

The concert is on Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m. Admission is by donation, and a reception and social will follow the performance.

New state deputy shines spotlight on minorities

Arcie Lim, who joined Knights in 1981, is first Filipino to take charge of B.C. and Yukon operations
Arcie Lim officially took office as state deputy June 5. He said he hopes to continue to promote the Knights' successful projects and urge young adult men to join the organization. Photo submitted.
Local Knights of Columbus have elected their first Filipino state deputy. Arcie Lim, who officially took office June 5, is the first Knight from the Philippines to lead the organization's B.C. and Yukon branches. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

The pill might be ruining your life
A Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive box is seen in New York in this file photo. CNS photo / Shannon Stapleton, Reuters.
Depleted nutrient absorption. Long-term alterations in brain activity and ability to interact with the world. Changes in choice of mate. If a commonly prescribed drug has these side effects, should it really be commonly prescribed? For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Advocacy groups publish federal election guides
A nun fills out her ballot before casting her vote in the first round of the presidential election at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland. CNS photo / Kacper Pempel, Reuters.
With the federal election underway, advocacy groups have published election guides to help voters decide who should get their vote on Oct. 19. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Salesian sisters break bread in Surrey

Aspirant Joyce Bermejo shares why she wants to become part of the order
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, also known as Salesian sisters, gather with novices and aspirants. Photo submitted to The B.C. Catholic.
The Salesian sisters are a youthful congregation, said aspirant Joyce Bermejo. The young woman from Surrey learned this when she started her formation with the sisters 10 months ago in Cornwall, Ont. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

In U.K., assisted suicide vote looms
Lord Carey of Clifton, England, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury 1991-2002, preaches during a service of Christian unity in the Anglican cathedral in Chester in 2013. Lord Carey said he would dissent from the Church of England's teaching against assisted suicide and vote for a bill scheduled to be debated in the British Parliament. CNS photo / Simon Caldwell.
Amid strong Christian opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide in the U.K., former Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has broken away. He took part in a video for a group backing assisted suicide and claims that it is "profoundly Christian" to help people end their lives. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Pro-life groups condemn abortion drug approval
Rebekah Chaveste, who had successful RU-486 reversal after taking the pill at a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Francisco, plays with her son, Zechariah, in early March. Chaveste took advantage of a recently developed medical protocol that has enabled m ore than half the women who used it to stop the chemical abortions caused by the drug RU-486. Zechariah was born as a result. CNS photo / courtesy Rebekah Chaveste.
Pro-life groups and at least one pro-life Member of Parliament have condemned Health Canada's July 29 approval of abortion drug RU-486, or mifepristone. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Group of singing priests coming to Vancouver

Filipino clergy performers to tour local churches

The Cebu Clergy Performing Artists. (Photo credit:

A group of singing priests will be in town to perform in anticipation of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress 2016.
The Cebu Daily news said that "these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style." They were praised by the paper for their "well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills."
Cebu Daily News mentions that “these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style.” In another article, they were praised for their “well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills.” - See more at: http://asianjournal.com/news/saulog-an-evening-with-the-cebu-clergy-performing-artists/#sthash.vt8dV523.dpuf
Cebu Daily News mentions that “these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style.” In another article, they were praised for their “well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills.” - See more at: http://asianjournal.com/news/saulog-an-evening-with-the-cebu-clergy-performing-artists/#sthash.vt8dV523.dpuf
Cebu Daily News mentions that “these singing priests have already performed in several places and have gained popularity with their hilarious acts and comic singing style.” In another article, they were praised for their “well-blended voices and terpsichorean skills.” - See more at: http://asianjournal.com/news/saulog-an-evening-with-the-cebu-clergy-performing-artists/#sthash.vt8dV523.dpuf
With performances under their belt in Texas, Arizona and California, they will visit various churches in Vancouver. The group consists of Father Jun Gutierrez, Father Kipling Agravante, Father Zacharyy Zacarias, and Father Rudy Iballe MSC.

All proceeds will go to help renovate the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos, in Mabolo. Concerts will be between Aug. 14-17 at 7 p.m. and will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Surrey, St. Patrick's Parish in Vancouver, St. Monica's Parish in Richmond, and Our Lady of Mercy, Burnaby.

Tickets are $15. Visit here for tickets and dates.

Advocates slam officials for not arresting johns

Anti-prostitution groups worry police are not enforcing a law that came into effect in December
Gwendoline Allison (at podium), Suzanne Jay (left), Trisha Baptie, and Keira Smith-Tague say those who buy sex are going unpunished despite a new law. They spoke July 8 for a handful of organizations that help women exit prostitution. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Anti-prostitution activists are accusing local police of not making any arrests, despite a new law that criminalized buying sex seven months ago. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope meets with mayors on 'Modern Slavery'
Pope Francis signs a declaration on climate change and human trafficking during a workshop attended by mayors from around the world in the synod hall at the Vatican July 21. Paul Haring / CNS.
Pope Francis urged mayors from big cities to direct their efforts towards care for the environment and the fight against human trafficking. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Marriage should focus on service, theologian says
Ted Sri. Thandiwe Konguavi, Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
It's no coincidence that when Jesus performed His first miracle He did it in the context of a wedding. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nuns don't want to sell convent to Katy Perry

Sisters in Los Angeles say it would 'violate our canonical vows'
Pop star Katy Perry. (Photo credit: Time)
A convent with a view over Hollywood is up for sale, but the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary are refusing to sell it to Katy Perry.
“In selling to Katy Perry, we feel we are being forced to violate our canonical vows to the Catholic Church,” Sister Catherine Rose Holzman wrote to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
They would rather sell it to another interested buyer: Dana Hollister. The problem? The Archdiocese of Los Angeles wants to sell it to Katy Perry and says the sisters don't have the right to decide. Enter a legal battle.

In other Los Angeles news, Father Robert Barron has been appointed an auxiliary bishop for that archdiocese.
"It was with enormous surprise that I received word of my appointment as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, but it is with a humble and joyful heart that I accept it. The Church of Los Angeles - the most populous in the United States - is energetic, diverse, and creative," the Bishop-elect said.
Chicago-born Father Barron is well-known for his Catholicism DVD series and for founding Word on Fire. He and two other auxiliary bishops will likely be ordained in the fall.

L'Arche fundraiser turns to ball park

Softball tournament to help intellectually disabled
A large crowd gathers in Papillion, Neb., for a softball matchup dubbed the "I-80 Collar Series" between priests of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb., and the neighbouring Diocese of Lincoln, Neb. CNS photo / Susan Szalewski, Catholic Voice.
A local group that supports people with intellectual disabilities will be giving its all at an annual charity softball tournament. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Heroic virtue of Ukrainian bishop recognized
Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who led the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the tumultuous period of both world wars and at the beginning of Soviet occupation, has been declared "venerable" by Pope Francis. Metropolitan Sheptytsky is pictured in an undated portrait. (CNS)
Pope Francis authorized a decree recognizing the heroic virtue of Archbishop Andrey Sheptytsky, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 1900 to 1944, who personally protected dozens of Jews from Nazi occupiers during World War II. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Archbishop proclaims Gospel of mercy
Archbishop Richard Smith. Ramon Gonzalez, Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
Catholic Social Services serves as an island of mercy in what is often a vast ocean of cruelty and indifference, said the Archbishop of Edmonton. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Catholics start new blood donor project

Vancouver archdiocese launches collaboration with Canadian Blood Services
Employees at the John Paul II Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Vancouver find out their blood types during a lunch and learn event by Canadian Blood Services June 22. Lisa Dwan / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Archdiocesan employees can support their community in a new way, thanks to a partnership with Canadian Blood Services. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope entrusts South America trip to Mary
A man shelters from the sun with an umbrella as Pope Francis leads the Angelus in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. CNS photo / Max Rossi, Reuters.
"To the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, whom the whole of Latin America venerates as patron by the title Our Lady of Guadalupe, I entrust the fruits of this unforgettable apostolic journey," Pope Francis said. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Knights replace deceased officer
Charles Russell. Photo contributed to Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
The state board of the Alberta Knights of Columbus has appointed a former salesman from Calgary head of the 18,000-member organization. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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