Monday, August 30, 2010

Children in Mass

Kids and Church: Another blessing is the title of this joyful piece on children at Mass that the Archdiocese of Toronto blog picked up on.

A homepage for faith

New site seeks New Evangelization

Two thousand years ago, the parable about the prodigal son (St. Luke 15:11-32) first popularized the image of someone returning home to regain fidelity with his father. The famous story is about the restoration of a believer into fellowship with the Lord.

And now a new website, Catholics Come Home, is seeking to do just the same, and more. The U.S. based group, Catholics Come Home, Inc., has started the site to answer JP2’s call for New Evangelization.

From their site:
Catholics Come Home, Inc. is an independent, non-profit Catholic apostolate that creates effective and compassionate media messages and broadcasts them nationally and internationally, in order to inspire, educate and evangelize inactive Catholics and others, and invite them to live a deeper faith in Jesus Christ, in accord with the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

The site provides information for three groups of people:

1.     I used to be Catholic – why should I come home?
2.     I’m not Catholic – I’m Protestant/Evangelical. I’m not religious.
3.     I’m Catholic – How to help/grow in faith

They even have an Answering Your Questions link that addresses most major questions one may have about Church teaching.

They also have a bunch of videos. By far the best one is Epic. There are also ones called Movie and Home as well as a welcome video.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Calgary pro-life students need financial support

I just received a message from Sean Murphy of the Catholic Civil Rights League. He relays a note from John Carpay, the lawyer representing the pro-life club at the University of Calgary. The Faith and Freedom Alliance is a society consisting of representatives from different Christian denominations in Canada and different Christian groups, including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Catholic Civil Rights League:

You should be aware that the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) is no longer providing legal representation to the Campus Pro-Life students at the University of Calgary, who are resisting the university’s censorship efforts.

Accordingly, the University of Calgary students have asked me to continue representing them.

I have agreed to do so, and am honoured by their request.

Fortunately, another registered charity, the Faith and Freedom Alliance, has decided to take on the University of Calgary students’ case by receiving donations to pay for continued legal representation for the students, and by providing official tax receipts to those who donate.

Those interested in donating money in support of campus free speech should make their cheque payable to “Faith and Freedom Alliance” and mail to the address here below.

John V. Carpay
Barrister and Solicitor
#253, 7620 Elbow Drive SW
Calgary, Alberta, T2V 1K2
Phone: (403) 619-8014
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Update from Chile

Chris Radziminski, former Service and Justice co-ordinator for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, reports from Chile, where 33 miners have been trapped underground for three weeks:

Hola from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. The mine is within the Diocese of Copiapó. The Bishop offered a Mass of thanksgiving for the safety of the miners, a story about which is posted on the diocesan website:

I was struck by how gentle and humble His Grace is.  At a random daily Mass I attended before the disaster, in the cathedral of Copiapó, His Grace presided.  His Grace's chair was in front of the altar, close to the first pews.  For the homily, His Grace brough the Lectionary in one arm as he walked down the middle aisle, referring to the readings, and never teaching in the style of "you", "you", "you", but rather very softly saying "you and me", "you and me", "you and me".

Here's another story which you may have already seen, where His Grace exhorts the mine's owners to remember their social responsibility:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Word on Fire set to burn through Vancouver

Popular Chicagoan theologian brings his Word on Fire ministry to Vancouver Oct. 23.
Fr. Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Fr. Robert Barron from the Archdiocese of Chicago is bringing his Word on Fire ministry to Vancouver. The pod-casting priest will be here Oct. 23 to give the keynote address at the Archdiocese of Vancouver's annual Congress. Congress will be held at St. Mary's Parish.

As a Catholic evangelist, Fr. Barron's Word on Fire ministry reaches millions of people through various broadcast sources each week including his website, broadcasts on the Eternal World Television Network, broadcasts on radio stations, through YouTube, and through DVD distribution.

The webcasts on his site, part of Word on Fire TV, cover a wide variety of topics all relevant to Catholicism and Christianity. Fr. Barron doesn't shy away from any topic either, commenting on such wide-ranging items as prayer and theology to pop culture and news items. (His chats on Mel Gibson, the BP oil leak, Anne Rice, the movie The Agora, media and evangelization, and renewal of theology are particularly interesting.)

Fr. Barron is also working on a documentary called The Catholicism Project, which he says will be "a vision of the Catholic faith...never seen before." The ten-part series is set to be completed this fall and will take viewers on a journey to every corner of the Catholic world.

From Word on Fire: The Catholicism Project "seeks to explore, through a global journey, the living culture of the Catholic Church. From the lands of the Bible, to the great shrines of Europe, to the shores and heartland of America, to the mysteries of Asia, to the rich landscapes of Latin America, to the beating heart of Africa - and beyond, witness the passion and glory of the faith that claims over a billion of the earth’s people as its own."

Keep watching The B.C. Catholic for more information on Fr. Barron, including a brief piece on Oct. 18 and a report on his chat in Vancouver on Nov. 1.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Keep Tamil refugees' dignity in mind: Archbishop Miller

Archbishop Miller has released a statement about the Tamil refugees. In the immigration debate that's now taking places he calls on the public to keep in mind the dignity of the men, women and children who have arrived here and not turn them into scapegoats in the process.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's déjà vu all over again at Empire Field

High school athletes will play games at historic field in 2010.

The Notre Dame Jugglers battle the Vancouver College Fighting Irish in their Annual Archbishops' Cup game last year at Vancouver College. Many 'Cup' matches were played at Empire Stadium over the years, including the first one in 1957.

History is repeating itself in B.C. high school football. On Sept. 10, high school athletes will once again play football at the Empire Stadium grounds when the St. Thomas More Knights and the Notre Dame Jugglers meet in BCHSFA action. Along with former B.C. Lions, many high school football players marched into Empire Stadium for games in years gone by.

Now called Empire Field, a temporary stadium has been built for use this season while B.C. Place gets a shiny new retractable roof. In addition to the Leos' CFL games, there will be a bunch of high school games played on the field throughout the 2010 high school season.

When Notre Dame and STM meet on Sept. 10 at 7:00 p.m., the game will be part of CTV's High School Game of the Week program. CTV will file live reports from the game and will also webcast the game on Keep checking back to The Busy Catholic for high school football news and scores.

Chile prays for its miners

Former Archdiocese of Vancouver staffer Chris Radziminski reports from Chile:

It is electric here in Chile, after the discovery two days ago that the 33 miners trapped 700m underground are all still alive, after 17 days. It has been incredible to witness the whole country praying, offering Masses, etc.

Days before the disaster, I happened to be at an 8 p.m. daily Mass in Copiapó and was particularly struck by His Grace's humility and gentleness. (The mine is within the Diocese of Copiapó). His Grace continues his involvement.

You would be incredibly hard-pressed to find anyone in Chile today who does not believe in miracles.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Marian conference coming to Surrey

B.C./Yukon Knights of Columbus and Redeemer Pacific College are co-sponsoring Mary, Mother of All Christians, and Her Son’s Message for the Americas, the first Canadian/Pacific Northwest appearance of Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, postulator for St. Juan Diego (visionary of Our Lady of Guadalupe). Appearing with Msgr. Chavez are noted Marian writer Mark Shea and scholars Dr. Brook Herbert and Dr. Christine Jones.

Together they will present discuss God’s intervention in the world through the co-operation of a woman who, though like us, was given a unique place in God’s plan of salvation.

The event is Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Chandos Pattision Auditorium. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased from Redeemer Pacific College or from Knights of Columbus Councils. Tickets can also be purchased online.

Ottawa matching Pakistan relief funds

The federal government announced Sunday that it will match all funds raised by registered Canadian charities for Pakistan flood relief. You can donate to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pilgrimage in Mission

The annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Mission took place yesterday. Here are images from the day, set to music.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Montreal Catholic paper on thin ice

In fact, it hasn't been a good year at all for Catholic newspapers in Canada. Montreal's Catholic Times has a questionable future as well. It has ceased monthly publication and may close next year because of funding cuts.

Death of a Canadian Catholic newspaper

It's a sad day for Canadian Catholic journalism. The Atlantic Catholic in Nova Scotia has published its final issue. Editor Brian Lazzuri writes a final letter to the readers here.

An editor moves on, but not away

After 13 very blessed years as editor of The B.C. Catholic, it's time for a new name on the masthead.

Starting Sept. 1, I'll be leaving as editor of the newspaper to take on the role of communications director for the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

It's a job I'm somewhat familiar with. For 11 years I wore two hats, looking after the newspaper as well as the communications portfolio.

When Archbishop Miller arrived he established a separate communications office independent of the newspaper and headed by Jeff Graham.

Jeff got the office off the ground two years ago, but he's now moved on to other endeavors, and the archbishop wants to use this opportunity to enhance the office's mandate. (Just to make it a dream job, I'll stay in contact with the newspaper by serving as its editorial adviser. I'll also continue writing for The B.C. Catholic, since every dream job has to include some writing!)

This newspaper has made great strides over the past 13 years, becoming one of North America's top diocesan publications. That's all due to the support of readers, clergy and bishops, the hard work of our staff, and the protection of our Mother Mary, to whom I entrusted this paper on Dec. 8, 1997, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. (Our Lady of Editors?)

A new managing editor will be named soon. Until then please say a prayer for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, that all of us who are so fortunate to live and work here will recall the words of the Second Vatican Council — that communications, at its most profound level, is "the giving of self in love."

The end of Catholic adoptions in England

Category:Roman Catholic dioceses in England an...Image via Wikipedia
Roman Catholic dioceses in England and Wales
Catholic observer and journalist John Allen may have called it right when he wrote recently that events taking place in the world  “both symbolize and advance the collapse of Catholicism as a culture-shaping majority in the West.”

He notes that many believe a “tipping point” has been reached in the West, in which “secular neutrality toward the church, especially in Europe, has shaded off into hostility and, sometimes, outright persecution.” 

If we're approaching the Catholic tipping point, surely the end of Catholic adoptions in England is part of the path there.

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An interview with Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Charles Lewis of the National Post chats with Cardinal Marc Ouellet about his new job and about the challenges the Church is facing worldwide.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family entertainment until Saturday

Vancouver's Theatre Under the Stars has some excellent family entertainment until Saturday, Aug. 21, reports Alan Charlton. Singin' in the Rain and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat are alternating until then.

A pro-lifer gets her day in court...again

The bizarre case of Linda Gibbons, the Toronto pro-lifer who has spent eight of the past 16 years in jail for protesting an abortion clinic injunction continues. Gibbons was in court Tuesday.

Bridging the gap between faith and works

Christopher Ruff
Twenty years ago, the disconnection between faith and works impelled Christopher Ruff, Director of the office of Ministries and Social Concerns for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, to develop a Discipleship Series which teaches Christians how to translate Gospel teachings into works of justice and mercy.

At the invitation of the Vancouver Archdiocesan Office of Religious Education, Ruff will introduce his Discipleship Series to Vancouver Catholics on Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall, 2881 Main Street. See the details here.

Calling all adult catechists!

St. Pat's SecondaryImage via Wikipedia
The Archdiocese of Vancouver Office of Religious Education is teaming up with the Archdiocesan Youth Ministry Office to offer a variety of programs Aug. 28 to enrich adult Catholics in their faith formation and prepare those embarking on lay ministry in the Church. Get all the details here.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pakistan on World Humanitarian Day

Location of Pakistan, including all areas cont...Image via Wikipedia
The CBC's Mark Kelley has an intriguing report on why flood relief to Pakistan is so minimal compared to other places, such as Haiti.

It can probably be explained a number of ways, including donor fatigue, the fact that it's a Muslim country on the other side of the world, etc. But in short, Pakistan needs help.

Here's a fund-raising update from CCODP, timed for Aug. 19, World Humanitarian Day. is getting an update

Posthumous Recognition and Cause for Canonisat...Image via Wikipedia
The Vatican website will be getting an update, and just in time, says Britain's Catholic Herald.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cardinal Ouellet bids farewell to Canada

Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (province of Quebec), S...Image via Wikipedia

Cardinal Marc Ouellet affirmed his unqualified commitment to the Gospel as he bid farewell to the Quebec archdiocese Aug. 15. Deborah Gyapong reports from the shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre in Quebec.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Our Lady travels Chile, and a Vancouverite reports

From Chris Radziminski, former director of Service and Justice for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, currently in Chile:
Here's evangelization in Chile for you ... they're onto something here.

The image of the Virgen del Carmen (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) was blessed in Rome by Pope Benedict, and is on a 9-month tour to each diocese, visiting prisons, hospitals, schools, etc. 

I happened to be in Arica, Chile, yesterday when the Virgen del Carmen arrived by fishing boat with a Naval escort.  Here are some pictures.

Today I saw the Virgen del Carmen in a Popemobile type vehicle, racing down the other side of the road with a full police escort.

Cheers & all the best,

Living with Dignity launches English language website

Living with Dignity, a newly formed grassroots group in Quebec committed to preventing euthanasia, has launched the English version if its website: (which complements the existing French site:

Linda Couture, director of Living with Dignity says in an email:
Our rapid growth shows how strong the grassroots opposition is to medicalized killing in Quebec. We want to thank everyone who has taken time to give us their support so far. Now we need to keep growing to tell the Charest government that Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not acceptable options for Quebec health care.
Quebecers and those from outside Quebec are urged to support Living with Dignity by signing the "Manifesto for a natural and dignified end-of-life and promotion of quality health care in Quebec" found here. It spells out the need for action against euthanasia, assisted suicide and extraordinary medical intervention.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some Catholic students back to school

Some Catholic students in Edmonton are already back to school. Their schools are taking part in year-round schooling after parents overwhelmingly approved the pilot project.

CCODP sending aid to Pakistan flood victims

Church organizations such as the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace are stepping up flood relief efforts in Pakistan. To make an online donation visit our website.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Youth Ministry Seminars

The Youth Ministry Office is putting the final touches on its two summer youth training events. Both YouthLeader and Searching in the Spirit are shaping up to be great events. There are also Youth Ministry Seminars coming up. Check out all the details here.

North Vancouver woman professes with Sisters of Life

We recently blogged about Sr. Antoniana Maria of the Trinity of the Sisters of Life, formerly known as Athena Macapagal from St. Edmund's Parish in North Vancouver. She made her final vows Aug. 6.  professing with the Sisters of Life in Stamford, Connecticut, and here's the local newspaper's excellent account.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"A dimly lit democracy"

In Holy Post, the National Post's religion blog, Rikki Ratliff asks: "For how can a democracy properly function when its masses make blind assumptions about the laws surrounding its moral framework?"

Ratliff writes in response to the latest Angus Reid Public Opinion poll that two thirds of Canadians are ignorant of the fact that "in Canada a woman can request an abortion at any time during her pregnancy, with no restrictions whatsover."

According to Ratliff, Canadians have avoided pursuing the truth, the information needed to make informed decisions about our country's most important issues. 

Read full article here.

Not all Catholics like long Canadian census form

Canadian Federal Government's revenue sources ...Image via Wikipedia
Canada’s Catholic bishops have joined the chorus urging the federal government to reconsider its plan to abolish the mandatory long-form census, but not all Catholics agree, reports Deborah Gyapong.

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Euthanasia in Quebec -- death does not take a holiday

Drapeau du Québec - Québec flagImage by abdallahh via Flickr
While most people are on vacation, Quebec's National Assembly is trying to push a euthanasia bill. So much for public debate, say Ramona Coelho and Daniel Cere.

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Canada's non-existent abortion law

One man protestImage by GlacierTim via Flickr
Most Canadians haven't got a clue that Canada's current abortion state is wide open. And here's a link to the Angus Reid poll that discovered the non-surprising information.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

50,000 altar servers meet with Pope Benedict

Altar servers help bring Jesus to others, according to Pope Benedict XVI during a meeting with more than 50,000 altar servers in Rome. Altar boys and girls filled St. Peter's Square as part of a pilgrimage organized by Coetus Internationalis Ministrantium (CIM), an international organization of altar servers.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Saints' relics coming to Vancouver

St. John Bosco
St. John Vianney

This fall will be a perfect time to go relic hunting in Vancouver.

Relics of two of the Church’s most beloved saints – St. John Bosco and St. John Vianney – will make once-in-a-lifetime appearances in the Archdiocese of Vancouver in October.

The relics of St. John Vianney – the Curé of Ars – are tentatively scheduled to be in the archdiocese from October 1 to 8 and will likely be at Holy Rosary Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in Mission during that week. Further details will be made available when they become available.

Coincidentally, relics of Don Bosco will be at Our Lady of Good Counsel church in Surrey Oct.  9 and 10. Archbishop J. Michael Miller will celebrate Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel Oct. 9 in conjunction with the Bosco visit.

For full story, please visit The B.C. Catholic website.

The reality of same-sex attraction

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...Image via Wikipedia
Last week was "pride weekend" in Vancouver, as the mainstream media couldn't stop reporting. If you've had enough with seeing the gay pride parade presented as a lovely, family-friendly event, you might want to check out a more realistic view of homosexuality from a Christian perspective. These informative and inspiring talks come from Love Won Out, a Christian ministry reaching out to people with same-sex attraction, to their parents, spouses, relatives, family and friends. Keep in mind it’s not Theology of the Body. It had its origins with our evangelical friends at Focus on the Family, which means it’s morally sound, but if you come across any nuances that don’t sound Catholic, that’s probably why. Meanwhile, if you'd like to check out the Catholic equivalent, Courage is a pro-chastity group for those with same-sex attraction. It has a sister organization Encourage, for friends and families.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sister of Life

Sr. Antoniana Maria of the Trinity seen here
with Analyn Perez of the Youth Ministry Office (2006)
Sr. Antoniana Maria of the Trinity of the Sisters of Life, formerly known as Athena Macapagal from St. Edmund's Parish, will be making her Final Vows on August 6th. She will be professing with the Sisters of Life in Stamford, Connecticut. The final vows can be viewed via streaming off of the St. John of the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church website in Stamford. Fr. James Hughes and Fr. Tom Rosica will be attending the profession of vows.

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