Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Praying for Unity in Winnipeg

"We will all be changed by the victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ"

Archbishop James Weisgerber and the Archdiocese of Winnipeg opened the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan. 22 at Holy Ghost Church, welcoming church leaders representing a spectrum of Christians faiths and their faithful. The ecumenical worship service initiated the annual week-long, city-wide celebration.

See The B.C. Catholic for the complete story

U.S. facing same-sex issues

Same-sex marriage issue facing lawmakers, voters in several states

Alexander McKay of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property sings during a rally protesting Gov. Martin J. O'Malley's stand on same-sex marriage in Annapolis, Md., Jan. 30. O'Malley, a Catholic, is sponsoring legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

The same-sex marriage issue will be facing lawmakers and voters in several states this year.

Democratic-controlled legislatures in Washington state, Maryland and New Jersey are considering legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage, while Maine voters will vote on a same-sex marriage referendum in November.

Voters in North Carolina and Minnesota will consider constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In New Hampshire, the Republican-controlled legislature is gearing up to vote on a bill that could reverse that state's same-sex marriage law.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

In this week’s B.C. Catholic

Here’s what’s inside the January 30, 2012 edition of The B.C. Catholic Newspaper: 

The Grey Cup made a special visit to an Abbotsford parish

Mike Patin, Keynote speaker for the upcoming One Conference, told us he hops to cause "a good case of heartburn" for the Lord

How can young women feel beautiful while remaining pure and chaste? Find out by reading page 3

Pope Benedict XVI explains the importance of consecrated life from his Wednesday Audience

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB brings to light the horrifying realities of "the culture of death" in health care

Canadian Ukrainian Catholics gear up for their synod by celebrating the 100 year anniversary of their first Blessed Eparch

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is profiled in Edmonton

And "spiritual adoption" is among the pro-life messages from the massive March for Life demonstration in Washington D.C.

To subscribe to The B.C. Catholic newspaper (hard copy) for 1 year, the cost is $40 in Canada, $55 in the USA, and $70 overseas. Prices include GST.

Many parishes in the Archdiocese of Vancouver offer The B.C. Catholic free of charge to their parishioners. Check with your parish office and ask whether complementary subscriptions are provided.

Modesty equals self worth says Marcoux

The true nature of beauty and self-respect is enhanced by modest dress.

Young women attend Carmen Marcoux's presentation on modesty.

Mothers and daughters enjoyed a semi-formal afternoon tea with noted Catholic author and speaker Carmen Marcoux at St. Ann's Parish in Abbotsford Sunday, Jan. 15. It was the kick-off of the Modesty for Christ program.

Nearly 70 women and teenage girls gathered in the parish lounge to hear Marcoux discuss modesty and courting.

"You want to be pretty and feminine and beautiful; you don't want to be provocative and sexy," explained Marcoux, a home-schooling mother of nine and grandmother of one from Saskatoon.

"For women, modesty has so much to do with their own value of themselves. It is how they present themselves to the world, the charity they show to guys in dressing modestly, and the dignity that they sense in themselves."

See The B.C. Catholic for the full story.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Holy unification in Edmonton

Edmonton Christians unite during Week of Prayer
Combined choirs formed the United Voices of Edmonton at the city's Jan. 22 service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Chris Miller CCN

Nothing that we do in love is ever wasted.

That was the central message of the Rev. Dr. Catherine MacLean, from St. Paul's United Church, when reflecting on the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held this year Jan. 18 to 25.

"Rev. Larry Kochendorfer (an Evangelical Lutheran) reminded us that one of the things we have in common as Christians is our anxiety," said the Rev. MacLean. "It is an acknowledgement of what we all feel, the fear that we have for our churches and ourselves. It brings us humility to acknowledge that we feel anxiety."

See The B.C. Catholic for the whole story.

Fires of faith keep burning

It's easy to lose site of the passionate spark our Catholic belief inspires
Mike Patin

Faith without passion is faith in danger of dying, says Mike Patin, keynote speaker for Archdiocesan Conference One which kicks off at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre Feb. 17 and 18.

The Louisiana native said he hopes in his talk, "A Good Case of Heartburn," to inspire conference-goers "to become as passionately enthusiastic about their faith as Jesus's disciples were when they encountered Him on the road to Emmaus."

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.
Catholic voters urged to press US government to rescind HHS mandate

It will be up to Catholic voters to convince the federal government to rescind a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to go forward with a mandate that all health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization free of charge, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia greets Dominican Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 26 after she was installed as the new president of Aquinas College during a Mass of investiture. 
"Bishops can't tell politicians what to do, but Catholic voters can," the Philadelphia archbishop said during a visit to Nashville. Political leaders respond to pressure from citizens, he added, and Catholics ought to demand respect for religious values.

Archbishop Chaput joined fellow bishops in urging Catholics in the pew to be more politically active.

"The very principle of religious freedom, the first freedom in the Bill of Rights, is at stake here," he said. "That's a lot to be at stake. Once it's lost, you don't get it back."

The archbishop celebrated a Mass of investiture at Nashville's Cathedral of the Incarnation Jan. 26 for Dominican Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith as the new president of Aquinas College, which is owned and operated by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation. At the Mass, she was formally installed in the post she has held since last summer.

See The B.C. Catholic for more information.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Papers have 'press'-ing needs

Yes it is that time of year again, your parish needs money for media. The B.C. Catholic Newspaper is proudly supplied to your local parish as a resource for B.C's Catholic faithful. I have written an article (to appear in the Jan. 30th edition) that explains our efforts to enhance the paper, and the importance of Catholic media as valuable resource for evangelism:

Catholic media have always played an important role for the Church.

"Catholic media can contribute to the continuing formation of people, especially with Catholic schools shrinking," said the late U.S. Cardinal John Patrick Foley, the godfather of Catholic media in North America. "We need something to replace what has been this most important influence in our lives and in our faith."

Read more at The B.C. Catholic.
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Sisters and Government combat human trafficking

 Loretto Sisters to host trafficking conference
Sister Teresa, later to become Mother Teresa of Calcutta in India, is pictured as a member of the Sisters of Loretto. Her work with the Loretto sisters in India centered on teaching and visiting the sick and elderly. She remained with the order until sh e founded the Missionaries of Charity. CNS photo courtesy Missionar ies of Charity) (Sept. 18, 2003)
Michael Swan of the Catholic Register previews an upcoming conference to fight human trafficking in Canada:

For 400 years Loretto Sisters have been working to raise the dignity of women. It started with girls’ schools in 17th-century England, but now the Sisters want to take on criminals who sell girls into sexual slavery.

Read more at the B.C. Catholic website.
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'Corruption' charges downplayed

Vatican downplays charges of financial 'corruption'

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, at Mass in Washington Jan. 22.

 Insisting on the Holy See's continuing commitment to transparency and rectitude in economic affairs, the Vatican's spokesman downplayed references to "corruption" in a letter apparently sent to Pope Benedict XVI by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a Vatican official who is now apostolic nuncio to the United States.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Website profiles First Nation and Catholic history

Bishops launch webpage on native people

Phil Fontaine, National Chief of Assembly of First Nations, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 29
(CNS photo Emanuela De Meo, Catholic Press Photo) (April 29, 2009)

CCN's Deborah Gyapong profiles the newest chapter between Native Canadians and the Church: 

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched a new webpage on its cccb.ca site that traces the relationship between the Catholic Church in Canada and indigenous peoples.

It begins with demographic data, revealing Canada's more than 1,172,000 indigenous peoples speak 50 traditional languages and represent about 3.8 per cent of the population. More than half live in major cities, and approximately 25 per cent identify as Catholic.

See full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Counsel of prayer

Faith & spirituality matter in professional counselling
Sometimes people question the role that faith and spirituality play in professional counselling. Does faith make a difference? Yes, it does, indeed!

After working at Catholic Family Services for 15 years as a professional counsellor and counselling coordinator, I can honestly state that we offer our clients not only a truly professional counselling service, but also something more.

See full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Teens' joy is evidence

Youths' joy is 'greatest evidence' Jesus rose from dead, priest says

Members of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg, Md., pray during a pro-life youth rally at the Verizon Center in Washington Jan. 23. Thousands of young people gathered at two Washington arenas to rally and pray before taking part in the annual March for Life.

A Washington pastor told 17,000 exuberant teenagers and young adults gathered at a pro-life rally and Mass in the Verizon Center Jan. 23 that he wondered if they knew "what an encouragement you are."

"I am so glad for your joy ... your joy is the greatest evidence Jesus rose from the dead," Msgr. Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Parish, said in his homily.

See full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Third Party reaches for Catholics

Liberal convention shows vitality, desire to rebuild
Former Prime Minister Jean Cretien.
Raised Catholic, the 10 year leader
is a defender of a woman's choice.

CCN's eye on Ottawa Deborah Gyapong uncovers what Catholics can expect from rebuilding Liberals:

Dan McTeague, one of about a dozen staunchly pro-life Liberals who lost their seats in the May 2011 federal election, is hoping for the revitalization of the once powerful Liberal Party.

One of more than 3,100 delegates at the Liberal biennial convention in Ottawa Jan. 13-15, McTeague said he hoped the party would be able to reach out to all Canadians, including the Catholic and ethnic voters who were once pillars of party support.

See The B.C. Catholic for more information.
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St. Paul shows the way to unification

Holy Father's homily uses the great missionary apostle as a guide for Christian unity

Pope Benedict XVI looked to the Apostles' most talented administrator as an example of Christian unification. The Holy Father's homily, from the Basilica of St. Paul, called upon separated Christians to be "changed by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord" (cf. 1 Cor 15.51-58)."

The Pope said that St. Paul's "extraordinary" transformation to Christ was not something the Apostle did by any human means, but the will God.

"It is first and foremost by the grace of God who has acted according to his inscrutable ways," the Pope said. "Moreover, considering carefully the story of St. Paul, we understand how the transformation he experienced in his life is not limited to an ethical level - such as conversion from immorality to morality - or the intellectual level - such as a change in our way of understanding reality - but it is rather a radical renewal of our being, similar in many respects to a rebirth."

The Pope spoke in front of an audience that included representatives from several Christian Denominations, who were gathered to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The Holy Father called upon all Christians to be "reborn" in unity and put aside divisions.

"While experiencing these days the painful situation of our divisions, we Christians can and must look to the future with hope, because Christ's victory means to overcome everything that keeps us from sharing the fullness of life with Him and with others. The resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms that the goodness of God overcomes evil, love overcomes death. He accompanies us in the fight against the destructive power of sin that harms humanity and all of God’s creation. The presence of the risen Christ calls all Christians to act together for the common good. United in Christ, we are called to share his mission, which is to bring hope to the places where there is injustice, hatred and despair. Our divisions diminish our witness to Christ. The goal of full unity, which we await with active hope and for which we pray with confidence, it is a secondary victory but important for the good of the human family."
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Local parish serves up the Lord

Maple Ridge 'Discovering Christ' over dinner
Special to The B.C. Catholic Participants suggested discussion time be prolonged in future sessions, but they didn't say no to the meals prepared by parish volunteers.
In a Special to The B.C. Catholic, Pat Byrne Casey tells of Maple Ridge's evangelistic efforts:

St. Luke's Parish in Maple Ridge recently invited 8,200 people - give or take a few thousand - to dinner, and then planned to do the same again starting Jan. 16.

That number, says a media release from their office, represents the one-fifth of the local population who are lapsed Catholics.

"Those of us who live our faith take great comfort in it," said Vernon Robertson, a parishioner and the organizer of the event, a "full meal deal" entitled "Discovering Christ."

See The B.C. Catholic for more information.
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Helping parishes "in everything they do"

The changes, Luttrell said, involve the offices under the umbrella of faith formation. These include Catechetics (formerly known as Religious Education) under Pat Gillespie, Evangelization headed by Kyle Neilson, Service and Justice under Evelyn Vollet, Catholic Family Services directed by Pavel Reid, and Youth and Young Adult Ministry directed by Clayton Imoo.
"The key to understanding our role is that we are there to assist the parishes in everything they do," Luttrell explained.

See The B.C. Catholic for more information.

Communicating using silence

Silence is key ingredient to meaningful communication, Pope says

Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, assists Pope Benedict XVI with the new Vatican news portal on an iPad at the Vatican June 28. The information portal at www.news.va aggregates the Vatican's various media into a one-stop site for all things papal.

Amid the deluge of information and nonstop chatter in today's media, the Church needs to help people find safe havens of silence, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Far from being the enemy of calm and quiet, social media and the Internet can lead people to virtual sanctuaries that offer silent reflection, thoughtful dialogue, and true meaning in life, he said.

Read full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Patron Saint of the Media

St. Francis de Sales had no idea how he created the monster known as the press

St. Francis de Sales, the gentleman saint and ...Image via Wikipedia
There was no Internet, newspapers, heck the printing press was just becoming a force in communication. However, St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was still able to make an impact CNN would blush thinking about.

Today is the feast of the beloved saint, and for that The Busy Catholic pays tribute to a figure who was loved by the masses (pardon the pun.) St. Francis, credited as the patron saint of the media.

He was loved by the people for speaking truthfully, naturally, and from the heart. He was translatable to audiences by communicating on their terms. St. Francis also did this by letters, reforming heresies, and writing Doctrine in a practical way.

Ironically Pope Benedict XVI used today to speak of silence in regards mass communication. Using St. Francis' feast day for his thoughts on World Communications Day (May 20th.) While St. Francis was a catalyst for journalistic communication, the Pope said silence "enables us to exercise proper discernment in the face of the surcharge of stimuli and data that we receive."

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Archdiocese celebrates diversity

Mass highlights plight of migrants in Canada
Mexico was well represented at World Day of Migrants and Refugees Mass at St. Helen's Parish Jan 15
Mexico was well represented at World Day of Migrants and Refugees Mass at St. Helen's Parish Jan 15
By Nathan Rumohr
Special to The B.C. Catholic

A week of awareness of the spiritual needs and dignity of migrants and refugees culminated Jan. 15 at St. Helen's Church in Burnaby with Mass celebrated by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB. It was part of the 98th annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The archbishop pointed out the need to welcome migrants, refugees, and new immigrants, as many from those groups can feel displaced in B.C.'s secularized society.

"Migrants who know Christ are in danger of being persuaded to consider Him no longer relevant," the archbishop said in his homily. "They could leave behind (in their homeland) their practice of their faith."

Read more here. 
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Bringing life to Embarcadero

Annual San Francisco walk draws tens of thousands of pro-life activists

A crowd of people, many holding pro-life signs and slogans, makes its way down a San Francisco street during the annual Walk for Life West Coast Jan. 21.
Tens of thousands of pro-life activists massed in front of San Francisco's City Hall and then filled the city's main thoroughfare Jan. 21, walking about two miles down Market Street to the Embarcadero.

Banging drums, praying and chanting "We are pro-life," the enthusiastic throngs stopped traffic for more than a mile in a peaceful walk that took about an hour.  An hour before the opening prayer at Civic Center, signs jutted above a sea of people: "Defend Life," "Men Regret Lost Fatherhood," "California Nurses for Ethical Standards" and "Thank God You Were Not Aborted."

Read full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Blasting for peace

World Religion Day observed in Regina

Representatives from 12 faith traditions gathered in Regina's Beth Jacob Synagogue Jan. 15, each to pray in their own language for peace, brotherhood, understanding and tolerance in recognition of World Religion Day.

World Religion Day was established in 1960 by the U.S. Baha'i community and has since spread around the world. The Regina Multifaith Forum each year organizes the event and Beth Jacob each year agrees to host it.

Aarti Goyal of the Hindu Community signals the start of World Religion Day observances with a long blast on the Sankh, a conch shell used in traditional Hindu ceremonies.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

100 years of Ukrainian bishops in Canada

Ukrainian Catholics mark centenary of first bishop’s arrival in Canada

Archbishop Lawrence Huculak (centre) with London Bishop Ronald Fabbro and Saint-Paul Bishop Luc Bouchard at the CCCB in 2008 after they had participated in the Synod on the Word of God in Rome earlier that fall

This year the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada marks the 100th anniversary of the arrival of her first bishop, Blessed Nyktyta Budka.

The anniversary will be marked with events that are historically significant in themselves, said Winnipeg Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop Lawrence Huculak in an interview Jan. 20. 

In September, Canada will host the annual Synod of Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in Winnipeg Sept. 9-16, gathering bishops from around the world.

Check out the full story at The B.C. Catholic

A hard fought pro-life victory

After many prayers and actions abortion clinic in Rockford Illinois shuts its doors

Image via Wikipedia
In 1978 Turner School was turned from a quaint Victorian structure in the heart of a small American town to a place death. However, after more than 20 years the school turned abortion mill has closed its doors.

The Northern Illinois Women’s Centre helped reduce the population of the town of Rockford and much of the state, was shut down due to health-facility violations. This was after years of lobbying for an inspection by pro-life activists.

The clinic founder Dr. Richard Ragsdale, who was once arrested on child pornography charges, was able to win a court settlement with the state of Illinois for lighter surgical standards for abortion clinics.

“Why it took so long boggles the mind,” said Rockford resident Patricia Bainbridge, chairwoman of the board of Human Life International and former director of the Diocese of Rockford’s Respect Life Office. “Why the state seems to protect these abortion mills and the media give them a pass is shocking. But I’m so thankful for all the people who were at that place, day after day, for years, praying and offering practical help for those women.”

The battle between the clinic and activists was fierce. Not only was the clinic protected by local media, the buildings owner Wayne Webster went out of his way to taunt the activists. When the clinic celebrated its 50 thousand abortion, Webster stuck a taunting sign in the window that read: “NIWC 50,000 JC 50.” Webster even went as far as dressing up in a devil costume and taunted protesters going as far to suggest picketer’s wives should receive free coat hangers.

Patience and prayer was what pro-life activists believe turned the tide. Rockford Bishop Thomas Doran gave permission to recite the prayer of infestation (exorcism not directed toward any individual) outside the clinic.

With the powers of prayer and persistence, business at the abortion mill went down and for now it will not reopen.
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No dysfunction in Holy Family

The group of three inspires strong families

Father M. Rosica, CSB
Last year a reporter from one of Canada's national newspapers thought it would be a good idea to write a funny story about the "dysfunctional family" of Jesus. He made the assumption that an unwed pregnant mother engaged to an older man and on the run from the law was the "model dysfunctional family."

But when Salt and Light TV's Father Thomas M. Rosica, CSB, was contacted for a quote, he gave the reporter a lesson on why the Holy Family was not dysfunctional, but rather the model for the ideal Catholic family.

Read more here.
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