Monday, April 30, 2012

Major fundraiser commences in Vancouver

Project Advance offers opportunity to trust Christ, says Archbishop Miller


Construction takes place at St. Patrick's Parish during the Project Advance commencement Mass April 21.
Here is a story by a writer for The B.C. Catholic newspaper about the 2012 campaign for the major fundraiser, after Sunday offerings in parish churches, for the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, hopes Lower Mainland Catholics will joyfully share their time, talent, and treasure during the 2012 Project Advance campaign.

The archbishop used the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 as an example of how the faithful should give their treasure. The Gospel according to St. John says Jesus fed a large crowd with a boy's humble offering of five barley loaves and two fish.


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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Palliative brush-up

Above and beyond care will be instructed at a pastoral care training workshop
Father William Ashley, pastor of Sts. Joachim and Ann Parish in Aldergrove, and a former chaplain at Vancouver General Hospital, will be a speaker at the Catholic Health Association training workshop for pastoral care volunteers. BCC file photo.
Alistair Burns talked to Father William Ashley, a former chaplain at Vancouver General Hospital, about the importance of pastoral care:
The Catholic Health Association of B.C. (CHABC) is reaching out by offering a training workshop for the next generation of pastoral care volunteers. These people will provide a ministry of care and counselling to people of all faiths, especially seniors and the dying.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

It pays to be literal

Celebrating in different languages, Pope sees translation troubles


Catholic News Service has a story about Pope Benedict's view on rendering text in another language.

Pope Benedict XVI told the German bishops that, as Pope, he has celebrated Mass in different languages and "sometimes it is hard to find common ground" in the various translations. "The underlying common text often remains visible only from afar," he told the bishops, who were preparing to send their revised Mass translation to the printers.

In a letter dated April 14 and posted on the German bishops' website April 24, Pope Benedict said that, over the years, it has become "increasingly clear" to him that not translating liturgical texts literally creates difficulties. He was aiming specifically at the translation of the phrase "pro multis" in the Eucharistic Prayer.


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

Government pays tribute to former Ukrainian Catholic leader

Metropolitan Sheptytsky spoke courageously spoke against violence against Jews during WWII
Religious leaders from Ukraine leave the House of Commons via the Peace Tower entrance April 24. They were part of a delegation that visited Parliament Hill as part of a ceremony to recognize the work of Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has a story from CCN's Ottawa watchdog Deborah Gyapong, profiling a historic parliament motion for a beloved Ukrainian Catholic leader: 
As religious leaders from Ukraine sat in the gallery, on Apr. 24 the House of Commons passed unanimously a motion honoring Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-1944) for his courageous efforts to save Jews during the Nazi occupation.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s motion said Sheptytsky, who headed the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 1900 until his death in 1944, courageously spoke out against violence against Jews and sheltered and saved the lives of more than 160, many of them children.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Personhood debate may force a change

Parliament engages issue at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time

The first steps towards recognizing the life of the unborn in Canada might be taken today, April 26, as parliament debates the definition of a person. The B.C. Catholic's editor Malin Jordan shared this opinion in a recent Op-Ed:
It's hard to believe 43 years have passed since the so-called Omnibus Bill (Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69) was pushed through Parliament. Among other things the bill legalized contraception and abortion. For the last 40 years, despite many attempts to turn back the clock on a bill that ushered in the Culture of Death, efforts of pro-lifers have been mostly without success.

Often framing the issue as an attack on women's rights, an unsympathetic political jet set has feared losing votes over setting any limits on abortion.

Stephen Harper is the most recent example of this, but he is not alone. Successive prime ministers, beginning with Brian Mulroney in 1988, have ignored Justice Bertha Wilson's reasons in the 1988 R. v Morgentaler decision, in which she led the Supreme Court, that effectively legalized abortion. In that ruling she left the judgment of abortion limits to "the informed judgment of the legislature."
Read the full commentary at The B.C. Catholic website.

Acting priest showcases the life of St. Damien

Father Evanko performs one-man show about selflessness
Father Edward Evanko. BCC file photo.
Yesterday, April 25, Alistair Burns previewed Father Edward Evanko's upcoming performance about Blessed Nykyta Budka. Today on The B.C. Catholic website, I preview Father Evanko's upcoming one man show about St. Damien:
St. Damien of Molokai contracted leprosy after serving a leper colony on that Hawaiian island. A former actor, now a Catholic priest, is going to pay homage to the saint once again with his one-man show.

Ukrainian Catholic priest Father Edward Evanko will perform Damien at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Agassiz May 10.

Father Evanko, who's performed the play worldwide, thought he was out of show business for good after his ordination in 2005, but an act of charity pulled him back in.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Arizona versus Obama

U.S. Supreme Court considers whether state or federal government have authority over immigration law
Maria Uribe of Arizona prays the rosary outside the Supreme Court building in Washington April 25 as the court prepared to hear arguments in a case challenging Arizona's tough immigration law. Nancy Phelan Wiechec / CNS
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Patricia Zapor of Catholic News Service, about a legal battle between the U.S. Federal Government and the state of Arizona over immigration:
Arizona's attempt to manage its population of undocumented immigrants by stepping into enforcement of federal laws led the Supreme Court April 25 to try to parse where the lines lie between state and federal authority.

During oral arguments in the case Arizona v. United States, questions from the justices focused largely on sections of the 2010 law that require law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration status of anyone they stop for any reason if the officer suspects the person might not be in the country legally.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Ukrainian major archbishop remembered for heroism

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky heralded as a model of sacrificial love
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, spoke glowingly about his predecessor Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky at Saint Paul University's Sheptytsky Institute, Apr. 25. Deborah Gyapong / CCN
The B.C. Catholic has a story from CCN's Ottawa bureau chief, Deborah Gyapong, which shows the admiration Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk has for his predecessor Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky:
The primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, described his predecessor Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky as a model of sacrificial love that every generation needs to discover.

Archbishop Shevchuk visited Canada Apr. 24-26 as part of a delegation of religious leaders representing all the major religious faiths in Ukraine. He spoke at a Symposium Apr. 25 at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies honoring Metropolitan Sheptytsky’s legacy during World War II on the theme “Ethical Action in Extreme Conditions.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Canadians must stand against worldwide persecution says Jewish leader

Rabbi hosts event on Christian persecution
Rabbi Reuven Bulka, host of Standing Together Against Persecution of Christians, and keynote speaker Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.  Deborah Gyapong/CCN.
Unfortunately Jews and Christians share more than the Old Testament, they're also the most persecuted in the world. The B.C. Catholic has a story from CCN's eye on Ottawa, Deborah Gyapong, which details conference about the persecution of religious peoples around the world:
Canadians must stand together to stop a growing Christian persecution around the world said religious and political leaders at an event hosted by a prominent Jewish leader.

“There is a crescendo of attacks on the Christian community the world over,” said author and broadcaster Rabbi Reuven Bulka, who hosted the “Standing Together Against Persecution of Christians” at his Congregation Machzikei Hadas that featured keynotes by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Holy Soccer

Girls' Catholic Cup returns to Port Coquitlam

The Archbishop Carney Stars hope to raise the 2012 Catholic Cup in victory. They've had three consecutive years of second-place heartache. Last year St. Thomas More shot down the Stars in the final. Joel Ditson / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Alistair Burns previews the 2012 Catholic Cup April 25-27 in Port Coquitlam:
The best of B.C. will be crowned this weekend at Archbishop Carney Regional High School when Catholic high school soccer teams from B.C. gather for the Senior Girls' Catholic Cup.

A championship cup and bragging rights are at stake for the eight Catholic teams participating April 25-27 in Port Coquitlam.

St. Thomas More, last year's champions, will be defending their title against host Archbishop Carney as well as Holy Cross, Immaculata, Little Flower Academy, Notre Dame, St. Patrick, and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Acting priest raises curtain on new show

Father Edward Evanko to celebrate history of first Ukrainian Canadian Bishop

He's played Father Damien of Molokai in the past. Now, Father Evanko, a former Hollywood actor, returns to New Westminster on May 6 at Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral (501 4th Ave). The performance is called "Blessed Nykyta", which celebrates the life of Bishop Budka, first in a line of Ukrainian bishops in this country.

The curtain rises at 1:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are as follows: adults, $15.00; youth under 19, $5.00 and twelve and under are admitted free of charge.  Call Joyce at 604-944-1971 for tickets.

Not the first time for women religious

Latin American religious recall tough decisions, emphasis on dialogue


Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland, Ore., and Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle concelebrate Mass in Rome April 23.
The decision to take over leadership of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest U.S. group of Catholic nuns, for its "serious doctrinal problems" is not the first time the Vatican has reined in a group of religious. The Vatican has appointed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to provide "guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of the conference.

Two decades ago, the Vatican appointed a bishop to oversee the work of the Latin American Confederation of Religious, known by its Spanish acronym as CLAR. At the time, the confederation represented 160,000 men and women religious in the region.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Obama-Hitler link claimed

Peoria bishop's Hitler, Stalin references in homily stir controversy




An Illinois bishop's mention of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin in an April 14 homily calling Catholics to "heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism" in the face of current threats to religious liberty in the United States has stirred widespread controversy.

After listing several governments throughout history that "have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches," Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky said President Barack Obama "now seems intent on following a similar path."

He warned that Catholic schools, hospitals, and Newman centres "could easily be shut down" rather than comply with the government's mandate that most health plans cover the cost of contraception, sterilization, and some drugs that can induce abortion.

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

Emotions run high at TRC

Truth and Reconciliation Commission


Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria presents his statement to the Truth and Reconciliation commissioners and witnesses at the TRC regional event in Victoria.
OMI brother apologizes for abuse but says not all involved were guilty of wrongdoing

Former students from Indian residential schools were emotional when they shared their experiences at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's regional event in Victoria April 13-14. The emotion they expressed was anger when Brother Tom Cavanaugh, OMI, a former teacher at a residential school, spoke about some of the positive influences the schools had on native communities.

"What I experienced over the six years at Christie Residential School was a staff of native and non-native adults working together to provide as much as possible a safe, loving environment for the children attending Christie School," he said to a chorus of boos and profane language. Justice Murray Sinclair, chairman of the TRC, had to interject and ask the crowd to respect all parties telling their stories.

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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jewish Shroud scholar insists burial cloth documents Christ's Passion

Barrie Schwortz, who began studying the Shroud of Turin in 1978, sharply defends its authenticity
Barrie Schwortz visited Immaculate Conception Parish in Delta as part of the traveling exhibit called Man of the Shroud. He's been studying the Shroud of Turin since 1978.
B.C. Catholic contributor Rosette Correa interviews Shroud of Turin researcher Barrie Schwortz, who  believes the famous cloth is an authentic document of Christ's Passion: 
Rosette Correa: What prompted you to join the shroud research team in 1978?
 

Barrie Schwortz: The unique properties of the shroud's image. Because I was Jewish, I was very hesitant to take on this subject matter; I didn't feel very comfortable getting involved. In the end, the properties of the image were truly unique, ultimately convincing me to get involved. The rest, as they say, is history. 
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Cardinal Collins calls it a 'spiritual year' with the institution of new seminary formation program

Prospective priests will go through a series of retreats and a 'media fast' from email, computers, and Ipads
Cardinal Thomas Collins talks with local media April 13 during his two-day visit to Edmonton. Chris Miller/Western Catholic Reporter/CCN
The B.C. Catholic has another story about Cardinal Collins and the enthusiasm he has about the seminary formation program in Toronto. The Western Catholic Reporter dishes the details:
Cardinal Thomas Collins is excited about his new program for men about to enter Toronto’s St. Augustine Seminary.


He calls it “a spiritual year” in which prospective priests go through a series of retreats, read the Bible cover to cover, work with the poor and are immersed in different forms of Catholic culture, such as music and art.


Then there is the “media fast.” No email, no newspapers or magazines, no Internet, Ipads, television or other “potentially addictive media.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Religious liberty, 1,700 years later

Idea can be dated to Emperor Constantine on Milvian Bridge

Gian Lorenzo Bernini's statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine in the portico of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
For Vatican historians, the roots of a Christian idea of religious liberty go way back: in fact, back 1,700 years to the Emperor Constantine's victory on Rome's Milvian Bridge and to his conversion.

At a Vatican conference in late April marking the anniversary, the head of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences said Constantine's victory in 312 under the sign of the cross was "the foundation of a new world" marked by religious freedom for Christians and separation of church and state.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

She shoots, she scores! Catholic girls' cup returns

2012 tournament to kick-off April 25

Eight Catholic high-school teams will lace up their cleats to vie for the B.C. Catholic senior girls soccer championship, from April 25 to 27.

St. Thomas More, Notre Dame, Little Flower Academy and St. Pat's are in Pool A; the host Carney Stars, Holy Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas and Immaculata are in Pool B.

The official tournament schedule.

After two days of robin-robin play at Town Centre Field in Coquitlam (260 Pinetree Way), the championship round is at Archbishop Carney (1335 Dominion Ave., Pt. Coquitlam). The final is on April 27 at 1 p.m.

Vatican releases a 21st century news feed

Free 'widget' contains content from Holy See website 

Catholic News Service
reports that the Vatican has released a "Holy news feed" program:
Marking the seventh anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican is offering a "widget" -- a software application -- that will allow anyone with a website or blog to provide readers with automatically updated news and documents from the Vatican.

The Vatican's Internet Office announced April 19 that the widget is available free from the Vatican's website: www.vatican.va.

When installed, the widget opens a small rectangular window with four tabs; clicking on one provides the latest news from the Vatican, the pope's Sunday Angelus or "Regina Coeli" address, recent speeches and the Vatican press office's daily news bulletin.

The Vatican said the widget should help make the content of its website more widely known and is another opportunity to use new technology "to spread the word of the Holy Father."
I think St. Paul would be proud.

World Youth Day 'rejoices' in the Lord at Archbishop Carney

Hundreds of high school students from across Lower Mainland will gather for fellowship & prayer
Young Catholics praise the Lord at the Archdiocese of Vancouver's local version of World Youth Day. This year's event will be held May 4 and 5 at Archbishop Carney Secondary school in Port Coquitlam. Special to The B.C. Catholic
Jeremy Keong, youth ministry coordinator at Christ the Redeemer Parish in West Vancouver, penned (probably typed) an article for The B.C. Catholic about this year's WYD plans for the archdiocese.

Inspired by the theme of the 27th World Youth Day, this year's archdicean Youth Day for teenagers is based on Phillippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say: rejoice!"

St. Paul repeats his instruction immediately, as if he is assuming the people in Philippi weren't paying attention the first time. It's that important. And he had a point. Sometimes we forget how amazing our God is, even during this season of Easter!

We are not to rejoice aimlessly, but to rejoice in the Lord; to be intimately connected to Who He is. Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes St. Paul's quickly repeated instruction when he says that we celebrate Easter "because now, thanks to the risen Lord, it is definitively established that reason is stronger than unreason, truth stronger than lies, love stronger than death."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Cardinal comes home to Edmonton

City welcomes back former archbishop
Cardinal Thomas Collins incenses the Paschal Candle during an April 14 Evening Prayer service at St. Joseph’s Basilica in Edmonton. Glen Argan/WCR/CCN
The B.C. Catholic has coverage of Cardinal Thomas Collins homecoming trip to Edmonton. Canada's newest cardinal served "the city of champions" as archbishop in the past. The Western Catholic Reporter's Chris Miller has the story from the Alberta capital:
With many others, Louise Coates stood in a long line April 13 to shake the hand of Canada’s newest cardinal.

Hearing Cardinal Thomas Collins’ homily during Mass at St. Joseph’s Basilica, seeing his warm smile and his red berretta were highlights of the evening for her.

She has always admired Collins’ modest manner and sense of humour.

“There is something very special about seeing an old friend after a long absence,” said Coates. “I’m glad he’s come back to visit us.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Vatican investigates Church teaching of U.S. women's religious coalition

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cites doctrinal problems with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Women religious and others attend a 40th anniversary event for Network, the national Catholic social justice lobby, April 14 at Trinity University in Washington. The Vatican's doctrinal congregation has called into question the relationship between the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and Network. Nancy Phelan Wiechec/CNS Photo
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Catholic News Service's Francis X. Rocca about some major disagreements on Church teaching between the Vatican and U.S. women religious:
Citing "serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life," the Vatican announced a major reform of an association of women's religious congregations in the U.S. to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle will provide "review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Vatican announced April 18. The archbishop will be assisted by Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., and draw on the advice of fellow bishops, women religious and other experts.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

The National Catholic Register also has a story that details some of the disagreements between both parties:
The Vatican called for reform amid a doctrinal “crisis” within the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), appointing Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to lead renewal efforts.

The appointment was made as the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith revealed the findings of its multi-year doctrinal assessment of the women’s conference, which has more than 1,500 members throughout the country.

The assessment document explained, “It is clear that greater emphasis needs to be placed both on the relationship of the LCWR with the Conference of Bishops, and on the need to provide a sound doctrinal foundation in the faith of the Church.”
Read the full article here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Former First Nations chief apologizes for blaming all Catholics for residential school abuse

Phil Fontaine adopts Archbishop James Weisgerber as a brother in reconciliation ceremony
Archbishop James Weisgerber (centre), and his adopted brothers Tobasonakwut Kinew, Bert Fontaine, Phil Fontaine and Fred Kelly dance around the Thunderbird House after the ceremony. Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press

Former Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine realized that not all Catholics are painted with the same brush.

He told the Winnipeg Free Press, April 25, that it was only a select few Catholics that caused him harm while in a residential school. 
"I tarred everyone with the same brush — I was wrong, simply wrong," former Assembly of First Nations national chief Fontaine told a gathering of reconciliation at Thunderbird House. "I apologize. I say that from my heart."
Fontaine, brother Bert Fontaine, and elders Fred Kelly and Tobasonakwut Kinew made Archbishop James Weisgerber, Archdiocese of Winnipeg, their brother as part of a traditional ceromony of reconciliation.
"I’m honoured to be here — this is an historic event," said Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, who served as witness to the adoption.
Fontaine has been critical of the Church in regards to his dark experiences while attending residential schools. He said that his public reaction over the schools overshadowed the work done by good people.
"My words have also hurt a lot of people, my bitterness, my anger. I was indiscriminate in my words."

Sacred Heart to hold special Mass for ecology patroness

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha to be canonized this October
Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be declared Blessed, will be honoured with a special Mass this April 22, from 11:00am-12:30pm at Sacred Heart Parish (525 Campbell Ave., Vancouver). A lunch reception follows at Sacred Spirit Centre (the adjoining school). All are welcome.

Kateri (1656-1680) was a Catholic covert. After an outbreak of smallpox in New York state, she was partially blinded. By eighteen, she defied elders in her village and was baptized by a Jesuit missionary. Her baptism name, Kateri, is a translation of 'Catherine' into the Mohawk language.

While not formally educated, she became a teacher who tried to bring the Catholic religion to her people. Unfortunately, the smallpox that ravaged her as a child led to an early death at 24 years old.

However, her face was miraculously healed immediately after death, witnessed by many who kept a bedside vigil. Beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II; her canonization is scheduled for October 21, 2012.
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Vancouver College grad lines up NFL career?

Brody McKnight hopes to land a job as a professional place-kicker
Former University of Montana Grizzlies' kicker Brody McKnight is carried off the field by his teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal against Portland State. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The NFL draft, April 26-28, could have some Vancouver content if place-kicker Brody McKnight is picked. I recently talked to the Vancouver College alum about his football plans and how his faith drives him in everything that he does:
The last time a Vancouver College alumnus played in the NFL was in 1948. Now, 64 years later, local kicking phenom Brody McKnight hopes he'll be the first VC grad to follow in Ed Ryan's cleats. (Ryan played offensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers.)

Already taken in the first round of the CFL draft by the Montreal Alouettes, McKnight hopes an NFL team will draft him when their event is held April 26-28.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

The Anglicans commune with Roman Catholics

'Body of Christ is more unified,' says Ottawa archbishop
Father Francis Donnelly, CC (right), chants the Gospel while former Anglican Bishop Carl Reid holds the book. Deborah Gyapong/CCN
The B.C. Catholic has Canadian Catholic News reporter Deborah Gyapong's coverage of the Anglican reception Mass for Victoria and Ottawa:
Bishops in Ottawa and Victoria received two groups from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) into the Roman Catholic Church Apr. 15, including two former ACCC bishops and about a half dozen clergy.

“Today, the Body of Christ is a little more healed, a little more unified,” Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast told more than 700 people who packed St. Patrick’s Basilica. “Today, after half a millennium, separated brethren are separated no more! We are brethren, rejoicing at the same banquet table! Hallelujah!”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.
  

War looms in Sudan

Catholics ask world leaders to help determine Sudan-South Sudan border

Young members of Christ the King Parish dance during an outdoor Mass in Malakal, Southern Sudan.
Saying civilian lives are at risk, Catholic leaders appealed to the international community to step up efforts to prevent full-scale war from erupting over disputed territory along the Sudan - South Sudan border.

Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Adwok Kur of Khartoum, Sudan, said in an email to Catholic News Service that tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, the world's newest nation, could be defused if the United Nations and the African Union would mediate the differences and attempt to determine the proper border between the two countries.

Dan Griffin, Sudan adviser for the U.S. bishops' Catholic Relief Services, told CNS April 17 that fears are very real that a "looming disaster" exists and that the current border conflict could give rise to a new war.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

March for Life expected to grow again

15th National protest likely to exceed last years 15,000 person attendance
Pro-life activists participate in B.C.'s March for Life rally, May 12, 2011. BCC file photo.
The B.C. Catholic has learned this year's National March for Life rally in Ottawa is expected to surpass last year's participation. Canadian Catholic News' Deborah Gyapong reports:
The 15th National March for Life here May 10 is expected to exceed last year’s record attendance of 15,000 people.

“We were absolutely delighted with the turnout last year and we’re looking forward to an even bigger turnout this year,” said Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) national organizer Mary Ellen Douglas.

CLC has organized the March to take place on the second Thursday in May to mark the anniversary of the 1969 Trudeau Omnibus Bill that decriminalized abortion and eventually led to Canada’s current lack of any laws restricting abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Former Pope to stage a return

Major exhibit of late Pope's artifacts will open in New Orleans in 2013

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond and Father Malcolm Neyland, a priest of the Diocese of Lubbock, Tex., announce the exhibit in New Orleans.
A major exhibit of the personal effects of Blessed John Paul II, titled "I Have Come to You Again," will open its three-city U.S. tour in the Archdiocese of New Orleans in February 2013, and the exhibit organizer who has handled four previous Vatican exhibits in the United States said he was bracing for record crowds.

Joining Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans April 13 to formally announce the exhibit was Father Malcolm Neyland, a priest of the Diocese of Lubbock, Tex., who also serves as director of the nonprofit National Exhibits Association.

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

Monday, April 16, 2012

Popular theologian awarded honourary degree at Oblate university

Father Ron Rolheiser tells St. Paul University Students about ten struggles affecting the Church


Father Ron Rolheiser and Saint Paul University Rector Chantal Beauvais proceed out of Academic Year Closing Ceremonies. SPU conferred an honorary doctorate on the popular author, theologian and columnist. Deborah Gyapong/CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has a story about an Oblate theologian receiving an honourary degree from St. Paul University. Canadian Catholic News' Deborah Gyapong reports:
If you dream your dream alone, you may make a splash but you will not make a real difference in peoples’ lives Father Ron Rolheiser told Saint Paul University (SPU) graduates Apr. 13 after receiving an honorary doctorate.

After accepting the award, the popular author, speaker and columnist told SPU graduates to dream in community if they want to make a real difference in peoples’ lives. He told the story of the founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Eugene de Mazenod, who dreamed of serving the poor.
Read the full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Pope celebrates birthday in Bavarian style

Holy Father's party held at apostolic palace
Children dressed in traditional Bavarian garb dance for Pope Benedict XVI during the pontiff's 85th birthday celebrations in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican April 16. Gregorio Borgia/CNS.
The B.C. Catholic has coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's 85th birthday from Catholic News Services' Carol Glatz. Not surprisingly the Holy Father found a way to fit in homily at his own party:
Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 85th birthday with guests who treated him to Bavarian "oompah" music and folk dancing in the apostolic palace.

Bavarian bishops, minister-president of Bavaria -- Horst Seehofer, and a 150-person regional government delegation visited the pope April 16 in the Vatican's Clementine Hall.

They were accompanied by a small Bavarian band, three female singers and 10 children who danced the skirt-swirling, shoe-stomping, thigh-slapping "Schuhplattler" before the pope.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.
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Fountain lights the way home

Event welcomes Catholics and non-Catholics


"How much do you know about yourselves? How much do you know about who you are? Where did you come from?" Bertha Tsui asked participants at the Chinese evangelization event "Home Coming."

The Fountain of Love and Life (FLL) ministry event, over a year in the planning, attracted an audience of more than 600 people, non-Catholics as well as Catholics, to the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby the afternoon of March 25.

More information about the FLL ministry and its work is available at www.FLL.cc.

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

St. Helen's celebrates 100 years

Parish to host anniversary gala
St. Helen's Parish, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has many special events planned. BCC file photo.
Looking for a fancy night out? Then head to the Croatian Cultural Centre Saturday for black and white tie gala hosted by St. Helen's Parish. Here's what you can expect:
St. Helen's Parish is planning a 100th anniversary celebration in gala style. The parish will host a black and white tie fundraising gala at the Croatian Cultural Centre April 14. It will be sponsored by the St. Helen's Centennial Committee and CUBE, a fundraising committee for the parish and school.

The gala will feature music by Allegro and Italian cuisine from Orlando Catering. There will also be live and silent auctions.
Read the full preview at The B.C. Catholic website.
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Clergy seek higher taxes — for themselves

Rabbi says people have to stop viewing taxes as a dirty word
www.sxc.hu
The B.C. Catholic has a story from the Catholic Register's Michael Swan about an Ontario Rabbi forming a group of interfaith leaders who want higher taxes:
The clergy have never been an outstanding revenue source for governments, yet some clergy are volunteering to pay more taxes.

Rabbi Stephen Wise of Shaarei-Beth El Congregation in Oakville, Ont., is forming Faith Leaders for Fair Taxation. Modeled after Doctors for Fair Taxation and Lawyers for Fair Taxation, Wise wants to provide a platform for all clergy to ask governments to increase taxes.

Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

American Catholics called to live in truth, justice, and the Christian way

U.S. faithful urged to resist unjust laws, join in 'fortnight for freedom'




The B.C. Catholic features an article that calls freedom loving Christian Americans to oppose unjust laws being fed to them. Catholic News Service reporter Nancy Frazier O'Brien reports from Washington:
American Catholics must resist unjust laws "as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith," a committee of the U.S. bishops said in a new statement on religious liberty.

Titled "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty," the 12-page statement by the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty also calls for "a fortnight for freedom" from June 21, the vigil of the feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, to July 4, U.S. Independence Day.
 Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Happy Birthday, dear Pope

As a man grows older: papal milestones prompt celebration, speculation

The Pope first used a wheeled platform, which the Vatican said was intended to reduce the physical toll on the Pope, Oct. 16. Pope Benedict will turn 85 April 16.
Pope John Paul II considered the question of resigning because of age. One of the people he discussed it with is now the Pope. Will this Pope resign or die in office?
Pope Benedict XVI's 85th birthday, April 16, and the seventh anniversary of his election, April 19, are obviously occasions for wishing the Pope well and reflecting on the events of his reign thus far. Inevitably, however, these milestones also prompt speculation about what Vatican officials and observers refer to diplomatically as "papal transition." 
Pope Benedict, after all, is already the sixth-oldest Pope since the 1400s, when records became available. It has been almost two years since he told a German interviewer, "My forces are diminishing" and that, when it comes to public appearances, "I wonder whether I can make it even from a purely physical point of view."
For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Ontario government official blasts bishops over same-sex attraction teaching

Debate over anti-homophobia bill riles up openly gay cabinet minister
Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities Glen Murray

The Ontario government has made another step over the religious freedom line. Life Site News reports that one of Premier Dalton McGuinty's chief cabinet ministers, Glen Murray, lashed out against Catholic bishops over the Catholic teaching on same-sex attraction.
“I have to say to the bishops: ‘You’re not allowed to do that anymore,’” said Murray, an open homosexual who serves as McGuinty’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, according to the Hansard transcript.
“I’m not allowed to say to the Catholics—nor should I—or to other Christians or Muslims or Jews, that because of your faith you’re intrinsically disordered,” he continued.

“I would never say to you that anything that goes on in your family with the person you love—can you imagine me describing a husband-and-wife relationship as inherently depraved?” he added.
The comments occured during a March 29 debate on Bill 13, Accepting Schools Act, which forces all public schools (including Catholic) in Ontario to start clubs for same-sex attracted students.

Later on in Murray's tirade, he said this wasn't an attack on Catholic schools, just a way to celebrate "diversity." 
“There’s no one here that’s suggesting that we shouldn’t teach a Catholic perspective in our schools.”

“It is about celebrating diversity. It isn’t about taking Catholic teaching out of Catholic schools,” he continued. “It’s about putting life-affirming, positive images and stories around gay and lesbian children, Muslim children, kids and women of all shapes.”
 
Of course opposition to the comments were fierce from pro-family activists. 
Suresh Dominic of Campaign Life Catholics said Murray’s comments “amount to a declaration of war against the Catholic Church and all people who support traditional moral values.” 
This attack against Catholic teaching is ironic under the watch of Priemerer McGuinty who describes himself as a Catholic.

Some of the comments to the Life Site News article called for McGuinty to be excommunicated.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Students make effective counselors

Peer counselling program fosters future leaders and inspires students to help other students
Grade 11 peer counsellors Dolton Anderson (left) and James Roy Catingub say their experience helping students at St. Patricks High School has matured them. Nathan Rumohr/The B.C. Catholic
Here's my latest article on The B.C. Catholic website about the progressive peer counseling program at St. Patrick's high school:
Sometimes the best advice for students comes from other students. That's the observation made by Virginia Eckert, counselling department head at St. Patrick Regional Secondary School.

The lead faculty member of the St. Patrick's peer counselling program had no idea that a program designed to help at risk youth would help the entire student body.

"The whole program is energized by compassionate listening that characterizes how we see Christ," Eckert said. "This is how kids see the peer counsellors."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Nun called on the carpet

Benedictine nun who as young actress starred with Elvis returns to film



On Hollywood's red carpet Feb. 26, the night of the 84th Academy Awards presentations, actress Michelle Williams was wearing Louis Vuitton. Cameron Diaz was wearing Victoria Beckham. Black-habited Mother Dolores Hart, prioress of the Abbey of Regina Laudis, told reporters she was wearing the seventh-century Benedictine St. Telchilde.


If you watched the event on television, you might have caught a glimpse of Mother Dolores standing incongruously on the red carpet wearing the habit of St. Telchilde, or Theodichildis, first abbess of the Benedictine Jouarre Abbey in Seine-et-Marne, France.

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

Students 'Thinkfast' in Saskatchewan

Fasting event raises awareness about issues affecting global south
Students from St. Joseph Catholic High School in Saskatoon line up to register for the 25-hour Thinkfast event held at the Cathedral of the Holy Family March 22-23. Kiply Lukan Yaworski / Prairie Messenger/CCN
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Praire Messenger reporter Kiply Lukan Yaworski about a group of students fasting to raise awareness about the global south:
Students took a page from tradition, from saints, and from historical figures such as Gandhi as they joined in fasting, prayer, and study of social justice concerns.

The Thinkfast event, held March 22-23 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, was envisioned by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Anglicans are coming

Two bishops lead their flock home on Divine Mercy Sunday
The shield of the Anglican Church of Canada. Two bishops from the Anglican Catholic Church
of Canada will lead their clergy and people into the Catholic Church.
Canadian Catholic News' Deborah Gyapong details the latest Anglicans, from Victoria and Ottawa, set to enter the Catholic Church on April 15. Here's the latest B.C. Catholic article:
On Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15, two bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) will lead their clergy and people into the Catholic Church.

The two are Bishop Peter Wilkinson from Victoria and Bishop Carl Reid from Ottawa.

Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, of Ottawa will receive the groups at special Masses and afterwards provide spiritual oversight and priests for the new Catholics until their priests are ordained and their parishes can join the American Ordinariate.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.
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Starr shoots off to retirment

Founder of Talitha Koum retires after transforming many lives
Starr Peardon (centre) is prayed over by 150 friends and family at her retirement celebration March 30. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic
I recently attended the retirement of Starr Peardon, founder of Talitha Koum. Peardon has used the organization to take in troubled women who've battled drugs and alcohol. She has successfully turned around many of their lives:
Starr Peardon understands that people come as they are and God loves them no matter where they are in life.

She came to this understanding after cleaning herself up from drugs and alcohol with the love of God through the Sisters of the Child of Jesus. Peardon shared this love with other misguided women through her organization Talitha Koum for many years.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Jesuit's pictures document final images of Titanic

Photos taken before ship left for New York
This is the cover of "Father Browne's Titanic Album," edited by E.E. O'Donnell.
CNS photo/courtesy Father Browne S.J. Collection
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Sarah MacDonald of Catholic News Service about the lasting photographs of the Titanic taken by a Jesuit seminarian. The photos served as a resource for historians and for the 1997 blockbuster movie:
Commemorations of the sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago will put the spotlight on a young Irish priest whose photographs are some of the only surviving images of life onboard the liner on its first and last voyage.

Jesuit Father Frank Browne, 1880-1960, became a prominent documentary photographer and a much-decorated chaplain in the British army in World War I.

A collection of his photographs, "Father Browne's Titanic Album" has been reprinted to mark the centenary of the demise of the massive liner, which was constructed in Belfast, Ireland, and was believed to be unsinkable.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.
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