Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Man of Steel has moral fibre

The Man of Steel embodies supernatural virtue
Compare the Man of Steel poster (source: Warner Bros) with Christ Before Pilate, the painting by Duccio di Buoninsegna completed in 1311 (source:

C.S. Morrissey reveals the key to understanding the Man of Steel movie in The B.C. Catholic.

To use the language of Fr. Barron's preliminary analysis, Morrissey sees further that Krypton represents the heteronomous (Platonic) state, whereas Zod in fact represents the autonomous (Nietzschean) individual, since it is Kal who, according to the movie's visual symbolism, represents Biblical theonomy in the life of the Christian:
This summer, many people are comparing the myth of Superman with the life of Christ. The new Superman film, Man of Steel, invokes the parallels.
But it would be a mistake to think that the filmmakers are offering the Superman story as a substitute for Christianity. Instead, the movie is best seen as depicting what any Christian striving to live a life of super-heroic virtue, by modeling their life on Christ, can expect to encounter: namely, opposition from a world mired in darkness.
Clark Kent says in the film: “My father believed that if the world found out who I really was, they’d reject me, out of fear. He was convinced that the world wasn’t ready. What do you think?”
Clark learns that his real name is Kal-El and that he has a father Jor-El from beyond this world, a father who entrusts to him a mission involving the salvation of this world. True, that much of the story clearly parallels the vocation of any Christian, since it obviously resembles the life of Christ himself.
Read the full article here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Monsignor retires from North Vancouver parish

Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo reflects on 'life full of adventure'
Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo was recently profiled in The Province newspaper.
He served as pastor of St. Pius X parish in North Vancouver for almost 30 years.
(Photo credit: Jason Payne / The Province.)
At the Vatican, he spent decades in service to multiple popes. Now, Msgr. Lopez-Gallo, the pastor of St. Pius X parish since 1986, has decided to retire. However, he remains as the Archdiocese of Vancouver's Judicial Vicar and columnist for The B.C. Catholic.

Recently, the monsignor was profiled in The Province:

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."
Those poignant lines, posted on the wall of Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo’s office, are a good place to start on this man’s amazing life and times.
Born in Mexico in the 1920s, when Catholic priests were being wiped out, he went on to meet a half-dozen popes during his 25 years at the Vatican and eventually founded a Catholic elementary school in North ­Vancouver.
Now 86, he has retired as parish priest and is “slowing down” with a five-day-a-week job at the Vancouver Archdiocese.
Read the full article here.

Celebrating Corpus Christi in Rome with Pope Francis

Wonderful way to celebrate a 25th wedding anniversary
The annual Corpus Christi procession makes its way down a street in Rome May 30. Pope Francis walked in the candlelight procession accompanying the Blessed Sacrament from the Basilica of St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
A highlight of a recent visit to Italy for our 25th wedding anniversary was participating in the Pope's Corpus Christi Mass and procession of the Eucharist May 30 in Rome. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the website include:

Variety gives the Church its richness, Pope Francis teaches

The Church is the temple of God, and its many and varied members enrich it, Pope Francis taught at his general audience June 26 in St. Peter's Square. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Ukrainian priest reaches 75, retires from Richmond parish

He's hosted a television variety show on the CBC, performed on Broadway and at Stratford, and served the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Winnipeg and the Eparchy of New Westminster. Now Father Edward Evanko, pastor of Dormition of the Mother of God Parish in Richmond, is retiring at the age of 75. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dover Hill hosts 401st Shin-Kicking Championships

Ancient tournament splinters shins for the fourth consecutive century
YouTube credit: bbclive1000

After determinedly swinging straw-padded legs at each other's straw-padded legs, the competitors in the 401st Shin-Kicking Championships probably came out fairly contused.

Of course, it's the result to be expected of a tournament consisting of smashing bone, muscle, and straw together.

See more of this story on The Score.

U.S. supreme court strikes down DOMA

True marriage no longer to be defended by federal law
People demonstrate outside the Supreme Court building in Washington in this photo from late March, when the court heard oral arguments in two "same-sex marriage" cases. CNS photo / Nancy Phelan Wiechec.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that a key part of the Defence of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and the federal government must recognize "gay marriages" accepted by individual states. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the website include:

Aged collections by clergy and sisters in Victoria attract contemporary interest

The well-worn library of a murdered bishop and the archives of nuns active in Victoria for over 150 years bring to life the work of Catholic missionaries during Victoria's colonial settlement. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Religious freedom demands consistency at home and abroad, Ambassador Leahy says

Canada must ensure it continues to respect religious freedom at home if it wants to be coherent when it defends religious freedom abroad. says the former Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

John Paul II miracle to 'amaze the world'

Vatican to announce miracle within few weeks
Pope John Paul II prays during his visit to Vancouver in 1984. A recent
miracle draws his sainthood closer to becoming reality. BCC file photo.
A second miracle attributed to Blessed John Paul II's intercession brings his canonization a step closer. The Daily Telegraph reports:
It concerns the “extraordinary healing” of a Costa Rican woman who was cured of a severe brain injury after her family began praying to the memory of the late Polish pope, according to reports in the Italian media.

Details of the miracle are likely to be announced at the end of this month or at the beginning of July, a Vatican insider told The Daily Telegraph.
For the full article, click here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Good Shepherd, the Redeemer, the Saviour ... the Bandit?

Lego's choice to name a bandit-figurine 'Jesus' miffs one parent
CNS file photo / Warner Bros. Interactive
While reading Lego Club Magazine, Winnie Koch's 8-year-old son pointed out to her that Lego's Stagecoach Escape play set has a mini-figurine bandit named Jesus.

Koch was surprised.

"I was astounded to find out that Lego will use the Holy Name of Jesus, ignoring all Catholics and Christians, as a robber/thief,"
Koch said in an email. "I have written to Lego but haven't heard back."

Prince George footballers play for love of the game

Fourteen teams enter third Terry Wilson Memorial Tournament; Veritas elementary victorious in final
An Immaculate Conception player (short hair) strikes the ball past the Sacred Heart goalkeeper. Chris Dugdale / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Fourteen elementary teams of the Diocese of Prince George laced up their cleats to play the "beautiful game" with a higher purpose in mind May 31. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

First annual National Aboriginal Prayer Breakfast launched in Ottawa June 21

Over 500 people jammed the ballroom of the historic Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa for the first annual National Aboriginal Prayer Breakfast June 21. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholics in Russia form Year of Faith pilgrimage

To mark the Year of Faith in Russia, lay Catholic group "Una Voce" (with one voice) has organized a five-day pilgrimage in honour of 11th-century king St. Olaf, including daily Mass and veneration of his icon. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yaz and Yasmin suspected in 23 deaths

Birth control pills cause blood clots in women
Yaz and Yasmin, the only birth control pills that contain progestin drospirenone. (CBC)
According to CBC News, the birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin are suspected of being the cause of death for 23 Canadian women. These pills have a risk of blood clots 1.5 to 3 times as high as other birth controls because they contain the progestin drospirenone. Action has been taken against the maker of the birth-control pills, Bayer. However the company stands firmly behind its products.

At least 23 Canadian women who were taking two of the most commonly prescribed birth control pills in the world have died, CBC News has learned.
According to documents obtained from Health Canada, doctors and pharmacists say Yaz and Yasmin are suspected in the deaths of the women, most of whom died suddenly from blood clots.

One of the women, 18-year-old Miranda Scott, was working out on an elliptical machine at the Okanagan gym at the University of British Columbia when she collapsed and died three years ago, said her mother, Chip McClaughry, who is involved in a class-action lawsuit against Bayer, the maker of the birth-control pills.

"She fell backwards into the person behind her and then, I guess, when she was on the ground she said, 'I can't breathe,' and then, you know, she was gone," McClaughry said at her home in Delta, B.C.

Full story available here.

High school thespians impress with one act

Archbishop Carney, St. Thomas More, and Vancouver College students present comedy, drama
Everyone involved with the B.C. Catholics One-Act Play Festival, including students and teacher sponsors, gathers for a photo after presenting their plays at Vancouver College's theatre. Moe Tapp / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
It was Stuck! The Funeral, Greatly Missed, and 52 Pickup at this year's B.C. Catholics One-Act Play Festival. They were presented by Holy Cross Secondary, Archbishop Carney, St. Thomas More Collegiate, and Vancouver College respectively. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories newly posted on the website include:

Despite protests, archbishop assures safety at World Youth Day

The archbishop of Rio de Janeiro has reassured young people planning to attend World Youth Day that the protests occurring in various cities in Brazil will not affect the massive event. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Double anniversary marks 60 years of marriage

Married in a double wedding ceremony on June 10, 1953, Emile and Alice Detillieux, and Laurent and Therese Lepage, of St. Agnes Parish in Peterson, recently celebrated their 60th anniversaries in Bruno, Sask., surrounded by friends and family. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Prince George bishop ordains two priests

Fathers Alvin Matias and Rene Antonio bring 'real source of authentic service'
Bishop Stephen Jensen of Prince George lays his hands on the head of Deacon Alvin Matias as he ordains him in Sacred Heart Cathedral May 31. The prelate also ordained Deacon Rene Antonio (not in photo). Northern Catholic News file photo. 
A "great blessing" has fallen on the Diocese of Prince George, said Bishop Stephen Jensen as he ordained two deacons, Alvin Matias and Rene Antonio, to the priesthood May 31, the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Sacred Heart Cathedral. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include the following:

Vatican theologians approve second miracle of Blessed John Paul II

Theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have approved a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, moving him closer to being declared a saint. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Business leaders say progress being made in entrepreneurship

Aboriginal peoples are on "the cusp of a new era in growth in prosperity," according to JP Gladu, the president of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

April 2 may soon be Pope John Paul II Day

MPs from all parties voted for; all opposing votes came from NDP
Blessed John Paul II greets the crowd at World Youth Day in Denver in 1993. CNS file photo / Joe Rimkus Jr.
A private member's bill to designate April 2 Pope John Paul II Day passed third reading in the House of Commons June 12 with support from all political parties. Pope John Paul died April 2, 2005. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Photographer-priest to display his work

Photographing and praying have similarities, according to Father Don Doll, SJ, of Nebraska. The Jesuit priest, an award-winning photojournalist, will make his way to Vancouver to speak June 25 on "Visions of the World, Visions of Faith." Father Doll calls photography his "vocation within a vocation." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholic children in Thailand help foster inter-religious dialogue

Catholic children in Bangkok participated in fellowship with other faith groups to foster inter-religious dialogue and peaceful relationships among different communities. The group including Buddhists, Muslims, and Catholics. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

All aboard!

Bringing children closer to the 'beauty of creativity' with an Italian train trip
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, presented the initiative "Children's Train: A Journey Through Beauty" at a press conference in the Holy See Press Office on June 18. CNS photo / Paul Haring.

The initiative put forward by Cardinal Ravasi involves a train trip to be made by 450 children from different countries. Teachers, family members, and volunteers will also be joining the children on the trip made available by the Italian Railway System.

The train will depart from Milan on June 23, and make stops in Bologna, Florence, and finally arrive at the Vatican train station, where Pope Francis will meet those aboard. has the full story.

Pope takes teen with Down Syndrome for 'joyride' in Mercedes

Boy goes for a spin after the Pope's Wednesday audience
Pope Francis greets Alberto di Tullio, 17, after letting him sit in the popemobile chair during the general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 19. Di Tullio, who has Down syndrome, was treated to a literal spin in the popemobile when the Pope turned the youth around in the white papal chair. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Tens of thousands of people watched as Pope Francis invited 17-year-old Alberto di Tullio for a literal spin in the white chair of the open-top Mercedes, according to a story by The Globe and Mail from The Associated Press.

Sculpture to grace new centre

Bust in old building while new one being built
Louise Solecki Weir's sculpture of Blessed John Paul II.
A bust of Blessed Pope John Paul II has been cast and has a temporary home in the John Paul II Pastoral Centre at 150 Robson St. The sculpture's permanent home will be the new pastoral centre, once constructed. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the website include:

Private school balks at teaching province's Ethics and Religious Culture program

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear Loyola High School's appeal of a decision forcing the private school to teach the province's mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture (ERC) program. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

New York abortion expansion fails

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed bill to dramatically expand legal abortion in the state died in the state senate after months of Catholic and pro-life opposition. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Couple celebrates over 80 years

Matrimony shows 'great sign of the Holy Spirit': Bishop Gordon
Bishop Gary Gordon of Whitehorse (left) sits next to Arthur and Alice John in Ross River May 19. The Johns were declared the nation's longest-married couple. Photo submitted.
On Pentecost Sunday, the day the Church celebrates her birthday, the country's longest-married couple, Alice and Arthur John, brought joy to the community of Ross River in the Whitehorse diocese. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted:

Quebec at a crossroads with euthanasia bill, say Quebec bishops
As the Quebec government's Bill 52 aims to create a new "right" to die by euthanasia, Quebec's Catholic bishops warn society faces a crucial choice. "We are at a crossroads with this choice," said Archbishop Pierre-Andre Fournier of Rimouski, Que., president of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Quebec (AECQ), in an interview. "This is a very important moment for the future of our country, of our society." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Teen attributes recovery from coma to global prayer chain
A year ago, 16-year-old Antonia Cabrera suffered a stroke and was expected to die. Today she can speak and walk with some difficulty, and is continuing a recovery that she says is "an extraordinary example of the power of the prayers of many." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Resolution seeks to protect unborn females

Alberta CWL takes stand against sex selection
Dorothy Johansen. Western Catholic Reporter photo.
Disclosure of the sex of an unborn child should not be permitted until the fetus has reached 30 weeks gestation, says the Alberta-Mackenzie Catholic Women's League in a resolution passed at the league's June 7-9 provincial convention. "The idea is that we're trying to limit sex selection, especially for females," said president Dorothy Johansen of Edmonton. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Columbus Residence fundraiser features wine and cheese reception, vacation package raffle

The flavour may have changed for this year's Columbus Residence fundraiser, but the taste for excitement remains. Instead of their usual sit-down dinner, the Knights of Columbus organization, which provides housing for seniors, hosted a wine and cheese reception. It featured a raffle that will whisk lucky winners away to the Napa Valley, Whistler, or Alaska. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Campaign hopes to draw hipsters back to Mass

If the medium is the message, then the Diocese of Brooklyn's new ad campaign certainly proves the late Marshall McLuhan correct. The Wall Street Journal, Saturday Night Live and The Colbert Report have all featured the diocese's creative brainstorm, which cost a mere $14,000. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Enjoy a weekend the aboriginal way

Conference will highlight Rose Prince Pilgrimage in Lejac

Spend a weekend embracing the aboriginal culture July 4-7 at the site of the historic Lejac Indian Residential School. Highlighting the annual Rose Prince pilgrimage, the Directions in Aboriginal Ministry Conference will give everyone the opportunity to gather with aboriginal faith leaders, elders, and ministry presenters.

The conference will begin with a supper hosted by Corpus Christi and St. Mark’s College students from Vancouver. A series of clan group gatherings, prayers, processions, and reflections will complete the memorable four-day event. Some of the special guests in attendance will be Sister Kateri Mitchell, SSA; Bishop Stephen Jensen of Prince George, Bishop Gary Gordon of Whitehorse, and Directions in Aboriginal Ministry group representatives.

The pilgrimage site is located west of Prince George, between Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake. Pilgrims are invited to camp at the site during the weekend.

For more information about the pilgrimage, click here.
To inquire about the conference, email Sister Eva Solomon, CSJ, at, or call  204-221-3539.

Archbishop Miller's letter in Chinese

Archdiocese releases a Chinese translation of its priorities and goals

The Vancouver archdiocese is reaching out to its multicultural community by releasing additional versions of Archbishop Michael Miller's Priorities and Goals letter. Setting out the main priorities for the Church in Vancouver over the next three years, the letter is now also available in Chinese and three other languages.

Here is the Chinese version.

For other translations, click here.

The laity form the 'first line of action' outside church walls

Lay people are tasked with flooding the secular world with Christ's love, theology professor says

Professor Brook Herbert believes the laity play a particular role in the 'sanctification of secular culture.' Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
The laity do not take a secondary role in spreading the Gospel, according to Redeemer Pacific College assistant professor Brook Herbert. There is a misunderstanding that lay people need to do more work in the Church, like serve at Mass or lead ministries. Those are beneficial, but the laity play a unique part outside Church walls, she said. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted include:

Supreme Court hears pro and con arguments on prostitution laws

The Supreme Court heard arguments June 13 on whether laws restricting prostitution violate prostitutes' Charter rights. Though prostitution itself is legal, aspects of it are not. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Harley-Davidson enthusiasts roll into Rome

The low rumbling of hundreds of Harleys is overtaking the buzz of scooters and cars in the streets surrounding the Vatican, and on Sunday it will even be present in St. Peter's Square. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Faith formation programs empower young people

Searching in the Spirit summer camp inspires newly confirmed teens, offers outdoor activities
This year's summer programs for teens include faith formation, training, and outdoor activities. Clayton Imoo says participants in the YouthLeader event "return home to take leadership roles in their parishes, schools, and communities." Photo submitted.
As summer quickly approaches, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry is busy planning its two summer training events for young people of the archdiocese: YouthLeader, and Searching in the Spirit. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

'An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care' condemned by many

The Quebec government's Bill 52, "An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care," tabled June 12, has been condemned as a form of Belgian-style euthanasia. "This is about doctors lethally injecting patients," said Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC). He noted the Act redefines palliative care to include "terminal medical sedation" and "medical aid in dying," a euphemism for euthanasia. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Pope alleged to have condemned gay lobby

In response to media flurry, the Latin American Confederation of Men and Women Religious (CLAR) released a statement on June 11 claiming that the assertion that there was a gay lobby at the Vatican "cannot be attributed with certainty to the Holy Father." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Reflecting on 'the people of God'

We can overcome divisions: 'God is stronger,' Pope Francis says
Pope Francis is presented with a leather Harley Davidson jacket during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
Pope Francis asked the tens of thousands of Catholics gathered in St. Peter's Square May 12 to overcome divisions and the fear of evangelizing by trusting that "God is stronger." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include the following:

Couples for Christ host major marriage anniversary function
Fifty-four couples renewed their commitment in a solemn ceremony at St. Bernadette Parish in Surrey May 11. The happy couples were celebrating wedding anniversaries, from 10th to 56th. The celebration, instituted in 2010, was hosted by the Couples for Christ Gift of Life Ministry for member couples. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Linda Gibbons caught counselling and praying outside an abortion facility
Police arrested Linda Gibbons outside the Morgentaler abortion facility in Toronto June 11 for praying and sidewalk counselling in contravention of a 20-year-old temporary injunction. Police handcuffed the diminutive 64-year-old grandmother, who has spent 10 of the past 20 years in prison for peacefully protesting outside abortion facilities. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

LifeCanada launches 2013 campaign

Refurbished website yields new statistics and witness accounts
The banner for LifeCanada's 2013 campaign.
LifeCanada's new campaign for 2013 is spearheaded by the re-launch of the website,

LifeCanada states the website "is one of the most comprehensive sites covering almost every aspect of abortion, including funding, methods, public opinion, and statistics. It has become a top hit for searches on abortion, garnering some 150,000 unique visitors every year."

The website, rechristened on May 9, now features updated statistics on abortion, witness accounts (with accompanying videos), and more.

“LifeCanada has chosen to use this already well-visited site as an outreach to women who might be in a state of indecision about their pregnancies,” said Natalie Sonnen, the executive director of LifeCanada, in a press release. “Apart from the current and accurate statistical information that we present, we also felt the need to reach these women with messages of hope. It is not easy to find positive messages in a culture that so readily promotes abortion as the only option for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.”

The new campaign's theme is "You'll never regret loving this much." 

Pope Francis speaks candidly to schoolchildren

Pontiff answers questions on Jesuits, faith, and papal apartment
Pope Francis, seen during his first audience with the media March 16, provided frank responses to students June 7.
(Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic)
Pope Francis put down his script and engaged in a spontaneous question-and-answer period with students in the Paul VI Hall June 7. According to Vatican Radio:

Nine thousand students from Jesuit elementary and high schools in Italy and Albania listened to the 76-year-old pontiff.

“I prepared a text, but it’s five pages! A little boring,” he acknowledged.

He summarized his speech and took questions instead.

When asked if it was difficult to leave his family and friends and become a priest, the Pope said yes. “It is not easy but there are beautiful moments and Jesus helps you and gives you a little joy.”
When asked why he wanted to join the Jesuits, he said he wanted to be a missionary and he was attracted by the religious order’s missionary zeal and activity.
When asked why he decided to renounce the usual papal apartment in the apostolic palace, he said it was a question of personality, not of luxury.
“I have a need to live among people.” he stated.
"If I were to live alone, perhaps a little isolated, it would not be good for me. … It is my personality. … It is not an issue of personal virtue, it is only that I cannot live alone.”
He added that the poverty in the world today is a scandal. “All of us today must think about how we can become a little poorer,” he said, so as to resemble Jesus.
When a student doubting his faith asked for words of encouragement, the Pope likened the faith to a long walk. 
“To walk is an art,” he said, “To walk is the art of looking at the horizon, thinking about where I want to go but also enduring the fatigue. And many times, the walk is difficult, it is not easy… There is darkness… even days of failure… one falls… But always think this: do not be afraid of failure.
Read the full article and listen to the Vatican Radio report here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Neocatechumenal Way takes evangelization outdoors

Confession, Scripture reading, testimonies, and singing draw spectators

Members of the Neocatechumenal Way sing and dance in Robson Square May 5 as part of a five-week outdoor mission. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Members of the Neocatechumenal Way sing and dance in Robson Square May 5 as part of a five-week outdoor mission. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.

Singing voices echoed off tall buildings in downtown Vancouver as members of the Neocatechumenal Way hosted their first mission in Robson Square. Every Sunday this Easter season, many members of The Way gathered in the square to evangelize in the open air. The mission involved singing, dancing, testimonies, Scripture readings, reflection, and the sacrament of confession. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include these two:

Jesuit priest decries Western support for the Muslim Brotherhood

Father Henri Boulad, SJ, the director of the Jesuit Cultural Centre in Alexandria, Egypt, singled out the United States, France, and Great Britain for supporting the Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood, which he said has created a fascist regime in Egypt far worse than the military dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak that preceded it. He warned of looming catastrophe. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

French priest suspended after Freemasonry revealed

Bishop Yves Boivineau of Annecy in southeastern France has barred a local priest from public ministry after he was exposed as an active Freemason. Father Pascal Vesin, 43, was suspended for his active membership in a Masonic lodge of the Grand Orient of France. He became a member in 2001, five years after his 1996 ordination as a Catholic priest, the French newspaper Le Figaro reports. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Church and science as co-workers

Vancouver archdiocese takes on earthquakes through modern technology

Mark Hume's article draws attention to infrastructure upgrades necessary to increase protection against earthquake threats on the West Coast.

All structures built before 1990 will undergo examination and renovation (if needed) to fit the new earthquake codes. Also, the archdiocese, in cooperation with the University of British Columbia's civil engineering department, will install P-wave sensors in over 30 schools and 50 churches in Metro Vancouver. The upgrade program is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. In the past 20 years, the archdiocese has spent $250 million on various building projects.

With the use of the sensors, the archdiocese becomes "a leader in Canada when it comes to seismic preparedness," said Archbishop Michael Miller.

Its churches may be watched over by patron saints and guardian angels, but the Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has decided to turn to engineers for increased protection from earthquakes that have long threatened the West Coast. 
In a statement that was released on the weekend, Archbishop Michael Miller announced that all the parishes in Metro Vancouver have been asked to “renew or rebuild their schools, churches and other buildings to meet the latest earthquake codes.”

For full story, visit the Globe and Mail website.  

Benedict XVI: "I read, I pray. I'm fine."

Italian site may be looking for controversy
Retired Pope Benedict greets Pope Francis at the Vatican. Benedict now lives in a monastery in the Vatican Gardens. CNS photo / L'Ossevatore Romano via Reuters.

An article in the Catholic World News reported that Pope Benedict XVI looked to be more stooped and physically weaker than he had a few months ago according to his old friend, Manfred Lutz, however he remains mentally sound. Lutz informed the Bild Zeitung that Benedict was in full agreement with Pope Francis's theological views. The Italian site, Libero, took this to mean that Benedict was suggesting that he disagrees with Pope Francis on other issues.

“I’m fine. I live like a monk,” Benedict XVI told an old German friend who visited him recently at his new residence in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery on the Vatican grounds. 

Manfred Lutz, a German scholar who is a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Academy for Life, told Bild Zeitung that he found the retired Pontiff “physically weaker and a bit more stooped” than a few months earlier, but still mentally alert and cheerful. He said that the Pope-emeritus found himself thoroughly in accord with the theological statements of Pope Francis. 

Full story available here.

Pope Francis explains the strength of God's love

God shows His love with closeness and tenderness

Pope Francis says that closeness is the relationship we have with Jesus, Who is physically present to watch over us; tenderness is Jesus caring and looking after our well-being. Together, closeness and tenderness reveal the strength of God's love. According to Pope Francis, both closeness and tenderness are the pillars that represent God's relationship with us. Vatican Radio reports:

It's harder to open our hearts and let God love us than to love God in return. But the only way to really love Him is to love others, especially the poor. God is an expert in the science of tenderness, and we should allow ourselves to be loved by Him. This was Pope Francis's message at morning Mass Friday on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pope Francis said:

"A God who draws near out of love, walks with His people – and this walk comes to an unimaginable point – we could never have imagined that the same Lord would become one of us and walk with us, be present with us, present in His Church, present in the Eucharist, present in His Word, present in the poor. He is present, walking with us. And this is closeness: the shepherd close to His flock, close to His sheep, whom He knows, one by one."

Full story available here.

CMA urges action on poverty

Health outcomes improve when people eat, live better
Dr. Anna Reid, president of the Canadian Medical Association, appears before members of the All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) wants parliamentarians to consider the role poverty plays in health outcomes as well as demands on the health care system. CMA president Dr. Anna Reid urged members of the All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus (APAPC) June 4 to consider the "social determinants of health." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also recently posted:

Pontifical Academy starts 'Friends for Life'

The Pontifical Academy for Life has started a group called "Friends for Life" to expand its network around the world. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sixteen Jesuit priests to be ordained in the U.S.

First ordinations into Society of Jesus since election of Jesuit Pope
The National Jesuit News released an article on the upcoming ordination of 16 Jesuit priests barely three months after the election of the first Jesuit Pope in history. The new priests will be ordained this month in the United States. Although they all hail from the U.S., each has served and studied in several countries around the world.

Three months after the historic election of the first Jesuit Pope, the Society of Jesus, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church, is ordaining 16 new Jesuit priests this month in the United States.

Ordination ceremonies are being held at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.; Holy Name of Jesus Church in New Orleans; Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Los Angeles; and Madonna della Strada Chapel at Loyola University Chicago.

More information available here.

Message for future priests

Cardinal Piacenza publishes a letter to seminarians to celebrate the day for the sanctification of priests

Cardinal Mauro Piacenza (Photo:
"Priests are channels through which God makes the divine call resound in the heart of those He has chosen," Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, writes in his letter to seminarians published June 7.

He reminds seminarians of their role as the mediator between heaven and earth, which is fulfilled through the celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments. Their response to their priestly vocation, Cardinal Piacenza added, must be of generosity and joy, empowered by fidelity and perseverance.

Here is an excerpt:

Dearest Seminarians,
The Primacy of Grace in the Priestly Life

On the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we celebrate most significantly the day for the sanctification of priests and, as you are in the Seminary to respond in the most fitting way possible to your vocation, it is important for me to send you this letter, with great affection, so that you may feel involved and, as such, remember this important occasion.

We contemplate together today the origin of the divine vocation. The Holy Father has emphasized firmly the love in which those who are Priests of Christ and of the Church must participate. In his homily at his first Chrism Mass (28 March 2013), Pope Francis said "This I ask you: be shepherds, with the 'odour of the sheep.'" By this striking image, the Successor of Peter invites us to have a strong and solid love for the People of God, a love which – as the same Pontiff has noted – is not fed from purely human sources, nor is it reinforced by techniques of self-persuasion.

For full text, click here.

G8 meeting draws prayers

Bishops urge G8 leaders not to forget the poor in advance of U.K. meeting
A displaced woman carries home grain in Agok, a town in the contested Abyei region of South Sudan. Catholic leaders have reminded the leaders of the Group of Eight industrialized nations to protect poor people and assist developing countries when they meet in Northern Ireland in mid-June. CNS photo / Paul Jeffrey.
The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic bishops has written Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging him not to forget the poor at the June 17-18 G8 meeting in the United Kingdom. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

Study documents abortion's global health threat to women

A new study released during the 66th annual World Health Assembly identified and exposed what it claimed to be the harmful and often overlooked impact that abortion has on women's health. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Archbishop to welcome Latino 'brothers in Christ'

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, will welcome farm workers to a Mass he will celebrate in Spanish in St. Luke's Church June 16. That will be Father's Day this year. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Conference studies connection between religious and secular

'Bridging the Secular Divide' attended by speakers of various faiths
A two-day conference at Montreal's McGill University featured speakers from various religious backgrounds as it explored questions of how faith should interact with public discourse. Father John Walsh, a speaker at the event, blogged his opinion on the conference the next day:
Persons from a myriad of religious faith traditions were represented and each took an active role in contributing to the Canadian religious mosaic and expressed varied views of how religious people are investing time and energy to dialogue with the secularization of society.
The priest continues...
An interesting distinction was made between religious persons and religious institutions; the former to be given total religious freedom in the public sphere, while the latter were not free to do whatever they pleased in the public sphere.

Personally I will have to give more time to rethink this distinction.
Full blog post here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Human ecology calls for care for all humanity

Pope stresses threats to human person on Environment Day
A combination of pictures shows Pope Francis catching a rosary thrown by someone in the crowd as he arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / Max Rossi, Reuters.
"The human person is in danger, this is certain; the human person is in danger today, here is the urgency of human ecology!" exclaimed Pope Francis June 5 during his general audience. "We are called not only to respect the natural environment, but also to show respect for, and solidarity with, all the members of our human family." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to the site include:

'Protecting God's Children' screening process keeps offenders out of Church ministries
The Catholic Church in Canada is ahead of its neighbours to the south when it comes to addressing sexual abuse by clergy, according to Father George Mulligan, CSC. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Aggressively secular society creates cartoon version of Christian faith

An aggressively secular society has created a cartoon version of the Christian faith, said the keynote speaker at the 47th National Prayer Breakfast in Ottawa June 4. For
full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Blessed John XXIII remembered for peace initiative

Late pontiff worked behind the scenes during Cuban Missile Crisis
Blessed Pope John XXIII was named Time Magazine's "Man of the Year," Jan. 4, 1963.
(Photo credit: 
In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. In the midst of this political turmoil, one man dared to speak for peace: Pope John XXIII.

The pontiff spoke in French on the responsibility of world leaders to avoid such widespread destruction, Oct. 25, 1962. His appeal was broadcast over the airwaves of Vatican Radio.

Vatican Radio recently decided to take a look back to those tense days.

Listen to the report here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Walkers spread culture of life with tiny steps

Crossroads group begin three-month trek from Vancouver, to Montreal, to Ottawa
Crossroads walkers Anthony Finch (left), Amy MacInnis, Anna Beresford,
Mariana Mazzarolo, Lucy Landry, Bethany Atkinson, Ian Gallagher, and Corinne
Kelley dipped their toes in the water at Kitsilano Beach May 20.
Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic. 

Mention the word "summer" to university students and they might mention a road trip to a rock concert, camping, or a dreary desk job. However, 10 enthusiastic pro-lifers from Crossroads will spend their summer witnessing to a noble cause as they trek across Canada for the pro-life cause. Read Alistair Burns's full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Other stories recently posted to include:

A network of pro-life pregnancy centres in Colorado is the latest to take to the streets with a mobile ultrasound unit that it hopes will help women choose life and reject abortion. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Father Richard Doll, OMI, pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in St. Walburg, Sask., was inspired by the Year of Faith. He had spoken on the subject a couple of times during the last year, but felt the need to reach out to those he no longer saw in the pews of his parish every Sunday. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ancient art form called 'Scripture in paint'

Iconographer visualizes stories of saints
Teresa Foley writes detail on her icon of the Mother of God of the Sign at the home of iconographer Veronica Royal. CNS / Nancy Phelan Wiechec.

Betty Ellen Walter wrote an interesting story for CNS on iconographer Veronica Royal. Iconography is the visual images or symbols that represent the story of a person or movement. Royal often writes icons of saints who are not very well known or popular. She has received many commissions for her talent.

ANNANDALE, Va. (CNS) -- Veronica "Ronnie" Royal of Virginia has been an iconographer since 1998, working diligently to hone her craft and encourage the use of icons in contemplation and prayer.

Born in Nancy, France, she was raised in the Ukrainian Catholic Church by her Russian mother and Ukranian father. Icons were very much a part of her church and family life.

She is often commissioned to paint saints who are not particularly popular or are obscure, like St. Andrew Kim Taegon, namesake of a couple's adopted son. His grandmother commissioned Royal to paint the icon as a gift to her son and daughter-in-law in celebration of their new child, Taegon.

"You have to remember that the Church continues to declare saints, and yet iconography originated from the early Church," Royal said. "So there is a place for present-day iconographers to bring Catholic saints to life through this ancient tradition."

Full story here.

UGCC confirms absence of religious conflicts

 National churches work together in Galicia

An interesting article published on the website RISU has stated that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox church have reached an agreement to cooperate with one another. Although there are still many unresolved issues between the two religions, tension has decreased.

The statement by Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanych) is a true, realistic assessment of the current situation of the relations between our two national churches. Finally, the tension and false beliefs are fading. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is open to cooperation, and we are pleased that this is reciprocated by the hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-MP, Fr. Dr. Ihor Shaban, the head of the UGCC Commission for Christian Unity, told the Information Department of the UGCC in response to Metropolitan Anthony's statement.

At the same time, Fr. Shaban said that there still remain many unresolved issues, especially historical ones. 

Full article here.

Hope after prison

Priest's Dismas House program helps ex-offenders start anew

The original Dismas House on Music Row was purchased by Father Jack Hickey and friends in 1972. (Photo by: Vanderbilt View)
 A story by Theresa Laurence talks about the Dismas House program in Nashville, Tenn., founded by late Father Jack Hickey in 1974.  The Dismas House provides released prisoners a safe place to live in and employment opportunities, in which they generally stay for half a year until they are able to secure an independent life. Whereas the national recidivism rate in the U.S. is at 60 per cent, for former Dismas residents, it has been significantly lower.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) -- Last fall, Dwain Adkins was about to be released from prison after serving a six-year sentence for aggravated assault. He had no family to return to on the outside and had not been accepted into a halfway house.

"My biggest fear was being homeless," he said. "It was hard for me to fathom that. It tore me up."

Finally, one week before his release, Adkins got word from Dismas House in Nashville that he would have a place to stay.   
For full story, visit the Catholic News Service website.

Jesuit Scholastic speaks at Vancouver Catholic forum

What does Pope Francis expect from us?
Pope Francis waves as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 27. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Corpus Christi College instructor and Jesuit scholastic John O'Brien will discuss the topic "What does Pope Francis expect from us?" at a forum on Tuesday, June 4. At the end of the presentation, O'Brien will answer questions from the audience.

"I expect a very interesting presentation from O'Brien," said Paul Ungar, the forum organizer. 

The forum will start at 7 p.m. at St. Mary's Church, 5251 Joyce St., Vancouver; attendance by donation.

More information here.

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