Thursday, October 22, 2009

Poaching charges all scrambled

Never at a loss for ways to turn any Catholic story into an anti-Catholic story, many in the media are accusing Pope Benedict XVI of "poaching" Anglicans with his overture to traditionalists. The best is The Times of London's "Rome has parked its tanks on the Archbishop of Canterbury's lawn." Too bad the facts don't bear the accusations out in any way. It's the conservative Anglicans who have been coming to Rome's door for years, pleading for union that might accommodate their liturgical traditions. Presumably if the Pope had delayed any longer, the MSM would be complaining "What's taking so long?" More thoughts in this week's B.C. Catholic editorial.

Mission Possible

In his letter for World Mission Sunday this year, Pope Benedict XVI noted that missionary zeal "has always been a sign of the vitality of our Churches." In the hope of helping with that vitality, The B.C. Catholic is publishing a special vocations supplement with an emphasis on missions work. In it, local contributors offer their thoughts on the theme "Mission as Service at Home." If you would like to contribute financially to the Pontifical Missions Society, visit or call 1-416-699-7077.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Open to a vocation?

Two live-in weekends for young men open to the possibility of a religious vocation are available in the next couple of weeks.
From Friday, Oct. 30 to Sunday, Nov. 1, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate will be hosting a vocation weekend. Called Weekend with Oblates, the event begins on Friday at 7 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The weekend is open to any men aged 18 – 40 who may be considering life as a religious brother or a priest. The weekend retreat is being held at Sacred Heart Parish on 525 Campbell Ave, Vancouver.
The event is free and if you wish to register, please contact Father Ken Forster at 604-254-3100, or Father Ken Thorson at 613-884-4144. You can also register by email at But hurry; registration closes on Oct. 24.

In addition, from Nov. 6 to 8, a Vocation Live-In will be held for boys or young men interested in the priesthood or the consecrated life. It's at the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission. For more information, call 604-826-8715.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October: Month of Mary and ... baseball!

Fall may mark the start of the hockey and NFL seasons, and the CFL season is in full bloom, but fall is also known for baseball's World Series. When you think about it, there's something serene and tranquil about baseball...something...Catholic.

Football has its Hail Mary throws, and hockey has the sin bin (penalty box), but the similarities between Christianity and baseball are truly profound. The relationship between faith and baseball has been pointed out by no less than former baseball commissioners Fay Vincent and Bart Giamatti, and some of them are recalled here.

Making it easier for Anglicans to come home

The big news in the Church today -- perhaps the biggest news of the year -- is the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to set up a special structure for Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church while keeping some of their Anglican heritage. This is wonderful news, not just for the Anglicans, but for us, as the Church is bound to benefit from what the traditional Anglicans will bring to us.
I know a few traditional Anglicans, and they're amazing some ways more Catholic than many Catholics. They long for unity with Rome, but they love the Anglican cultural and liturgical heritage that dates back hundreds of years.
Now they'll be able to enter into full communion with Rome, while being under the care of a personal ordinariate, the way members of Opus Dei and military families around the world fall under special dioceses.
Watch next week's B.C. Catholic for full coverage.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

St. Paul's Hospital goes Beyond Barriers

Award-winning Canadian photojournalists capture the heartbreak of life on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in Beyond Barriers: Photographs from the Frontlines of Health. Sponsored by Providence Health Care and AstraZeneca Canada, the photos, shown for the first time in Canada, celebrate the compassion of health care practitioners in street clinics, community health centres, inner city hospitals, mobile outreach units, solo rural practices, and remote outposts. The exhibit opened on Sept. 30 on the rooftop garden of St. Paul’s Hospital, 1081 Burrard Street and will show until Sunday, Oct. 18. After moving to UBC, it will tour across Canada over the next two years.

Luke 15 House fundraiser

Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson from JoyTV will emcee a fund raiser on Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Gracepoint Community church, 3487 King George Highway, in Surrey, for Luke 15 House, a halfway house for prison parolees. Surrey North MP Donna Cadman and Surrey City Councillor Mary Martin will speak along with house manager Nigel Vincent. Tickets are $30 which includes a silent auction, buffet dinner and entertainment by singer-songwriter Alan Moberg. Call 604-532-5594 to order.

Big week ahead for Canada's bishops

About 90 Canadian bishops, including our own Archbishop Miller, will be in Ottawa starting Monday as they hold their annual plenary assembly. They'll be electing a new permanent council, including a new president now that Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber's term has come to an end.
Portions of the meeting that will be open to media include talks by U.S. theologian Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz, Murray/Bacik professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo in Ohio, who will deliver presentations relating to the Year of the Priest and on the impact of Vatican II on the priesthood and its reality today, and on the relationship between the ministerial priesthood and the priesthood of the baptized.
The bishops will also discuss the Catholic identity in the public sphere, Catholic-Anglican relations, the pastoral response to poverty, the role of bishops in life issues, and, of course, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, which got caught up in controversy over the past year due to its links with abortion-supporting groups in Latin America.
The meeting wraps up on Friday, Oct. 23.

Filipino typhoon relief collection

The Filipino-Chinese Association of B.C. has launched a collection on behalf of those suffering in the aftermath of typhoons which have ravaged the Philippines. Funds collected will be sent to the Philippine Red Cross and tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more. Mail cheques to FilChi B.C., 840 Howe Street, Suite 150, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2L2. Gently used or new summer clothing, bed sheets, linens and blankets are being collected at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 4451 Williams Road, in Richmond. Canned goods may be given as well. All donations will be sent to Philippines with the help of various non-governmental organizations. Donation times are: Oct. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 and Oct. 18 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:00. For more information, go to

Monday, October 5, 2009

Antigonish and the faith

What to say about the terrible situation in Antigonish, where a now-retired bishop faces charges of possession of child pornography? Every negative emotion runs through one's mind: anger, frustration, shame, pity, pain...and so on. To read and hear the public's emotion-filled comments raining abuse down on the Church and her priests is to get a small taste of what Christ must have experienced carrying His cross toward Golgotha. What can anyone say that both respects the due process of the law, while acknowledging that police and customs officials have in their hands a computer containing images that send the mind reeling. If there is anything that can be said, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Antigonish probably comes as close as any to saying it. In recent years, the Feast of the Holy Innocents has come to include the lives of the unborn claimed by abortion. Maybe it's time to expand it further to include children who suffer sexual exploitation. If you think this isn't a problem that exists close to home, take a look at this report from the B.C. Medical Journal.

Pope calls on priests to evangelize through new media

Next year promises to be a big year in communications for the Church. First, Pope Benedict XVI has dedicated World Communications Day 2010 to the theme "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word."
The need for priests to realize they can evangelize through new media is critical, and ties in well with the Year for Priests. World Communications Day is observed the Sunday before Pentecost.
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications is also slated to meet this month to decide whether to produce a new document on modern media and the new culture of communications that has arisen in recent years. It's been nearly two decades since the last major document on communications -- "Aetatis Novae" ("At the Dawn of a New Era") -- and two decades is a lifetime considering what's transpired in the world of communications since then.
All of this ties in well with The B.C. Catholic's expanding parish circulation program this Christmas, when the paper will be going into more Catholic homes than ever before.

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