Sunday, January 31, 2010

We're practically on the podium!

You might not realize how close the Archdiocese of Vancouver's Chancery offices -- which include The B.C. Catholic office -- are to Vancouver's downtown Olympic sites. I could throw a snowball -- if there was snow -- and hit B.C. Place. Well, not quite, but close. How close? Check us out. This explains why our location at 150 Robson Street (at Cambie) will be, apart from Holy Rosary Cathedral just a few blocks away, the No. 1 place for Catholics during the Olympics and Paralympics. Watch for details as we ready the place for people to drop by, warm up with a hot drink, send an e-mail, say a prayer, and pick up a Catholic visitor's guide.

Bishops issue sex trafficking letter in advance of Olympics

In the run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Feb. 12-28, Canada’s Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter denouncing human trafficking. The Jan. 26 letter, signed by members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, notes that major sporting events often see “systems put in place to satisfy the demand for paid sex.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Flames of faith

Watch The B.C. Catholic -- print and online -- over the next few days. We have quite a few interesting Olympic torchbearer stories to share with you. Meanwhile, if you want to watch the torch relay online, here's where to go.

Last call for Olympic volunteers

Time's running out, would-be Olympic volunteers . . . (Olynteers?) Online Olympic volunteer registration is available through the More Than Gold website at As an added bonus, those volunteers who register before the end of the week are eligible for free transit passes during the time of the Olympics.
Orientation sessions will be held at the following dates and locations:
· January 28 – Broadway Church (2700 East Broadway, Vancouver)
· January 29 – Trinity Lutheran (7100 Granville Avenue, Richmond)
Still hesitating? C'mon, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One day you might be able to tell friends you served Barack Obama a cup of joe on Commercial Drive.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Holler 'bout your collar!"

It may or may not be a useful tool for the Vocations Office, but it certainly can't hurt for the word to get out that clergy say they're among the happiest in their chosen work. A new survey from the Conference Board of Canada says the happiest people tend to be those in jobs that involve caring for, teaching, and protecting others. That includes clergy, firefighters, and physical therapists.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mercy mission

More on those Air Canada mercy flights: In the National Post, Father Raymond de Souza, who headed the Christian leaders tour of the Holy Land that I blogged about earlier, reports from onboard one of the flights.

Air Charity

When I heard Air Canada was flying relief missions to Haiti, it was no surprise to learn who was behind it: Duncan Dee. I got to know the airline's chief operating officer on a Catholic leaders trip to the Holy Land a couple of years ago, and it was easy to see why his reputation at the airline as a competent and caring executive is so well founded. This latest initiative just reinforces the point.

Pope tells priests to go online

Pope Benedict XVI says the Internet is an opportunity not to be missed, as he delivered his message for World Communications Day 2010.
The message was unveiled at a Vatican press conference Saturday, and it encourages priests around the world to take their pastoral ministry online through Web sites, blogs and videos. World Communications Sunday is May 16. The text of the Pope's message can be found here.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Donate to Haiti relief

This weekend is the special collection for Haiti in parishes of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Please give. And here's where you can get the latest from CCODP's people on the ground.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Olympic volunteers needed

There's still time to get involved in volunteering for the Olympics. The Christian umbrella organization More Than Gold is hosting two volunteer orientation sessions tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 22) at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 23, at 9 a.m. Visit their site for details. Want a quick look at what More Than Gold opportunities are available? Check out this YouTube video by Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Ryan Walter.

That we may be one

Jesus prayed that His followers be one. Every year in January Christians observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, ending Monday on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. There are still a couple of events to take part in, listed below. For more info, go to
Friday, January 22nd @ 12:15 p.m.
St. Matthew's Anglican Church, 2010 Guildford Dr
Saturday, January 23rd @ 7:00 p.m.
Alderbrook Church, 3600 Townline Rd, Centre Ice 2nd floor
Sunday, January 24th @ 8:00 p.m.
Highland Community Church, 3130 McMillan Rd (Taizé Service)
The offering of this year's services is designated toward the Abbotsford Foodbank and a new Salvation Army Human trafficking initiative. Should you not be able to make it to one of the services you can still participate through your offering.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An American Idol to cheer for

Looking for someone to root for on American Idol? You can't do better than 16-year-old Maddy Curtis. She's Catholic, pro-life, sweet and can sing. Join her bandwagon and watch the amazing segment AI did about her and her family; four of her siblings have Down Syndrome.

CCODP in Haiti

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace now has two staff members in Haiti working with the Caritas Internationalis teams to organize and distribute the aid, reports John Gabor, of the B.C./Yukon Regional Office. If you'd like to follow their progress, visit their blog at

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Archbishop among Haiti quake victims

It was a once-in-200-years earthquake, and the archbishop of Port-au-Prince is reportedly among the thousands of people feared to have died in the quake. Canada's Catholic bishops and the CanadianCatholic Organization for Development and Peace have launched an emergency joint campaign to respond to the urgent situation in Haiti. For more information or to donate, visit

Special collection for Haiti in the Archdiocese of Vancouver

Please bring some $10, $20 and $50 bills -- or better yet, your chequebook -- to Mass this weekend and put something in the special collection for CCODP’s relief efforts for Haiti, which will be taken up at all parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Vancouver. See Archbishop Miller's appeal.

Haiti: Now an earthquake?

Does God have something against Haiti? Of course He doesn't, but the suffering that small country has had to undergo seems to suggest otherwise, from an earthly perspective at least. Tom Hoopes has an insightful piece in the National Catholic Register turning the earthly perspective upside down and explaining how to look at tragedy from a Catholic point of view.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Updates from Haiti

Msgr. Gregory Smith of West Vancouver sends some e-mails received from Sister Lorraine Malo in Haiti. Here are portions:
"Yes, the tragedy in Haiti is beyond words. Our new hospital in Tabarre suffered big structural damage and every wall is cracked but it did not collapse, thank God. The other building, the old hospital, which I lived in for six years is totally destroyed. One volunteer and her brother who was visiting from the States are not yet accounted for so please pray for them.
"Mary Alban got word out that she is okay. She is attending a conference in the north of Haiti and that is likely what saved her. The word is that the street she lives in is completely gone!
"I don't think we can even imagine the chaos that is happening there now. All we can do is pray. If I were not booked for Vancouver, I would ask to return and do what I can." (Sr. Lorraine is planning to come to Vancouver to do some ministry in the Downtown East Side.)
"Rosemary Fry (one of our Sisters) is already here having left Haiti two days before the tragedy hit and Mary Alban is safe and sound in the north of Haiti. We just got word that the Archbishop of P au P., Serge Miot, is
among the dead. A really nice man who was very pastoral.
"One of our young volunteers was in the old hospital when it collapsed - she is critical but stable at the moment. Her young brother who was visiting her at the time was found dead, so it is very sad for that family... They are trying to airlift her and her brother's body to the U.S. today. I feel so darned helpless. Please pray for the poor people."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Strength through tragedy

hanson2.jpgBefore Christmas, Susan Lazaruk at the Vancouver Province did a very nice follow-up story on the Moeller family of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Vancouver. The Moellers lost two sons in a horrific crash in 2008, but responded with powerful and inspiring faith, as did the Catholic community. The Moellers shared their story earlier in the year with The B.C. Catholic. Above, Karl Moeller meets hero Rick Hansen.

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