Monday, March 29, 2010

Father de Souza, The New York Times, and Pope Benedict

Father Raymond de Souza, columnist with The National Post, takes issue with the way the media are trying to build a case against Pope Benedict XVI over his handling of sex abuse claims. In fact, says Father de Souza, a "quiet revolution" has been taking place in how the Church now responds to the issue. Listen to his interview with Vatican Radio. It's less than 4 minutes long, but says more than reams of stories in the mainstream media.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Christopher Hitchens's non-atheist brother

Christopher Hitchens, who is currently doing his darnedest to take down Pope Benedict XVI, and the Catholic Church, and Christianity, and faith...well, he has a brother, Peter, who went through his own bout with the faith in his younger years. Peter, however, came through his disbelief, to the point where he now now debates his older sibling in public forums. In this piece in Britain's Daily Mail, Peter touches on faith, atheism, and brotherly bonds, coming to the conclusion that passions as strong as his brother's are "more likely to be countered by the unexpected force of poetry, which can ambush the human heart at any time."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Benedict, the crisis, and setting the record straight

If you're watching developments in Germany and Ireland, and wondering what to make of them all as their ripples move closer and closer to the Vatican, here's an excellent piece that attempts to make sense of it all. John Allen succeeds in giving the whole, terrible mess a bit of perspective. It won't appease those who think the whole scandal demonstrates a media conspiracy against Catholics, and it won't satisfy those who are watching with a sense of schadenfreude at the toll it's taking on the Church. Hopefully, however, it will be enlightening for both sides, as well as the rest of us who are in between.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Babies are people too

Last week was International Women's Week, remembering a time when women were not recognized as "persons" under the law. In the Persons Case of 1929, the Privy Council asked the question: "The exclusion of women from all public office is a relic of days more barbarous than ours, and to those who ask why the word person should not include females, the obvious answer is, why should it not?"

"Alliance for Life Ontario is asking the same question today with regard to the girl and boy child before birth," says Jakki Jeffs, executive director of Alliance for Life Ontario.

A special website set up by the group encourages visitors to sign a petition asking the government to extend full legal protection to every Canadian from their biological beginnings. The signed petitions will be presented in Parliament on Person's Day, October 18, 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Catholic movies at the Vancouver Public Library

"I am happy here, in this cell, where white mushrooms are growing on my sleeping mat, because You are here with me, because You want me to live here with You. I have spoken much in my lifetime: now I speak no more. It's Your turn to speak to me, Jesus; I am listening to You."
- Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan in Phu-Khanh prison, solitary confinement, October 7, 1976

More than a year ago I watched the Road of Hope: the spiritual journey of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan on DVD (available at the Office of Religious Education at 150 Robson). I was so moved by his life and example, especially his deep love for the Eucharist, that I wanted more people to know about him.
Shortly after watching it, I contacted the Vancouver Public Library and suggested the DVD for their collection. There are many wonderful Catholic works out there, and my hope is to have more of them available at our public library. The Suggest a Purchase form found on the VPL website asks details about the purchase suggestion and why that particular title should be in the library. I cannot remember all that I had written in the form, but I do remember saying that there is a large Vietnamese Catholic population in Vancouver who will find much inspiration and hope in the life of someone like Cardinal Van Thuan. I am hoping that everyone, not just Catholics, will get a chance to discover his life and faith.
A few days ago, more than a year from when I submitted the request, I received email notification that the DVD is now available. The Vancouver Public Library's first ever copy of Road of Hope is now with me to watch again. It is the perfect film to watch during the Lenten season and on this Year for Priests. So head out to your local library branch or go online to place a hold on the Road of Hope. Let our public library know that there is a demand for Catholic works like Road of Hope.
Here is the official trailer from Salt and Light TV. The DVD is also available for purchase from the Salt and Light TV website.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Science, history and faith meet

Watch for the Man of the Shroud photographic exhibit coming to St. Joseph the Worker Church in Richmond April 8-14. Artifacts from the time of Jesus can be viewed alongside 29 museum quality displays. Lectures will be offered in the parish centre with Shroud of Turin experts Barrie Schwortz and Phillip Wiebe.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Archbishop Miller kicks off a new Catholic Forum

If you're a Catholic who is confused about how to respond to family, friends, and co-workers who question your religious beliefs, this Forum is for you! Lay Dominicans at St. Mary's Church, 5251 Joyce Street in Vancouver, are launching a brand new Catholic Forum beginning at 7 p.m. on March 23 to examine what the Church really teaches about the important issues of the day. Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, will speak on Christians Learn About God, and From God. Admission is free and everyone is welcome, including those no longer practicing their faith. A question period will follow the archbishop's talk.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Win a pair of tickets to the Mark Schultz | Point of Grace performance of their "Come Alive Tour" on March 20, 2010!

Following their successful pairing on the 30-city “Come Alive” Tour last fall, platinum-selling and Dove award-winning artists Mark Schultz and Point of Grace hit the road together again this spring for an additional 25 cities, including Vancouver, BC.


Pulling from their expansive repertoires, both artists will perform a collection of fan favourites. Schultz will also play songs from his celebrated fifth studio release Come Alive, and Point of Grace will play selections from their current, critically-acclaimed How You Live as well as their upcoming brand new release No Changin’ Us (March 2).


Prizes: A pair of tickets to the Mark Schultz |Point of Grace “Come Alive Tour” performance on March 20, 2010, along with a meet-and-greet with the performers. Approximate value is: $50.

Contest Deadline: Entries must be received (e-mail or mail-in ballot) no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, 2010. Winners also get the chance to be guest Bloggers for The B.C. Catholic and submit a review of the concert and experience.


Announcement of winners: Winners will be announced in the March 15 edition of The B.C. Catholic.

Event Date: March 20, 2010.


To enter go to:


God bless!



Tuesday, March 2, 2010

After Haiti, what about Chile?

In light of the overwhelmingly generous response in the Archdiocese of Vancouver to the Haiti earthquake, many people are probably wondering what's happening in regards to Chile following its 8.8 magnitude earthquake on Saturday. The answer is that the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is already involved. The international development organization is contributing $50,000 for emergency relief efforts as part of the Caritas Internationalis federation, which has already sent a search and rescue team to help look for survivors. More details and donation information can be found here.

Olympic hospitality served up hot

Everyone's talking about what the legacy of the 2010 Winter Games will be in Vancouver. What a gold medal performance if that legacy includes closer relationships among Christians in the city. During the Games, the folks at 100 Huntley St. paid a visit to the Archdiocese of Vancouver's hospitality centre and spoke with Karen Reed of More Than Gold. The story offers a captivating look at the volunteers serving coffee and refreshments at our welcome centre and also presents an uplifting account of Christians working with each other across denominational lines.

I Believe...a Catholic Olympic notebook

Here's a delightful posting from Peggy Maas at St. Clare of Assisi in Coquitlam and owner of Joyful Noise Book and Gifts in Coquitlam (Maillardville). She captures a parish's Olympic fever perfectly, right down to Father Craig Scott in Olympic mittens.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thou shalt not ramble

Christmas, Easter, New Year's Day...the regular parish Mass schedule can get adjusted a bit on those days. But the last day of the Winter Olympics? For a gold medal hockey game? Forget about it, as Father Glenn Dion at Vancouver's Holy Rosary Cathedral told The New York Times. On the other hand, he admitted the 11 a.m. Mass-goers might have caught a bit of a break on the homily this week. I know of at least a couple of shorter-than-usual homilies this Sunday to allow worshippers to get home in time for the puck drop. Any stories to tell of homilies that set a new 2010 Olympic speed record?

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