Monday, February 28, 2011

Salt + Light as seen by The Toronto Star

Canada's largest newspaper The Toronto Star profiles the country's Catholic TV network Salt + Light Television:

"In the nearly seven years it has been on the air, Toronto-based Salt + Light Television has grown to 25 employees, with around-the-clock programming, original productions (37 in-house documentaries to date), a radio station, a Chinese division, a magazine, a website that streams the network to as many as 40 countries, and an annual budget of $3 million. There’s even a satellite office in Montreal.

It’s a far cry from the two-person operation in the cramped downtown Toronto office of World Youth Day that rebroadcast a lone signal from the Vatican."

Truth and Reconciliation forum on webcast

Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins a  three-day forum tomorrow at Vancouver's Sheraton Wall Centre.
Click here to watch the proceedings by webcast.

The vision that emerges from this forum will be the basis on which a new TRC National Research Centre will be established. For more information visit the Archdiocese of Vancouver's First Nations Ministry.

I'm going to Calvary in a few minutes

It seems to me that although there's a lot you can say about the Mass, the most important thing you can say about it is that it is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross on Mount Calvary.

This seems to make our religion unique.

Most religions I know about have very important events which happened sometime in history associated with them.  If you asked any believers in those faiths if they were there for the events, they would have to reply no, they happened before they were born.  We, of course, say yes, we were at Calvary, the last time we were at Mass.

At Calvary the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was a very bloody event; the Mass is the sacrifice of Christ presented before us in an unbloody manner, thank God.

Must close; I've got to go back to Calvary.

Catholic speakers series at the Blarney Stone pub

Come for the chat, stay for the pub. Organizers of Vancouver's new Catholic speakers series Catholic After Hours hope you'll do both starting March 6.

Catholic After Hours, subtitled Conversations on Catholicism, Religion, and Culture, launches its series running Sundays through April 10. The series features talks on "living as religious and seeking citizens in a culture that privileges relativism, skepticism, and a narrow 'secularism'."

Archbishop J. Michael Miller presents the opening talk Living in an age of Relativism and Skepticism next Sunday.

Meet for dinner and drinks in the upper room at the Blarney Stone pub in Gastown at 6:30 p.m., Sundays March 6, 13, 20, and April 3 and 10. Formal activities wrap up by 8:30 p.m., but feel free to stay and enjoy the pub.

For more info, visit the Catholic After Hours Facebook page.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

As education minister Christy Clark supported Catholic schools

Christy Clark will be B.C.'s next premier, and those who wonder where she stands on issues of particular importance to Catholics might find this story from The B.C. Catholic archives of interest.

As B.C. Education Minister, Clark made history in 2003 when she attended the 25th Annual Catholic Educators’ Conference organized by the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese.
Clark was the first education minister to visit the conference since its inception in 1978, the year after independent schools first received funding from the provincial government.

At the event she recognized the quality of Catholic schools and pledged her support of independent schools.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bishop Monroe update

Bishop David Monroe
Bishop's attacker found not criminally responsible

The man who attacked Bishop David Monroe of Kamloops last October was found not criminally responsible in Provincial Court Feb. 24.

The ruling that he is not criminally responsible means that his case will now go before the B.C. Review Board. Bandura could be held longer or he could be released with conditions.

To read more, visit

Bishop Monroe's attacker not criminally responsible

Kamloops Bishop Monroe
A 31-year-old Kamloops man has been found not criminally responsible for viciously attacking Bishop David Monroe last fall.

Mental illness drove John Bandura to assault Bishop Monroe and kept him from knowing his actions were morally wrong, a provincial judge ruled Thursday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, pro-life hero

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who died Tuesday at 84, probably contributed more to the building of America's abortion culture than any other person, and he spent the last part of his life trying to amend for it.

Nathanson estimated he was responsible for some 75,000 abortions, performing 5,000 of them himself. But when ultrasound technology changed his mind about abortion, he became one of the pro-life movement's most outspoken voices, revealing that much of today's pro-abortion propaganda was actually fabricated by him.

Father Raymond de Souza writes that in 1996, Nathanson, an atheist Jew, "was baptized into the same Catholic Church that he had once devoted his prodigious talents to demonizing. When asked why he chose to become Catholic, he said that no religion emphasized the possibility of forgiveness as he found it in the Catholic Church."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Euthanasia talk this Sunday

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition director to speak in Vancouver

Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, will be speaking in Vancouver this Sunday about recent developments in the euthanasia and assisted suicide debate.

Schadenberg is a well-known anti-euthanasia activist. He established the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in 1999.

He will present information from recent studies regarding euthanasia in Canada, Oregon and throughout the world.

For some background on developments in the assisted suicide debate, check out these articles from The B.C. Catholic and Canadian Catholic News.

The talk takes place Feb. 27 at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel from 2 to 4 p.m. The event costs $20.

Click here for a story written on Schadenberg.

Higher education and the New Evangelization

How Catholic educators can respond to Pope Benedict's call to promote the New Evangelization in a secular society is the topic of Dr. John Stapleton's address on March 23 at the Kucher Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver College, 5400 Cartier Street at 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Stapleton, principal pro tem of St. Mark's College and president of Corpus Christi College, gave this address last November at Regis College, the Jesuit Faculty of Theology at the University of Toronto when he received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters degree.

Churches oppose prison emphasis

Canada's Church Council on Justice and Corrections, a coalition for justice reform that represents 11 of the largest Christian denominations, has written a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemning legislation that is expected to increase the number of convicts dramatically and require billions of dollars worth of prison construction.

Whitehorse Bishop Gary Gordon, formerly of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and experienced in prison chaplaincy, represents the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the council. In a letter to the Prime Minister, he asks that the government reconsider its position. You can read his letter here.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bishop Gerald Lacroix to be the new Archbishop of Quebec

Bishop Gerald Lacroix
Cardinal Marc Ouellet's replacement announced Feb. 22

“It is with great joy and humility that I accept to serve with my whole heart the Church of Quebec in continuing to give my life to proclaiming the Gospel,” Lacroix said.

The question of who would replace Cardinal Ouellet as archbishop has hung in the air since he officially left the Archdiocese of Quebec in August 2010.

Born in 1951 in Saint-Lilaire de Dorset, Que., Bishop Lacroix earned his master's degree in pastoral theology at Laval University before being ordained to the priesthood in 1988.

Bishop Lacroix was ordained as an auxiliary in Quebec by Cardinal Ouellet in 2009 and worked alongside the Cardinal Ouellet, who was then the archbishop, until his departure.

Bishop Lacroix has been acting as the diocesan administrator since Pope Benedict XVI named Cardinal Ouellet the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and transferred him to Rome.

As archbishop of the oldest diocese in Canada, Bishop Lacroix will be given the title Primate of the Church of Canada. This title is honourific and has no responsibility or authority, according to a spokesperson from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Abortion and the Liberal leaders, Part 2

Liberal leadership contenders Clark, Abbott, Falcon, De Jong
Ted Gerk at Stop Abortion Censorship is trying to find out how many abortion complications take place in the province. Unfortunately, just like B.C.'s abortion stats, the government won't divulge that information either.

Gerk asks the poignant question: "If this censorship and refusal to hold to account of Vancouver's abortion clinics is allowed to continue," how long will it be until something like the horrific Gosnell case erupts in Canada.

How would we even know?

So here's the next question to B.C.'s Liberal leadership contenders prior to Saturday's vote to choose the next premier: "Is there possibly any argument that anyone can muster that would defend the notion that citizens in a democracy are forbidden in knowing what complications are associated with a medical procedure, paid for with their tax dollars?"

Christy Clark, George Abbott, Kevin Falcon, Mike de Jong...anyone?

Abortion and the Liberal leaders

Everywoman's abortion clinic, Commercial Dr., Vancouver
There's a question that should be asked of the remaining B.C. Liberal leadership candidates before a new premier is chosen Saturday. But it won't be asked:

Who do Vancouver Abortion Clinics Report to…exactly?

That's the question being asked by the folks, namely Ted Gerk, at Stop Abortion Censorship.

Gerk has been a thorn in the side of B.C. abortionists for ages, and he's currently hammering away at them and the B.C. government to find out just how many abortions are performed in B.C. and who the abortuaries report to.

If you believe the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, there were 211 abortions in the health region in 2009, which is preposterous considering there are at least 15,000 abortions a year in B.C.

"It all boils down to secrecy versus right to know," Gerk writes. "Thanks to British Columbia’s Freedom of Information laws, the insidiousness of censorship grows ever deeper."

Do Christy Clark, George Abbott, Kevin Falcon or Mike de Jong want to show some real leadership before Saturday's vote?

Thinking outside (but not of) the box

In my editing work I am frequently seeing the word "outside" followed by the word "of." This is just as wrong, in my opinion, as using "of" after "inside."  (Example: He was not outside of the house (acceptable these days), he was inside of the house (still unacceptable.)

I think I know why this has come about.  People use "outside" in a new way these days: to mean "other than," and then it is followed by the word "of" because it would give the wrong meaning if it were not.  (Example: In this exercise class, one person is over 65. Outside OF him there is no one over 50.) If we omitted the word "of" it might give the impression of being outside him: i.e. not inside him.  I would prefer:  Other THAN him there is no one over 50.

Of course we always did use the word "of" after "outside" when "outside was used as a noun: The outside of the box is red.

Let's not use the word "of" after "outside" when it's not a noun.

Just the ramblings (rantings?) of an editor.

Bernard Murphy

Archdiocese of Vancouver introduces permanent deacons

The Archdiocese of Vancouver is launching a program to form permanent deacons. The announcement was made Feb. 20 in parishes across the archdiocese in a letter from Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Catholic contribution in Egypt

For better or worse, Egypt is now a bellwether of the struggle for the soul of global Islam, writes John Allen. While a great deal is up in the air, one point seems crystal clear: If the post-Mubarak choice comes down to Islamic militants on one side and Western-style secular liberals on the other -- what we might call the "Facebook crowd" -- then the militants are going to win, and they're going to win huge.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A case for the Crown

News that Prince William and Kate Middleton, who are to be married April 29, will visit Canada shortly after their wedding has generated the usual responses:
  •   Bring on the Royals
  •   Ho-hum
  •   Time to become a republic
Most Canadians don't realize that one of the Queen's titles is Defender of the Faith. Here the Monarchist League of Canada offers a compelling argument that the Canadian Crown "guarantees all citizens the right to worship God in their own way, or not to do so at all."

Justin Bieber takes on abortion

OK, I'm now a Justin Bieber fan.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A breakfast fit for a saint

St. Vincent De Paul Society prepares breakfast for Men's Hostel

On Saturday, guests at the Archdiocese of Vancouver's Men's Hostel were treated to a St. Valentine's Day pancake breakfast provided by a half dozen members of the Christ Redeemer Parish Conference of St. Vincent De Paul Society.

The volunteers got started mixing batter and juice and thawing bacon and sausage at 7 a.m. and were ready to serve at 8 a.m.

They served breakfast for almost an hour with some guests going back for seconds and even thirds.

They will be back to the hostel for St. Patrick's Day and Easter to start from scratch.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Meaning in suffering workshop

Is there ever purpose or meaning to be found in suffering?  John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Salvific Doloris (On the Meaning of Human Suffering) raises the prospect and possibility of redemptive suffering within individual lives.  Join Mark and LaRee Pickup who have dealt with multiple sclerosis for over 25 years in this interactive seminar.

The mystery of Egypt

Change appears imminent in Egypt. Amidst the unfolding possible revolution in Egypt, it is clear that there is simply a lot that we do not know, writes Father Raymond de Souza in today's National Post.

World Day of the Sick Mass

Archbishop Miller to celebrate Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows

Feb. 11 is the 19th World Day of the Sick since it was begun by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

In honour of this day, Archbishop J. Michael Miller will be celebrating Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish at 11 a.m. on Friday.

The Catholic Health Association of B.C. is organizing this celebration and will distribute copies of Pope Benedict XVI's annual message to mark the 19th anniversary of World Day of the Sick.

Click here to read the Pope's message.

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish is located at 555. Slocan St. in Vancouver.

Truth and Reconciliation forum March 1-3

Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission will hold a three-day forum in Vancouver March 1-3 at the Sheraton Wall Centre.

The vision that emerges from this forum will be the basis on which a new TRC National Research Centre will be established. For information visit the Archdiocese of Vancouver's First Nations Ministry.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Canadian bishops condemn Afghan death sentence

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon
Musa Sayed is an Afghani amputee who is currently in prison in Afghanistan. He has worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross for some 15 years, and has specialized in fitting children with prostheses. He is a married man and the father of six young children. Now he's scheduled to be executed later this week in Afghanistan for having converted to Christianity from Islam.

Read the letter from Archbishop Brendan M. O'Brien, Chairman of the CCCB Human Rights Committee, to Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, asking for intervention in the case.

Jesus Christ in the lab

Jesuit and research scientist Father Robert Allore talks theology and science

Tonight, Father Robert Allore, SJ will present Jesus Christ in the Lab: Stem Cells and Genomes at St. Mark's College.

Father Allore is a Jesuit priest and has a PhD in immunology from the University of Toronto.

He is a research scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Toronto's Mt. Sinai Hospital. Father Allore's research focuses on the genetic regulation of the development of the nervous system.

The talk will take place at 7 to 9 p.m. at the chapel at St. Mark's, followed by a  reception.

St. Mark's is located at 5935 Iona Drive on UBC's campus.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mandarin coming to St. Francis Xavier

This September, students at St. Francis Xavier School on Great Northern Way will be offered core curriculum classes in Mandarin, making the school one of three in the Lower Mainland to offer daytime Chinese instruction, says principal Brian Fader. Watch for the story in an upcoming B.C. Catholic.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mubarek's Egypt no friend to Christians

The increase in discrimination and attacks perpetrated on Christians in Egypt is something you won't hear about in the mainstream coverage of the crisis in Egypt.

The Catholic Near East Welfare Association has just finished a report that provides a glimpse into the persecution of Christians that takes place under President Hosni Mubarek's government.

Read it and share it to have a better understanding of what's going on in that troubled land.

Friday, February 4, 2011

'Bathroom Bill' to be debated Monday

MP Bill Siksay
Bill C-389 to protect gender identity and expression

Bill C-389 has been scheduled for debated on Monday Feb. 7, meaning that it could be voted on as soon as Feb. 9.

The bill is an effort to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act "to include gender identity and gender expression as prohibited grounds of discrimination," as well as to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to add these terms the list of protected groups in Section 318.

Currently, the code protects attacks on groups based on "colour, race, religion or ethnic origin."

It is a private member's bill brought to the House by Burnaby-Douglas MP Bill Siksay (NDP). Private member's bills do not often become laws.

The contents of Bill C-389 can be found here.

Those interested in contacting their member of Parliament about this bill can use this website to do so.

Press collection Sunday Feb. 6

All money raised stays with parish

This Sunday is the Catholic press collection at all parishes in the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

The purpose of this collection is to help parishes pay back the cost that is incurred by providing parishioners with subscriptions to The B.C. Catholic.

All of the money from the collection will stay with the parish in order to pay for these subscriptions to the paper.

The B.C. Catholic has recently reached a circulation of over 26,000. This is an increase of around 1,000 in the last month alone.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Archbishop Casey now interred at Gethsemani

Archbishop Casey is interred below Archbishop Duke
Four former archbishops interred in Surrey

On Jan. 14 Archbishop Timothy Casey's mortal remains were moved to the Gardens of Gethsemani's Resurrection Mausoleum from St. Peter's Cemetery in New Westminster.

Archbishop Casey was archbishop of the Archdiocese of Vancouver from 1912-1931 and was responsible for moving the cathedral from New Westminster to Downtown Vancouver.

He is now interred with three other former archbishops: Archbishop William Mark Duke, Archbishop Martin Michael Johnson, and Archbishop James Carney.

The story was featured in the Jan. 31 issue of The B.C. Catholic.

St. Pius X principal named Associate Superintendent

St. Pius X
Congratulations to Fabio Battisti

Today Fabio Battisti was named the Associate Superintendent for Human Resources for the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA) in a letter from superintendent Doug Lauson.

Battisti is the principal of North Vancouver's St. Pius X Elementary, where he has been an administrator for 13 years. Previously, he was vice principal and taught Grade 7 at Holy Trinity for 11 years.

Currently, he is the chair and superintendent's representative to the CIVSA Elementary Athletic Commission, which organizes and oversees the athletic competition in the 39 elementary schools of Vancouver.

Battisti will begin his new duties in August 2011.

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