Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Word Made Image"

Paintings on the life of Christ on display during World Youth Day in Madrid

Fourteen masterpieces on the life of Christ are currently on display in the Prado Museum in Madrid. The exhibit includes Caravaggio's The Descent (also known as The Entombment of Christ and The Deposition), loaned by the Vatican to the Prado Museum for World Youth Day.

The Descent by Caravaggio
The exhibit will open from July 21-September 18. Museum admission is free for all pilgrims who present their World Youth Day accreditation at the entrance from August 16 to 21. The museum will also open the two main floors of their collection on the nights of August 16, 17 and 18 from 8:30 p.m. to 12 midnight. (Catholic News Agency).

"I am sure that tens of thousands of young people will be able to not only enjoy the aesthetic beauty of these images of Christ on display by the Prado, but many of them will also have a profound experience of faith." - Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid

Archbishop Miller admits "going over the top" on stewardship

Vancouver's head priest shares his enthusiastic views on the "spirit of gratitude" 

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB has been preaching the message of stewardship around the Archdiocese of Vancouver for sometime now. In a message written for the International Catholic Stewardship Council website, he admits to being an excited new convert to the stewardship way of life, and maybe a bit over the top about it.

"Everyone knows how (new) converts are: enthusiastic, sometimes failing to understand why others don’t share their new-found treasure – whatever that treasure may be," the archbishop wrote in his address. "It is such a wonderful gift for renewal that touches the heart of Archdiocesan life. Putting God first in our lives by practising stewardship deepens our faith in a way that we never dreamed possible."

The seemingly never understated archbishop also stated the challenges true stewardship can impose on the modern day Catholic family.

"Individuals and families who practice stewardship struggle as all of us do: to make a living, to juggle income with expenses and to respond to the increasing demands placed on our time and talent."

Although challenging, Archbishop Miller said that by cultivating a spirit of gratitude one can be liberated from want and care. He also reminded the reader that good stewards giving just a bit of their time, they will receive a hundredfold from the Lord. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

17 tents to contain Blessed Sacrement during WYD 2011

Pope to continue tradition of ending the Catholic youth gathering with Adoration

Pope Benedict XVI is a no nonsense kind of kind of guy, which might be why during his first World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany he ended the festivities with Eucharistic silence instead of a big, loud musical number. In 2008 in Australia adoration also ended the event.

Adoration Mass at WYD 2002 in Toronto
 "The point is to highlight that the central person of World Youth Day is Jesus Christ, and the Pope is coming to proclaim him," said Madrid co-coordinator of the liturgies Father Javier Cremades.

WYD 2011 in Madrid will also have adoration close out the festivities. The Pope will lead the adoration and Benediction, with adoration and prayer to go throughout the night.

To help with the massive amounts of people congregated on the edges of the Cuatro Vientos military airport, there will be 17 tents erected as chapels.

WYD will not be all silence and prayer though.

"We'll wake the young people with mariachi music," Father Cemades said as a wake up call for the Pope's arrival that day.

Pope Benedict's predecessor Blessed John Paul II was known to take a more energetic approach to World Youth Days. The beloved Holy Father would rally the thousands gathered, making the experience more of a concert like atmosphere.

The current Pope has a reputation for being a bit more subdued, to the point some Catholics are surprised he's as extroverted as he has been during his papacy. This demeanor lead the Pope to be a bit surprised at how ready the young attendees of World Youth Day's of the past were able to contain their energy, remaining in silence before the Lord in adoration.

"These youth days have actually turned out to be a genuine gift for me," the Holy Father said in an interview.

"It was quite simply the common joy of faith that carried us through and that made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to remain in silence before the sacrament and so to become one."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What our pilgrims will be packing

So what is today's fashionable pilgrim wearing? Well, now we will have some idea what our WYD pilgrims will be carrying around Spain in the coming weeks:

The official World Youth Day Pilgrim’s Backpack is now public!!!
The bag itself features the official WYD colours: Red, Yellow and Orange. The bag will contain the official Pilgrim T-Shirt, a hat, a fan – because this IS Spain and and it IS summer. The bag also contains a copy of the YouCat Catechism book, a copy of Magnificat with which to follow the liturgies, the Pilgrim Guidebook the outlines the schedule of week and contains useful information about Madrid and WYD services. The bag also contains a transit pass, with which pilgrims can ride metro, bus and trains all week.
Pilgrims who are registered for housing and meals will receive the backpack upon arrival at their check-in location.

By Alicia Ambrosio - Salt and Light

More Masses required by priests in U.S

Bigger parishes and more ministries becoming the norm

This Mass seemed to have no problem attracting a number of
priests. But in the U.S, priests and religious are down 41
percent according to CARA report.
There are more Catholics in the United States celebrating Mass, at fewer parishes, by a dwindling number of priests according to a report. The report called "The Changing Face of U.S Catholic Parishes" says Catholic life is becoming "supersized."

"Bigger parishes, more Masses and ministries in languages other than English are becoming the norm," says the report released June 18.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), the authors of the report, found slight increases in family attendance at parishes around the country. While still down from the height of Mass attendance in the 1950s, CARA believes the numbers have been steady over the last decade, and with a growing Catholic population the need for more sacrament availability will be necessary.

The report also pointed out the decline of priests and the Religious. Since 1980 there has been a 41 percent decline in Religious vocations. However there has been sharp increases in ministerial staff at parishes climbing an estimated 790 of new staffers a year. Also these ecclesiastical ministers are employed for 20 hours a week or more.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Australian Catholic hospitals apologise for forced adoptions

Adoptions forced on unmarried mothers

The Catholic Church has apologized for it's involvement in forced adoptions between the 1950's and 1970's in Australia. Mothers deemed unfit to raise children by the Catholic run hospitals were allegedly drugged, and unable to view their child during labour.

"We acknowledge the pain of separation and loss felt then and felt now by the mothers, fathers, children, families and others involved in the practices of the time," the Church said in a statement. "For this pain we are genuinely sorry."

Most of the women were young, mostly teenagers with unplanned pregnancies. They were allegedly not told of single parents benefits or the right to revoke the adoption. The newly born babies were whisked away after delivery to families more "fit" to care for them.

The Western Australian Government has also apologized for its involvement in this embarrassing practice.

"The evidence that's come forward really speaks to a shameful and regretful time in the history of healthcare in Australia," said chief executive for Catholic Health Australia  Martin Laverty. "It wasn't just a small number of hospitals. We now know that there were many hospitals across Australia."

On top of the apology, the Church also called on the Australian government to establish "a fund for remedying established wrongs," and a national program to help mothers and children affected by the abusive practices.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Christ is always the best psychiatrist

Catholic Family Services hosts mental health workshop

Jake Khym (left), Peter White (right), and Catholic Family
Services Director Pavel Reid (center)
 According to Jake Khym and Peter White, psychotherapists in Vancouver, a healthy mind involves Jesus. The two gave a workshop last Friday through Catholic Family Services detailing Christs importance in the mental health field.

The day long workshop started at 9:30a.m with an introduction called "adequate anthropology" (a true understanding of human nature). This is the understanding that we are rooted in Jesus mentally. The first session also explained the human yearning for Christ, and how it leads to a true life. Khym and White say this is the answer to true mental wellness.
In session two the therapists brought up how secular counsellors focus on the "whatever is right for you, unconditional, positive regard" mindset. They countered this saying this mentality doesn't offer freedom and the fullness of life to their clients. Instead of trying to give what is right in what an individual perceives, they give an objective truth of humanity through Christs teachings.

The workshop went on with two more sessions following a lunch. Session three dealt with Jesus as the "indispensable art of mental health." And session four reminded mental health workers of the importance of Christ to the mental health field.

Pro-Life, Pro-Funk

Former Commodores guitarist in Abbotsford

Thomas "Mr. Brickhouse" McClarly, a founding member of funk balladeers the Commodores, will be performing a house concert Aug 5 hosted by Abbotsford Right to Life.

Tickets are $50 with all proceeds going to Abbotsford Right to Life.

McClarly was the Commodore's lead guitarist during their hit-making heyday in the 1970's and currently has a solo gospel album out.

His nickname comes from one the Commodores' biggest hits, but maybe he should change it to "Mr. Machine Gun," since he's likely to blow the audience away.

Tickets can be purchased by emailing or phoning 604-832-6311.

The performance is at 37720 Dawson Rd. in Abbotsford.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nuns rush the show

Catch the Nunsense before it closes

There are only a few more chances to see the Fighting Chance Productions staging of Nunsense at the Coast Capital Playhouse in Whiterock.

The awarding-winning theatre company tells the story of five zealous nuns with show business backgrounds who put on a variety show to raise money for the burials of four of their order, the Little Sisters of Hoboken.

The show closes July 23.

Alex Browne from The Peace Arch News says Fighting Chance Productions "seems to redefine community theatre with every show it attempts" by continually raising the bar.

If this play looks a bit too irreverent for you, just remember 60s oddity that was Sally Field in The Flying Nun.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The "Father" of genetics turns 189

World celebrates the accomplishments of the priest and scientist

Google's company named spelled above the search bar
honouring Gregor Mendel's pea experiments that led
led to the science of genetics

If you search anything on Google today, you will notice that above the search bar is the company letters spelled out in peas. These are not just any peas, they are the symbol of one of the greatest scientists of all time Gregor Mendel. Who just happened to be a Catholic priest.

Mendel was born in the Austrian Empire in 1822. He grew up on a farm where he would garden regularly, which would serve him well in the future. Mendel was a very bright man who was dedicated to his studies in philosophy and physics at the University of Olomouc.

Father Gregor Mendel went on to
become the Abbot for the Abbey of Saint
Thomas in Brno. Unfortunately the
administration duties took him away
from his studies.
He went on to study as a priest and, at the recommendation of his physics teacher, entered the Augustinian Abbey of Saint Thomas in Brno. There he went on to father the science of genetics. Mendel conducted multiple experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863. He concluded the different plants had three different characteristics: recessive, hybrid, and dominant alleles. In other words, the characteristics of an organism's offspring will carry on depending on the genetic make-up of the mates.

Mendel wasn't initially recognized for his work among the scientific community. Many scientists favoured the blending inheritance theory by Charles Darwin. This idea was that a random set of circumstances to determine how a species would develop. This was debunked in the 1900's when Mendel's theories were combined with Darwin's theory of natural selection.

He went on to teach at the Abbey as well as become the Abbot before he died in 1884.    

Cloverdale on guard at Swangard

Surrey school dominates at CISVA track meet

Surrey's Cloverdale Catholic School had a stunning first place finish at the June 8 track meet for the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese.

This success at Swangard Stadium was the culmination of the team's incremental improvement over the past few years.

The competition is the largest of it's kind in B.C., with almost 35 schools and well over 1,000 athletes taking part.

Two of the event's brightest stars were Cloverdale's Maria Palmegiani, 12, and Raquel Pinto, 11, who won the “aggregate” awards for best female athlete in their age groups.

Civil and Catholic law gather for Red Mass

B.C's legal professionals come together for spiritual guidance
Catholic Lawyers hope to uphold God's law
as good as Saint Thomas More
Donning the red vestments Archbishop J. Michael Millar, CSB is hoping the symbol of the tongues of fire will breathe truth into B.C's legal community. Lawyers, judges and other legal professionals are invited to join in B.C's first Red Mass Sept. 22 at 5:10p.m at Holy Rosary Cathedral.

Since it's inception in Paris in 1245, the Red Mass has brought together Catholic legal workers guiding towards the goals of faith and justice. One of the largest gatherings takes place every year in Washington, D.C. before the start of the U.S Supreme Court's annual term.
Al Pacino from The Devil's Advocate. Lawyers like this will
not (hopefully) be attendance for the Red Mass

After the Mass there will be a reception and dinner with guest speaker Father Raymond Desouza at the Vancouver Club. Dinner starts at 6:30p.m.with tickets available for $130 and $1000 for a table of eight.

Holy Rosary Cathedral is located on the corner of Dunsmuir and Richards. The Vancouver Club is located at 915 W. Hastings Street.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Death by appointment?

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition announces action

Gloria Taylor
EPC director Alex Schadenberg says his organization is seeking intervenor status on two cases - one involving an elderly grandmother named Kay Carter who went outside Canada to end her life at a Swiss clinic and another of ALS patient Gloria Taylor who has asked to terminate her life in this country.

The B.C. Civil Liberties Assoc. is trying to change the laws through the courts, said Schadenberg, because the euthanasia lobby has failed to pass a euthanasia bill  in parliament.

Mark Pickup
Disability activist Mark Pickup, who happens to suffer from the same condition as Kay Carter, says wants to make sure that his life will not be terminated in case he finds himself despairing and meets up with people who are pushing for the courts to approve physician assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Confessing the confession

People will have to cross the Channel for confession, just like abortion
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny
Ireland's government is saying it will introduce legislation that will force priests to reveal what they learn in the confessional about child abuse.

"The point is, if there is a law in the land, it has to be followed by everybody. There are no exceptions, there are no exemptions," said Irish Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said July 14 that canon law would not be allowed to supersede state law.

Father P.J. Madden, spokesman for the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, said the seal of confession is "above and beyond all else." He said in confession he would try to persuade a penitent to also confess the crime to police.

David Quinn, director of the think-tank the Iona Institute, said the government "is clearly missing something that every other government can see, which is that, at a minimum, such a law is very unlikely to lead to a single conviction and, at a maximum, will be counterproductive and will make society less safe, rather than more safe."

"Cutting off the avenue of confession to a child abuser makes it less likely that he will talk to someone who can persuade him to take the next step," he said.

He pointed out that the issue would rapidly become moot: "No child abuser will go to a priest in confession knowing the priest is required to inform the police."
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Pope calls for "info-ethics" in journalism

Vatican weighs in on phone hacking scandal

The mushrooming press-political-police voice mail hacking scandal which is threatening to dismantle communications baron Rupert Murdoch's grip on British newspapers and broadcasting has led to calls from the Vatican for journalistic integrity.

Father Jose Maria Gil Tamayo 
The media, said Spanish media specialist Father Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, writing in L'Osservatore Romano, needs to introduce "a real code of ethics that respects the authentic natural and inviolable dignity of the human person."

Pope Benedict, said Father Tamayo, considers it "essential" that social communications "assiduously defend the person and fully respect human dignity."

"Father Firewall" to be ordained "Blogging Bishop"

Archdiocese of Montreal welcomes youngest bishop in Canada

Father Thomas Dowd, 40, first Catholic priest in Canada to start a blog, will soon to be the youngest bishop in Canada and the second youngest in the world.

He and Father Christian L├ępine will be ordained an auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Montreal at Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral Sept. 10.

Father Dowd has been blogging for eight years and headed the project to get the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Web in the 1990s.

As auxiliary bishop, one of his duties will be shepherding the archdiocese's 250,000 English-speaking Catholics who have not had their own bishop since Bishop Anthony Mancini became the Archbishop of Halifax four years ago.

See a story on The B.C. Catholic website for more on the July 11 bishop appointments.

Friday, July 15, 2011

For the Catholic Foodie (Part 2)

The Cooking Priest and the Cheese Nun
Celebrity chef treks to Surrey
Father Leo Patalinghug, who was featured in The Busy Catholic's For the Catholic Foodie Part 1, is the founder of Grace Before Meals, a movement to encourage families and friends to eat and cook together as a means of building stronger bonds. He’ll be giving parishioners in Surrey a taste of his message when he visits two parishes there this week to promote stronger families and better food.

Two Grace Before Meals presentations in Surrey:
JULY 23 at10:15 a.m., St. Matthew’s Parish
Monte Cristo Sandwiches

JULY 25 at 7 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel
Penne alla Vodka

The Cheese Nun

Mother Noella Marcellino, a Benedictine nun from the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, loves cheese. A college dropout when she entered the convent, Mother Noella went on to earn a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and then a doctorate in microbiology at the University of Connecticut. A Fulbright scholarship took her to France to study the biodiversity of raw-milk cheese fungi. She is the champion of France's famous raw-milk cheeses, helping to preserve the methods and microorganisms important in cheese-making. Read more about the Cheese Nun here.

The Cheese Nun DVD is available at the Vancouver Public Library.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bachmann turns faith in overdrive

Presidential hopeful recently belonged to church that calls the Papacy the Antichrist

The Atlantic has reported that for many years U.S. presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann belonged to a conservative Lutheran Church that officially states the Pope is the Antichrist.

Bachmann, who is in the running for the Republican candidacy for the 2012 presidential election, belonged to the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn.

The church is part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), which the Atlantic calls "the most conservative of the major Lutheran church organizations." The group, which has 400,000 members, is known for it's strict adherence to the teachings of Martin Luther.

WELS' official philosophy on the papacy is featured on their website under nine page Doctrinal Statement on the Antichrist.

"We reject the idea that the teaching that the Papacy is the Antichrist rests on a merely human interpretation of history or is an open question," the statement says. "We hold rather that this teaching rests on the revelation of God in Scripture which finds its fulfillment in history."

Bachmann officially left the church last year, with some speculating her presidential race, and the U.S.'s roughly 70 million Catholics, had something to do with it.

In a 2006 Republican candidates debate, Bachmann was asked if she believed WEL's statement that the Pope is the Antichrist.

"Well that's a false statement that was made, and I spoke with my pastor earlier today about that as well, and he was absolutely appalled that someone would put that out," she said. "It's abhorrent, it's religious bigotry. I love Catholics, I'm a Christian, and my church does not believe that the Pope is the Anti-Christ, that's absolutely false."

This may sound like bad news for Bachmann, but at least Tom Petty didn't file a cease-and-desist order for playing "American Girl" at a rally. Oh wait, he did.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Brunswick parish remembers community pillar

Former Moosehead Brewery executive's funeral overflows

Hundreds of mourners packed Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rothesay, NB today, for the funeral of Dick Oland, an Order of Canada member and former executive at Moosehead Brewery.

Extra chairs had to be brought into the church, which was rebuilt largely due to Oland's fundraising efforts, in order to fit in the number of bereaved. Many more were forced to stand at the back of the church.

Oland, 69, was the president of a private investment firm and the former president of Brookville Transport, vice-president of Moosehead, general manager of Brookville Manufacturing and a director at Ganong Bros., the New Brunswick chocolatier. He was also instrumental in bringing the Canada Games to Saint John in 1985.

The Moosehead Brewery has belonged to Oland's family for decades and is the oldest independently owned brewery in Canada, first starting in 1867.

On July 7, Oland was found dead in his St. John office, which police are treating as a homicide.

Monday, July 11, 2011

TRIUMF by disCERNing teacher

National physics organization recognizes Notre Dame's Peter Vogel

The B.C. Catholic's technology columnist Peter Vogel has been awarded the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) Award for Excellence in Teaching High School Physics for the British Columbia and Yukon region. Vogel is a long-time teacher at Notre Dame Regional Secondary School.

"Peter Vogel is a master at connecting the concepts of theoretical physics with the everyday world," the CAP wrote on their website. "For more than (three) decades he has organized a contest in which student must apply their knowledge of physics to build a bridge made of 100 grams of balsa wood that will withstand a maximal load."

This year, Physics 12 student Gino Ciro set a new record of 219.95 kg.

Among his various projects is a website dedicated to balsa wood bridge building, where students get to put the theoretical aspect of classwork into practice. He maintains a very active Twitter account.

As part of the award, Vogel has been selected to participate in a physics teachers' symposium held at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (or CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, from July 3 to 23.

His participation and expenses will be covered by the Institute for Particle Physics, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, TRIUMF, and this award.

"Just before graduating from Simon Fraser University, I was fortunate to be taken on an 'inside' tour of the magnets at TRIUMF and have forever carried with me the amazement at feeling a tug on the metal parts of my jacket and seeing my analogue watch stopped by the field," Vogel said. "(It was an) experience I share each year during the physics 12 unit on electromagnetism. To now have TRIUMF be a co-sponsor of my trip to CERN brings my physics teaching career full circle as it were."

Look out for a full story on Vogel's award in an upcoming issue of The B.C. Catholic.

New flag, but little health care

World's newest country having trouble planting crops near the border

Women with crosses rehearse for independence day.

South Sudan may be a wonderful new country, but work for a better future has to be carried out immediately and non-stop.

Father Peter Othow, coordinator of development and aid for South Sudan's Malakal Diocese, said Sudan and South Sudan need to finalize their borders so that people in the border regions can get to work growing crops in the lush fertile region.

As it is, Father Othow said, because Malakal is seen as one of the potential flashpoints along the 2,100-km border with Sudan, people "can't settle, because they feel that anything could happen."

Church programs help communities to be food secure. The U.S. bishops' Catholic Relief Services provides seeds and tools and lessons in agriculture.

South Sudan is one of the least-developed regions in the world. 85 per cent of South Sudan's population of around 8 million is illiterate. Until 2005, Arabic was the language used in schools, but now it is English.

Health services are an urgent priority. There is one government hospital in Malakal, and a Comboni sister runs a clinic outside the town.

According to Doctors Without Borders, 75 per cent of people in South Sudan do not have access to basic health services.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

For the Catholic Foodie (Part 1)

"If Jesus opened a restaurant... " 
SAME Cafe (So All May Eat) in Denver, Colorado has an organic menu but without any prices attached to the dishes. Everything is made from scratch and anyone is welcome to eat regardless of ability to pay. Owners Brad and Libby Birky leave a donation box at the counter where customers are asked to consider what the meal was worth and pay what they can. Some don't give any donation, while others, like the man who left a $500 cheque, pay more. Some of those who can't afford a meal or those who simply want to help, volunteer at the cafe, helping with food prep, cooking, serving and cleaning. If you're planning a trip to Denver this summer, it might be a good idea to visit the SAME Cafe and support the community.  More about SAME here.


Grace Before Meals
His "fusion fajitas" beat Bobby Flay's "red curry-marinated skirt steak fajitas" on the Food Network's "Throwdown! With Bobby Flay" back in September 2009. His name is Leo Patalinghug, and he's a priest and member of the faculty at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Maryland. Fr. Patalinghug developed his love for cooking while studying for the priesthood in Rome. The chef priest has started the Grace Before Meals movement to build stronger families through creating and sharing meals together. Fr. Patalinghug hopes to help build stronger families to foster stronger communities -- one meal at a time.

British Columbia's Godless frontier

Does the natural splendor of the West Coast encourage a "post-religious" culture?
Nancy Greene Lake: it's okay, I guess

Vancouver Sun contributor Douglas Todd recently wrote an article on how faith communities in B.C. can reach out to non-believers in a "post-religious" society.

According to Todd, 35 per cent of British Columbians state they have "no religion," the highest proportion in North America. He added that there are also many who say they are "spiritual, but not religious."

In the article, Gonzaga University historian of religion professor Patricia O'Connell Killen, said that this is not a new trend. She said the West Coast has had a "post-religious" culture since settlers arrived in the 19th Century.

Despite this ambivalence, organized religions have had "an impact disproportionate to their numbers" in providing social welfare, health care, and education in B.C.

Killen said one factor for tough time organized religion has is the high mobility of people in B.C., making communities difficult to build. Another factor is the natural beauty, as "the grandeur of our surroundings de-centres the human and feeds the post-religious character of this place."

She also suggests how to court the spiritual-not-religious community by adapting some of their practices, such as contemplation or reverence for the natural world. Other suggestions for religious groups to bring in B.C.'s non-believers include:
  • becoming places where people are reminded "that all that exists is relational;" that "we can survive on our own, but we do not become human on our own."
  • being "carriers of memory;" healthy communities that offer "the virtue of stability," as well as a sense of history and a shared story.
  • being "crucibles of commitment;" where people can "learn to live joyfully and extend themselves on behalf of others."
Click here to read the full article.
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

El Camino!

Vancouver Catholic youth gear up for World Youth Day 2011 with event at Corpus Christi
Not every young Catholic will be in Spain for World Youth Day 2011. However they have an opportunity to join the young pilgrims for an event at Corpus Christi Parish on July 23.

The event is dubbed Camino, referencing El Camino de Santiago or Way of St. James. Tradition teaches this pilgrimage leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is where the remains St. James the Apostle are buried.
1978 Chevrolet El Camino not to be
confused with El Camino de Santiago

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB will lead the Mass and bless the Madrid bound pilgrims. Eucharistic Adoration and Reconciliation will follow.

The keynote speaker for the event is Makani Marquis, webmaster for the Archdiocese of Vancouver and part time Hermit. Makani will be sharing his pilgrimage experiences and how it can enhance one's faith for those up to the challenge.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. which includes activities and food with a purchase of a five dollar event pass. Corpus Christi Parish is located at 6350 Nanaimo Street in Vancouver.

For more information log on to here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Osservare and report

150 years of "a guiding beacon"

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's "semi-official" newspaper, celebrates its 150th anniversary this month.

First published July 1, 1861, and originally written in Italian, the newspaper is now published in nine different languages, including an English edition since 1968.

To honour the anniversary, Pope Benedict XVI visited L'Osservatore's office July 5 and called the paper "a guiding beacon" and "one of the privileged instruments at the service of the Holy See and the church," in a written message.

See The B.C. Catholic for a story on the Pope recognizing L'Osservatore's contribution to the Church.

20 per cent fewer women predicted

Indian bishops distressed by missing girls

More than five million girls have gone missing in a decade in India according to a May 8 story in the National Catholic Register.

The reduced number of girls being born, say the Indian bishops, indicates an anti-female mentality rampant in the country. An alarming drop in the number of girls under six was revealed in 2011 census figures.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias
"We need to address this problem as a major challenge," said Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

Parents, he said, conduct illegal testing to ascertain if their pre-born child is a boy or girl and abort if the testing reveals a female. The desire for sons is a "deep-rooted belief" as sons are considered important to perform the last rites as mandated by Hindu sacred writings.

Father Sebastian Ouseparambil, Catholic Health Association of India director, said parents even approach Catholic hospitals requesting the procedure while unscrupulous medical practitioners are "cashing in" by setting up clinics around the country.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Father Rosica jams with Latter-Day Saints

Faith's collide at Toronto concert

Salt and Light Television's CEO Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, got a chance to show off his conducting skills when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra wrapped up their 2011 summer tour in Toronto.

Father Rosica was a special guest conductor during the 27 June matinee performance at Roy Thomson Hall.

“When I got the opportunity to conduct, how could I say no?” he said. “I’ve always loved the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It’s America and American religion at its best; the collaboration, the joy, the pride, the beauty, and the Christianity that comes across through this beautiful music. So it’s a real honor to be here.”

Other guests included, Jerry Gray, founder of The Travellers, who said it was a highlight of his career to lead the choir in his former group's Canadian version of “This Land Is Your Land.”

Big Apple reaches for forbidden fruit

New York legislators rule against "bigotry," "prejudice," then allow it for religious groups

Once something is accepted in the Big Apple, it is, by definition, good and true ... or is it? That name, Big Apple, always seems to be a link to the Garden of Eden. We talk of Eve eating the apple in the garden, when we really mean she ate of the fruit of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Eve's action, followed by Adam's, in the garden led to immediate bad things for mankind. Will the action of the legislature in New York, voting to call something marriage which can never be marriage, do the same? Homosexual people celebrating in the streets on a Sunday, of all days, displayed some of the behaviours which are to be protected by the state. Note that normal people celebrating real marriage never think of incorporating lewd behaviour.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn pointed out that framing the issue as "marriage equality" is untrue, because one of the main purposes of marriage is to work with God to create new humans, something homosexual couples cannot achieve on their own.

He pointed out, "Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?"

The law which is about to be enacted includes exemptions for religious institutions.

Deacon Keith Fournier, writing in Catholic Online, bemoans the state of affairs, and likens it to the situation under Roman Emperor Nero, also, he says, overt in his homosexual relationships. Emperor Nero (or was it Valerian?) proclaimed the death sentence for all Christians, then offered Deacon Lawrence his life if he would turn over the gold and silver of the Church.

Deacon Lawrence gathered the poor, handicapped, and unfortunate of the city and presented them to the emperor as the gold and silver of the Church.

Of course Eve's action in the garden became the "O happy fault" which obtained for us so great a Redeemer. Can the actions legitimized by the legislators in New York provoke such feelings of loathing and disgust in normal people that they cry "Enough!"?

Babes in Sugarland...

... sing Latin

Students in kindergarten through second grade at St. Theresa Catholic School in Sugarland, Texas talk about the importance of Latin and chant in the liturgy. According to the kids, Latin is easy and that people should not be afraid to learn it. The kids sing beautifully in this video, and in their unscripted words show their appreciation of singing Latin. "We're trying to get more Latin in," says one young supporter of Latin. 

Pope Benedict, in his May 2011 Letter on the 100th Anniversary of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, reminds the faithful of the aim of sacred music: "the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful." It looks like the Pope has some really young helpers in Sugarland.

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