Thursday, May 31, 2012

Personhood motion to be voted on June 13

Conservative MP’s request to investigate definition personhood to be debated a second time June 7
Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth.
While pro-life activists are skeptical that Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312 will pass they still urge anti-abortionists to do whatever they can to raise awareness.

“I encourage people to contact their MP and challenge them to vote yes on this issue,” said John Hof, president of the Campaign Life Coalition B.C.
He also encourages pro-life supporters use the “SimpleMail” program on SimpleMail sends a pre-written email to any MP across Canada from the constituent’s email address.
The B.C. Catholic will have full coverage of the June 7 debate and outcome of the June 13 vote.

Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Across the Divide premiers in Vancouver

New documentary from Salt and Light Television portrays struggles of Palestinian Christian university students
Berlanty Azzam talks about her legal troubles with the Israeli government while banished in her home of Gaza from a scene in the Salt and Light documentary Across the Divide. Azzam was banished from tending to her studies at Bethlehem University after she was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint because she was a Gaza resident.
Kris Dmytrenko profiles Berlanty Azzam, a key character in Salt and Light TV's documentary Across the Divide. The movie premiers in Vancouver June 3 at the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 7 p.m:
I first met Berlanty Azzam just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Pulling up in a taxi, the business administration student had come here directly from the Gaza Strip. Our cameraman was determined to capture her exact moment of arrival.

It was the first time she had been in Jerusalem in years and, more importantly, the first time the Israeli government permitted her to leave Gaza since she had been deported there from the West Bank one month earlier. She was now preparing to meet with her lawyers before she contested the deportation at Israel 's Supreme Court.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Vatileaks scandal reveals human weakness

Top Holy See official says leaked documents are unjustifiable from every point of view
Paolo Gabriele, private assistant to Pope Benedict XVI, is seen at left in the front seat of the popemobile as the pontiff arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 23. Gabriele is accused of leaking Vatican documents. Paul Haring / CNS.
Whether the Vatican documents leaked to websites like "Vatileaks" or journalists are "justifiable" or not, the behavior is inexcusable, said a top Vatican official. Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service breaks down the latest Vatican scandal brought on by the Pope's personal assistant and other scandals in recent years in an article on The B.C. Catholic website:
Depending on what commentary one reads, recent leaks of internal Vatican memos and private letters to Pope Benedict XVI are the work either of praiseworthy whistle-blowers or criminal moles.

Gianluigi Nuzzi, the Italian journalist who published a book based on dozens of private Vatican documents, said his main source was part of a group of Vatican employees who wanted to "help" Pope Benedict XVI clean up the church by revealing evidence of corruption, infighting and power struggles.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shelter finds success in second year

Eva's House has helped 12 families rebuild their lives in past 12 months

Alistair Burns' latest story details the success of Eva's House, a women's shelter that helps women and families rebuild their lives:
Domestic abuse comes in many shapes and sizes; it is sometimes physical, but it can also be verbal or financial. In the Archdiocese of Vancouver, the call to assist abused women and children has been answered by Domestic Abuse Services.

DAS, a registered non-profit organization founded in 1995, has set up Eva's House, a Catholic safe house in the Lower Mainland offering a safe haven to women and their children fleeing domestic violence.

"Domestic abuse is what I call a silent killer. People still turn a blind eye to it, not wanting to get involved or stating it isn't their business. We cannot and must not ignore it," said Janet Kilby, the new DAS president elected in February.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Native youth learn residential school history

Saskatchewan school preps students for upcoming TRC event in Saskatoon
Bishop Richard Gagnon of the Diocese of Victoria speaks at a Truth and Reconciliation event in Victoria April 13-14. Students from Riverside School in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan will attend the TRC Summit June 22 in Saskatoon. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The B.C. Catholic has a story from the Prairie Messenger about Aboriginal youth in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan learning about the residential school history in preparation of an upcoming Truth and Reconciliation event. Madeleine Marchildon reports:
On May 17 at Riverside School in Prince Albert, some 260 Grade 7 students from Saskatchewan Rivers School Division gathered for an Education Day. These students will be attending the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Summit June 22 in Saskatoon. In preparation for this event, these students were given information on the whole TRC process and its findings.

Mona Markwart, principal of Riverside School, stated that students need to know their history about treaties -- what they say and what they don't say. The Minister of Education has set up a study of awareness about treaties and their impact. She added, "These students will be in a better position to take responsibility of their lives if they know their history. This will enable government and agencies to address the changes needed."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Ireland's church shows sign of renewal after loss of credibility

Catholic bashing has replaced 'Brit bashing' in the national psyche
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin greets churchgoers following the annual Festival of Peoples Mass at St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin May 26. John McElroy / CNS.
With the International Eucharistic Congress on the horizon, Church leaders in Ireland are starting to see a Catholic renewal in their homeland. Michael Kelly of Catholic News Service reports:
While a recent survey by the Association of Catholic Priests found that weekly Mass attendance throughout the country is one of the highest in Europe at 35 percent, the capital where Mass attendance in some parishes is 2 percent -- has been hit by a combination of religious apathy, secularism and disenchantment as a result of clergy sex abuse scandals.

David Quinn of The Iona Institute, a think-tank that aims to highlight the benefits of religion for society, believes it is wrong to present all of the church's challenges as being linked to clerical abuse scandals. The shift in public opinion, he said, is "driven primarily by the secularizing trends that would have overtaken the rest of Europe over the last century, and only secondly actually by the scandals, because the downward trends were in place before the scandals ever came to light."

"Church bashing has replaced 'Brit bashing' in the national psyche," he said.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pro-life caravan meets pro-abortion carnival

New campaign unveiled at Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver Canuck's anthem singer Mark Donnelly leads the crowd at the New Abortion Caravan launch in the singing of O' Canada, May 29 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
Earlier today The B.C. Catholic attended a Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform event at the Vancouver Art Gallery where the organization unveiled their new anti-abortion project, while a carnival of pro-abortion supporters shouted in protest:
Pro-abortion supporters shouted down the speeches
at the New Abortion Caravan launch, May 29 at
the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) joined several pro-life activists to launch The (New) Abortion Caravan.

The project is based off a 1970’s pro-abortion campaign called The Abortion Caravan that brought the message of “choice” to Canadians. The tour ended on Mother’s Day in the hopes of framing the abortion debate as a women’s rights issue. 
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Pope says the world is becoming a new Babel

Holy Father says modern day communion is superficial during his homily at the Pentecost Mass at St. Peter's Basilica
Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves after celebrating Mass on the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 27. Paul Haring / CNS.
The B.C. Catholic has Catholic News Service's coverage of the Pentecost Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily that the world is becoming a new Babel:
The modern world is a latter-day Babel, where arrogance inspired by technological progress leads people to play God and sets them against each other, a predicament from which people can escape only through divinely inspired humility and love, said Pope Benedict XVI.

The pope made his remarks during his homily May 27, Pentecost Sunday, during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

Acknowledging that communications media and modern transportation have brought the world's people "closer to one another than ever before," Pope Benedict lamented that true "understanding and communion" is "often superficial and difficult."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Vatican microscopes focus on stem cells

Church merges science with faith
A microscope's view shows a colony of human embryonic stem cells (light blue) growing on fibroblasts (dark blue). Alan Trounson / Reuters / CNS.
Did you know the Church approves of stem-cell research? Well adult ones anyway. Alistair Burns explores the controversial bio-ethical issue in the latest article at The B.C. Catholic website:
Stem cells are at the heart of the latest bioethical battle for the Catholic Church. They are the sometimes enigmatic microscopic organisms, able to increase in numbers through mitosis, that are found in numerous places in the body.

"The Church does not reject science; far from it. Instead, there must be a respect for the sacredness of human life,' said Father John Horgan, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, and a former chaplain to St. Paul's Hospital.

Stem cells are either embryonic or adult. Embryonic are present in the unborn, while adult stem cells are found in anyone, regardless of age.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

What parental rights?

Ontario bishops not consulted in OCSTA clarification which MPPs say supports GSAs
OCSTA president Marino Gazzola
Here is a story which follows the state of Ontario Catholic education, which just might be going the way of the dodo, as seems to have happened in a couple of other provinces.

Ontario's Catholic bishops were not consulted when the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association (OCSTA) issued a clarification of its Respecting Difference policy that some MPPs said supports gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in Catholic schools.

Several lay Catholics who spoke at a public hearing here May 22 on Ontario's proposed anti-bullying legislation found themselves blindsided when MPPs cited the clarification, which says: "Respecting Difference Groups can address a variety of issues or can be issue specific, and address only one type of issue, e.g. the well-being and safety of students who identify themselves as L/G/B/T/Q."

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pope betrayed by a new Judas

Paolo Gabriele accused of assisting "VatiLeaks"
Paolo Gabriele, private assistant to Pope Benedict XVI, is seen at left in the front seat of the popemobile as the pontiff arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 2. Paul Haring / CNS.
Catholic News Service reports that Vatican police have found the insider in the "VatiLeaks" scandal:
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that Paolo Gabriele, the pope's private assistant, was arrested after private Vatican documents were found in his possession in connection to the so-called "VatiLeaks" scandal that began in January.

Father Lombardi said Gabriele was arrested the evening of May 23 by Vatican police after they found the illegally obtained documents in his home, which is on Vatican territory.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Justifying euthanasia in Quebec

Critics of province's Dying with Dignity report says provisions are cause for alarm
The cover of Quebec's Select Committe on Dying with Dignity report.
The B.C. Catholic has an article from Eric W. Mauser of the Catholic Times Montreal about a report that quotes euthanasia and physician assisted suicide as "medical aid in dying:"
The recommendations of the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity have been tabled and the first round of public consultation concluded, but the most important public debate is yet to take place, according to the English Speaking Catholic Council (ESCC) and like-minded organizations.

The committee’s report recommended expansion of palliative care in Quebec asked the National Assembly to legalize euthanasia and physician assisted suicide, which the report calls "medical aid in dying."

While there is near unanimous approval for improving palliative care throughout the province, the provisions for "medical aid in dying" are cause for alarm, some groups say.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Former resident takes the reins at Talitha Koum

Kimmie Jensen appointed executive director of woman's shelter
Kimmie Jensen (left) shares an emotional moment with Talitha Koum founder Starr Peardon (right) at Peardon's retirement party, March 31. Jensen replaces Peardon as executive director of Talitha Koum after going through the program for troubled women herself. Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
The Talitha Koum Society is an organization that takes in women in dire circumstances and brings faith into their lives. The organization's founder Starr Peardon stepped aside earlier this year and now the organization is run by Kimmie Jensen, a former resident:
Thirteen years ago Starr Peardon wanted to help women who struggled like she did with drugs, alcohol, and jail time. That's when she started Talitha Koum, a housing initiative for women dealing with addictions and criminal records in Greater Vancouver.

Now former Talitha Koum resident Kimmie Jensen is taking the reins of the program following Peardon's March 31 retirement.

"Starr never told me why she entrusted me with the job, but I remember telling her that I wanted to be the director," Jensen recalled. "I think it was a prayer said out loud that I didn't think was attainable."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholic priest receives lay honour

Head of worldwide Christian meditation community receives Order of Canada

Sometimes the public view seems slanted against Catholics, but here is a story about a Catholic, a priest, no less, receiving a public honour.

Father Laurence Freeman, OSB, the head and founder of the Montreal-based World Community for Christian Meditation, was named an Officer of the Order of Canada May 25.

Governor General David Johnston recognized Father Freeman for "a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large" and as "an internationally recognized spiritual leader and proponent of peace and interfaith dialogue and understanding."

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Youth dominate B.C.'s March for Life

Thousands of pro-lifers, mostly students, stage peaceful gathering outside provincial government building May 10
St. Patrick's teacher Ann Marie McGrath (centre) and some of her students enjoy the lunchtime weather at Centennial Square in Victoria while waiting for the March for Life to begin. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Alistair Burns wrote his latest article about the March for Life rally, May 10 in Victoria, from a student's perspective:

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, (left) and Kamloops
Bishop David Monroe distribute Communion
to pro-life students at St. Patrick's in Victoria.
Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
As morning dawned May 10, busloads of exuberant youth peacefully invaded the Tsawwassen ferry terminal for passage to the March for Life. Students and teachers waited as B.C. Ferry ticket operators frenetically counted out a colossal amount of walk-on tickets for the 9 a.m. ferry bound for Swartz Bay.

Once on board the vessel, Vancouver College student Jason Pinto explained why he came back for his third march. "This lets people know that human life has to be preserved and cherished. Look how Mary said 'yes' to God when He called her? We're acting similarly when we stand up for life."

Pro-lifers congregate on the Legislature lawn in Victoria.
Traffic in the downtown core was blocked for half an hour as thousands
slowly made their way past the Empress Hotel.
However, onlookers didn't seem to mind the interruption.
Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Egyptian Christians vote cautiously in elections

Islamic political parties already hold about 65 percent of seats in Egypt's Parliament
Electoral coordinators prepare to count ballots at a school used as a polling station in Cairo May 24. Egyptian voters of many ages, occupations and beliefs stood in line for hours to cast their ballots for a new president. The winner would replace Hosni Mubarak, deposed in an uprising last year. Asmaa Waguih / CNS.
The B.C. Catholic has coverage of the historic Egyptian elections. Catholic News Service's Michael Gunn reports Christian Egyptians are throwing their support behind candidates who will keep Islamic power in check:
Although no official statistics on the Christian vote were reported, in the days before and during the election, many of Egypt's Christians said they would support candidates who served under ousted President Hosni Mubarak and said the ideals of the 2011 revolution might have been too ambitious.

"For me as a Christian I have only a few choices -- the other side is Islamic, I can't choose them," said a man identified only as Rami, 45, a worshipper at the Catholic basilica in Cairo's Heliopolis district.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Damien to play at HRC

Play about great saint comes to Holy Rosary Cathedral June 1

Father Edward Danylo Evanko has performed as St. Damien all over the world including a special performance at the Belgian embassy the week of Father Damien's canonization. But his performance of Damien at Holy Rosary Cathedral, June 1, will be just as, if not more, special.

"I've longed to present Damien in what I call my cathedral," Father Evanko said in a promotional video for the one man show. In 2005 Father Evanko was ordained a priest in Holy Rosary after spending most of his adult life as a showman. "When I say as Damien 'this is my cathedral this is where I was ordained' it will be a big tug at my heart."

Damien is presented by Redeemer Pacific College and starts 7 p.m. June 1 at Holy Rosary Cathedral. Tickets are available at Redeemer Pacific's website and at the door. For more information call Maria at 604-888-7727.

Bullying bill bullied

Father of teen who committed suicide pleads for anti-bullying bill that protects all students

This Canadian Catholic News story by Deborah Gyapong from Ottawa makes a plea for dealing with ALL bullying by means of one policy.

The father of suicide victim Jamie Hubley made an emotional plea May 22 at an Ontario government social policy committee hearing that legislators adopt an anti-bullying bill that does not single out any group for special treatment.

"I ask you to protect every child equally," Ottawa City Councillor Allan Hubley told public hearings in Ottawa on two proposed anti-bullying bills: Bill 14 (renamed Bill 80) and Bill 13.

The suicide of the openly gay teenager who committed suicide in October at the age of 15 became a driving force for Bill 13 of Ontario's Dalton McGuinty government, which mandates student-led "gay-straight alliances" (GSAs) even in Catholic schools, and considers hatred of homosexual people to be a main cause of bullying.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dancing 'P-Team' invades Surrey

Praise Team returns with new production at Chandos Theatre
Unfortunately, the Praise Team was not an '80s TV show. But they look forward to seeing you.
Do you have a lack of entertainment problem? If no one else can help, for $15, you can hire the P-Team.

The Praise Team, a Christian dance ministry, returns with a new show, called "Happily Ever After". Their mission (which they've accepted since 1997) is to evangelize through the performing arts.

You can find their energetic performances on June 2 and 3 at the Chandos Theatre (10238 -- 168th., Surrey). Doors open at 5 p.m., tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more info, call 604-318-1213.

Popular journalist criticized Canada's lawless abortion situation

Andrew Coyne says it's time to talk about abortion
Andrew Coyne

In 2008 Andrew Coyne, National Post writer and CBC contributor, wrote a detailed article criticizing Canada's inaction on regulating abortion. The article, which printed in Maclean's Magazine, was a response to Henry Morgentaler's appointment to the Order of Canada.

Morgentaler was the famous abortionist who's appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada led to the country being without an abortion law. Coyne said the Morgentaler decision has not brought a Canadian consensus to the abortion issue:
The extraordinary fact that, 20 years after the Supreme Court ruling that bears his (Morgentaler's) name, this country still has no abortion law of any kind. It isn't that abortion — at any stage of a pregnancy, for any reason, and at public expense — is lawful in Canada. It is merely not unlawful. When it comes to abortion, we are literally a lawless society: the only country in the developed world that does not regulate the practice in any way.
Coyne continued slamming the undemocratic process in which the country has failed to allow the abortion issue to be debated. He said the rhetoric politicians give about abortion being a "settled issue" is undemocratic and should be opposed no matter what side of the abortion debate a person stands on:
Over the years, we have all learned to tiptoe around the issue, to refer to it by elaborate euphemisms — "a-woman's-right-to-choose," in the politicians' dutiful catechism. It isn't that abortion has been accepted, in the way that abortion rights advocates would wish, as just another medical procedure. It simply isn't spoken of. Even the citation on Morgentaler's Order of Canada talks, not of his long and prolific career as an abortionist, or even of his part in the removal of the last legal restrictions on the practice, but merely of his commitment to "increased health care options for women."
Coyne went on explaining the history of abortion since the Morgentaler ruling. He noted that the Supreme Court Justices who ruled in Morgentaler's favour had no intention of being the last voice on Canada's abortion law.

After explaining the Brian Mulroney government's failure to enact a proper abortion law, Coyne focused on Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
By the (Conservative) party's founding convention in 2005, what had previously been the lack of a Conservative abortion policy itself became party policy — their policy was to have no policy. Even that was not enough. In 2006, leader Stephen Harper was promising, not merely that his government would not introduce any law on abortion, but that he would "use whatever influence I have" to prevent his MPs from sponsoring bills of their own. And indeed, no bill on abortion has been forthcoming from any government Member.
Coyne also brought up how campus pro-life groups were censored for protesting for the unborn:
What is taboo in federal politics is the subject of something of an Inquisition elsewhere. Pro-life student groups have been banned on a number of campuses across Canada, including York, Carleton, and University of British Columbia-Okanagan. At Lakehead University, the student union voted to withhold "any and all funds, space, resources and services within its control from any group [that] holds any aim, principle, belief goal etc. that is anti-choice in nature, explicit or implicit."
He concluded his article by asking if an abortion debate would be all that scary. Coyne said that the debate would be filled with lots of a emotions and oversimplifications but:

That's true of most democratic debates.... (and) maybe, just maybe, if we start talking about (abortion) again, we might also start listening to each other. Anything's better than the head-shaking, fingers-in-the-ears, nana-nana barracking that goes on now.
Unfortunately the country's blind eye to abortion continues and since Coyne's article approximately 400,000 babies have been terminated.

Fudged abortion numbers leave bad taste in pro-lifer's mouth

Abortion statistics from Canadian health body don't add up, says Hof

Campaign Life Coalition B.C. president John Hof said the abortion statistics released by the Canadian Institute of Health Information are a joke. BCC file photo.
John Hof, president of the Campaign Life Coalition B.C., didn't mince his words reacting to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) recently released 2010 abortion statistics:
"What a joke," Hof exclaimed upon reading the statistics that reported abortions have dropped in Canada by 30 to 50 per cent. "If CIHI kept stats on breast cancer the way they keep them on abortions, the country would be outraged."
Is there an agenda to hide the number of abortions performed in Canada?
 Read more at The B.C. Catholic website.

An active conscience cannot justify abortion

Archbishop Richard Smith urges prayers for the sanctity of human life at a special Mass in Edmonton
Following the Mass for Life at St. Joseph's Basilica, hundreds of people marched through the centre of Edmonton in the fifth annual Alberta March for Life May 17. Chris Miller / CCN
The B.C. Catholic has another story from Edmonton's March for Life rally. Chris Miller, reporter for the Western Catholic Reporter, details the Mass for Life celebrated by Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, and president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops:
A conscience that’s active, alert and is properly formed will never justify the killing of an innocent life, said Archbishop Richard Smith.

In a homily at the May 17 Mass for Life at St. Joseph’s Basilica, Smith urged those present to pray for the sanctity of human life in all stages and in all circumstances.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

New information released about sexual abuse scandal in California

Release of files was one unfinished item of business from a 2006 court settlement
Franciscans Fathers Mario Cimmarrusti, Robert Van Handel, and Brother David Johnson the most recent sexual abusers added to The page contains over 8,500 pages detailing claims of sexual abuse in California.
The B.C. Catholic has Catholic News Service's report about more than 8,500 documents have been released detailing several claims of several sexual abuse by a group of Franciscan priests and brothers in California:
The release of the documents was one unfinished item of business from a 2006 court settlement that awarded $28 million, the vast majority of it from the St. Barbara Province of the Franciscan Friars and Brothers, to settle abuse claims from 25 plaintiffs.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Catholics counter Obama's healthcare mandate with prayer

Masses in Baltimore and Washington to open and close 'fortnight for freedom'
Baltimore's historic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption will host an evening Mass June 21 kicking off the U.S. Catholic Church's national education campaign on religious liberty. Nancy Wiechec / CNS.
The B.C. Catholic has a Catholic News Service article on how the U.S. faithful plan to counter President Obama's healthcare policy:
Masses at well-known basilicas in Baltimore and Washington will open and close the "fortnight for freedom," a special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action proclaimed by the U.S. bishops for June 21 to July 4.In addition to the Baltimore and Washington liturgies, national efforts include establishment of a website at The site features resources such as frequently asked questions about religious liberty, including quotes from the Founding Fathers, the Second Vatican Council and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Right now, rock star donates to N.J. food pantry

Sammy Hagar's generosity buys plenty of 'Poundcake' for Catholic food bank

Monsignor William Hodge (left) accepts a cheque from Sammy Hagar (centre), the "Red Rocker."       Photo credit: The Associated Press. 

The Associated Press reports that Hagar decided to take the advice of one of his hits with Van Halen. He donated some 'big fat money', $10,000, to St. Nicholas Church in Atlantic City, N.J.

He rose to fame after replacing Diamond David Lee Roth as singer of Van Halen in 1985. Now singing in the band, Chickenfoot, Hagar says his mission is two-fold: not only to rock hard, but to donate cash to food banks in each scheduled city on his current tour.
"The food pantries make the money go far," he commended. "They can get two-and-a-half meals out of a dollar. I want to help starving children."
Monsignor William Hodge is grateful for the donation, which he'll use to help the hundreds of people who come to the church's food pantry twice a week. Many recipients work low-wage jobs and don't have enough to eat.
"Some families come to us with six to eight children," Hodge revealed. "We'll make sure there's plenty of meat in their bags of groceries."
Read the full story here.

Edmonton March for Life commemorates infant's life

Fifth annual abortion protest held in memory of Caleb Charbonneau
Adam and Crystal Charbonneau spoke from the steps of the Alberta Legislature about their son Caleb who lived for 2 hours May 12 of last year at the fifth annual March for Life rally in Edmonton. Chris Miller / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Edmonton's March for Life rally about Crystal and Adam Charbonneau who bravely refused to abort their anencephalic baby. Chris Miller from the Western Catholic Reporter has the story:
A year ago, Crystal Charbonneau was pregnant and, at 20 weeks gestation, was diagnosed with an anencephalic baby. Knowing their baby would die, she and her husband Adam from St. Paul were offered abortion, but refused.

At 34 weeks, Caleb was born naturally at 4:37 p.m. on May 12, 2011 — coinciding with last year’s March for Life. He died at 6:30 p.m. that day.

This year’s March for Life, held May 17 in Edmonton, was a commemoration of Caleb Charbonneau.

“We knew from the very beginning that God had a plan for Caleb’s life,” Crystal said.

Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Politicians ignore 2000-person abortion protest

MLAs welcome March for Life, but too busy to listen; attend 100-person protest instead
A custodian sweeps the floor of the Legislative Chambers before politicians enter for Question Period, May 10.
A couple weeks ago I went to the B.C. Legislature to ask politicians about their positions on abortion before the annual March for Life rally:
It's anything but quiet when B.C. politicians debate one another, except when that debate is about abortion. But three Liberal cabinet ministers and the former leader of the B.C. NDP didn't stay silent before the annual March for Life rally on May 10.

"I welcome [the marchers] here to let their position be known," said Liberal finance minister and Deputy Premier Kevin Falcon. "That's what the legislature lawn is for."

"The democratic right to express an opinion is a positive thing," said B.C. Health Minister Mike de Jong.
Question Period took place during the March for Life rally, which
Deputy Premier Kevin Falcon said the government was unaware of.
Nathan Rumohr / The B.C. Catholic.
Liberal House Leader Rich Coleman said he supported the protest, and offered a reason why government officials didn't partake in the March for Life event, which drew close to 2000 people. "At 2 p.m. every member of the house is in the legislature," Coleman said.

Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Members of the Musqueam First Nation also protested at the Legislature May 10 about a condo development over an ancient burial ground. Politicians from the NDP and Liberals attended their approximately 100 person protest but were unaware of March of Life rally that 2000 people participated in.

U.S. dioceses challenge healthcare mandate

40 dioceses have filed lawsuits against Obama administration

N.Y. Archbishop Timothy Dolan leads the charge against changes in healthcare insurance.
Photo credit: Business Insider.

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, has an article detailing how many Catholic institutions in the United States are taking the American government's healthcare mandate to court. 12 lawsuits are pending in eight states outside the District of Columbia. The controversial healthcare directives would force employers, regardless of religious orientation, to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives, and more.
The insurance would cover the prescription and administering of abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilization, jeopardizing religious freedom.
The Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, voiced his support, "We have tried negotiation with the [Obama] administration and legislation with the Congress -- and we'll keep at it, but there's still no fix. Time is running out, and our fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts." 
This legal action has been launched to shed light on what kind of health insurance should be provided. The new mandate is unconstitutional, as it forces Catholic institutions (and others affiliated with different religions) to violate their moral principles.
 Read the full story here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Deacon to join the priesthood

Pablo Santa Maria drawn to clergy life after attending WYD 2002
Deacon Pablo Santa Maria. BCC file photo.
Deacon Pablo Santa Maria recently told me that his priestly ordination hasn't quite hit him yet. The deacon will be ordained a priest May 26 at Holy Rosary Cathedral. Here's a little information on the archdiocese next priest:
Deacon Pablo Santa Maria was inspired to join the priesthood after attending World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. Almost 10 years later he will realize his dream: he will be ordained a priest May 26 at Holy Rosary Cathedral.

"I had the fortune of travelling with priests (during WYD 2002) who kept asking if the men were interested in the priesthood, and I began to give it real thought," Deacon Santa Maria told The B.C. Catholic after being ordained a deacon June 3, 2011.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Tony Blair defends religion

Former British PM says without faith the world would head for tragedy and disaster

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made an impassioned defense of religion, saying the world would be heading for tragedy and disaster without faith. He is pictured in a 2010 photo at London's Westminster Cathedral. Andrew Winning / CNS.
The B.C. Catholic has an article from Catholic News Service about former British Prime Minister and Catholic Tony Blair, who said a world without religion could be disastrous:
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair made an impassioned defense of religion, saying the world would be heading for tragedy and disaster without faith.

In a May 14 interview in front of more than 4,300 people at an Anglican conference in the Royal Albert Hall, London, Blair also revealed that he had once been rebuked by an official for proposing to end a speech with the words: "God bless Britain."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Sex exhibition draws complaints

Catholic Civil Rights League disgusted at controversial show
The Canada Museum of Science and Technology will display a controversial exhibit on sex until the end of the year. The Catholic Civil Rights League sent a letter to Canada's heritage minister James Moore requesting him to review the government's funding of the exhibit.Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has a story from CCN's Deborah Gyapong about a controversial sex exhibition opening May 17 at the The Canada Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa:

The Catholic Civil Rights League has written to the Canadian Heritage Minister to ask him to review the funding of a controversial sex exhibit aimed at adolescents at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology.

“Based on information from the museum’s own website, as well as on information provided to a local contact during a preview, I find this material is far too advanced and detailed for the age group for which it is intended, and in any case has little if anything to do with the museum’s stated mandate ‘to help the public to understand the ongoing relationships between science, technology and Canadian society,’" wrote League executive director Joanne McGarry to Heritage Minister James Moore.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pro-life victories multiplying as more youth join movement

Young people seem to love life
A political cartoon by Jim Hubar poking fun at the decline
in pro-choice support.
The numbers don't lie and the number of people who want to talk about abortion is growing by the second. The March for Life in Ottawa drew almost 20,000 people, 5000 more than 2011, and campus pro-life clubs are expanding at record rates.

John Van Maren from The Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform recently wrote two blogs talking about pro-life's youth infusion:
Change public opinion, and you’ll change public policy.
This has been the mantra of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and its affiliates for years. And with the youth activated like it never has been before, that is swiftly becoming a reality.
Van Maren's post The Sky is Falling on Abortion "Rights" looked at how the pro-life movement in the U.S., which like Canada is becoming dominated by youth:

I realize that it is dangerous to look across the border to our Southern neighbors when making comparisons, because Canadians pride themselves on being, first and foremost, not Americans. But when we see Canadian youth rising up to take on Canada’s perceived abortion consensus, a quick look to the United States tells us just how effective that will be.

While American commentators such as David Frum have urged Republicans to give up on the abortion fight and let it sink into irrelevance, nothing could be further from the truth. Each year seems to bring more pro-life legislation than the last, and pro-“choice” activists are beginning to notice, with one Planned Parenthood director noting worriedly that “the sky is falling on Roe v. Wade.” Last year brought 92 pieces of pro-life legislation across the US.

It was this phenomenon that compelled the head of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) Nancy Keenan to announce last week that she would be leaving her post as president of the organization. The reason? According to the Washington Post, she is “leaving out of concern for the future of the pro-choice movement—and thinks she could be holding it back.”
People carry a large banner during the National March for Life
in Ottawa, Ontario, May 10. An estimated record crowd of nearly 20,000
turned out for the annual event despite cool, cloudy weather.
Art Babych / CNS.
Van Maren also mentioned Canada's desire for an abortion debate in his post Sorry, We Started Debating Without You:

Abortion activists such as Joyce Arthur trumpeted that Conservative MP Gordon Connor’s statement “society has moved on” had dealt a stunning blow to the pro-life movement. Almost everybody who writes for the National Post, conversely, came out in shockingly emphatic columns calling for a re-examination of the gruesome status quo.

The thing is, while abortion movement and the politicians have been calling out in their echo chamber, desperately trying to suggest that we all go home and please be quiet, pro-lifers have been mobilizing. An article in the Toronto Star yesterday highlights the activism groups CCBR has been starting across the country, as well as the ever-increasing influence of the National Campus Life Network and the burgeoning Campaign Life Coalition Youth.

Shockingly, it turns out that increasing amounts of young people aren’t buying the philosophically inept and scientifically bankrupt worldview of an outdated pro-“choice” movement. Even desperate attempts to gain support by donning genitalia costumes, stripping naked in front of displays, and wearing funny hats, hasn’t really resonated beyond giving hard-working pro-life activists comic relief. An angry Facebook group called “Death to the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform” ended up rapidly filling with debates about abortion.
I can tell you from my experience at the B.C. March for Life in Victoria that youth were everywhere and extremely vocal about defending life. The youth were also very knowledgeable about the horrors of abortion, which shouldn't surprise anyone because the truth isn't that hard to understand.

Government messing with fertility rates according to economist

'Generational war' looming in Canadian society with lower birth rates as main culprit
According Dr. Dermot Grenham, lecturer at the London School of Economics, a worldwide fertility decline will likely force seniors to stay in the workforce longer.
Alistair Burns recently attended a lecture with Dr. Dermot Grenham, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, at the SFU Harbour Centre in Downtown Vancouver. Grenham said Canada's future doesn't look particularly rosy because Canada's birth rate has dramatically declined:
Are worldwide fertility rates declining? Dr. Dermot Grenham, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, contended that they are when he presented his findings on the subject April 20 at SFU's Harbour Centre campus in downtown Vancouver.

Grenham's lecture was called "It's about the people: why governments mess with demographics at their peril."

"Canada's future does not look particularly rosy," said Grenham. In the 1950s Canadians had the highest fertility rate in the G7 group. Now the birth rate is in the middle of the pack.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Horrors of China's one-child policy revealed by activist's plight

Founder of the Population Research Institute calls Chen Guangcheng 'China's conscience'
Members of the Christian Defense Coalition pray outside the White House in Washington in support of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng May 4. Chen has focused attention to the country's forced abortion and sterilization practices, leading to a crackdown by the government on his movement and prohibitions on contact with foreigners and the media. Yuri Gripas / CNS / Reuters.
The heroic story of blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng and his fight against China's One Child Policy continues to cause headaches for both the abortion supporting Chinese government and the Obama administration. CCN's Deborah Gyapong recently attended a dinner after the March 10 March for Life Rally in Ottawa which featured Stephen Mosher, founder of the Population Research Institute, who said Guangcheng represents "China's conscience:"
The plight of the blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who recently sought asylum in the United States Embassy in China, has brought to the fore the horrors of China’s one-child policy.

Speaking at the annual Rose Dinner, May 10 in conjunction with the National March for Life, Stephen Mosher, founder of the Population Research Institute, called Chen the “Sakharov” of China, and “China’s conscience” for documenting the forcible abortions and subsequent sterilization of tens of thousands of Chinese women. Sakharov was the Soviet dissident who brought worldwide attention to the oppression of the Communist regime. Chen launched an unprecedented class-action lawsuit against the Chinese government on behalf of the women.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Pope says Christians should contribute to public ethics

Holy Father visits Italian town founded on the principles of peace and justice
Giovanna Mantovani and Anna Lacrimini run out of the rain as they wait for Pope Benedict XVI's arrival at the Sanctuary of La Verna in Italy May 13. The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the shrine was cancelled because of bad weather. Paul Haring / CNS.
The B.C. Catholic's latest article from Catholic News Service explains Pope Benedict XVI's call to Christians to lead in establishing new "public ethics" in multicultural world:
Celebrating the 1,000th anniversary of a town founded to be a model of Gospel peace and justice, Pope Benedict XVI said Christians today must find ways to infuse their cities and nations with Gospel values while welcoming and respecting people with other beliefs.

In his evening visit May 13 to Sansepolcro, named after the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, the pope urged the townspeople to use the anniversary to emulate Sts. Arcanus and Aegidius, who established the town after returning from Jerusalem.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Faith and politics gets a REFORM!

Preston Manning to talk about Christianity in the public sphere
The man credited as the Godfather of the current Conservative government thinks Christianity should be part of the public conversation. Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning will present this idea at an event called Faith and Politcs, May 16 at the Riverside Palace Banquet Hall.

"These events focus on the subject of engaging, encouraging, and equipping Christians to become more aware of the public policy and political issues that affect each one of us and to become the 'salt and light' Jesus calls us to be in our communities," said Darrel Reid, vice president of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy.

Manning will present a Biblical case for Christian involvement in public affairs at the event. He will also share how his faith motivated him to get involved in politics and eventually start the Reform Party in 1987.

Manning has been dubbed the unofficial "Godfather" of the current Conservative Party after Reform was left to rebuild Canadian conservatism after the Brian Mulroney Progressive Conservatives lost support with the country in the early 1990s.

After the event attendees will be invited to attend a seminar June 2nd at BCIT. The day long seminar will expand on the faith and political topics talked about at the May 16 event and will provide practical training on how to use faith in the public sphere.

"The overall aim is to give attendees the inspiration and training to get involved in their communities on issues God is calling them to address," Reid explained. "I want to be very clear that this is a non-partisan event. It is not designed to recruit people for any particular political party or cause. Its aim is to encourage Christians to examine their calling then get involved in the issues God has placed on their hearts.

Reid said one of major themes at Manning's May 16 talk is caution. "Christian zeal must be tempered with wisdom, prudence and respect for others."

Faith and Politics is a free event and begins at 7 p.m. at the Riverside Palace Banquet Hall. The June 2 seminar at BCIT is $50 for adults and $20 for students. For more information visit the event's website here.

Rookie crusaders strike gold

Holy Cross lacrosse team repeat as champions despite losing two-thirds of last year's team to graduation
The Holy Cross Crusaders celebrate their second straight B.C. high school Lacrosse Tier 2 championship at Dr. Charles Best Secondary School in Coquitlam. The Crusaders won gold despite losing most of their team to graduation. Only seven of the 24 players had played lacrosse before the season began. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The Holy Cross Crusaders didn't let a roster overhaul stop them from repeating as provincial champions in lacrosse. Recently I talked to members of the team about their season:
It's difficult for any sports team to repeat as league champions, especially if that team changes over half its roster. But after losing players to graduation, the Holy Cross Crusaders Senior Boys Lacrosse team took home its second straight B.C. high school Lacrosse Tier 2 Championship.

"The journey wasn't easy; we had our ups and downs," said Crusader player Nigel Van Doorne, "but we got back up and fought our way back to the top, finishing where we left off last year."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

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