Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chick-fil-A flap shows drive to suppress religion: NYT columnist

Ross Douthat says outrage over restaurant CEO's views on gay marriage shows a fake respect for religious freedom
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat said in a recent column that the reactions
against Chick-fil-A CEO’s stance on “gay marriage” reveal that many people
only maintain a “facade” of respect for religious freedom.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by Catholic News Service about a recent New York Times' column that states many peoples respect for religious liberty is merely a "facade:"
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat said in a recent column that the reactions against the Chick-fil-A CEO’s stance on “gay marriage” reveal that many people only maintain a “facade” of respect for religious freedom.
Douthat suggested in his July 29 column that many people now believe religious beliefs cannot be exercised or expressed “in ways that might make anyone uncomfortable with his or her own sexual choices or identity.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Stories of Our Lady of Medjugorje

Dominican priest travels to famous Balkan city
St. James Church in the tiny village of Medjugorje, completed in 1969, was
considered to be far larger than any foreseeable need, but times and need have changed. There are many Masses each day, but the Croatian Mass is still outside. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Father David Bellusci, OP, shares his experience in the city of Medjugorje where Mary appeared to a group of children in 1981:

I was recently a member of a tour group which landed in Split, Croatia, after flying between mountain peaks and along the Adriatic coast. We then made a three-hour trip by road across the Bosnia-Herzegovina border to Medjugorje, "town between the hills."
In 1981 six children said they were seeing the Virgin Mary daily and she was giving them messages to pass on. Some of them still live in the town and some say they are still receiving messages. 
The words of my tour guide, Ivan, stayed with me: "You are here because the Virgin Mary has invited you."

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

New website supports personhood motion

Let'sStopthePretense.com is an easy to navigate website with information on Motion 312 and human development

A new pro-life website has been launched called Let'sStopthePretense.com. The site's purpose is to support Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312, which is expected to be voted on by Parliament this fall.

Motion 312 if passed would require a special committee of the House to review "medical evidence, to determine whether or not a child is a human being before birth, and to address the potential impact on Canada's Criminal Code." Currently Canada's laws do not protect a baby until the moment of complete birth. This definition of personhood is one of the reasons Canada has no abortion regulations.

The website also features a section detailing fetal development with links to medical information backing up the website's claims.

There is also a section titled "Contact your MP" which links to elections.ca's voter information service. The section also contains two different letter templates to be sent to MP's across Canada.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Olympic's Holy event

Perpetual Eucharistic adoration begins at the London games

The B.C. Catholic has a story from Catholic News Agency about an Olympic event that rewards more than medals:

Today marked the launch of a major Olympic event that you won’t find in the official Games brochure, 24-hour Eucharistic adoration.
“We’re flying the flag for Christ if you like,” said Franciscan Father Francis Conway of St. Francis of Assisi Friary in Stratford, the Catholic Church closest to the Olympic village in London’s East End.
“We will have Eucharistic adoration from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., when another East End parish will take over from 6 p.m. till late, and then a third parish will continue through the night until we take over again at 9 a.m.,” Father Conway explained.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Sacred places are also local

Pilgrims to trek to grotto Aug. 18
Thousands attended the Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Mission,
Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 hosted by St. Joseph's Parish. BCC file photo.
Holy sites are not just reserved for Fatima and Lourdes. Holy sites also exist within the Archdiocese of Vancouver. Mark Merlino explains in this B.C. Catholic story:

Many pilgrims travel to the shrines of Our Blessed Mother, especially Lourdes in France, Fatima in Portugal, and Guadalupe in Mexico. These are miraculous places of devotion, healing, and faith.
Many pilgrims continue to follow the ancient tradition of visiting the Holy Land, the land of Biblical events and the ancient promised land, now home to great shrines at the places of Christ's birth, ministry, passion, and resurrection.
Countless others stream to the city of Rome, the resting place of the apostles Peter and Paul, to visit the Holy Father and to see the finest examples of sacred art in existence.
Living in a land where the Church is quite young, we might be tempted to think that sacred places are elsewhere, far from here, but it really isn't so. In fact, there are many sacred places right here in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, our own back yard.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chicago mayor defines city's 'values'

Rahm Emanuel supports alderman's plan to ban pro-family owned business from operating in city

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
So General Mills, Google, Kraft, and countless of other corporate entities are allowed to as an organization stand for gay marriage. But if an owner of a company speaks about his own beliefs contrary to the pro-gay marriage stand that company is not allowed to operate in Chicago.

This is the problem the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A faces as a Chicago alderman is refusing to allow a new franchise to open in his area. Oh and that alderman is backed up by his mayor and former Barack Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

According to LifeSiteNews Emanuel said Chick-Fil-A's values "are not Chicago values:"
Rahm Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune Wednesday that he agreed with Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno’s effort to stop Chick-fil-A from opening a new restaurant in his area of the city based on president Dan Cathy’s “bigoted, homophobic” views. Cathy, who is famously outspoken in his Christian beliefs, had said last week that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting traditional marriage, saying that redefining the institution meant “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”
“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” Emanuel told the Tribune. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”
Read more here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

'The New Normal' totally abnormal

One Million Moms campaign urges removal of anti-family show
The always normal family is one father, one mother, and their children.
This Catholic News Agency story tells of a group of concerned mothers across the U.S.A. who are protesting an upcoming television show that depicts homosexuality and surrogate childbearing as "the new normal family":

"NBC's 'The New Normal' is attempting to desensitize America and our children," said the pro-family organization, One Million Moms. "It is the opposite of how families are designed and created. You cannot recreate the biological wheel."

The group, which is a ministry of the American Family Association, is protesting the upcoming show, "The New Normal," which is set to air in September on the Comcast-owned network, NBC.

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

Shopping bargain bonanza helps society feed homeless

Society of St. Vincent de Paul sells blasts from the past including chesterfields, chairs, clothes
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul thrift store located at 2743 Main St.
Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Alistair Burns recently attended the annual Society of St. Vincent de Paul barbecue, and while there he learned about the lay organization's thrift story:
Where can you buy three romantic comedy DVDs for Mom, the volume of the letter "S" of the Encyclopedia Britannica for Dad, and a CD featuring your favourite '80s band, all for $10? Welcome to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) thrift stores, one of the best shopping bargains in the Lower Mainland.

"The money that we make from selling items at the thrift stores goes to help our other works," said Sheila Coutu, director of store operations. "Last year we gave out over 3,000 bags of food at the Main Street store, and we send a truck to Main and Hastings three times a week with sandwiches and coffee."

The SSVP thrift stores are located at 2743 Main St. (at 12th Ave.) and 1738 E. Hastings St. (near Commercial Dr.) Both locations are open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The life of an exorcist in training

Mysterious young priest shares his experiences
An American exorcist-in-training shares his his experience with exorcisms
anonymously so that he will not be deluged with inquiries. www.sxc.hu.
Have you ever wanted to know what makes an exorcist tick? Well, you can, by reading this Catholic News Agency story:

“I never thought I’d end up doing this, no,” admits the young priest. His unexpected path to becoming an exorcist began while saying one of his first Masses after he was ordained 15 years ago.
“At the moment of consecration of the Precious Blood I asked the Lord to shower His Blood upon the youth and to help any young men who may have a vocation to the priesthood.”
The instant reaction of one 13-year-old boy shocked the young priest. “He fell backwards and started growling, and I thought, ‘I wasn’t expecting this!’”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Court date of priest accused of fraud postponed

Father Joe LeClair of Ottawa charged fraud, theft, and breach of trust

Father Joe LeClair.
The B.C. Catholic has Deborah Gyapong's report that Father Joe LeClair's first court appearance for allegedly ripping off his parish will be moved to September:

Father LeClair, 55, who admitted last year to a gambling addiction and had previously publicly discussed his battle with depression, did not come to court when Lawyer Kim Hyslop, acting for Father LeClair’s defence counsel Matthew Webber, asked the court for more time for evidence disclosure.
“This is a complex matter and we anticipate there being lengthy disclosure,” Hyslop said.
About 10 apparent supporters of the popular priest were in the courtroom when his name was read and Hyslop rose to speak.  They filed out en masse when the new date was set.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Missionary raises awareness of South Sudan's plight

Father Martin Ochaya explains 'Church is the only institution people can rely on'
Clara Kriswanto listens to Father Martin Ochaya from the
Archdiocese of Juba, South Sudan, talk about the critical situation in his homeland. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Alistair Burns's latest story is about Father Martin Ochaya, a priest from the country of South Sudan. He shared with Burns the struggles of his homeland and how the Church is giving hope to the area:

Many peoples of the world, including in South Sudan, Africa, first encounter the Church as a provider of daily food, and then as a provider of spiritual salvation.
"The Church was, and is, doing a lot. During (recent) civil wars the Church was the only hope for the people," said Father Martin Ochaya of the Archdiocese of Juba, South Sudan's capital.
At the invitation of Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Father Ochaya, who is spending time replacing vacationing priests, is also spreading awareness of the critical situation in his homeland.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Principled pro-life activist released from prison but for how long?

Linda Gibbons acquitted after court finds insufficient evidence

Linda Gibbons, a grandmother, at one of
her many arrests, this one in 2008.
Sheila Dabu / The Catholic Register.
In my mind Linda Gibbons is synonymous with the word determination. The B.C. Catholic is reporting that the 63-year-old grandmother has been released from prison after yet another arrest for protesting outside an abortion clinic:
Supporters greeted Linda Gibbons outside a Toronto courtroom after judge William R. Wolski of the Ontario Court of Justice ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove Gibbons created a nuisance outside a Morgentaler clinic Dec. 16 in Toronto.
“We (pro-life activists) are there because we want to defend the babies and (we) love and care for women who are wounded by abortion,” Gibbons told LifeSiteNews while enjoying a Tim Horton’s coffee with friends after her release.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Meeting the Pope 'amazing'

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of WYD Toronto

Little Flower Academy pilgrims with Analyn Perez (right) helped to welcome Pope
(now Blessed) John Paul II to Toronto 10 years ago. "It really felt like the Body of
Christ (gathered) around our vicar," said Perez. BCC file photo.
It's been 10 years since Toronto hosted World Youth Day, and Alistair Burns talks to a couple of attendees, one from the Archdiocese of Vancouver, the other the CEO of Salt and Light TV:
In July 2002 the city of Toronto hosted the 17th International World Youth Day. Several hundred thousand youth, including groups from the Archdiocese of Vancouver, went by train, plane, and car. While there they welcomed the elderly Pope John Paul II.

The archdiocese is going to celebrate WYD's 10th anniversary with a Mass, to be celebrated by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, and a barbeque at Good Shepherd Church in Surrey July 28.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Preaching the Gospel in sign language

Deaf Catholics can evangelize where others cannot go
Carol Stokes, Toronto archdiocese deaf ministries coordinator, and Richard Csabi,
national chairman of the Canadian Section of the International Catholic
Deaf Association, sign "I love you." Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by Deborah Gyapong, who recently attended a conference of deaf Catholics:
The Church needs deaf Catholics and their gifts, for they can reach people that only they can reach to pass on the Gospel.

That’s the message Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, gave delegates at the 11th National Conference of the Canadian Section of the International Catholic Deaf Association (ICDA) in Ottawa July 9-14. He gave his message at a special Mass where most of the participants responded in sign language and hymns were sung with hands.

According to ICDA Canadian Section’s general chairman Richard Csabi, deaf Catholics have built a loving fellowship that is poised to reach out to deaf Canadians who have either fallen away from the Catholic Church or who have never heard the Gospel.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Group says no to avowed homosexuals

Boy Scouts lauded for continuing ban on openly gay members
This story by Catholic News Agency shows the Scouts maintaining what is a difficult line to hold these days. In this they are being supported by the Family Research Council.

The Boy Scouts of America has drawn praise for upholding a policy of prohibiting openly homosexual leaders and members, in order to align with its founding principles and respect the role of parents in educating their own children.

"The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive.

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Group raises ethical issues about reproductive law

Two Christian groups urge government to address confusion left by Supreme Court decision
Don Hutchinson,  president and legal counsel of the Evangelical Fellowship of
Canada, addresses journalists after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down
portions of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act in Dec. 2010.
Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has an article by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about concerns raised by two Christian groups over the 2010 Supreme Court of Canada decision on the Assisted Human Reproduction Act:
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) has asked the federal government to address the “staggering consequences” of the 2010 Supreme Court of Canada decision that struck down portions of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHRA). 
“Areas of research that raise deep and significant ethical issues, including human embryonic research and the creation of animal-human hybrids, were to be regulated activities,” wrote EFC Vice President and Legal Counsel Don Hutchinson in a July 16 letter to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
“The Court has created confusion, and a virtual open season now exists in regard to certain aspects of human-animal genome experimentation and embryo importing, exporting, research, and destruction as a result of the decision deeming sections 10 and 11 of the Act, along with much of section 40, unconstitutional,” he said.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website. 

CTV allegedly defames Christian pregnancy centre

Christian Advocacy Society claims investigative news story was inaccurate and costly for them

Jon Woodward
The B.C. Catholic has a controversial story about a lawsuit filed by the Christian Advocacy Society, which claims CTV defamed them in an undercover news piece by journalist Jon Woodward about their Vancouver Crisis Pregnancy Centre:

The real reason for the CTV investigation stemmed from the same undercover employee filming a volunteer counsellor at the Surrey centre who went "off script" and gave abortion information that was accurate but rare in Canada.
 Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Two Catholics shot

Pastors of Aurora churches comfort, encourage parishioners
Aurora cinema shooting suspect James Holmes.

This Catholic News Agency story tells something of the aftermath of the Aurora cinema shooting.

Father Terry Kissell, the pastor of Aurora's St. Michael the Archangel Parish, reassured parishioners of the hope they can find in Christ, even in the darkest times. He was mourning the death of one of their own in a July 20 mass shooting.

Parishioner Alex Sullivan, 27, was one of 12 people killed inside a nearby movie theatre very early Friday morning during the midnight premiere of the newest Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises." The shooter was believed to be 24-year-old James Holmes.

Sullivan was confirmed as an adult last year at St. Michael's. He would have celebrated his first wedding anniversary July 22.

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

Friday, July 20, 2012

Two provisions ease U.S. threat

Bishops praise U.S. House provision against HHS mandate penalties

This Catholic News Agency story relates that the U.S. House of Representatives has included in an appropriations bill a policy from Respect for Rights of Conscience Act in the House appropriations bill and the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.

The U.S. bishops have praised the inclusion of new legislative provisions that, if passed, could prevent financial penalties from being levied against institutions that don't comply with the controversial HHS mandate that requires coverage for sterilization and contraception, including abortion-causing drugs.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston on July 18 thanked the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor/HHS action that added two provisions to the annual appropriations bill.

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Internet giant turns missionary

Google faces criticism over global push for gay advocacy

Poland's Senate building.
This Catholic News Agency story about Google's push for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships in countries like Poland has drawn the ire of critics, who suggest the company should, rather, be addressing basic human rights violations elsewhere.

"I am afraid that Google can't distinguish between discrimination, tolerance and promotion," Father Maciej Zieba, the director of Krakow's Tertio Millennio Institute, told CNA July 17.

On July 7 in London, Google executive Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe told the Global LGBT Workplace Summit that Google's Legalize Love Campaign will develop initiatives around the world as part of "a very ambitious piece of work."

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dedicated educators retire after a combined 47 years

St. Francis de Sales principal and learning-assistance teacher shown great appreciation at send-off

Cecilia McLaren.
Julianna Craig.
Recently I had a chance to talk to two dedicated educators from St. Francis de Sales Elementary School who are moving on to retirement:
It was a bittersweet retirement for two St. Francis de Sales elementary school educators. Cecilia McLaren, the principal, and Julianna Craig, the school's learning assistance teacher, had worked tirelessly and passionately at their profession for a combined 47 years. Both are now looking forward to the next phase in their lives.

"It's been a privilege to work in a faith-based environment, but I can't teach forever," Craig said.

"I will miss the children," added McLaren.

Both long-time educators look forward to spending time with their families and exploring new opportunities in their golden years.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Summer bishops

Shepherd appointments continue despite vacation season

 The B.C. Catholic has a story by Deborah Gyapong about bishop appointments across Canada:

Bishop Marcel Damphousse of
The Holy Father may have moved to his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, but that has not stopped announcements of new episcopal appointments as the Catholic Church in Canada enjoys the dog days of summer.
Auxiliary Bishop Gregory Bittman
of Edmonton.
On July 14, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father Gregory Bittman Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton, where he has been serving as judicial vicar and chancellor.
On June 28, the Pope appointed Father Marcel Damphousse Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall.

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

Missions not 'way far away'

Cardinal Dolan sees U.S. as 'mission territory'
This is mission territory, and yes, it is New York.
This story by Catholic News Agency challenges thinking that "the missions" means places where people are very different from us.

The U.S. and other Western nations are "mission territory" for the Catholic Church in modern times, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York stressed in a July 17 online posting.

"I was raised, as were most of you, to think of the missions as 'way far away,' and to be sure, we can never forget our sacred duty to the foreign missions," the New York archbishop wrote on his "Gospel in the Digital Age" blog.

"But we are a mission territory too. Every diocese is. And every committed Catholic is a missionary. This is at the heart of what Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI call the New Evangelization."

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

No need to kill embryos in lab

Report shows adult stem cell research produces results, draws money

A mouse was killed to obtain these stem cells.
This Catholic News Agency story gives encouraging news about stem-cell research using embryos.

A new report on one of the world's largest funders of stem-cell research reveals that an emphasis on results has led to a shift in funding towards morally acceptable work with adult stem cells.

In the field of stem-cell research, the "predominant progress" is being made by non-controversial adult stem cells, said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which serves as the education and research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deaf seminarian hopes to serve Canada’s deaf community

Catholic convert Matthew Hysell sees disability as a blessing
Seminarian Matthew Hysell (left) with Deacon Keith Dorschner of the Kingston
archdiocese, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ and Fr. Peter Monty, SJ,
of Ottawa at the 11th Canadian Section of the International Catholic Deaf Association
at Carleton University, July 9-14 in Ottawa. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by CCN's Deborah Gyapong about a deaf seminarian who wants to serve the deaf community of Edmonton as a priest:
When Matthew Hysell was 18 months old, he contracted meningitis during an epidemic in the 1970s.

He received a vaccine, but one of its side effects was hearing loss. But Hysell, who can read lips, speak clearly, and communicate in sign language, realized after he became Catholic that his deafness is a gift.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing for the deaf community today if I wasn’t deaf, so I see it as a blessing in disguise,” said Hysell, who hopes to be ordained a transitional deacon in the Edmonton archdiocese Aug. 27, and then a priest next year.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

The bells ring in Poco with controversy

Our Lady of the Assumption Parish defends bell-ringing after parishioner complains to city
Our Lady of Assumption Parish
Alistair Burns recently talked to Father Ronald Thompson, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, about a few complaints about the church's bell ringing:
Father Thompson explained the church's bell tower has two functions: first, an hourly bell, rung from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., "which is only one bell, counting out the hours."

Then all of the bells are rung for a few minutes before weekday morning Masses (7 a.m. on Tuesdays, 8:15 a.m. the rest of the week), and on Sunday before Masses.

"Also, we employ them daily before the Angelus, at noon and at 6 p.m.," he pointed out. "This helps to remind Catholics either in the church itself or at home nearby to start their prayers."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Special collection set for West African food crisis

Development and Peace asks for donations to help Sahel region avoid disaster
A young man takes a break from digging half-moons at a Caritas Niger (CADEV)
Food-for-Work project near the village of Karma, 60 km west of the capital, Niamey.
Half-moons help harvest rainwater and create areas for farming.
Caritas Internationalis / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) is urging Vancouver Catholics to give generously during a special collection July 22 to help offset a humanitarian disaster in Western Africa:
According to Guy Desaulniers, the emergency relief officer for the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP), the arid region did not have a good harvest in 2011, and there has been recurring drought.

He said the people of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, northern Nigeria, and Senegal will not have a harvest until September. Five of those countries have declared states of emergency and have requested international aid.

Donations can be made to the CCODP fundraising effort at 1-888-664-3387 and at www.devp.org.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Family life conference draws 500 families

Albertan Catholics gather during Canada Day weekend
Father Taras Kraychuk distributes Communion at the Catholic Family Life
Conference June 30. Ramon Gonzalez / CCN.
 The B.C. Catholic has a story from Ramon Gonzalez of the Western Catholic Reporter who recently attended Catholic Family Life Conference in Lac Ste. Anne:
Wanda and John Lazzari of Camrose took the advice of friends and spent the Canada Day weekend at the Catholic Family Life Conference.

“It has been an amazing weekend,” Wanda said.

The couple said the conference helped them understand “why we are Catholics and why Catholics are different.”
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Next WYD in sight

Young people flood Rio for launch of World Youth Day prayer
Statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio de Janeiro.
This Catholic News Agency story reminds us that it's just over one year until the next international World Youth Day.

On the evening of July 13, thousands of young people flocked to Rio de Janeiro for the release of the official World Youth Day prayer as preparations for next year's global youth event continue.

"The prayer was made so that, in a more intense and focused manner, people may pray for the intentions we have for this one-year countdown mark which is already drawing near," said Father Leandro Lenin, of the Pastoral Preparation Sector within the Local WYD Organization Committee in Rio.

The committee is overseen by Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro with the help of auxiliary bishops of Rio, priests, and lay people of the archdiocese.

For full story and the text of the prayer see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Union leaders ‘out of touch’ on abortion

Protest led by the Canadian Auto Workers against anti-abortion campaign backfires in Windsor
Protesters organized by the Canadian Auto Workers Union show their
displeasure with the New Abortion Caravan. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by Michael Swan of the Catholic Register about backlash to the pro-abortion position taken by the Canadian Auto Workers union:
When a union declares itself pro-choice and tries to shut down debate about the legal status of a fetus, its stand is neither progressive nor representative of its membership, said Toronto pro-life feminist Martha Crean.
The Canadian Auto Workers wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper June 7 objecting to any debate in Parliament over the legal definition of a human being, as proposed by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s Motion-312. The nation’s largest private sector union, representing over 200,000 workers, also organized counter protests to denounce a series of anti-abortion protests organized by the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.
The CAW-led protests backfired in Windsor June 24 when more people showed up for a protest against the CAW position, and Local 444 president Dino Chiodo distanced himself from the official CAW protest by telling the media it had been organized above the heads of Windsor union officials.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website. 

Opus Dei founder's spirit lives on at Holy Rosary

Archbishop Miller celebrates the feast of St. Josemaria Escriva as part of a 'mosaic of holiness'
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, censes a portrait of St. Josemaria Escriva,
the founder of Opus Dei.  Joseph A. Wichrowski / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Recently I attended a special Mass for the 10th anniversary of St. Josemaria Escriva:
The Holy Spirit changes lives, including that of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, and now, as the Year of Faith dawns, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, is calling on Catholics to allow the Holy Spirit to change their lives too.
"I would ask all of you, in the spirit of St. Josemaria, to open yourselves to the action of the Holy Spirit, Who transforms your life, to be small pieces in the great mosaic of holiness that the Lord continues to create in history," the archbishop said during his homily at Holy Rosary Cathedral June 26.
"Let us not be afraid that God will ask too much of us, but let ourselves be guided by His word in every daily action, even when we feel poor, inadequate, sinners."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Untouchable, but like God

Christianity changing lives of India's Dalits
Two Dalit children: the boy on the right has a poor outlook in life, but his sister has an even worse one.
Catholic News Agency has a story showing some of the practical advantages of Christianity.
A non-profit human rights group in India says Christianity has brought slow but lasting change to the country's Dalits, or "untouchables," especially the community's women, who are often victims of prostitution and trafficking.

"The Dalits are told that they are less than animals, and we tell them they are not, because they are made in the likeness of God," Jeevaline Kumar, director of Operation Mobilization's Anti-Human-Trafficking Project in Bangalore, Karnataka, told CNA.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Priest denies Eucharist to lesbian, no longer serves community

Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. did not relate incident to Father Marcel Guarnizo's removal 

Fr. Marcel Guarnizo. M. R. Stefanik Conservative Institute.
The B.C. Catholic has a story from Catholic News Agency about a priest who has been removed from ministering in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Father Marcel Guarnizo had received national attention earlier this year for denying a lesbian Communion:
“Father Marcel Guarnizo is a priest of the Archdiocese of Moscow, Russia, who was given a temporary assignment at St. John Neumann Parish,” archdiocesan communcations director Chieko Noguchi Scheve said in a statement provided to CNA July 10.  
“That assignment period has ended and Father Guarnizo is no longer in ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington,” Scheve wrote.

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

Religious tattoos a sign of holiness?

Religious-themed tattoos are 'billboards for Christ'
A tattoo of Jesus Christ's head by Shawn Legrow,
owner of Sakred Skinz Tattoo Studio in Bolton, Ont.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Erdelac / CCN.
The B.C. Catholic has a story by Evan Boudreau of the Catholic Register about a Catholic man who shows his faith visibly with multiple religious-themed tattoos:

While getting a tattoo may not be considered the holiest practice, it shouldn't always be perceived as devilish.
"Religious tattoos are a sign of faith," said Jason Gennaro, of www.religioustattoos.net. "Those who tattoo themselves with Christian symbols of faith are displaying a belief that many try to subjugate and hide."
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Anglicans enter Catholic Church at Holy Rosary Cathedral

Archbishop Miller celebrates 'symphonic' result
Father Bruce McAllister (back left), cathedral rector Father Glenn Dion, and
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, pose with 11 new Catholics outside
Holy Rosary Cathedral June 30. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Alistair Burns recently witnessed 11 Anglicans coming home to the Catholic Church:

"This has been a long, sometimes trying journey, but one filled with hope," Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said in his homily. "We are celebrating, as these nine adult members are confirmed and two children come into full communion, a joyous, historic occasion."
Archbishop Miller explained the unification process had been set in motion in 2007, when  some bishops of the Anglican communion formally expressed their desire "to enter into full unity with the Holy See, without losing their Anglican distinctiveness."

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ukrainian monk discusses his unusual past

Former drug dealer testifies to conversion from life of hedonism 
Father Taras Kraychuk talks at the Catholic Family Life Conference at Lac Ste. Anne, Alta., July 1. (Roman Gonzalez / CCN).
The B.C. Catholic has a story from CCN's Ramon Gonzalez on a Ukrainian Catholic monk who has led a fascinating life. He started as a devout child, turned into a law-breaking biker, and eventually returned to the Church to become a man of the cloth.
Father Taras (Terry) Kraychuk, who currently lives in Alberta, was born and raised in Winnipeg. The child of a devout Ukrainian family, he "grew up in the faith but drifted away from those roots. When I was 15 I was into the drug scene; I wanted to experience all the excitement, all the drugs, all the partying.” 
When he was kicked out of high school he left the Church and his family, and then, whole-heartedly embracing his passion to find meaning and happiness in life, he became a biker and travelled throughout much of the U.S. and Canada.
Any time he got in trouble because of his lifestyle he would call on God. He constantly read his Gideon Bible, believing that if he read it often, God would protect him from the police.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Famous Jesuit scientist comments on 'God particle'

Brother Guy Consolmagno says the so-called Higgs-boson particle may lead to new discoveries
Brother Consolmagno (CNS/Paul Haring)

Catholic News Service went to the Vatican's top scientist for his comments after the recent discovery of a new sub-atomic particle nicknamed "the God particle." Brother Guy Consolmagno told CNS that the new discovery could lead to further discoveries to explain how the universe works:

When people go about their everyday business working or relaxing, they don't think about the tiniest building blocks of physical matter, but "without these underlying little things, we wouldn't be here," Brother Consolmagno said.
Physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research laboratory in Geneva, announced July 4 that they were 99.999 per cent certain they had found evidence of a new particle that might be key to the structure of the universe and to understanding nature.
But the Vatican astronomer, who helped reclassify Pluto, told CNS that this discovery doesn't disprove the existence of God:

The Higgs-boson particle was nicknamed "the God particle" as "a joke" in an attempt to depict the particle as "almost like a gift from God to help explain how reality works in the sub-atomic world," he said. Because the particle is believed to be what gives mass to matter, it was assigned the godlike status of being able to create something out of nothing.
But such "God of the gaps" conjectures are not only bad reasons to believe in God, they are also bad science, Brother Consolmagno said. 
"You'll look foolish, in, say, 2050, when they discover the real reason" for a phenomenon that was explained away earlier by the hand of God, he said.
Read the full story at the CNS website.

Westminster Abbey, Sistine Chapel choirs unite

Concert educates listeners to 'appreciate beauty, wonder of God's creation'
The Holy Father poses with the Sistine Chapel Choir (Cappella Musicale Pontificia).

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper, reports that the Anglican choir from Westminster Abbey in London, England, recently joined the Sistine Chapel choir for a dual concert in St. Peter's Basilica. Composer Colin Mawkby, a former Master of Music at Westminster Abbey, writes on the vocal encounter.
This unique event had two aspects: the first spiritual and evangelical; the second musical. Music creates a sense of unity, and this is precisely what different communions are striving to achieve. The combination of these two fine choirs would have been unthinkable 50 years ago, and it underlines how well, despite many difficulties, relations between the Catholic and Anglican Churches have developed over recent years.
Music has an important role in ecumenism: it educates performers and listeners to appreciate the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. 
The Holy Father has spoken about the evangelical work of sacred music. Hearing these two great choirs underlined precisely what he meant. Religious music superbly sung can be a shining beacon for open-minded non-believers. How can one listen to sacred music without questioning its ultimate source? In a spiritually troubled world it forms a deeply rooted and secure spiritual anchor to which most people can cling.
 Read the full article here.

Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act launched

House members seek to repeal administration's 'Religious Freedom Tax'

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced a bill to protect religious groups, as well as private businesses with "moral and religious objections," from being heavily taxed for refusing to pay for insurance "that violates their religious or moral views," Representative James Sensenbrennner, a member of the Republican Party from Wisconsin, said July 10.

At a press conference, he explained that the law known as "Obamacare" would allow the Internal Revenue Service to collect $100 per day for each employee of an organization that fails to cover services such as contraception and sterilization without a co-pay. The tax penalty is part of the Health and Human Services contraception mandate, currently being challenged by over 50 organizations in 23 lawsuits.

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Longest-serving cardinal dies

Cardinal Eugênio de Araújo Sales elevated to college by Pope Paul VI in 1969
Cardinal de Araújo Sales was Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro for 30 years.

Vatican Radio reports that the longest-serving cardinal in the Church has died.
Cardinal Eugênio de Araújo Sales, archbishop emeritus of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, died July 10. He was 91 years old, and was named a cardinal by Pope Paul VI April 28, 1969. He was Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro for 30 years, and retired in 2001. With his death, Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns and Cardinal William Wakefield Baum are the only living cardinals created by Pope Paul VI.

'Theft of the century' solved in Spain

Recovered 12th-century manuscript guided pilgrims on Way of St. James
A page from the Codex Calixtinus photographed in 2004. (Associated Press)
Ciaran Giles of the Associated Press reports that a priceless manuscript, the Codex Calixtinus, has been found in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela. The news came a day after four suspects were arrested in connection with a theft.

The richly-decorated Codex was found in a garage close to the cathedral from which it had been taken in Santiago de Compostela in July 2011. The tome is considered to be the first guide for pilgrims following the ancient Christian trek known as the Camino de Santiago (or the Way of St. James).
The find came after police arrested an electrician who previously had worked at the cathedral and three others July 3. Police reportedly found 1.2 million euros, as well as a number of valuable religious works at houses belonging to the detainees.
The Codex was named after Pope Calixto II, who promoted the tradition of the Camino de Santiago in the early 12th century. A local daily newspaper, El Correo Gallego, called it "the theft of the century."
Read the full story here. 

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