Monday, March 31, 2014

Conservative MP introduces assisted suicide bills

Stephen Fletcher, quadriplegic, calls for debate in parliament
Dying with Dignity executive director Wanda Morris and Conservative MP Stephen Fletcher
introduce two private member's bills relating to assisted suicide. (Deborah Gyapong / CCN)
Conservative MP Stephen Fletcher sees physician assisted suicide in Canada as "inevitable" and introduced two private member's bills for it March 27. The CBC reports:
One of the two bills deals specifically with the Criminal Code of Canada and would allow doctors to help patients end their lives under very strict circumstances.

The other piece of legislation would set up a commission to monitor a system of physician-assisted suicide across the country. According to Fletcher, it would collect data to create profiles of the people who file requests so that "hopefully we can have better public policy as we go forward."
Anti-euthanasia groups, like the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the Campaign Life Coalition, are voicing their opposition. EPC executive director Alex Schadenberg:
“The polling we’ve done indicates that the more facts Canadians have about euthanasia and assisted suicide, the more Canadians will oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide."
Read more about what these groups are saying on The B.C. Catholic website.

Sierra Leonean recalls Vicar of Christ 'always smiling'

She still prays for his canonization

When Marie Lomas visited the Vatican for the second time in September 1962, she had an once-in-a-lifetime experience: a meeting with the Vicar of Christ. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

UK fetal incineration scandal prompts calls to respect life
Pope Francis holds a replica of a fetus presented by a couple wearing T-shirts with the message in Portuguese, "Stop Abortion," during the Offertory at the Mass at the end of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro July 28, 2013. The Pope had met the couple, who have a baby girl with anencephaly (missing part of her brain), the previous day and invited them to participate in the Mass. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano.
Revelations that National Health Service hospitals in the U.K. have disposed of the bodies of miscarried or aborted children by incineration as clinical waste show the need to reject abortion and to respect life, pro-life leaders said. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Homeschoolers teach what is important to them
Bonnie Landry. Chris Miller / Western Catholic Reporter.
For 22 years, homeschooling has been a way of life for Bonnie Landry in the little hamlet of Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. With seven children, aged 7 to 26, she still has a few more years to go. For

full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Vancouverite recalls outdoor excursion with Pope

Pope John Paul II continued hiking and skiing in Italy despite assassination attempt in 1981
Mary Ostrowka, a member of St. Casimir's Parish, meets Pope John Paul II in the summer of 1984. Photo submitted.
A young priest known for taking students on hiking and kayaking trips didn't lose his love for the outdoors when he became St. Peter's successor. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Women rally outside U.S. Supreme Court for religious liberty
The Supreme Court building in Washington is reflected in a pro-life protester's sunglasses as he prays during the third and final day of legal arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the high court in this 2012 photo. CNS photo / Jonathan Ernst, Reuters.
Women supporting employers challenging the government's contraception mandate spoke out in support of a vision of women's equality that supports fertility and women's role as employers, as the case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCO shows Church how to evangelize according to Pope's vision
CCO co-founder Angele Regnier and Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver at the CCO Meet the Movement fundraising dinner March 23. Archbishop Miller was the keynote speaker. Deborah Gyapong / (CCN).
The Church in Canada needs a "serious, sustained commitment" to evangelization, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver told a Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) fundraiser here March 23. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Estate planning workshop to cover funeral arrangements

Tips on writing wills will be provided

A free workshop dedicated to making the awkward topic of writing wills and making pre-need funeral arrangements easier to tackle will be held at Christ the Redeemer Parish April 3. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Holy orders fosters a passionate love of the Church, Pope notes
Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square March 26. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his weekly general audience Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Sacraments, devoting today's discourse to those who receive Holy Orders, referring to it as a vocation of "service." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

'Black Madonna' pilgrimage in defence of human life comes to Canada

An icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa known as the Black Madonna entered Canada March 17 as part of a worldwide pilgrimage in defence of human life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Refugee returns to Cambodia

Trip back to land of his youth full of memories of tragedy
Reaksa Himm (right) puts his arm around the man who killed his mother, 28 years after the tragic event. He also gave him a scarf, shirt, and Bible, Photo submitted.
A man whose life was spared by chance in the killing fields of Cambodia is now a champion of school and church building projects in areas wounded by the Khmer Rouge rule. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Ukrainian priest abducted from Sevastopol parish, then released
One hundred pro-Ukraine demonstrators protest outside the Russian Embassy in Ottawa March 16. They gathered to draw attention to what the Canadian government called an illegal referendum. Art Babych / David Mdzinarishvili / CNS.
A priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has been safely returned to his parish after being taken and held by an unidentified group in Sevastopol, Crimea. Father Mykola Kvych then had to prepare to go to court the next week after being charged with organizing provocations. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Stations of the Cross guide suggests prayer for Holy Land
A group of pilgrims carry a simple cross along the Via Dolorosa, literally the Way of Sorrows, in Jerusalem. A pastoral resource titled "Way of the Cross - Way of Faith" suggests praying for Christians in the Holy Land this Lent. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
While the faithful meditate on the events leading up to Jesus's ultimate sacrifice this Lenten season, it might be a good idea to pause and pray for Christians living in the places where it all happened. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Anglican minister becomes Catholic priest

Father Shier joins Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter set up by Pope Benedict
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, lays his hands on Deacon Michael Shier and speaks the prayer of consecration, ordaining him a Catholic priest, March 15, in Holy Rosary Cathedral. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
The fruits of Pope Benedict's efforts to welcome Anglicans to the Catholic faith were manifest at Holy Rosary Cathedral as Deacon Michael Shier was ordained a priest for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Jesuits report heightened interest
Pope Francis smiles as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 5. Paul Haring / CNS.
Since Pope Francis stepped on the balcony at St. Peter's Basilica as the first Jesuit to become the Vicar of Christ, interest in his religious order has taken a noticeable boost. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Supreme Court hears religious freedom arguments in Loyola case
St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and Blessed Peter Faber are shown in an icon. CNS photo / courtesy of Jesuit General Curia.
The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in the Loyola case March 24 on whether religious freedom is both an individual and a corporate or communal right. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Papal medal winner distinguished herself on bench, in community

Patricia Proudfoot volunteers with the St. Vincent de Paul Society

Late last year the archdiocese of Vancouver honoured five recipients with the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, the highest honour members of the laity can receive from the Pope. This is our penultimate profile of those five winners. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

St. Joseph the model for educators, Pope teaches
Pope Francis wears a hard hat during an audience for pilgrims from the Diocese of Terni, Italy, in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican March 20. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
On the feast of St. Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary, Pope Francis called the saint a role model for all fathers and educators during his General Audience at the Vatican. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Share Lent campaign launches on worldwide theme 'One human family, food for all'
CCODP executive director Michael Casey, Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby, vice president of the CCCB, CCODP National Council president Patrick Kennedy and Fr. Hagos Hayish, secretary general of Caritas Ethiopia at the Hamilton launch of the Share Lent Campaign. Photo courtesy CCODP.
The Share Lent campaign of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace began on Ash Wednesday, March 5, with the theme, "One human family, food for all" as part of a worldwide Catholic charities' effort. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ecumenical dialogue to cover Eucharist

Anglicans and Catholics will meet to discuss the 'elephant in the room'
Christophe Potworowski.

Rev. Richard Leggett.
After successfully gathering over 80 Anglicans, Catholics, and a sprinkling of Lutherans, a local ecumenical effort will host a second event to address the "elephant in the room": our differences. For full story  see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Vatican confirms papal visit to South Korea
Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul, South Korea, poses with a guest during a reception for new cardinals in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, confirmed that Pope Francis will make an apostolic trip to the Republic of Korea in August. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Steubenville Toronto already sold out
Young people attend a youth conference in Steubenville, Ohio, June 18. CNS photo / Patrick Mahon, Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Toronto's inaugural Steubenville conference has already sold out, months in advance. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stewarding God's Gifts event to be held March 27

Event aims to promote an attitude of gratitude

Knowing your strengths and using them to build up your church community can require such transformation of heart that some are calling it a conversion. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Vatican celebrates Pope's anniversary with virtual book
People celebrate election of Pope Francis outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 13, 2013. CNS photo / Enrique Marcarian, Reuters.
In honour of the first anniversary of Pope Francis's election, the Vatican website has published an online book compiled of various phrases he has spoken throughout the year. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Military chaplains help soldiers in distress
Padre Major Hope Winfield is a graduate of Newman Theological College. WCR photo / Chris Miller.
Recently promoted, Padre Major Hope Winfield has just become one of two major-ranked female Roman Catholic chaplains in the Canadian military. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Middle East Christians flee conflict & seek stability

Good Friday prayers and special collection to support the needs of the Church in the Holy Land
Carl Hetu, national director of CNEWA Canada, speaks to about 60 people at St. Patrick's Parish Feb. 26. John Ray Catingub / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Is it too late for Christians in the Middle East? That was the question explored in a recent seminar at St. Patrick's Parish Feb. 26. The talk aimed to promote dialogue, discussion, and action on the sensitive topic of religion and politics in the Middle East. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope chooses global leadership for Vatican economic office
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany, is one of eight cardinals named by Pope Francis to advise him on reform of the Vatican bureaucracy. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The Pope has announced the names of eight cardinals and seven lay experts from around the world chosen to serve in the newly-created Vatican Council for the Economy. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Quebec election joins secularist values with separatism
Ethicist Margaret Somerville addresses the 2008 Catholic Media Convention May 28 in Toronto. She is the founding director of McGill University's Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law in Montreal. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
The Quebec election call killed euthanasia Bill 52, but the Parti Quebecois' (PQ) divisive Charter of Quebec Values has put the separatist party in line for a majority government April 7. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Apostolic nuncio to visit B.C.

Archbishop calls this Vancouver archdiocese 'a church growing and very universal'

Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi.
The new apostolic nuncio to Canada will make his first visit to Vancouver this spring when he attends the big canonization bash in this city. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

In rare interview, Benedict XVI recalls life of John Paul II
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, greets Pope John Paul II during a 2004 ceremony at the Vatican. CNS photo / Catholic Press Photo.
In lengthy excerpts of an interview published in an Italian newspaper, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI speaks of his time collaborating with Pope John Paul II, highlighting the deceased Pope's sanctity and commitment to the truth. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCODP launches campaign to end world hunger
Sara Farid, Edmonton area animator for CCODP, holds a microphone while a participant speaks during a Share Lent workshop Feb. 22. WCR photo / Ramon Gonzalez.
If 842 million people are hungry you can't just invite them over for lunch, but that doesn't mean we're helpless. The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace wants Catholics to stop thinking of world hunger as a permanent condition or an unsolvable problem. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spotlight shines on pipe organs

Expert praises high-quality instruments in Vancouver
Father Joseph Le examines Holy Rosary Cathedral's 97-year-old pipe organ. (Photo: Ian Smith / Vancouver Sun)
For music aficionados, a recent Vancouver Sun article suggests a visit to five unique pipe organs in the Lower Mainland. One of them is at Holy Rosary Cathedral.
Holy Rosary’s Karn-Warren organ is said to be the oldest romantic-style organ in B.C. to have remained in its original spot. The church’s website explains how the original instrument boasted 2,468 pipes before it was disassembled and sent for repairs with Quebec organ builders Casavant Freres.

Two years later, it returned to Holy Rosary boasting 2,899 pipes laid out over 51 ranks, with a console of three manuals (rows of keys), a pedal board of 32 notes and 42 stops controlling air flow to the pipes.
St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Good Shepherd Church, St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, and Westminster Abbey host more of these impressive instruments. Read about them here.

Annual family celebration to come to Vancouver

EWTN to bring annual event outside American borders for the first time
Chairman and CEO Michael Warsaw faces the cameras. Photo contributed to BCC.
The world's largest Catholic media network will bring its annual family celebration to Vancouver this year, making it the first time the event has been hosted outside the U.S.A. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Dutch Bankers swear historic oath to restore trust
Ernst von Freyberg.
Six years after "sub-prime mortgages" and "credit default swaps" joined the everyday lexicon, a Dutch reform is raising eyebrows across the financial world. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

House Speaker invites support of Magna Carta campaign
A student from Toronto Prep School examines a poster depicting an original copy of the Magna Carta at a reception hosted by the Speaker of the House Mar. 5 to promote a project to bring an original copy to Canada in 2015 as part of worldwide celebrations of the 800th anniversary of its signing. (CCN).
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Andrew Scheer, hosted an event March 5 to raise awareness of a project to bring an "original copy" of the Magna Carta to Canada in 2015. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Theology of the Body speaker dispels skewed ideas about love

Christopher West gets to the 'cor' of things on St. Valentine's Day
Christopher West, the founder of the Cor Project, weaves popular culture into his presentation about the desires of the human heart at the Vancouver Convention Centre Feb. 14. John Ray Catingub / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Amid the commercialization and skewed ideas of society about love, nearly 150 people gathered at the Vancouver Convention Centre Feb. 14 to hear Christopher West speak about the desires of the human heart and how they can be filled with God in mind. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Last von Trapp singer, who served as missionary, dies at 99
Maria von Trapp is the one in the middle.
On Feb. 18 Maria Franziska von Trapp passed away after spending her life as a performer alongside her six siblings, and later as a lay-missionary with her step-mother in Papua New Guinea. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Poll says Pope Francis has been good for the Church
Pope Francis waves as he leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 9. CNS photo / Max Rossi, Reuters.
An Angus Reid Global three-country poll released March 7 says 67 per cent of Canadians, 63 per cent of Americans, but only 48 per cent of the British think Pope Francis has had a positive impact on the Catholic Church. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pro-life campaign to hit six local universities

Silent No More also directs women to resources and healing programs
Sarah Preissner stars in a scene from Epiphany Studio Productions' "The Vitae Monologues." The play portrays powerful stories of hope and healing from women who have suffered from the psychological and physical effects of abortion. CNS photo / courtesy of Epiphany Studio Productions.
Testimonies to the tragedy of abortion and emotional recovery will be on display at six post-secondary campuses during the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Vatican panel approves Archbishop Fulton Sheen miracle

With evidence of her son's alleged miraculous healing boxed and sealed in front of a portrait of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Bonnie Engstrom gives a reading at a 2011 Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria, Ill. CNS photo / Tom Dermody, The Catholic Post.

The Bishop of Peoria has rejoiced at a Vatican medical panel's unanimous approval of a reported miracle attributed to the famous television personality and evangelist, Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Cardinal Dolan talks to Catholic Christian Outreach
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York walks away after seeing retired Pope Benedict XVI a few minutes before the start of a consistory at which Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 22. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The three recent Popes provide examples for campus ministry, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told a Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) fundraising dinner in Kingston, Ont., Feb. 27. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Medical experts say baby's survival was a miracle

Archbishop Fulton Sheen one step closer to beatification
Illinois woman who credits her son's life to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton
Sheen reads during a Mass in 2011. (Photo: Tom Dermody / Catholic Post / CNS)
Three years ago, a boy was delivered stillborn after his umbilical cord knotted itself, cutting off his circulation and oxygen supply. His mother, Bonnie Engstrom, prayed Archbishop Fulton Sheen's name repeatedly until, 61 minutes after birth, her son's heart suddenly began to beat.

Medical experts examined the case and confirmed March 6 that there is no natural explanation for the recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, now a healthy, normal toddler.

Read more from the Catholic News Service.

Archdiocese takes action against prostitution

Various Catholic groups join new committee to end human trafficking in Canada
Sister Nancy Brown.
The Supreme Court's decision to strike down prostitution laws in this country has motivated several groups in the Vancouver archdiocese to form a committee dedicated to denouncing human trafficking. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Belgium's child euthanasia move lamented as 'unbelievable'
Protesters in Brussels hold banners Feb. 11 against legislation authorizing euthanasia for children. Belgian legislators voted Feb. 13 to make their country the world's first to allow euthanasia for small children, despite vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and all main religious groups. CNS photo / Laurent Dubrule, Reuters.
In the wake of Belgium's recent decision to legalize euthanasia for children, several members of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life voiced their dismay at the new practice. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Fathers Poilievre and Boyle offer insights and testimony
Father Andre Poilievre.
STR8 UP, a Saskatoon organization helping ex-gang members find hope and healing to become good parents, faithful partners, and responsible citizens, and Homeboy Industries, a much larger gang recovery organization based in Los Angeles, offered insights and powerful testimony of hope and healing during a conference in Saskatoon Feb. 5-6. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, March 10, 2014

US considers research into three-parent babies

Technique said to prevent genetic disease
Pope Francis blesses a baby as he visits St. Thomas the Apostle Parish
on the outskirts of Rome Feb. 16. (Photo: Paul Haring / CNS)
Several weeks ago, a child in Vancouver became the first in BC to have three parents on her birth certificate. But unlike that situation, where only two of her parents are biological, the US is evaluating a scenario where a baby would be born with the genes of three parents.

The Catholic News Service reports:
Fertilization techniques that would create babies from the DNA of three or four people to prevent the transmission of inheritable genetic diseases are being questioned by ethicists and others who say the procedures fail basic ethical and moral standards.

Chief among the concerns is that the techniques, which involve replacing a mother's mitochondria with that of an egg donor, would pass on genetic alterations with unknown implications for future generations.

The techniques are controversial because they involve altering an embryo's DNA, leading to questions about whether the government should approve the creation of, in effect, genetically modified humans.
This research has support in Britain, where the government has launched a public consultation running now until May 21.

Ukrainian PM declares nation is on brink of disaster

Lviv citizens hope the west will do more than just voice their concerns, reports B.C. eparch
Eparch Ken Nowakowski prays at a flower memorial in Kyiv March 2. Photo submitted.
In response to the presence of unidentified troops in Crimea, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk ordered a full military mobilization March 2. His armed forces alert, just five days into his term as premier, came as he declared Ukraine was "on the brink of disaster." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Cardinal Kasper speaks on divorce, remarriage, and Communion
German Cardinal Walter Kasper arrives for a meeting of cardinals in the synod hall at the Vatican Feb. 21. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In a two-hour address to a consistory on the family last month, Cardinal Walter Kasper discussed marriage and family life, devoting the last section to "the problem of the divorced and remarried." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Gang conference in Saskatoon a memorable event
Father Greg Boyle, SJ, came to the conference accompanied by two ex-gang members, Fabian Debora and Louis Perez. But because of past gang involvement, Debora and Perez were both detained at the Saskatoon airport upon their arrival: their talks had to be rescheduled because of the delay.
A recent sold-out conference in Saskatoon was a powerful experience of solidarity, with a diverse crowd of ex-gang members, representatives of government, police, church and community groups gathering to reflect on the need to heal the root causes of gang involvement: poverty, trauma, addictions and the inter-generational legacy of racism and abuse. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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