Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pakistanis pitch help to Vatican cricketers

Governor Ishrat ul Elbad donates cheque, bats to St. Peter's Club
Governor Ishrat ul Ebad (middle) presents a bat to Father Robert McCulloch, an Australian priest, and Aamir Bhatti, a Pakistani seminarian and St. Peter's Club Player July 8. Photo credit: Vatican Radio.)
A Pakistani government official gave a cheque and six made-in-Pakistan cricket bats to St. Peter's Club July 8.

They were “a gift for our friends in the Vatican as a token of friendship,” Governor Ishrat ul Elbad said.

The team is a club of Catholic priests and seminarians in Rome: eight Indians, two Sri Lankans and one each from Pakistan, England and Ireland.

St. Peter's will go to the ancestral home of the game, England, to play against a team made up of Anglicans, the so-called Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI, for a charity match in September.

Pope Francis blesses Sudanese woman of strong faith

Mariam Ibrahim refused to renounce faith despite death sentence
Pope Francis blesses Mariam Ibrahim of Sudan during a private meeting
at the Vatican July 24. (CNS / L'Osservatore Romano / Reuters)
A Catholic woman in Sudan was pregnant when she was handed a death sentence in May. The crime? Allegedly converting from Islam.

Thanks to international calls for her freedom, Mariam Ibrahim was released and, just today, blessed by Pope Francis for her faith.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told journalists that the encounter in the Pope's residence was marked by "affection" and "great serenity and joy."

They had "a beautiful conversation," during which the Pope thanked Ibrahim for "her steadfast witness of faith," the priest said.

Ibrahim thanked the Pope for the Church's prayers and support during her plight.
Read more about that encounter from Catholic News Service.

Korean prelate has high hopes for papal visit

Cardinal of Seoul looks towards 'greatest miracle' – Korean reunification
Korean Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul in 2012 (Archdiocese of Seoul)
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul has declared his wish for the papal visit to South Korea scheduled for August 14-18: to provide the "greatest miracle" of North and South Korea to reunite.

"Currently neither shows any willingness to enter into dialogue and this is one of the most frustrating things for us," he said.

Click on the link for more.

Singles club gears up for busy summer

The group, open to single Catholics over the age of 40, hosts events year-round
A single man prays with fellow participants during a conference which presented talks and workshops, in addition to social, spiritual, and service opportunities, to Catholic young adults and singles. CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz.
St. Paul's Catholic Singles Club will keep its members and guests hopping this summer. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Vatican unveils logo for World Youth Day
Here is the official logo and prayer for World Youth Day 2016, which were unveiled July 3 in the event's host city: Krakow, Poland, by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. CNS photo courtesy of World Youth Day Krakow 2016.
Two and a half months after the Polish Pope, John Paul II, was canonized, the official logo and prayer for World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow was released. In a press conference July 3, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow unveiled the wholly Polish creation. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Prime Minister Harper denounces persecution of Christians in Iraq
Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad speaks during a July 22 news conference in Irbil, Iraq. He said the future of Christians in Iraq was uncertain because of the recent violence. CNS photo / Reuters.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement July 22 denouncing the persecution of Iraqi Christians, a move welcomed by the CNEWA Canada's Carl Hetu. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pro-lifers stay active over summer vacation

National Campus Life Network hosts event every week
Pro-life activists will be visible on Vancouver streets this summer as they hold demonstrations and take surveys once a week until September.

The National Campus Life Network is connecting with We Need A Law and Stephanie Gray of the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform for these events. To get involved, contact or find out more on their website.

Heritage Canada lists Cape Breton church as endangered

St. Alphonsus Parish was closed in 2007
The community in Cape Breton, N.S., is raising funds in
the hopes of saving this church from demolition.
Heritage Canada has listed a Catholic Church in its list of top ten endangered places in the country.

The diocese of Antigonish closed St. Alphonsus Church seven years ago because of decreasing parishioners and costly repair bills. Then, last year, the diocese announced it would be demolished.

Since then, community members have been looking for ways to save and restore the 98-year-old landmark.

Crisis pregnancy centres refute condemning report

Brian Norton responds to harsh allegations published by local pro-choice activist Joyce Arthur
Brian Norton (third from left) poses with the staff of the Christian Advocacy Society of Greater Vancouver. He wrote a rebuttal to a report against crisis pregnancy centres after consulting directors of crisis pregancy centres, medical ethicists, family physicians, and professional counsellors. Photo submitted to BCC.
The Christian Advocacy Society has released a response to a condemning report of crisis pregnancy centres by pro-abortion advocate Joyce Arthur. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Chaldean Catholics pray for Iraqis
A member of the Iraqi security forces stands guard in Baghdad June 17 in front of volunteers who have joined the Iraqi army to fight militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. CNS photo / Ahmed Saad, Reuters.
As tension and violence continue to threaten to pull Iraq apart, one local pastor is looking for ways to help Iraqis. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Motorcycle crash claims life of Pope's friend
Harley-Davidson gave Pope Francis this new Dyna Super Glide in June; the pope autographed and put it up for auction, raising $326,000 for a Rome soup kitchen and homeless shelter. CNS photo / Benoit Tessier, Reuters.
Pope Francis's friend Bishop Tony Palmer of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC) died in England July 20 after his motorcycle collided with another vehicle. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pope laments exodus of last Christians from Mosul

'Our brothers are persecuted, they are driven out'
A woman holds her newborn baby as Pope Francis delivers his July 20 Angelus address in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Pope Francis called for prayers, dialogue, and peace, as the last Iraqi Christians flee Mosul. CNS photo / Giampiero Sposito, Reuters.
In his weekly address after praying the Angelus in St. Peter's Square July 20, Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya tax, or leave. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Lawsuit launched against euthanasia law
These are the covers of two books reviewed by Brian Welter for Catholic News Service. Both have something to say on issues in modern times.
Living With Dignity (LWD) and the Physicians' Alliance Against Euthanasia have launched a lawsuit challenging Quebec's euthanasia law. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Council voids motion seen as anti-Christian

A storm of criticism has the Nanaimo city council back-pedaling. The council has now reversed its decision to ban events like the broadcasting of a leadership conference partly sponsored by an organization known for promoting traditional marriage. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, July 21, 2014

No Christians left in Mosul, says Chaldean Patriarch

They shared the land with Muslims for 1400 years
An Iraqi Christian woman fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Mosul sits inside
the Sacred Heart of Jesus Chaldean Church in Telkaif, Iraq, July 20. (Reuters / CNS)
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has stated that the militant takeover over of one Iraqi city has completely cleared out its Christian population.
"For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians."
He said 60,000 Christians lived in Mosul before 2003 and about 35,000 still called it their home up to the end of June. Read more from the Catholic News Service.

Salt Spring Islanders display a vibrancy of faith

Families attend Mass in St. Paul's, a historic 1880s landmark built by Hawaiians in Fulford Harbour

Catholics attend Sunday Mass at St. Paul's Church, the island's oldest building. The cupola and bell at the top have been an important aid to navigation. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Salt Spring Island may be known as a hot tourist spot for quick getaways, but it's also an island with a vibrant and enthusiastic Catholic community in Our Lady of Grace Parish. Father Ian Stuart is its administrator. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Colombian star gives thanks
Although Colombia was knocked out in a quarter-final FIFA World Cup match, one religious player will return home confident after excelling again on soccer's biggest stage. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Prostitution Bill C-36 passes Justice Committee with amendments
NDP Justice Critic Francoise Boivin in the room where the Justice Committee heard witnesses July 7-10. Deborah Gyapong / (CCN).
Prostitution Bill C-36 passed the House of Commons Justice Committee July 15 with amendments that put it on track for a Third Reading vote when Parliament resumes in September. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Steubenville conference rocks Toronto

Most attendees were high-school students from the Toronto area
Hundreds of students lining up for reconciliation, kids playing Frisbee with the Sisters of Life, bishops sitting with teens rocking out to worship-and-praise music, and thousands of young people on their knees adoring the Eucharist: these were scenes from Toronto's first Steubenville youth conference. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Iraqi bishops receive support
Syrian refugee children walk with their grandmother at Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, in May. Fleeing conflict and violence, refugees from Syria and Iraq praise the Catholic humanitarian agencies helping them cope with trauma while starting a new life in their adopted safe haven of Jordan. CNS photo / Muhammad Hamed, Reuters.
An international organization is providing Middle East bishops with funds to take care of their flocks while violence threatens their homes. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sisters of Life originally from the Vancouver area to visit

Two sisters will lead a mini-retreat titled 'The Feminine Heart'
Sisters on a mission to defend human life are coming to Vancouver to encourage the hearts of local women. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Catholics & Anglicans team up online to aid dialogue
Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, is pictured in a Sept. 9, 2010, photo prior to his elevation that year to cardinal. He says documents at will provide a basis for discussions. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Catholic and Anglican leaders are taking their efforts for ecumenism into cyberspace with the launch of a new website for Catholic-Anglican dialogue. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Past, present, and future, Christ is everything for us, nuncio says
Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, left, receives Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, centre, then the apostolic nuncio to Cuba, and the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, right, at the foreign ministry in Havana in 2008. CNS photo / Enrique De La Osa, Reuters.
The Person of Jesus Christ has shaped Quebec's past, continues to inspire the present and is the hope for the future, said the apostolic nuncio. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Catholic Women's League hosts classes

ESL speakers have opportunity to learn Mass responses in July
John Lundy, a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, works one-on-one with an immigrant from Honduras while leading a a class in English as a second language June 2 at Mercy Center in New York. CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz.
Have you ever attended Mass in a foreign language and struggled to follow along with the responses? Then you've experienced the problem that some Catholics with English as a second language (ESL) find when they immigrate to Canada. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis prays for peace after praying the Angelus
People display the flags of Germany and Argentina before Pope Francis leads the Angelus in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican July 13. Germany defeated Argentina July 13 in the World Cup final soccer match. CNS photo / Bob Roller.
Pope Francis prayed on July 13 for peace in the Holy Land, asking participants to join him in a moment of silent prayer. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Doctors' conscience rights under attack in birth control debate
When first introduced, the birth control pill was heralded as a development that would lead to fewer divorces and a steep decline in the number of unwanted pregnancies and in the number of abortions. Fifty years later cultural evidence shows those expect ations to be unfulfilled. CNS / Nancy Wiechec.
Doctors who refuse to prescribe birth control pills have become the focus of a debate over physicians' rights to freedom of conscience and religion when practising medicine. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Proposed bill aims to thwart Hobby Lobby decision

Supreme Court ruled Obama administration must accommodate the objections of employers
Pro-life demonstrators celebrate June 30 outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington as its decision in the Hobby Lobby case is announced. The high court ruled that owners of closely held corporations can object on religious grounds to being forced by the government to provide coverage of contraceptives for their employees. CNS photo / Jonathan Ernst, Reuters.
Thirty-five U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to strip religious freedom protections from businesses with objections to mandatory insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Jack Valero, co-founder of Catholic Voices, speaks at the Crestwell Centre in Vancouver. In situations where the faithful have an opportunity to speak up, he tells them, "Never be afraid of criticism, and listen carefully, since your own values are being thrown at you." Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Catholic Voices hope to 'stand on shoulders of giants'

Jack Valero is the lay point man for the U.K. media. He leads Catholic Voices, an organization of trained volunteers who present the Church's view to the world. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Charismatic leaders pursuing unity will speak at Ottawa conference Aug. 28-31
Pope Francis speaks in a video recorded on an iPhone at the Vatican Jan. 14 by Bishop Anthony Palmer, international ecumenical officer for the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches. CNS photo / YouTube.
Key people involved in June's historic meeting of evangelical leaders with Pope Francis will be speaking at the Fire and Fusion Conference here Aug. 28-31. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Schools install seismic sensors

Teachers run drills to prepare for earthquakes
Carlos Ventura, director of UBC's Earthquake Engineering Research Facility, displays the sensor disc of a p-wave detector. It is placed in a case no larger than a coffee cup and buried. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
School is out, but while students enjoy a few months of freedom, their schools will be buzzing with the installation of brand-new seismic sensors. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Louisiana diocese insists cleric cannot break seal of confession
Pope Francis hears confession during a penitential liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican before Easter. Even the Pope may not reveal anything he hears in confession. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
After the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that a priest may have to testify about an alleged confession, the Diocese of Baton Rouge said that this demand "assaults" Church teaching and is unconstitutional. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Priests celebrate 25 years of ordination
Father Gary Father Lindenbach and Father Peter Father Pham celebrated their 25th anniversary of ordination together May 13 in Regina, where they serve in the same parishes. Frank Flegel / Prairie Messenger / CCN.
Two priests from vastly different backgrounds were ordained together May 12, 1989 and 25 years later, May 13, 2014, serving in the same parishes, celebrated 25 years of ordination. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hate-speech laws a 'tool of totalitarianism,' lawyer warns

Free speech, constructive dialogue, stifled
A protest in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2007 against President Hugo Chavez's decision to not renew the licence of Radio Caracas Television. Protesters said the decision was an effort by the government to stifle free speech. CNS photo / Francesco Spotorno, Reuters.
During a recent event discussing the origin and implementation of European hate-speech laws, lawyers argued that the "ill-conceived" laws pose a danger to free speech and often stifle constructive dialogue. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope responds to invitation from local school
Archbishop Richard Smith, seen here with student Josephine Larocque, tells St. Francis School students Pope Francis is pleased with them. Ramon Gonzalez / Western Catholic Reporter / CCN.
Pope Francis likely won't be visiting Edmonton's St. Francis School, but he is pleased the students invited him. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Numerous players from many teams try it on

It's the 90th minute in a World Cup match. The fans nervously look at the scoreboard: a 1-1 tie. Tension rises as a striker dekes and goes for goal! For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Legend surrounds history of Black Madonna icon

Worldwide tour of a replica of Our Lady of Czestochowa image brings to mind miraculous events
This life-size replica of the original Black Madonna icon housed in Czestochowa, Poland, is going to come to Vancouver. Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
The Black Madonna icon which will visit Vancouver on its pilgrimage around the world is a replica of a sacred relic enveloped in fact, legend, and history. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope: Christ's call, 'come to me,' addressed to each person
Pope Francis waves as he leads the Angelus in St. Peter's Square July 6. CNS photo / Tony Gentile, Reuters.
In his address to the public after reciting the Angelus in St. Peter's Square July 6, Pope Francis noted that Christ's invitation, "come unto Me, all you who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest," is given to each and every person, through all time. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Justice Committee hears witnesses on prostitution bill
Hearings on Bill C-36 run July 7-10. Deborah Gyapong / CCN. 
Dozens of women's groups, academics, and survivors of prostitution lined up to testify before the House of Commons justice committee July 7-10 on Prostitution Bill C-36. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Catholic Cemeteries celebrate milestone

Archbishop blesses three statues and a new niche wall at Gardens of Gethsemani
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, blesses a statue of St. Andrew Kim at Gardens of Gethsemani after Mass on June 28. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
The Gardens of Gethsemani in Surrey has just celebrated a milestone in its development project after adding space for 4,000 burial plots and more than 350 niches. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Global Rosary Relay unites faithful in prayer for priests
A religious sister is joined by other women praying the rosary June 27 during the annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Eighty-four shrines in 46 nations participated in the event, which took place over a 24-hour period and was organized to pray and offer thanks to God for the priesthood and to ask Mary to protect "all her priestly sons." CNS photo / Tyler Orsburn.
Catholics throughout the world joined together on June 27 to ask for Mary's intercession in a 24-hour rosary initiative for World Priest Day. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholic high school hosts Special Olympics athletes
E.D. Feehan athletes Taylor Faford and Austin Yobb-Smith read the Special Olympics oath at opening ceremonies for a day of track and field events hosted May 21 at the Catholic High School. Kiply Lukan Yaworski / Prairie Messenger / CCN.
Some 300 Special Olympics athletes, ages 8 to 75 years, competed in a day-long track and field meet May 21 at E.D. Feehan Catholic High School in Saskatoon. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, July 7, 2014

St. Maria Goretti's greatest witness is forgiveness, priest observes

Large procession held in her home town on her feast day
A young woman works on a loom at the St. Maria Goretti Centre in a village in Benin operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, who help girls in difficulty. Devotion to the saint has spread around the world. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
After St. Maria Goretti's feast day celebration July 6, the rector of the basilica which houses her body stated that her willingness to forgive is her most prominent testimony, and that her virtue is an example for family life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Dr. Peter Meehan hopes to welcome people of faith and people of no faith
After months of searching, the board of directors of Saint Mark's and Corpus Christi Colleges has chosen a replacement to guide the post-secondary institutions. Dr. Peter Meehan has been named principal pro tem of Saint Mark's and president of Corpus Christi for a five-year term. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholic family conference draws 2,000
Faith begins with the family. Formation starts in the parent/child relationship. Home is where learning about communication, prayer, forgiveness, and virtues is nurtured. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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