Friday, January 29, 2016

Rosemary Heights mployees recall history of healing and conversion

Religious sisters first built retreat centre in 1962 to be a convent and a school
Staff members gather around a statue of Our Lady on the grounds of Rosemary Heights Retreat Centre in this undated photo. The retreat centre, 53 years old, was closed at the end of 2015 because of declining numbers of retreatants. Photo submitted to BCC.
A retreat centre built on a legacy of healing and conversion has closed its doors. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope declares 'Angel of Dachau' a martyr
Father Engelmar Unzeitig, a young priest with Czech roots serving in Germany and Austria, was arrested by the Nazis on April 21, 1941. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Parliament could broaden the criteria for 'assisted death'
University of Ottawa professor Bernard Pelletier, who served on the three-person External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Physician-assisted death legislation could include competent children under 18, a legal expert told a Parliamentary committee Jan. 26. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Church celebrates a variety of cultures

Refugees and migrants attend annual Mass and reception by the hundreds
Korean children, dressed in traditional hanboks, sing during a celebration of the 102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees at St. Francis Xavier Parish. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
One Iraqi teen was living a very different life two years ago. Muhanad Shaaya, 17, and his family evaded violence in the Middle East for years before finding a safe place to call home in Surrey, B.C. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Post-synod document to be released in March
Pope Francis leaves after celebrating Mass at the close of the Synod of Bishops on the family in St. Peter's Basilica Oct. 25. At left is Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation on family life following last year's synod will be published in March, says Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Group sues P.E.I. gov't over abortion access
The Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island has met in Province House since 1847.
Prince Edward Island is the only province where doctors do not abort unborn infants, but a group of activists is trying to change that. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ordinandi made unique journeys

Clergy to talk path to priesthood
Father Larry Lynn on the day of his ordination in December, with Deacon (now Father) Davide Lanzani behind him. BCC archive photo.
Four men are proving that God calls His priests in unique ways. At the Ordinandi Dinner Feb. 4, Deacon Mark McGuckin, Deacon Lucio Choi, Father Davide Lanzani, and Father Larry Lynn will talk about how God called each of them. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope rallies Catholics to be 'mediators of mercy' during jubilee
Pope Francis greets clowns during his general audience in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis renewed his appeal for faithful to put the works of mercy into practice during the jubilee, urging them to open their hearts to others, and to show God's tenderness to those who suffer. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Carter decision creates positive right to physician-assisted death, says constitutional expert
Constitutional lawyer Peter Hogg after his appearance as a witness before the parliamentary committee on physician-assisted death Jan. 25. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The Supreme Court of Canada's Carter decision created a "positive right" to physician-assisted death, said constitutional lawyer Peter Hogg. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Documentary addresses disparagement of fatherhood

Diocese of Phoenix releases short film on 'Society's Crisis in Masculinity'
The Office of Marriage and Respect Life of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix release a documentary-style short film to create awareness of a crisis in masculinity in today's society.
With regarded to this crisis highlighted by the film, Michael Phelan, director of the Marriage and Respect Life Office said, "Historical circumstances have periodically devastated families, but we have never seen the disparagement of masculininty and fatherhood, or abandonment of men's responsibilities that we are seeing now. It calls for an unprecedented response from the Church."
The film was released a few weeks after Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted's apostolic exhortation "Into the Breach", the short film shows the Diocese of Phoenix's urgency to combat the crisis on masculinity.
View the film above, or at this link.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Thousands sign declaration on euthanasia

Leaders of many faith groups add their names to the list
The Quebec Parliament in Quebec City in 2014. (Photo: Philippe Vaillancourt, Presence / CNS)  
A joint document by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has added more voices to the debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The declaration, which currently has 5,483 signatures, opposes the practice of intentionally ending the lives of ill patients.
"We affirm that reverence for human life is the basis and reason for our compassion, responsibility, and commitment in caring for all humans, our brothers and sisters, when they are suffering and in pain."
The document asks legislators to enact "laws that enhance human solidarity by promoting the rights to life and security for all people," to improve access to quality home and palliative care, and to ensure the freedom of conscience of all health care workers. It is open for the public to sign.

The Supreme Court has granted parliament a four-month extension to the original deadline to write new laws about euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Christian pastor freed from Iranian prison

Imprisoned pastor released as part of U.S.-Iran prisoner exchange
Imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini with his family. (Photo Credit: American Center  for Law and Justice)
A pastor who was held imprisoned in Iran since 2012 has finally been allowed to return to his family. Religious advocates voice gratitude at his release.
This is a major victory. We are incredibly grateful to the more than 1.1 million people who have joined us in fighting across the globe for Pastor Saeed's freedom," said Jay Sakulow, chief counsel of the American Centre for Law and Justice, in a Jan. 16 statement.
He was arrested while visiting non-religious orphanages September 2012 on charges of threatening national security. Christian advocates believe he was arrested due to his Christian faith.

For more information, visit here.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Making plans for this weekend? Take a look at the lineup at the Archdiocese of Vancouver's Winter Institute.

  • Catholic Voices on discussing hot-button topics with others, and understanding Pope Francis and his reforms.
  • Sacred music and the liturgy as we prepare for Lent and the Triduum.
  • Ecumenical Dialogue with Orthodox, Protestant and Evangelical communities.
  • Parents and the faith formation of children.
  • Writing and sharing your personal testimony as one of your ministry tools.
  • Also, courses on youth ministry, basics of the faith, adult catechesis, classroom management, safe environment training, and more!
More information and registration at  

Knights prepare squires

Youth trained to be leaders of tomorrow
The Squires and Squirettes attend an annual camping trip last August at Allouette Lake. The group focused on team building skills and spiritual growth at the camp. Julie Kawasaki / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The "spirit of Knights of Columbus charity" is an important lesson for the youth of today, writes supreme knight Carl Anderson. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

France might not have any Jews in the future
French religious leaders meet with government officials in July 2014 to discuss anti-Jewish violence in Paris. Pictured from left are Pontoise Archbishop Stanislas Lalanne; Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris; French President Francois Hollande; French Prime Minister Manuel Valls; and Joel Mergui, president of France's Jewish Central Consistory. CNS photo / Philippe Wojazer, Reuters.
An increasingly violent wave of anti-Semitic words and acts in France threatens the very existence of Jewish communities there, one human rights advocacy group warned in a new report. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Vespers close centennial year in Winnipeg
The centennial Icon of the Holy Family, created to commemorate the Jubilee Centennial of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, is carried through St. Mary's Cathedral, where it was placed on permanent display Dec. 4, 2015, during the evening prayer service ending the centennial year. James Buchok / Prairie Messenger (CCN).
The Jubilee Centennial Year of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg came to a close Dec. 4, in the first week of Advent as the new Catholic church year began. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Archbishop thanks Downtown Eastside volunteers

At Mass, prelate calls The Door is Open a 'remarkable place where the face of Jesus is seen'
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, stands with four Missionaries of Charity, two Carmelite sisters, and a volunteer before lunch Dec. 16. The meal was organized to thank all volunteers for their efforts at The Door is Open. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Volunteers who dish up meals to the poor in the Downtown Eastside recently received a special feast of their own. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Many participants dismayed by Ontario's euthanasia consultation
Action Life executive director Louise Harbour was among about one third of the participants who objected to a lack of categories for those opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Dozens of people who showed up for an Ontario government consultation on euthanasia and assisted suicide were dismayed by the format and lack of options for those opposed. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Church welcomes farm workers to dinner

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish hosts Christmas party for about 250 migrants
Migrant farm workers sit down to a feast at Our Lady of Sorrows Church Dec. 20. About 250 farmers received gift bags and a big meal during the celebration. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A local church served up a Christmas feast for about 250 Latinos who were away from home for the holidays. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Nothing can stop God's mercy, not even sin, Pope says
Pope Francis places his zucchetto on a man as he meets the disabled during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 13. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis launched a new series of catecheses on mercy as revealed in the Bible for his general audiences Jan. 13, telling pilgrims that the love and forgiveness of God can't be overcome by anything, including our sin. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Syria Relief Fund deadline extended by government
International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced a deadline extension for the Syria Emergency Relief Fund to Feb. 29 at a news conference at Global Affairs Jan. 7. David Leduc (right), executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, was among representatives of aid agencies.
Catholic oversees aid agencies welcomed news the federal government is extending the deadline for the Syria Emergency Relief Fund to Feb. 29. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chinese priest celebrates golden jubilee with joy

Father Aloysius Lou dedicated his life to God and to developing the Chinese-Catholic community

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB (left), watches Fr. Aloysius Lou slice into his golden jubilee cake while Fr. Chi Hung Ly, CSJB, applauds. Louis Lee / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
A young priest who moved from Macau to Vancouver in 1972 to assist the growing Chinese-Catholic community has celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination. For full story
see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis explains 'who am I to judge' in his new book
Pope Francis greets Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli during a meeting with people involved in the publication of "The Name of God Is Mercy," based on an interview of the Pope by Tornielli. At right is Marina Berlusconi, president of the Mondadori company, which published the book in Italian. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano, handout.
In his new book on God's mercy, Pope Francis explains that his oft-quoted words, "Who am I to judge," about a homosexual person who is searching for the Lord with a good will, is simply his reflection on Church teaching found in the catechism. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Assisted suicide law: implement or suspend?
Rhonda Wiebe of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities said she fears that as a disabled person with type 1 diabetes she will be coerced into assisted death because of lack of proper supports such as palliative care and help to remain in her community. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide continue to raise thorny questions of jurisdiction as the federal government seeks another six months to craft legislation on the issue. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Update: In North Korea, Canadian pastor faces life imprisonment

Hyeon Soo Lim, 60, interviewed by CNN
Some of the pictures of North Korean parishes on display Nov. 24 inside Myongdong Cathedral in Seoul. As Catholic Churches around the world prepared to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy, the Archdiocese of Seoul launched a prayer movement to remember the Catholic Church in North Korea. CNS photo / courtesy Archdiocese of Seoul.
A Canadian citizen and minister of a Presbyterian Church in Toronto was allowed an interview with CNN, while being detained in a work camp in North Korea.
"Since his trial in December, Lim has been held in a labor camp. He appears to be the only  inmate. He has not seen any other prisoners. Lim works eight hours a day, six days a week, with rest breaks, digging holes for the planting of apple trees in the prison orchard."
The pastor was accused of funding and aiding defectors of the state through Mongolia. Read more here.

Parishioners say no to marijuana dispensary

Many sign petition hoping to prevent an opening
MLA Adrian Dix (left) joins St. Mary's parishioners Mildred Moy and Richard Lange as they present a petition with 1,800 signatures to the City of Vancouver. They asked the city not to allow a medical marijuana dispensary to open near St. Mary's. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A proposed marijuana dispensary has members of St. Mary's Parish worried about the impact on their community. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Executions in the U.S. are falling dramatically. Why?
The electric chair that executed 125 men between 1916 and 1960 in Tennessee is seen on display at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington. CNS photo / Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA.
Executions in the United States fell to the lowest number in decades in 2015, and recent Popes may have helped spur the drop in public support for capital punishment. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Bishops and rabbis launch national initiative
Bishop John A. Boissonneau (left) and Rabbi Reuben Poupko are the co-chairmen of the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue for Canada. Concacan Inc.
Catholics and Jews are finally in dialogue on a national level. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Children sell hot chocolate for orphans in El Salvador

St. Clare of Assisi parish fundraiser initially conceived by 6-year-old as a lemonade stand
Family friend Eduardo (left) helps David, Anna, and Rob Magnusson serve hot chocolate and cookies to St. Clare of Assisi parishioners on a cold day in December. The family hopes to continue the fundraiser annually, as the support from the parish continues to grow. Photo submitted.
When a priest requested donations for orphans in El Salvador, Anna Magnusson was puzzled. How could children lack food and family? For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Missionaries of Mercy to be sent out under the gaze of Padre Pio
A reliquary containing a relic of St. Padre Pio is seen on the altar area as Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass outside the Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, in June 2009. CNS photo / Max Rossi, Reuters.
The body of Padre Pio will be on display for veneration at next month's Ash Wednesday Mass in the Vatican, where a group of priests will be sent out as "Missionaries of Mercy" for the Jubilee Year. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Activist decries 'black hole' in abortion statistics
Natalie Sonnen, executive director of LifeCanada.
The latest abortion statistics seem to show a decreasing number of women ending the lives of their unborn children. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ukrainian Catholic nuns dedicate their lives to service

Retired Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate still host a meal every month for their neighbours
Sister Daria Sportak, SSMI (left), and Sister Angelica Hodowansky, SSMI, enjoy the spring weather in their New Westminster neighbourhood. Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Two Ukrainian Catholic nuns have lived a life of faith as Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Vatican paper blasts Charlie Hebdo cover as 'insulting' to all faiths
One year after the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre in Paris that left 12 dead, the Vatican daily newspaper has condemned the French satirical paper's anniversary cover, which depicts God as an armed terrorist. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB and Canadian Rabbinic Caucus ask for help for persecuted Christians
Representatives of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Canadian Rabbinic Caucus meeting in November. CCCB photo.
Canada's Catholic bishops and the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus are asking Canada to make helping persecuted Christians, whom Pope Francis and Rabbi Sacks say face genocide, a priority. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Indulgences repair the damage of sin

Chancellor compares the concept to fixing a broken window
Crowd waits outside Holy Rosary Cathedral for the opening of ths holy door for the Year of Mercy. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
When Pope Francis flung open the holy door in Rome for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, he welcomed pilgrims to come and receive indulgences. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

All humanity seeks God, Pope explains
Men in traditional attire guide camels during a parade on the feast of the Epiphany in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In a restless age when humanity fails to find the answer to their continuous searching, the Magi who go out looking for Christ only to find Him in a humble stable in Bethlehem are a key example of where to turn, Pope Francis said. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Become pregnant with God to awaken others to Christ: nuncio
Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi celebrated Mass at St. Joseph's Oratory Dec. 30 as part of Catholic Christian Outreach Rise Up 2015 in Montreal. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
More than 700 young people gathered at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal Dec. 30 were urged by the nuncio to be pregnant with God so others might be awakened to love in Christ. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Archbishop Miller opens holy door

Faithful fill cathedral for Mass at opening of Year of Mercy
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, kneels to pray immediately after opening the holy door at Holy Rosary Cathedral Dec. 13. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Hundreds gathered at Holy Rosary Cathedral for the dawn of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

What's destroying some Catholic marriages?
Newly married couple Anna and Kacper Matuszynski from Poland enjoy ice cream cones in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Of the countless Catholic couples who have come through Father T.G. Morrow's office in Washington, DC, for marriage counselling, two remain imprinted in the priest's mind. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Canada makes no special provisions for Syrian Christians facing genocide
Residents pray over a child's body prior to burial in Daraa, Syria. They said the death was caused by shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. CNS photo / Wsam Almokdad, Reuters.
Despite calls from religious leaders to respond to a genocide of Christians in the Middle East, Canada is not making any extra provisions for Christian refugees from Syria. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

PEI group to take government to court over abortion access

Pro-choice group releases announcement today
Pro-lifers hold a silent protest in Fredericton, New Brunswick, May 2014.
Photo submitted to The B.C. Catholic.
There is no hospital or clinic in Prince Edward Island that will abort an unborn child. Now, a new group called Abortion Access Now P.E.I. has released a statement saying they hope to change that.
"P.E.I. women are the only women in Canada without access to safe, legal abortion in their home province."
Today, they announced that they will file a legal challenge against the P.E.I. government. Currently, women travel to New Brunswick or Nova Scotia to end the lives of their unborn infants.

News sources report that the government said it would review the file and "respond accordingly in due course."

New eparchy in North America to serve Indian Catholics

Pope creates new province to help several thousands in the India-based Church
Official seal of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.
(Photo: Malankara Syrian Catholic Church) 
Pope Francis established a new eparchy Jan. 4, 2016 to serve the multitude of Indian Catholics in Canada and the United States by elevating its status.

Bishop Thomas Mar Eusebius Naickamparambil was named head of the Eparchy of St. Mary, Queen of Peace. The eparchy's faith and customs date back to the first century in India, where the Church celebrates the West Syrian rite.

Find out more here.

Parish renovates confessional for Year of Mercy

The new booth will convey a 'wow' factor representing the wonder of being in Christ's presence
Stephen Unser attaches a light fixture above new confessionals at St. Anthony of Padua Dec. 10. Unser designed and built the confessionals by himself. Joshua Tng / The B.C. Catholic.
To prepare for the new Extraordinary Jubilee's theme of forgiveness, a local parish is completely revamping its confessionals. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis has message for families: forgive each other
Pope Francis on the Feast of the Holy Family reflected on the power of forgiveness in families and compared everyday family life to an ongoing pilgrimage of prayer and love. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Supreme Court of Canada will hear euthanasia arguments Jan. 11
The province of Quebec maintains that its new physician-assisted dying law has been enacted; the courts may disagree. Photo from CMA Journal.
The battle to bring euthanasia to Canada heated up Dec. 22, when the Quebec Court of Appeal said the province could go ahead with its so-called "medical aid in dying" law. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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Posts and comments to The Busy Catholic must be marked by Christian charity and respect for the truth. They should be on topic and presume the good will of other contributors. Discussion should take place primarily from a faith perspective. We reserve the right to end discussion on any topic any time we feel the discussion is no longer productive.