Friday, January 30, 2015

Many gather for Mass in 14 languages

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish hosts multicultural liturgy and performances
Catholics wearing traditional Latin American, Syrian, Polish, Filipino, Salvadoran, and Korean dress, along with many others, filled the gymnasium at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Jan. 18. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
People in traditional dress of vibrant colours filled the pews at Our Lady of Sorrows Church on the 101st World Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Coming soon to the Vatican: haircuts for Rome's homeless
A homeless person sleeps outside the Vatican press office near St. Peter's Square Nov. 13. Public restrooms in St. Peter's Square will be renovated to include showers so the homeless can wash. Dozens of homeless people live within sight of the Vatican. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The Vatican's continued efforts to help the homeless of Rome have expanded beyond showers and bathrooms at St. Peter's Square, with a barber shop set to open soon. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Equality and freedom are not free: Blackstock
Dr. Cindy Blackstock / Frank Flegel / Prairie Messenger.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) is expected to release its decision on the human rights of indigenous children by April. If the ruling goes against the federal government, indigenous children will be entitled to the rights, privileges, and services available to non-indigenous children. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Unique Lives tour tells special stories

Courageous Ugandan nun to sew hope
Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a Sister of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Gulu, Uganda. She helps abused women to rebuild their lives "with sewing machines and needles." Photo submitted.
A religious heroine who has inspired her compatriots in a central African country will share her life story with Vancouverites Feb. 3. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

A society without fathers is a society of orphans, Pope Francis says
Pope Francis greets newly married couples during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Jan. 28. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his catechesis during his general audience, Pope Francis turned to the role of fathers, saying that they play an irreplaceable role in family life, and their absence leaves children prey to false idols. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Pallottine Fathers well known in Edmonton
Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, Alberta, centre, is cheered by young people outside St. Mary's Cathedral in 2008. Pallottines have priests at St. Mary's Cathedral in Calgary. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Father Gottfried Seifert joined the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, better known as the Pallottine Fathers, in Germany in the early 1950s. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Strive against a 'globalization of indifference'

Pope Francis's Lenten message: 'A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart'
Pope Francis has a smile for Lent. Do you?
Photo credit: catholicnews.org.uk
Ash Wednesday is Feb. 18. The solemn 40 days of Lent are around the corner. Here are some highlights of the Pontiff's musings on Lent:

1.  "As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don't think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference."

2.  "The world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world … hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed, and wounded."

3.  "Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like Him. This happens ever whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist."

4.  The current Vicar of Christ recalled Pope Benedict XVI's saying, "the formation of the heart."

Pope Francis wrote: "A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters."


Want to read more of this papal fireside chat on Lent?  Click here to go to Vatican Radio.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ecumenical pioneer discusses challenges of unity

Sister Donna Geernaert and others speak at conference on 50th anniversary of Vatican decree
Marjeta Bobnar, coordinator of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, and other participants join in prayer. Lorenzo Pierfederici / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
It's been 50 years since the publication of the Decree on Ecumenism and the launch of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Archdiocese of Vancouver celebrated the anniversaries by sponsoring a one-day conference at St. Francis Xavier Church called "Christian Unity: Have We Answered the Call?" For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Blessed Odoardo Focherini died a martyr
Survivor Juda Widaski, 96, poses for a picture in a tent on the site of the former Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau near Oswiecim, Poland, Jan. 27. Some 300 former Auschwitz prisoners participated in ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp. CNS photo / Laszlo Balogh, Reuters.
As Pope Francis tweeted Jan. 27 to observe the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, it is worth remembering Bl. Odoardo Focherini, who died a martyr to rescue Jews from Nazi persecution. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Many solid pro-life MPs will not run in next election
Pro-life supporters take part in a National March for Life demonstration on Parliament Hill. Parliamentarians are not getting their message. CNS photo / Chris Wattie, Reuters.
As the October federal election approaches, a number of MPs who have played key roles in life, family, and social justice issues have said they will step down from federal politics. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Massive pro-life crowd marches in U.S. capital

March for Life held on anniversary of Roe v. Wade decision
Participants join March for Life rally on the National Mall in Washington, Jan. 22.
(Photo: Leslie E. Kossoff / CNS)
Media reports say anywhere between thousands to half a million pro-lifers participated in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan 22. Young people made the majority of the crowd.

The annual event attracted several members of Congress as well as Orthodox and Catholic bishops.
"The Church cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for a better world," said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston.
It even had Pope Francis' attention; he tweeted "Every Life is a Gift" with the hashtag #marchforlife that day.

The Washington Times reported that event went smoothly save for a pro-choice counter-protest which refused to budge until some of its members were arrested.

Pro-lifers across Canada will hold similar Marches for Life May 14.

Project Advance grant assists Chaldean community

Bus purchase means driver can transport children to catechism classes at St. Andrew Kim Parish
Chaldean children and parents ride a bus to catechism class at St. Andrew Kim Parish Jan. 19. Majd, an 11-year-old student, said that during their time on board, the group of Middle Eastern Catholics "talk to neighbours and sometimes pray" in Arabic or in English. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
A one-time Iraqi army conscript, now living in Canada, is a barber by day and a bus driver by night. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Millennials' pro-life commitment wows bishops
Students from Shanley High School in Fargo, N.D., St. Mary's High School in Bismarck, N.D., and Bishop Ryan High School in Minot, N.D., carry the lead banner during the annual March for Life in Washington Jan. 22. Nearly 500 students from North Dakota Ca tholic schools participated in this year's event. CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz.
Both Roman and Orthodox Catholic bishops were stirred by the presence of the Millennial generation at the 2015 March for Life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Oil price drop postpones budget
Brian Dijkema, work and economics program director of Cardus. Deborah Gyapong / (CCN).
A drop in oil prices have raised doubts whether the federal government can balance the budget but observers say election promises are unlikely to be affected. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, January 26, 2015

WWII veteran strengthened Legion of Mary in B.C.

Daniel O'Reilly, a Vancouver-born postman, had a passion for social justice and lived to age 99
Daniel and Mary O'Reilly married in 1943, when he was stationed in England during World War II. Later, they raised a family on Sea Island. When she suffered Alzheimer's, he nursed her for 16 years. Photo submitted.
He served in Rome during World War II, stood up for minorities, trained future bishops, and championed the Legion of Mary on the west coast. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Leading Iraqi Christian calls on Muslims to confront 'culture of hatred'
Chaldean Bishop Frank Kalabat carries a monstrance Aug. 1 as he leads nearly 1,000 Chaldean Catholics outside Mother of God Chaldean Church in Southfield, Mich., in praying for for persecuted Iraqi Christians. CNS photo / Mike Stechschulte, The Michigan Catholic.
The Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon has encouraged Iraqi Muslims to confront violent extremists, stressing the need to return to peaceful coexistence despite present threats in the country. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Millettes describe restorative justice in action
Is Our Community Safe? was the title of a restorative justice evening hosted by St. Anne's Parish Dec. 10 and facilitated by community reintegration chaplain Peter Oliver of the Micah Mission. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Priest from U.S. served in Japan for 20 years

Father Angelo De Pompa later ministered to Sechelt Indian Band
BCC file photo from 1985.
He served the faithful on the Sunshine Coast, learned the basics of Japanese in six months, and received a papal blessing for his 50th anniversary of ordination. For http://www.bccatholic.ca/component/content/article/1-latest-news/4686-priest-from-us-served-in-japan-for-20-years
full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope Francis: Philippines' 500 years of Christianity can inspire more good
An aerial view shows pilgrims gathering for Mass in Rizal Park Jan. 18. Despite rain there was a record 6-7 million participants. The view shows only a portion of the Mass site, which a local church official said was more than a mile long. Philippine Air Force / Handout via Reuters / CNS.
Pope Francis praised Filipino Catholics' strong faith and challenged them to continue to let the Christian message bear fruit, noting the upcoming 500th anniversary of Christianity's arrival in Philippines. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Joy Smith not running again in order to fight human trafficking full time
MP Joy Smith has not to run again in the next federal election so she can devote full time to fighting human trafficking in Canada. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trio sings for Seahawk Super Bowl triumph

'So it's gonna be a repeat, Pats are gonna go down in flames'
Arielle Tuliao (left) and Marie Hui sing "Blank Space," a song for the Seattle Seahawks.
(Photo capture from Youtube.)
Clay Imoo, the director of the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office, is a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan. To cheer on his team, Imoo has teamed up with Marie Hui, and Arielle Tuliao.

The trio have released a Taylor Swift parody song, called “Blank Space.” To watch the music video, click here.


Clay Imoo (right) provides backing vocals for "Blank Space."
The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 1 between the ’Hawks and the New England Patriots.

STOP – Pope Francis sends old school telegrams

On papal plane, Pontiff transmits to Russian, Filipino, Chinese heads of state
Pope Francis chats with reporters flying from Manila to Rome Jan. 19, 2015. Photo credit: Alan Holdren / CNA.
While the Vicar of Christ recently brought his fresh enthusiasm to Sri Lankans and Filipinos, he relied on a far more old school technology to say a diplomatic "hello" from on board the papal plane.

During his return flight from Manila to Rome, the Pope sent telegrams (yes, they still exist!) to Russian president Vladimir Putin, Chinese president Xi Jinping, and others.

Courtesy of Vatican Radio, here are a few of the messages:

HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO AQUINO
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
MANILA


AS I DEPART FROM THE PHILIPPINES, I EXTEND TO YOU, THE GOVERNMENT AND ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE NATION MY HEARTFELT GRATITUDE FOR YOUR WARM WELCOME AND EVERY KINDNESS SHOWN TO ME DURING MY VISIT. I RENEW TO YOUR EXCELLENCY AND THE ENTIRE COUNTRY THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY.
FRANCISCUS PP
HIS EXCELLENCY VLADIMIR VLADIMIROVICH PUTIN
PRESIDENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
MOSCOW


I SEND CORDIAL GREETINGS TO YOUR EXCELLENCY AS I FLY OVER THE COUNTRY ON MY WAY FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO THE VATICAN.  I ASSURE YOU OF MY PRAYERS FOR YOU AND ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, INVOKING UPON YOU GOD’S BLESSINGS OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY.
                                                                                                                 FRANCISCUS PP


Fun fact: Samuel Morse, who invented the Morse code, sent the first telegram from Washington to Baltimore in 1844. His message: WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT?

Estate planning promoted

Workshops to advise on end-of-life issues
Writing wills and making burial plans can be complicated, awkward tasks, but an upcoming series of free workshops aims to make them easier. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Big families bring hope, not poverty: Pope Francis
Pope Francis touches a lamb after a blessing to mark feast of St. Agnes at the Vatican Jan. 21. The wool from two lambs blessed by the Pope will be used to make the palliums the Pontiff gives each June to new archbishops from around the world. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
Pope Francis rejected the "simplistic" belief that large families are among the causes of poverty, stressing that economic systems which create a culture of waste are to blame. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Bishop Gendron takes part in annual visit to Holy Land
Bishop Lionel Gendron of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, Que., looks through a fence at the Cremisan Valley from the Salesian Sisters' convent in Beit Jalla, West Bank, Jan. 13. Bishop Gendron was part of the Holy Land Coordination visit for bishops from Europe and North America. CNS photo / Debbie Hill.
A Canadian bishop who travelled to Gaza with the annual Holy Land Coordination visit to Middle East Jan. 11-12 says fear is the biggest obstacle to mutual recognition of human dignity. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nigerian bishop calls for Western help

Locals won't defeat Boko Haram alone, cardinal adds
A girl displaced as a result of Boko Haram rests her head on a desk at a camp for
internally displaced people in Yola Jan. 13. (Photo: Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters / CNS)

Terrorist organization Boko Haram has killed 1,000 Catholics and displaced another 70,000 in Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme's diocese of Maiduguri. He's asking for outside help to defeat the terrorists.
"The West should bring in security - land forces - to contain and beat back Boko Haram," he told Aid to the Church in Need.
Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja added that the Nigerian government "continue(s) to do nothing" to curb the violence. Read more from Catholic News Service.

Prayer to end Human Trafficking released

Pope Francis calls it a 'crime against humanity'

The Archdiocese of Vancouver will join Pope Francis in prayer against human trafficking Feb. 8, the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita. She was born in southern Sudan in 1869 and kidnapped and sold into slavery as a young girl; her feast day has become a day to raise awareness about human trafficking.

Find out what the archdiocese is doing on that day here. Corpus Christi Parish will also show a documentary about prostitution Jan. 31.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange suggest these prayers:

Cedar Springs Club about to take off


Fathers and sons will get chance to bond over shared love of flight

Bernard Leslie, 8, takes control of a 1946 Fleet Canuck airplane at the Abbotsford International Airport. His grandfather, Joe, hopes the new flying club will inspire fathers and sons to grow closer. Maxine Leslie / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
A new aviation organization will take off Jan. 31. The group, Cedar Springs Father and Son's Club, will offer aviation information along with life lessons for dads and their boys ages 9 to 13. For
full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:


Full text of Pope's in-flight interview from Manila to Rome

Pope Francis reacts to questions from Associated Press reporter Nicole Winfield about the September U.S. papal visit during a news conference aboard his flight from Manila, Philippines, to Rome Jan. 19. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Speaking to journalists aboard the Jan. 19 flight from Manila to Rome concluding his Asian pilgrimage, Pope Francis discussed what he learned from Filipinos; his upcoming trip to Philadelphia and other US cities; how one can be a responsible parent without resorting to birth control; the colonization of gender ideology; and the possibility of a papal trip to Africa. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Unitatis Redintegratio celebrates 50 years
Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in Clementine Hall at the Vatican. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In the 50 years since the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, observers see hopeful signs for ecumenism and interfaith dialogue under Pope Francis. For
full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Conference will empower B.C. educators

Catholic Educators' meeting to be held Feb. 12-13
Loyola professor emeritus Robert Wicks, a psychologist and author, will teach principals and teachers how to avoid stress on the job during the conference. Photo submitted.
It's hard to be a Catholic teacher these days, according to psychologist and educator Robert Wicks. For full story  see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope: 'Responsible parenthood' doesn't mean artificial birth control
Pope Francis answers questions from journalists aboard his flight from Manila, Philippines, to Rome Jan. 19. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis backed Blessed Paul VI's teaching against birth control and urged openness to life, but reminded couples that "responsible parenthood" does not require them "to be like rabbits" in order to be good Catholics. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Media-savvy order turns 100
Two Daughters of St. Paul look at a book on an e-reader at one of their 13 bookstores in North America. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
The Daughters of St. Paul are celebrating their 100th anniversary. The order was made for media: their work spans print, broadcast, and the Internet. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Growing ministry makes migrants feel welcome

Parish volunteers reach out to seasonal farmers, immigrants, and temporary foreign workers
A volunteer hands out Christmas gifts during a dinner for migrants at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish Dec. 20. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Thousands of migrants work as farmers or caregivers in B.C. to support their families in other countries. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

What threatens families? Redefining marriage, Pope says
Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with families in the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, Jan. 16. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Warning that "every threat to the family is a threat to society itself," Pope Francis called on the people of the Philippines to be a prophetic witness in a world facing attacks on marriage and life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Young adults gather to 'Revive This Generation'
Carissa Benavides (left) and Adriana Viale, Catholic Christian Outreach members, deliver Bibles to the Rise Up conference in Calgary. The annual event encourages young adults ages 18-35 in their faith. Laura Jensen / Special to the B.C. Catholic.
The bishop of Calgary, a professional football player, and 670 young adults rang in 2015 with a national conference and a New Year's bash. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Staff recall history of John Paul II Pastoral Centre

Historic building on 15O Robson Street witnessed important moments, made film appearances
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, holds a meeting with more than 70 parish secretaries in the large meeting room Oct. 17, 2012. BCC file photo.
The headquarters of the archdiocese have stood in the midst of bustling business people, football enthusiasts, and panhandlers for more than 50 years. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope Francis bids farewell to Sri Lanka; Philippines up next
Sri Lankan boys participate in the departure ceremony for Pope Francis at the international airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 15. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis departed from Sri Lanka for the Philippines Jan. 15 morning after an eventful trip to the island country. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Memorial Blanket a massive art installation
Dr. Blair Stonechild, a professor at the First Nations University of Canada, examines the Memorial Blanket put together by artist and master carver Carey Newman. Frank Flegel (Prairie Messenger).
"The most poignant artifact for me are the braids," said Dr. Shauneen Pete, as she explained the meaning of the Memorial Blanket art work set up along a wall in the University of Regina's Research and Innovation Centre Atrium. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Archbishop fields questions about new building

Old building was totally handicap-inaccessible
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, breaks ground at the new location for the John Paul II Pastoral Centre Aug. 29, 2013. The centre will contain offices, a chapel, meeting rooms, and nine suites for retired priests. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
The archbishop says it's time to move out of the former electrical warehouse that the archdiocesan offices have called home for more than 50 years. Within the next three months, the John Paul II Pastoral Centre will pack up and move south to a shiny new location near 33rd Avenue and Willow Street in Vancouver. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope on Charlie Hebdo: don't kill in God's name, but don't insult faith
In response to a French reporter's question about freedom of religion and freedom of expression, the Pope offered a hypothetical example of how Alberto Gasparri, left, the papal trip planner, would receive a punch if he said a swear word against the Pope's mother. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
During an in-flight press conference Jan. 15 Pope Francis spoke on the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, saying that freedom of expression has limits, but no one has the right to kill in the name of God. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Archbishop Fournier of Rimouski dies suddenly
Pope Benedict XVI greets Archbishop Pierre-Andre Fournier of Rimouski, Que., after presenting a pallium to him during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in June 2009. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano.
Archbishop Pierre-Andre Fournier of Rimouski died suddenly Jan. 10 in hospital, shortly after losing consciousness and being taken to hospital by ambulance. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pastoral centre construction faced many challenges

Some of the ground was unstable; spill gates, canals, and retention tank used to collect rain water
To meet the challenge of excessive rainfall, the labourers of Ventana Construction Corp. built a water retention tank in July 2014 and buried it underneath the work site. After the rainwater was collected, it was pumped into a treatment tank, then transferred to the city's storm drain. Dan Aird / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Despite years of meticulous planning, the work site at 33rd Avenue and Willow Street provided a unique challenge for hard-hatted labourers. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope Francis's full homily on Jan. 14
Dancers wearing traditional garb perform during the canonization of St. Joseph Vaz in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 14. CNS photo / Anto Akkara.
Pope Francis on Jan. 14 canonized the 17th century priest Joseph Vaz during Mass at the Galle Face Green in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo. St. Joseph Vaz is the first canonized saint from Sri Lanka. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Mary Wagner's opposition to abortion lands her in prison again
The activist plays with children at a Gdansk preschool run by Benedictine nuns. Photos submitted.
On Dec. 23, Mary Wagner, 40, deliberately violated the law by entering a Toronto abortion facility armed with roses and pregnancy-help information cards. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Archdiocesan offices to move south to Cambie area

New structure at the corner of Willow St. and W. 33rd Ave. will include a retired priests' residence
The John Paul II Pastoral Centre at Willow Street and West 33rd Avenue will cost about $25 million. Paul Schratz, communications director, said it made sense to move, because of the "cost of downtown land and the parking situation." Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
After a decade of conversations and long-term planning, the Archdiocese of Vancouver's offices will soon move out of the downtown core and into a new building near Queen Elizabeth Park. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope Francis welcome in Sri Lanka
Pope Francis and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena visit in a presidential office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 13. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
After tense elections yielded a new president just days before Pope Francis's arrival in Sri Lanka, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said that the "miracle" of a smooth transition was due in large part to the Pope's visit which began Jan. 12. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Groups welcome commitment to bring in additional 10,000 Syrian refugees
Pope Francis meets with young refugees from civil wars in Syria and Iraq a few hours after joining Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to denounce the plight of Christians there. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano.
Aid groups are welcoming the federal government's Jan. 7 commitment to take in an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees and 3,000 more Iraqi refugees. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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