Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ukrainian Catholics welcome new priest to Prince George

Father Iurii Tychenok wants to set up a catechetical school, plans to listen carefully to his flock of 70
Seminarian Mykhailo Ozorovych (left), Maria Tychenok, her husband Father Iurii Tychenok, and their sons Yuriy and Sviatoslav, in Prince George Jan. 2. Photo submitted.
After six months without a resident priest, Prince George's Ukrainian Catholics welcomed a new pastor at the airport with traditional gifts of salt and bread. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope slams culture of waste
A Vatican policeman helps a young girl who strayed into a restricted area during Pope Francis' general audience in St. Peter's Square March 4. Also in the picture is a Swiss Guard. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his general audience Pope Francis condemned modern society for silently disposing of the elderly, saying that a civilization which views them only as burdensome is 'perverse' and ill. For full story  see The B.C. Catholic website.

French pro-lifer headlines COLF seminar
A nun and other pro-life activists demonstrate in front the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, in 2009. CNS photo / Vincent Kessler, Reuters.
An organizer of recent massive pro-family and pro-life demonstrations in France will headline the Catholic Organization for Life and Family's (COLF) annual seminar March 19-20. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

College invites aspiring schoolteachers

Superintendent Doug Lauson says new BA program 'fills a void'
Douglas Pham, a student at Corpus Christi College, was one of the first to apply for the new program, designed for students who want to teach in Catholic schools. It will begin in September at St. Mark's College. St. Mark's College / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
St. Mark's College is offering a new program for students who want to become teachers. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Largest pro-life event in Canada announces its theme
The 2014 National March for Life drew over 20,000 people. File photo (CCN).
Campaign Life Coalition has announced "Let Life Win" is the theme of the 2015 National March for Life May 14 in Ottawa. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Armenian saint made Doctor of the Church: Pope

In the 10th century, St. Gregory of Narek took holy orders at 25 years old
St. Gregory of Narek wrote many prayers that the Armenian Church still uses.
(Photo credit: Vatican handout) 
Pope Francis has named an Armenian saint the 36th Doctor of the Church. St. Gregory of Narek "is widely revered as one of the greatest figures of medieval Armenian religious thought and literature," according to Vatican Radio.

Bishop opens beatification cause for Chiara Lubich

Focolare members continue to promote ecumenical and interfaith dialogue as their foundress did
Chiara Lubich.
A local advocate for interfaith dialogue was thrilled to find out her role model and mentor might be beatified. Marjeta Bobnar, the archdiocesan coordinator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, had eyes glued to the screen when a ceremony launched Chiara Lubich's beatification cause Jan. 27. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Energetic priest jigs north of 60

Priest hails late Catholic artist
In 1994 Father John Tritschler used a snowmobile to drag logs near the small town of Colville Lake, N.W.T. The priest was helping a Catholic artist repair a dock. Courtesy of Father John Tritschler.
A priest who became an Internet sensation around the Arctic Circle has flown back to the Northwest Territories a month before retirement. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Catholic authorities optimistic about new sex ed curriculum
Youth leaders lead a presentation on abstinence and the theology of the body during a Catholic youth fest at St. Anthony's High School in South Huntington, N.Y., in this 2007 file photo. Young teens given an abstinence-only message are significantly more likely to delay having sex than those who receive a "complete" sex education. CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic.

Several pro-family groups have expressed dismay over Ontario's new sex education curriculum released Feb. 23, but Catholic authorities remain optimistic Catholic teaching is protected. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

German archdiocese is richer than Vatican

Archdiocese of Cologne reveals it is worth 3.35 billion euros
Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims on the Rhine River near the cathedral
in Cologne, Germany, in 2005. (Photo: Catholic Press Photo / CNS)
According to figures released on Ash Wednesday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne revealed it is worth 3.35 billion euros. This makes it richer than the Vatican, which Cardinal George Pell said has assets of 2.64 billion euros.
"The archdiocese doesn't sell products or earn profits from its services so it has to finance itself mostly from its assets," said financial director Hermann Schon.
The Cologne cathedral is listed as worth 27 euros. Find out why here.

Ukraine, poverty, G7 discussed by Pope, German chancellor

Angela Merkel helped negotiate cease-fire with rebels

Pope Francis shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting at the Vatican Feb. 21. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
The ongoing crisis in Ukraine was among the topics covered by Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in their Feb. 21 meeting at the Vatican. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

During 40 days for life many will be fasting for the unborn

Vancouver 40 Days for Life director Carmela Cruz (third from right) leads a prayer vigil outside B.C. Women's Hospital in 2014. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Local pro-lifers are asking Catholics to consider the unborn as they fast and pray this Lent. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Speed-dating model tried at Vocations Fair
Sister Nisrine of the Antonin Sisters tells how their six sisters in Ottawa run a French Catholic elementary school. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Organizers of a vocations fair here Feb. 14, Valentine's Day, decided to try a speed-dating model to introduce seekers to various religious communities. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bikers hand out Bibles to Hell's Angels

Evangelists describe their efforts at the annual Missions Fest
Wayne Bertness and Fred Sawatzky, members of the Christian Motorcycle Association, run a booth at the Vancouver Convention Centre Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Tens of thousands of Christians gathered in Vancouver to talk about missionary work and evangelization. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Supreme Court ruling repeats original sin, archbishop says
Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, Alta., shown in October 2010, when he was elected the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
The Supreme Court decision Feb. 6 legalizing assisted suicide in Canada is a repeat of the original sin in which men and women believed they can be like gods, said Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Pupils recreate Sistine Chapel, give tours

St. Francis Xavier students bring the artistic genius of Michelangelo into their classroom
Grade 6 children admire their copies of Michelangelo's artwork after it was taped to the ceiling of their classroom in St. Francis Xavier School. Natalie Lake / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Natalie Lake's Grade 6 class at St. Francis Xavier School did a massive project based on the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Consecrated life a witness that shows the Church is attractive, says priest
Father Denis Lemieux, a Madonna House priest, is the author of The I-Choice and Going Home. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Consecrated life provides a witness that makes the Church attractive, a Madonna House priest told a Vocations Fair here Feb. 14. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thomas Aquinas Study Circle: March 7

Thomas Aquinas Study Circle: March 7
The Thomas Aquinas Study Circle (free admission — all welcome) meets next in Vancouver on March 7 at 10am at St. Mark's College / Corpus Christi College.

Highlights will include Margherita Oberti, Ph.D., speaking on "Thomas Aquinas and the Stoics on Natural Law," with respondents and questions from the audience.

Please contact David Klassen at Corpus Christi for more information.

Conference to consider "spirituality of communion"

Focolare members will describe the call to unity
Local members of Focolare, an international Catholic movement, are inviting the faithful to learn more about their spirituality and the importance of living in community. The one-day conference, Called to be Community, will be held at St. Patrick's Parish in Vancouver Feb. 28.

Highlights will include Mass with Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, and activities for toddlers, children, and teens. More information is available by email at or by phone at 604-931-7211 or 604-468-2871.

Good Shepherd faithful pray nonstop for 10 years

South Surrey church has a vibrant community, thanks to perpetual adoration, parishioner says
A woman prays in the adoration chapel at Good Shepherd Church Feb. 8, during the 10th anniversary celebration of full-time prayer. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Prayer warriors have been sending their petitions to heaven from the adoration chapel at Good Shepherd Church nonstop for 10 years. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.
Also newly posted:

Journeying with a friend to death can be life-giving
Jo-Anne Paquette. Photo by Lasha Morningstar, Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
Jo-Anne Paquette's three-month journey with Martha Shephard as she died from a brain tumour was both physically draining and a spiritual gift for Paquette. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, February 20, 2015

San Francisco archdiocese updates teachers' handbook

Lawmakers take issue with 'morality clauses'
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco addresses participants in the
March for Marriage in Washington June 19, 2014. (Photo: Tyler Orsburn / CNS)
The archdiocese of San Francisco has released a revised teachers' handbook asking high school faculty to avoid publicly challenging Church teachings:
"Archdiocesan officials said the statement represents the religious beliefs formally affirmed by the schools, but individual teachers will not be required to sign documents that attest to their own beliefs in these doctrinal teachings.
That said, the statement calls on teachers to 'avoid fostering confusion among the faithful and any dilution of the schools' primary Catholic mission.'"
But lawmakers are urging the archbishop to withdraw the handbook's "morality clauses," which are largely to do with Church teaching on sexual morality.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pope & Archbishop Miller mourn murdered Copts

'We are united in profound sorrow': archbishop
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB
(Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic)

Both Pope Francis and the archbishop of Vancouver have sent condolences to the Coptic Christian community after the horrific beheading of 21 Copts by ISIS militants in Libya.

Read the papal message here.

Meanwhile, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, sent a letter to St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey.

Here is an excerpt:

"Following the heartless massacre of the Egyptian Copts … we are united in profound sorrow with our brothers and sisters," the archbishop wrote.

"Together, let us pray that God will grant them the reward of eternal life in His Kingdom."

Pope approves three new saints

Canonizations of three religious set for May 17
Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy (1846-1878) will be a saint later this year.
(Photo credit: Carmelite Sisters of Ireland website)
The Pontiff has added another three names to the saintly list Feb. 14. Here are the names, courtesy of Vatican Radio:

  1. Blessed Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve was born in France, in Toulouse in 1811. She founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception for the education of poor girls and children, for the sick and for missions in faraway lands. She died of cholera on October 2nd 1854. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

  2. Blessed Mary Alphonsine Danil Ghattas was born in Jerusalem in 1843. When she was 15 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition. She worked tirelessly to help young people and Christian mothers. She had a special mystic affinity with the Mother of God. She founded the Congregation of Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, to which she belonged. She died in 1927 and was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.

  3. Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy was born Maria Baouardy in Abellin, a village in Upper Galilee, near Nazareth, in 1846 of Arab parents. She was baptized in the Melchite Greek Catholic Church. From early youth she experienced many sufferings together with extraordinary mystic phenomena. In France, she entered the Carmel of Pau. She was sent to India to found new Carmels, and then to Bethlehem, where she died in 1878. She was beatified by St John Paul II in 1983.

Christine Jones launches Catholic Pacific College

Small institution connected to Trinity Western University announces name change, new plans
Archbishop Miller and Christine Jones cut a cake Feb. 4 to celebrate Catholic Pacific College's new look. Christophe Potworowski / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
The Catholic college affiliated with Trinity Western University has rebranded itself. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Siblings help you keep your eyes off yourself, Pope says
Pope Francis looks at a guide dog as he arrives to give his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / Giampiero Sposito, Reuters.
In this week's general audience Pope Francis spoke on the role of siblings in family life, saying the fraternity we learn from them teaches us how to overcome barriers and leads to greater freedom. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCODP volunteers share strategy for Share Lent campaign
Diane Groniger and Carroll Woods show the stamps Woods collected for CCODP at her parish. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
When Carroll Woods came to an information session this year's Share Lent campaign Feb. 11 she brought a shopping bag full of cancelled postage stamps. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Handbook guides volunteers in challenging ministry

Information sessions help with difficulties of leading ministry to farm workers
Farm workers gather around Sacred Heart parishioner Rosario Musso (second from left), who unintentionally started an outreach to nearby farmers when two brothers (on her left and right) asked her to help them receive first Communion. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
It was probably foreigners working to support their families who picked the locally grown vegetables on your dinner table, said the director of migrant ministry in the archdiocese. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope condemns beheading of Egyptian Christians
Muslim scholars and leaders of Eastern churches attend the conference on terrorism and extremism in Cairo in December. Their worst fears have come true. CNS photo / Al Youm Al Saabi, Reuters.
On Sunday Pope Francis mourned the 21 Egyptian Christians beheaded by the Islamic State, calling them martyrs that "belong to all Christians." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB issues synod questionnaire but will keep results private
Pope Francis greets speaks to an audience in St. Peter's Square about last October's extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. There is to be an ordinary synod on the family next October. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released a revised set of questions Feb. 10 for the upcoming synod on the family, but the consultations' results will stay private. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ugandan nun shuns revenge, would forgive warlord

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe pleads for assistance to sow hope for abused women and children
Sophie Lui, a Global News anchor (left), moderates a question-and-answer session with Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Feb. 3. The nun has taught 2,000 women to sew "away their pains" from a brutal civil war. Karen Tregillas / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
When a Ugandan nun confronted an armed rebel soldier from the Lord's Resistance Army in her school's kitchen, her act of kindness saved her life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis creates new cardinals
Cardinals Vincent Nichols of Westminster, centre, and Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, talk with an unidentified person before a consistory at which Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 14. At left is Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis welcomed the Catholic Church's newest cardinals on Feb. 14, encouraging them to centre themselves in Jesus Christ as they lead the faithful in patience, justice, and docility to the Holy Spirit. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Speculation mounts about government response to euthanasia decision
The supreme court building in Ottawa. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Speculation is mounting on the tack the federal government will take in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's Carter decision striking down the law against assisted suicide. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Consecrated people renew their vows

Year for Consecrated Life honours vows of service
Sisters from at least 18 religious congregations, as well as 11 priests and 10 consecrated lay women, hold candles as they recommit to poverty, chastity, and obedience at Holy Name of Jesus Church Feb. 2. Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, celebrated Mass as part of the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Consecrated priests, sisters, and lay people renewed lifelong vows during a joyful celebration in Holy Name of Jesus Church. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

'A dark day for Australia'
A refugee family from Myanmar. The Australian bishops welcomed a High Court decision in 2011 that granted a permanent injunction against the deportation of 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia. Now the dark side of refugee life is coming to light. CNS photo/Bazuki Muhammad, Reuters.
A report detailing the profoundly negative effects of the long-term detention of children seeking asylum in Australia has led Church leaders there to call the government's policy "barbaric." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Responding to the many synod questions
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, greets a family. BCC file photo.
Pope Francis has announced an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for October 2015 on topics related to the family and evangelization. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bishop gives Ash Wednesday dispensation

Locals celebrating the Year of the Sheep may fast and abstain another day
In this photo from 2007, children take part in the liturgy at Canadian Martyrs Parish in Richmond during Chinese New Year celebrations. BCC file photo.
The Lunar New Year and Ash Wednesday collide this year. The solemn first day of the Lenten fast will fall on Feb. 18, and according to the lunar calendar, the Year of the Sheep will begin Feb. 19. Many people celebrate the new year over several days. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Why a former altar girl changed her mind about boy-only servers
Pope Francis greets an altar server as he arrives for Mass with bishops, priests, religious, and seminarians at the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
When she was a young girl, Logan Crotty dreamed of becoming a Catholic priest. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Make poverty an election issue, group says
The All-Party Anti-Poverty Caucus chaired by Senator Art Eggleton hosted a breakfast Feb. 3 at which the Dignity for All Campaign launched its national anti-poverty strategy. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The Dignity for All Campaign launched its national anti-poverty plan Feb. 3, urging politicians to make eliminating poverty a federal election issue. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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