Monday, December 5, 2016

Bethlehem documentary changes filmmaker's life


Her work covers the security wall Israel has built around Bethlehem
Executive producer Wael Kabbani stands with Sansour before a screening at the Rio Theatre. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
When a filmmaker travelled to Bethlehem to create a documentary about the world's most famous "little town," she didn't realize it would change her life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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CWL delegation brings resolutions to Parliament Hill

CWL delegation included resolutions chair Joan Bona, president-elect Anne-Marie Gorman, legislation chair Nancy Simms and president Margaret Ann Jacobs. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
A four-woman delegation from the Catholic Women's League (CWL) visited Parliament Hill Nov. 27-30, meeting with public officials on issues ranging from immigration to palliative care. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Archbishop says God invented liturgy

About 200 attend conference on 'making every Sunday matter'
Keynote speaker Father Samuel Weber, OSB.
The Liturgy was invented by God, not human beings, said Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Senate must give Transgender Bill C-16 a thorough vetting: Senator Plett
Senator Don Plett
As Senators began debating Transgender Bill C-16 Nov. 28, a Conservative Senator is urging his colleagues to give the legislation a "thorough and rigorous vetting process." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pair encourages couples to understand fertility

Billings practitioners Lisa and Dominic Price find natural family planning strengthens their marriage
The Price family poses at a park near their home in Surrey. Lisa and Dominic have appeared on TV and taught hundreds of couples how to achieve or avoid pregnancy naturally, without drugs or side effects. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Women in the Western world don't know enough about themselves, say natural family planning practitioners Dominic and Lisa Price. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Greek Orthodox father loses religious freedom and parental rights case
An Orthodox Christian father has lost a religious freedom and parental rights case before the Ontario Superior Court. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Pipeline to pull prayer from local community

Standing Rock inspires solidarity service
Protestors demonstrate at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation against the Dakota Access oil pipeline Sept. 9, 2016. (Photo Credit: Andrew Cullen / Reuters)
Prayer unites individuals peacefully, and that's what a local Eastern Orthodox Church intends to do.

The Eastern Catholic Church in Richmond is holding a vesper to pray for a "just and irenic solution to the concerns of the Native Americans at Standing Rock, North Dakota" Dec. 4, from 6-8 p.m, said Father Richard Soo, SJ.
"The ecumenical patriarchy under Patriarch Bartholomew are very concerned with environmental issues," Father Soo said. "Pope Francis's latest document Ladauto si'  quotes the Eastern Churches extensively."
Escalating accounts of violence against protestors of the Dakota oil line has created many rallies in support, such as in Seattle, Winnipeg, and Courtney, B.C. Father Soo hopes the global support of prayer and peaceful protesting will reduce the violence against protestors, encourage the Dakotan government and corporations to engage in a real dialogue with the Sioux tribe, and for all involved to "be good stewards of God's creation, and treat others with love and respect."

"Everyone is welcome to this ecumenical event, which is cosponsored by Eastern Catholic Church, Richmond, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver's First Nations Office with Deacon Rennie Nahanee," said Father Soo. "It all starts with prayer, we must be grounded in the Lord."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Former abortion worker tells of conversion


Carol Everett walked away from the industry after falling to her knees in prayer at her clinic
Carol Everett (centre) chats with Advokate executive director Jared White (right) and Hope for Women's Elizabeth Sutcliffe after the Nov. 17 fundraiser. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A woman who managed two Texas abortion clinics and oversaw 35,000 abortions is now a vocal activist against the industry. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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Michel MacDonald named new director of COLF

Caption: Michele Boulva.
The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) board has appointed Michel MacDonald the agency's new director. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mission to Seafarers active at Christmas

Chaplains to bring gifts to sailors
Sailors smile after being given presents on Christmas eve in 2012 in English Bay during a Mission to Seafarers event. BCC File Photo.
In order to help sailors far from their families and loved ones, the Missions to Seafarers are asking for donations so they can buy Christmas presents. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Ottawa's new vocations director forms discernment group
Father Pierre Champoux, the new Ottawa archdiocese's vocations director, takes a selfie with the eight men who showed up for the first meeting of his Priest Discernment Group. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).

The Archdiocese of Ottawa's new vocations director decided to form a discernment group and Father Pierre Champoux was delighted eight young men showed up for its first meeting. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Duo reflects on WYD performance

Their dance routine incorporated mercy and Canadian artists
Abby Zaporteza and Celine Diaz show their moves during the post-WYD event, No Greater Love, in Surrey. The pair were one of two youth performances from Canada at WYD 2016 in Krakow. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic.
A Tweet on Twitter led two local dancers to represent Canada before an international audience. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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CCO missionaries encourage students to respond to Christ
CCO co-founders Andre and Angele Regnier at the Founders' Dinner in Ottawa. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) missionaries not only share the gospel with university students, they invite them to respond to Jesus Christ. Thousands have. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Author underwent a spiritual experience

His new home inspired him to write several novels
Henry K. Ripplinger
Creative inspiration for writing can come from the strangest places. For Henry Ripplinger, that strange place was someone else's home. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Government presses ahead with homosexual agenda
MP Randy Boissonnault

The Trudeau government is pressing ahead with an aggressive LGBTQ2 equality agenda through new legislation and the appointment of Special Advisor to guide the process. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Walking club soothes the loneliness in grief

Volunteers and attendees offer understanding and support in small-group setting
Volunteers join people mourning lost loved ones for a walk along Kitsilano Beach to help them heal. The Vancouver Hospice Society hosts the walking club. Photo submitted.
A walking group is offering an active way to overcome grief. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Marrakech Climate change conference fails to address small farmers' needs
The recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (Nov 7-18) in Marrakech failed to address the needs of small farmers says a representative from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Conference to focus on refugees

Day of reflection will link to Holy Family
Men and women in religious communities as well as laity will pause to reflect on welcoming refugees and immigrants as Advent draws near. "We remember that Joseph and Mary were refugees after the birth of Jesus," said Jean-Michel Bigou of the Canadian Religious Conference. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Transgender Bill C-16 on its way to the Senate
University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson received the POGG Canada Canadian Values Award Nov. 19 in Ottawa. Shown here: POGG chairman Fred Litwin; Jordan Peterson; POGG president Edgar Simpson, and Harry Weldon, Founder of POGG. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Transgender Bill C-16 was sent to the Senate Nov. 18, despite an effort by one Conservative MP to have it reviewed in committee for its impact on freedom of expression. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Iraq Christians return to Nineveh

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take back Bashiqa
Pershmerga fighters examine Al Tamera Syriac Catholic parish in Qaraqosh, Iraq after liberating the city from Islamic State. (Photo Credit: Father Roni Momika)
The Islamic State has controlled the city of Qaraqosh, Iraq, for two years. On Nov. 7, Reuters reported Kurdish Pershmerga fighters have taken back the city.

Christian liturgy has been celebrated in the Church of Mar Korkeis, marking the first time such religious activities were allowed since the town was seized in August 2014.
Refugees are eager to return to their homes, but Kurdish Peshmerga Brigadier General Mahram Yasin warned of leftover explosives and mines. "We want people to be patent and not to return here until we completely clear the area, as we want to ensure their safety," he told Reuters.
 For more information, view the Catholic News Agency article here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Singing priest embraces God's mercy with music

Father Rob Galea performed at World Youth Day wrap-up event
Father Rob Galea speaks about his troubled history to youth at "No Greater Love," a post World Youth Day event in Surrey. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic.
An Australian priest who starred on the televised singing competition The X Factor shared his experiences of mercy with local youth. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Bishops endorse palliative care Bill C-277
An interfaith coalition including Canada's Catholic Bishops has endorsed Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu's palliative care Bill C-277, adding to the likelihood it will pass in the House of Commons. "We feel very strongly Canadians are behind this bill, and so far it looks like we have all-party support," Gladu said in an interview. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Local Catholics honoured by Vatican

Pope recognizes their service to the Church
Twenty-one men and women received recognition from the Vatican Nov. 13 in Holy Rosary Cathedral. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic.
Twenty-one people received papal awards for their work in spreading Christ's mercy to the community. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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'We are called to mission': Coolidge
Parishes are called to be places of lay formation, said Katherine Coolidge of the Catherine of Siena Institute. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Shrine draws thousands to Slovenia's Julian Alps

Brezje is an easy train ride from Venice, Italy
Mary Help of Christians Church, the largest pilgrimage church in Slovenia and national shrine of the Archdiocese of Ljubljana, is seen here in 2012. J.P. Sonnen writes the pilgrimage to this church "requires a firm will and some sacrifice." (Copyright) Johann Jaritz.
Many pilgrims are rediscovering the traditional walking pilgrimage on some truly outstanding routes which were almost forgotten. One outstanding shrine is in the Julian Alps, named after Julius Caesar, who founded the city at the foot of the mountains. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Conscience rights need not conflict with patient choice
Faye Sonier, executive director and legal counsel of Canadian Physicians for Life. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The legal 'right' to euthanasia need not conflict with conscience rights says a spokeswoman for Canadian Physicians for Life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Local woman volunteered with the Saint of Kolkata


Days began with prayers, ended with Adoration of the Eucharist
St. Teresa of Kolkata blesses the rosary of Sharon Rempel (centre) in the Mother House in Kolkata while Henrietta (right), a volunteer from New Zealand, looks on. Photo submitted.
I went to Kolkata to work as a volunteer at Shishu Bhavan, a Home for Children, run by the Missionaries of Charity, in 1990. I had written to Mother Teresa asking to volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Religious freedom report notes rise in religiously motivated violence
Marie-Claude Lalonde, national director of Aid to the Church in Need Canada. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Aid to the Church in Need's biennial report on religious freedom calls religiously-motivated violence an emerging trend in religious persecution. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Students clean tombstones for service project

The children learn about the afterlife and about respect for the dead
Grade 7 students from Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School clean tombstones in Robinson Memorial Cemetery Nov. 7. The children learned about performing spiritual and corporal works of mercy in preparation for receiving the sacrament of confirmation. Photo submitted.
Every November, Grade 7 students from Our Lady of Fatima Elementary School clean tombstones, learning lessons on mortality. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Trump victory raises concerns about migrant and climate issues
Ryan Worms
Catholic aid agencies have concerns about U.S. president-elect Donald Trump's stand on climate change, on migrants and refugees, and on peace in the Middle East. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MIT hosts first 'Gold Mass' for Catholic scientists

Society of Catholic Scientists hold opening 'Gold Mass'
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Photo Credit: Tsuji via Flickr) 
A recently formed group of American Catholic scientists held the first ever Gold Mass on the feast day of St. Albert the Great, patron saint of scientists.

The Mass was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) chapel Tuesday Nov. 15.
Although many individuals believe faith and science contradict, the Society of Catholic Scientists state that it exists to "witness to the harmony between the vocation of scientist and the life of faith."
The Gold Mass follows the tradition of Masses for other professions, such as White Masses for medical professionals, Red Masses for lawyers, and Blue Masses for police officer. It's name is derived from the hoods warn by graduates with a Ph.D. in science and St. Albert the Great's attempts at turning base metals into gold.

The article, written by Catholic News Agency, can be viewed here.

Vatican goes green, opens recycling centre

New collection system aims to reduce waste in Vatican City
St. Peter's Basilica as seen from the Vatican Gardens. (Photo Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA)
A recently announced recycling network within Vatican City goes live today.

The State Governorate of Vatican City Events Coordination announced the central waste collection point Nov. 14, which adds onto of current recycling practices.
Inspired by Pope Francis' encyclical Laduato si', the leaders of the Vatican's State Governorate said they hope the small state "can in some way become a good example of a 'green' and non-polluting state."
The system used for many years in the Vatican featured recycling and different coloured bins for appropriate waste to be sorted. The new system features a central collection area, as well as additional areas for larger construction-type waste, such as metal, and for special hazardous and non-hazardous waste, such as electronics and certain liquids.

For more information, view the article on Catholic News Agency.

B.C. parent takes school district to court after children coerced to participate in Aboriginal 'cleansing ritual' and prayer

Port Alberni mother concerned over explicitly religious ritual
An aboriginal purification ritual known as "smudging"is performed at Tekakwitha Conference in Fargo, North Dakota.  (Photo Credit: CNS/Nancy Wiechec)
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has filed a petition with the B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo to protect parental and conscience rights, and call for government neutrality in religious matters.

Candice Sevatius received a letter from her children's school of John Howitt Elementary in Port Alberni, explaining the children would be taking part in a religious 'cleansing ritual' performed by a "Nuu-chah-nulth Member". The letter described specific beliefs of the Nuu-chah-nulth, including how "everything is one, all is connected" and "everything has a spirit."

Sevatius arrived at the school the day after receiving the letter to learn more about the ritual, but found the ritual had already occurred, and her children had be coerced into the ritual on the grounds that it was "rude" not to participate.
"This case is profoundly important. This is by no means the only instance of government authorities brazenly challenging the constitutional rights of parents and the rule of law," stated Calgary lawyer and Justice Centre president John Carpay. "Prayer and religious ceremonies have been illegal in public schools in Canada for over 25 years. But it appears School District 70 is more preoccupied with political correctness than the law."
 The petition can be viewed here. For more information on the case background or court documents, click here.

Pro-lifer thanks God for mercy in troubling times

A priest noticed her tears and invited her to talk in another room
Diane Lebrun and her husband smile at home. She is grateful for God's mercy, as she survived a near-death experience and came back to her faith. Photo submitted.
A member of Our Lady of Fatima Parish is reflecting on her conversion as the Year of Mercy draws to a close. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Trump victory a rebuke of elites, Canadian observers say
Canadian observers see Donald Trump's U.S. election victory Nov. 8 as a repudiation of out-of-touch elites and their institutions, but not wholesale support for the Republican candidate. "I think most people voted against people rather than for people," said Ray Pennings. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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