Friday, August 26, 2016

New curriculum to reach B.C. classrooms this fall

Staff members at the Catholic superintendents' office are enthusiastic about 'radical' change
Sandra Marshall

Rose Pillay









Lessons are going to be different when children go back to school this fall. B.C.'s Ministry of Education has released a new curriculum for full implementation in all K-9 classrooms this September. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Music program enriches students through sacred music
Uwe Lieflander shares his enthusiasm for sacred music with youngsters in the Sparrows program at Immaculate Conception parish in Port Perry, Ont. Jean Ko Din / Catholic Register (CCN).
Maestro Uwe Lieflander always begins a Sparrows choir practice with a warmup for the brain. A crowd of 80 children from ages three to 14 years old are busy chitchatting. But the room falls silent once Lieflander begins to play the first few bars of Mozart's "Requiem." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Trinity Western University wins Nova Scotia case

Law society won't appeal the decision
Amy Robertson
The Nova Scotia Barristers' Society announced Aug. 15 it would not appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada a recent court decision regarding Trinity Western University. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Electoral reform gets mixed reviews from social conservatives
Johanne Brownrigg, an Ottawa lobbyist for Campaign Life Coalition. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Social conservatives have a mixed response to the Liberal promise to replace Canada's first-past-the-post voting system with a form of proportional representation. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Salt+Light Media to broadcast Bishop-elect Nguyen's Ordination

Catholic Media Foundation will live stream the soon-to-be bishop's ordination Mass
Bishop-Elect Joseph Phuong Nguyen (Photo Credit: Salt+Light TV)
Salt+Light Media will be streaming Bishop-elect Joseph Phuong Nguyen's ordination on both their network and livestream channel Aug. 25 at 2:30 p.m. The coverage will include interviews of individuals close to Bishop-elect Nguyen, including Bishop Emeritus David J. Monroe of Kamloops.

More details are available at Salt+Light or their live stream page.

Massive pilgrimage reveals the true value of faith

Two million young pilgrims unite in prayer in a Europe still reeling from attacks by terrorists
Agnieszka Krawczynski (left) meets friends Sister Celeste DeJong and Gabrielle Ksinan DeGroot at a bus stop during World Youth Day in Krakow. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Two million young people stood, completely silent, in a field in Krakow, Poland. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Poll shows Canadians would support Cassie and Molly's Law
A Nanos poll commissioned by MP Cathay Wagantall shows a majority would support a law allowing separate charges for injuring or killing an unborn child while committing a violent crime against the mother. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pro-life talk planned

Jesuit seeks to encourage a counter-cultural movement
Father Robert Spitzer, SJ
An internationally known priest is coming to Vancouver hoping to inspire a new culture against assisted suicide. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Inquiry commissioners named
Claudette Commanda was one of two female Algonquin leaders who addressed the Citizens for Public Justice AGM in 2016. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls whose commissioners were named Aug. 3 needs to address underlying racism and colonialism, observers say. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Archdiocese bids farewell to Father Joe

Bishop-elect fought hard to escape to Canada
Father Joseph Nguyen, soon to become the bishop of Kamloops, laughs during a farewell celebration July 31. Chandra Lye / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Father Joseph Phuong Nguyen, Bishop-elect of Kamloops, was celebrated with cheers and laughter at the farewell dinner held in his honour. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Couple credits prayers made before they met for successful marriage
Jim and Joy Pinto celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2016, and they credit prayers each made before they met as among the ingredients for its success. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Protestors paddle down the Peace to oppose Site C

Farmers, ranchers, activists, and First Nations unite in common cause against proposed dam
Janet Gray, representing the B.C. and Yukon branch of KAIROS (left), and Katrina Laquian, a member of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, paddle across Peace River in protest July 9. Deirdre Kelly / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Canoes and kayaks dotted the Peace River as farmers, ranchers, activists, and First Nations paddled across it in protest of the Site C dam. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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CCCB issues Year of Mercy text on Sacrament of Reconciliation
Pope Francis hears the confession of a young woman during World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro July 26, 2013. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' (CCCB) Episcopal Commission for Doctrine has released a text on the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Life with faith on cruise control led to priest's reawakening

Father Mark McGuckin ordained just a few months ago
Father Mark McGuckin was ordained a priest May 14, 2016. Despite being raised in a Catholic family, Father McGuckin tells The B.C. Catholic about his distance from the faith, his experiences in a blue comedy television show, and his reawakening in Christ. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Nova Scotia Appeal Court rules in Trinity Western University's favour
Constitutional Lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos with Trinity Western University's Laurentian Leadership Centre director Janet Epp Buckingham at the Supreme Court of Canada for a religious freedom case in 2014. File photo.
Trinity Western University welcomed a decision by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal July 26 requiring the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society to accredit its law school graduates. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Carmelite community celebrates 600-year-old feast

Priests, religious, and lay people gather at St. Edmund's to honour Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Priests, Knights of Columbus, and altar servers stand on the front steps of St. Edmund's Church after Mass July 16. The church was packed as Bishop Paul Terrio of St. Paul, Alta., spoke about the origins of the Carmelites. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A feast instituted more than 600 years ago has a vibrant following in the Archdiocese of Vancouver. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Bike riders raise awareness of human slavery in Canada
BASIC Riders Luke Wahl, Dominic Mayhew and Ryan McAuley are riding across Canada to raise funds and awareness of human slavery in Canada. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The BASIC (Bikers Against Slavery in Canada) Riders brought their message to Ottawa July 21-22 of raising awareness of human trafficking in Canada. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Groups discuss future of Star of the Sea Church

Some parishioners want to keep it; pastor and parish council defend sale as the right decision
The archdiocese has approved plans to sell Star of the Sea Church property, but some parishioners are unhappy with the prospect and have other ideas that would maintain a parish presence in White Rock. Graham Osborne / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Plans to close Star of the Sea Church are not sitting well with some of the people in its pews. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Competition offered special moment to count blessings
Bill Steinburg runs along Lac de Champex, Switzerland, at the start of the 4th stage of the Beat the Sun race. Steinburg's team raced with seven other teams around Mont Blanc. Kevin Saussure / ASICS Beat the Sun.
On the longest day of the year I stood on a mountain trail in the middle of the French Alps a mile above sea level. I had every reason to count my blessings. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mission Pilgrimage to be held Aug. 20

Thousands expected to travel to Marian grotto

Thousands of pilgrims are expected to converge on Heritage Park in Mission this summer. As many as 4,000 Catholics will pray at the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto Aug. 20. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.


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CPJ asks Canada to lift cap on privately sponsored refugees from Israel
Syrian refugees drink tea as they sit in front of their tents at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, Dec. 31. CNS photo / Muhammad Hamed, Reuters.
Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) has written Immigration Minister John McCallum, asking him to lift the cap of 350 private refugee sponsorships from Israel. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, August 8, 2016

WYD Trek: TNG -- Final day

Auf Wiederschauen

These past three weeks have been a whirlwind of adventure as we've grown in our faith through both good times trials. It's all been worth it. As much as I'm excited to return home, I will definitely miss being on the road.

Many of the people I've had the joy and honour of meeting on this trip I may never see again. But isn't that the nature of a pilgrimage, and even life sometimes? All we can hope is to make a positive influence in the lives of those we met along the way.

Many thanks go out to Olek and Magda of Gdansk, the various parishes that hosted us and the priests that accompanied us, our Polish bus driver, Mary Pisko-Dubienski, Father Richard Au, all the pilgrims in our group, and anyone else I might have forgotten but am eternally grateful to.

And of course, to you, my faithful reader. Thanks for trekking to World Youth Day Krakow 2016 with me!

We will be spending the final day travelling.

God bless, and thanks for all the well wishes!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

WYD Trek TNG: Day 20

The hills are alive with the sound of prayer
By Josh Tng

The Austrian countryside.
Today, the remnants of our group of pilgrims visited several churches, a small summer estate of the last Austrian emperor, and a traditional Austrian farm.

"The hills are alive with the sound of music," danced into my head as we drove through the countryside.

Despite my Sound of Music vibe, only a small amount of the rural Austrians we met embraced the pop culture film gem.

As this day ends, we will bid farewell to Father Richard Au, who will be leaving tomorrow one day earlier than the rest of the group. With much effort, he managed to lead our energetic group to various locations, and for that deserves much thanks.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

WYD Trek: TNG -- Day 19

Austria and goodbyes

The Austrian National Library.
Today we visited both the main palace and vacation home of the Austrian royal family, as well as the Austrian National Library.

It was an interesting day full of history and great architecture. But it was also a somber day, as we said goodbye to a large part of the group.

The times we shared together are now fond memories. Our goodbyes showed us that we had shared something special and through that, really cemented our relationships. These past three weeks haven't always been easy, but I'm sure every pilgrim in our group would agree they were certainly rewarding.

As the end to my journey fast approaches, I am both grateful and wistful.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

WYD Trek TNG: Day 17

Rest and recovery

Today, while I was recovering in my room, our group visited castles and churches.

Tomorrow, we will be heading to Vienna, Austria.

jtng@rcav.org

WYD Trek: TNG -- Day 17 Preview

A day off

One of the many statues found in Prague. This statue's hooded features perfectly mimic the way
I feel at the moment; hiding from the sun.
The sun is shining brightly, the fancy hats are out, and that's how I know today is going to be a sick day.

After a whirlwind of adventure last night (in which I lost my wallet), I awoke to find my sunburned neck raw and bloody. However, my wallet soon found its way back to me, thanks to the careful eye of the bus driver!

So today, I will be have to listen to second-hand accounts of the events the group gets up to today. For now, I will put aloe on my neck and stay out of the sun.

God bless!

jtng@rcav.org

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

WYD Trek: TNG -- Day 16

'Czech' this place out

This clock is located in Prague's Old Town Square, in the aptly named Old Town Quarter.
 Prague's Old Town Square. The clock is to the left of the photo.

Our group of pilgrims reached the Czech Republic capital of Prague today. A beautiful city filled with statues and small shops, we went to visit the Klementinum library in the Jesuit university.

It holds many rare and ancient books. It is also home to a magnificent fresco featuring symbolism from the Old Testament, New Testament, and Greek mythology.

Afterwards, we walked around the beautiful city of Prague. Each unique building looked like it had its own story. We ended the day to wander back home, led by pilgrim Nick Provenzano's trusty navigational skills.

Another day, another adventure. Till tomorrow faithful readers! God bless.

jtng@rcav.org

Monday, August 1, 2016

WYD Trek: TNG -- Day 15 continued

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa

The icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is seen during Mass in the Jasna Gora
Monastery, Poland, August 1.

We saw the revered icon of the Black Madonna today. According to Father Richard Au, it is practically a symbol of Poland's pride and religious joy.

The Black Madonna has been a target for many invaders, including Napoleon, as they tried to break Poland's spirit. None have succeeded!

For the rest of today, we will be traveling to Prague, Czech Republic.

God bless!

jtng@rcav.org

WYD Trek: TNG -- Days 14 & 15

Goodbye Krakow!

Tired Canadian pilgrims slump over during a break hiking toward the overnight
pilgrimage in Krakow.

My adventures at World Youth Day are now over. We have seen the Pope twice in person, experienced many beautiful churches and learned about the history of Poland.

We have walked many kilometres, sang many hymns, shed blood, sweat, and tears throughout the pilgrimage and grown stronger in our faith.

But despite World Youth Day ending, our pilgrim group will continue to explore Europe for one more week. We will be heading to Czech Republic following a day of rest and recuperation.

jtng@rcav.org

Sunday, July 31, 2016

WYD Trek: TNG -- Day 13.5

A walk to remember

Canadian pilgrims from Vancouver and Polish pilgrims from Gdansk walk together
towards the camping grounds where they will stay the night.
More than two million pilgrims gather for a vigil Mass July
 30, in Krakow. The Mass was celebrated in five languages.
As the sun beat down on a great sea of pilgrims -- for a five-kilometre trek in the Krakow heat -- we turned to the Rosary for energy.

Along the way, I saw many heartwarming instances of human spirit, a stark contrast to the history of Auschwitz. I saw an old man splashing sun-baked pilgrims with a hose. A family filled water for thirsty pilgrims. Another offered basins to wash with.

These touches of kindness and love touched my heart. The walk had its hardships, but it offered a view on the kindness of humanity, while allowing the pilgrims to offer their suffering to the Lord.

We were walking to a green field south of Krakow to camp out. As we walked, I tried to remember the positive aspects of life. This trip has taught me the me the lesson the Holy Father gave, that mercy given to others is mercy given to yourself.

After reaching the site, we went to Mass before passing out blissfully. Tomorrow the Holy Father speaks.

God bless!

jtng@rcav.org

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