Friday, September 19, 2014

Servers witness to God's love in parishes

Archbishop Miller bestows medallions on 102 youth for their hard work, sacrifice
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, poses with 102 altar servers outside St. Patrick's Church in Vancouver Sept. 6. "Serving Holy Mass is an activity that goes beyond youth," he proclaimed during the ninth annual Archbishop's Altar Servers awards. The prelate also thanked the parents in attendance, since without "your willingness and encouragement, your children would not be here." Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Usually altar servers are solemn-faced during Mass. But many youthful faces lit up with eager smiles in front of pastors, friends, and family Sept. 6. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Curia reform advances as cardinals, minors protection group meet
Cardinals hold candles as Pope Francis celebrates the Easter Vigil in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in April. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
As Pope Francis's council of cardinals for curia reform gather this week in Rome, the newly-created Pontifical Commission for Protection for minors will soon meet to finish creating its statutes. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Cardinal Ortega shares experiences of building the church in Cuba with Canadian bishops
Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, celebrated a Pontifical Mass as Papal Legate to mark the 350th anniversary of the first North American parish outside the Spanish Colonies Sept. 14 at Quebec's Notre Dame de Quebec cathedral. He addressed the plenary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on Sept. 16 in Beaupre, Quebec. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Cardinal Jaime Ortega of Havana shared an old slogan with Canada's bishops Sept. 16 that helped renew the Catholic Church in Cuba before the revolution. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Westminster Abbey celebrates its 75th anniversary

Mount Angel Abbey in Oregon made a new foundation in 1939
Daily Mass has been sung in Gregorian chant in the monastery since it was founded. Photo submitted.
The diamond (75th) jubilee of the foundation of Westminster Abbey, on Sunday, Sept. 14, the Feast of the Holy Cross, was a day of gratitude and remembrance. After sung Mass at 10 a.m. and Midday Prayer, there was lunch, then a program of celebration. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope's visit will change Philippines, Cardinal Tagle hopes
Filipino boys walk along a dike near Manila, Philippines, July 29. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle announced during a press conference that Pope Francis will visit the island nation Jan. 15-19 and is likely to visit victims of Typhoon Haiyan. CNS photo / Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA.
Pope Francis's visit to the Philippines in January will be an opportunity to lead the Church in the country down "new roads in the faith and in the mission," said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Nuncio offers vision of hope rooted in prayer and communion
CCCB President Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau gives Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi a copy of the new Lectionary for Mass: Ritual Masses, Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, Votive Masses, and Masses for the Dead. It was launched at the plenary meeting Sept. 15. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
The apostolic nuncio offered Canada's bishops Sept. 15 a vision of hope for a missionary Church rooted in prayer and communion. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Young adults encounter Christ at World Youth Day

Making friends with Catholics from other countries gives hope, renews spirits
Winetta Lee (right) poses with a friend before the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She considers World Youth Day a time of surrender and discernment. Photo submitted.
Having attended two World Youth Days, my heart is ready to embark on yet another journey, this one to Krakow, Poland, for WYD 2016. World Youth Days are life-changing! That sounds a bit of a cliche, but it's true. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

True Christians aren't elitist, they generate life, Pope says
Pope Francis waves as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
At his weekly general audience Pope Francis spoke on what it means to evangelize, calling it apostolic work born of an encounter with Christ rather than lifeless efforts from the self-appointed "elect." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Bishops to launch national strategy to combat euthanasia
Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome, addressed the CCCB annual plenary Sept. 15. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
At the annual plenary meeting of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the CCCB president announced the launch of a national strategy to fight the push for euthanasia. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'Christ and Cascadia' conference to come to Seattle

Academics to talk about faith and culture
Patricia O'Connell Killen.
A group of pastors and academics will convene in Seattle to discuss the unique challenges facing Christians in B.C., Oregon, and Washington. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

No scandal here: the 20 couples married by Pope Francis were legit
Pope Francis celebrates the marriage rite for 20 couples during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Sept. 14. CNS photo / Stefano Spaziani.
Pope Francis's witnessing of marriages between Catholics who have cohabited or who have had annulments of previous marriages is not a change, but is part of the Church's effort to bring people to Jesus Christ, said two experts on Christian marriage. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Archbishop Weisgerber stresses urgency of aboriginal issues
Governor General David Johnston invested Archbishop James Weisgerber as an Officer of the Order of Canada Sept. 12. Photo by Sergeant Ronald Duchesne, Photographer to the Governor General. (CCN).
Archbishop-emeritus James Weisgerber of Winnipeg stressed the urgency of finding a just solution to the plight of aboriginal peoples, warning of potential violence. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bishop sets diocesan goal of new missionary work

Prelate from Whitehorse takes over in Victoria
Bishop Gary Gordon was installed as the 17th bishop of Victoria in St. Andrew's Cathedral Aug. 28. He said Pope Francis has invited us to "be missionary with our feet." Diocese of Victoria photo.
The new shepherd of the oldest diocese west of Toronto has issued a challenge to his Vancouver Island flock: revive your apostolic dynamism! For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Vatican confirms papal trip to Turkey in November
Demonstrators at the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, pause for prayer during a protest July 18 against Israel's military action in Gaza. Pope Francis had also urged all sides to end hostilities and build peace. CNS photo / Umit Bektas, Reuters.
A statement released by the Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Turkey in November, where he is expected to participate in celebrations for the orthodox feast of St. Andrew. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Rock the Mount continues to inspire
Brother Stephen Predy, OSB, portrayed Jesus in a drama about the multiplication of loaves and fishes during this year's Rock the Mount at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Prairie Messenger photo by Tim Yaworsky (CCN).
Youth, families and participants of all ages gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel west of Humboldt Aug. 16, for a day of music, enrichment, and inspiration at this year's Rock the Mount. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge raises ethical query

Some participants seek organizations not linked to embryonic-stem-cell research
Reg Harbeck, a local Catholic, is doused by his mother while participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Photo submitted.
An international challenge to donate to the ALS Association or face a bucket of ice-cold water is raising tough ethical questions. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Belgium's assisted suicide law fails a depressed woman
Chicago Deacon Tom Lambert, who co-chairs the Council on Mental Illness of the U.S. National Catholic Partnership on Disability, advocates and works for those with mental illness. If the mentally ill can't get such assistance, assisted suicide may appeal to them. CNS / Karen Callaway, Catholic New World.
Belgium's doctor-assisted suicide laws allowed an unqualified doctor to kill a depressed mother who did not have a terminal illness without notifying her family, the woman's son has charged in a legal filing against them. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Blessed Velychkovsky named patron of prison ministry
An icon of Blessed Vasyl was written to commemorate his being named Patron of Prison Ministry for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. (CCN photo)
On July 20, before a crowd of approximately 200,000 at the Marian Shrine of our Lady of Zarvanytsia in Ukraine, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, solemnly proclaimed Blessed Bishop Vasyl Velychkovsky patron of prison ministry for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Benedictines gain a deacon

Edmonton-born frater accepts role of service in monastery
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, lays his hands on Frater Caesarius Marple, OSB, during his ordination as a deacon at Westminster Abbey Aug. 31. Deacon Paul Goo, ordained in May, looks on. Photo submitted.
Another young man has taken the next step toward the priesthood after seven years of living in a monastery. Frater Caesarius Marple, OSB, was ordained a deacon at Westminster Abbey Aug. 31. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Church educates through actions, not theoretical lectures
Pope Francis poses with Bishop Gianfranco Gardin of Treviso, Italy, and young men from his diocese. Some 1,600 pilgrims from Treviso were marking the 100th anniversary of the death of Pope Pius X, who was from Treviso. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
During his general audience Pope Francis continued to reflect on the Church as mother, explaining that she teaches us by example how to go to the essential point of the Gospel, which is mercy. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

COLF encourages families to promote life and love
An indigenous family poses for a photo outside their home in Bolivia. Poverty, violence and changing social norms are causing the disintegration of the family structure across Latin America. The Catholic Organization for Life and Family is now weighing in on the subject. CNS photo / Paul Jeffrey.
In its most recent message, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) urges families to live up to vocation of promoting life, peace and a culture of love. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bishops ask for prayer Sept. 28

Prayer intentions to focus on synod on the family

Vatican spokesman speaks during press conference for release of working document
for extraordinary Synod of Bishops on family. (Photo: Paul Haring / CNS)
The Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops dedicated Sept. 28 as a day of prayer for the success of the Synod on the family, which is scheduled for Oct. 5-19.

They encourage Masses and other liturgical occasions to be offered in that intention. At least one chapel in Rome will host prayers every day during the synod, which is themed "pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization."

Keep your eyes open for a soon-to-be released leaflet of prayers written by Pope Francis.

Newly confirmed youth water their seeds of faith

Summer camp organized by the archdiocese's youth ministry brings catechism lessons to life
Girls pose for a "selfie" as the 70 participants of this year's Searching in the Spirit line up for a group photo. The camp was held at Camp Jubilee Aug. 18-22. Erwin Fung / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
Youth ministry's annual Searching in the Spirit camp is helping to plant seeds of faith in campers. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope prays for family of journalist executed by Islamic State
Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist reportedly beheaded by Islamic State extremists, is pictured in a 2010 photo. CNS photo / Mazen Mahdi, EPA.
Pope Francis has offered prayerful condolences to the family of Steven Sotloff, a U.S. journalist who was executed earlier this month by militants of the Islamic State. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith leaders denounce ISIS barbarism
An estimated 1,000 people rallied on Parliament Hill Sept. 6 to denounce the barbarism of ISIS and its genocide of Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities.

On Parliament Hill Sept. 6, religious leaders, including two Muslim imams, denounced the barbarism of the Islamic State (ISIS), urging the protection of Iraqi Christians and other minorities. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Come and be healed by the power of God" at Our Lady of Mercy

Healing prayer service to be held Oct. 11

The Blessed Sacrament will be present at the service.

Our Lady of Mercy parish in Burnaby invites all those in need of special prayers to attend a healing prayer service Oct.11, following the 5 p.m. Mass.

This service is sponsored by the Mustard Seed Prayer Group Healing Ministry, and will feature the exposition and procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The parish calls anyone to attend; whether it is you or someone you love who needs to be healed, you are encouraged to come and let God "renew your mind, body, and spirit".

The Mustard Seed Prayer Group holds a healing service at Our Lady of Mercy on the 2nd Saturday of every month. For more information, contact Cecilia (604-239-0556) or Gina (604-522-5487).

Walk for a cause: Talitha Koum Society's 'Walk for Freedom 2014'

Funds raised will benefit women struggling with addiction

The walk will take place around the perimeter of the beautiful Burnaby Central Park, pictured here.

The CWL of St. Mary's Parish will join forces with the Talitha Koum Society Sept. 21 to host the "Walk for Freedom", an event which will support the rehabilitation of women fighting substance abuse and violence.

Talitha Koum is an organization that operates spiritual 'safe houses', where women dealing with addiction and the trauma of abuse can get the help they need to do so. Staff at the Talitha Koum houses are often graduates of their program who use their firsthand experience with these issues to offer support to the residents.

The "Walk for Freedom" will be held at Burnaby Central Park's Lohn Perennial Garden from 1-3 p.m. Registration fee is $10, and forms can be obtained by emailing Teresa Lung ( or Sister Denece (

Former judge with ties to Jesuits to talk on faith

First native person to graduate from law school in Atlantic Canada
Lieutenant Governor Graydon Nicholas.
A lieutenant governor, the first native person to graduate from law school in Atlantic Canada, is going to come to Vancouver. Graydon Nicholas will address two audiences, Sept. 11 and 12. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Official prayer, image for World Meeting of Families released
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput talk in St. Peter's Square March 26. Leaders from Pennsylvania were meeting with Vatican officials to plan the Sept. 22-27, 2015, World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. It is believed the Pope will participate. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The official prayer and image for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year have been released to aid pilgrims in spiritual preparation for the upcoming event. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Cardinal Ortega to address challenges of evangelization at CCCB plenary
CCCB General Secretary Msgr. Patrick Powers with past president Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton at the 2013 CCCB plenary. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino will celebrate a Pontifical Mass Sept. 14 in Quebec City, and then address Canada's bishops annual plenary Sept. 15-19 on the challenges of evangelization. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Local Knights receive international acclaim in Florida

Council 5540 praised for years of toil to complete chapel that houses first-class relic of St. Faustina
Knights Peter Elliott (right) and Edward Shawchuk and their wives were in Orlando to receive the International Services Award. Photo submitted.
A Coquitlam Grand Knight received an honour on behalf of All Saints Council 5540. Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight, made the presentation. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

More pleas for aid as Ebola outbreak worsens
A Liberian nurse walks in front of St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital that is now closed due to Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 9. Liberia's health system is in "complete shambles," a Church aid agency said, as the death of a Spanish priest brought to six the number of caregivers at the hospital who have died of Ebola in August. CNS photo / Ahmed Jallanzo, EPA.
The continuing spread of Ebola in Africa is putting more lives at risk, while containment efforts and the flight of vital workers have endangered food supplies and medical care even for those without the disease. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Euthanasia no way to promote human rights, dignity, coalition says
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, explains the immorality of physician-assisted suicide to the press. CNS photo / Marcus Donner, Reuters.
Killing off the old, the infirm, and the disabled won't promote the human rights, dignity, or freedom of anybody, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition argued in a factum submitted to the Supreme Court of Canada Aug. 28. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Christian schools won't profit from public strike

Vancouver Island principals say enrolment might increase, but private schools don't 'steal kids'
Doug Lauson. BCC file photo.
Although some Christian schools on Vancouver Island face a tough fight maintaining enrolment because the number of children is shrinking, they are making no efforts to attract parents concerned about a threatened closure of public schools. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Islamist extremists capture two more cities in Nigeria
Students from St. Scholastica's College are seen with tape over their mouths during a June 27 rally in Manila, Philippines. More than 1,000 students joined the protest outside of the all-girls school to voice outrage over the kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a Nigerian school in April by Boko Haram Islamist militants, a school official said. CNS photo / Erik De Castro, Reuters.
Amid increasing attacks at the hands of the Islamic State in the Middle East, the similarly radical Islamist group Boko Haram has captured at least two additional cities in different states in Nigeria in recent days. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Iconwriters trust in God's slow work
Gisele Bauche (left) leads some of the participants in a week-long workshop at Providence Renewal Centre in the process of writing an icon of the Mother of God. Chris Miller / Western Catholic Reporter / (CCN).
In iconography, the process is more important than the result. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Prince Charles writes to Patriarch Sako

Heir to British throne expresses sympathy for Iraqi Christians
Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako speaks to the media.
(Photo: Alaa Al-Marjani / CNS)
The Prince of Wales wrote a letter to the head of the Chaldean Catholics, conveying his "special prayers and profound sympathy" to persecuted Christians Aug. 22.
"I want you to know, above all, that my heart goes out to all those whose lives have been so brutally shattered by this terrible conflict. Although words seem hopelessly inadequate at such an imaginable time of suffering, I did just want to offer, through you, my special prayers and profound sympathy to all members of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq."
He adds he made a "very small token of assistance" through the charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Patriarch Sako sent his reply Sept. 2, saying he was "much moved" by the gesture.
"We ask your Highness to encourage the international community to preserve the lives and the dignity of the huge number of people affected by this disaster."
Read both letters here.

New website gets to the 'crux' of Catholicism

Boston Globe Media site looks at faith in a modern light

A recently released website called 'Crux' aims to provide an online space for both Catholics and non-Catholics to sound off on issues related to the faith.

The Boston Globe Media initiative looks at Catholicism from a modern perspective by sharing news straight from the Vatican. It also details the stories of Catholics and their roles in events happening around the globe, thus attempting to interpret the role that Catholicism plays in our world today.

Archbishop Miller to bless new school wing

Elementary school upgrade designed with energy-saving features
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, is set to bless the west wing of Our Lady of Perpetual Help school Sept. 7.

The newly completed upgrade, which began June 2013 to meet seismic requirements, is worth over $3 million. The 10,000 square feet include space for eight classrooms for children in kindergarten and Grades 1-3.

The celebration begins with Mass at 11 a.m. and continues with the blessing and a barbecue.

Archbishop visits areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan

Reconstruction tour takes Archbishop Miller to Philippines
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, stands with Archbishop John Forrosuelo Du of Palo and construction workers in Tacloban City. Archbishop Miller was asked to bless the building site of the Pope Francis Centre, an orphanage, clinic, and seniors' centre. Photo submitted.
An estimated 14 million Filipinos are getting their lives back together as long-term aid efforts slowly erase the effects of Typhoon Haiyan. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Nuncio: we owe Ukraine more than a salvage operation
A Ukrainian woman weeps after being reunited with her son at the Russia-Ukraine border in Russia's Rostov region amid ongoing tensions. CNS photo / Alexander Demianchuk, Reuters.
As Ukraine's crisis continues to escalate, the nation's apostolic nuncio stressed that its people deserve more than after-the-fact aid and should be allowed to live in peace, without the threat of outside aggressors. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCODP receives $1 million grant to help displaced Iraqis
International Development Minister Christian Paradis announced an aid package for displaced Iraqis Aug. 29; the same day Development and Peace received a $1 million grant for Iraqi aid. A sample of the hygiene kits and other supplies is on the left. Deborah Gyapong / (CCN).
On Aug. 29, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada awarded the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) $1 million to help displaced Iraqis. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Saint John Paul II Way

City green-lights papal street name
A gravel roads runs alongside the soon-to-be completed John Paul II pastoral centre. The road will eventually become Saint John Paul II Way. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Thirty years after a saint-to-be made a never-to-be-forgotten visit to Vancouver, the city is planning to honour him forever. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis: the Church is a mother who guides her children
Pope Francis touches a child's head as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter's Square Sept. 3. CNS photo / Fabio Frustaci, EPA.
In his general audience Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Church, turning to the aspect of her maternity, of which the Virgin Mary is a model encouraging us to reach out to our brothers and sisters. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Fire and Fusion conference focuses on love as road to Christian unity
Faith leaders pray for international Charismatic Catholic leader Matteo Calisi at the Fire and Fusion conference in Ottawa. Deborah Gyapong / (CCN).
Catholic and evangelical speakers at the Fire and Fusion conference here Aug. 28-31 stressed Christian unity begins by loving each other and trusting the Holy Spirit. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Canossian sisters celebrate 25 years in Vancouver

Bilingual sisters have served in parishes, schools, hospitals, and Chinese Catholic community
Sister Cecilia Cham (left) enjoys a banquet in honour of the Canossian sisters' 25th year of serving in Vancouver alongside provincial leader Sister Kay Taylor (middle) and Sister Beatrice Mak. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A religious congregation that landed in Vancouver to serve a growing population of Chinese immigrants is celebrating a significant milestone. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Koreans infected with 'Francis syndrome' after papal visit
Pope Francis meets with religious leaders in the old archdiocesan headquarters building in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 18. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
A former Korean ambassador to the Holy See spoke of the effects of Pope Francis' recent visit to South Korea, saying that all of Asia now feels a long-term challenge to imitate his humble ways. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Indigenous Games a positive event
Janae Fisher and Ocean White were two of the athletes participating in the North American Indigenous Games held in Regina this summer. Frank Flegel / Prairie Messenger (CCN).
They came from all over North America. They were young, under 19, and there were more than 4,000 enjoying a week of competitive games, music, entertainment, meeting new friends, and generally just having fun. They were participants in the ninth annual North American Indigenous Games. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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