Friday, October 9, 2015

Speaker praises Pope Francis as a great reformer

The Holy Father makes the Church accessible through his emphasis on mercy, says Peter Nation
Peter Nation, the coordinator of Catholic Voices Canada, calls Pope Francis a reformer during a talk at the John Paul II Pastoral Centre Sept. 25. "Our Holy Father has not changed a single item of doctrine. He has just made his presentation of the face of the Church so gripping," he explained. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Our prisoner-visiting, leper-kissing, world-travelling Pope Francis will be going down in history as a reformer, according to a Catholic Voices Canada coordinator. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

God's dream for creation? The union of a man and woman, Pope says
Pope Francis arrives for the morning session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 6. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis formally opened the Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family Oct. 4, telling participants that the union of a man and a woman is the foundation of God's plan for the family, and a solution to the many forms of loneliness in today's world. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Queenship of Mary sisters evangelize with popcorn
The Queenship of Mary sisters and other volunteers hand out popcorn at the Metcalfe Fair, as part of booth sponsored by St. Catherine of Siena Parish. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
As Thanksgiving approaches, many communities host agricultural fairs to showcase everything from the best potatoes to the best heifers. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Event offers rediscovery of Real Presence

Talk planned to help everyone enter personal relationship with Jesus
A monstrance holds Jesus in the Eucharist in an new adoration chapel. CNS photo / Olivia Obineme, Catholic Review.
With an International Eucharistic Congress planned for late January in the Philippines, the archdiocese is offering locals a chance to rediscover the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

What saves us from loneliness? Family! Pope Francis says
Pope Francis poses with clergy and women religious during his general audience in St. Peter's Square Oct. 7. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Family rescues us from indifference and loneliness and teaches us the essentials of life, Pope Francis said. As the family of God, the Church has the same role and must evaluate how to live this. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Psychologist hopes synod on family will address importance of fathers
Clinical Psychologist Ray Guarendi signs books and speaks with parents after giving a talk in Ottawa Oct. 2. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
A popular American psychologist and author said he hopes the bishops attending the synod on the family Oct. 4-25 in Rome will address the importance of strong fathers in the family. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, who is the principal patron of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and for whom Holy Rosary Cathedral is named.

The feast, formerly known as Our Lady of Victory, has been celebrated for centuries on Oct. 7. Tradition holds that St. Dominic (d. 1221) devised the rosary as we know it after being moved by a vision of our Blessed Mother.

Holy Rosary Cathedral parish began in 1885 when the Right Reverend Louis d’Herbomez, OMI, vicar apostolic of the mainland of British Columbia, appointed Father Patrick Fay as the first pastor. The cornerstone of the present church was laid in 1899 and the church doors were officially opened on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 1900.

In 1916, under Archbishop Timothy Casey, D.D., the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary was declared a cathedral. Read more about the cathedral's history on its website.

High-tech high school receives blessing

Prelate pays visit to new home of Notre Dame Regional Secondary
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, blesses the hallways of the new Notre Dame Regional Secondary School Sept. 28. The new eco-friendly structure has room for 800 students. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
It's been called high-tech, state of the art, and the best high school in the region. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis lauds Archbishop Chaput's 'great love for the family'
Pope Francis arrives to lead his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 30. CNS photo / Max Rossi, Reuters.
Pope Francis reviewed his recent trip to Cuba and the United States during his general audience on Wednesday, calling the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia the "culmination" of his apostolic visit. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Expert concerned Putin's Syria intervention takes eye off Ukraine
University of Alberta historian Frank Sysyn, an expert on Ukraine, (centre) with faculty of the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at Saint Paul University: Father Peter Galadza (left) and Brian Butcher. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Russian President Vladimir Putin's intervention in Syria raises concerns the crisis in Ukraine will be ignored, a Canadian historian told a seminar here Sept. 30. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Film star lends voice to Missio app

Liam Neeson narrates new video for Pontifical Mission Societies project
Liam Neeson stars in a scene from the movie "Non-Stop" released last year. (Photo: Universal / CNS)
Taken series hero Liam Neeson is the voice behind a new video for Missio.
"Missio enables real change on the global level by supporting projects that help solve the world's largest problems, like hunger," he says.
Pope Francis and the Pontifical Mission Societies released the mobile app in 2013 as a tool to help people get involved in social justice projects around the world, directly from their phones.

Apparently Neeson had a particular set of skills they wanted to use. Learn more here or on the Missio site.

Shooter asked students if they were Christian

Nine killed and nine wounded at community college in Roseburg, Oregon
Umpqua Community College alumna Donice Smith (left) is embraced after learning
one of her formerteachers was killed Oct. 1. (Photo: Steve Dipaola / Reuters / CNS)
News organizations have learned that the gunman who started shooting students at Umpqua Community College Oct. 1 first asked them if they were Christian. Those who answered "yes" were shot in the head; those who gave a different answer were shot elsewhere.
"I am saddened beyond words," Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland said to worshippers gathered at St. Joseph Church in Roseburg.

"We are one body in Christ, and when even one member suffers, we all suffer with them. My heard is indeed very heavy with sorry as I grieve with all of you."
Nine people were killed and nine more wounded before the shooter died in an exchange of gunfire with police. Read the full article here.

Bloodied relic speaks of an attack, but also of a solid faith

tues sep6

St. John Paul II was shot just after attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan
The shirt Pope John Paul II wore May 13, 1981, the day he was shot, is now framed and in the care of the Daughters of Charity of the Province of Rome. J.P. Sonnen / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
There are many little known relics, treasures of our Catholic heritage, to be found in hidden parts of the world. Prizes such as the sword of Godfrey of Bouillon, kept in the Latin sacristy at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem or the red damask cope with a bullet hole in it from a failed assassination attempt on the life of St. Charles Borromeo, kept in the Ambrosian treasury in Milan. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

I can forgive an abuser, but understand those who can't: Pope
Pope Francis listens as he takes questions from journalists aboard his flight from Philadelphia to Rome Sept. 27. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his wide-ranging press briefing en route from the United States to Rome, Pope Francis spoke on the difficult subject of forgiving priests who have molested minors, saying that the strength to forgive, and to be forgiven, can only come from God. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Sulpicians reinvigorate Edmonton seminary
Father Shayne Craig stands in front of the icon of the feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple, a gift to St. Joseph Seminary from the Sulpician Fathers. Ramon Gonzalez / Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
The Sulpician Fathers are the cream of the cream in seminary formation. They run seminaries in several countries and are known for forming well-rounded priests. Many of their pupils and professors have gone on to become bishops and cardinals. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Art guild begins guest speaker series

Religious icons can be used for prayer

St. Luke, Patron of Artists. A sacred icon painted
by a member of the guild in 2005.
(Photo credit: Frank C. Turner)

For one guild of artists, learning to pray is synonymous with learning their craft.
“We will give insights into the 2,000 year art form, how it has evolved to create new forms of sacred art today, and how it can be used in our prayers,” said Christine Lim. The Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild (ESAG) begins its Guest Speaker Series, with the first presentation will be by Kathy Sievers, an iconographer from Oregon.
“She will be coming to talk about contemporary icons,” said Lim, a student of iconography herself. “As well, she will address the relevance they have in our lives today as well as how to use them to pray.”
There will be a time for questions afterwards, where Sievers will answer questions about her art or how to improve their own, said Lim. “People can display their own art, and explain why they are working on it,” Lim added.

“This allows for them to receive advice from other artists, or get help with any trouble they have with their works.” Lim noted the guild’s purpose as a “non-profit society for people who practice creating sacred arts according to the magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.”

“We believe our art must be fed through prayer, contemplation, and a full sacramental life,” she said.
The presentation will be at St. Jude’s Parish, Vancouver Oct. 10, from 12-3 p.m.

More information is available by contacting Steve Knight at or here.

Urban missionaries want Catholics back

Legion of Mary spreads the Good News in door-to-door campaign
A long road filled with various hazards awaits most missionaries, and the Legion of Mary has found this to be true. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope: Communion for divorced, remarried isn't the only synod issue
Pope Francis speaks with journalists aboard his flight from Philadelphia to Rome Sept. 27. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Pope Francis told journalists on board his flight to Rome that giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics is a "simplistic" solution to the issue, and stressed that there are also other problems that need to be discussed. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

St. Philip Neri holds refugee fundraiser
Syrian refugees Maral and Kevork Kasarjian, who arrived in Saskatoon Sept. 17 with their five children, were special guests at a St. Philip Neri Parish Refugee Committee fundraiser held Sept. 24 in Saskatoon. They are among three families arriving this fall, sponsored by the parish. Kiply Lukan Yaworski / Prairie Messenger (CCN).
The large crowd at a St. Philip Neri Refugee Committee fund-raising dinner Sept. 24 roared with delight when the winner of the evening's 50-50 draw was announced. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Religious festival attracts many

Orders hold vocations fair
Sister Mary Jacinta Li, left, speaks to a participant at the first vocations fair in the archdiocese. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic.
Many gathered for the first vocations fair of the Archdiocese of Vancouver Sept. 20. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis visits Philadelphia inmates
Pope Francis blesses inmate Ron Cianci during a visit to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia Sept. 27. CNS photo / Todd Heisler, pool.
During his visit to a Philadelphia correctional facility this morning, Pope Francis said every person is marked and bruised by life, but Jesus washes away our sins and invites us to live a full life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB writes to Prime Minister on Israeli security wall
Retired Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer of San Angelo, Texas, stands in front of the Israeli separation wall near Jerusalem. CNS photo / Debbie Hill.
The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has written the prime minister asking him to use his influence on Israel to prevent an unjust route for its security wall. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Langley parish opens part two of its three-phase plan

New parish centre blessed by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Sept. 20
Father Edwin Kulling, pastor of St. Nicholas Parish, and Archbishop Miller say a prayer before blessing the new building. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Teachers and students at St. Nicholas Parish are holding religious education classes in a new space this week. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Help youth be brave in opting for marriage and family, Pope tells bishops
Pope Francis blesses a baby from the popemobile in Philadelphia Sept. 27. CNS photo / Alex Brandon, pool.
Pope Francis told bishops Sunday that a widespread consumerism and desire to follow new fads has rendered youth fearful of commitments, and said that as pastors they must encourage youth to be brave in going against the tide. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

CCCB signs on to interfaith declaration on climate change and poverty reduction
A Roma boy sits in the back yard of a house in Gyongyospata, Hungary. Pope Francis has said focusing on poverty and sacrificing for the poor are the heart of the Gospel, not signs of communism. CNS photo / Zoltan Balogh, EPA.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has signed an inter-faith declaration seeking action on climate change, poverty reduction and justice for aboriginal peoples. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pro-lifer is back behind bars

Linda Gibbons arrested outside Toronto abortion clinic
Linda Gibbons stands outside the Morgentaler Clinic in Toronto before being arrested Sept. 2.
(Photo: Peter J. Thompson / National Post).
Pro-life activist and grandmother Linda Gibbons has spent 10 years and seven months in jail, and she's been arrested again. Toronto police picked her up outside a Morgentaler Clinic earlier this month.
"When the sheriff showed up Wednesday to read the paperwork aloud three times, the forbidden conduct included 'impeding, interfering with, blocking and obstructing' clinic patients; 'distracting' or 'attempting to distract' or otherwise 'interrupting' the business of the clinic; 'supporting or condoning' actions that might interrupt the business.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to conclude Gibbons did any of that."
Read the full article about the arrest by Christie Blatchford at the National Post.

The latest update from LifeSiteNews says that Gibbons has been behind bars since that arrest and her case has been deferred to Oct. 6.

Assisted suicide worries Catholic doctors

Physician says giving a lethal dose is not how they want to 'treat' their patients
Ethicist Margaret Somerville (left) meets LifeCanada's Natalie Sonnen at the CHABC conference. "We need to take the white coat off euthanasia," Somerville said. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Health-care workers in this province are voicing concerns about the implications of assisted suicide for their professions. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope meets with victims of abuse
Becky Ianni of Burke, Va., and Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, both members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests demonstrate in front of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia Sept. 25. The Pope met privately with a group of survivors of sexual abuse in Philadelphia Sept. 27. CNS photo / Joshua Roberts.
Pope Francis met with five victims of sexual abuse during his visit to Philadelphia, telling bishops afterward that the evil acts can no longer remain in silence, and promised his personal vigilance in protecting minors. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Caritas Internationalis and CIDSE call for binding agreement on climate change
CCODP officer Genevieve Talbot, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, and CCODP deputy director Ryan Worms in New York for UN climate change meetings Sept. 25-27. Photo courtesy CCODP (CCN).
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, said Holy See charitable agencies are urging global decision-makers to make binding agreements on climate change. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Memorial Mass planned for former archbishop

Archbishop Carney greeted future saints
Archbishop James Francis Carney poses with Mother Teresa in this 1988 photo. The two wrote letters back and forth, and it was thanks to the archbishop's invitation that the famous nun from Kolkata visited Vancouver and sent Missionaries of Charity to serve here, which they do to this day. Marianne Hamilton / BCC File Photo.
Twenty-five years ago, Catholics in the Lower Mainland mourned the loss of a faithful and courageous shepherd. Now they have a chance to honour him again. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis speaks off-the-cuff ... again
A woman reacts to Pope Francis's final words during the Mass at the end of the World Meeting of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia Sept. 27. CNS photo / Brian Snyder, Reuters.
A visibly moved Pope Francis ditched his prepared remarks in speaking to thousands of families gathered in Philadelphia Saturday night -- giving an impromptu reflection on the beauty and dire importance of family life. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Quebec study releases findings on day care
Children pose for a photo at the Sisters of Mercy Wings Vocational School just outside Georgetown, Guyana, in March.
A study of the long-term impacts of Quebec's universal child-care program released in September reveals an increase in criminal behaviour and a decrease in health and life satisfaction among those who have endured child care. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sister celebrates 50 years of her mission of prayer

Ohio teenager set on missionary service found her calling fulfilled in a Dominican monastery
Sister Jean Marie Dwyer, OP, sits in a common area at the Queen of Peace Monastery in Squamish. "I was called to be a missionary, and that's what I am as a cloistered Dominican nun," she said. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A Dominican contemplative living in the wilds of Squamish considers herself a prayer warrior and missionary. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Pope Francis visits Catholic Charities in Washington
Pope Francis talks with Sister Marie Mathilde, 102, during his unannounced visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor residence in Washington Sept. 23. CNS photo / Courtesy of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
There is no social or moral justification for homelessness, but we can find solace and meaning in the Incarnation, Pope Francis said Thursday during a visit to Catholic Charities in Washington D.C. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Casting the NET onto new public squares
Brian Holdsworth.
When the apostles first set out to evangelize to the world, they stood in public squares to preach about the kingdom of God and Jesus's resurrection. Today, according to Brian Holdsworth, the new public squares are on the Internet, so this is where the Church must be. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Yorkers respond to Pope Francis

Franciscan friar points out Pope, like many of them, is a son of immigrants
Crowds line the sidewalk as Pope Francis rides down Fifth Avenue in New York Sept. 24.
(Photo: Richard Drew / CNS)
By Michael Swan
The Catholic Register

It’s actually hard to gather a sense of how New Yorkers are responding to Pope Francis.

Out on the street, it seems like there are no native New Yorkers. Everybody is either a tourist or part of a visiting TV crew, filing their own reports on how New Yorkers are greeting Pope Francis.

A real New Yorker, hidden behind the forest of selfie sticks with tourists attached, is as rare as a Northern Spotted Owl. And then they disappoint you by complaining about the traffic.

Not all of them are focussed on their commutes and the upset likely when Pope Francis wades into a sea of humanity in Central Park at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. Some are thinking of how this pope relates to their city.

It is significant that Francis comes from Buenos Aires, another big city in the Americas shared and divided between the rich and the poor, Capuchin Fr. Julian Jagudilla told me. It matters that he is the son of immigrants, just as so many New Yorkers are.

Jagudilla is a migrant from Philippines who as a Franciscan friar has become director of a migrant centre that helps hundreds of Hispanic migrants per year with their impossible legal tangles. He advocates for the rights and dignity of migrants, who are so much a part of the fabric of New York City.

In the office of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Nathalie Orcel answers phone call after phone call from people who expect her to tell them precisely when and where the pope will be and how they can get a good look at him.

“They’re driving me crazy,” said Orcel. “I can’t wait for him to leave so we can go back to the normal crazy stuff.”

Orcel is joking. She’s a tough New Yorker, but that doesn’t stop her from smiling as she answers the phone one more time. “It’s been going on since June, when we didn’t even know about it,” she said.

The parish isn’t far from Penn Station, and Orcel compares the Church of St. Francis of Assisi to the big Manhattan train station. The people calling her aren’t necessarily parishioners or even Catholics. They just figure the downtown Franciscans must know. “People want information, they come to us,” said Orcel.

James Austria also works at the parish and he’s similarly amused by the fuss, but can’t hide his own excitement. “It’s a big deal because he inspires people,” said Austria. “But he’s a little deal, because he’s so humble.”

Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he rides down Fifth Avenue in New York Sept. 24.
(Photo: Richard Drew / CNS)
There’s no minimizing the big headline events of Pope Francis’ sweep through the U.S. east coast, said immigration lawyer Tom Backen. But by it’s the combination of his addresses to Congress and the United Nations with visits to school children in Harlem, homeless people in Washington and prisoners in Philadelphia that nails down exactly why Francis has been so popular and so effective.

“That’s one of the things that’s most startling about the guy,” Backen said. “He’s always reaching for another encounter.”

The way that Francis worked behind the scenes to encourage pragmatic dialogue between Cuba and the U.S. is an example for all Americans, especially for the country’s polarized, shouting, strutting and posing political class, said Backen.

I met a couple on the Number 3 train who took an interest in my camera equipment. The gentleman had just bought a rather expensive camera and now had an interest in expensive lenses. I steered the conversation to the pope. He works for the MTA and he and his wife are not Catholic. So he said he wasn’t too interested, but his wife looked at him with that well-worn look of wives’ who are disappointed by something their husbands have said.

On Eighth Avenue, where a painting of Pope Francis against a bright yellow background covers a building and looms over the midtown neighbourhood, men on a smoke break were talking about the picture and the pope. A parade of those tourists with selfie sticks were taking their pictures with the pope mural behind them.

A professional photographer from Japan and I commiserated over how difficult it will be to get a decent picture of the live Pope in Central Park’s shadowy evening light, to say nothing of the opaque arrangements the city, the archdiocese and the secret service have made for the press. But there was no question that a photograph of the pope was something both of us would fight through crowds and officious public relations staff to get.

It’s more than another assignment. There’s something in Francis we need to see, to capture and to know.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Canadian minister discusses priorities in Middle East

National defence minister wants Canada to prioritize Christian refugees
Jason Kenney, Canada's minister of national defence and minister for multiculturalism. (Photo Credit:
Jason Kenney, Canada's minister of national defence and minister for multiculturalism, says Canada should consider the minorities fleeing from Syria and Iraq the top priority.
"'Some people are in an understandable wave of emotion… telling me that we should just send C-17 aircraft over there to refugee camps and load them up and bring them to Caanda,' Kenney said in an interview with the Jewish Independent. Kenney considers the most vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons not even in the United Nations camps."
Kenney is worried most of all by the persecuted minorities who are unable to go to the UN camps due to their minority status and the implications of that. Read more here.

Journalist reflects on great efforts of St. Junipero Serra

Museum overlooks saint who gave the best he had to native community
A statue of St. Junipero Serra stands in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
(Photo: Joshua Roberts / CNS)
By Michael Swan
The Catholic Register

As Pope Francis was presiding at the canonization of St. Junipero Serra I was inside the Museum of the American Indian down on the southern tip of Manhattan Island – the island we stole from Canarsee nation in the 17th century, claiming we paid for it with coloured beads. I was there looking to see if there was any reference to St. Junipero. I didn’t expect praise. But I wasn’t surprised by St. Junipero’s absence either.

There were plenty of glancing blows sideswiping Christian evangelization of the Western Hemisphere. There’s this text beside a display of Pueblo pottery: “Spanish exploitation of Indian labor and forced conversion to Christianity sparked the Pueblo uprising of 1680. During the revolt, Pueblos captured the largest herd of horses ever taken by North American Indians, laying groundwork for a new Indian trade. Spanish attempts to establish Catholic missions are evident in the A: shiwi-made altar vessels shown here, which date between 1629 when the Franciscan church was built at Hawikku, and the year of the Pueblo uprising.”

There’s no evidence given for “forced conversion.” How could a single Franciscan missionary force Pueblo potters to use their considerable skill making altar vessels? Actually, the altar vessels were not on display. The display had been changed without bothering to revise the text. But the Pueblos were the people St. Junipero chose to live among. It’s their language he chose to learn. St. Junipero built churches with their help.

Throughout this museum there is no reference to the 500 years of Christian faith and devotion among aboriginal people from the Arctic to Patagonia. Christianity is treated as though it were a taint. It is as
though the Native American Christians of the past half-millennium don’t really count. The only authentic history of these people is the pre-Christian history. The only authentic Indian is a pre-Christian Indian.

A book on the Pueblo revolt is for sale in the museum gift shop. It doesn’t mention St. Junipero either. The index does have extensive entries under “Franciscan friars,” including “cruelty of,” “Eulate’s antipathy towards,” “executions of,” “martyrdom longed for by,” and “Santa Barbara convent of.”

Nobody imagines the Church’s mission to thousands of nations of the New World was such a perfect example of Christian love in action. There were failures, and many of them.

But St. Junipero’s life, his longing for martyrdom, his incredible drive can only be understood from the inside, from the assumption that he gave himself to his mission honestly, generously and with love.

In his homily at the canonization Mass, Pope Francis makes no excuses for the Church’s failings, but he asks us to see the saint as a man who gave the best he had.

“We are heirs to the bold missionary spirit,” Pope Francis tells us. “(St. Junipero) was the embodiment of a Church which goes forth, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God.”

The Pueblos suffered at the hands of colonization, and the Church was too often blind to what colonization was doing. But the mission was a mission of reconciling tenderness.

“Junipero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it,” said Francis “A mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people.”

None of us are innocent in this. Just like Manhattan, Toronto sits on other people’s land taken without their consent. But as Christians we have always needed, wanted and sought an encounter. Christianity has to go out and find other people, other cultures, other ways of life.

“Jesus did not provide a short list of who is, or is not, worthy of receiving His message, His presence,” said Francis. “Instead, he always embraced life as he saw it. In faces of
pain, hunger, sickness and sin.”

St. Junipero Serra did that and as a saint he reminds us to do the same.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Refugee sponsors' group asks gov't for more help

Canadian organization seeks faster application processing times, more resources, and more funds
Migrants walk along at sunset after crossing into Hungary from the border with Serbia near Roszke, Hungary, Aug. 29. About 100,000 migrants have taken the Balkan route into Europe this year. Bernadett Szabo / Reuters / CNS.
A group that represents refugee sponsors is asking the government to do more to help move people running for their lives. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Women protect humanity against evil, Pope Francis says
Pilgrims from China cheer as Pope Francis arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Women have a special God-given role in protecting each generation against the evils of its time, Pope Francis said in, characteristically, off-the-cuff remarks during his weekly Wednesday general audience. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Franciscans depart St. Michael's
Father Dennis Vavrek, OFM / Frank Flegel / Prairie Messenger (CCN)
It was a time of sadness and thanksgiving, said many of those who attended the farewell prayer service and open house at St. Michael's Retreat Centre here August 22: the last of the Franciscans who opened the centre 52 years ago were leaving. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Counsellor visiting to lecture on reason and emotion

Psychotherapist knowledgeable about St. Thomas Aquinas's studies of affection in human relationships
Sue Baars
Emotions can control human actions, yet reason by nature guides the emotions, said Catholic psychotherapist Sue Baars. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

European bishops visit Holy Land to show solidarity and seek hope
Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, celebrates Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington Aug. 29. CNS photo / Michael Reynolds, EPA.
European bishops gathered in the Holy Land Sept. 11-16 to show closeness to Christians in the Middle East and to trace a path of hope for them. It was an unprecented assembly. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

'Laudato Si'' brought into the classroom
Dean Sarnecki / Ramon Gonzalez / Western Catholic Reporter (CCN)
"Laudato Si'," Pope Francis's encyclical on the environment, should be integrated into what children are taught in the Catholic school system, said Dean Sarnecki, the executive director of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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