Friday, May 27, 2016

Men's retreat highlights importance of forgiveness

Being a son of the Father means living like the Prodigal Son
Jake Khym (left) speaks to participants Larry Bowen and John Romein. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic.
Wax on, wax off. Just like Ralph Machio's character Daniel in the 1984 film "The Karate Kid," practice and repetition is the key to sonship with God, said Jake Khym. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Constitutional lawyers debate whether Bill C-14 is better than no bill at all
Hugh Scher
Constitutional lawyers opposed euthanasia and assisted-suicide are divided on whether passing Bill C-14 without further amendments is preferable to no bill at all. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Faith groups seek conscience rights

Archdiocese of Vancouver joins new eight-member coalition
Larry Worthen
The Archdiocese of Vancouver has just joined a band of Christian organizations in the fight for conscience rights. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Senate committee recommends amendments to euthanasia bill
Senator Denise Batters
A Senate committee has recommended amendments to strengthen euthanasia Bill C-14's safeguards and add conscience rights protections to help speed passage of the bill. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Outreach team celebrates one year of helping the poor

Good Shepherd Street Ministry delivers candy, socks, and prayers to Downtown Eastside residents
Volunteer Priscilla Correa (centre) stops to give away a bag filled with candy and an encouraging note to a woman as the team walks down the street April 29. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A group of volunteers in blue jackets are celebrating one year of serving Vancouver's poorest neighbourhood. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Prelate responds to newspapers series on sexual abuse

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, of Ottawa responded to a series of clerical sexual abuse news stories in the archdiocese by acknowledging the great evil and pledging vigilance. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Media group unveils new pregnancy support initiatives

Focus on Life reveals pair of projects to reach out to teenagers and pregnant women in crisis
Students from St. Thomas Aquinas, Holy Cross, and St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary Schools attend the gala. The event collected $86,400 for pro-life media projects. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A media group in the business of pregnancy support and education is launching a pair of new initiatives. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Amended euthanasia bill includes nod to conscience protection
Lawyer Phil Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League, poses with Father Raymond J. de Souza in this 2010 photo. Catholic Civil Rights League photo.
The Justice Committee amended Bill C-14 May 11 by adding a clause saying no one should be compelled to participate in euthanasia and assisted suicide. For full story
 see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Pope Francis clasps top Sunni imam

Seismic meeting seen as a step to reopen dialogue between Christians and Muslims
Pope Francis meets with the grand
imam Sheik Ahmed Muhammad
Al-Tayyib at the Vatican May 23, 2016.
(Photo Credit: L'Osservatore Romano)
The Holy Father embraced the grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar mosque during a meeting at the Vatican, which many consider an attempt towards recreating discussion between Christians and Sunni Muslims.
"Our meeting is the message," the Pope was heard to have said to the imam during the meeting.
The pontiff and grand imam Sheik Ahmed Muhammad Al-Tayyib observed the significance of the meeting "within the framework of dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam," said Holy See press office director Father Federico Lombardi.

The two leaders addressed the commitment on the part of authorities and the faithful of major religions alike to toward bringing world peace, "the rejection of violence and terrorism, and the situation of Christians in the context of conflicts and tensions in the Middle East and their protection," Father Lombardi said.

Read more here.

Father Lynn shares his unique path to the priesthood


Parent of three ordained priest in December
Father Edwin Lawrence "Larry" Lynn was ordained a priest Dec. 4, 2015. A parent of three, Father Lynn spoke to The B.C. Catholic about his unique life experiences which led him to his ordination, including marriage and loss, fatherhood, and a career in the film industry. For the full story, see The B.C. Catholic website.

Deacon aims to balance faith, marriage, and work

Years of experience with apostolic communities led to vocation
Deacon Raul Abella, ordained a permanent deacon Dec. 8 in Holy Rosary Cathedral, discussed with The B.C. Catholic being a medical sales representative and balancing marriage with his vocation. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Latin America pleads for mining justice
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace urges the Prime Minister to heed a letter from more than 160 Latin American organizations calling for mining justice. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Controversial Croatian cardinal smeared by communists?

Historic evidence reveals Archbishop of Zagreb as target of disinformation
The statue of Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac at his tomb
in the Zagreb Cathedral,  Croatia.
(Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis via flickr)
Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac may have been a target of decades-long smears and disinformation by communists, says one researcher of the period.
"Stepinac was and remains an enormous hero in Croatia today," Professor Ronald J. Rychlak told CNA. "Just about every church you go into there's a picture of a statue or a piatning of Stepinac. He's truly a national hero over there. And he did stand against the Ustashe. He stood against the communists as well. They imprisoned him."
Cardinal Stepinac was the Archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia from 1937 until his death in 1960 at the age of 61. His acts against the pro-Nazi Ustashe movement are discussed here.

Funding cuts to private schools would force them to close, says head of independent schools

Head of BC's independent schools responds to demands to cut private school funding
Private school students get less funding by the government,
says Peter Froese, the head of Federation of Independent Schools
Association
. (Photo Credit: CSN)
School district budget problems has led critics of private schools questioning the value of spending millions of dollars to support BC's independent schools.

But the head of Federation of Independent Schools Association says it's not a time to blame private schools for funding problems.
Peter Froese addressed myths relating to the funding of independent schools in BC. The funding formula for private schools hasn't changed, despite cries that their budget has increased while public school districts are struggling. "We get roughly 50 per cent of what a public student gets for operating expenses " Froese said. "We get nothing for buildings, land or equipment. Those costs have to be borne by the supporters of independent schools."
Other misconceptions he addressed included was how as funding increases for public school students, so it also goes up for private school students. He adds that enrolment over the last ten years has increased by 18 per cent.

Read more here.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Church needs more artists: musician

Philosopher Sam Rocha makes the case for beautiful evangelism
Sam Rocha sings and lectures at St. Mark's College April 27. "Artists have this passionate imagination of the cross that perhaps the faithful don't," he said. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Artists make good evangelizers, says philosopher and musician Samuel Rocha. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Liberals introduce Transgender Bill
Among the transgenderism advocates was Charlie Lowthian-Rickert, 12, who identifies as a girl, wearing a black sweater over a flowered tunic. Behind them is the blue and pink transgender flag. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould introduced Transgender Bill C-16 in the House of Commons May 17, flanked by dozens of members and advocates. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Church occupation ended after more than a decade

Massachusetts Catholic Church parishioners forced to leave
A sign marks a vigil at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Roman Catholic Church. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Brian Snyder) 
The 12-year-long occupation of a Massachusetts Roman Catholic Church preventing its closure is coming to an end, as the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, said the Friends of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
"We've made this deal with the lower courts that we would vacate the premises within 14 days of the Supreme Court decision," said Jon Rogers, a leader of the Friends' group. "From the very beginning we have promised to exhaust every avenue of appeal available to us and we have now done that."
The closing of the church was a decision that was influenced by the early days of the U.S. clergy sex abuse scandals. Some 70 churches were closed down and sold to cover the Archdiocese of Boston's legal costs.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

B.C. Court of Appeal rules against pro-life club

Group has been denied funding, club status, and booking privileges
Cameron Cote
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms still does not apply to a group of students at the University of Victoria. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Mary Wagner released from prison
After being behind bars since her arrest Dec. 12, Mary Wagner (centre) walks out of Toronto's Old City Hall a relatively free woman. Evan Boudreau / The Catholic Register / CCN.
Despite receiving the maximum penalty at a sentencing hearing for her pro-life activism, Mary Wagner walked out of Toronto's Old City Hall a relatively free woman April 23. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Belgians plead with Canada not to pass euthanasia law

'Don't go there' - begs Belgium citizens regarding assisted suicide
Prescription bottle. (Photo Credit: Charles Williams via Flickr)
The Canadian Parliament is considering Bill C-14, a controversial legislation that, if passed, would legalize euthanasia in the country.

But some citizens of Belgium, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, have a message for Canada: Don't do it.
"Don't go there," Hendrik Reitsema, whose grandfather was euthanized in Belgium, said in one of the video messages created. "Why? You open Pandora's Box to the practice of killing as though it were a normal part of medicine."
The messages, relayed through a series of videos featuring Belgian doctors, lawyers, and family members of the euthanized, warns Canadians of the dangers legalizing euthanasia has for society.

Read more here.

Pro-life group takes hard look at its future

Vancouver Right to Life welcomes new executive director and new president
At a Vancouver Right to Life meeting April 23, speakers Pavel Reid (left) and Peter Nation discussed the direction of the pro-life movement. The group's new executive director, Annabelle Chong, and president Natalie Sonnen shared their plans. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A pro-life society has just welcomed a new leadership team. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Media campaign shares abortion stats
LifeCanada launched a campaign April 28 to make social media users aware that 280 unborn children are aborted every day in Canada. lifecanada.org.
A pro-life message aimed at publicizing the fact there are 280 abortions in the country each day has hit many social media platforms. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

SFU's Lifeline Club seeks to engage young people

They 'need to understand the gravity of our situation,' says pro-lifer and student Emily Ryznar
Emily Ryznar gives a presentation at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School on the role of youth in social reformation throughout history and how to encourage them to participate in the modern pro-life scene. Martin Dale / Special to The B.C. Catholic.
More than 1,000 Canadian children are killed each week, said the president of SFU's pro-life club. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Disabled daughter gave life to family
Jeri and Chuck Marple talk to the Every Life Matters session. Thandiwe Konguavi / Western Catholic Reporter.
When Jeri and Chuck Marple's eighth child, Mary, was born at 22 weeks, the choice of life or death was set before them. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Little-known lay group seeks God in unique ways

Members of Holy Trinity Community combine contemplative and charismatic ways to pray
Members of Holy Trinity Community gather at St. Mary's Parish gymnasium to pray, sing, and receive teaching from Father Gabriel de Chadarevian, OP, (centre). The group was founded in Indonesia in 1987 and has been growing here since 2010. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
A group of Catholics is combining the silence of contemplative prayer with the energetic worship and gifts of the charismatic. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Bioethicist says it's time to cut losses
Dr. Bill Sullivan
One of Canada's two members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a leading bioethicist and major researcher into disability issues, is urging Catholics to engage legislators to minimize the damage of the new assisted suicide law. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Archbishop to ordain two deacons priests

Church in Vancouver will greet new members of the presbyterate
Deacons Lucio Choi and Mark McGuckin.




















The Archdiocese of Vancouver is about to become two priests richer. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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P.E.I. set to fund abortion in 'heartbreaking situation'
Mary Ellen Douglas, Campaign Life Coalition's national coordinator.
Pro-lifers are heartbroken that the last standout province has succumbed to pressure from the abortion lobby. The premier of Prince Edward Island announced that abortions will soon be legal on the island. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Focus on Life dinner planned

Fundraising Gala to be held May 16
Ryan Bomberger speaks at the National March for Life in Ottawa in 2013. radiancefoundation.org.
A speaker with a powerful testimony to the value of life and adoption is coming to the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


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Priest pushes for palliative care
Father Eamon McNerney. Ramon Gonzalez / Western Catholic Reporter (CCN).
Guided by Jesus's words, "Whatever you did to one the least of my brothers and sisters, you did to me," Father Eamon McNerney once refused to endorse assisted suicide for the relative of a colleague. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Arrests made in alleged terror plot against Vatican

Italy arrests suspects in possible plot to attack Rome
St. Peter's Basilica. (Photo Credit: Lisa Cancade Hackett)
Italian police arrested four individuals and issued arrest warrants for two more on suspicion of conspiring with the Islamic State terrorist group. One of the suspects reportedly planned an attack on the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.
Authorities said suspect Abderrahim Moutahrrick reportedly received a WhatsApp message from ISIS-held territory that read: "Dear brother Abderrahim, I send you… the bomb poem… listen to the sheik and strike," potentially referring ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Moutahrrick was identified as Moroccan-born but residing in Italy at the time.
The potential attack on the Vatican was found in transcripts of a wire-tapped phone conversation between three of the the suspects, according to Reuters.

Read more here.

Pope Francis wishes a Happy Easter to Orthodox

Eastern churches celebrate the feast on May 1 this year
Pope Francis took a moment to voice his greetings to the Orthodox as he spoke to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square on Sunday.
“May the Risen Lord bring to our brothers of the Eastern Churches all the gifts of His light and His peace. Christos anesti!”
He also sent out best wishes for Easter on his Twitter account.

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