Friday, May 29, 2015

Ceremonies to mend broken bonds


Locals to tune into Truth and Reconciliation event
Truth and Reconciliation logo.
Despite what the proverb might say, without help, time does not heal all wounds. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) is working to fix the injustices experienced by native people in residential schools.
“Reconciliation is an ongoing individual and collective process, and will require commitment from all those affected including First Nations, Inuit and Métis former Indian Residential School (IRS) students, their families, communities, religious entities, former school employees, government and the people of Canada.”
The TRC holds its event to honor memories of the many families affected by the schools. The program, held in Ottawa, will include survivor experiences, traditional ceremonies, and cultural performances.

The event will be streamed live at SFUs Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on June 2, at 8 a.m. in the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema. More information is available here.

Holy fever sweeps church at night

Local event to hold church doors open for all


NightFever participants in Chicago. (Photo Credit: Michael O’Loughlin)

By lighting a candle, Catholic youth will open local church doors for anyone who seeks to enter.

“It all begins with a simple conversation and invitation,” says Christopher Pickup, team leader of the Catholic Christian Outreach at the UBC Campus. “We open wide the doors of the church to anyone with the desire to enter.”

The goal of NightFever is to give people the opportunity to come to a place of encounter with Jesus Christ, says Pickup. St. Patrick’s parish will host the event, where volunteers will invite passerbys to light a candle and bring it before the Blessed Sacrament. Their lit candles will be left to burn out as a symbol of the participants’ hopes and prayers, even after they leave. 

With wide open doors and an invitation to anyone, this could be the first time entering a church for some.

Pickup speaks on how NightFever encourages young people to share their own cause for faith with those outside. “At this time Pope Francis has challenged us as a Church to go out to the existential peripheries of our society and to bring the light of Christ to these places.”

NightFever started in Germany, after the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne. Its purpose of welcoming believers and non-believers alike to take some time to adore the Eucharist is a welcome period of prayer.

The NightFever will take place May 29. The main focus of the evening will be prayer and outreach.

Author to demystify sex ed

Educating families on how to enlighten their children
Katrina Zeno at the Indiana Catholic Women’s Conference. (Photo Credit: Mary Ann Garber)

An international speaker will enlighten parents and educators on how to teach children about sex in a virtuous manner.

Katrina Zeno will lead a workshop called “Giving The Talk and Walking the Walk” May 30. She will offer advice on how to promote the virtues of gift and sacrifice, instruct children of various ages, and weather the current “cultural storm” of sex education.

Katrina has a solid foundation,” said Jody Garneau, the workshop coordinator at St. Anne’s, Abbotsford – where the talk will occur. She said Zeno’s teachings are influenced by her understanding of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body lectures.
“I wanted to bring in Katrina to support families in one of the most difficult and challenging topics they have to face,” Garneau said. “She has a gift for presenting material in a way that the average person can grasp.”

“This workshop is meant to be practical; not just a study session. (Zeno) emphasizes the beauty of the human person and the gift of our sexuality,” Garneau added, explaining Zeno’s teachings on how to weave the language of chastity and self-gift into home and family life.

This will be Zeno’s third visit to Vancouver. She has presented her seminars to women of the Archdiocese and seminarians at Christ the King.

The workshop will take place at St. Ann’s Parish May 30. Admission is by donation and Garneau requests that attendees bring their own lunch. Call 604-856-5602 or email adultfaith@stannsabbotsford.ca to register.

Touring Catholic crypts

Local historians to give tour of cemetery
Funeral of Charle Dohert. (Photo Credit: A Sense of History Research Services Inc.)
St. Peter’s Cemetery buries many mysteries. Historians Archie and Dale Miller work to unearth them all.

“Cemeteries around the world are fascinating microcosms of the communities they are located in,” says Dale. “Not only do they memorialize the individuals interred within their grounds, but they are also places of quiet reflection, prayer, and meditation.”

Dale notes the artistic designs in the New Westminster cemetery emulate an art gallery.

“Grave markers can provide a wealth of information about the history of the community and insight into changing symbols and values of the society represented,” she says, explaining the social value of the cemetery markers, landscape features, and layout.

Many individuals have untold stories, such as Sally Gribble, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The importance of these forgotten individuals is something both Dale and Archie work to share, through their tours of the grounds.

Captain Owen Browne, a paddle steamer captain in the early 1900, is one such individual. After his death in 1948, “Aloha oe” was inscribed on his grave marker, mystifying friends and family. With the meaning “Farewell to Thee” and originating from the song written by Hawaiian Queen Lili’uokalani, Dale reveals Browne’s Hawaiian ethnicity on his mother’s side. While members of the community were aware of his Tahitian heritage, they were ignorant to his Hawaiian heritage.

These mysteries serve to encourage the pursuit of knowledge of loved ones. They are “a reminder to all of us to get to know our family and friends’ stories better while we have the chance,” says Dale.

Dale and her husband Archie will lead a tour at St. Peter's, located at 150 Richmond St., starting at 2 p.m. June 7 near the cemetery gate.

Thief breaks into The Door Is Open


Drop-in centre keeps its portal ajar

Sister Chita Torres greets guests at The Door Is Open. Despite break-ins, the centre continues to operate. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Two frozen turkeys, jars of peanut butter, and hundreds of cans of tuna have been stolen from The Door Is Open. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:


Oscar Romero beatified in El Salvador

Pilgrims gather for Archbishop Oscar Romero's beatification Mass in Divine Saviour of the World Square in San Salvador May 23. CNS photo / Oscar Rivera, EPA.
Archbishop Oscar Romero was beatified in El Salvador May 23, with Pope Francis declaring from the Vatican that the martyr's feast day will be March 24, the day "in which he was born into heaven." For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Complications of abortion described

Doctor Deborah Zeni. Lukan Yaworski / Prairie Messenger.
Women frequently experience complications from abortion, some of which are serious and long-lasting, but are rarely told of these risks ahead of time, a doctor said. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Irish cast ballots in favour of same-sex unions

Referendum: 62.1 per cent of citizens vote 'Yes' in 42 of 43 constituencies
Celtic cross gravestones seen in Dublin. (Photo credit: Lonely Planet.)
A cardinal's eyes are not smiling after the May 23 referendum in Ireland, in which Irish voters legalized same-sex unions. The result will allow politicians to amend the Irish constitution.
“I was deeply saddened by the result,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state.
“The Church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin told reporters:
“We [the Church] have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities  I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.”
The prelate concluded:  
“I ask myself, most of these young people who voted 'yes' are products of our Catholic school system for 12 years. I’m saying there’s a big challenge there to see how we get across the message of the Church.”

Pro-lifer has four months left

Mary Wagner convicted in April, sentenced in May
Mary Wagner
A judge has ruled pro-life activist Mary Wagner will spend four more months behind bars. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Love requires work, not just attraction or feelings, Pope tells couples
Pope Francis accepts an official invitation to visit Montreal from Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 27. The Pope was invited to visit Montreal in 2017 for the city's 375th anniversary. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano, handout.
In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis said the process of engagement is essential for any couple on their way to marriage since it not only allows love to mature, but helps future spouses deepen in knowledge of one another. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Ottawa churches to stage 'The Big Give' June 6
Kathy Blakely of Bethel Pentecostal in Ottawa has planned a big giveaway event.Deborah Gyapong / CCN.
On June 6, about 50 churches from a range of denominations will bless their city by giving away everything from fridges and baby cribs to haircuts and hamburgers. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Massive cross being built in Karachi

Pakistan's Christian population to gaze at symbol that rises to heaven
A 140-foot tall cross is slowly going up next to a Christian cemetery in Pakistan.
(Photo credit: Tim Craig / The Washington Post.)
A businessman claims that God told him to build a fascinating project: a cross that will be higher than an average town's office buildings.

Parvez Henry Gill awoke with a start four years ago. "I said, 'I am going to build a big cross, higher than any in the world, in a Muslim country.'"

Actually, this cross will not be the tallest.  Regardless, Gill said, it will be a "symbol of God, and everyone who sees this will be worry-free."

For more, check our Tim Craig's article at The Washington Post's website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Speakers share moving personal stories

Baby boy given very small chance of surviving after birth
Bishop Gary Gordon of Victoria addresses the crowd from the front steps of the legislature in Victoria May 14. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
An unborn boy who was given less than a 10 per cent chance of survival outside the womb is now a happy toddler. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Archbishop works to rebuild Syrian Church amid destruction
Syrian citizens clear streets in late April after shelling in Aleppo. CNS photo / Syrian Arab News Agency handout via Reuters.
A four-year civil war in Syria has left a mounting death toll and displaced millions of persons, but one bishop is staying to rebuild the Church in Aleppo, in the northwest corner of the country. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Bishops want in on assisted suicide consultation
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, centre, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, right, after a Mass in October 2014. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has written to the Justice Minister requesting the bishops be included in consultations regarding "assisted suicide" legislation. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Show your love for Our Lady at Our Lady of Mercy

Parishioners will parade on high school track and recite the Rosary

The front of Our Lady of Mercy Church. (Photo Credit: Alistair Irving / Special to The B.C. Catholic).

A Marian procession will offer a Burnaby parish a wonderful opportunity to unite and show their love for the Blessed Mother.

“The procession is something that brings many families together,” added Father Nicolas Tumbelaka, the parish priest. During his own childhood in Indonesia, he happily participated in a similar procession.
“I want to give the same opportunity to the children” at Our Lady of Mercy, he says. “The procession shows love for the Blessed Mother, honour for her, and builds community.”
The procession will occur outside Our Lady of Mercy Church (7455 10th Ave., Burnaby) after the 11 a.m. Mass May 31.

The congregation will recite decades of the rosary in different languages while going around the track field at St. Thomas More Collegiate.


Father Tumbelaka hopes parishioners and those interested in attending will bring food for the potluck lunch. For more, phone the parish office at 604-522-5733.


Also at Our Lady of Mercy, the youth of the parish performed in a concert called “So Young, So Bright." Melanie Arinzol, a parish youth coordinator said the "Youth for Christ, the Core Choir, our young Indonesian youths, and many more” performed.


Classes offer chance for Christians to find hope

Sessions to help people experience Jesus in their relationships & sexuality 
Journey Canada's logo. (Photo credit: Journey Program Society Canada).
  

With all of its modern conveniences, society makes it harder to keep a strong relationship with God and yourself. Fortunately, there’s a class for that. Journey Canada is an organization with the goal of helping people find hope and live life through the experience of Jesus. The six sessions are:
Designed for people undergoing or wishing to undergo the process of healing, the program is a community-based ministry to help people find hope and live life through Jesus. It offers “hope, healing and wholeness to those in despair, crisis, and confusion.”
Journey 101 is a new program at the Richmond Pentecostal Church.  More information is available at journey101@journeycanada.org or 604-301-1470.

March for Life condemns abortion and euthanasia

About 2,000 protestors make 'pilgrimage' to Victoria as they join with more than 25,000 in Ottawa
Two teen girls join the demonstration for the first time. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
"Caring, not killing! Caring, not killing!" Shouts rose as about 2,000 demonstrators converged in front of the legislature in Victoria May 14. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Two new women saints give encouraging example for Arabs
Pope Francis greets the crowd after celebrating the canonization Mass for four new saints in St. Peter's Square. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
The Catholic Church's celebration of the canonization of two new women saints from Palestine on May 17 helps recognize both women's important role in Arab culture and Arabs' important role in Christianity. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

The challenges facing today's priests can lead to disillusionment
Father Scott McCaig, superior general of the Companions of the Cross, discussed the challenges facing priests. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Though a recent study shows most Catholic priests are happy in their vocations, they face many challenges that could lead some to become disillusioned. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Deacons 'marked with an indelible sign'

Archbishop Miller ordains four deacons in Holy Rosary Cathedral
Deacons Larry Lynn (left), Mark McGuckin, Davide Lanzani, and Lucio Choi approach the altar in Holy Rosary Cathedral May 15. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
Four men now have a holy mission which is an "inestimable gift of divine grace," Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said. "They will be marked with an indelible sign" as they spread the Lord's message. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

U.S. priests ask synod to stand firm on Church teaching
Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, talks with the Pope in this October 2014 file photo after the concluding session of the first Synod of Bishops on the family. Priests are now giving input about the second family synod. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
Nearly 1,000 United States priests made their own a petition to the fathers of the upcoming Synod, originally made public and signed by nearly 500 English priests. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

St. Joseph provides model for fatherhood: Michael D. O'Brien
Painter and Author Michael D. O'Brien delivered the annual De LaSalle Lecture to the Catholic Teachers' Guild of Ottawa May 19. Deborah Gyapong / (CCN).
Author and painter Michael D. O'Brien says when as a young man he had no role model of a good Catholic man, the Holy Spirit directed him to focus on St. Joseph as a guide. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Missionaries arrive at 10 Vancouver parishes

Young people from Victoria to Halifax team up and spread across the city to work on evangelization
Five Impact team members meet Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, OYYAM's Gerard Garcia (left) and Kyle Neilson, director of the Adult Evangelization and Discipleship Office (back row, right) days before starting their summer mission. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
School is out for most Canadian university students, and for 40 of them, summer plans revolve entirely around evangelizing. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Iraqi Christians have lost everything except their faith, nun says
Displaced Iraqi children stand in a classroom of a school used as a shelter in the city of Ramadi April 11. Educating children is the best way to help displaced Iraqi Christians recover from the traumatic experience of being chased from their homes by Islamic State militants, said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster after an April 11-12 visit to Irbil. CNS photo / Reuters.
Having lost their homes, their heritage, and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi nun told members of Congress May 13. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Revised religious ed curriculum approved
Students listen as their principal welcomes them back to class at a Catholic school in Arizona. More than 1.9 million students in the U.S. attend Catholic schools. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
For the first time in 20 years, 6- and 7-year-olds are getting new religion textbooks, their teachers are getting new lesson plans, and parents are getting new ways of helping kids in religion class. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Women Rising Bursary to be awarded for the first time

New funds to help exploited women return to school
Women pray during a sunrise service July 24 during the 75th annual Tekakwitha Conference in Fargo, N.D. The Catholic Native American gathering, held July 23-27, drew 750 people from 35 states and Canada representing 135 indigenous tribes. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
Native women who have suffered sexual exploitation can now apply for financial help to go back to school. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Pope Francis to parents: Come out of 'exile' and educate your children
Pope Francis, right, reaches for the hand of an older person during the pope's general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 20. CNS photo / Paul Haring.
In his general audience Pope Francis spoke of the essential role parents play in educating their children, a role he said has been usurped by so-called experts who have taken the place of parents and rendered them fearful of making any correction. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Operation Rescue changes tactics to target abortionists
Operation Rescue head Troy Newman spoke to the 2015 March for Life Youth Conference May 15 in Ottawa. Deborah Gyapong (CCN).
Operation Rescue has changed tactics so that instead of its members going to jail for civil disobedience, it is putting abortionists in jail and closing abortion mills, said leader Troy Newman. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vancouver faithful share memories of Bishop Ray

may20

Holy Rosary Cathedral hosts memorial Mass for Archbishop Raymond Roussin, SM, after his funeral
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said Bishop Ray "spared no effort and no suffering for Jesus," during his homily at Holy Rosary Cathedral May 8. Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Hundreds filed into Holy Rosary Cathedral to honour the former Archbishop of Vancouver. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

Order of Malta provides medical help to migrants
An Order of Malta volunteer, one of 4,300 stationed in southern Italy, prepares to receive migrants. Photos submitted.
A lay religious order is providing medical assistance at sea to thousands of migrants leaving northern Africa for southern Italy, The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, commonly known as the Order of Malta, has stationed 4,300 medical volunteers in Italian ports, including Naples and cities in the southernmost part of the Italian "boot," across Sicily, and on the small island of Lampedusa, 330 km east of Tunisia. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Deacon to join priestly fraternity


Father Goo will then serve at Christ the Redeemer Parish
In 2011, Deacon Goo walked across Canada for Crossroads, a pro-life organization. He will be ordained a priest May 23. BCC file photo.
A former Amazon employee awaits ordination. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.


Also newly posted:

'Genocide' of China's one-child policy endures, activists say
A boy cries as his father walks him to kindergarten in Beijing. CNS photo / Jason Lee, Reuters.
Human rights advocates told a congressional commission of the "terrifying" practices of China's coercive one-child policy and lamented forced abortion as a crime against humanity. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

World awaits papal call to action on environment
Adelie penguins gather at the base of a memorial at Mawson's Hut in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica. No word has emerged on when Pope Francis's climate change and environmental degradation encyclical will appear in 2015. CNS photo / Dean Lewins, EPA.
Encyclicals are important for Catholics. Our theologians study them. Our pastors preach them. Sometimes we even read them. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, May 15, 2015

L'Arche founder to gain Templeton award

Jean Vanier will receive $2.1 million for his work with intellectually disabled people
Jean Vanier.
This year, a prolific writer and theologian will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London May 18. The B.C. Catholic's Alistair Burns reported March 23:
"To become fully human is to let down the barriers, to open up and discover that every person is beautiful," Jean Vanier said in a statement.

Vanier convinced two mentally disabled men to live with him in a French village, Trosly-Breuil, 95 kilometres north of Paris, in the 1960s. "For many years these wonderful people were seen as 'errors,' or as the fruit of evil committed by their parents or ancestors," Vanier said. Many disabled children were "terribly humiliated and rejected."
He went on to found L'Arche, an organization that is now active in 35 countries. A full video of the award ceremony will be available starting May 19. Videos of Jean Vanier answering several "big questions" are available here.

With files from Alistair Burns.

Local Iraqis show solidarity with persecuted Christians

All Saints Parish hosts fundraiser for humanitarian relief efforts
Sahar Najeb (left), Maryam Balyos, and Anas Sabah Sahyoon pose in traditional garb.
Agnieszka Krawczynski / The B.C. Catholic.
Immigrants and parishioners have raised at least $18,000 after a benefit dinner May 9 to support Iraqis living under ISIS threat.
"Our beloved Iraq is currently going through a terrible crisis where acts of genocide, displacement, agony, and loss are a daily occurrence," said Sahar Najeb, who left Iraq in 2009.

"Tonight we have come together as a show of solidarity."
The profits from the banquet will go to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to fund efforts including shelter upgrades and water, sanitation and hygiene. Read more here.

Catechism pupils hold art show for charity

Our Lady of Lourdes PREP students raise $1,185 for Chalice
Catechism students Theodore Precourt, Graham Sarte, Tammy Korosec, Sabrina Quek, and Brandon Wan sing about the 10 Commandents at an art show at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish March 29. Alistair Burns / The B.C. Catholic.
A student who made a withdrawal from his piggy bank to help the poorest of the poor has provided a clear example of stewardship. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Also newly posted:

Nigerian Christians have been persecuted for years
A victim of a bomb blast at UN offices in the Nigerian city of Abuja is loaded into an ambulance Aug. 26 after a car rammed into the building. CNS photo / Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters.
A Nigerian bishop who has been in the news for years in connection with the suffering of his people at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists has recently drawn a lot more attention with his talk of a vision of Christ. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

National March for Life gets one of its highest turnouts
Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins praised the prayerful witness against the evil of abortion and mentioned the new threats to those at end of life from the "Culture of Death." Deborah Gyapong (CCN)
About a half dozen half-naked women tried to disrupt the National March for Life here May 14, disrobing and screaming while prolife politicians addressed thousands on Parliament Hill. For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

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