{mosimage}These are difficult days for anyone looking for a job but as universities empty for summer, soon to be followed by high schools, it is appropriate to consider the plight of our youngest workers.

According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, a staggering 357,000 jobs have been lost in this country since the noose of global recession was jerked around Canada’s economy last October. That is the largest five-month drop since the recession of 1982 and pushed Canada’s unemployment rate to a seven-year high of eight per cent.

Catholics and Jews care about the same world, pray to the same God, hope for the same resurrection and yet often live their lives as strangers to one another. That’s a shame. Most Catholics and most Jews wish we understood each other better. Redemptorist Father Paul Hansen and modern Orthodox Rabbi Roy Tanenbaum both know overcoming that separation isn’t just a matter of learning a few details of the traditions and theology on the other side. Understanding each other means understanding ourselves more deeply — knowing the roots of our Catholic and Jewish identities.

The Toronto rabbi and priest exchanged the e-mails below just before Easter and Passover — the two principle celebrations of Christianity and Judaism that fell within four days of each other this year. The e-mails are a fragment of a vast conversation between Christians and Jews that has been growing since the end of the Second World War — a conversation launched into deeper water by the Second Vatican Council. With the help of Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, they are inviting Catholic Register readers into the conversation.

{mosimage}In approximately one-quarter of Canadian households, care is provided to one or more people aged 50 plus.

Caring for a chronically ill relative involves physical, psychological, emotional and financial demands. Typically, caregivers experience a variety of distressing emotions along the way. They may feel guilty because, unlike their relative, they enjoy relatively good health, they have mixed feelings about being a caregiver, they sometimes lose patience, they made a promise that they would never place their relative in long-term care and they’re not sure if they can keep it.

Resentment may occur because caregivers have had to make personal and financial sacrifices, their relative has treated them badly in the past, their relative is demanding and critical and they don’t feel appreciated, family members aren’t pitching in or family members are critical of their care provision.

{mosimage}Most people in 21 countries, nuclear-armed and not, now support the elimination of nuclear weapons, according to a survey conducted late last year by the Washington-based polling organization World Public Opinion.

In 20 of the 21 nations surveyed — the total included Canada, the United States, Russia and most European powers — majorities ranging in size from 62 to 93 per cent favoured an international agreement that would lead to the destruction of existing stockpiles of nuclear weapons and halt the spread of nuclear weapons technology to countries that don’t have it. (The single exception to this pattern was Pakistan, where only 46 per cent favoured such a scheme.)

{mosimage}Franciscans from around the world have been converging on the Italian city of Assisi to celebrate the founding of the Order of St. Francis 800 years ago. But you don’t have to be a Franciscan to pay tribute to St. Francis of Assisi.

This devout, serene man devoted his life to battling poverty and social injustice and is honoured today as the patron saint of the environment and peace.

Eight centuries later, his relevance is undiminished. The causes he championed still fill headlines. The compassion he demonstrated still inspires followers.

{mosimage}TORONTO - When it comes to family finances, parents should include their children in discussions on how to cut costs, says Cynthia Kiy.

Negative talk about finances can put children in a very dangerous mindset where hopelessness and desperation can even drive them from the home, said Kiy, a social worker with Covenant House in Toronto.

{mosimage}In an address to the students at the Collegio Romano in mid-February Pope Benedict XVI spoke of St. Paul’s warning in the Letter to the Galatians that Christians should not “go on biting and devouring one another.” That was not the last time the Pope invoked this Pauline admonition. He did so again in his letter to the universal episcopate (released March 12) following the imbroglio occasioned by what is now sadly dubbed the Williamson Affair.

It was a vibrating jolt emitted by my BlackBerry that stirred me back into consciousness. I had been lulled into a semi-comatose state following four hours of unremitting speechifying by various representatives of the Italian Foreign Ministry and Department of Economic Development at a specially convened summit in Rome. The intrusive e-mail was from a distinguished Rome-based journalist who forwarded a pirated and unpolished translation of a letter written by Benedict to his fellow bishops, a letter formally released the next day.

{mosimage}Barack Obama has become a rock star of global politics, among the hottest tickets on the planet right now, but his support for abortion and stem-cell research made him an inappropriate choice to headline graduation ceremonies at a renowned Catholic institution.

The University of Notre Dame was dead wrong to invite Obama to speak at its commencement and to award him an honorary degree.

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Ages 6-8 Part 1

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Ages 6-8 Part 2

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{mosimage}What can you do in 30 seconds? A quick phone call, send an e-mail, have a brief conversation with a colleague or friend? Our staff at the archdiocese of Toronto ’s Office of Public Relations and Communications decided we’d try to reach one million people.

On the Monday of Holy Week, we launched “We Are Catholic ”, a campaign that attempts something a little different: using secular radio to speak to a diverse audience — active Catholics, lapsed Catholics and people of other faiths, or no faith at all.

{mosimage}I sometimes have people tell me I am a good father. I usually smile and think to myself: “If only they knew.” 

I’m sure people say such things because they know I have six children and they can’t figure out how I do it. 

One morning Jennifer, my wife, announced we should do a bit of a cleanup and I should plan a trip to the dump. I wasn’t happy about the cleaning part, but I welcomed a Saturday afternoon drive. I saw myself driving up the country roads with the windows down and the radio up.