Starlight, star bright

Re: Forgiveness is the greatest miracle (July 22-29):

Fr. Rolheiser states that “the miracle” of a starlit night sky “goes mostly unnoticed; we watch television instead.”

Deeper reasons for this may be involved. Humans spill so much light into the sky that few of our present generation have ever experienced what the natural night sky looks like. Most of the lighting industry displays a stunning indifference to this issue. And the amount of  “light-pollution” continues to increase by about six per cent annually in most places.

Sleeping in insufficient darkness suppresses our immune systems. Artificial light disrupts the life-cycles of insects, birds, amphibians and other animals. Many people think responsibility for our environment is a religious issue and light-pollution is certainly included in this. Does your porchlight shine upward?

James LaFramboise,

Thornhill, Ont.

Published in Letters to the editor

The recess bell rings and a child dives for cover underneath her desk. A teacher is at the front of the classroom but a student is wandering from desk to desk starting conversations of his own. The lunch bell rings and several pupils have arrived without lunch, or uniforms, or gym clothes. A six-year-old turns up in school mid-morning, but doesn’t have enough English to tell the school secretary who she is, where she’s from or where she’s supposed to be.

Published in Catholic Education
STE.-ANNE-DE-BEAUPRE, Quebec – Cardinal Marc Ouellet called upon Canadians to be mindful of the needs of migrants and refugees during a Mass celebrating the feast of St. Anne.
Published in Canada

Anyone who has stepped inside a church in the last 40 years doesn’t need a nationwide poll to tell them that the most religious Canadians are the newest Canadians. Immigrants are driving the bus for almost every faith community in Canada, but none more-so than Catholics.

Published in Canada

The Church, with its long history of serving the poor and the persecuted, must play a key role in dealing with the global migration crisis.

Published in Canada
VATICAN – Hearts that are closed to welcoming migrants and refugees are similar to those of the Pharisees, who often would preach sacrifice and following God's law without exercising mercy to those in need, Pope Francis said.
Published in Reflections
WASHINGTON – Sanctuary cities have been getting their day in court and might get their day in a bigger court if the Justice Department gets its wish.
Published in International
WASHINGTON – Bipartisan disagreement on how to fix the country's immigration system led to failure once again as lawmakers on Capitol Hill turned down one immigration bill June 21 and postponed a vote on a second proposal, which also has a slim opportunity of passing, until June 22.
Published in International
MEXICO – The Mexican bishops' conference has criticized the practice of U.S. officials separating migrant families, joining a chorus of condemnation south of the border as Mexicans react with outrage to the sight and sounds of children being confined in shelters far from their parents.
Published in International

The churches that sponsor refugees may be nervous about their budgets over the next three years, but they will probably get through the coming flood of refugee arrivals, according to the organization that represents sponsorship agreement holders across the country.

Published in Canada
VATICAN – Pope Francis said he stands with the U.S. bishops who recently condemned the Trump administration's policy on immigration that has led to children being held in government shelters while their parents are sent to federal prisons.
Published in International
VATICAN – Migrants seeking a better life in other countries must not be viewed with suspicion but rather defended and protected, no matter their status, Pope Francis said.
Published in International
ROME – Spain has announced it will let a ship holding 629 migrants and refugees, who were rescued from the Mediterranean, dock on its shores, after Italy and Malta refused to accept the vessel.
Published in International
VATICAN – Pope Francis said that when he was on the Greek island of Lesbos, "while enchanted by the scenery of the blue sky and sea, I was struck by the thought that such a beautiful sea had become a tomb for men, women and children who had for the most part sought only to escape inhumane conditions in their own homelands."
Published in International

Spiralling costs and mountains of red tape may force some Catholic refugee sponsorship agencies out of business and cause others to cut back on the number of refugees they’re prepared to welcome, according to the Catholic Refugee Sponsorship Council representing 20 agencies across Canada.

Published in Canada
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