Faith

VATICAN CITY - Supporting the Church’s work in missionary lands with their prayers and their financial contributions, Catholics also improve the lives of the poor and promote dialogue, said the new prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

“Evangelization always promotes the development of peoples,” Archbishop Fernando Filoni told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Oct. 2.

Healing of US man key to Italian priest's canonization

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VATICAN CITY - Thanks to the healing of a young man from the United States, who was severely injured in a rollerblading accident, Italian Blessed Louis Guanella will be among three new saints proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI in late October.

William Glisson, now 30 and married, was 21 years old when he and a friend were rollerblading down the Baltimore Pike in Springfield, Pa., near Philadelphia. Glisson was skating backward, without a helmet, hit a hole and fell, hitting his head.

Alberta government recognizes sisters’ contributions to province

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EDMONTON - Alberta’s Catholic sisters are being honoured for their pioneering contributions in education, health care and social welfare.

The Catholic Sisters Legacy Recognition Project honours the legacy of 74 founding congregations who have served in Alberta.

Women religious built hospitals, schools, orphanages, soup kitchens, immigrant services and boarding schools for unwed mothers across the province as early as 1859.

From birth to death, everyone has guardian angel, pope says

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VATICAN CITY - Guardian angels exist to protect every human life from its beginning to end, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"The Lord is always near and active in human history, and he also accompanies us with the unique presence of his angels, which the church today venerates" on feast of the Guardian Angels Oct. 2, he said before reciting the Angelus.

Guardian angels are "ministers of divine care for every person," he said.

Shhh: Pope asks communicators to reflect on value of silence

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI is asking media professionals and viewers, listeners and readers to set aside a bit of time for silence.

Announcing that the pope had chosen "Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization" as the theme for World Communications Day 2012, the Vatican acknowledged it initially might appear strange to ask professional wordsmiths to focus on silence, but it said silence is essential for really processing the words people hear or read.

The Catholic celebration of World Communications Day is marked in most dioceses on the Sunday before Pentecost, which in 2012 will be May 20. A papal message for the occasion usually is released on the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers, Jan. 24.

Pope reviews trip to Germany, says it was 'festival of faith'

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI said he was happy to see that "the faith in my German homeland has a young face, is alive and has a future."

At his weekly general audience Sept. 28 in St. Peter's Square, the pope told an estimated 10,000 pilgrims and visitors about his trip Sept. 22-25 to Germany.

While the pilgrims were awaiting the pope's arrival by helicopter from Castel Gandolfo and again at the end of the audience when he was greeting cardinals and bishops, the crowds were entertained by the Angelus Domini children's choir and nine little dancers from Cheongju, South Korea. Even while the children were singing, a violinist met the pope and played a quick tune for him, standing right in front of him.

When the call came, the Callaghans answered

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TORONTO - When Molly and Bill Callaghan went north to maintain a Chistian presence in small native communities they had years behind them of working in Toronto-area parishes as a deacon couple. Bill had the background in Scripture and theology that comes with the diaconate program while Molly had experience that goes with a lifetime of volunteering in the Church.

But none of that mattered very much, said Molly.

“We took an egg crate-sized box of stuff we had used in different days of recollection, training sessions, all of that,” Molly recently recalled of their 1991 trip to Sandy Lake, Ont. “We got up there and thought before we do anything about that we need to just be present to the people, keeping their trust and doing what we feel called to do. We came back (in 1998) with that box unopened.”

A working vacation changed 16-year-old’s view of Africa

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Celeah Gagnon spent her summer vacation abroad. But she didn’t spend it tanning in Cuba or backpacking across Europe. For five weeks, she was in Africa helping her grandmother.

Her grandmother is Barbara Michie, a Scarboro Missions lay missioner who is working as a teacher in Malawi at an all-boys Catholic boarding school.

During this time, Gagnon, a Grade 11 student at F.J. Brennan Catholic High School in Windsor, Ont., mended about 300 books in the school library, which her grandmother runs.

Military chaplain finds there’s no life like it

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TORONTO - For  Major Gillian Federico the call to serve as a military chaplain came at a time in her life when few seriously consider joining the Canadian Forces.

It was 19 years ago when the then 41-year-old religious education and family life consultant with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and pastoral associate decided to enrol in the army reserves as a military chaplain.

Now at age 60 she recently retired from the Chaplain Branch of the Canadian Forces with the rank of Major, having served in a variety of full- and part-time assignments, including regimental and brigade chaplain in Toronto, instructor at the Canadian Forces Chaplain School, Deputy Senior Garrison Chaplain at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa and Deputy Area Chaplain for the regular army command in Ontario.

Spiritan makes his way back to Malawi in a roundabout way

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Spiritan Father Locky Flanagan tries to lead by example as spiritual director at the Inter-Congregational Seminary, a philosophy seminary in Malawi, Africa.

“I try to look at the seminarians and what they seem to be seeking is to know the Lord and to follow Him and I have to live it out myself,” Flanagan told The Catholic Register from Ireland, where he was attending a niece’s wedding.

Flanagan’s most recent stint in Malawi began in early 2009. But prior to this, he served in the southern African country for 10 years — in the 1980s and then again in 2000.

We are all called to serve

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TORONTO - With the first words of his homily, Fr. Len Altilia, S.J., made the Sunday congregation at St. Rose of Lima parish in Scarborough sink in the pews.

“How many of you have a vocation?” the Jesuit vocations director asked.

A scattered collection of brave hands rose hesitantly as others looked around.

“How many of you are baptized?” was the next question from the guest homilist.