TORONTO - After serving on a host of Catholic boards, including the senate of the University of St. Michael’s College, John McGrath came to the archdiocese of Toronto in 2001 to be chancellor of temporal affairs, a rough equivalent to chief financial officer. He intended to stay five years and had an opt-out clause at two-and-a-half years, just in case. He stayed 11.

Shortly after turning 70, McGrath welcomed his 20th grandchild and let it be known it was time for the archdiocese to start searching for his replacement. After a lengthy search, the changeover took effect on July 1. But retirement won’t change McGrath’s life. He will continue to serve on the boards of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Catholic Charities, the Southdown Institute, the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute and the Patrons of the Arts for the Vatican Museum.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

CALEDON, ONT. - There’s no such thing as Catholicism for the few. Catholic means universal, and Secular Franciscans declared their intention to take their message out to the known universe as they inaugurated a new fraternity at the first ever Franciscan Family Fest at Mt. Alverno Retreat Centre June 24.

Deacon Michael Robertson is one of the founders of the new group of lay Franciscans. He describes it as “a new option to offer people who might want to take their spiritual life beyond the norm.”

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - In building upon the good work that past directors of the Office of Catholic Youth have accomplished, two new positions will be added to the archdiocese of Toronto’s youth office, said director Fr. Frank Portelli.

He’s currently on the hunt for a new associate director for youth and an associate director for young adults. The roles will target youth in Grades 6 to 12 and those aged 18 to 35, respectively.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - The bell tower of St. Peter’s Church in downtown Toronto may be crumbing, but Angela Barbieri hopes the parish’s generosity of spirit still remains strong.

Barbieri is heading up a fundraising campaign in hopes of raising the $400,000 necessary for the repairs to the 87-year-old church. The bell tower was in such dire need of repair that the archdiocese of Toronto has loaned the church half of that amount to begin the work right away.

Scaffolding now surrounds the tower as workers have begun the repairs to the church.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

The following are the clergy appointments for the archdiocese of Toronto which take place on June 27, unless otherwise noted.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - As part of the new direction of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office of Catholic Youth, the office won’t be organizing a trip to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day 2013, said director Fr. Frank Portelli.

“It was discussed at the Council of Priests and it was decided that it would be better if the parishes work on their own groups to go down so it would be more parish-based initiatives,” Portelli told The Catholic Register.

Published in Youth Speak News

TORONTO - Three years of lay formation training was celebrated on Pentecost Sunday at a quasi-graduation ceremony for 66 people at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.

During the afternoon event, adults from 30 Archdiocese of Toronto parishes were recognized for their leadership accomplishments, dedication to the community’s faith and personal sacrifice of time.

“We (zeroed) in on basically the foundational foundations of the faith to try and help people understand what it is the Church actually teaches,” said Bill Targett, director of the office of formation who launched the project in 2009.

Published in Arts News

TORONTO - Ordaining deacons is just like Christmas. It's all about the word made flesh.

"Deacons are ordained to assist the Apostles proclaim the word and make that word a reality," Bishop Vincent Nguyen told 14 men he ordained to the second order of deacons on Saturday, May 26 at St. Michael's Cathedral.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Msgr. Wayne Kirkpatrick is about to join Toronto's team of bishops with the credentials of a lawman. But he's a canon lawyer who has never forgotten that canon law has a purpose.

"Canon law is very pastoral," Kirkpatrick told The Catholic Register  May 18, the day his appointment as auxiliary bishop was announced. "The law of love is supreme. And that's reflected in our canons. The (1983) Code (of Canon Law) is developed from the teachings of the Second Vatican Council."

The 54-year-old Kirkpatrick studied canon law at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, taking his licentiate in 1990. His studies in canon law prepared him for work as  judicial vicar, chancellor of the diocese of St. Catharines and his current job as moderator of the St. Catharines' curia.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Msgr. Wayne Kirkpatrick, a priest of the Ontario diocese of St. Catharines, has been appointed auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Toronto.

Pope Benedict XVI made the announcement May 18. Bishop-designate Kirkpatrick will be ordained to the episcopate in St. Catharines at a date to be determined before commencing his duties with the archdiocese.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - Big families, big dreams, big faith and big love all came together  at St. Michael's Cathedral May 12 for two men chosen from the Catholic faithful for a lifetime of service to the sacraments and the body of Christ.

Francesco Marrone, a 30-year-old originally from Verona, Italy, and Chris Lemieux, a 40-year-old from Georgetown, Ont., received holy orders at the hands of Cardinal Thomas Collins, the archbishop of Toronto, before 1,000 people on a sun-drenched spring Saturday morning.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

The Iraqi family sponsored by Cardinal Thomas Collins is in the final stretch of its long road to refuge. The Iraqi Christian refugees should be in Canada before the end of April thanks to an offer of sponsorship by Collins.

Members of the archdiocese of Toronto administrative staff have raised the money, drawn up a 15-page settlement plan and gathered together a hope chest to make sure the family will find a warm welcome in Toronto.

The office workers have come together to take full responsibility for the refugees, said Martin Mark, executive director of the archdiocese of Toronto’s Office for Refugees.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

TORONTO - The archdiocese of Toronto has launched an online donation portal that will now give parishioners the opportunity to donate to their parish and Catholic charities with the click of a button.

"It's pretty exciting because a parishioner can go online and make a donation to either their offertory, building fund or capital campaign," said Quentin Schesnuik, manager of planned giving and personal gifts with the archdiocese.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA