CUCUTA, Colombia – Lunch started early at the Divine Providence House, a church-run soup kitchen located just a few hundred feet away from the Venezuelan border.
Published in International

The $53 million Ottawa plans to spend on migrants, refugees and ordinary people suffering through economic breakdown in Venezuela could help cover an open wound of human suffering in neighbouring Brazilian towns that are hosting thousands of refugees.

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For Mary Jo Leddy the question on the cover of her new book leads immediately to other questions. Why Are You Here? is Leddy’s way of asking Canadians, “Who are we? And who do we want to be?”

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LIMA, Peru – Elide Pena, 55, grins when she talks about her favourite Christmas memory: the time when she fell under Santa’s sleigh attempting to grab a toy for one of her grandchildren during a Christmas party in her native Venezuela.

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I was troubled to hear my Ottawa colleague describe what she saw Dec. 8 on Parliament Hill. 

Published in Guest Columnists

Eight-hundred years before Christ the prophet Micah was sure the world was mad: “Put no trust in a friend, have no confidence in a loved one; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your embrace,” Micah warned. 

Published in International
VATICAN – In today's climate of mistrust, rejection and nationalism, the world urgently needs peacemakers and politicians who protect and lovingly serve others, Pope Francis said in his annual message for the World Day of Peace Jan. 1.
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VATICAN – As the celebration of Christmas draws near, the plight of the Holy Family calls to mind the sufferings of the many men, women and children escaping war and persecution, Pope Francis said.
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VATICAN – The Vatican praised the adoption by more than 160 nations of a key agreement on global migration, saying today's migration challenges are better tackled together than with "isolationist" stances.
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A new international agreement that covers all dimensions of international migration that will be signed in Morocco, Dec. 10-11 represents the alternative to fear, says Canadian Jesuit Fr. Michael Czerny.

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ROME – In the heart of Rome, near streets of fancy shops already blinged out for Christmas shopping, Pope Francis prayed for Romans struggling to survive and for families in the city and around the world who face the same lack of welcome that Mary and Joseph experienced.
Published in Faith
VATICAN – Welcoming the finalization of global compacts on migration and on refugees, the Vatican urged nations to adopt the nonbinding agreements to protect people who are on the move and to promote their orderly acceptance in new countries.
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In a secret location, under the watchful guard of Pakistan’s military, Asia Bibi and her family are hoping Canada or some other country will take them in before gangs searching from house to house discover her. 

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HOUSTON – Laredo's Bishop James A. Tamayo is calling church leaders and lay faithful to "extend the compassion of Christ" to those who come to Catholic churches in need.
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Canada has had a long tradition of welcoming refugees looking to escape persecution. One of the most seminal events in that history came in the fall of 1956, when Hungarians revolted against their Communist rulers. They were met with a massive show of force as Soviet tanks rolled through the streets of Budapest and crushed the revolt within days. In early November, thousands of Hungarians began fleeing to Austria. Canada reacted quickly, providing swift approval of refugee claims and within a month they began arriving. Eventually Canada gave asylum to about 37,500 Hungarians and lent support in their first year in Canada. The majority were Roman Catholic, so it’s no surprise the Church played an important role dealing with the new arrivals as this Register story from the Dec. 8, 1956 illustrates. 


Published in Features