Arts News

Thousands of loyal and faithful watchers of Eternal Word Television Network across Canada are losing their favourite station as Bell TV will drop EWTN from its digital satellite television service as of Feb. 27.

“EWTN had a low viewership and Salt + Light (Canada’s national Catholic television channel) is a strong alternative. This channel capacity is needed for new and high-demand channels,” said Bell spokeswoman Marie-Eve Francoeur in an e-mail to The Catholic Register.

For Toronto EWTN fan Glen Burke, the network is a big part of his TV habit.

John Paul II's army was greater than the most powerful armies of his time

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Pope John Paul IIOn Oct. 16, 1978, the day that a relatively obscure Polish cardinal named Karol Wojtyla stepped onto St. Peter’s Square and announced himself as Pope John Paul II,  Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn was living in exile in Cavendish, Vermont. Informed that a Pole, a man with firsthand experience of communism, had just been chosen to lead the world’s oldest and largest Christian church, Solzhenitsyn said: “It’s a miracle! It’s the first positive event since World War I and it’s going to change the face of the world.”

How right he was! Solzhenitsyn and John Paul ll are now both dead, but each man irrevocably altered history: Solzhenitsyn, by his heroic witness to truth amidst the freezing darkness of the Gulag Archipelago and Karol Wojtyla — “a man from a far country” as he called himself — by the 27 years of his papacy.

George Weigel, the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Centre in Washington, D.C.,  is a leading authority on Catholic matters and the author of the definitive (and bestselling) 1999 biography: Pope John Paul ll: Witness to Hope. Weigel has now returned to this subject in The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul ll, the Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, and the Legacy (Doubleday, 2010).

Poems of Christmas

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magiWe weren’t sure what to expect when we launched our Poems of Christmas contest. But three dozen readers took the time to send us rhyme, and what splendid creativity poured forth from the nativity.

Entries were received from the young and the old, and we had one wonderful entry from a 66-year-old woman who forwarded a poem written when she was 17.  

Every entry stayed true to the example of Msgr. Tom Raby, the former Register columnist whose annual Christmas poem was the inspiration for this contest, by focussing on the peace and joy of the true meaning of Christmas.

A 'Joyful Noise' rocks the season

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messiah rocksMISSISSAUGA, Ont. - This Christmas season, Handel’s Messiah is going to rock the Toronto area.

George Frideric Handel’s musical oratorio on the life of the Messiah has been updated, adding some modern-day flash, to produce Handel’s Messiah Rocks: A Joyful Noise. It will be performed at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Dec. 16 and 17.

Young singer to debut new pro-life song

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Carly TaylorMilton, Ont. - At the age of 14, Carly Taylor already had her self-titled country music album in stores. At 16, she is now preparing for the release of her second album, Delirious. And on Nov. 5, Taylor will be debuting a new pro-life song at Halton Pro-Life’s 2010 Respect Life Fundraising Banquet in Oakville, Ont.  

“It’s actually a song that my sister wrote,” said Taylor, a Grade 11 student at Milton, Ont.’s Bishop Reding High School. “I’m very excited to sing it.”

Concert funds tutors for at-risk students

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Rosanna RiversoTORONTO - Just hitting that one, pure, crystal-clear note is hard enough. Hitting it all alone, without the help of supporting musicians, takes courage.

When Rosanna Riverso strides out in front of her audience at St. Paul’s Basilica Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. she will have the reassurance of piano, bass, guitar and percussion backing her up. But she will be singing on behalf of kids who don’t necessarily have any back-up.

Bible inspiration for Chinese art exhibit

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kk_acceptanceTORONTO - Katherina Kwan and Yvonne Cheng are not professional artists, they say, they are just ordinary people who want to explore their faith through art.

“The Eternal Wisdom — Tao,” an art exhibition running Aug. 21-26, is Kwan and Cheng’s chance to let others share in this exploration. The six-day event, held at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, will showcase their Catholic Chinese art and calligraphy.

Frank Runyeon delivers Scripture the way it was meant to be

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Frank RunyeonBRAMPTON, Ont. - In the time of Jesus’ ministry, people of all ages and walks of life would gather in seemingly ordinary places simply to hear Jesus speak.

In a “more modern and secular world that holds a media-driven mindset, ignoring or even rejecting the values Jesus taught,” Hollywood TV star Frank Runyeon shows no shame in his faith. Instead, he uses his talents and industry experience to spread the same message Jesus was preaching 2,000 years ago.

Icon course at Living Water College

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Living Water CollegeA course on iconography is being offered this summer at Living Water College, a Christian liberal arts college in Derwent, Alta.

The program, which runs from July 18-30 will be taught by Frank C. Turner, the school’s director of fine arts, who studied for many years under Vladislav Andreyev, a contemporary master iconographer, and Fr. Gianluca Busi of Bologna, Italy.

Music helps singer find her inner peace

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Singer Rosanna Riverso with Sony Recording artists The Priests. Riverso was a soloist at the show The Priests performed in December at Toronto’s St. Paul’s Basilica. TORONTO - During these uncertain times, Mississauga, Ont., singer-songwriter Rosanna Riverso wants to bring a Christian message of hope, peace and inspiration to all.

“I think we live in a very fast-paced society and even right now, today, are facing a lot of economic, social and spiritual strife,” Riverso told The Catholic Register.

To that end, Riverso has organized the Peace Concert Tour that will take place in three Catholic churches in Southern Ontario. The first concert is on June 6 at Oakville’s St. Matthew’s Catholic Church. The following concerts will be held at Hamilton’s St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Church on Sept. 19 and Oct. 8 at Toronto’s St. Paul’s Basilica.

Play tries to bring redemption to the urban underside

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A scene from The Ultimate Sacrifice, a Gospel musical opening at the Panasonic Theatre June 25.TORONTO - As an actor, Michelle Lopez is accustomed to a theatre ensemble circling to practise lines, but before joining the cast of The Ultimate Sacrifice she’d never encountered an entire theatre group gathering for a lively half-hour prayer before and after rehearsals.

Those sessions are just one reason Lopez calls her role in the Gospel musical a blessing.