Carolyn Girard, The Catholic Register

Carolyn Girard, The Catholic Register

{mosimage}MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - Trustees at the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board will review a proposal Nov. 24 that would have all novels pre-approved for use in the classroom by a central committee.

“We conceptualized the need for such a proposal in the last couple of years and have been doing a lot of work for what makes sense for our system and how we develop a proposal that’s going to honour the professionalism and the local decision making that we want our teachers and administrators to continue to do,” said superintendent of program Marianne Mazzorato.

{mosimage}When it comes to pro-life teachings in Ontario, most are casting their eyes to the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board as a model.

Nearly six years ago, leaders established a board-run Culture of Life committee that has had its students interested in issues such as abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research ever since.

{mosimage}As an eight-year-old boy begins to ask questions about the “farmers” he can see through his bedroom window, the atrocities of the Holocaust start to unravel in a touching and dramatic tale.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a great movie that brings a fresh look at the degradation of Nazi concentration camp prisoners through the eyes of a German child. This powerful film is definitely worth seeing.
{mosimage}As this year marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Pius XII’s death, the release of A Hand of Peace: Pope Pius XII & The Holocaust is timely for yet another reason. With accusations, past and present, that the late pope did nothing to help Jews during the Holocaust, Salt + Light Television’s documentary dispels the rumours and provides historical accounts of the real story behind Pius’ actions.

“Working on this project the past two years has been an eye-opening experience,” said David Naglieri, the film’s writer and producer. “I came to understand that the black legend surrounding Pope Pius XII is, in fact, founded upon distortion and lies and that Pius XII was directly responsible for saving tens of thousands of Jews.”
{mosimage}It was either death or a long voyage to Canada for the Willis family and more than 38,000 Irish immigrants who landed in Toronto in the summer of 1847.

But the story of how that impacted the city of 20,000 and its wave of new citizens who fled from a deadly typhus outbreak and the potato famine of 1845 to 1851 in their Irish homeland has gone untold for more than a century, now to be uncovered in a docudrama called Death or Canada: Fleeing the Famine . It will air on History Television March 16.

{mosimage}TORONTO - The story of a Holocaust survivor who uses her experiences to relate messages about bullying, racism and tolerance to students has been captured in a feature documentary.

Stronger than Fire, by Toronto filmmaker Don Gray, captures the powerful tale of Eva Olsson, an 84-year-old woman from Bracebridge, Ont., who discovered a passion for speaking to students more than 12 years ago. She began facing her past after one of her three grandchildren convinced her to do a short presentation at her school.

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.
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.
Fr. Robbie McDougallWhile attending Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto nearly 40 years ago, a renowned concert pianist discovered how he could better use his musical talents for God.

Thirteen years later he would be ordained to the priesthood and for the past 21 years has been leading scores of people across Canada in retreats, parish missions, workshops and Christian concerts.

Fr. Robbie McDougall is a priest based in the Manitoba archdiocese of St. Boniface. He founded a ministry more than 20 years ago to combine his love for sacred music and evangelization.
{mosimage}TORONTO - Determined to stay faithful to Catholic teachings and still enjoy the single life, Catholic Register columnist Dorothy Cummings McLean started a blog at the age of 35 on how to be single and stay seraphic.

A selection of those blog posts from her last year of studies at Boston College are now featured in Seraphic Singles: How I Learned to stop Worrying and Love the Single Life, released by Novalis in March.