Swimming is fun. So why not do it 22 to 26 hours in 16-to-20-degree water with jellyfish, possible high winds and ocean tides pulling you in various directions? Not every 58-year-old psychiatrist is crazy enough to try it.

Published in Canada

GUELPH, ONT. - In increasingly secular Ontario, the debate about the real or perceived distinctiveness of Catholic education rages on.

Published in Catholic Education

HAMILTON, ONT. - At Hamilton’s St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, members of the senior soccer teams are learning more than just tactics, strategy and skills specific to their sport; they’re learning how faith contributes to their game.

Published in Catholic Education

Recent stories about two Catholic high schools are terrific examples of how government policies can sometimes produce the exact opposite effect as intended.

Published in Robert Brehl

HAMILTON, ONT. - A palliative care nurse offered moving accounts of how a person’s last days of life can be some of his or her most fulfilling, enlightening and spiritually rewarding when she spoke at Hamilton Right to Life’s Annual Respect Life Fundraiser Dinner Nov. 3. 

Published in Canada

His nation wept, his city bowed and knelt in prayer and his family bore a greater pain than human hearts were made to endure as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was sent to his final rest from Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton, Ont., Oct. 28.

Published in Canada
September 18, 2014

60 years of helping moms

HAMILTON, ONT. - Christine Beaumont was 16, pregnant and “a little rebellious” when she arrived at Hamilton’s St. Martin’s Manor in 1978. 

Published in Canada

HAMILTON, ONT. - The future is a kind of massive cloud of the unknown, a mix of the probable and the impossible, that is constantly smothering the present. Every life has a little history, but lives are lived for, in and with the future.

Published in Canada

Hamilton’s Catholic school board has let Liberal leader Justin Trudeau know it is unhappy with his decree that all Liberal candi-dates going forward must be pro choice.

Published in Education

HAMILTON, ONT. - He tried to push it aside and ignore it, desiring marriage, a family and retirement at age 50 so he “could play golf all day,” but God had other plans.

Published in Canada

The Diocese of Hamilton, Ont., has gifted St. Peter’s Seminary with its largest donation to date.

Published in Canada

HAMILTON, ONT. - Surprised, grateful, humbled and excited.


Published in Canada

Don’t look now, but Mike Perron wants to get his hand in your penny jar.

By the time he’s done, he plans to have 2,500 kilograms of pennies. That’s one million coins, or $10,000, which Perron will give to charity.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - A Hamilton, Ont., father battling to protect his children from anti- Christian indoctrination in the public schools says he is only seeking the same rights of religious accommodation like those already accorded Muslims.

Dr. Steve Tourloukis, a Greek Orthodox believer, is taking the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board to court, seeking a declarative ruling that recognizes his right to be informed when a classroom will be teaching curriculum contrary to his Christian faith, the right to have his children exempted from such teaching and an acknowledgement from the court of parents’ rights to educate their children.

What’s at stake is the “ability to influence the moral development of our children,” he said. “Education is a way to recruit child soldiers. In 20 years there will be no Christians left to fight the battle.” The school system is imposing an “unlearning process” on children to undermine the traditional beliefs they are taught at home.

Ahead of court appearances Nov. 21 and 22 in Hamilton, Tourloukis spoke in two Catholic venues in Ottawa Nov. 17, warning the same provincial equity and inclusiveness strategy is being foisted on Catholic schools.

Tourloukis said he is “heartbroken” about what has happened in Catholic schools, pointing to the province’s forcing gay-straight alliances upon the system in its equity legislation. Taking his children, aged six and eight, out of the public system and into the Catholic schools would not protect them from the kind of indoctrination he is already taking on.

“The Catholic schools are like the Vancouver safe injection site,” he said. “The drugs are the same but the needles are cleaner. As a parent, I want to choose what’s best for my kids, not what causes them the least harm.”

Tourloukis said he is only asking for the same religious accommodation that is accorded Muslims. Muslim students can be exempted from any school discussion of Christmas, Easter or Halloween, while their requests for special prayer time are accommodated as are requests to opt-out of gym for modesty reasons or out of music classes for religious reasons.

“I’m only asking for what other faiths receive,” he said.

The school board was not interested in learning about his concerns as a Christian, he said. Instead, he confronted a “bigoted stereotype” that paints Christians as homophobes.

The board is treating constitutional rights of religious freedom as if they are subject to the Ontario Equity Policy and not the other way around, he said. He said he was told it was too difficult for the board to inform him about when subject matter might come up.

Tourloukis decried the fact there is no organized inter-denominational effort to “stop this madness.”

“Our collective response as parents and as the Body of Christ has been pathetically underwhelming,” he said.

“We have failed to recognize our sacred responsibility to our children. I’m doing nothing heroic. These are my children for crying out loud. I will not be an accomplice in the corruption of my children.”

He pointed out Catholics should not blame their leaders. The gay community is excellent at organization and even though it is relatively small in number, when one speaks up politicians know many more stand behind them.

Tourloukis’ lawyer, Ottawa-based Albertos Polizogopoulos, said the court battle could cost $50,000, but could go up tenfold should the case end up at the Supreme Court of Canada.

More information about Tourloukis’ case can be found at www.defendingparents.com, which is raising money for similar parental rights cases elsewhere in Canada.

Published in Canada

HAMILTON, ONT. - What is the secret to a long and happy marriage? Communication and being able to understand each other’s point of view, say Eugene and Regina Jasin. They should know — the couple, natives of Lithuania, are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year.

They were among 475 couples recognized by the diocese of Hamilton for celebrating 25, 40, 50 and 60 or more years of married life in 2012 during the annual Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Sept. 9. The Mass was celebrated by Hamilton Bishop Douglas Crosby.

The Jasins said although seven decades have passed, they cannot remember one time when they had a serious argument. This is despite the fact they have experienced some terrible stresses, such as fleeing for Germany on horseback with their infant daughter in the face of the communist takeover of their land during the Second World War.

“The main thing you have to understand is the other person, because it’s not exactly the same as what you’re thinking,” said Eugene. “The other person has different thoughts, so you have to accept what someone else thinks and talk it over.”

Ron and Mary Smithson were at the Mass having celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary just the day before. They have been imparting their wisdom about married life to couples for well over two decades as founding members of the marriage preparation course in their parish of St. Francis Xavier in Stoney Creek, Ont.

“We were busy all our lives and didn’t have a lot of material wealth, but we had a lot of love and a lot of family,” said Mary.

“We always worked together raising the family; it wasn’t just her job or my job,” added Ron. “It was our job and that’s the way we looked at life all the way. We’ve had some good times and bad times, but we get through them all. One of the blessings is we were married on Sept. 8 … that’s Our Lady’s birthday and that’s someone who has been in our life all along.”

The Smithsons point to compromise, openness, honesty and not emphasizing material goods as key aspects to a successful marriage.

“Marriage is about compromise. What you were before you were married and what you are after is going to change. But both of you change,” said Ron.

During his homily, Crosby said the couples in the church served as a testament and witness to God’s goodness and love.

“Today is a day of celebration, a celebration of enduring love and fulfilled commitment,” he said. “It is both a reminder and a renewal of the promises made on the day you married many years ago.”

He added that each couple present was a living reminder of God’s love and its permanence. “Your marriages tell all of us, but especially young people, that lasting love is possible,” he said.

Crosby spent some two hours in the parish hall after the Mass, meeting each of the couples and posing for photos with them.

Teresa Hartnett, director of the diocese’s Family Ministry Office, said the Wedding Anniversary Mass has been held annually for some three decades and is a reflection of the Church’s desire to honour a foundational vocational aspect of the Catholic faith.

“It’s just continued to grow and grow every year,” she said, adding the event is also a part of the diocese’s overall commitment to strengthening family life, in addition to the Retrouvaille program for troubled marriages, Marriage Encounter weekends, marriage enrichment evenings and referrals for counselling.

(Gosgnach is a freelance writer in Hamilton, Ont.)

Published in Features
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