Features/Features

“Sorry lady, but I am not going to call you mother.”

The theatre audience snickered during the sole moment of comedy in the film Novitiate. In the scene, a concerned mother of a young novice was confronting the Mother Superior about the wellbeing of her daughter, newly arrived at the convent.

The film, which opened in theatres Nov. 3, follows a 17-year-old novice as she becomes a nun during the mid-1960s. The film has received mixed reviews from critics, both Catholic and secular, for its content and its portrayal of the Church. To some it is historically inaccurate and unworthy of support; to others the story and the message is compelling enough to overlook whatever artistic license the director may have taken. 

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What’s a Catholic movie-goer to think?

Chaplain's letter to bereaved wife of soldier killed in Vimy Ridge

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Following is from The Catholic Register, May 31, 1917, making reference to the Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 9-12, 1917), where more than 10,000 Canadians were killed or wounded.



Chaplain’s Letter to Bereaved Wife

The following letter was sent to Mrs. Gorrell, lately of Toronto, at Preston, England, where she went to be nearer her husband when he left for overseas. She was received into the Church at Holy Rosary Church, Toronto, previous to her marriage to Corporal Gorrell nearly four years ago. A little boy is proving a real consolation to the mother in her bereavement:
Dear Mrs. Gorrell, 
You must have received official notification of the death in action of your dear devoted husband, Cpl. R. Gorrell, 14th Canadian Battalion. He was instantly killed on the morning of the 9th inst. during the battle of Vimy Ridge. It is sad news for you, and I can assure you that our sympathy is real and deep. I knew Cpl. Gorrell quite well as he was a member of my congregation. He was a good soldier, devoted to duty and enjoying the full confidence of his officers and the affection of his comrades. His loss is keenly felt my us all. I especially feel his loss quite deeply, as he was one of my best parishioners and his example was of great help to me in my work among the soldiers.
It will afford you some consolation to know that he was a good Christian man, always ready to give to God what belonged to Him. He kept his soul readiness for any sacrifice that God might demand of him. He prepared himself for this great battle by a pious and worthy Holy Communion, and I feel sure that Our Saviour has accepted his sacrifice and rewarded him for that greatest of all acts of Charity, to give one's life for others. 
He was reverently laid to rest beneath the arms of a beautiful Cross erected by the Battalion. I blessed his grave and offered up the Holy Sacrifice for the eternal repose of his soul.
We have prayed for you also, that God may grant you His consoling grace in this your hour of trial.. May He give you the strength and courage to bravely accept His Divine Will and to patiently bear the heavy cross which He has allotted to you.
With deepest sympathy, 
A. J. LABOULE,
Capt. C.F.
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Nuclear meeting is a 'cry to humanity'

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As the Vatican gathered 11 Nobel peace laureates, plus NATO officials, ambassadors and peace activists to discuss nuclear disarmament at a Nov. 10-11 summit, there was no doubt about the Church’s position.

Villagers extol India's first female martyr on the road to sainthood

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UDAINAGAR, India – When Clarist Sister Rani Maria Vattalil was first posted to this destitute central Indian region 25 years ago, she urged men loitering in the village to quit wasting their time drinking. They pretended to agree, until she left. But one day, the sister circled back -- and caught them in the act.

Former computer professional finds joy serving Vancouver's homeless

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VANCOUVER – Mildred Moy at one time was apprehensive about speaking to homeless people on the street.

Story of Great War chaplain lives on in Newfoundland

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In the years following World War I, it would not be unusual for a Catholic family in Newfoundland to have three portraits hanging in their home: Pope Benedict XV, Newfoundland Archbishop E.P. Roche … and Fr. Thomas Nangle.

Canadian sponsors reach out to Jerusalem school

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The Greek Catholic Patriarchate School in Jerusalem has been operating on a deficit for a long time. But thanks to a small charity run by Knights of Columbus, the school has a lifeline in Canada. 

St. Paul’s has a tall order in Goliath ancient dig project

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For nine years, students from St. Paul’s College have been helping to uncover the life of Goliath, one piece of ancient pottery at a time.

Regis College to preserve a large part of the Scarboro's work

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As the Scarboro Missions slowly devolve and English Canada’s premier missionary order ceases to exist by 2020, it has fallen to Regis College to preserve and carry forward a large part of the Scarboros’ work.

Saskatchewan opens nine new Catholic schools

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REGINA – In the wake of the province invoking the notwithstanding clause to protect Catholic education, Saskatchewan’s Catholic school system is undergoing the largest expansion in the province’s history.

King's University College puts focus on mental health

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When it comes to supporting mental health on campus, King’s University College has plenty of new tricks up its sleeve — from yoga to meditation headbands.