Features/Features

{mosimage}OTTAWA - The threat to the existence of publicly funded Catholic schools in Ontario is a symptom of an even greater and growing hostility to religion in the public square, warns Bishop Paul-André Durocher.

“If we want to save our Catholic schools, what we have to save is the place of religion in Canadian society,” the bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall diocese said Sept. 28.

Spirituality a key step in addiction recovery

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{mosimage}TORONTO - For many people suffering from addiction, the belief in a higher power, or the belief that such a higher power actually cares for them, is often a difficult concept to grasp, addictions counsellors say.

Feelings of shame and guilt because of the hurtful things they have done or said during their addiction can make it difficult for recovering addicts to forgive themselves. The concept of a Creator who loves them and wants to help them seems very unlikely.

Rehab centre puts Catholicity front and centre

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{mosimage}WOODBRIDGE, Ont. - Vita Nova is one addictions rehabilitation centre that isn’t shy about its Catholic colours. On the staircase wall of the building’s main entrance hangs a large painting of a young woman, head in hands, with a statue of Mary in the background facing away.

Franca Carella, the centre’s founder, explains that the painting, the handiwork of a former client at the Woodbridge centre, expressed the artist’s struggle with faith while battling addiction — in her case, the belief that Mary had turned her back on her.

The spirituality of politics

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Guidance for participation in Canadian political life can be found in the church’s social teachings, but that doesn’t mean there is a simple formula for voting, according to Catholic observers interviewed by The Catholic Register in advance of the Oct. 14 federal election.

“We do not believe people are just individuals. We really are about working for the common good,” explains Ottawa-based Jesuit Father William Ryan. “That’s the basic premise. We’re social beings. . . . We believe that you’re social by nature, and for that reason you’re political.”

More study sought for HPV vaccine

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{mosimage}TORONTO - As several Catholic school boards across Canada prepare to offer the vaccine targeting cervical cancer this year, recent reports suggest a need for more studies.

In a Sept. 1 editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. Neal A. Halsley said cases of severe adverse reactions among Australian children to Gardasil — the vaccine targeting the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, which can cause cervical cancer — was five to 20 times higher than for other school-based vaccines. Of the 12 suspected cases, eight were confirmed as anaphylactoid reactions. There were 269,680 vaccine doses administered in Australian schools starting in April 2007.

Police presence stepped up for eight Catholic schools

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Eight police officers will be stationed at Catholic high schools across Toronto starting this October.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board said police officers would be placed at Archbishop Romero, Bishop Marroco/Thomas Merton, Cardinal Newman, Don Bosco, James Cardinal McGuigan, Mary Ward, Michael Power/St. Joseph and St. Patrick Catholic High Schools.

Police presence stepped up for eight Catholic schools

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Eight police officers will be stationed at Catholic high schools across Toronto starting this October.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board said police officers would be placed at Archbishop Romero, Bishop Marroco/Thomas Merton, Cardinal Newman, Don Bosco, James Cardinal McGuigan, Mary Ward, Michael Power/St. Joseph and St. Patrick Catholic High Schools.

Toronto school supervisor chops board deficit

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{mosimage}TORONTO - In an effort to regain the public’s trust and confidence, the Toronto Catholic District School Board will be making large cuts to trustee expenses and reducing the board’s overall budget deficit by $8 million, according to a new report by provincial government-appointed supervisor Norbert Hartmann.

In an Aug. 26 report, Hartmann said the board’s accumulated deficit will be less than $10.2 million next year compared to $18.8 million last August.

Catholic schools top public counterparts 

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{mosimage}TORONTO - In separate research, two economists with ties to the C.D. Howe Institute have found Catholic schools are outperforming public schools in Ontario on standardized tests.

The economists believe competition between the two publicly funded systems may, in part, explain higher success rates for Grade 3 and 6 pupils in Catholic schools when compared with their public school counterparts.

Touring France is a spiritual journey

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{mosimage}Our family spent 25 days in France this summer kayaking down the Rhone, climbing the Eiffel Tower, lying on the beach and feasting on French food and drink.

As fun as all this sounds, some of the most satisfying moments of our trip were watching our two girls (ages 12 and 10) form a deeper appreciation of their Catholic heritage.

African AIDS orphans to get a new school

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{mosimage}A Catholic high school in which every student has lost at least one parent to AIDS has turned the sod on a new permanent home on the edge of Africa’s second largest slum.