{mosimage}River of Awareness , by Stephen Sims (Novalis, 312 pages, $21.95).

When Stephen Sims was 22, he found he was thoroughly dissatisfied with his life. It wasn’t that he didn’t have any opportunities where he was living. He had a deep inner conflict which couldn’t be resolved by sitting at home.

So, the Montreal-born teacher not only left his home and job, but his country as well, travelling to Australia. This move was the first step in a long journey that led him across Australia and Asia and to a new level of self discovery.

Top high school students in GTA

{mosimage}The top three graduating students from Catholic school boards in the GTA.

PhD at pulpit treasures the Word

{mosimage}MARKHAM, Ont. - Probably every Catholic knows what bad preaching feels like — all the perplexing, irrelevant, boringness that comprises the whole tortuous experience.

Deacon Peter Lovrick encountered what might be the deep mystery of bad preaching when he met a priest finishing his third year of priesthood in Taiwan years ago.

“He told me, ‘Oh thank goodness! Now I don’t have to write any more homilies,’ ” recalls Lovrick, who serves at St. Patrick's parish in Markham. “He had simply stored all of them on a computer and he planned to reuse them. The one-size-fits-all homily which is completely independent of space and time and groups of people and what is happening in the world — if I were to go out on a limb and talk about good preaching and bad preaching — I would say that’s not good preaching.”

Twitter time for church

{mosimage}If you haven’t heard a tweet out of Canada’s Catholic hierarchy, keep listening — and surfing. Catholic twittering is coming.

As the world witnessed a revolution on the streets of Tehran that was fueled and organized on Twitter and Facebook , the church in Canada was appraising the new technology.

This fall, the National Standing Committee for Communications of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will seriously examine how the Canadian church can be present on these types of social media Internet-based services that rely on users to generate content, promised committee secretary Gerald Baril. 

Arrowsmith program cancellation sparks lawsuit

{mosimage}TORONTO - The head of the Greater Toronto Catholic Parent Network says it’s “appalling” that parents of some children with learning disabilities must file a lawsuit against their own school board in order to save a program their children need.

“It’s ridiculous for parents to be put in this situation,” said chair Murielle Boudreau.

Boudreau was responding to news that five parents with children enrolled in a unique special education program called “Arrowsmith ” launched a lawsuit in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court against the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Toronto Catholic trustees shut out again

{mosimage}TORONTO - An on-again-off-again public meeting of the embattled Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees is off again.

The Aug. 24 meeting at the Catholic Education Centre was abruptly cancelled by the provincially appointed board supervisor last week. But it had been rescheduled by Catholic school trustees John Del Grande and Rob Davis for Aug. 24 at the Toronto District School Board.

Higgins to leave St. Thomas University

{mosimage}Dr. Michael Higgins has set himself free from the daily struggles of running a university.

One of Canada’s best known Catholic writers and intellectuals, Higgins has tendered his resignation after three years as president of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B .

Ontario Catholic schools at top of class

{mosimage}TORONTO - Catholic schools are receiving top marks in Ontario, according to a new study.

In the C.D. Howe report “Ontario’s Best Public Schools, 2005/06-2007/08,” 10 of the top 11 schools, out of about 3,000 publicly funded schools, are from Catholic boards.

The study’s author, Wilfrid Laurier University economics professor David Johnson, compared the provincially standardized EQAO test scores of students from schools in similar socio-economic backgrounds.

Toronto trustees have plug pulled on Aug. 24 meeting

{mosimage}TORONTO - With the abrupt cancellation of what would have been the first public meeting of embattled Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees since January, parents have been “shut out” of sharing power with the board, say two trustees.

Trustees John Del Grande and Rob Davis had set up an Aug. 24 meeting at the Catholic Education Centre for trustees to meet with parent and Catholic community groups. But provincially appointed board supervisor Norbert Hartmann revoked permission for the trustees, working under the name Association of Catholic Trustees, to use the board's headquarters.

Toronto board trustees to meet Aug. 24


{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees will be meeting Aug. 24 for their first public meeting since having their powers stripped from them by a provincial supervisor.

Trustees John del Grande and Rob Davis set up the meeting to be held at the Catholic Education Centre on Sheppard Avenue East at 7 p.m.

“It’s to give parents and students an opportunity to have an influence on decisions made by the board and make sure their voices are heard,” Davis told The Catholic Register.

Palliative care is an option

{mosimage}Michele Chaban doesn’t want the option of asking her doctor to kill her, but she thinks she’s probably going to get it.

Chaban is one of Canada’s leading experts on how we die and the care we provide to the dying. She counsels dying patients and their families and teaches the subject at the University of Toronto and the University of Wales. She has also lived with a spinal cord injury for 26 years.

“I get scared sometimes that somebody is going to say, ‘Well, you’re not really a helpful member of society, and you’re not producing anything, and so we don’t need you any more,’ ” Chaban told The Catholic Register.