Features

{mosimage}Faculty at Waterloo’s St. Jerome’s University have voted no confidence in the school’s president and have begun talks with the Canadian Association of University Teachers about forming a union.

The crisis at the Catholic liberal arts college affiliated with the University of Waterloo began with the mass resignation of the St. Jerome’s chaplaincy team just before Christmas.

Following St. Paul to Cyprus

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{mosimage}PAPHOS, Cyprus - When I visited Cyprus recently, St. Paul the Apostle was the furthest thing from my mind. I was looking forward to touring the island mythology claims as the birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love. It wasn’t until I reached the city of Paphos I was reminded Cyprus was Paul’s first stop on a phenomenal lifetime of evangelism. 

Around 47, accompanied by Barnabas and Mark, Paul introduced this beautiful island to a newer understanding of the word “love” in the person of Jesus Christ. That story is succinctly told in Acts of the Apostles: chapter 13:2-12. Barnabas, Paul and Mark are directed by the Holy Spirit to set out for Cyprus, which author H.V. Morton accurately describes as “a perfect blend of mountain and plain, of hills that slope to deserted bays half screened by olive trees.” After preaching in Salimas’s synagogues, they travelled to Paphos on the island’s luxuriant south coast, again preaching in Jewish synagogues.

The history of Lent

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Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the period of penance, prayer and sacrifice that precedes the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. 

Since the earliest days of the church there is evidence of some form of Lenten preparation for Easter; but the duration and nature of this preparation took countless centuries to evolve and is still changing even today.  

Toronto trustee guilty of conflict of interest

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{mosimage}TORONTO - An Ontario Superior Court judge has found Toronto Catholic school trustee Oliver Carroll guilty of conflict of interest charges and ordered his removal from the board.

But Carroll said he would be appealing the decision and will file a motion to stay on as trustee while the appeal is being processed.

Trustee infighting derails election of board chair

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board will be without a chair and decision-making powers indefinitely until trustee infighting stops, says Ontario's education minister.

Kathleen Wynne told The Catholic Register that she supports the Jan. 28 decision of provincially appointed board supervisor Norbert Hartmann to suspend the appointment of a chair. Long-time trustee Angela Kennedy had been chosen chair, with Ann Andrachuk elected vice-chair, at a Jan. 22 meeting, but the choices were subject to Hartmann's approval.

Recession affects hospitals' ethical decisions

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The world’s economic crisis hasn’t caught Catholic hospitals in Toronto unawares.

Although all Ontario hospitals are more than likely to encounter financial struggles this year, health care rationing and budget adjustments are all too familiar to Catholic institutions, said Hazel Markwell, executive director of the Centre for Clinical Ethics in Toronto.

Reviving the call for nuclear disarmament

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{mosimage}Canada's former foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy wants to re-embrace the moral vision of the nation’s nuclear weapons policy of 1945.

“To use nuclear weapons as a symbol of your greatness is not only immoral, it is pure mystique,” Axworthy told The Catholic Register. “Somehow there’s a perversion taking place. Rather than saying that one’s contribution to reducing poverty or changing the environment is to be a demonstration of one’s greatness, we’re using nuclear weapons because it is the ultimate weapon.”

Ontario schools will feel recession's pinch

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{mosimage}TORONTO - With the economic downturn and declining student enrolment, Ontario school boards could be facing delays in some of their program funding, says Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne.

Provincial funding for new programs could also be on hold.

Theatre last phase of St. Mike's development

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{mosimage}TORONTO - A new $10-million performing arts centre is scheduled to open at St. Michael’s College School next year.

School president Fr. Joseph Redican, C.S.B., said the 440-seat theatre would be a state-of-the-art facility and will support the school’s drama and theatre arts program. It will also serve as a venue for concerts, public speaking and debates. And the centre will have a display space for the school’s visual arts program and will be the site of lectures and conferences.

Native parish honours past

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{mosimage}WINNIPEG - It is a cold Sunday morning at a small Catholic church in a working-class neighbourhood of Winnipeg.

The Eucharistic Prayer has just ended, and the priest is holding the body and blood of Christ above the altar. When the drum beat begins, it pounds like a human heart. A woman sings in Ojibway.

Reaching out to urban aboriginals

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{mosimage}OTTAWA - Like incense, the white smoke of smouldering sweetgrass, cedar, sage and tobacco rises from a seashell as a small group of church-goers pray in the four cardinal directions, giving thanks to the Creator. As Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J. , celebrates Mass, he does so in front of a wall papered with the view of a forest. 

This scene — where aboriginal Catholics in Ottawa welcomed Prendergast to celebrate Mass at the Kateri Native Ministry office — was certainly not the first time Catholicism and native spirituality have intertwined. But it is a growing reality in cities like Ottawa and Toronto where the population of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people is growing.