Features

{mosimage}MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - There will be no more sweating it old school in Catholic schools west of Toronto. The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board has passed a no-sweat policy for school uniforms, team jerseys and employee clothing.

Lourdes and its message of hope

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{mosimage}Editor’s note: To mark the 150th anniversary of Mary’s appearance to St. Bernadette Soubirous near Lourdes, France, Pope Benedict XVI has authorized a special indulgence to encourage renewed holiness. Pilgrims visiting the Massabielle grotto, where Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, can receive the indulgence during the Lourdes jubilee year, which runs from Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, until Dec. 8, 2008. Pilgrims who visit any public sanctuary, shrine or other worthy place dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes may receive the indulgence Feb. 2-11. Feb. 11 is the day the first of 18 apparitions occurred and is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Feb. 2 is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The following is a reflection on the deeper meaning of the great shrine at Lourdes.

There are few pilgrimage places on Earth where one can experience the mystery of the cross and the meaning of redemptive suffering at the heart of the Christian life. Lourdes is one of those places.

Golden Compass banned

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{mosimage}Despite a recommendation from its own review committee that The Golden Compass continue to be available to students in Grade 7 and above, the Halton Catholic District School Board has banned the book from all its libraries.

2007 in review

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JANUARY

  • Vatican spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi criticizes the execution of Iraq’s deposed leader, Saddam Hussein, saying it could ignite more violence in the wartorn nation.

  • The Ontario Court of Appeal accords equal rights to three parents in a child custody case — the biological parents and the mother’s lesbian partner. The Alliance for Marriage and Family says the ruling is the latest step to redefine traditional understandings of family.

  • Kingston Archbishop Anthony Meagher dies after his courageous four-year battle against cancer. Bishops, clergy and Catholics heap praise and admiration upon Archbishop Meagher after hearing the news.

  • The federal government announces $270 million in funding over the next two years for the fight against homelessness, the Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative, as well as $256 million for repairs to housing for low-income earners and the disabled.

 


Dad’s favourite Christmas

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{mosimage}Christmas does not bring out the best in the popular press. Every December we have to slog through articles about the commercialization of Christmas, sly digs against Christians and tips on how to avoid the tyranny of the Christian Christmas. Then, when we move to the Life sections, we see colour photographs of gift ideas, beginning at $100. Worse, though, are the articles of the alternative press accusing Christmas of miserable memories of unhappy families or impoverished childhoods. Snide remarks are made at the expense of the happy.

The real Santa was a man of faith

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{mosimage}While the original Santa Claus has been morphed into the secularized patron saint of shopping malls, some people are trying to peel away the layers of gift wrap to reveal the true St. Nick.

The Toronto Catholic District School Board buys St. Joe’s

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board has closed a  $10-million deal with the Sisters of St. Joseph that will keep the board’s downtown, all-girls high school exactly where it has been since 1960.

Toronto Catholic board unveils ‘Vision’

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board has launched its version of the Character Development Initiative proposed by the government of Ontario in October last year.

Toronto area school boards choose 2008 leaders

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Catholic school boards in the Greater Toronto Area have all chosen the chairpersons who will lead them into the new year.

Death is a natural part of living

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{mosimage}TORONTO - “To legalize euthanasia changes the way we understand ourselves, human life and its meaning,” said Margaret Somerville.

Downplaying religious voice can only help

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TORONTO - The movement against euthanasia and assisted suicide will have the greatest impact if a secular face replaces a religious one, say advocates.