Carolyn Girard, The Catholic Register

Carolyn Girard, The Catholic Register

{mosimage}TORONTO - Christopher West introduced a thousand adults, young and old, to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body at a weekend conference in Toronto Oct. 16-17.

West, a spokesman for the Theology of the Body Research Institute, a non-profit educational organization based in Philadelphia, delivered a dynamic introduction over the two days on a series of 129 short talks the late pope gave between September of 1979 and November of 1984 on human embodiment and erotic love.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Magnificat, a ministry for Catholic women, is bursting at the seams in Toronto.

After hosting a record 370 people at its October Magnificat breakfast at a banquet hall in Etobicoke, organizers spoke about the possibility of branching off the ministry into one or two more chapters across Toronto.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Community stakeholders converged at St. Augustine of Canterbury Church Nov. 24 to celebrate a large donation to the parish’s planned Family Centre.

Peter Groccia, president of Precise Parklink, donated $4,000, 10 computers and 15 printers for the centre, which is currently under construction on church property and will provide a home to a multitude of community and after-school programs to help keep kids off the street after school and build community in the Jane and Finch area.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Village Mosaic has become the newest hot spot for senior residents of a southern Etobicoke neighbourhood to connect and have fun.

The centre, run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, was officially opened in the fall and already receives up to 300 visits monthly.

“The centre is just so warm and friendly and it doesn’t matter what race or religion you have,” said June Piitz, a visitor who also teaches line dancing at Village Mosaic.

{mosimage}TORONTO - An inactive priest who claims to have “married” his male partner at their Toronto home Nov. 14 will not be excommunicated but could lose his clerical state if he “continues to give scandal,” said Kingston Archbishop Brendan O’Brien, quoting canon law.

Karl Clemens, a priest almost in his 70s who was dismissed from the archdiocese of Kingston 10 years ago and suspended from ministry, announced in a 2006 interview with Vision TV that he was gay. He said he “retired early” from the priesthood to minister to the gay community in Toronto.
{mosimage}TORONTO - Every night after 2 a.m., Abbas Jahangiri visits Toronto’s “poorest of the poor,” delivering sandwiches, fruit, water and tea out of his Hummer, all packed by volunteers from Serving Charity .

Jahangiri’s non-profit charity is a labour of love, inspired by the live music venue owner’s devotion to Mother Teresa. He created it six years ago after making a personal vow of charity.

{mosimage}“It’s a very exciting time in our work,” said Margaret Smith, a nurse, Creighton Model System practitioner and the centre’s program director. “And we already have plans for future education programs in other areas of Ontario and Canada.”

As Toronto’s Marguerite Bourgeoys Centre is the largest of its kind in Canada, practitioners in London, Ont., and Calgary have asked the centre to provide the training program locally, which the Toronto centre hopes to do in 2010 and 2011.

{mosimage}In Kingston, Ont., church bells rang in solidarity with others around the world Dec. 13 to encourage a just deal against climate change at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen.

The Sisters of Providence had encouraged 14 churches, temples and mosques in the Kingston area to join in with the global call for 350 bell tolls, meant to represent the 350 parts per million which scientists have said is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If worshippers did not have bells to clang, they were encouraged to offer alternative awareness activities.

{mosimage}OSHAWA, Ont. - It could be at least two months before parishioners of St. Philip the Apostle parish in Oshawa celebrate Mass in their church after a fire broke out on Christmas Day.

Fr. Callistus St. Louis, pastor of St. Philip’s, awoke to the church’s fire alarm and the smell of smoke at 5 a.m., Dec. 25. The rectory is attached to the church and the smoke was spreading into his residence. St. Louis called the fire department and escaped with mild smoke inhalation.

{mosimage}TORONTO - Catholics in the archdiocese of Toronto have responded overwhelmingly to the destructive January quake in Haiti, raising more than $1.1 million in just three weeks.

As of Feb. 2, the tally included donations made by schools, parishes and personal donations to ShareLife, the fundraising arm of the archdiocese.