With the book being closed on the court cases involving seven students involved in a highly-publicized hazing and sexual assault at Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School, the prestigious Catholic private school says it remains “deeply committed” to measures put in place to make sure such an incident doesn’t occur again.

The fight goes on for euthanasia opponents

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Bill C-7, which will expand access to a medically-assisted death, is the law of the land and no doctor or nurse practitioner can be charged under the criminal code for ending the life of a patient who asked for the procedure so long as the right forms were filled out.

Climate protest witness to global problem

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In the bright sunshine of a cool fall day, Catholics and other Christians brought their voices, protest signs and faith to a gathering of about 2,000 people on the front lawn of Queen’s Park Nov. 6 in a Global Day of Action at the halfway point of United Nations climate talks in Glasgow.

Christian unity week goes live again in 2022

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The virtual has become normal and for lots of things it’s not bad. Virtual ecumenism, however, just isn’t a thing.

“I’m sorry. The ecumenical work of promoting Christian unity is face-to-face,” said Archdiocese of Toronto officer for Christian Unity and Jewish Dialogue Rev. Dr. Luis Melo. “It’s about relationships. It’s about receiving one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.”

While Melo understands that virtual meetings are probably never going away, he is certain that Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox and Anglican parishes won’t start gathering for prayer or sitting down to dinner together again until it is safe and normal to do so.

“The priority with many of our parishes and congregations and churches, ecclesial communities, is going to be on re-gathering our own communities,” Melo said. “Because they’ve been dispersed, necessarily dispersed, and are slowly coming back.”

Melo sees things looking up for the 2022 Week of Prayer for Christianity, Jan. 18-25.

The annual liturgy bringing together Church leaders to pray for each other has been scheduled for Jan. 23 at Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Scarborough. Unlike last year’s all-virtual, sparsely attended service, this year will feature both live and online prayer.

The Greater Toronto Area Council of Churches is the co-ordinating body for the service. This year the Week of Prayer will feature a strong strain of Eastern Christian spirituality, given its origins.

The prayers, theme and key Gospel passage for the week were prepared this year by the Middle East Council of Churches, drawing attention to the ancient roots of Christian faith in the land where Jesus lived.

The churches have chosen the story of the Magi, Matthew 2:1-12 as the key to prayers, reflection and liturgy for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

“The Magi reveal to us the unity of all nations desired by God,” the Middle Eastern Council of Churches writes in its introduction to this year’s Week of Prayer. “They travel from far-off countries, and represent diverse cultures, yet they are driven by the same hunger to see and know the newborn king, and are gathered into the little house in Bethlehem in the simple act of giving homage and offering gifts.”

A kit with Bible study materials, liturgy and homily suggestions, hymns and children’s activities is available for free at www.weekofprayer.ca/2022-wpcu-resources.

The Catholic Register and Melo will also be reaching out to Catholic school boards in the archdiocese to invite students to participate in the annual Friars’ Student Writing Awards, sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.

Royal Canadian Legion committed to remembering the fallen, not glorifying war

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There may be glory in what was accomplished on the battlefields that preserved the way of life we hold so dear today, and for those who made it happen, but make no mistake — there is no glory in war.

Art project unmasks students’ talents

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Hundreds of student-designed masks, photos, drawings and poems were on display through a series of digital projections across Toronto in late October to celebrate art and building community in a time of COVID-19.

Burial site discoveries top of mind of repentance panel

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As coincidence would have it, on the same day Pope Francis expressed his willingness to visit Canada to foster reconciliation with Indigenous people, St. Mary’s University and St. Joseph’s College in Alberta jointly hosted an online speaker’s panel called “CatholicismRepentance.”

Pro-lifers condemn ‘terrible’ court ruling on Summer Jobs program

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Despite a federal court ruling it was “reasonable” for the federal government to require Canada Summer Jobs program applicants to support abortion rights, pro-life groups say the decision still discriminates against those who defend unborn lives.

A ‘penitent’ Pope will be coming to a wounded nation

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There has never been a papal visit to anywhere that has been anything like what will unfold when Pope Francis comes to Canada — a papal journey of sorrow, mourning and repentance holding forth a thin candle of hope up against the flood of our own Catholic sins.

Catholic teachers pushing for faster fossil fuel divestment

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After 10 years of pushing Canada’s second biggest pension plan to get serious about climate change, Ontario’s unionized Catholic teachers feel like they’re making progress, but they’re still not satisfied.

Indigenous expect positive visit from Pope Francis but apology must be the reason

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Deacon Harry Lafond is well aware of the serious, sorrowful situation which has prompted Pope Francis to announce a visit to Canada. But he does not believe the papal visit should drown in tears.