SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BEAUPRE, QUE. - Cardinal Marc Ouellet affirmed his unqualified commitment to the Gospel as he bid his farewell to the Quebec archdiocese Aug. 15 before heading off to assume a new role at the Vatican.

At his last public celebration of the Eucharist before departing to Rome, the new Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops acknowledged some people may have been hurt by some of his words in public debate or some of his pastoral decisions.

In recent months, Ouellet has faced a wave of negative attacks in the news media for his forthright stance in defense of human life from conception, even in cases of rape.  

Basilian priest charged with abusing Ottawa student in 1972

The Basilian Fathers are encouraging any possible victims of sexual abuse by Fr. Kenneth O'Keefe to come forward.

O'Keefe was charged Aug. 11 with one count of indecent assault stemming from his contact with a teenaged boy at St. Pius X High School in Ottawa in 1972. But if there are other victims or other unreported incidents to be dealt with, the Basilians want to hear about them and will work with police and the court system to see justice is done, said Basilian spokesman Fr. Tom

"We are committed to making available financial support for restorative therapy for anyone who has been abused by Fr. O'Keefe or by any other Basilian," said a statement from the religious order.

Fr. Smith to lead the Basilians

The new Basilian Superior General, Rev. George T. Smith, C.S.B.TORONTO - Offering a message of hope to Basilians is the most important job for Fr. George Smith, the newly elected leader of the Congregation of St. Basil.

The 49-year-old Smith was chosen by 58 delegates at the order’s July 4-16 general chapter in Rochester, N.Y., to lead the Basilians for the next four years.

“My first feelings were feelings of uncertainty; I wondered if I had the wisdom or experience that was necessary for this kind of leadership,” said Smith. “But I grew accustomed to the idea that with the prayers of my brothers, I could respond to this new call in a way that would be helpful.”

Women’s gifts essential to ending abuse crisis, says Sr. Kenny

Sr. Nuala KennyOTTAWA - Catholic women must use their gifts to address the systemic problems that have led to the Church’s global sexual abuse crisis, said Sr. Nuala Kenny.

The retired pediatrician and Sister of Charity brought this message to the Catholic Women’s League’s (CWL) 90th national convention here Aug. 9. The CWL met in Ottawa from Aug. 7-11.

“As long as we think clergy sex abuse is the individual sin of an individual offender or the individual sin of mismanagement on the part of bishops, we are not going to learn about why,” Kenny told 600 delegates packing a downtown hotel ballroom.

Linda's Walk a big step for homeless women

Friar Tom PurcellLinda Houston used to sleep on the streets. Years after her death, a charity walk named in her honour will be passing through the same Don Mills, Ont. streets she once called home.

On Sat. Aug. 14, the first-ever 5-km Linda's Walk will take place to help raise awareness for homeless women with mental issues. All proceeds will go directly to support the St. Clare Inn, a transitional housing project where women can "journey towards wellness"  that was created as a result of Linda's death in 2000.

Archbishop Collins, archdiocese step up efforts to help Iraqi refugees


TORONTO - For Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins the fate of Iraqi Christians trapped in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon isn’t just another tough case in an unfair world full of too much heartbreak. For him, this one is personal.

Collins has written to his fellow bishops across Canada about the fate of Iraqi Christian refugees, asking them to encourage refugee sponsorship in their dioceses. He has urged pastors in Toronto to get their parishes involved in sponsoring refugees.

But it’s more than words. He’s also sponsoring a refugee family himself.

Hiroshima Day floats light of peace in the darkness


Japanese lanternsElders and survivors took centre stage at Toronto's Hiroshima Day at the Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square.

They're asking world leaders to achieve nuclear disarmament before the generation that saw the first atomic weapon is gone.

Photos and commentary by Michael Swan


Canada’s bishops in favour of mandatory long-form census

2011 censusOTTAWA - Canada’s Catholic bishops have joined the chorus urging the federal government to reconsider its plan to abolish the mandatory long-form census.

“A great deal of this information, based on data gathered by Statistics Canada, is most helpful to all faith groups,” said Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) president Bishop Pierre Morissette in a letter to Industry Minister Tony Clement.

Register's longest-serving paperboy hangs up his bag


MISSISSAUGA, ONT. - Hubert Krampert's 40-year run in bringing The Catholic Register to the residents of Mississauga Lifecare Centre has come to an end.

Seasonal workers made to feel at home

Seasonal workerMONTREAL - Thousands of agricultural workers from abroad have come and gone with the growing seasons since the 1970s, unnoticed by most Canadians. But a Spanish Mass that drew nearly 2,000 people to St. Joseph’s Oratory Basilica July 18 was evidence that, for a few faith-filled Quebecers, seasonal workers are as important to the community as their neighbours.

“It’s easy to develop a friendship with them. They’re just so respectful,” Louise Guinois said. Guinois is a former farm owner from St. Remi, Que., and organizer of the annual pilgrimage to the Oratory.

Anglicans take historic steps toward unity

Archbishop John HepworthSURREY, B.C. - At the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada’s triennial synod July 12-16, bishops, clergy and lay delegates from across Canada passed a resolution to endorse the March 12 letter its bishops sent to the Holy See seeking an Anglican ordinariate in Canada.

The synod also passed a resolution enabling the bishop and the provincial council to make all adjustments to the diocese’s canonical legislation for the formation of the ordinariate.

The ordinariates will allow Anglicans who accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Petrine Ministry to become Catholics while retaining their Anglican liturgy and other aspects of their patrimony.