{mosimage}TORONTO - Typhoons, floods, volcanoes — the Philippines has endured all kinds of natural disasters. But that doesn’t faze the Filipino community, said Fred Gamboa.

“We have one characteristic,” said Gamboa. “ We’re very resilient. We just bounce back.”

Canadian Jewish Congress wants Pius sainthood cause slowed down

{mosimage}Another step, however minor, toward canonizing Pope Pius XII has got Canadian Jews wondering, why now?

The Dec. 19 Vatican declaration of Pope Pius XII’s “heroic virtues” has prompted the Canadian Jewish Congress to remind Canadian bishops that many Jews still harbour doubts about the war-time pope’s record.

Bishop Lahey faces judicial pre-trial Jan. 26 on child porn charges

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Bishop Raymond Lahey, who faces charges of possession and importation of child pornography, will have a judicial pre-trial Jan. 26.

This off-the-record meeting of lawyers from both sides before a judge could lead either to a resolution of the case or launch the next step in the trial process.

Nguyen family to be reunited

{mosimage}TORONTO - For the first time in 30 years, Bishop-elect Vincent Nguyen will be together with his eight brothers and sisters in one place, but it won't happen until his ordination on Jan. 13.

A last-minute snag delayed the youngest Nguyen brother, Hau. Hau tried to board the first international flight of his life carrying a hand-carved bishop's staff or crosier. It was not deemed appropriate carry-on luggage and by the time everything was sorted out the plane was gone. Arrangements had to be made for him to fly to Canada Jan. 12, when his big brother will be in London for Bishop-elect Bill McGrattan's ordination.

Salt + Light to stream bishops' ordinations


TORONTO - Don't have a ticket for the big ordinations Jan. 12 and 13? Can't drive all the way to London or fight the traffic to St. Michael's Cathedral in downtown Toronto? No worries. You can be there to see Toronto's two new bishops ordained just sitting in front of your computer screen.

Salt + Light TV, the digital television service that broadcasts World Youth Day-inspired Catholic programming in English and French, will be streaming the ordinations live on its web site.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity just the beginning

{mosimage}Fuller, deeper and more meaningful prayers for Christian unity in Catholic parishes has to begin with the Jan. 17 to 24 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, say Catholics who have worked on preparing and promoting the annual event.

“It’s the prime event in terms of ecumenical work together, prayer together,” said  Jonas Abromaitis of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Abromaitis is commission secretary to the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews and Interfaith Dialogue.

Two months before back to normal after fire at Oshawa's St. Philip the Apostle

{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.

Collins to sit on pontifical communications council


TORONTO - Pope Benedict XVI appointed Toronto’s Archbishop Thomas Collins a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications on Jan. 5. He joins Fr. Tom Rosica of Salt+Light TV on the council.

“I look forward to the opportunity to learn more about how the church can communicate and evangelize both locally and globally,” Collins told The Catholic Register in an e-mail.

Parliament prorogued as Harper focuses on economy over other legislation

{mosimage}OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to press the reset button and ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament has postponed the vote on a number of pieces of legislation.

It has postponed debate on a controversial private member’s euthanasia bill, guaranteed Conservative MP Joy Smith’s anti-human trafficking Bill C-268 will not become law before the Vancouver Olympics and stalled Liberal MP John McKay’s mining accountability Bill C-300, which had reached the committee stage in the House of Commons. 

Pope's World Day of Peace message would suit Canada

{mosimage}On peace and on climate change Canada isn’t measuring up to Pope Benedict XVI’s vision for peace on Earth and good will toward men, according to life-long Conservative and retired Senator Doug Roche.

The Pope’s message for World Day of Peace links progress toward peace to climate change and environmental degradation. The Vatican headlined the message “If you want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation.”

Canadian High Commission in Ghana failing young refugees

{mosimage}Though he has been attacked in the street, had to be moved to a safe house and is now so depressed he only speaks in whispers, a 14-year-old refugee stranded alone in Accra, Ghana, still does not qualify for urgent or expedited processing, according to Immigration Canada officials handling the case. (See - Tamil refugee boy in immigration limbo.)

If the Canadian High Commission in Accra manages to process the boy refugee in the standard 37 months it takes to get through the paperwork, the boy will be 18 when he is finally reunited with his surviving family in Toronto.