D & P and LifesiteTORONTO - The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace obtained a Federal Court injunction Sept. 12 to block an access to information request for the names and funding levels regarding its nearly 200 partner organizations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

The request was made to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) by LifeSiteNews, an online news organization that has published a series of articles over the past 18 months alleging links between Development and Peace-funded partners and pro-abortion lobbying in Mexico, Bolivia, South Africa and Nigeria. Development and Peace has denied those allegations and an investigation into five of its Mexican partners by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops cleared the Catholic aid agency of wrongdoing while also warning it to be more prudent in selecting its partners. LifeSite called that investigation “deeply flawed.”

Campaign launched to raise awareness of TCDSB elections

In the lead-up to Catholic school trustee elections, a group of former trustees, teachers and parents is leading a campaign to raise awareness and encourage Catholic supporters to vote on Oct. 25.

“Lately, the reputation of our board has been badly tarnished in the public eye, and the Minister of Education found it necessary to place the Toronto Catholic District School Board under supervision. It is a time for healing. It is a time for change,” said former principal Mary Ellen Lawless at a Sept. 26 press conference outside St. Paul's Basilica. Lawless is a member of the new group C.U.R.B., Catholics United for a Responsible Ballot.

“It is imperative that we reunite the parent, teacher, principal, priest, trustee and the total Catholic community in carrying out the aims of Catholic education and the mission of the Catholic school,” Lawless said in a statement. The group urged Toronto's Catholic voters to get to know the issues and their trustee candidates as their “right and privilege to do so.”

Bishop Crosby to leave the Rock for Hamilton

Bishop CrosbyPope Benedict XVI named Bishop Douglas Crosby as the new bishop of the diocese of Hamilton Sept. 24. Crosby will replace the retiring Bishop Anthony Tonnos who has led the diocese since 1984.

“I’m very pleased and honoured by the appointment,” said Crosby, who remains administrator of the diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador until he is installed as bishop of Hamilton at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Nov. 8.

Born in Marathon, Ont., in the diocese of Thunder Bay, all of Crosby's ministry as a bishop has been done in Newfoundland and Labrador. Installed as bishop of Labrador City-Schefferville in 1998, he was also installed as bishop of St George’s, Nfld., in 2003 and retained responsibility for the former diocese. Then, following a realignment of the boundaries of the two dioceses, he became bishop of the diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador in 2007.

A new home for Padre Pio


New Padre PioThe mostly Italian parish of Padre Pio in Woodbridge welcomed relics of St. Padre Pio as they inaugurated their new church Sept. 23. It was no small affair, with an overflow crowd peering in the windows from the parking lot to see Archbishop Thomas Collins baptize and anoint the new church.

Photos and commentary by Michael Swan

ShareLife bounces back to have a record year

ShareLife logoTORONTO - It was a record year for ShareLife as total donations to the annual campaign came it at an all-time high  — $14.33 million.

And it was all inspired by an anonymous donor.

“A generous parishioner in the archdiocese of Toronto came forward last year and offered to match all new or increased donations up to $500,000 to ShareLife during the 2010 campaign,” said Arthur Peters, executive director of ShareLife, the charitable fundraising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto.

A little piece of Don Bosco making its way to Toronto

 St. John Bosco’TORONTO - On Oct. 5, St. John Bosco will be closer to Canadians than ever before — his relics will be on display at St. Benedict parish in Toronto.

It’s the first stop in Canada for the Don Bosco Among Us Relic Tour through 130 countries that kicked off on Jan. 31, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The tour will make its way on to Montreal Oct. 6-8 and then to Surrey, B.C., Oct. 8-10, before continuing elsewhere until 2015, the 200th anniversary of his birth in Turin, Italy.

U.S. women religious feel they are under unfair scrutiny

Sr. Donna MarkhamTORONTO - For many religious women in the United States the Vatican-appointed apostolic visitation on American sisters is an open wound, a sore point and something they would rather not talk about.

Sr. Donna Markham is coming to Toronto to talk about it. The Dominican Sister will deliver the annual Dominican Family of Toronto lecture at the University of St. Michael’s College Oct. 15. Markham has titled her talk “Mission, Membership and the Apostolic Visitation” and organizers are promoting it under the banner “Women Religious Under Scrutiny.”  

Toronto Paisleyites agree with papal protest

Toronto Free Presbyterian ChurchTORONTO - The Toronto Free Presbyterian Church stands behind its Ulster-based brethren in protesting Pope Benedict XVI's visit to England and Scotland.

The tiny Toronto church protested Pope John Paul II's visit in 2002, and would do so again if the Pope were ever to visit Canada, said Toronto Free Presbyterian Church senior pastor Larry Saunders.

"My concern, my opposition to the Pope coming as a representative of the Catholic Church is that he comes not just as a religious leader. He comes as also the head of state," said Saunders.

Jesus is alive in Toronto

Catholic Charismatic Renewal CouncilTORONTO - Star-chasers and visitors to the city for the Toronto International Film Festival may have been surprised to see a parade travelling down Yonge Street Sept. 11. They were probably even more shocked to learn that the parade was in celebration of Jesus.

The participants in this year’s Jesus in the City Parade, a multi-denominational festival of music, dance and worship, were looking for just that reaction, and to challenge it. Though the downtown core of Toronto may feel secular, they said, the Lord is no stranger to the city.

Fr. de Souza joins Register team

Fr. de SouzaThe Catholic Register is pleased to welcome Fr. Raymond de Souza to our stable of talented columnists.

Fr. de Souza, whose debut column appears on Page 19 of this issue, has established his credentials as an accomplished journalist while writing for several publications over the past decade. He is a regular contributor to The National Post and a past Rome correspondent for the U.S.-based National Catholic Register.

Finishing touches put to Toronto abuse protocols

Archdiocese of TorontoTORONTO - Toronto’s new rules for what to do when a priest or Church employee is accused of sexual misconduct will be revealed in early October.

Over the summer a panel of experts, working with the archdiocese’s judicial vicar Fr. Brian Clough, reviewed and revised Toronto’s Church law governing sex abuse cases, bringing it in line with the latest directives from the Vatican.